« FöregåendeFortsätt »
and so did or might converse with him, and receive from him a certain account of the creation, paradise, the fall, the promise, the divine commands, and such other things as were needful for them to be acquainted with. So that if any error or mistake did arise, they might presently have recourse to Adam while he lived, as to an oracle, for the rectifying of it; and after his death to Methuselah, or some others of them who had conversed with Adam. So great was the care of Almighty God for his church; so great was his care to preserve in it the knowledge of his will, and the purity of his worship.
From the shortness of the age of man at present, compared with what it was before the flood, we cannot, as some do, conclude a universal and perpetual decay in nature, which is an opinion more common than sound; for (1.) We see that the great length of human life in the first ages of the world, was ordered by God for special reasons which did not af. terwards hold good, and was, as is commonly expresed, opus providentiæ, non naturæ; the work, not of nature, but of providence. (2.) If there had been such a constant decay, Adam, the first man, would have lived the longest; whereas the contrary appears; for not only Jared and Methusaleh, before the flood,—but Noah, after the flood, outstripped him by many years. (3.) It is manifest that since
the time of Moses, which is now above three thousand years, there has been no such decay in the life of man; for then it was fixed at seventy years, and at the most eighty ; Ps. xc. 10; an age which we see many now-a-days not only arrive at, but go much beyond.
The accounts in this chapter are the only rule we have to go by in our computation of the years before the flood. They make them to amount, in all, to one thousand six hundred and fifty-six years; and so long it was from the creation to the flood. The Septuagint translation differs from the Hebrew original in the account of these years; but the best chronologers stick to the Hebrew text, and, I think, upon very good grounds.
Concerning Adam, the father of all that followed, observe, that he was not begotten and born as the rest of them were; no, he was the son of God. Luke iii. 38. He had this privilege peculiar to himself, that he was the immediate workmanship of God. The first two verses of this chapter are the substance of what is said before, more at large, concerning man in his original. (1.) He was created ; made out of nothing, or something next to nothing, even the dust of the ground. (2.) God created him. It was no less than a divine power that gave to man his being; and doth he not then owe that being to the power that gave it him? (3.) Man was created by God, not from eternity, but in time; in the day ; that famous, that remarkable day, a day never to be forgotten. (4.) He was created in the likeness of God, both as to the powers and faculties of his soul, (which part of the likeness remains still,) and also as to that perfect purity and complete rectitude of his nature, that wisdom, righteousness, and true holiness, with which he was richly endowed in the day of his creation, and which by sin he wholly lost; to which by grace the saints are in part restored in this world; and in which, in glory, they shall be finally completed in the other world. (5.) They were made male and female, for the mutual comfort one of another, and for the increase of mankind. Both Adam and Eve were made immediately by God, both were made in the image of God; and therefore, between the sexes there is not that great distance and inequality that many dream of. (6.) God blessed them. It is usual with parents to bless their children. So God, the common Father, was pleased to bless his. And this blessing is a second time mentioned, lest it should be thought it was wholly lost and gone by the sin of Adam. (7.) He called their name Adam. It seems the woman was Adam as well as the man; which notes the strict and close union that was betwixt them, and ought to be betwixt all husbands and wives. Being made one flesh by marriage, 'twas reasonable they should have but one name. We find in the Hebrew not only mankind in general, but women in particnlar, styled Adam, as in Num. xxxi. 35, 40, 46, 47. Adam had named the rest of the creatures, but God would not let him name himself, but gave him a name which would help to keep him humble, by reminding him of the meanness of his original; for what is Adam but red earth?
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters :
5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years : and he died.
6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos :
7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters :
8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years : and he died.
Adam lived 930 years, and then died, as God himself had told him. Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. chap. iii. 19. And unto dust he did accordingly return. In the day that he ate of the forbidden fruit, in that very day, he died spiritually, and became liable to temporal death. The sentence was passed immediately, though it was 930 years (a long reprieve) before execution was done. So merciful a judge had he to deal with.
We read of Seth in chap. iv. 25, that he was so called because he was given instead of Abel, whom Cain slew. Now here's one thing further said concerning him, namely, that Adam begat him in his own likeness, after his own image; that is, (1.) A man like himself; having a body adorned with such parts and members, and a soul endowed with such powers and faculties, as Adam himself had. (2.) A sinful man like himself; corrupted, defiled, depraved; and, the consequent of this, a weak, frail, mortal, dying creature. His own likeness seems here to be put in opposition to God's likeness, in which Adam was created.
Those that are renewed by the Spirit of grace, that have put off the old man, and put on the new