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derful and fearful circumftance of his form ation, viz. that he was made in the image of God, and enjoyed his life and bleffednefs by means of a divine medium, and such a rational and facred union with the Creator. So ftrangely has this matter been misunderstood and mifreprefented! and the doctrine of Chrift almoft wholly hid, where it may be contemplated in this light of a covenant tranfaction, which affords one of the cleareft illuftrations of the glorious truth, which can poffibly be given.
Section 8. The Tree of Life.
In many paffages of fcripture, as the Apof tle obferved of marriage, the knowledge of Chrift is to be regarded as a great mystery, and cannot be obtained but by deep refearch, and moft diligently comparing fpiritual things with fpiritual; efpecially thofe recording the works and ways of God previous to the fall of man, in which the truth of Chrift is fo concealed, that his inquiring friends have there often paffed him by undiscovered; but in the article of the tree of life, he has been ever most clearly manifelted.
The name of this tree, expreffive of its na ture, having in it nothing ambiguous, as had that of the knowledge of good and evil; it be ing preferred by the word of the Lord, and its influence to preferve the living foul, and all-fupporting power upon the body, doubt
lefs known and experienced, raising it whilft enjoyed above all injury, pain and diffolution, pointed out moft fignificantly the true medium of life; and it was, in its nature, as clearly a sign and symbol, and alfo means to Adam, of his living naturally by Christ, as the facrament of the Lord's Supper is to us, of our living by him spiritually. The unbelief and ftupidity of miftaking the one, is as great, and is very fimilar to that of miflaking the other.
The truth of Chrift, as has been fhewn, being of a facramental nature;—by facramental, I mean relating to a covenant and oath-God has been pleafed from the beginning, to set this eternal truth before men, by means of facraments, or facramental figns and emblems, which ftand as vifible witnelles of life and death, the bleffing and curfing, according to the nature of the covenant.Such were the two trees diflinguished in relation to the covenant of life, in the paradife of Eden; fuch were alfo the two mountains Ebal and Gerizim under the law, and fuch are now the facraments of the New Teftament.-As the worthy partaker of the Holy Supper feedeth upon the bread of life, and imbibeth the quickening fpirit; but, he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself; and as the bleffing went forth from Gerizim to the obedient with authority and effect, and the wrath and curfe from Ebal took hold of the tranf greffor with power and certain execution; fo, the tree of life, as a witnefs that man re
maining in innocency fhould live, was invested with the power of life, as also the other tree was invested with the power of death. Thus man was placed upon trial, with both life and death fet before him.
This bleffed tree, full of life and vigor, was fufficient alone to make a paradife; as the emblem and pledge of the firft covenant constitution, which was a covenant of life, it was a provision all fustaining to the body; and, as the visible memorial of the truth of Christ, it afforded also food to vivify and felicitate the mind; in its nature, appearance and use, it answered exprefsly to this first fate of the creation, and to fhew forth the glorious character of Christ as the Beginning. This is fo evident, that it requires no illustration.
Section 9. Tree of knowledge of good and evil.
For the trial of Adam, and exercise of his covenant obligation of fidelity to Christ, as his head and Lord, it was neceffary that fome object should be prefented before him, that might be fuppofed a medium of true happifying knowledge. This was done in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
And though, for the fake of the trial, the fruit of this tree was fet before man, apparently good for food, in a form moft enticing, and to be defired to make him wife, as, in ap
pearance, fairly promifing the ultimate happinefs of the foul, and bearing its name, yet man was not tempted and deceived by his Creator; whilft, at the fame time, he was plainly informed, by the word of the Lord God, what the nature of it was, and what muft immediately follow upon his attempting to obtain from hence, notwithstanding its good and defirable appearance, either fupport and delight for the body, or improvement and elevation for the mind,
He was expressly admonifhed concerning this tree and its fruit, as being no more than the appearance of good; and in the name it bore, he was warned of its dangerous nature, in that it prefented two oppofite cafes; fo that being regarded according to the interdicting command of God, it was to him useful and good, as thereby he would have the knowledge of obedience and duty, which is the knowledge of Chrift; but in the other cafe, it was evil, as by eating thereof, he would know from it what is the bitter fruit of tranfgreffion, and the fatal nature of difobedience.
By the name of this tree, fufficiently deciphered by the word of the Lord given to him, Adam was fully apprized, that if he gave it credit, and, against the word of God, prefumed to use it for food, or in any way as a medium of fupport, life and knowledge, he would know, by woful experience, that he had loft good, and, not abiding in the knowledge of Chrift, that he had conceived evil, a delufion and lie,
Distinct, therefore, and oppofite in its nåture, as this tree was from the tree of life, ftill, as it fprang up neceffarily in the garden of God, from the divine and most benificent operation, which caused there to grow a tree of life, its exiftence, the existence of evil, is neceffarily comprized in the argument of the divine theory; for, without fuch means of a trial, the covenant union, and the duty, fidelity and glory, which compofe the whole doctrine of Chrift, could have never been known, and man could no more have had the knowledge of good, than he could have had the knowledge of evil.
O the depth and the height, to which the mind is tranfported by the knowledge of Chrift! On high, to our view, it garnisheth the heavens, and openeth the gates of the Lord, into which the righteous do enter! and in the deep, it formeth the crooked ferpent, the dark region of dead things, and them that people it!
Section 10. Conclufion of the Chapter on Creation.
To give a full illuftration of the truth of Chrift, as the beginning of the creation, it would be neceffary to trace the argument of divine wisdom through all the natural world, and offer divine effays upon all trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyffop that springeth out of the wall; and allo