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ed, the events recorded, the scenes described, the institutions ordained in one age and state of the world which were the shadows of good things to come, are not only instructive and interesting in themselves, but acquire a weight and importance which they possessed not before, when viewed in their relation to Him, to whom all the prophets give witness, and whose person, character, and work, are the fulfilling of all that was written of old time.
The history of Adam ministers both pleasure and instruction to us as men: but Christians feel a peculiar interest in the perusal of it, by considering Adam 66 as the figure of him who was to come.”
Having, in the last Lecture, attempted a delineation of the life of the first man, according as it is transmitted to us in the holy scriptures, we proceed, in prosecution of our plan, to institute in a few particulars, a comparison between Adam and Christ; between the federal head and representative of the human race, and the covenant head and representative of the church. But first, let us observe wherein the first man differs from, and wherein he resembles all other men, who have descended from him by ordinary generation.
First, In the manner of his production. Other men arrive at their maturity, such as it is, by slow and insensible degrees; they make a progress through infancy, childhood, and youth, to man's estate ; Adam was created perfect at once; the moment he began to exist, he existed in all the dignity and strength of reason and intelligence. All other men are conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity; he came from the hands of his Creator, holy and blameless, the son of God. The mental powers of the wisest and most intelligent of mankind, his sons, are narrow and contracted; we know but a few things, and them imperfectly : the whole world of nature was an open volume to his understanding. Since the fall, men are born into the world with the seeds of decay and dissolution in the constitution and frame of their nature; but Adam was created incorruptible, immortal. The property and power of the greatest of his posterity is cramped and confined ; limited by mountains, rivers and seas ; liable to be encroached upon, disputed, invaded, taken away: but the dominion of the first man was uncontroled, his authority indisputable, his property universal ; the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the sea, all, all were put under his feet. But Adam, fallen and lost, is just what all his hapless children are; like them a slave to divers lusts and passions ; like them liable to disease and death; like them a prey to sorrow,
fear and remorse; like them a child of wrath, an heir of hell; and like them, to be recovered, restored, re-established, only by the mercy of God, and through the atoning blood of a Saviour : and how that Saviour was typified or held forth to the world, by the persɔn, character, and relative connexions of Adam, is to be the subject of the remaining part of this discourse.
Adam, perhaps, was not himself aware, that he was in this respect fulfilling the designs of Providence. We know that many others exhibited striking types of the promised Saviour, in their persons, offices and actions, without being conscious that such honourable distinction was conferred upon them; and Moses, the inspired author of the history of the first man, no where hints, that he considered Adam, or that Adam considered himself in this light. But to us the matter is put beyond a doubt, by one who wrote also under the inspiration of God, the great apostle of the Gentiles, who informs us, that this first man, into whose nostrils God breathed the breath of life, and who thereby became a living soul, was “ the type or figure of him that was to come:"* and in many other places, in his epistles, shews us wherein the resemblance
+ Romans v. 14..
consists. Following him therefore, and the other sacred writers of the New Testament, as our guides, we observe.
First, that Adam typified Christ, as being in a peculiar sense the Son of God. The evangelist Luke, in tracing the natural pedigree of our Saviour, ascends step by step from son to father, till he comes to the first progenitor of all, “who was,” says he, “the Son of God:” that is, his immediate offspring, deriving his existence without any interposition, from the great source of being. And what saith the scripture concerning the Messiah ? "I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee,"'* and " when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world,” he saith, “ And let all the angels of God worship him.”+
As the manner in which Adam was produced, was new and unexampled, so the conception and birth of Christ were " a new thing in the earth :” the former created of dust from the ground, the latter formed by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of a virgin. But Adam, the son of God, though made in the likeness of his Creator, expressed that divine image only externally, as the coin exhibits the image and impress of the sovereign : whereas Christ the Son of God displayed “ the brightness of his Father's glory,” and bore“ the ex: 'ress image of his person. Adam the son of God was produced in time, on the sixih day of the creation, after all the other works of God were finished: but Christ, the Son of God, the eternal wisdom of the everlasting Father, thus speaks of himself. “ The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth : when there were no fountains abounding with water.
Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth : while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world: when he prepared the heavens I was there : when he set a compass upon the face of the depth : when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth : then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, and rejoicing always before him: rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men."}
Secondly,—The constitution of Adam's nature prefigured the person of Christ. In Adam, an immaterial immortal spirit was united to a material earthly body, to constitute one perfect, living man ; in Christ, the human nature was united to the divine, to constitute one perfect life-giving Saviour. The one a mystery of nature, the other a mystery of grace. The one, though incomprehensible, yet certainly known by every man to be true; the other though incomprehensible, yet by every christian believed to be true.
Thirdly,—The paternal relation which Adam bears to all the human race, beautifully represents to us Jesus the Son of God, as the spiritual father of all them that believe. The first man, Adam, says the text, was made " a living soul,” that is, the source of a natural life, to them who had it not before; the last Adam was made " a quickening spirit,” that is, the giver and restorer of a spiritual and divine life, to those who, having lost it, were “dead in tres
The water in the conduit will rise to the level of its fountain, but can never mount higher. Thus Adam can communicate only what he was, and what he had himself; being therefore of the earth, earthly, he could only propogate an earthly existence; but the second man, being the Lord from heaven, can, and does, make his spiritual offspring “partakers of
passes and sins.”
* Psalm it. 7.
+ Heb. i. 6.
| Prov. viii. 22–31.
a divine nature.” As every man, upon coming into the world of nature, the instant he draws the breath of life, bears the image of the first man whom God created; so from Jesus Christ, progenitor of them who believe, all who are regenerated, or born into the world of grace, derive their spiritual existence, and bear the image of him, from whom the whole family of heaven and earth is named. But Adam is the remote, not the immediate father of our flesh: whereas Christ is the immediate source of spiritual light and life to all those " who are born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."*
Fourthly,--Adam and Christ bear a striking resemblance in respect of dominion and sovereignty. When God had created man," he blessed him, and said unto him, Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” - Thou hast made him,” says the Psalmist, “ a little lower than the angels; and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands : thou hast put all things under his feet. All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field ; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.”+ And Christ the Lord, even in the days of his flesh, while he yet dwelt among men not only possessed but exercised an unlimited authority over the whole world of nature, over things visible, and things invisible. The prince of the power of the air fled at his command : the boisterous elements heard and obeyed his word : disease, and death, and the grave fulfilled his pleasure. How much more justly, after his resurrection from the dead, when “ declared the Son of God with power, could he say of himself, “all power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth ?” and the Apostle also, concerning him, “God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”I We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour. " And he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet.” The sovereignty of Adam, however, was derived, dependent, limited, and might be forfeited: and his history, and our own experience feelingly assure us, “that, being in honour he continued not;" that the crown is fallen from his head, and the sceptre dropt from his hand. His derived authority was withdrawn by him who bestowed it; his dependent power was checked and curbed, because he had abused it; his limited empire was reduced to nothing, because he presumed to affect equality with his Creator; and having received dominion under a condition, failing in the condition, he forfeits his throne. But the sovereignty of Christ is inherent, independent, unlimited, and everlasting. “Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom;" and the Son himself saith, “ I lay down my life, that I might take it again. I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” “ And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me is greater than all : and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one."ş
Again, the sacred and pure matrimonial union established in paradise between Adam and Eve, was intended to prefigure the mysterious union, the pure and reciprocal affection of Christ and his church: in which also we follow the Apostle of the Gentiles in his epistle to the Ephesians,ll “ for the
John i. 13.
Psalm väč. 5.-8.
Pbil. ii. 9.11.
John x. 28-30.
|| Chap. y. 23.
husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church ; and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it, with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. We are members of his body ; of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause, shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery ; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
Finally, --The whole tenor of scripture teaches us to consider Adam, the first of men, as the covenant head and representative of all his posterity, according to the order and course of nature; and Jesus Christ the Lord, as the federal head and representative of all his redeemed, according to the election of grace. “ For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead." “ For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ;' and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” And “ if by one man's offence, death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation : even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners : so by the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous.
But whatever admits of comparison, by bearing resemblance, must likewise admit of contrast, on account of dissimilitude: for what so like, as to be undistinguishable? What two persons are so much the same, as not to exhibit, to the least discerning eye, characteristical marks of difference ? And indeed, the very particulars wherein the first and second Adam coincide, evince the infinite superiority of the one above the other, as well as those circumstances which could not possibly be in common between them.
Adam was assaulted of the wicked one, by a slight temptation; yielded ; and fell : Christ was tempted of the devil, by repeated, vigorous, and wellconducted attacks; resisted to the last; and overcame. Adam in paradise, became guilty, and miserable, and liable to death: Christ passed through a corrupted world, lived in the midst of a sinful and adulterous generation, but preserved unspotted innocence; " he did no sin, neither was guile found in his lips." Adam by one offence became guilty of the whole law, poured contempt upon it, and transmitted his crime, together with the punishment of it, to all mankind: Christ, by a complete obedience, “magnified the law, and made it honourable," approved himself unto God, and conveys the merit of his obedience and sufferings to all them that believe, for their justification and acceptance. Adam, aspiring to a condition superior to that in which his Maker placed him, not only failed to obtain what he aimed at, but also lost what he had ; desiring to be as God, to know good and evil, he acquired indeed the fatal knowledge of evil, but lost the knowledge of good which he already possessed ; and sinking himself, drags down a devoted world with him : whereas Christ, for the voluntary abasement of himself, is exalted to "the right hand of the Majesty on high,” “for the suffering of death, is crowned with glory and honour,” and “ lifted up on the cross, draws all men unto him." The moment we exist, in virtue of our relation to the first Adam, we die for an offence we could not commit; so, we no sooner become united to the second Adam through faith in his blood, than we become partakers of a spiritual and divine uature, and heirs of everlasting life, in virtue of a righteousness not our own. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ ; and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” In Adam, we are condemned for one sin : in Christ we are justified from many offences. The history of Adam represents to us a garden with one tree of life amidst mary that were good for food, and near to one that was pregnant with death : the Revelation of Jesus Christ exhibits to us a paradise, all whose trees are of one sort; whose fruit is life-giving, whose very leaves are salutary; trees of life which know no decay, never disappoint the gatherer's hope, never feel the approach of winter. Genesis
* Rom. v. 17.-19.
presents to our trembling, astonished sight, “ cherubims and a flaming sword, which turn every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” The Apocalypse discloses to our delighted eyes, angels ministering to them who are the heirs of salvation ; and our ravished ears hear these glad accents bursting from amidst the excellent glory, “ To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." “Let him that is athirst, come: and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
HISTORY OF CAIN AND ABEL:
HEBREWS XI. 4.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness,
that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and by it bé, being dead, yet speaketh. A STATE of innocence was apparently of short duration. The history of it contains but a very few particulars. To plunge the human race into guilt and ruin was the work only of a moment: but to restore mankind to life and happiness, employed depth of design to contrive; length of time to mature and unfold; and irresistible force to execute. The history of the world is, in truth, the history of redemption. For all the dealings of Divine Providence with men, directly or by implication immediately or remotely, point out and announce a Saviour. To our first parents, immediately upon the fall, a promise was given, in general, indeed, but not in obscure terms, of deliverance and recovery, by one who should be in a peculiar and proper sense, - the seed of the woman. And it is far from being unreasonable to suppose, that the skins employed to cover the shame of our guilty first parents, were taken from victims slain by divine appointment; who by the shedding of their blood were to typify the great atonement, styled in scripture “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” But admitting this to be merely a fanciful conjecture, we have the authority of God himself to affirm, that the immediate descendants of Adam offered such sacrifices, and looked in faith and hope to such propitiation : "For by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness,