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hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God, among the trees of the garden.”
They heard the voice of the LORD God, or the Word of the LORD God, even the Lord Jesus CHRIST, who is " the word that was with God, and the word that was God." They heard him walking in the trees of the garden, in the cool of the day. A season, perhaps, when Adam and Eve used to go, in an especial manner, and offer up an evening-facrifice of praise and thanksgiving. The cool of the day. Perhaps the fin was committed early in the morning, or at noon; but God would not come upon them immediately, he Ataid till the cool of the day. And if we would effectually reprove others, we should not do it when they are warmed with passion, but wait till the cool of the day.
But what an alteration is here ! Instead of rejoicing at the voice of their beloved, instead of meeting him with open arms and inlarged hearts, as before, they now hide themselves in the trees of the garden. Alas, what a foolish attempt was this? Surely they must be naked, otherwise how could they think of hiding themselves from God? Whither could they flee from his presence? But, by their fall, they had contracted an enmity against God: they now hated, and were afraid to converse with God their Maker. And is not this our case by nature ? Affyredly it is. We labour to cover our nakedness with the fig-leaves of our own righteousness: We hide ourselves from God as long as we can, and will not come, and never should come, did not the Father prevent, draw, and sweetly constrain us by his grace, as he here prevented Adam. Verse
" And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Adam, where art thou?"
“ The LORD God called unto Adam," (for otherwise Alam would never have called unto the LORD God) and faid, “ Adam, where art thou? How is it that thou comert “ not to pay thy devotions as usual ?" Christians, remember the Lord keeps an account when you fail coming to worship. Whenever therefore you are tempted to withhold your attendance, let each of you fancy you heard the LORD God calling unto you, and saying, “Oman, O woman, where art thou? It may be understood in another and better sense;
- Adam, “ Adam, where art thou ?” What a condition is thy poor soul in? This is the first thing the Lord asks and convinces a finner of; when he prevents and calls him effectually by his grace; he also calls him by name; for unless God speaks to us in particular, and we know where we are, how poor, how miserable, how blind, how naked, we shall never value the redemption wrought out for us by the death and obedience of the dear LORD JESUS. “ Adam, where art thou ?”
Verse 10. “ And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid.” See what cowards sin makes us. If we knew no fin, we should know no fear. " Because I was naked, and I hid myself.” Ver. 11. “ And he said, who told thee that thou wast naked ? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I (thy Maker and Law-giver) commanded thee, that thou shouldst not eat ?".
God knew very well that Adam was naked, and that he had eaten of the forbidden fruit. But God would know it from Adam's own mouth. Thus God knows all our necesfities before we ask, but yet insists upon our asking for his grace, and confefling our fins. For, by such acts, we acknowledge our dependence upon God, take shame to ourselves, and thereby give glory to his great name.
Verse 12. " And the man said, the woman which thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Never was nature more lively delineated. See what pride Adam contracted by the fall! How unwilling he is to lay the blame upon, or take shame to himself. This answer is full of insolence towards God, enmity against his wife, and disingenuity in respect to himself. For herein he tacitly reflects
“ The woman that thou gavest to be with me.” As much as to say, if thou hadît not given me that woman, I had not eaten the forbidden fruit. Thus, when men fin, they lay the fault upon their passions; then blame and reflect upon God for giving them those passions. Their language is, “ the appetites that thou gavest us, they deceived us; and “therefore we finned against thee.” But, as God, notwithstanding, punished Adam for hearkning to the voice of his wife, so he will punish those who hearken to the dictates of their corrupt inclinations: For God compels no man to fin.
Adam might have withstood the solicitations of his wife, if he would. And so, if we look up to God, we should find grace to help in the time of need.
The devil and our own hearts tempt, but they cannot force us to content, without the concurrence of our own wills. So that our damnation is of ourselves, as it will evidently appear' at the great day, notwithstanding all mens present impudent replies against God. As Adam speaks insolently in respect to God, so he speaks with enmity against his wife; the woman, or this woman, she gave ine.
He lays all the fault upon her, and speaks of her with much contempt. He does not say, my wife, my dear wife; but, this woman.
Sin difunites the most united hearts: it is the bane of holy fellowship. Those who have been companions in fin here, if they die without repentance, will both hate and condemn one another hereafter. All damned fouls are accusers of their brethren. Thus it is, in some degree, on this side the grave. 6. The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." What a disingenuous speech was here! He makes use of no less than fifteen words to excuse himself, and but one or two (in the original) to confess his fault, if it may be called a confeflion at all. “ The woman which thou gavest to be with me, The gave me of the tree;" here are fifteen words ; U and I did eat.” With what reluctance do these laft words come out? How soon are they uttered ? " And I did eat.” But thus it is with an unhumbled, unregenerate heart : It will be laying the fault upon the dearest friend in the world, nay, upon God himself, rather than take shame to itself. This pride we are all subject to by the fall; and, till our hearts are broken, and made contrite by the spirit of our LORD Jesus CHRIST, we shall be always charging God foolishly. “ Against thee, and thee only, have I finned, that thou mightest be justified in thy saying, and clear when thou art judged,” is the language of none but chose, who, like David, are willing to confess their faults, and are truly forry for their fins. This was not the case of Adam : his heart was not broken; and therefore he lays the fault of his disobedience upon bis wife and God, and not upon himself; “ The woman which thou gavest to be with me, he gave me of the tree, and I did eat."
Verse 13. “ And the LORD God said, What is this that thou hast done?” What a wonderful concern does God express in this expoftulation ! “What a deluge of misery haft
thou brought upon thyself, thy husband, and thy posterity ? " What is this that thou hast done? Disobeyed thy God, “ obeyed the devil, and ruined thy husband, for whom I " made thee to be an help-meet! What is this that thou haft “ done?” GOD would here awaken her to a sense of her crime and danger, and therefore, as it were, thunders in her ears : for the law must be preached to self-righteous finners. We must take care of healing before we see sinners wounded, left we should say, Peace, peace, where there is no peace. Secure finners must hear the thunderings of mount Sinai, before we bring them to mount Sion. They who never preach up the law, it is to be feared, are unskilful in delivering the glad tidings of the gospel. Every minifter should be a Boanerges, a son of thunder, as well as a Barnabas, a son of consolation. There was an earthquake and a whirlwind, before the small still voice came to Elijah: We must first shew people they are condemned, and then shew them how they must be saved. But how and when to preach the law, and when to apply the promises of the gospel, wisdom is profitable to direct. " And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?” And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I She does not make use of fo
words to excuse herself, as her husband; but her heart is as unhumbled as his. What is this, says GOD, that thou hast done? GOD here charges her with doing it. She dares not deny the fact, or fay, I have not done it; but the takes all the blame off herself, and lays it upon the serpent; “ The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” She does not say, " LORD, I was to “blame for talking with the serpent; LORD, I did wrong, " in not hastening to my husband, when he put the first ques" tion to me; LORD, I plead guilty, I only am to blame, O " let not my poor husband fufter for my wickedness !” This would have been the language of her heart, had she now been a true penitent. But both were now alike proud; therefore neither will lay the blame upon themselves : “ The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. The woman which thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”
I have been the more particular in 'remarking this part of their behaviour, because it tends so much to the magnifying of Free-grace, and plainly shews us, that falvation cometh only from the Lord. Let us take a short view of the miserable circumstances our first parents were now in : They were Jegally and spiritually dead, children of wrath, and heirs of hell. They had eaten the fruit, of which God had conmanded them, that they should not eat; and when arraigned before God, notwithstanding their crime was so complicated, they could not be brought to confess it. What reason can be given, why fentence of death should not be pronounced against the prisoners at the bar ? All must own they are worthy to die. Nay, how can God, confiftently with his juftice, possibly forgive them? He had threatened, that the day wherein they eat of the forbidden fruit, they should “surely die;" and, if he did not execute this threatening, the devil might then flander the Almighty indeed. And yet mercy cries, spare thefe finners, spare the work of thine own hands. Behold, then, wisdom contrives a scheme how God may be juft, and yet be merciful; be faithful to his threatening, punish the offence, and at the same time spare the offender. An amazing scene of divine love here opens to our view, which had been from all eternity hid in the heart of God! Notwithstanding Adam and Eve were thus unhumbled, and did not so much as pu, up one single petition for pardon, God immediately paffes fentence upon the serpent, and reveals to them a Saviour.
Verse 14. “ And the LORD God said unto the serpent, becaufe thou hast done this, thou art accursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life;" i, e. he hould be in subjection, and his power should always be limited and restrained. “ His enemies shall lick the very duft,” says the Pfalmift. (Ver. 15.) “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy feed and her feed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Before I proceed to the explanation of this verse, I cannot but take notice of one 'great mistake wbich the author of the Whole Duty of Man is guilty of, in making this verse contain a covenant between God and Adam, as though God now personally treated with Adam, as before the fall. For, talking