Imatges de pàgina

Section 7. The Covenant with Adam.

The divine transaction of the explicit covenant with Adam, was calculated merely to shew and perfect his true state by creation. It was the express declaration of the truth of his existence as a living foul, viz, that he liv. ed in union with the Divine Word, on that medium his life absolutely depended; and fhould he leave that for any other supposed medium of knowledge or life, death must inevitably ensue.- It will be remembered, that when we now speak of an union of Adam with Christ, the view respects merely that state of Christ which is unfolded in the creation, and the life here intended, is that which he thus received by the breath of his Creator.

As Christ was set up in covenant union with the Father, and was the Christ of God, and his name, glory and blessedness fubfifted in the truth of a rational and divine compact; and as in such an holy relation he was the image of God; for Adam, therefore, to be the figure of Christ, and to stand up, as it were,

in his estate and glory, as the Beginning and Lord of the Creation, and so to be in the image of God, it was necessary that he should be covenanted with him, and that his lise, glory and blessedness, by virtue of a covenant union with his Lord, should subfift in the same divine, facred and rational way.

Not merely, therefore, as man was to be

treated as a moral agent, but in order to perfect his state, as being made in the all-glorious image of God, it was, upon this ground, necessary that he should be put on trial.This position, consistently with that exalted ftate in which man was placed by being alfociated with Christ; in which covenant relation he was destined to hold communion with the Lord himself, in the glory of the creation; this, I say, could not, in the nature of things be avoided; for a covenant neces. sarily implies an obligation of faith or fidelity, and covenant fidelity necessarily implies trial;

so that this transaction with Adam, resulted merely from the glorious and most bountiful constitution of his creation, and was necessary to carry that constitution into full effect.

And it is very evident that the moral agency of Adam, the exercise of which is so much insisted on by many, in explaining this transaction, was itself constituted in this covenant; for, what idea can be formed of mo. ral agency, which does not respect some covenant or law? Had man been placed in the same relation with the angels, their law would have given to his condition the solemnity of obligation; but his state being entirely different from theirs, this divine injunction alone could so form his mind, and inake him subject to duty and accountable.

We find, therefore, this transaction very limple, and merely the perfecting of the flaie of man by creation, and the manifestation and explicit verbal declaration of that won

derful and fearful circumstance of his form, ation, viz. That he was made in the image of God, and enjoyed his life and blessedness by means of a divine medium, and such a rational and facred union with the Creator. So ftrangely has this matter been misunderstood and misrepresented! and the doctrine of Christ almost wliolly hid, where it may be contemplated in this light of a covenant transaction, which affords one of the clearest illustrations of the glorious truth, which can possibly be given.

Section 8. The Tree of Life. In many passages of scripture, as the Apof. the observed of marriage, the knowledge of Christ is to be regarded as a great mystery, and cannot be obtained but by deep relearch, and most diligentiy comparing spiritual things with spiritual; especially thole recording the works and ways of Gud previous to the fall of mau, in which the truth of Christ is so concealed, that his inquiring friends have there often passed him by undiscovered; but in the article of the tree of life, he has been ever molt clearly manifeiled.

· The name of this tree, expresive of its na. ture, having in it nothing ambiguous, as had that of the knowledge of good and evil; it being preferred by the word of the Lord, and its influence to preserve the living Joul, and all-supporting power upon the body, doubi

less known and experienced, raising it whilf enjoyed above all injury, pain and dissolution, pointed out molt significantly the true medium of life, and it was, in its nature, as clearly a sign and symbol, and also means to Adam, of his living naturally by Christ, as the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is to us, of our living by him fpiritually. The unbe. lief and stupidity of mistaking the one, is as great, and is very similar to that of millaking The other.

The truth of Christ, as has been shewn, being of a facramental nature;- by facramental, I mean relating to a covenant and oath ;-God has been pleased from the beginning, to set this eternal truth before men, by means of sacraments, or sacramental signs. and emblems, which fland as visible witnelles of life and death, the blessing and cursing, according to the nature of the covenant. Such were the two trees dißinguished in relation to the covenant of life, in the paradise of Eden; luch were also the two mountains Ebal and Gerizim under the law, and such are now he sacraments of the New Teltament.--As the worthy partaker of the Holy Supper feedeth upon ihe bread of life, and imbibeth the quickening spirit; but, he that eateth and drinketh unwori hily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himselt; and as the blessing went forth from Gerizim to the obcdient with authority and effect, and the wrath and curse from Ebal took hold of the tranf. gressor with power and ceriain execution ;, ļo, the tree of life, as a witness that man re

maining in innocency should live, was invest. ed with the power of life, as also the other tree was invested with the power of death. Thus man was placed upon trial, with both life and death set before him.

This blessed tree, full of life and vigor, was sufficient alone to make a paradise; as the emblem and pledge of the first covenant constitution, which was a covenant of life, it was a provision all sustaining to the body; and, as the visible memorial of the truth of Christ, it afforded also food to vivify and felicitate the mind; in its nature, appearance and use, it answered expressly to this first state of the creation, and to shew forth the glorious character of Christ as the Beginning. This is fo evident, that it requires no illustration.

Section 9. Tree of knowledge of good and


For the trial of Adam, and exercise of his covenant obligation of fidelity to Christ, I as his head and Lord, it was necessary that fome object should be presented before him, that might be supposed a medium of true happifying knowledge. This was done in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And though, for the sake of the trial, the fruit of this tree was set before man, appaTently good for food, in a form most enticing, and io be desired to make him wife, as, in ap

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