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tween thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Adam and Eve had marked these words ; they prized them now as the star of their dreary existence, or as a refreshing brook out of which they might drink deep draughts of consolation and peace, while it flowed through the fields groaning under the curse of their Creator. This promised salvation raised them upon angels' wings far above the annoyances and hardships of their earthly pilgrimage, and enabled them once more thankfully and joyfully to open their hearts to the God from whom they had so mournfully estranged themselves.
“ Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits !" Though I have fallen along with Adam from the height which I stood, yet have I not received a great salvation ! O who would not be will. ing to live even on this sorrowful earth, when such a God of love has stretched out his arms to save us! It is good for us to reside in this vale of tears, and to encounter the stormy billows of the waters of affliction, since such a Saviour meets us. Though it is dark and gloomy around us, yet the cross of salvation is shining through the clouds. An eternal refuge is opened; the Saviour of sinners has come; and there stands engraved on the pillars of the world a mighty name, < Immanuel." We have but to read this name, when we fall down rejoicing, and no longer regret the lost Paradise.
II. Let us principally contemplate Eve, who now approaches us with such a mysterious and joyful air,
that we cannot for a moment doubt that something altogether unprecedented either has happened to her, or is about to happen. The radiancy which illumines her countenance, and betokens so much internal happiness, was never hitherto observed on her features. The commotion of thought and feeling, in which we find her to-day, is not the customary voice of her heart. What is it, then, that elevates her so, and renders her so joyful and glad ? Is it the anticipation of the mother's happiness, which is to be hers so shortly? Yes, my brethren, it is so, but in a very different sense from what you may imagine. Her delight is far above that of women, for her expectation has a more glorious object. She and her husband both imagine they behold a star of hope beaming in their humble dwelling. Eve's anticipations are the same as Mary's were long ages after. She hopes that, although she has involved her whole posterity along with herself in destruction, yet that she is the person who shall present to them the Restorer and Saviour of the world; and that, instead of cursing her, the children of men shall revere her as the mother of Him through whom they shall all be made alive.
Eve's hour is come; and that is fulfilled which the Lord had spoken, “In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.” Cain comes into the world in the midst of pain and suffering—but his mother disregards all this, for her soul is filled with blissful anticipations. As the babe rests upon its mother's lap, what stupendous thoughts pass through her mind! Her countenance is illumined like that of a glorified saint. She regards
the little being before her with an emotion such as only one mother since that time has hailed her infant. It is not motherly joy alone; it is veneration, devotion, and heavenly rapture, with which she greets her firstborn-her soul meanwhile crying, Hosanna! Can she do otherwise, when she believes that the child whom she holds in her arms is God? Yes-God! She thinks that she has borne the “ seed of the woman” which is to bruise the serpent's head; for how should she know the times of the Lord ? She believes that it is the Messiah, the Lord of glory, who now rests upon her breast; that the promised Mediator and Saviour is now her son, a new and better shoot from the decaying tree. He is to be her justification : the mother does not carry the child, but the child carries the mother upward along with himself into the third heaven. Is this child Immanuel? She believes it firmly; and, enraptured with this idea, she calls out, “I have gotten a man from the Lord,” or, as it may be rendered, “I have the man Jehovah !" Does she err in this ? Alas! my brethren, she does err.
The scene is most moving and hearttouching. Of what avail is it that we call out, “ Eve! awake from this sweet dream !” or what good does it do that we say to her, “ Alas! dost thou not see that no glory shines round the head of the child, no angels sing over his cradle, no salutation from on high to greet his advent ?” She will not awaken from this blissful, though wonderful delusion. She remains fixed in her idea, and shouts for joy, “ I have gotten the man, the Lord—the man Jehovah !" But again I say, how can she imagine that she has the Almighty God as a
naked child on her lap, and that the Lord of glory reclines on her breast ? We are almost ready to reject the idea as strange and unnatural; until we remember that in truth and reality a mortal mother did once look upon her infant and say, “I have gotten the man Jehovah !” and that Eve's bold dream four thousand years later was realized. Know ye not Bethlehem—the Vir. gin, that blessed among women--the message of the angel Gabriel—and the Babe in the manger ? Over his cradle all the morning stars shouted for joy ; in his hands rested the sceptre of the world and the palmbranch of grace and peace.
Are we not happy that we have seen this miracle of compassion and eternal love? It is for us to say, “I have the man Jehovah !" And what fulness of riches, what plenitude of blessings does not this sentence express! If we have this possession, what more can we desire? We have, then, God's righteousness for a garment, God's love for a resting-place, God's power to make us conquer, God's shield for a covering, God's gracious eye for a sun, and God's heaven for an inheritance. Yes, this is a possession for which the angels might well envy us. I have—it is not I have had-nor yet is it I shall have—no, it is I have! When I can say this, then all which I possess henceforward is but dust and ashes; I need nothing more, for the eternal heights are my inheritance. No one can mistake the child reposing on the lap of the king's daughter: He is the man Jehovah. He himself will demonstrate it to you all. He will write it in your lives in ineffacable characters-to some He will do it with his right hand,
plucking them as brands from the burning, and raising them
into heaven—to others with his left hand, condemning them, and casting them into eternal fire, the dwelling-place of the devil and his angels.
III. Eve, the mother of all living, believed that the helpless little infant on her lap was the Man Jehovah. What bright views did not this idea give of the mysterious dignity of man, of the eternal counsel of reconciliation, and of the mediatorship of the promised Pledge! The first sinners required to look thus deeply into the secrets of God, to save themselves from the consciousness of their own gigantic guilt, and to keep from sinking in despair, under the weight of the misery they had brought upon themselves. We cannot, therefore, blame the poor mother for grasping so boldly the mighty consolation. It was not too early for the light of the new testament to shine
her. God knows neither times nor seasons in the fulfilment of his promises, but gives to his chosen ones acording as they have need. 'They who had walked with God and had fellowship with him, as one friend with another, were also much more capable of comprehending the incarnation of a God than their descendants. But alas! the babe in Eve's arms was not the Man Jehovah, as she supposed : we can see the angels looking mournfully on his cradle ---for it is the murderer Cain, and this the poor mother quickly learns.
Although she grieves deeply when she discovers her error, yet her grief is but a small price for the moments of rapture she experienced while her sweet dream lasted. Although she had been mistaken with regard