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spirit.' Matt. xii. 43. 'the tempter,* iv. 3. • Abaddon.... Apollyon,' that is, the destroyer,t Rev. ix. 11. ' a great red dragon,' xii. 3.
* The tempter ere th' accuser of mankind.
Paradise Lost, IV. 10. +
who bids abstain But our Destroyer, foe to God and man? IV. 749.
OF THE SPECIAL GOVERNMENT OF MAN BEFORE THE
FALL, INCLUDING THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE SAB
BATH AND OF MARRIAGE.
The Providence of God, as regards mankind, relates to man either in his state of rectitude, or since his fall.
With regard to that which relates to man in his state of rectitude, God, having placed him in the garden of Eden, and furnished him with whatever was calculated to make life happy, commanded him, as a test of his obedience, to refrain from eating of the single tree of knowledge of good and evil, under penalty of death if he should disregard the injunction.* Gen. i. 28. subdue the earth, and have dominion—.' ü. 15–17. he put him into the garden of Eden.... of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat; but in the day that thou eatest of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt surely die.'
well thou know'st
Paradise Lost, IV. 426.
This is sometimes called the covenant of works, * though it does not appear from any passage of Scripture to have been either a covenant, or of works. No works whatever are required of Adam; a particular act only is forbidden. It was necessary that something should be forbidden or commanded as a test of fidelity, and that an act in its own nature indifferent, in order that man's obedience might be thereby manifested. For since it was the disposition of man to do what was right, as a being naturally good and holy, it was not necessary that he should be bound by the obligation of a covenant to perform that to which he was of himself inclined ;t nor would he have given any proof of obedience by the performance of works to which he was led by a natural impulse, independently of the divine command. Not to mention, that no command, whether proceeding from God or from a magistrate, can properly be called a covenant, even where rewards and punishments are attached to it; but rather an exercise of jurisdiction.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil was not a sacrament, as it is generally called ;I for a sacrament
* So Bishop Taylor. "I find in Scripture no mention made of any such covenant as is dreamt of about the inatter of original sin : only the covenant of works God did make with all men till Christ came; but he did never exact it after Adam.' Works, IX. 399. And in his treatise on The Doctrine and Practice of Repentance, Gen. ii. 17. is quoted as the first of the texts to prove the old covenant, or the covenant of works.' VIII. 303.
+ Were it merely natural, why was it here ordained more than the rest of moral law to man in his original rectitude, in whose breast all that was natural or moral was engraven without external constitutions and edicts?' Tetrachordon. Prose Works, II. 133.
1. That some of the objects in Eden were of a sacramental nature we can hardly doubt, when we read of the tree of knowledge, and of the VOL. I.
is a thing to be used, not abstained from : but a pledge, as it were, and memorial of obedience.
It was called the tree of knowledge of good and evil from the event; for since Adam tasted it, we not only know evil, but we know good only by means of evil.* For it is by evil that virtue is chiefly exercised, and shines with greater brightness.
The tree of life, in my opinion, ought not to be considered so much a sacrament,t as a symbol of eternal life, or rather perhaps the nutriment by which that life is sustained. Gen. jij. 22. lest he take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.? Rev. ii. 7. “to him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life.'
Seeing, however, that man was made in the image of God, and had the whole law of nature so implanted and innate in him, that he needed no precept to enforce its observance, it follows, that if he received any additional commands, whether respecting the tree of knowledge, or the institution of marriage, these commands formed no part of the law of nature, which is sufficient of itself to teach whatever is agreeable to right reason, that is to say, whatever is intrinsically good. I Such commands must therefore have
tree of life.' Bp. Horne's Sermon on the Garden of Eden. See also his two Sermons on the Tree of Knowledge and of Life.
Perhaps this is that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good and evil, that is to say, of knowing good by evil.' Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. Prose Works, 1. 299.
the tree of knowledge grew fast by, Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill.
Paradise Lost, IV. 222. f'The church began in innocency, and yet it began with a sacrament, the tree of life-' Bp. Taylor. Works, I. 149.
See the passage quoted from our author's Tetrachordon, page 297, note.
been founded on what is called positive right, whereby God, or any one invested with lawful power, commands or forbids what is in itself neither good nor bad, and what therefore would not have been obligatory on any one, had there been no law to enjoin or prohibit it. With regard to the Sabbath, it is clear that God hallowed it to himself, and dedicated it to rest, in remembrance of the consummation of his work ;* Gen. ii. 2, 3. Exod. xxxi. 17. Whether its institution was ever made known to Adam, or whether any commandment relative to its observance was given previous to the delivery of the law on Mount Sinai, much less whether any such was given before the fall of man, cannot be ascertained, Scripture being silent on the subject. The most probable supposition is, that Moses, who seems to have written the book of Genesis much later than the promulgation of the law, inserted this sentence from the fourth commandment, into what appeared a suitable place for it; where an opportunity was afforded for reminding the Israelites, by a natural and easy transition, of the reason assigned by God, many ages after the event itself, for his command with regard to the observance of the Sabbath by the covenanted people. An instance of a similar insertion occurs Exod. xvi. 33, 34. • Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein....S0 Aaron laid it up;' which however did not take place till long afterwards. The injunction respecting the celebration of
... from work
Paradise Lost, VII. 590,