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tioned, I have set before thee life and death, blessing and cursing, without doubt, the same blessing and cursing is meant which God had already set before them with such solemnity, in the 37th and 28th chapters, where we have the sum of the curses in those last words of the 27th chapter, “Cursed is every one, which confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.” Which the apostle speaks of as a threatening of eternal death, and with him Dr. Taylor himself.” In this sense also Job and his friends, spake of death, as the wages and end of sin, who lived before any written revelation, and had their religion and their phraseology about the things of religion from the ancients. If any should insist upon it as an objection against supposing that death was intended to signify eternal death in the
threatening to Adam, that this use of the word is figurative ; .
I reply, that though this should be allowed, yet it is by no means so figurative as many other phrases used in the history contained in these three chapters; as when it is said, Golf said, Let there be light : God said, Let there be a firmament, &c. as though God spake such words with a voice. So when it is said, God called the light, day : God called the firmament, heaven, &c. : God rested on the seventh day ; as though he had been weary, and then rested. And when it is said, They heard the voice of God walking ; as though the Deity had two feet, and took steps on the ground. Dr. Tay. lor supposes, that when it is said of Adam and Eve, “Their eyes were opened, and they saw that they were naked;” by the word naked is meant a state of guilt; page 12. Which sense of the word naked, is much further from the common use of the word, than the supposed sense of the word death. So this author supposes the promise concerning the seed of the woman's bruising the serfient’s head, while the serpent should bruise his hect, is to be understood of “the Messiah's destroying the power and sovereignty of the Devil, and rereceiving some slight hurt from him ;” pages 15, 16. Which makes the sentence full of figures, vastly more beside the common use of words. And why might not God deliver
* Note on Rom. v. 20. Par. p. 291–299.
threatenings to our first parents in figurative expressions, as well as promises Many other strong figures are used in these chapters.
But indeed, there is no necessity of supposing the word death, or the Hebrew word so translated, if used in the manner that has been supposed, to have been figurative at all. It does not appear but that this word, in its true and proper meaning, might signify perfect misery, and sensible destruction, though the word was also applied to signify something more external and visible. There are many words in our language, such as heart, sense, view, discovery, concosition, tight, and many others, which are applied to signify external things, as that muscular part of the body called heart ; external feeling, called sense ; the sight of the bodily eye, called view ; the finding of a thing by its being uncovered, called discovery : the first beginning of the foctus in the womb, called concefltion ; and the rays of the sun, called light : Yet these words do as truly and properly signify other things of a more spiritual, internal nature, as those : Such as the disposition, affection, perception, and thought of the mind, and manifestation and evidence to the soul. Common use, which governs the propriety of language, makes the latter things to be as much signified by those words, in their proper meaning, as the former. It is especially common in the Hebrew, and i suppose, other oriental languages, that the same word that signifies something external, does no less properly and usually signify something more spiritual. So the Hebrew words used for breath, have such a double signification: Meshama signifies both breath and the soul, and the latter as commonly as the former. Ruach is used for breath or wind, but yet more commonly signifies shirit. Westhesh is used for breath, but yet more commonly signifies soul. So the word leth, heart, no less properly signifies the soul, especially with regard to the will and affections, than that part of the body so called. The word shalom, which we render fieace, no less properly signifies prosperity and happiness, than mutual agreement. The word translated life, signifies the natural life of the body, and also the perfect and happy state of sensible, active being, and the latter as properly as the former. So the word death signifies destruction, as to outward sensibility, activity and enjoyment; but it has most evidently another signification, which, in the Hebrew tongue, is no less proper, viz. Herfect, sensible, hofieless ruin and misery. It is therefore wholly without reason urged, that death properly signifies only the loss of this present life ; and that therefore nothing else was meant by that death which was threatened for eating the forbidden fruit. Nor does it at all appear but that Adam, who, from what God said concerning the seed of the woman, that was so very figurative, could understand, that relief was promised as to the death which was threatened, (as Dr. Taylor himself supposes) understood the death that was threatened in the more important sense ; especially seeing temporal death, as it is originally, and in itself, is evermore, excepting as changed by divine grace, an introduction or entrance into that gloomy, dismal state of misery, which is shadowed forth by the dark and awful circumstances of this death, naturally suggesting to the mind the most dreadful state of hopeless, sensible ruin. As to that objection which some have made, that the phrase, dying thou shalt die, is several times used in the Books of Moses, to signify temporal death, it can be of no force : For it has been shewn already, that the same phrase is sometimes used in scripture to signify eternal death, in instances much more parallel with this. But indeed nothing can be certainly argued concerning the nature of the thing intended, from its being expressed in such a manner. For it is evident that such repetitions of a word in the Hebrew language, are no more than an emphasis upon a word in the more modern languages, to signify the great degree of a thing, the importance of it, or the certainty of it, &c. When we would signify and impress these, we commonly put an emphasis on our words : Instead of this, the Hebrews, when they would express a thing strongly, repeated or doubled the word, the more to impress the mind of the hearer; as may be plain to every one in the least conversant with the Hebrew Bible. The repetition in the threatening to Adam, therefore only
implies the solemnity and importance of the threatening. But God may denounce either eternal or temporal death with peremptoriness and solemnity, and nothing can certainly be inferred concerning the nature of the thing threatened, because it is threatened with emphasis, more than this, that the
threatening is much to be regarded. Though it be true, that it might in an especial manner be expected that a threatcning of eternal death would be denounced with great emphasis, such a threatening being infinitely important, and to be legarded above all others.
Moherein it is in 7uired, whether there be any thing in the history of the three first chafters of Genesis, which should lead us to suppose that God, in his constitution with .4dam, dealt with mankind in general, as included in their first father, and that the threatening of death, in case he should eat the forhidden fruit, had respect not only to him, but his posterity ?
DR. TAYLOR, rehearsing that threatening to Adam, Thou shalt surely die, and giving us his paraphrase of it, p. 7, 8, concludes thus : “Observe, here is not one word relating to Adam's posterity.” But it may be observed in opposition to this, that there is scarcely one word that we have an account of, which God ever said to Adam or Eve, but what does manifestly include their posterity in the meaning and design of it. There is as much of a word said about Adam's posterity in that threatening, as there is in those words of God to Adam and Eve, Gen. i. 28 ; “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it;” and as much in events,
to lead us to suppose Adam's posterity to be included. There is as much of a word of his posterity in that threatening, as in those words, verse 29. “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed....and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed,” &c. Even when God was about to create Adam, what he said on that occasion, had not respect only to Adam, but to his posterity. Gen. i. 26. “Let us make man in our image, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sca,” &c. And, what is more remarkable, there is as much of a word said about Adam's posterity in the threatening of death, as there is in that sentence, Gen. iii. 19. “Unto dust shalt thou return.” Which Dr. Taylor himself supposes to be a sentence pronounced for the execution of that very threatening, “Thou shalt surely die;” and which sentence lie himself also often speaks of as including Adam's posterity ; and what is much more remarkable still, is a sentence which Dr. Taylor himself often speaks of, as including his fosterity, as a sentence of condemnation, as a judicial sentence, and a sentence which God pronounced with regard to Adam's fosterity, acting the fart of a Judge, and as such condemning them to temporal death. Though he is therein utterly inconsistent with himself, inasmuch as he at the same time abundantly insists, that death is not brought on Adam's posterity in consequence of his sin, at all as a punishment; but mercly by the gracious disposal of a Father, bestowing a benefit of the highest nature upon them.” But I shall shew that I do not in any of these things falsely charge, or misrepresent Dr. Taylor. He speaks of the sentence in chap. iii. 19, as pronounced in pursuance of the threatening in the former chapter, in these words, pages 17, 18. “ The sentence upon man, verses 17, 18, 19, first affects the earth, upon which he was to subsist: The ground should be incumbered with many noxious weeds, and the tillage of it more toilsome ; which would oblige the man to procure a sustenance by hard labor, till he should die, and drop into the ground, from whence he was taken. Thus death critered by
* Page 27, S.