Imatges de pÓgina
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pearance, fairly promising the ultimate hap. piness of the soul, and bearing its name, yet man was not tempted and deceived by his Creator; whilft, at the same time, he was plainly informed, by the word of the Lord God, what the nature of it was, and what must immediately follow upon his attempting to obtain from hence, notwithstanding its good and desirable appearance, either lupport and delight for the body, or improvement and elevation for the mind,

He was expressly admonished concerning this tree and its fruit, as being no more than the appearance of good; and in the name it bore, he was warned of its dangerous nature, in that it presented two opposite cases; so that being regarded according to the interdicting command of God, it was to him ufeful and good, as thereby he would have the knowledge of obedience and duty, which is the knowledge of Christ; but in the other case, it was evil, as by eating thereof, he would know from it what is the bitter fruit of transgression, and the fatal nature of disobedience.

By the name of this tree, fufficiently de. ciphered by the word of the Lord given to him, Adam was fully apprized, that if he gave it credit, and, against the word of God, presumed to use it for food, or in any way as a medium of support, life and knowledge, he would know, by woful experience, that he had lost good, and, not abiding in the knowledge of Christ, that he had conceived evil, a delusion and lie,

Distinct, therefore, and opposite in its nas ture, as this tree was from the tree of life; Still, as it sprang up necessarily in the garden of God, from the divine and most benificent operation, which caused there to grow a trec of life, its existence, the existence of evil, is necessarily comprized in the argument of the divine theory; for, without such means of a trial, the covenant union, and the duty, fidelity and glory, which compose the whole doctrine of Christ, could have never been known, and man could no more have had the knowledge of good, than he could have had the knowledge of evil.

O the depth and the height, to which the mind is transported by the knowledge of Christ! On high, to our view, it garnisheth the heavens, and openeth the gates of the Lord, into which the righteous do enter! and in the deep, it formeth the crooked fers pent, the dark region of dead things, and then that people it!

Section 10. Concluson of the Chapter on

Creation. To give a full illustration of the truth of Christ, as the beginning of the creation, it would be necessary to trace the argument of divine wisdom through all the natural world, and offer divine eslays upon all trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, cven unto the ky Joy chu! Springeth out of the tuall; and also in relation to this doctrine, to speak particularly of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. We are assured this was once done; by the aid, no doubt, of this grand clew of wisdom and knowledge, that the worlds were framed by the word of God.

That such a theory of Christ does pervade the creation, and is legibly inscribed in the bosom of Heaven, and on every object be. longing to the earth and sea, is a fact which every man that cometh into the world

appears, in some degree, conscious of; and which ought, as the first ground of conviètion, to be appealed to by Christ's witnesses in all the world. The preacher of the everlasting gospel will proclaim unto them that dwell on the earth, saying with a loud voice, fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water.

But all that we have proposed, was an illustration of the divine theory in such of the leading facts of the creation, &c, as may establish the principle, unfetter the humari mind of the prejudices of false principles and mistaken facts, and give it boldness in exploring rational, philosophical, scriptural truth. And it is thought, that what has been offered, is sufficient to establish this view of the great truth, viz. that the creation once existed in a state of glory and happiness, all answerable to the lirit state and primitive glory ef Christ,

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Section 1. The Fall of Angels. AS the scriptures so clearly reveal the truth

of the heaven and the earth being united to Christ by the constitution of creation; and all worlds being framed together upon one divine foundation, and so particularly mention the angelic worlds, things invisible, thrones, and dominions, and principalities and powers, as being all originally 'thus constituted;—hey also reveal, very expressly, that the sin and fall of the apoftate angels consified in breaking off from their foundation, or not holding to their divine conflitured head. The angels fell by finning against Christ, revealed to them in the conliitution and law of their creation.

Of the devil, the first rebel and seducer of angels and men, it is declared that he was a murderer from the beginning. John viii. 44. By this expreslion, compared with other fcriprures in agreement, we understand that his lin, and fiíit attempt to seduce others, respected Christ as the Beginning, the Foundation and Head of ihe creation ;--and it is immediately added, and abode not in the truth. This exprcflion confirms the sense of the other-Christ is both the beginning and the truth. The divine declaration, that the devil was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, is a very express re. velation of the nature of the fin of the devil and his angels.

The same thing is expressed, in much the same manner, 1 John iii, 8. The devil finneth from the beginning;-and it is added here, For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. This also confirms the sentiment, that the works of the devil were the seducing of creatures from Christ; and therefore his coming into the world, and recovering lost creatures to himself, deltroys the works of the devil.

But we have a passage in the epistle of Jude, verse 6, which, though in the same style as the foregoing, and respects the revelation of Chril in the same remarkable word, the beginning, is Kill more express—The angels that kept not their beginning.* This fentence is constructed in the same manner as the last sentence in the preceding verse, which respects the people of Israel who were destroyed in the wilderness;—and not holding their beginning, foundation, and head, as evidently expresses the fin of the angels, as not believing expresses the sin of the people who perished in the wilderness. The angels fell, un suposarsas not keeping Christ their beginning: the people in the wildernefs fell μη πιςεύσαντας not believing Christ their angel.

The devil, in thus breaking off from Christ and seducing others, was a murderer;-he

Αγγελός τε τες με τηρησίας της εαυτων αρχει.

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