Images de page

terperfect, which, by the genius of the language is indeterminate, sometimes by the preterperfect, and at other times by the preterpluperfect, as the subject shall require? And if elsewhere we justly reject the preterpluperfect sense, it is not because the genius of the Hebrew tongue does not admit of it, but because, as the learned person himself observes, such an interpretation is contrary to the truth of the history. Which not being the case here, such a reason cannot be urg

I will only add, if Moses wanted to say, what we imagine he has said, et consummaverat die septima, &c. et cessavit, &c. and on the seventh, God had finished, &c. and rested, &c. could he possibly have expressed in other words, or more aptly, according to the genius of the language, this sense? Was the learned person himself to render into Hebrew, word for word, these Latin words, he would certainly have rendered them in the same tense and mood, as Moses has done.

XXVI. To the third reason, I reply, 1st, The word y is very general, and signifies, to do a thing any how, well or ill. It is said of penal or physical evil, Amos iv. 13. who maketh the morning darkness; and Ezek. xxxv. 6. I will prepare make) thee unto blood. And of moral evil, Mich. ii. 1. when the morning is light they practice it; we shall give more instances presently. Hence it appears, that the learned person too much restricts the meaning of this word, when he explains it by the words, to adorn, or polish: especially, if he would precisely confine it to the reformation by grace. 2dly, The same word is often expressive of the six days work; as Gen. i. 31. and God saw all that he had made; and Exod. xx. 11. in six days the Lord made heaven and earth: likewise Ezek. xlvi. 1. the six working days are opposed to the Sabbath. Neither does the learned person deny, that the words and are often equivalent. And why not here also? Is there any necessity, or probable reason, for taking y for the work of the seventh day, and 8 for the work of the six preceding days. 3dly, I think he goes a little too far, when he asserts that both Christian and Jewish interpreters admit that these words, when joined together, have distinct significations. Truly for my own part, of the several interpreters, both Jewish and Christian, whom I have consulted, I never found one, who distinguishes the meaning of these words, as this learned author has done. (See Fagius on Gen. i. 1. Menasseh Ben Israel, de Creat. Probl. 4. Cocceins Disput. select. p. 70. sect. 72.) Let us in this case hear the learned De Dieu, who thus comments on this passageIt appears to be an usual hebraism, whereby the infinitive, added to a verb, including a like ac

[blocks in formation]

tion, is generally redundant;" such as Judges xiii. 19. and acting, he acted wonderously, that is, he acted wonderously. 1 Kings xiv. 9. and doing, thou hast done evil, that is, thou bast done evil. 2 Kings xxi. 6. and working, he multiplied wickedness, that is simply, be multiplied wickedness, or he wrought much wickedness. 2 Chron. xx. 35. he doing did wickedly, he doing is redundant. Psal. cxxvi. 2. the Lord doing has done great things for them, doing is again redundant. Eccl. ii. 11. on the labour, that doing I had laboured, that is simply, I had laboured. Which last passage is entirely parallel with this in Genesis, for, whether you say, mayb y be doing laboured, or now be making! created, you say the same thing: unless that a signifies to produce something new, without any precedent or pattern, and which had no existence before;" therefore, he making created, is no o ther than, he made something new. These things neither could, nor ought to be unknown to this learned person, considering his great skill in Hebrew learning. 4thly, He ought not to have made such a distinction barely and without any proof between the words and y, which are used by Isaiah, xliii. 7. as if the first intends the creation of the soul; the second, the formation of the body, and the third, the reformation by grace: there not being the least foundation for it in scripture. For, 1. * sometimes signifies reformation by grace, as Psalm li. 10. Create in me a clean heart. 2. is sometimes applied to the soul, Zach. xii. ver. 1. and formeth the spirit of man within him: and Psalm xxxiii. ver. 15. and fashioneth their hearts alike; sometimes too it denotes formation by grace; as Isa. xliii. 21. this people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise. ihe first formation of man; as Gen. i. 26. let us make man and Gen. ii, 18. I will make him an help meet for him; Jerem. xxxviii. 16. that made us this soul, says king Zedekiah to Jeremiah, without having any thoughts of a reformation by grace. As therefore all these words are so promiscuously used in Scripture, ought we not to look upon him, who distinguishes them in such a magisterial manner, as one who gives too much scope to his own fancy? And what if one should invert the order of our author, and positively assert, that here denotes, reformation by grace, as Ps. li. . the production of the soul, as Ezek. xii. 1. and the formation of the body, as Gen. ii. 8. What reply could the learned person make? But these are weak arguments. It is more natural to take these words in Isaiah, as meant of the new creation and reformation by grace. And this accumulation


is more than once used for עשה .3

cumulation or multiplying of words, is very proper to denote the exceeding greatness of the power of God, and his effectual working in the sanctification of the elect. There is a parallel place, Eph. ii. 10. for we are his, Heb. (workmanship,) Heb. created, in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them: as Isa. xxii. 11. fashioned it long ago, which properly pontoμ he hath before ordained. From all this it appears, that this passage in Isaiah can be of no service to our learned author. 5thly, But if we must distinguish between • 75 and 7 wy, nothing, I think, is more to the purpose than the interpretation of Ben Nachman." He rested from all his works which he created, by producing something out of nothing, to make of it all the works mentioned in the six days: and lo! he says, he rested from creating and from working; from creating, as having created in the first day, and from working, as having completed his working in the remaining days."

XXVII. The fourth reason coincides with the foregoing, only that it is still more cabbalistical. 1st, It is a strange interpretation to say, that by the generations of heaven and earth, we are to understand, not only their first creation, but their restoration by the promise of the Messiah; for it is quite foreign to the subject, to tell us, that by the sin of the angels, a state of corruption was introduced into the heaven of heavens, and thereby the throne of the divine Majesty was basely defiled; for though by the angelic apostacy, corruption had been introduced into heaven, yet by their ejection, whereby they were hurled into hell, the heavens were purged from that corruption. Nor was there any new heaven made by the promise of the Messiah, that was given on the sixth day; for that promise. made no alteration there, but only foretold, that after many years some elect souls were to be received into that holy and blessed habitation. 2dly, As to the order in which the earth is put before the heavens, it is well known that the scripture does not always relate things in the same order; nor from the mere order of the narrative, which is an arbitrary thing, can any arguments be formed: However, Junius's observation is not to be rejected: "Earth and heaven are mentioned in an inverted order, because the formation of the earth preceded that of the heavens; for the earth was perfected on the third day of the creation, heaven on the fourth." 3dly, It is doing manifest violence to the text, if we understand the formation of the earth and heavens, of their reformatio. by grace, in virtue of the promise of the Messiah, made on the seventh day; because Moses treats of that formation of earth and heaven, which was prior to that of plants and herbs, as appears from the connection of ver. 3. with ver. 4


For thus the words run: " These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and heavens, and every plant of the field, before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field," &c. Or, as the learned De Dieu shews, they may otherwise be very properly rendered, " in the day that the Lord made the heavens and the earth, there was yet no plant of the field created," &c. So that this formation of the earth and heavens was prior to man's own creation, much more to the fall, and to the restitution from the fall. And this verse wholly overturns the distinction which this learned person has in'vented.

XXVIII. And as we have thus shewn, that the words of Moses neither mention nor intimate any work by which God resto, red all things from the fall on the seventh day; so neither of any rest from the work of restoration, which is the foundation of the rest of the sabbath. For, 1st, It is irrational to suppose, that when God promised the Messiah, he then rested from the work of the gracious reformation of the universe; because that promise was a prophecy of the sufferings, conflicts, and at the last of the death of Christ, by which that reformation was to be brought about and accomplished. 2dly, How can it be said that God tested immediately after having made that promise from all his work, when directly upon it he pronounced, and executed sentence upon Adam, Eve, and the earth that was cursed for their crime, and expelled them paradise? which work (to speak after the manner of men, compare Isa, xxviii. 21.) was tru ly a greater labour to God than the very creation of the world. And thus, instead of a Sabbath which Moses describes, this day is made one of the most laborious to God. 3dly, The sabbath day after the publication of the first gospel promise, was doubtless sacred to the Messiah, and to be celebrated to his ho nour by the saints with a holy exultation of soul. Nor shall I be much against the learned person, should he choose to translate, Isa. lviii. 13. that the Sabbath may be called, "a delight, on account of the holy of the Lord being glorified;" but it cannot with any probability be inferred from this, that the promise of the Messiah was the foundation of the first Sabbath, since the sabbath, as well as other things, did not acquire that relation till after the fall. 4thly, The scriptures in express terms declares, that the rest of God from the work of the first creation which was completed in six days, was the foundation of the sabbath." In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it," Exod. x. 11. Which being plain, it sufficiently, if I mistake not, ap


pears, that it is much safer to go in the old and beaten path, which is the king's high way, than in that other new trodden and rough one, which the learned person, whose opinion we have been examining, has chosen to tread in. And so much for this subject.


Of the Violation of the Covenant of Works on the part of


I. AS the scripture does not declare, how long this covenant,

thus ratified and confirmed, continued unbroken, we are satisfied to remain in the dark. And we would have a holy dread of presuming rashly to fix the limits of a time which is really uncertain. It is however evident, that man wickedly presuming to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree, incurred the guilt of violating the covenant. Nor ought that to be deemed a small sin, (as the apostle, Rom. v. calls it, the offence, disobedience, and transgression) because it may seem to have been committed about a thing of no great importance: For the meaner the thing is, from which God commanded to abstain, and for which man despised the promise of the covenant, makes his transgression of it the more heinous; as may be illustrated by the profaneness of Esau, which was so much the greater, as the mess was of so little value, for which he sold his birth-right, Heb. xii. 16. In that sin, as divines generally observe, there was, as it were, a kind of complication of many crimes. But it is our chief purpose to shew, that this was the violation of the whole covenant: for not only that tree, as we proved above, was a sacrament of the covenant, the abuse of which ought to be looked upon as a violence done to the whole; not only the precept concerning that tree, which was the trial of universal obedience; but likewise the covenant in its whole constitution, was violated by that transgression; the law of the covenant was trampled upon, when man, as if he had been his own lord and master in all things, did, in defiance of his Lord, lay hold on what was not his property, and throw off the yoke of obedience that was due to God: the promises of the covenant were set less by than a transitory gust of pleasure, and the empty promises of the seducer; and that dreadful death which the author of the covenant threatened the transgressor with, not considered and thought of in all its dreadful effects, but he presumed to act in opposition to it. And thus Adam transgressed the covenant, Hos. vi. 7.

II. Though Eve had the first hand in this crime, yet it is usually in scripture ascribed to Adam: by one man sin entered into the world, according to Paul, Rom. v. 12. whom ver. 14. he declares to be Adam: For Adam was the head of the covenant,

« PrécédentContinuer »