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v. I. “She conceived and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord;" or I have gotten the man, the very Jehovah : and also in the name Seth, she “ bare a son, and called his name Seth : for God, saith she, hath appointed me another seed.” Thus Christ was set forth as the propitiation, in a most solemn exhibition of him in a sacrifice, His death was to be the accomplishment of the promise, and the way of reconciliation. Thus Father, Son, and Holy Ghost declared, that by the bloodshedding of the immaculate Lamb, Satan would be conquered; sin taken away and entirely abolished; peace made; iniquity pardoned; the Holy Ghost bestowed; and access opened by the blood of Jesus, for the approach of sinners to God, as reconciled by the death of his Son.
I proceed, thirdly, to set before you the record of the acts and transactions of the Eternal Three, in the cherubic emblems placed at the east of the garden of Eden.
Adam was, in one day, under two vastly different covenants: the form of neither was plainly expressed, but clearly implied. The covenant of grace, and the covenant of works, were so far understood, as for him to feel that he had broken the one, and svas, through sovereign love and mercy, brought under the other, which held out to him, first, a root of a seed, as he was; secondly, one who would bring in an infinite righteousness beyond what he knew in his state of purity; thirdly, one who would, by
his obedience and death, destroy the works of the Devil for his own seed. This was mercy, which must in a particular way, unknown to all beside, bave warmed his heart and delighted his mind.
Christ, as altar, sacrifice, priest, and purifier, having been freely and fully set forth, and the fallen pair having been made partakers of him and his great salvation, which, though but revealed, was as effectual to their acceptance, justification, and pardon, as it is now it has been completely accomplished; the Lord, to prevent Adam from turning aside to the covenant of works, acted in the follow
with him :-" And the Lord God said, behold the man is become as one of us to know good and evil :" here is one in the incomprehensible essence, speaking in the language of Us, in an address to the other great ones, in the same undivided Godhead.
“Behold, the man is become as one of us.” This he foolishly aimed at; but by his very attempt he became, what he was not before, a sinful man: his body mortal, and the subject of death. This was spoken in the hearing of Adam. By it the Lord God points out Satan's lying speech, shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil;" and would impress the mind of Adam, with a proper sense of his pride and folly, in believing the father of lies, that, under proper views of his sin, he might walk humbly with his reconciled. God. “And now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever :" it is observed by the learned Ainsworth, that this speech is imper
fect, and must be understood thus: “He (i. e. man) must be driven out, lest he put forth his hand that he
may eat and live for ever." The tree of life, and the eating of it, had, in Adam's pure creation state been to him the symbol of eternal life, on his obedience; but it could not be continued to him, fallen by disobedience. The new covenant which man was now under, was not of works, but of faith in Christ, the woman's seed. The Lord God, therefore, to drive man from all confidence in himself, and in any works of his own, and so from all abuse of this tree, that he might fully know that his “ life was hid with Christ in God," sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken; which was a merciful dispensation to find out employment for fallen man. “ So he drove out the man :" expelled him out of the garden of Eden: "and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, cherubims, and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” "! This cherubic representative or substitute of the Eternal Three, was the record of their acts and transactions in the everlasting council and covenant, on the behalf of the elect of mankind. The word cherubim signifies a similitude or resemblance: the similitude of the Great Ones. The cherubims placed by the Lord God at the east of the garden of Eden, were a divine institution : before them Adam worshipped. They are very properly stiled by some the primary cherub, and exhibited Jehovah Alehim acting according to their covenant offices; which they had agreed upon, before the world was, to exercise in the economy of mercy; but not to denote any priority or superiority in the eternal Three. Fire, the father of light, glory-irradiation, is not to give an idea of the beginning of production, but of the manner of existence; so, the holy air, or spirit, expresses distinction. The cherubim, with its apparatus of fire and sword, was at once a solemn record of the acts and transactions of the Eternal Trinity. The cherubim was to afford Adam continual consolation. The agency of the material heavens points out those ideas, whereby God has been pleased to convey ideas of his own essence, and personalities in that essence; and of the respective offices and actions of the GREAT ONES. The emblems of the Eternal Three were retained in those secondary cherubims, copied by Moses and David, and set up in the Holy of Holies.
The design of this solemn exhibition at the east of the garden of Eden, was “to keep the very way : to the tree of lives.” The fire and sword were hieroglyphically shewn along with the cherubim expressive of the atonement. Fire, an emblem of the Father's wrath, was to flame forth and fall on Christ: and he, the substitute, was to have the sword of vindictive justice sheathed in his sinless humanity. The prophets seem to have an eye to this symbolical representation, when one of them says, “ Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.” Psalm 1xxx. 0. 17. And ano
ther of them, in the name of Jehovah the Father, says, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts." Sech. xiii. 0. 7. Without revelation, Adam, before his fall, could have known nothing of the Essence existing, the creator of this system; or, of the analogy between material and immaterial objects. He could not have known the world to have been produced out of nothing, as he was po spectator of that action, unless God had convinced him of his own power and supremacy, and had instructed him, that it was his workmanship, and that he alone was to be obeyed: much less could he have known any thing of Christ, his propitiation for sin, and conquest and vietory over Satan, sin, death, and hell, or the covenant of the HOLÝ ONES, but by immediate and divine revelation: so that the cherubim was an exhibition of redemption, and explanatory of it: The cherubim and flaming sword, or fire returning and circulating back into itself, were the supernatural exhibition, emblematieal of the way and means of our salvation; and shewed forth the covenant of grace. The promise. “ I will put enmity between thee (the old serpent) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it, or he, shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel," was explained by these emblematical figures. Sacrifice was instituted to point out the way till what it typified was completed. Tbis fire and sword were first to bruise the heel of the seed, and then te be turned to the head of the