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minate on lifeless, senseless earth! To understand this curse otherwise than as terminating upon man through the ground, would be as senseless as to suppose the meaning to be, The ground shall be punished, and shall be miserable for thy sake.
Our author interprets the curse on the ground, of its being incumbered with noxious weeds; but would these weeds have been any curse on the ground, if there had been no inhabitants, or if the inhabitants had been of such a nature, that these weeds would not have been noxious, but useful to them? It is said, Deut. xxviii. 17, “Cursed shall be thy basket, and thy store ;" and would he not be thought to talk very ridiculously, who should
“ Here is a curse upon the basket, but not a word of any curse upon the owner ; and therefore we have no reason at all to look upon it as any punishment upon him, or any testimony of God's displeasure towards him.” How plain is it, that when lifeless things, which are not capable of either benefit or suffering, are said to be cursed or blessed with regard to sensible beings, that use or possess these things or have connexion with them, the meaning must be, that these sensible beings are cursed or Blessed in the other, or with respect to them ! In Exod. xxiii. 25, it is said, “ He shall bless thy bread and thy water." And I suppose, never any body yet proceeded to such a degree of subtilty in distinguishing, as to say, “ Here is a blessing on the bread and the water, which went into the possessors' mouths, but no blessing on them." To make such a distinction with regard to the curse God pronounced on the ground, would in some respects be more unreasonable, because God is express in explaining the matter, declaring that it was for man's sake, expressly referring this curse to him, as being with respect to him, and for the sake of his guilt, and as consisting in the sorrow and suffering he should have from it. 6 In sorrow shalt thou eat of it. Thorns and thistles stall it bring forth to thee." So that God's own words tell us were the curse terminates. The words are parallel with those in Deut. xxviii. 16, but only more plain and explicit, “ Cuis.1 shalt thou be in the field,” or in the ground.
If this part of the sentence was pronounced under no nos tion of any curse or punishment at all upon mankind, but on the contrary, as making an alteration in the ground, that should be for the better, as to them ; that instead of the sweet, but tempting, pernicious fruits of paradise, it might produce wholesome fruits, more for the health of the soul ; that it might bring forth thorns and thistles, as excellent medicines, to prevent or cure moral distempers, diseases which would issue in eternal death ; I say, if what was pronounced was under this notion, then it was a blessing on the ground, and not a curse ; and it might more properly have been said, " Blessed shall the ground be for thy sake. I will make a happy change in it, that it may be a habitation more fit for a creature so infirm, and so apt to be overcome with tempta: tion, as thou art."
The event makes it evident, that in pronouncing this curse, God had as much respect to Adam's posterity, as to himself ; And so it was understood by his pious posterity before the flood; as appears by what Lamech, the father of Noah, says, Gen. v. 29. « And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work, and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed."
Another thing which argues, that Adam's posterity were included in the threatening of death, and that our first parents understood, when fallen, that the tempter, in persuading them to eat the forbidden fruit, had aimed at the punishment and ruin of both them and their posterity, and had procured it, is Adam's immediately giving his wife that new name, Eve, or Life, on the promise or intimation of the disappointment and overthrow of the tempter in that matter, by her seed, which Adam understood to be by his procuring life, not only for themselves, but for many of their posterity, and thereby delivering them from that death and ruin which the serpent had brought upon them. Those that should be thus delivered, and obtain life, Adam calls the living ; and because he ob. served, by what God had said, that deliverance and life were to be by the seed of the woman, he therefore remarks that She is the mother of all living, and thereupon gives her a new name, calls her Chavah, LIFE, Gen. iii. 20.
There is a great deal of evidence, that this is the occasion of Adam's giving his wife her new name. This was her new honor, and the greatest honor, at least in her present state, that the Redeemer was to be of her seed. New names were wont to be given for something that was the person's peculiar honor. So it was with regard to the new names of Abraham, Sarah, and Israel. Dr. Taylor himself observes,* that they who are saved by Christ, are calleż the livers, SWOTES, 2 Cor. iv. ll, the living, or they that live. So we find in the Old Testament, the righteous are called by the name of the kving, Psalm lxix. 28. “ Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” If what Adam meant by her being the mother of all living, was only her being the mother of mankind, and gave her the name life upon that account; it were much the most likely that he would have given her this name at first, when God first united them, under that blessing, “ Be fruitful and multiply,” and when he had a prospect of her being the mother of mankind in a state of immortality, living indeed, living, and never dying. But that Adam should at that time give her only the name of Isha, and then immediately on that melancholy change, by their coming under the sentence of death, with all their posterity, having now a new, awful prospect of her being the mother of nothing but a dying race, all from generation to generation turning to dust, through her folly ; I say, that immediately on this, he should change her name into life, calling her now, the mother of all living is perfectly unaccountable. Besides, it is manifest that it was not her being the mother of all mankind, or her relation as a mnother, which she stood in to her posterity, but the quality of those she was to be the mother of, which was the thing Adam had in view, in giving his wife this new name; as appears by the name itself, which signifies life. And if it had been only a natural and mortal life which he had in view, this was nothing distinguishing of her posterity from the brutes; fefe the very same name of living ones, or living things, is given from time to time in this Book of Genesis to them; as in chap. i. 21, 24, 28, ii. 19, vi. 19, v. 23, viii. 1, and many otha er places in the Bible.
Note annexed to $ 287.
And besides, if by life the quality of her posterity was not meant, there was nothing in it to disa tinguish her from Adam ; for thưs she was no more the mother of all living, than he was the father of all living; and she could no more properly be called by the name of life on any such account, (han he ; but names are given for distinction. Doubtless' Adam took notice of something distinguishing concerning ber. that occasioned his giving her this new name. And I think it is exceedir.g natural to suppose, that as Adam had given her her first name from the manner of her creation, so he gave her her new name from redemption, and as it were, neto creation, through a Redeemer, of her seed; and that he should give her this name from that which comforted him, with respect to the curse that God had pronounced on him and the earth, as Lamech named Noah, Gen. v. 29, « Saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work; and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” Accordingly he gave her this new name, not at her first creation, hút immediately after the promise of a Redeemer, of her seed. See Gen. iji. 15...20.
Now as to the consequence which I infér from Adam's giving his wife this name, on the intimation which God had given, that Satan should by her seed be overthrown and disappointed, as to his malicious design, in that deed of his which God then spake of, viz. his tempting the woman. Adam infers from it, that great numbers of mankind should be saved, whom he calls the living ; they should be saved from the effects of this malicious design of the old serpent, and from that ruin which he had brought upon them by tempting their first parents to sin ; and so the serpent would be, with respect to them, disappointed and overthrown in his design: But how is any death or ruin, or indeed any calamity at ally brought upon their posterity by Satan's malice in that tempt. ation, if instead of that, all the death and sorrow that was cons
sequent, was the fruit of God's fatherly love, and not Satan's malice, and was an instance of God's free and sovereign favor, such favor as Satan could not possibly foresee? And if mul. titudes of Eve's posterity are saved, from either spiritual or temporal death, by a Redeemer, of her seed, how is that any disappointment of Satan's design in tempting our first parents ? How came he to have any such thing in view, as the death of Adam's and Eve's posterity, by tempting them to sin, or any expectation that their death would be the consequence, unless he knew that they were included in the threatening ?
Some have objected against Adam's posterity's being included in the threatening delivered to Adam, that the threatening itself was inconsistent with his having any posterity ; it being that he should die on the day that he sinned.
To this I answer, that the threatening was not inconsistent with his having posterity, on two accounts.
Those words, “ In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” according to the use of such like expressions a. mong the Hebrews, do not signify immediate death, or that the execution shall be within twentyfour hours from the commission of the fact ; nor did God, by those words, limit himself as to the time of executing the threatened punishment, but that was still left to God's pleasure. Such a phrase, according to the idiom of the Hebrew tongue, signifies no more than these two things :
1. A real connexion between the sin and the punishment. So Ezek. xxxiii. 12, 13. “ The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression. As for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall there. by in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live in the day that he sinneth; But for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.” Here it is said, that in the day he sinneth, he shall not be able to live, but he shall die ; not signifying the time when death shall be executed upon him, but the connexion between his sin and death ; such a connexion as in our present common use of language is signified by the adverb of time, when ;