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studying the covenant of works from the inspired page itself, I was compelled to drop this account of the matter, and search for another; which, I hope, will prove as satisfactory to my reader as it is to myself. I must, however, be indulged, in justice to myself, to say, that I advance no new doctrine; I admit, that Adam's natural posterity are under the covenant; and that Jesus Christ was not-but I insist, that natural generation is not the circumstance that brought the former under, nor extraordinary generation the circumstance that exempted the other from it.
The jet of the question is here-Was Eve represented by Adam in the covenant of works?
It appears, from the sacred history, that after the Creator had formed Adam in his own image, he took him into the garden of Eden, and surrendered into his possession all its vegetable treasures, save the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and this he made the object of his supreme law, of that divine constitution, which, viewed simply as a law, flowing from supreme authority, bound the conscience of man, as a voluntary subject of Jehovah's government; and which, viewed as a law sanctioned both with penalty and reward, possesses the strict nature of a covenant. "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." After this God brought to Adam the various tribes of domestic animals, teaching him their natures, names, and uses; and delivering them into his possession. It was not till after all these transactions had taken place, and till Adam was made experimentally to know, that, notwithstanding all the rich resources of his pure and exalted soul, notwithstanding the rich and exuberant abundance of this blessed planet, a life
of solitude would be a life without happiness. It was not till after all this, that the Lord formed for him a rational and moral companion; a companion that he could love, with whom he could hold rational conversation, with whom he could enjoy, in high and holy moral communion, all the bounties and bless ings of God. "And God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept, and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: and the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto man-and God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the air, and over every living thing that moveth on the earth."
From the scriptural account of this whole transaction, I presume every candid inquirer after truth will see cause to believe, that when the covenant was made with Adam, he had not so much as an idea of any human being but himself. How should he? But when Eve was formed and brought to Adam, and the blessing of fruitfulness pronounced on them both, I have no doubt (though the matter is not stated in so many words) that he was commanded to instruct her, and their progeny, when they should in due time arise, in the nature of the divine law under which they were placed; and told, that he was to act for them, as well as for himself, in his covenant relation, and that obedience on his part should be life-and disobedience death, not only to himself, but to them all. I think all this obviously true, and shall not inquire, at present, whither it may carry me.
But, one thing is certain, from Eve's reply to
the tempter, that she did consider herself under the bond of the covenant. "The woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said ye shall not eat of it." Certainly Eve did consider herself as under the covenant; and, as she had no instructor but either God or Adam, it is impossible she should have been instructed wrong. It is true, some commentators (suo more) have borne hard upon the phrase neither shall ye touch it, as an officious addition to the divine law; but they forget that Eve was, at that time, female innocence in person, and stood as yet far too high for the censure of any of her degenerate sons or daughters: and even though these words should not have been in the original institute, (a point on which, as we know nothing, we need say as little) they should be suffered to pass as the amiable comment, of an innocent female; who, timid least she should tarnish her honour, is willing to keep farther from danger than is absolutely necessary
to avoid it.
We may argue Eve's interest in the covenant of works, from a different set of promises. For, if she had no interest in that, she can have none in the covenant of grace; if she be not one of them that died in Adam, neither is she of those who shall be made alive by Jesus Christ. If Eve was not under the law, and Jesus Christ was made under the law to redeem them that were under the law, she has neither lot nor portion in his redemption; and then, as the law of works and the law of grace, are the only laws ever God gave to mankind, it will follow, that Eve never was under any law. The koran of Mahomet alone can inform us for
what worthy purpose such a being was introduced among us.
Perhaps I may be accused of discussing points not in question, too much in detail. But, when page after page is employed, and speech after speech expended, in proving and explaining the covenant of works, by shadowy metaphors and abstractions, and by phrases which melt into mist when the ray of truth touches them; I hope I may be excused for treating the same subject, as an article of Christian faith, and endeavouring to exhibit it in the pure light of revelation. Besides, it is my wish, instead of a partisan skirmish, to lead up truth in solid columns, capable of presenting a firm front to any foe, from any quarter. But not to run my credit too close-I proceed to my argu
If Eve was represented by Adam in the covenant, I ask, what formed the bond of connection between her and him? Was it ordinary generation? That cannot be. Of all that ever descended from Adam, the most extraordinary beyond compare, was this very Eve. Jesus of Nazareth was only half as extraordinary. He was conceived by a mother, and brought forth by a mother; one half the law of human generation was observed in his case; in Eve's case, the whole of that law was unknown. She had neither father nor mother; of consequence, ordinary generation was not the bond which connected Eve with Adam as her covenant head. And, therefore, I conclude, that ordinary generation does not connect any one with Adam as a covenant head; for that which can be dispensed with in one case, may be dispensed with in another, and in another, till the exceptions will not leave a single instance to exemplify the rule.
If I were not afraid of getting into subtleties, which might puzzle my readers, and perhaps puzzle myself eventually, I should proceed much farther. But I shall content myself with saying, that the inscrutable counsels of the wonderworking God, should strike us with awful solemnity; and in no part of creation more than in the creation of ourselves. In Adam we behold a man created out of the ground-in Eve, a woman created out of a rib of Adam-in their posterity, thousands created as much by the immediate agency of God, as either of the former and, though the event occurs more frequently, it is not the less unaccountable; yet Adam, Eve, and their posterity, all created by God so many human persons, though created in a different manner, have their destinies bound together by one covenant. But enough.
Let us now bring together Eve and Jesus Christ, for the purpose of comparison. In how many points do they agree; both derived human nature from Adam, both derived human nature from him pure and holy, and without a flaw-both derived it from him in an extraordinary manner; but in this they differ, one is under the covenant of works, the other is not. Upon what other difference is this founded? Reader, on this, and only this, Eve possessed human nature in human personality,—Jesus had no human personality; his humanity was united to the personality of his divinity. Reader, reflect upon this. Confidence of opinion is more frequently the result of feebleness, than of strength of understanding, and as often the result of pride as of either; but, if I dare at all trust to the impression of evidence on my own mind, I must pronounce this argument conclusive. Adam did not represent human nature, simply as human nature; for then he would have