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ficulties attending such a supposition. If it was so that this fruit was intended as a seal of Adam's confirmation in life, and was by divine constitution connected with confirmed life, then it should seem that it was something kept in store, reserved by God to be bestowed as a reward of his obedience and his overcoming all temptations, when his time of probation was ended. There seems to be an allusion to this in Rev. xxii. 14. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life." And chap. ii. 7. “To bim that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life.” So that it was not to be come at until the time of his trial was ended, for if he had eat of the tree before bis probation was ended, confirmed life would doubtless have been as much connected with it as after he fell, and that would have defeated God's design, which was that he should not have confirmed life till hisobedience was tried; and if so, why was there not need of cherubim and a flaming sword before, to keep Adam from the tree, before he fell, as well as afterwards ? Whereas there seems to have been nothing to keep him from this tree. The tree was not forbidden him; for he bad leave to eat of every tree, but only the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And as there was no moral binderance, so there seems to have been no natural force to keep him off: it does not seem to have been out of bis reach; for, if so, what occasion was there for placing cherubim and a flaming sword after he fell. The tree does not seem to be hidden from Adam, for, if it was sufficiently secured from him by this means, before be fell, so it was afterwards, and so what need of the cherubim and flaming sword ? From the account, which Moses gives of the place of this tree, that it was in the midst of the garden, it appears probable that it was in the most conspicuous place in the whole garden; as the tree of life is said to grow in the midst of the street of the heavenly paradise. Rev. xxii. 2. The street of a city is the most public place in it; and that Adam might have it in view to put him in mind of the glorious reward promised to his obedience, to engage him to the greater care and watchfulness, that he might not fail.

The most probable account that is to be given of this matter is this : that the fruit of the tree of life was not yet produced ; but that it was revealed to Adam, that after a while the tree should produce fruit, of which whosoever eat should live for ever; that he might eat of it is he persisted in his obedience ; and that if he did not persevere in obedience he would expose himself to death before that time, and so cut himself off from ever tasting of it. The tree probably made a most lovely and excellent appearance, and sent forth a sweet fragrance, and perhaps was gay in the blossom, promising most excellent fruit.

This tree, as it grew in the midst of the garden, so probably it grew_by the river, that ran through the midst of this Paradise, See Rev. xx. 2. Ezek. xlvii. 12.

[469] Gen. ii. 9. and iii. 22–24. On the Tree of Life.

There is not the least probability that every fruit-tree in the garden of Eden was then loaded with ripe fruit all at one time. If so, there would have been no provision made for Adam's subsistence through the year, according to those laws which God had established concerning the trees when he created them; for, according to those laws, the same fruit was not to be perpetually hanging ; but when the fruit was ripe, the fruit was to be shed, otherwise the seed would not be shed upon the earth in order to a new production, according to Gen, i. 11, 12. “God said, Let the earth bring forth grass; the herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth, and it was so." It is much more probable that it was with the trees of paradise as is represented of the trees that grew on the banks of Ezekiel's river of liviog waters. It is represented as though there were all sorts of fruit trees, and some yielding their fruit one month, and others another; so that there were ripe fruits newly produced every month of the year, and so a perpetual summer, and also a perpetual spring : some trees were hung with ripe fruit, and others in the blossom, in each month in the year. St. John's vision, Rev. xxii. may be so understood that each single tree bore twelve manner of fruits on different branches; and yet perhaps there is no necessity of so understanding it; and so one sort bore ripe fruit in one month, and another in another; so that the same tree was always in blossom in some part, while some other part was loaded with ripe fruit. But in Ezekiel's vision the variety of fruits seems to be on different trees, because it is said there shall grow all trees for meat.

Corol. This is a confirmation of the supposition, that the angels were not confirmed till Christ had ended his humiliation, and until he ascended into glory. For Christ is the tree of life in the heavenly paradise, in the native country of the angels; just as the tree of which we have been speaking was the tree of life on earth, the native country of men ; and the scriptures give us to understand that this person, who is the tree of life in this heavenly paradise, is angel's food." Hence we may infer, that the fruit of this tree was the food, by which the angels have their eternal life, or their confirmed life. But as man, who was made under a like covenant of works with the angels, would not have been confirmed, if he had persevered in his obedience, till the tree had brought forth its fruit, and till the fruit of the tree was ripe; so it is not probable that the angels were confirmed, until Christ, the Tree of life in the heavenly paradise, had brought forth his fruit. But what is the fruit that grows on this heavenly tree, the second Person of the Trinity, but the fruit of the Virgin Mary's womb, and that fruit of the earth spoken of Isai. iv. 2, and ix. 6? “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely, for them that are escaped of Israel.”—“For unto us a son is born, and unto us a child is given," &c. (how ofien are the children that are born in a family, compared in scripture to the fruit that grows on a tree!) when this holy child had gone through all his labours and sufferings, and had fulfilled all righteousness, and was perfected, as 'tis expressed in Luke, xiii. 32, Heb. ii. 10, and v. 9: then he was seen of angels, and received up into glory. then the fruit was gathered: Christ, as full ripe fruit, was gathered into the garner of God, into heaven, the country of angels, and so became angels' food : then the angels fed upon the full ripe fruit of the tree of life, and received of the Father the reward of everlasting life. Christ did not become the author of eternal Salvation to man, till he was thus made perfect, neither did he become the author of confirmed eternal life to the angels, till he was made perfect. Thus the fruit of this tree of life did not become the food of life to either men or angels till it was ripe.

This tree of life did as it were blossom in the sight of the angels, when man was first created in an innocent, holy, pleasant, and happy state, and was that creature from whence this future fruit of the tree of life was to spring, the blossom out of which the fruit was to come. It was a fair and pleasant blossom, though weak and feeble, and proved a fading thing like a flower. When man fell, then the blossom faded and sell off; man came forth like a flower, and was cut down, but the blossom fell in order to the succeeding fruit. The fall of man made way for the incarnation of Christ, it gave occasion to the production and ripening of that fruit, and to its blessed consequences.

Thus, though Christ God man be not the Saviour of the angels, as he is of men, yet he is the tree of life to the angels, and the bread of life as truly as to men.

[77] Gen. ii. 17. “ In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt die.” This expression denotes not only the certainty of death, but the extremity of it. Thou shalt die, in the superlative, and to the utmost degree ; and so it properly extends to the second death, the death of the soul, for damnation is nothing but extreme death, and I am ready to think that God, by mentioning dying twice over, had respect to two deaths, the first and the second, and that it is to those words the apostle John refers in Revelation xx. 14, when he says, 6. This is the second death." It is VOL. IX.


much such a reference as he made in the 2d verse of that chapter. There he explains to us who the serpent was that beguiled Eve, viz., the dragon, that old serpent who is the devil and Satan : so here he explains what the second of those deaths, that was threatened to Adam, was. See notes on Rev. xx. 14.

[325] Gen. ii. 17.“ Dying thou`shalt die." If we sometimes find such kind of doubled expressions, and also this very expression, dying thou shalt die, as in Solomon's threatening to Shimei, when no more is intended than only the certainty of the event, yet this is no argument that this does not signify more than the certainty, even the extremity as well as certainty or it. Because such a repetition or doubling of a word, according to the idiom of the Hebrew tongue, is as much as our speaking a word once with a very extraordinary emphasis. But such a great emphasis, as we often use, signifies variously; it sometimes signifies certainty, at other times extremity, and sometimes both.

[320] Gen. ii. 17. “In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." This, in addition to notes in blank bible, and besides Adam died that day, for he was ruined and undoue that day, his nature was ruined—the nature of his soul-which ruin is called death in scripture, Eph. ii. 1. 5. Colos. ii. 13. Matth. viii. 22. John v. 25. The nature of his body was ruined that day, and became mortal, began to die, his whole man became subject to condemnation, to death; he was guilty of death, and yet that all was not executed ; that day was a token of his deliverance; and his not dying that day a natural death, is no more difficult to reconcile with truth, than his never suffering at all that death that was principally intended, viz., eternal damnation; and probably there were beasts slain the same day by God's appointment in their stead, of which God made them coats of skins, for it is probable God's thus clothing them was not long delayed after that they saw that they were naked.

[110] Gen. ii. 21. “ Adam received Eve as he awaked out of a deep sleep;" so Christ receives his church as be rises from the dead. Dr. Goodwin speaks of this deep sleep of Adam as a type of Christ's death, 1st vol. of his works, part iii. p. 58.

[251] Gen. iii., at the beginning. “ Now the serpent was more subtle,&c. "What is an argument er posteriori of the devil's having assumed the form of a serpent in his temptation of our first parents, is the pride he has ever since taken of being worshipped under that form, to insult as it were, and trample upon fallen man. To this purpose we may observe that the serpent has all along been the common symbol and representation of the heathen deities, Jul Firmic de errore Profan. Relig. p. 15. That the Babylonians worshipped a dragon, we may learn from the Apocrypha, and that they had images of serpents in the temple of Belus, Didodorus Siculus, lib. ii. chap. 4, informs us. Grotius out of several ancient authors, has made it appear that in the old Greek mysteries they used to carry about a serpent, and cry EŪa the devil, thereby expressing his triumph in the unhappy deception of our first mother. The story of Ophis among the heathen was taken from the devil's assuming the body of a serpent in his tempting of Eve. Orig. contra Celsus, lib. vi. And to name no more what Philip Melancton tells us of some priests in Asia, is very wonderful, viz. that they carry about a serpent in a brazen vessel, which they attend with a great deal of music, and many choruses in verse, while the serpent every now and then lifts up himself, opens his mouth, and thrusts out the head of a beautiful virgin,' (as having swallowed her,) 'to show the devil's triumph in this miscarriage among those poor deluded idolaters.' Nicol's Conference with a Theist, vol. I.

[452] Gen. iii. 14. “ Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” This doubtless has respect not only to the beast that the devil made use of as his instrument, but to the devil, that old serpent, to whom God is speaking, chiefly as is evident by the words immediately following. The words, On thy belly shalt thou go, as they respect the devil, refer to the low and mean exercises and employments, that the devil shall pursue; and signify that he should be debased to the lowest and most sordid measures to compass his ends, so that nothing should be too mean and vile for him to do to reach his aims. The words, Dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life, have respect to the mean gratifications that Satan should henceforth have for his greatest good, instead of the high and glorious enjoyments of which beretofore he was the subject in heaven; and that even in those gratifications he should find himself sorely disappointed, and so his gratifications should from time to time in all that he obtained as long as he lived, turn to his grief and vexation, agreeably to the use of a parallel phrase, Prov. xx. 17, “ Bread of deceit is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.” When a man has eagerly taken into his mouth that which he accounted a sweet morsel, but finds it full of dirt, it moves him immediately to spit it out, and so to endeavour to clear his mouth of what he had taken as eagerly as he took it in. So Satan is from time to time made sick of his own morsels, and to spit them out again, and vomit up what he had swallowed

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