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would have secured Adam from the fatal effects which resulted from eating of the tree of death. But Adam was not secured against the death which was connected with the acquisition of “ the knowledge of good and evil,” therefore he was not in possession of the life which was connected with “ the tree of life ;” and as this life was eternal life, it follows, that he was not endowed with eternal lifek (that is, with eternal spiritual life), when he was put into “ the garden of Eden.”
When Adam, then, was put into that place which is styled “ the garden of Eden," although
. * As the life connected with the tree of life” is that “ life" which the covenant of Christ has procured for mankind; and, as this life is eternal salvation, a deliverance from sin and spiritual death, “ an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven?," an “ inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of GOD?," as Adam was not gifted with this life when he resided in “ Eden,” it' follows that he was not, then, a “partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light 3.” He was neither the heir of “ eternal salvation” nor the heir of eternal death. He appears to have been (if the expression be allowable) in an unfinished state, which was, probably, a state of preparation for higher destinies ; that preparatory state would, perhaps, have led to an advancement to a higher and more perfect state, in which his powers and his capacities would have been exalted, and in which he would have been made an inheritor of that glory, that “ life," which is the peculiar gift of Jesus Christ. "11 Peter, i. 4.
3 Coloss. i. 12. 2 Eph, v. 5.
he was ultimately destined for spiritual immortality, he had not, as yet, received that gift. Nor, when he was first placed in this residence, did he possess“ the knowledge of good and evil.” The place into which he was put, appears to have presented a typical representation of that more glorious “paradise,” which is peculiarly the dwelling of the GODHEAD, and of the “saints in light ;" and it appears probable, that a temporary residence in this typical “ Eden" was preparative to an admission into that paradise of pleasure, in which is the throne of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. Had Adam patiently waited the Lord's leisure, he would, perhaps, after having fulfilled the period of his ministry in that preparatory and less perfect state, have been translated (like his descendants Enoch and Elijah m) into that “ paradise” of which “ Eden" was the type as well as the threshold, and death would never have had dominion over him. For by “ the knowledge of good and evil” came sin, and by sin came death".
While Adam remained without the possession of “ the knowledge of good and evil,” he was like those " little ones” of the Israelites, which, in the day of rebellion against God,“ had no
Gen. v. 24. Eccl. xliv. 16; xlix. 14. Hebr. xi. 5. m 2 Kings, ii. 11. .
n“ By one man sin entered into the world, and death by knowledge of good and evil,” and which were, upon that account, exempted from the punishment laid upon the rest of the Israelites, being permitted to enter into the promised land of Canaan", which land was a figure of “the kingdom of heaven,” as we shall hereafter see. For “ children,” not having “ the knowledge of good and evilo,' and, consequently, being free from offence, are “ meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints,” for “ of such is the kingdom of heaven P." While Adam, then, continued without “the knowledge of good and evil,” he was, in this respect, as a little child, and, therefore, he was a fit being to minister in that abode of “ pleasure,” which represented “the kingdom of heaven.” Not being endowed with this “knowledge,” he knew not sin, and, consequently, he was blameless, both in the sight of God and in his own sight'. He was placed in a situatian where little was made known to him, and where, consequently, little was required of him?. GOD might have said
'n Deut. i. 39. Josh. v. • See Isaiah, vii. 15. 6, 7.
Matt. xix. 14. 9 “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,” says St. Paul," who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful [7150y], putting me into the ministry ; who was before. a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief";” (ore izvoño swoimia er dtisíc.]
1 Tim. i. 12, 13. . “For unto whom much is given, of him shall be much required.” Luke, xii. 48.
to him, as Christ said to his disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them nows;" he was too imperfect to “ bear" the “ knowledge of good and evil,” it was too strong meat for him; for “ strong meat belongeth to them that are perfect [TERE101), even those who by reason of habit (or constitution, &is] have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”. Adam was in a state of spiritual infancy", he was imperfect in understanding, and, therefore, that knowledge which he was forbidden to acquire, was too strong for him, for he had not been gifted with that "life" which would have rendered that knowledge innoxious to him.
And “the serpent*" " said unto the woman,
• John, xvi. 12. Ju Uyags: Baseus đen.
segsa teo@n, solid or perfect food, fit only for such as are Tobos, perfect.
u Hebr. v. 14.
"He was, in understanding, a wardior', or rñwios?, not TEAEKOS 3.
i 1 Cor. xiv. 20. ? Hebr. v. 13. 3 1 Cor. xiv. 20.
* “ The dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan 4.” It is said, “ The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord had made 5." St. Paul says: “the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety," és tñ aanseyic áuti. “The serpent," then, which Moses bere speaks of, is the devil 7. And Christ, when he was “ in the wilderness 4 Rev. xx. 2.
6 2 Cor. xi. 3. i
's Gen. iii. 1.
Yea, hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And 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 it, neither shall ye touch it', lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die ; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evils."
The acquisition of “ the knowledge of good and evil,” was, then, held out to Eve, by Satan, as the means of obtaining a more exalted station in the scale of being : “ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil;" the possession of this “ knowledge” was to raise them from that subordinate station in which their Creator had
forty days tempted of Satan, was with the wild beasts 8.” In many parts of Scripture, evil passions are figuratively termed beasts. “ The serpent,” then, “ which was more subtle than any beast,” was the chief among the powers of darkness, “ the prince of the power of the air 9," the chief of those spiritual beasts, “ the prince of the devils 10." 8 Mark, i. 13. Eph. ii. 2. 10 Matt. ix. 34.
The injunction of the Deity was very strong: they were not only not to cat of it, but they were not to touch it; although the means of acquiring this dangerous knowledge were within their reach, they were cautioned, not only to forbear acquiring it, but also not to inquire respecting it.
• Gen. iii. 1-5.