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aprons to cover them.* And now their woe is increased by a sad chain of passions which their disobedience had entailed upon them; guilt attended with shame and slavish fear pursue them: For when they heard the voice of God walking in Paradise, in the cool of the evening, they hid themselves from the face of the Lord among the trees of the garden. God at that time was heard, and made himself known to man after a sensible manner.† He called Adam, saying, "Where art thou?" Not to know where he was, but to make him sensible of his fault. Adam, finding himself discovered, in great confusion was obliged to answer, "I heard thy voice in the garden and was afraid, "because I was naked, therefore I hid myself." In confessing his nakedness he owned his guilt; of which God immediately convicted him; demanding how he came to know that he was naked? Adam, who was not yet grown so hardy as to deny the fact, owned himself guilty, but endeavoured to excuse it, by laying the blame on his wife, not without a tacit reflection on God himself: "The "woman (said he,) whom thou gavest to be with me, gave "me of the fruit and I did eat." God calling the woman to account, said, "What is this thou hast done?" She also readily confessed the fact; but like her husband. willing to excuse herself, alledged that she was betrayed into it: "The serpent beguiled me and I did eat.” God having by examination brought this unhappy pair to confession and conviction, did not proceed in the same manner with the serpent; but immediately passing sentence upon him, he said "Because thou hast done this, thou "art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the
Aprons, or rather Girdles; the materials of which might be readily found in the garden; such as the large, long leaves which cover our tea, as it comes in chests from China; these might be easily woven together; so that this circumstance affords no countenance to the impertinent and ludicrous objections of infidels.
†They heard the Voice, or as some render it, the Word of the Lord God walking, &c. Perhaps He, "the Word," who was afterwards 66 made flesh and dwelt among us." Some communications they certainly had from their Maker before this, and probably in a glorious human form,
"field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou "eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity be "tween thee and the woman, and between thy seed and "her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise "his heel." Then pronouncing sentence on the woman; God said, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and con. ception. In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, "and thy desire shall be subject to that of thine husband, " and he shall rule over thee." And unto Adam he said, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, "and hast eaten of the forbidden tree; cursed be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it, all "the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the "field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till "thou return to the ground out of which thou wast taken: "For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
These three criminals having received their doom, God expelled them the garden of Eden, and sent the man to till the ground from whence he was taken; and placed Cherubims † to preserve the way to the Tree of Life. And
* To confine this passage to a literal sense, would be, as Sherlock and Newton have observed, to render it unworthy of God or of Moses. Under the serpent's name, the curse is levelled at the great enemy of mankind; “by his seed" or off. spring, we understand that "generation of vipers," (Matt. iii. 7.) or wicked men, who are " of their father the devil," (John, viii. 44.) who in all ages have hissed and shewn their enmity against Christ, and who succeeded so far as to nail him to the cross, and thus wound his heel, i. e. his human, or inferior nature.
Christ is the seed of the woman," (Gal. iv 4.) who bruised the head of the serpent, or crushed his power over man, by his death on the cross; who has led " captivity captive," and who will finally abolish all his power. Thus was the first intimation of mercy to fallen man, the first gospel promise, included in the sentence pronounced on his seducer.
+Cherubin. These are commonly, but erroneously, supposed to be Angels, who, like centinels, were placed to guard the gate of Paradise; but the Cherubim, which signifies "the likeness of the great-ones," were most probably emblems of the Deity, figures like those mentioned Ezek. 1.: such as were placed in the Tabernacle and Temple over the Mercy-Seat. This was the cymbol of the divine presence, before which it is likely that Adam offered sacrifice. The design of the whole, was "to keep the way of the tree of life," not to prevent the coming at it, but for "preserving," or "observing the way to it"-to shew that by the employVOL. I.
thus from the fall of our first parents proceeded all those evils which deface the beautiful works of their great Creator; and hence sin, pain, and death were entailed upon their posterity. With guilty shame they are forced to quit their seat of innocence, and exchange fair Eden's garden for an uncultivated world, which produced nothing but what was effected by labour and toil, and where they had no other prospect but an endless variety of cares and
And now Adam being expelled from Paradise knew his wife Eve, who conceiving, bare him a son, whom she called Cain, and said, "I have gotten a man from the "Lord." After him she bare Adam another son, who was named Abel. These two brethren, when they grew up to manhood, chose two different employments; Cain, the elder, whose disposition was sordid and avaricious, betook himself to tillage; but Abel, who was of a more gentle and humane temper, delighted in a pastoral employment, and fed sheep. In process of time each of them brought their offering to the Lord. Cain's was the fruits of the ground; and Abel's the firstlings with the fat of his flock. The Lord accepted the sacrifice of Abel, but rejected that of Cain. † Hereupon Cain was provoked, which the failing
ment of the sword in shedding blood, and the fire in burnt-sacrifice, was the only way of reconciliation to an offended God.
The reader who wishes to see this fully illustrated, may consult "Lord Forbes's Thoughts on Religion, natural and revealed," and "Parkhurst's Hebrew Lexi con on the word Cherubim."
* Cain, signifies Possession, for she fondly hoped that this son might prove the seed of the woman who was to bruise the serpent's head. I have gotten the Man-Jehovah," so some render the sentence; but she was greatly mistaken, for "he was of that wicked one"-the serpent-the devil. 1 John iii. 12.
+ It was " by faith," that Abel offered a more excellent, a fuller, a more complete offering than Cain; (Heb. xi. 4.) and faith has always respect to a revelation and appointment of God. The fact was, that Abel, as a penitent sinner, gladly signified his faith in the promised Saviour by a bloody sacrifice, knowing that without shedding of blood there could be no remission; while Cain, proud and pharisaical, merely brings a thank-offering to God, implying no humiliation for sin, nor desire for mercy. Cain seems to have been a kind of infidel—a natural religion
of his countenance plainly indicated; upon which God expostulates with him, and gives him to understand it was his own fault that his offering was not pleasing, and if he did well, he should be accepted; if he sinned he should be punished for his offence.
But this reproof made no impression on Cain; instead of being sensible of his fault, he became incensed against his brother, and taking occasion not long after to discourse with him when they were together in the field, he fell upon him and slew him. But he is soon called to an account; for God enquiring of him where his brother was, he very insolently as well as falsely answered, "He knew "not:" And, as if he had been affronted by the question concerning him, he cried, "Am I my brother's keeper?" But the Lord not only charged him with the murder of his brother, but convicted him of it also. "What hast thou "done," said he, "the voice of thy brother's blood crieth "to me from the ground? And now art thou cursed from "the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy "brother's blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground it shall not henceforth yield unto thee its strength: Nor is that all; but a fugitive and a vaga"bond shalt thou be upon the earth." This sentence was gentle in comparison of the horrid crime; but Cain, amazed at it, began to be sensible of the heinousness of his offence and of the misery to which he was reduced. My offence;" said he, "is too great to obtain pardon."
man-a rejector of revelation and of the atonement. "If thou dost well, shalt thou not be accepted"— —or rather have the dignity-the honour of the priesthood, which from the first belonged to the elder brother, but which he forfeited by rejecting the proper sacrifice. This was perhaps the ground of the quarrel, and which issued in the murder of pions Abel.
My offence, &c. All the versions make Cain speak like one in despair, Gen. iv. 13. The vulgar Latin makes him say, My iniquity is greater than that I should obtain pardon. Pagnine, Tremellius, the French, and ours, My Iniquity is greater than I can bear. The former is the meaning which the LXX. and Chaldee Paraphrase have given it: But why should we not translate it with some Rabbins, Is my iniquity greater than that it can be pardoned?
This was an expression of despair rather than of repentance; and he seems not so sensible of his sin as of his punishment. "Behold, said he, thou hast driven me out this day from "the face of the earth, and from thy face shall I be hid; "and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth, "and it shall come to pass that every one* that findeth "me shall slay me." But God having taken this cause under his immediate cognizance, and fixed the punishment, secured him against that dread, declaring that whosoever should slay Cain, vengeance should be taken of him sevenfold-that is, in a very grievous manner. God intimating thereby, that vengeance is to be left to him, and that it is not lawful for private persons of their own authority to kill any one. And that none by mistake might slay Cain, "God set a mark upon him, lest any finding him “should kill him." Upon this, Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, which is to the eastward of Eden, beyond the country of Ba
Every one, &c. From hence some have pretended that there were other peo. ple on earth not descended from Adam; but it should be remembered that the mur der of Abel did not happen till near 130 years after the creation; and though we read of only three of Adam's children, yet there were, probably, many others, whose offspring in that space of time might be very numerous.
Cain went out from the presence, or "faces," of the Lord, as the Hebrew word is-that is, from the cherubic faces, or emblem of his presence, where divine wor ship was performed, and thus renounced religion. He then dwelt in a country afterwards known by the name of Nod, and there built a city, where probably the irreligious part of Adam's posterity, and his own, which might be numerous, joined him as their governor. But the following elucidation is more satisfactory. The word NoD, verse 16, is the same with that, verses 12 and 14, translated a Vagabond Why it was rendered differently in these two places we know not: had the word been uniformly translated Vagabond, the sense would have been clear throughout. Verse 12, God says "Thou shalt be (Nod) a Vagabond." Ver. 14, Cain says, “I shall be (Nod) a Vagabond ;" and verse 16, Moses says, "he went from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of (Nod)—a Vagabond,"-flying from place to place, pursued by the terrors of a guilty conscience. Dr. Hunter's Sacred Biog. Lect. v.
What this mark was, is matter of mere conjecture; probably it was the pecuiar cast of his countenance, pointing him out as a monster of wretchedness, in himself, and an object of horror to others.