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take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever :
23. Therefore the LORD God sent him forth
from the garden of Eden, to till the ground, from wbence he was taken.
24. So be drove out the man : and be 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.
In this Paragraph we have some Consequences of our first Parents Sin before God judged them ; some appointed by his judicial Axt and Sentence ; and some which happened after that Sentence was pronounced.
I. IMMEDIATELY upon their Transgression they were seized with Shame and Fear, the common Effects of Guilt.
THEIR Shame is described, ver. 7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked: and they fewed fig-leaves together and made themselves aprons. In the last Verse of the foregoing Chapter it is said, and they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed. But now, after they had finned, they were ashamed of their Nakedness, and contrived Coverings for it. But the Reason why they were thus alhamed is not given. Only, as they were naked when they were not ashamed, as well
as when they were ashamed, the Reason of their being alhamed, must not, I think, be taken from any Alteration in their Bodies * but from the Opinion they had of themselves. The eyes of them both were opened ; they thought differently of themselves from what they had done before : But for what Reason, or from what Cause, besides a Senle of Guilt, no Man can determine. Guilt will always be attended with Shame; and a State of Guilt is often in Scripture expreffed by being naked. Exod. xxxii. 25. And when Moles saw that the people were naked, for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame amongst their enemies. Ifa. xlvii. 3. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea thy same mall be seen : I will take vengeance. Rev. xvi. 15. Blessed is be that watchetb, and keepelb his garments, i.e. the Habits of his Mind, left le walk naked, and they see bis shame.
Their Fear is described, ver. 8. And they beard the voice of the LORD God walking
Some learned Men think they were originally clothed with a luminous and glorious Covering, which adhered to their whole Body ; and that after they had finned, they were, by the immediate Act of God, stript of this Badge of his Favour and their Innocency. But this Opinion doth not affect the Point under Consideration : Since, if their Bodies were thus disgraced, it relateth only to their outward Form, and Appearance, and infers no Change or Diminution of the Powers of their Minds.
And Adam and his Wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the Garden. Here we learn, that whereas the LORD God had appeared unto them, and conversed with them, and they had no disquieting Fear of him, while they were innocent; now they had finned, they were afraid to stand before their God and Judge, whose Law they had transgressed.
“ Here observe, that for any thing that
appears in the Text, their Sin, the evil “ Action they committed, was personal. Set
ting aside the Tempter, no body com“ initted that sinful Act of Disobedience but they themselves ; first,
first, Eve, and then “ Adam, in their own persons ; for there
was not a Man or Woman in the World “ besides themselves. This is manifest. And “ as the evil Action they committed was per“ fonal, done only by them; fo allo muit “ the real Guilt be personal, and belong only “ to themselves: that is, no other could, in “ the Eye of Justice and Equity, be blame“ able and punishable for that Tranfgreffion, " which was their own Act and Deed, and “ not the Act and Deed of any other Man " or Woman in the World. This also must “ be true, or we cannot understand how
any thing can be true, or just, or equi
“ AGAIN, the Sense of Guilt, the Shame « and Fear, with which their Consciences “ were touched, must also be personal ; must
belong to them only, and could not, in the “ Nature of Things, belong to any other Per“ fons whatever. Because as no other but
they two only were guilty of the first Sin, « so no other but they two could have a " Consciousness of it as their Sin; no other “ could be sorry, or ashamed, or dread the « Wrath of God for a Crime as chargeable
upon themselves, in which they had no Hand, which was done before they had a Being, and which therefore they could no
way possibly help. This also must be true, « otherwise one Man's Consciousness, and " Conscience of Guilt, must be transferred to " another Man, and be made his Conscious“ ness and Guilt : That is to say, one Man “ must be supposed to think and believe him" felf to be another Man. Which, if ever it es be done, must be the Act and Deed of God,
changing his Mind, and making him con“ ceit, that he is not himself, but another Per“ fon. But to charge fuch Illusion and Deceit
upon God is highly prophane and impious ; " and supposes that he torments his Creatures with Guilt, Shame and Fear, which
“ do not in Justice belong to them, but are
THE Guilt Adam contracted was attended with Shame and Fear. These were the Confequences of his Transgrestion antecedent to God's judging him.
II. The Consequences judicially appointed by the Sentence of God are to be found either in the Sentence pronounced upon the Serpent, or the Woman, or the Man.
1. THE SERPENT, is cursed, ver. 14, 15. Which so far as it relateth to the Serpent, (whether the natural Serpent, or the Devil, the wicked Spirit, which used the Serpent as his Inftrument in tempting our first Parents) hath nothing to do with the Point we are now upon.
But whereas it is said, ver. -75. I will put enmity between thee, (O Serpent,) and the woman, and between thy seed and ber seed; it fball bruise thy kead, and thou shalt bruise bis beel; this evidently relateth to the Woman's Posterity: And I incline to think, the Mefiah, the most eminent Seed of the Woman, is pointed at. But how muft we understand this of the Messiah? According to the Text, God faith he would put Enmity between the Devil and him, and that he should bruise the