Imatges de pÓgina
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Section 7. The Covenant with Adam. The divine tranfaction of the explicit covenant with Adam, was calculated merely to fhew and perfect his true ftate 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 abfolutely depended; and fhould he leave that for any other supposed medium of knowledge or life, death muft inevitably enfue. It will be remembered, that when we now fpeak of an union of Adam with Chrift, the view refpects merely that state of Chrift which is unfolded in the creation, and the life here intended, is that which he thus received by the breath of his Creator.

As Chrift was fet up in covenant union with the Father, and was the Christ of God, and his name, glory and bleffednefs fubfifted in the truth of a rational and divine compact; and as in fuch an holy relation he was the image of God; for Adam, therefore, to be the figure of Chrift, and to ftand up, as it were, in his eftate and glory, as the Beginning and Lord of the Creation, and fo to be in the image of God, it was neceffary that he fhould be covenanted with him, and that his life, glory and bleffednefs, by virtue of a covenant union with his Lord, fhould fubfift in the fame 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, neceffary that he should be put on trial.— This pofition, confiftently with that exalted ftate in which man was placed by being af fociated with Chrift; in which covenant relation he was deftined to hold communion with the Lord himself, in the glory of the creation; this, I fay, could not, in the nature of things be avoided; for a covenant neceffarily implies an obligation of faith or fidelity, and covenant fidelity neceffarily implies trial; fo that this tranfaction with Adam, refulted merely from the glorious and most bountiful conftitution of his creation, and was neceflary to carry that conftitution into full effect.

And it is very evident that the moral agency of Adam, the exercife of which is fo much infifted on by many, in explaining this tranfaction, was itfelf conftituted in this covenant; for, what idea can be formed of moral agency, which does not respect some covenant or law? Had man been placed in the fame relation with the angels, their law would have given to his condition the folemnity of obligation; but his ftate being entirely different from theirs, this divine injunction alone could fo form his mind, and inake him fubject to duty and accountable.

We find, therefore, this tranfaction very fimple, and merely the perfecting of the flate of man by creation, and the manifeftation and explicit verbal declaration of that won

derful and fearful circumftance of his formation, viz. that he was made in the image of God, and enjoyed his life and blessedness by means of a divine medium, and fuch a rational and facred union with the Creator. So ftrangely has this matter been misunderflood and mifreprefented! and the doctrine of Chrift almoft wholly hid, where it may be contemplated in this light of a covenant tranfaction, which affords one of the clearest illustrations of the glorious truth, which can poffibly be given.

Section 8. The Tree of Life.

In many paffages of fcripture, as the Apoftle obferved of marriage, the knowledge of Chrift is to be regarded as a great mystery, and cannot be obtained but by deep research, and moft diligently comparing fpiritual things with fpiritual; especially thofe recording the works and ways of God previous to the fall of man, in which the truth of Chrift is fc concealed, that his inquiring friends have there often paffed him by undifcovered; but in the article of the tree of life, he has been ever moft clearly manifeiled.

The name of this tree, expreffive of its nature, 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 preferve the living foul, and all-fupporting power upon the body, doubt

lefs known and experienced, railing it whilft enjoyed above all injury, pain and diffolution, pointed out moft fignificantly 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 facrament of the Lord's Supper is to us, of our living by him fpiritually. The unbelief and ftupidity of miftaking the one, is as great, and is very fimilar to that of mistaking the other.

The truth of Chrift, as has been fhewn, being of a facramental nature;-by sacramental, I mean relating to a covenant and oath;-God has been pleafed from the beginning, to fet this eternal truth before men, by means of facraments, or facramental fignsand emblems, which fland as vifible witnelles of life and death, the bleffing and curfing, according to the nature of the covenant.Such were the two trees diflinguished in relation to the covenant of life, in the paradife of Eden; fuch were alfo the two mountains Ebal and Gerizim under the law, and fuch are now the facraments of the New Teftament.-As the worthy partaker of the Holy Supper feedeth upon the bread of life, and imbibeth the quickening Spirit; but, he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himfelf; and as the bleffing went forth from Gerizim to the obedient with authority and effect, and the wrath and curse from Ebal took hold of the tranfgreffor with power and certain execution ;, fo, the tree of life, as a witness that man re

maining in innocency fhould live, was invested with the power of life, as alfo the other tree was invested with the power of death. Thus man was placed upon trial, with both life and death fet before him.

This bleffed tree, full of life and vigor, was fufficient alone to make a paradife; as the emblem and pledge of the firft covenant constitution, which was a covenant of life, it was a provision all fustaining to the body; and, as the visible memorial of the truth of Christ, it afforded alfo food to vivify and felicitate the mind; in its nature, appearance and use, it answered exprefsly to this firft ftate of the creation, and to fhew forth the glorious chaFacter of Chrift as the Beginning. This is fo evident, that it requires no illuftration.

Section 9. Tree of knowledge of good and evil.

For the trial of Adam, and exercise of his covenant obligation of fidelity to Chrift, as his head and Lord, it was neceffary that fome object fhould be prefented before him, that might be fuppofed a medium of true happifying knowledge. This was done in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And though, for the fake of the trial, the fruit of this tree was fet before man, apparently good for food, in a form most enticing, and to be defired to make him wife, as, in ap

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