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tve are made partakers of the divine nature: The lenience is three- fold, asthe persons arraigned arc three, thatis, against the Serpent, the Woman, and against Adam h wherein generally we arc first to note the exact course and order of Justice that is kept in the Sentence and Tryall. The order is this, First against the Serpent,as the principall Author, in the 14. and 15. verse following. Secondly, Against the Woman by good and due order, because as the Apostle puts us in minde, 1 Tim. 2. the Woman teas first in the transits ion, and it hath a double respect for whereas Adam finned only in receiving ic of hcr,but (he both sinned and caused him to sinnc; therefore the second sentence is against Eve in the 16. verse, the third against ^4>»inthe 17,18,19. verses following.
The second thing generally is this,that albeit there are three Sentences against three parties, yer not all alike, or of one scantling, but there is a great and main difference between them For it being the rule of Justice that the punishment be proportioned according to the offence, as Deut. 25. ut pro menfura peccati fit paenarum modus, And that there be a difference put in having companion, as $ude speaks in his Epistle verse 22. Therefore their offences standing upon diverse degrees; one, that is the Serpent, being fraudis inventor, the other giving their aslent • the one being the deceiver, the other deceived and seduced there is great difference to be made, whether a man fall by hjmsclf or by another; for tocause others to sinne, is a f arre greater sinne than for a man to finne himself alone* The first punishment and Sentence sets down the difference of Judgment which God ufeth here .• There is the punishment consignatorie, called Virga, that is Moses rod-, and another punishment when the rod becomes a Serpent 5 for the Serpent, that is not to chastise, but to denounce a punishment of cutting off. In such a case the chastisement of the partie is not sought, because there is no hope of amcndmcntjbut a correction exemplanc of others-, and therefore the Sentence of punishment is greater against the Serpent, the Author of this mischief, than against the other.
A third thing general is, As an order and difference is kept, so an Analogie and proportion is well kept in se. ting down of the Sentence; for in as much as we findc it was the sinne of the Serpent in himself, his pri le in lifting up himself into Gods scat-, as the rule of Justice is that contraries be punished with contraries , so nothing was more analogical i than for his pride to be thrown down with extreme abjection and humiliation $ therefore his punishment is to goe upon hit In Hie, and eat the dust j And as in the second person, because it was pleasure that caused the Woman to Cinnc, for feeing the Apple was fair to the eye, and good for meat, she was lead to eat of it j and thereforethis pleasure of her is punished with pain .- And in the third, For as much as Adams crime is set down twowayes, first, loving his own ease too much, and not able to resist the temptation of the Woman alluring him, his punishment, faith Augustine for his too much case, in not taking pains to withstand her, is labour and
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travail, wherein is observed a very just analogic between the sinne and thepunistimenr.'
I come now to the particular sentence argainst the Scrpenr,wherein before we can inrreat orit, rhere are two questions co be hand* led, First, when he (peaks of a Serpchc, we ask, What Serpent? because there isa visible Creature called a Serpent, but so also there an old Serpent, which is the Dtvill or Satan, Apoc. i a. that is a spiritual! and mystical! Serpent, as well as a naturall and bodily Serpent, and the Sentence is against both h and as it is certain, according to the letter, all cannot be meant of the one, so neither cab it be meant of the other: therefore, as the ancient Fathers teach, it is mystically and not literally meant of both; for as ic is said that the Devilleats m duftt lo tor the other Serpenr, we fay not that the feedofthe Woman Jball bruise hu head; therefore is it to be referred to both, the naturall Serpent as well as the other; as our Saviour Christ, John?,. 14. by the elevating of the Serpent in the wilderneffe, (hews there is another Serpent to M life up, that is theSonneof Man. By our Saviours warrant that this stretchethj as to the fpirituall Serpent called Saunas, lo to the naturall Serpent also.
In the second place we inquife, Whether it were in Justice that that Serpent should be punished, in so much as being a bruitish Creature without understanding, he could not understand that which he was set about by the Devill i The answer is, That k was? great Justice, as to punish sinne it self, so the instrument all cause of tt> . For the Creatures being created for the benefit and service of Man, when it became a cause adjuvant in the destruction and overthrow ot Man, so as he loscth the blessings and becomes subject to the curse; in this case it was but Justice to punish that Creature .- Ic will better appear of like importance, the rightcousnesse of which dealing is in the Law-, for Exod. at. 28. God faith, If an 0 xe gore a Man that he dye, the Oxe jhalldje: And the reason of man doth accord to it, and Levit.20. 15. If a man lye with a hast, the beast shall be stain. But that which the ancient Fathers stand most upon is this, That the body of Man, the arms ind other parts and joynts of the body are nothing but the instruments of sinne, as the Apostle speaks! JLovt. 6.13. The members of the body are but weapons of unrighteousnesses We make no question but the body may be whipc or burned, the eares and hands may be cut off, howbeit the sinne is in the foul, and the body,|hc foul being gone ouc of it, can doe no such act j therefore the Sentence against the Instrument is according ro Gods Law? therefore God himself gave order that the golden Calf should be burnt to ashes, Vent. 9. 11. there was a Sentence executed against a thing not only void of reason, but without sense. But mdre fully to our purpose is the judgement executed by E^echia upon the brafen Serpent, 2 Reg. 18.4. If that sentence might be pronounced'upon that Serpent that healed those that looked upon it, then without question this sentence may be executed upon the naturall Serpent that was the Devills instrument to work mans destruction, the rather if • ;. Rr 2 we
we add hereto, that God had ao intent, not only to punish the Serpent, but to make him an exemplary and visible chastisement, that he remaining so, the horror of him might strike into mans minde how he is punished, and that thereby they might be put in minde to take heed that they be Dot the instruments and occasioned of sinne; for here we fee that they that are occasioners and helpers in Any sinne, are subject to the sentence of Justice. And that may suffice concerning the outward Serpent 5 tor so the other which the Prophet calls the crooked Serf ent,Jfay 17. and Si,fob* calk, the old serpent, A foe. 1 a. there can no question be, but that the sentence may justly and must reach to him, that it is agreeable to equity and great reason, in as much as it was he that spake in the Scrpenr, that Qui in Serf me loquitur, cum Serf me ntaUdieatur t faith Augustine, and he doth receive it in that order, because in the habit of a Serpent he presumed this, as 1 Sam. 28. where the spirit that appeared in t he likenessc of Samuell was called by the name of SamueU^ after the fame manner the Devill making his apparition in the likenessc of a Serpent, carries that name still.
In the Sentence it self we have to consider two things, that is, the Reason and the Punishment 5 the reason comprehended in these words (because thou haft done this) therefore the punishment or Sentence followeth (thou art cursed) wherein there is yet another thing to be noted before the particular handling of it, because in comparing this verse with the verses following, we shall fee a diverse course holden 5 for thereto the Woman and Man God faith guart secisiihoc, alowing them their tryall and examination for the justifying of themselves, before he proceeded to give sentence t But no manner of tryall is allowed to the Serpent, but faith he, Jfyia fccifli hoc, thou art cursed be is not permitted to come to his answer, the reason is plain; for if we take it spoken to the natural Serpent, he being void both of reason and speech, could render no reason, he com cs only under the cause instrument all ;and for the other there was no reason ofa reason cither to be reodred by him or to be demanded of him, for he was before condemned, as the Fathers have noted, Isay 14.14. and out of the sixth verse of J-udcs Epistle, And conic quently, being in the state of a Rebel', was condemned already, and so was not to have the benefit of the Law, as Paul faith, Rom. 2. 12. They thai sinne without the Law, shall ftrijh without the Law, as on the other side it is just, ut qui sub lege peecatsuh lege ftreat % but there is no reason that the benent of Justice should extend to Rebels that are lawlesse$ and therefore in Militarie affairs, we fee that Military Law executeth such without sentence. Again, God knew thac that which was committed by man and Woman,came not by themselves but by the malice of the Devil • and therefore he ordeined that they should have more favour, and have their tryall, that they co whom the malice of the Devil had been prejudicial, to them the goodnessc and mercy of God should be beneficial I, that they might be saved by the goodnessc of God, that had been cast away by the
envieof the Dcvill-, and therefore, saifli Augustine, he seeks them out when they fled irdm him, and not only (o, but he gives them a time to repent, and a time of answer, because there was in them hope of recoverie and amendment: But for him that was so indurate in malice, that to his power exalting himself to be like God, added this malicious and envious seeking of the fall of others, there was >no hope either of pardon from God , or of amendment in him) for when Christ came into the world, he said to Christ guid nobit & tibi, there was no hope of him,bcing in the state of a Rebcll, and so the seeking of the examination and tryall of him, as of the other, would not avail.
Now to the first part, that is,* the Reason; In which we arc to consider this, Why God begins not absolutely, Maledtttm es, but Maleafifitu apia, and so renders a reason why he is accursed, so executes the ientence, though not judicially according to course of Law, yet justly, that the mouth of all the world might be stopped, and that the infcrnall spirits themselves might be enforced to acknowledge, that the Lord it righteous And bis judgements just, psal. up* 137. That the judgement is just, though the tryall hold not, the reason is quiaficifti hoc, he was the doer of that,and was the contriver of the platform of that act* and therefore God begins with him, wherein, as the ancient Fathers note, God would have us to observe two fenses, first the fense of the emphasis 5 and the second ofdifFcrcnce.
For the emphasis, Gods meaning is, because thou hast done this, quia fecifti hoc, that is, that thou haft overthrown Man, for 1 whom all things were created, and consequently so much as in thee lay, hast sought to overthrow my determinate Counccll, and to bring to naught all that I have made, therefore thou art cursed for doing this. Then for as much as we fee this emphasis of Heaven and Earth, it should make us consider the greatnesse of sinne, which moved the son of God not only to take our flefh,bucto shed his blood also even for this hoc: That men would remember when they sin thlt they are about a hoc that brought all the curses which followed after*, thar thereforethey should not make a light accompt of ^reckoning it a small matter,but to reckon of finite as God, quite fecistl hoe t ~;
And as it serves by way of vehemencic, to aggravate the offence of the SCrpenr, so it fe'rveth for distinction, As if God should fay another thing,Thou hast done,but because thou hast done this, therefore the sentence is come upon thee, thou thoughttst intty [elf it make thy self equaSmth God)lj*y 14. and because thou hast done that, that is come upon thee which Christ faith, Matth. 25. Ever tasting fire itfre* fared for thee: But now because thou wist not content with that, but hast mingled noyson, whereby thou hast venomed and poysoned others • because thou hast been an homicide, for that is his second huh, John $.44. there is thy punishment for doing this. 4fc)w w* see the ground of Gods proceeding with him. Wl1V-';
The sentence in it self consist* of l<m parrs which we redo***
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these two, one concerns himself, the other us .• That which respects him is in this verse, that which concerns us is in the next: The first is threefold, First, That he is cursed above all Cattel, and above all the Beasts ofthe field. Secondly,^/ he shall goe and creep uson his belly. Thirdly, Hejha/leat thedust of the Earth Wherein, as in the beginning generally, so here in Ipecial, you are to consider the Analogieof every pare of his punishment. First, then heis malediftua, and the reason is quia maledtxeratjmaledittio doth in justice befall him, quia loauutns est wale, as you may sec in the five vcrles before, not that God had done it, but it came of him felt, for he had defamed God, speaking evill of God5 great reason it is then that eVill speech should befall him : So there is an equality between the Devils sinne and his punishment. Now in regard of the second, which is in the 15. verse, That he should goe upon hit bellie, tot as much as he doth take upon him to exalt himself, lfaj 14. And for that be tells Eve, Ifyee eat of it, erititstem Bit, therefore he is cast down: the proportion to him that will flic, is, by the contrary, to creep $ not to goe on his leggs, but on his bellie 1 So the Serpent, because he would flie up into the highest place, is made to creep on his bellie; So the second part of the Sentence stands with equity : As also the third; for his temptation was,that they should cat of the forbidden fruit iiow cibiprohibitapena is, that he that lusts^frer that he should not eat, shall be foiced to eat that he would not, as Augustine faith; In P/4/. 105. they that long for meat which they ought not to defire, shall be punished with eating that which their soul most abhor» reth, that is for the equity kept in the three branches of this Sentence.
Concerning the Serpent himself, In the first branch (whichis, thou art cursed) are two points very necessary to be considered: First, Thtt God faith, Maledtclus es, and not Male diet us [is, for thereby God plainly slieweth, that it comes not from him, but from the Serpent 5 for then he would have said, MaUdttftss sis, but it is Malediclmes, shewing that rhe Serpents curse comes from himself 5 So all thecurses, miseries, and calamities of this world, and torments of the world to come, proceed not from him, but from himself, as ifob calls them, sparks, Job 5.7. So they are the very sparks of the fire of concupiscence, of sinne that is kindled in us % as also the Prophet faith, the fruit and crop of that feed of sinne 'is calami tie and miferie, Hos.io. 13. which was, is, and tver shall be the fruit of it, therefore called the Revenues os sinne, Prov. 12.16. and the wages offtnne, Horn, 6. that is, there was an evill in him, first to speak cvill of that par tic in whom was noe evill, and (o ntalum adfe ntalum trahit, one evil brings another, the Serpents evil speaking is the cause that evill is spoken of him $ tor that is it that makes the difference, as Pro. 26. 1. there is a curse that is caustesse, and that fltaII return upon himself as Shemeis curse against David, i Sam. 16. So should the curse of Balaam, if he had cursed the People of God? but he was wiser, and said, How shall 1 mfewbere the lord bleffeth? but it is otherwise
t :■; when