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whereby his coming was foretold and promised; the other was by types and shadows, whereby his coming and redemption were prefigured. The first thing that was done to pre
for Christ in the former of these ways, was in that promise that was just taken notice of in the foregoing particular ; and the first thing of the latter kind, viz. of types, to foreshow Christ's coming, was that institution of sacrifices that we are now upon. As that promise in Gen. iii. 15. was the first dawn of gospel light after the fall in prophecy ; so the institution of sacrifices was the first hint of it in types. The giving of that promise was the first thing that was done after the fall, in this work, in Christ's prophetical office ; the institution of sacrifices was the first thing that we read of after the fall, by which especially Christ exhibited himself in his priestly office.
The institution of sacrifices was a great thing done towards preparing the way for Christ's coming, and working out redemption. For the sacrifices of the Old Testament were the main of all the Old Testament types of Christ and his redemption ; and it tended to establish in the minds of God's visible church, the necessity of a propitiatory sacrifice, in order to the Deity's being satisfied for sin ; and so prepared the way for the reception of the glorious gospel, that reveals the great sacrifice in the visible church, and not only so, but through the world of mankind. For from this institution of sacrifices that was after the fall, all nations derived the custom of sacrificing. For this custom of offering up sacrifices to the gods, to atone for their sins, was common to all nations. No nation, however barbarous, was found without it any where. This is a great evidence of the truth of the Christian religion ; for no pation, but only the Jews, could tell how they came by this custom, or to what purpose it was, to offer sacrifices to their deities. The light of nature did not teach them any such thing. That did not teach them that the gods were hungry, and fed upon the flesh which they burnt in sacrifice ; and yet they all had this custom ; of which no other account can be given, but that they derived it from Noah, who had it from his ancestors, on whom God had enjoine: it as a
type of the great sacrifice of Christ. However, by this means all nations of the world had their minds possessed with this notion, that an atonement or sacrifice for sin was necessary; and a way was made for their more readily receiving tho great doctrine of the gospel of Christ, which teaches us the atonement and sacrifice of Christ.
IV. God did soon after the fall begin actually to save the souls of men through Christ's redemption. In this, Christ, who had lately taken upon him the work of Mediator between God and man, did first begin that work, wherein he appeared in the exercise of his kingly office, as in the sacrifices he was represented in his priestly office, and in the first prediction of redemption by Christ he had appeared in the exercise of his prophetical office. In that prediction the light of Christ's redemption first began to dawn in the prophecies of it ; in the jastitution of sacrifices it first began to dawn in the types of it ; in this, viz. his beginning actually to save men, it first began to dawn in the fruit of it.
It is probable, therefore, that Adam and Eve were the first fruits of Christ's redemption; it is probable by God's manner of treating them, by his comforting them as he did, after their awakenings and terrors. They were awakened, and ashamed with a sense of their guilt, after their fall, when their eyes were opened, and they saw that they were naked, and sewed figleaves to cover their nakedness; as the sinner, under the first awakenings, is wont to endeavor to hide the nakedness of his soul, bý patching up a righteousness of his own. Then they were further terrified and awakened, by hearing the voice of God, as he was coming to condemn them. Their coverings of figleaves did not answer the purpose ; but notwithstanding these, they ran to hide themselves among the trees of the garden, because they were naked, not daring to trust to their figleaves to hide their nakedness from God. Then they were further awakened by God's calling of them to a strict account. But while their terrors were raised to such a height, and they stood, as we may suppose, trembling and astonished before their judge, without any thing to catch hold of whence they could gather any hope, then God took
cate to hold forth some encouragement to them, to keep them from the dreadful effects of despair under their awakenings, by giving a hint of a design of mercy by a Saviour, even before he pronounced sentence against them. And when after this he proceeded to pronounce sentence, whereby we may suppose their terrors were further raised, God soon after took care to encourage them, and to let them see, that he had not wholly cast them off, by taking a fatherly care of them in their fallen, naked and miserable state, by making them coats of skins and clothing them. Which also manifested an aeceptance of those sacrifices that they offered to God for sin, that those were the skins of, which were types of what God had promised, when he said, “ The seed of the woman shal? bruise the serpent's head ;" which promise, there is reason to think, they believed and embraced. Eve seems plainly to express her hope in, and dependence on that promise, in what she says at the birth of Cain, Gen. iv. I. « 1 have gotten a man from the Lord;" i, e. as God has promised, that my seed should bruise the serpent's head ; so now has God giren me this pledge and token of it, that I have a seed born. She plainly owns, that this her child was from God, and hoped that her promised seed was to be of this her eldest son ; though she was mistaken, as Abraham was with respect to Ishmaet, as Jacob was with respect to Esau, and as Samuel was with respect to the first born of Jesse. And especially docs what she said at the birth of Seth, express her hope and dependence on the promise of God; see ver. 25. * For God hath appointed me another seed, instead of Abel, whom Cain stew.”
Thus it is exceeding probable, if not evident, that as Christ took on him the work of Mediator as soon as man fell; so he now immediately began his work of redemption in its effect, and that he immediately encountered his great enemy the derit, whom he had undertaken to conquer, and rescued those two first captives out of his hands ; therein baffling him, soon after his triumph for the victory he had obtained over them, whereby he had made them his captives. And though he was as it were, sure of them and all their posterity, Christ the Re
deemer soon showed him, that he was mistaken, and that he was able to subdue him, and deliver fallen man. He let him see it, indelivering those first captives of his; and so soon gave him an instance of the fulfilment of that threatening, “ The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head ;” and in this instance a presage of the fulfilment of one great thing he had undertaken, viz. his subduing all his enemies under his feet.
After this we have another instance of redemption in one of their children, viz. in righteous Abel, as the scripture calls him, whose soul perhaps was the first that went to heaven through Christ's redemption. In him we have at least the first instance of the death of a redeemed person that is recorded in scripture. If he was the first, then as the redemption of Christ began to dawn before in the souls of men in their conversion and justification, in him it first began to dawn in glorification ; and in him the angels began first to do the part of ministering spirits to Christ, in going forth to conduct the souls of the redeemed to glory. And in him the elect angels. in heaven had the first opportunity to see so wonderful a thing as the soul of one of the fallen race of mankind, that had been sunk by the fall into such an abyss of sin and misery, brought to heaven, and in the enjoyment of heavenly glory, which was a much greater thing than if they had seen him returned to the earthly paradise. Thus they by this saw the glorious effect of Christ's redemption, in the great honor and happiness that was procured for sinful miserable creatures by it.
V. The next remarkable thing that God did in the farther carrying on of this great affair of redemption, that I shall take notice of, was the first remarkable pouring out of the Spirit through Christ that ever was, which was in the days of Enos. This seems to have been the next remarkable thing that was done toward erecting this glorious building thạt God had begun and laid the foundation of in Christ the Mediator. We read, Gen. iv. 26. Then began men to call upon
the name of the Lord.” The meaning of these words has been considerably controverted among divines. We cannot suppose the meaning is, that that time was the first that ever men performed the duty of prayer. Prayer is a duty of natural relig
ion, and a duty to which a spirit of piety does most naturally lead men. Prayer is as it were the very breath of a spirit of piety ; and we cannot suppose therefore, that those holy men that had been before for above two hundred years, had lived all that while without any prayer. Therefore some divines think, that the meaning is, that then men first began to perform public worship, or to call upon the name of the Lord in public assemblies. Whether it be so to be understood or no, yet so much must necessarily be understood by it, viz. that there was something new in the visible church of God with respect to the duty, of prayer, or calling upon the name of the Lord ; that there was a great addition to the performance of this duty ; and that in some respect or other it was carried far beyond what it ever had been before, which must be the consequence of a remarkable pouring out of the Spirit of God.
If it was now first that men were stirred up to get together in assemblies to help and assist one another in seeking God, so as they never had done before, it argues something extraordinary as the caụse ; and could be from nothing but uncommon influences of God's Spirit. We see by experience, that a remarkable pouring out of God's Spirit is always attended with such an effect, viz. a great increase of the performance of the duty of prayer. When the Spirit of God begins a work on men's hearts, it immediately sets them to calling on the name of the Lord. As it was with Paul after the Spirit of God had laid hold of him, then the next news is, “ Behold, he prayeth!” So it has been in all remarkable pourings out of the Spirit of God that we have any particular account of in scripture ; and so it is foretold it will be at the great pouring out of the Spirit of God in the latter days. It is foretold, that it will be poured out as a spirit of grace and supplication, Zech. xii. 10. See also Zeph. iii. 9. “ For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.”
And when it is said, “Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord,” no more can be intended by it, than that this was the first remarkable season of this nature that ever