Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

it to all eternity.

66

cause all the elect of God are ordained to appear in My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Which leads me to my next general head, which is,

III. To shew that the principal thing, or the most invaluable blessing in the whole image of God in man was life. This may be concluded from three particulars which appear at the creation. The

1. Is, God's breathing into him, and what followed upon it, which is, “ And man became a living soul." He not only appeared with an animated body, but there is a peculiar emphasis laid upon his becoming a living soul: he had divine life in his soul. This appears in the word of God. God says to Ezekiel," Prophesy unto the wind; prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live," Ezek. xxxvii. 9. 14.

2. It may be concluded, from the blessing which God pronounced upon him at his creation. "Male and female created he them. And God blessed them." And sure I am that God's blessing is life. "As many as are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham;" and none believe but those that are ordained to eternal life. God's spiritual blessing in the gospel is called life: "Upon mount

Zion hath God commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."

3. The loss of this life is what Adam was threatened with in case of disobedience, as the greatest loss and the most dreadful calamity that could befall him. Many things Adam lost; as the whole of God's image, communion with God, righteousness, peace, comfort, paradise, and all the fruits and delights of it. But this is all summed up in the loss of life. Life was to go from him immediately upon the transgression; and death, in all its dreadful consequences, was to ensue: " In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die! Dying, thou shalt die;" be continually dying, and utterly expire at last. Whatever this life in Adam' was, it is expressly called the life of God: Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts," Eph, iv. 18. This life in Adam was spiritual and divine; the Holy Ghost entered into him, and quickened him, and infused life throughout his whole soul; and we know that the entrance of the Spirit giveth life, for it is the Spirit that quickeneth.

4. Adam stood high in the divine favour, as may be seen by the Saviour's own declaration at the creation of the world, "Rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men," Prov. viii. 31. God's anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life; Adam's was a life in the favour of God,

5. There is life in-divine love; and that Adam loved his God is plain, by the freedom and familiarity that he used with him, and that without the least fear or dread upon his soul, at the sight, or at the voice of him; and this may be clearly seen by the enmity which took place in his heart after his fall, when he fled from God, and became alienated from the life of him, and desired to have no more to do with him; but hid himself to shun him. Love and life go together. All gifts, such as knowledge, prophesy, faith to remove mountains, and the tongues of men and angels, make men only instruments without life, if charity or love be absent: if God circumcises our hearts to love him, it is that we may live; and, indeed, all that love the brethren are passed from death unto life. Adam's life was a life of love, and the Holy Spirit gave him both. Without love to God in Adam there could be no obedience. All the laws of God set forth his glory and greatness; and, in the next place, call for love to him with all the heart and soul, mind and strength.. The moral law, which is the law of Adam, calls for this; but it is the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus which brings it to the souls of men now by the gospel. The gospel is a revelation of the love and good-will of God in Christ Jesus; and the Holy Spirit, accompanying it, sheds abroad the love of God in the hearts of all that believe in Christ.

6. Adam's was a life of communion and fellowship with God. There was a mutual love between the Almighty and this petty prince; he delighted

himself in the Almighty, and the Lord took pleasure in Adam's prosperity. For, looking upon him, and seeing him with delight, and considering the enjoyments he had endowed him with, and the honour he had advanced him to, he said, "It is not good that man should be alone;" I will make an help-mate for him; I will make one that shall share in his happiness. And he did so, and brought her to Adam, and, as a father, gave her away to him; God himself honouring this first wedding with his own presence. We have no account of the angels being there. God, Father, Son, and Spirit, were present at the ceremony, when the union took place between Adam and Eve; as they were once since at a marriage in Cana of Galilee, though few of the guests knew it, being more charmed with the generous wine than with their divine company. And, by what my soul has felt, I know that they were all three present when my soul was first espoused and united to the great Bridegroom of the church; for it was as if heaven and earth were coming together. In short, Adam's was a spiritual and divine life, with which the Holy Spirit influenced him; it was a life in the favour and love of God, and a life of communion and fellowship with him, and a life peculiar to that state of holy innocence, because it was loseable; and lost it certainly was.

God's mind and will being made known to angels, or his decree published among them, that Adam was a figure of the Son of God, who in

future was to become incarnate, and that, whenever God should bring his first-begotten into the world all the angels would worship him, Heb. i. 6; one of them seems to have taken offence at this, and led others into his rebellion. The scriptures tell us that Satan abode not in the truth, that he was charged with folly, and condemned for pride; and, when fallen, sought the ruin of Adam; and knowing the law that God had given to man, he disguised himself in the subtlest beast of the field, and took an opportunity when the woman was alone to accost her with the law of God, "Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree?" &c. and she answered him not in the words which God

had spoken, "In the day thou eatest thou shalt surely die;" but the woman said, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die;" the serpent replied, "Ye shall not surely die," Gen. iii. 2—4. Here Satan obtained the name of serpent, and the title of father of lies. A threefold bait was held forth to Eve; 1. the lust of the flesh; she saw that the tree was good for food: 2. the lust of the eyes, and that it was pleasant to the sight: and 3. the pride of life, it was a tree to be desired to make one wise; for Satan promised that they should be as gods. John says that these three, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, are all that is in the

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »