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NEW PUBLICATIONS.

The Young Preacher's Manual; or a Collection of Treatises on preaching-comprising Brown's Address to Students in Divinity, Fenelon's Dialogues on the Eloquence of the pulpit, Claude's Essay on the composition of a sermon, abridged, Gregory on the composition and delivery of a ser mon, Rey baz on the art of preaching-with a list of books. Revised by Ebenezer Porter, D.D. Bartlet Professor, Andover. Boston, Charles Ewer. By the Rev. William

Nine Sermons preached at Plattsburgh, N. Y. R. Weeks, A. M. 2d edition.

The Trial. Calvin and Hopkins versus the Bible and common sense. By a Lover of truth. 2d edition,enlarged. To which are added some remarks on the Andover Institution.

A Series of Letters on the mode and subjects of Baptism, addressed to the Christian Public : to which is prefixed a brief account of the commencement and progress of the author's trial on those points, which terminated in his embracing believers' baptism. By Stephen Chapin. late_pastor of the congregational Church in Mount Vernon, N. H. Boston, Lincoln & Edmands.

A Statement of the proceedings in the First Church and parish in Dedham respecting the settlement of a minister; 1818. With some considerations on congregational Church polity. By a member of said Church and Parish.

A Course of Lectures, containing a description and systematic arrangement of the several branches of Divinity; accompanied with an account both of the principal authors, and of the progress which has been made at different periods in Theological Learning. By Herbert Marsh, D.D. F.R.S. Margaret Professor of Divinity.-Part IV. On the Int etation of Prophecy. Boston Cummings & Hilliard.

A Humble attempt to reconcile the differences of Christians respecting the extent of the Atonement. By Edward D. Griffin, D. D. New-York. A Sermon on Robbery, Piracy, and Murder; in which Duelling and suicide are particularly considered. Preached after the execution of the four pirates. By T Baldwin, D. D.

An Appeal to the public with respect to the unlawfulness of Divorces, pleaded before the Consociation of New Haven, Dec. 5, 1785. By Benjamin Trumbull, D. D. 2d edition.

The History of the Jews from the Destruction of Jerusalem to the pres ent time, by Hannah Adams, of Boston, America, has been reprinted at London in a handsome octavo volume.

We acknowledge an interesting communication from A friend to peace in church and state, which shall receive attention. Osmyn has also been received.

A gentleman, whose name is left with our publishers, Messrs. WELLS & LILLY, is very desirous of obtaining the loan of a volume of the Critical Review, published, he thinks, between the years 1804 and 1810, containing, among the Foreign Articles, a review of Paulus' Commentary on the NewTestament.

THE

CHRISTIAN DISCIPLE.

No. 71.

NEW SERIES-No. 3.

For May and June, 1819.

A GLANCE AT THE HISTORY OF OPINIONS CONCERNING THE CREATION AND FALL OF MAN.

No. II.

In our first number we confined ourselves to the speculations, which have been formed in successive ages, on the Mosaic account of the Creation of the first human pair in the garden of Eden. We propose in this to follow the course of opinion respecting their Fall; observing the same historical arrangement as before, and endeavouring to preserve the two parts of our essay as distinct from each other as we can. They have, however, so close a connexion and so many mutual relations, that it will be necessary to bear in mind what has been already stated; and we cannot promise entirely to avoid repetition. It is evident that there must uniformly be a correspondence between the sentiments, which any writer has entertained on the two points under view. They who held the highest notions of the original image of God, and of the paradisiacal state, would of course form the highest estimate of the consequences of the first transgression: and so in the reverse. Adam could not lose more than he possessed; and the mischiefs of his fall must be commensurate with the distinctions and privileges which he forfeited.-Under these circumstances, it may ap pear to some that we had better have combined our subjects in a single view; and, since the same denominations occur as belonging to the disputants on both, have observed no other classification than that, which they once for all would point out. In so doing, however, we should have been obliged to sacrifice

New Series-vol. I.

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much in perspicuity and this could be but ill afforded in giv ing an epitome of subtle and contending opinions. We wish to present each point in dispute as simple and distinct as is possible for in labouring to be short, there is danger of becoming obscure; and we are aware that a topic, which has been much agitated and contested, is as naturally involved in something of confusion, as the blinding dust rises with the wind, or an embattled field will be overhung with the smoke of its own affray.

We have first to look at the narrative, which Moses himself has written, or perhaps quoted, of the temptation by the serpent, the disobedience of our first parents, and the effects of their fall; and to examine the different principles of interpretation, which have been applied to it. Some have been contented to rest in its literal import, and suppose it to be a plain narrative of facts just as they happened: some have maintained it to be a true history poetically embellished: and some have regarded it as entirely a fiction of poesy. It has been treated by many as a mythos or apologue, either philosophical, or political, or moral. Others have attempted to illustrate it on the idea that the account was originally transmitted in hieroglyphical characters; which were undoubtedly the first that were employed in writing, and long preceded the formation of any alphabet. These characters presented the figures of a tree, a serpent, and a woman; which were transferred, as they will have it, from the picture to the story that composes the third chapter of Genesis.-Whatever theory we adopt concerning its origin, still the story itself contains some leading thoughts that cannot be mistaken; and there is scarcely room for controversy respecting its main design. It is evidently intended to bear upon that great problem, which in every succeeding age has been a theme of perplexed and anxious discussion,-the origin of evil. Attention must have been called, even in the earliest ages of the world, to the physical and moral ills, with which it abounds; and inquiry must have been excited as to the cause of so much iniquity and woe. We bere have it referred to the disobedience and punishment of the parents of our race; which was certainly the most simple and natural explanation that could have been devised; and one that commended itself to the universal wish of finding in the primeval generations of man, a period, however short, of an innocence and a bliss, which the earth in its present state no where presents or allows. This little history, or whatever else any may wish to call it, carries with it the idea, that sin is the transgression of a law expressly given by God (v. 3); that it is detestable, as the description of the

tempter shows; that it is shameful (v. 7) ; and that, whatever the temptation, it deserves the severest punishment (v. 16, 17). The idea of divine justice also cannot but be recognized; according to which, natural evil is visited upon mankind in retribution for their offences. The manner in which it describes the seduction of Adam and Eve, may pass for a just and not inelegant representation of the manner in which evil propensities commonly mislead. The guilty possessors of paradise are driven from it into the open and thorny world: but nothing is said of the divine image being lost; nothing to induce the supposition that we are born more frail than our great progenitor. The origin of evil is traced to the wiliness of an adversary, who was from the beginning: not a word is dropped implying any transmission of the consequences of the fall of Adam to his unborn posterity.

We pointed out several instances, in which the Mosaic account of man's creation was referred to in the Jewish scriptures: but there is not one, in which is the most distant allusion to his fall. We may read from Job, the oldest, to Daniel the youngest of them all, and shall find nothing that can fairly be claimed as recognizing the relation in Genesis of the loss of Paradise. Remarks on the tendency of man to do evil, on the universality of sin, and strength of irregular passions, (1 Kings viii. 46. Proverbs xx. 9. Eccles. vii. 20. Ps. li. 5. and xiv. 2, 3.) cannot certainly be construed into any such reference. Such reflections are true on any system; and would have been made, had the whole history of the world before the flood been obliterated even to the last trace of record or tradition.

On leaving the canon of the Old Testament, we come to Jesus the son of Sirac; whose admirable book called Ecclesiasticus is contained in the Apocrypha, and was composed somewhat more than a century before the birth of our Saviour. He mentions explicitly, though incidentally, the circumstance of the fall; (xxv. 24.) "of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die." He maintains, however, with the whole ancient scriptures, that all are free to will and to choose; and that sin arises from the abuse of this freedom. His doctrine is entirely that of the apostle James, who tells us that "God tempteth no man," neither is any malevolent being the agent of temptation, but that "every man is tempted, when he is drawn away and enticed by his own lusts." His language is very strong and not to be misunderstood: "say not thou, It is through the Lord that I fell away: for thou oughtest not to do the things that he hateth. He himself made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his counsel. If thou wilt,

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thou shalt keep the commandments, and perform acceptable faithfulness. He hath set fire and water before thee: stretch forth thy hand unto whether thou wilt." Here no moral difference is acknowledged between Adam and his posterity: man is made as he was "from the beginning.' With respect to the influence of the evil principle, his words are very remarkable: "when the ungodly curseth SATAN, he curseth HIS OWN SOUL." (xxi: 27.) In the apocryphal book called the Wisdom of Solomon, written by some Platonizing Jew, of considerably later but uncertain date, we find the following passage, ii. 23, 24. "God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. Nevertheless, through envy of the devil came death into the world; and they that do hold of his side do find it." A spiritual life and death, however, seems here to be spoken of, in contradistinction to a natural one. This appears evident from the last clause, and is confirmed by the whole context. Still the Jews who lived near the time of our Saviour, distinctly taught, that, on account of Adam's transgression, the sentence of temporal death passed on all, even the holiest.*-Philo of Alexandria, a contemporary with the apostles, next claims attention. He received and explained the narrative in the third chapter of Genesis, as allegoriEven his hiscally and historically, though not literally true. torical exposition is in fact but little removed from an allegorical one. Figuratively, Paradise is, according to him, virtue and the moral nature of man; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, is prudence and understanding; the tree of life is the fear of God; the serpent is evil desire; the man is the intellectual, and the woman the sensual part of our nature. Through these leading points we may easily trace the outlines of his theory. This philosopher taught, that all men are by nature wicked; that sin is handed down from generation to generation; that it is impossible by the utmost exertions, and the highest advances in goodness, to free ourselves wholly from this tendency of our nature; that man sins, not through the influence of sense, but through appetite and passion, although these would not invade were not the soul imprisoned in the flesh; and finally, that God is not to be charged with the blame of this evil propension, and has imparted to every one of his rational creatures the capacity of being virtuous.

The New Testament is now opened to us; and our inquiries turn toward the teaching of Jesus and his apostles. And here a difficulty meets us. We cannot attempt to define what their teaching is, without seeming to prejudge the whole controversy,

* For authorities Wetstein may be consulted, ad Rom. v. 12-14.

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