Изображения страниц

being put into paradise---of his deep sleep-of the Woman formed from his side. If, to this argument, so similar in all its parts, it be replied, that the direct assertion of Man's creation on the sixth day is alone sufficient to prove that the after mention of his formation from the dust of the Ground is but a repetition of, with an addition to, the first account; by which alone the TIME of Man's creation is to be determined : if, I say, this be replied, I shall take the benefit of the Answer, in favour of what I have assigned for the time of Eve's creation, where I consider the account of her formation from the Rib, just in the same light that the Objector sees Adam's formation from the dust of the Ground; that is to say, as a repetition only (with other circumstances added) of what the Ilistorian had before told us, of Eve's creation on the sixth day, in these words.-MALE and FEMALE created he them*.

But further, on a supposition of a Chronological Order in the relation, we shall be forced to conclude, not only that Ere was created in Paradise, but that she was not created till AFTER the command was given not to eat of the Tree of Knoréledge of good and evil; for the command is found in the seventeenth verse of this Chapter, and her formation from the Rib, not till we come to the twentysecond verse : consequently, the prohibition did not bind or affect Eve. Yet she tells the Serpent (and sure she did not pay him in his own coin) that this prohibition equally concerned beth her and Adam.- We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the Garden; but of the Tree which is - in the midst of the Garden, God hath said, YE shall not eat of it f. And accordingly, sentence is pronounced by God upon her trangression, as well as

upon his I.

5. But lastly, to cut the matter short, the Historian expressly tells us, that God finished the work of creation in sir days, and rested the seventh day from all his work which he had madeg.' Ere, therefore, inust needs have been created with Adam on the SIXTH DAY,

Two points then, only remain to be considered. 1. Why Moses thought it expedient to give so very particular a relation of Ěve's formation from the Rib? 2. And why - Gen. i. 23. + Ch. iii. 2, 3. Ch. iii. 13--16. Ch. ii. 2.


he did not chuse to relate this circumstance in the place where he inentions her Creation on the sixth day ?

1. The account of Eve's formation from the Rib was, without doubt, given, to inform us, that the Union of the two Sexes, for the propagation of their kind, was of a nature more noble and sublime than the consorting of other Animals, who were all equally bid, like Man, to increase and multiply. For as the Poet says,

Not Man alone, but all that roain the Wood, " Or wing the Sky, or roll along the flood, " Each loves itself, but not itself alone,

" Each sex desires alike.”. Thus far the common appetite impels; and Man and Beasts are equally subject to this second Law of Earthly Beings. But, from henceforth, it becomes, in Man, a very superior Passion.

.“ The Young dismiss'd, to wander Earth or Air; “ There stops the Instinct, and there ends the Care " A longer care Man's helpless kind demands : “ That longer care contracts more lasting bands : " REFLECTION, REASON still the ties improve; " At once extend the interest and the love.

Now as REVELATION was given us (amongst other purposes more peculiar, indeed, and important) to support and strengthen the Operations of Reflection and the Conclusions of Reason, what could better serve the general design, while these were improving for the good of the Offspring, than to instruct us in this closer relation between the Parents, which arose from a personal Union, prior to that of reciprocal fondness?

But the Historiau still more expressly instructs us in the end for which he recorded Ere's formation from the Rib, where he makes Adam say, or rather says himselfTherefore shall a Man teuve his Father and his Mother, and shall cleave to his I’ife; and they shall be one flesh: alluding to what they originally were, before the separation of the Rib.

But the allusions of Inspired IVriters go further (of which I have given many instances) than just to ornament the discourse with the elegance of the conceit. Their chief end is to support the particular Truth there inculcated. Thus it is in the Text we are now considering;


[ocr errors]

it contains an instruction partly declarative, and partly perceptive.--In mere Animals, obscrvant of the Command to increase and multiply, the Offspring, when enabled to provide for itself, is dismissed from the Parent's Wing, by an instinctive provision, which equally disposeth both to a Separation. But the REFLECTION and REASON bestowed upon : Man, which engaged, the Parent to a longer care, in protecting, and providing for, its Offspring, iinpresseth on the Offspring, in its turn, a tender sense of gratitude, and love towards the Parent, for the benefits received in that defenceless state ; and naturally

disposeth it to be attentive to the welfare of the Parent, -- when flattered by the glorious duty of returning an obli

gation. This might somewhat impede or run counter to the first great Command, and blessing which, in the infancy of the world, especially, required all possible encouragement: Therefore, by; the most divine address it is here directed, that we should suffer this tie to give place to one more important-- Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife.

7. With regard to the second point-Why Moses did not chuse to relate the Story of the Rib, where he mentions Eve's Creation, on the sixth day-This may be easily understood. . The Story of the Woman's formation from the Rib is, as may be seen from the sequel of the story, of so much concern in domestic life, that we cannot conceive a fitter place for it than this, where we find it, in the Entrance upon the fatal effects of our first Parent's idle curiosity : froin which Posterity might draw a Lesson of great importance, viz.--the mutual obligation incumbent on each Sex, when united, to watch over the other's conduct, equally with its own; as nothing can affect the welfare of the one, in which the other will not be equally concerned ; each being destined to bear, together with his own, the other's share, whether of good or evil. The account, therefore, of Eve's formation was, with much art and decorum, omitted in the place where the Chronologist would expect to find it; and postponed, till it could be delivered with the advantage of being made an introduction to the history of the Fall.

'The best Historians have, in the same manner, created beauties from a well-contrived neglect of the order of time.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The next thing to be considered, after the Mosaic account of the CREATION of Man, is, what we are told

concerning his SPECIFIC NATURE. [ That he was of a nobler Kind than any other of the

Animals brought, at the same time, into Being, abundantly appears trom the LIKENESS in which he was made; and from the PREEMINENCE which was given to him over the rest. “ And God said, let us make Man ÎN OUR “ IMAGE, after our likeness; and let him have DOMI*

NION over the fish of the Sea, and over the fowl of the
Air, and over the Cattle, and over all the Earth *.”

Now, in what did this image or likeness consist? Certainly not in Man's having an IMMATERIAL PART, since he had this, as the best Philosophy evinceth t, in common with the whole aniinal Creation. And the Historian makes the image, or likeness, to consist in something peculiar to Man. Now, the only two things, peculiar to him, are his Shape and his REASON. None but an Anthropomorphite will say, that it was his Shape, which reflected this Image of his Creator. We must conclude therefore, that it was the faculty of REASON which made the resemblance.

But further, when God says, let us make Man in our Image, it is immediately subjoined-and let him have dominion over the whole brute Creation. Now, nothing but the faculty of Reason could invest man with this Dominion, DE FACTO, which was bestowed upon him, DE JURE.

Still further, we see Dominion was given him on account of this preeminence of being made in the image of God-Let us make man in our Image, and let him have DominionBut a preeminence, which qualified Man for Dominion over other Animals, could be nothing but REASON, which he had, and which they wanted; whereas an immaterial principle, with which both were endowed, afforded no room for preeminence; especially such a preeminence as qualified Man for Dominion.

But now, the substance in which the faculty of Reason resides, could not be a material substance, 'as this best Philosophy, we say, hath shewn I. Man, therefore, must

+ See note [A] at the end of this Book. # See Clarke and Baxter, as represented in the note [A] above referred to. Vol. VI.



* Gen. ii. 24.


needs consist of an innatcrial Substance, joined to a material; or, in other words, he must be a compound of Sou L and Body. And this seems to be intimated, and pot obscurely neither, by the Words of the Text; when it comes, in the second Chapter, to give a move distinct account of Man's Nature than hath been given in the preceding Chapter, where he is placed, according to the order of time, in the new framed System of Creation. The Lord God formed Man of the DUST OF THE GROUND, and breathed into his nostrils THE BREATH OF LIFE, and Man became a LIVING SOUL *.

By the words---the breath of life, and a living Soulwhich discriminate LIFE in man from LIFE in brutes, we are not to understand immateriality simply; since alt animals, as we say, have this in common; but the conTINUANCE of life after the separation of the compound, in virtue of Man's rationality; which making him responsible for his Actions, may, according to the different parts in God's MORAL economy, require that separate existence.

But now, if it should be asked, Why this complete exposition of Mau's Nature was not given before, in the first mention of his Creation, but reserved for the second, two very important reasons may be assigned.

1. Had the Historian given it in the first account of Man's Creation, it would have had the appearance of distinguishing Man, in bis natural or physical capacity, from other Animals ; whereas, in this capacity, there is, in truth, no difference between them. Since the very argument which evinceth the immateriality of the human soul, evinceth the immateriality of the brutal. Yet, to have left vo mark of distinction between them when there was one, had been a very faulty omission in the History of Religion. Moses, therefore, with admirable address, hath pointed out the difference, when he tells us, that Man was created in the image of God t, i. e. endowed with the faculty of REASON.

2. Secondly, the place, which points out this difference, is made to serve for an introduction to the History of the free gift of immortality. And a better cannot be conceived than that which teacheth us, that the Subject on

+ Gen, i. 27.


* Gen. ii. 17.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »