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of man, now become such a fool as to imagine that, by the use -
And by driving man from that outward sign of immortality,
XIII. The Tree of Life signified the Son of God, not indeed as he is Christ and Mediator, (that consideration being peculiar to another..covenant,) but in as much as he is the life of man in every condition, and the fountain of all happiness. And how well was it spoken by one, who said, that it became God from the first to represent, by an outward sign, that person whom he loves, and, for whose glory he has made and does make all things; nay, “ to whom he sheweth all things that he doth, that he may also do likewise," John v. 19. as the author of life to man; that man even then might acknowledge him as such; and afterwards, when he was to be mani. fested as his saviour and physician, Adam and his posterity might bring him to remembrance, as exhibited by a symbol at the very beginning. As in fact it has happened, that they who believe Moses, the Prophets, and the Gospel, avow, that in the beginning there was no life but in him, for whose glory, to be displayed in the work of salvation, the earth. also made. Wherefore Christ is called the Tree of Life, Rev. xxii. 2. What indeed he now is by his merit and efficacy, as Mediator, he would have always been, as the Son of God, of the same substance with his father, For, as by him man was created and obtained an animal life, so, in like manner, he would have been transformed by him and blessed with a heavenly life. Nor could be have been the life of the sinner, as Mediator, unless he had likewise been the life of man in his holy state, as God; having life in himself, and be ing life itself.
XIV. The fruit of this Tree, charming all the senses with its unparalleled beauty,, signified the pleasures of divine love, with which happy man was one day to be fully regaled, and which never cloy, but, with their sweet variety, do always quicken the appetite. In this sense, wisdom is said to be a Tree of Life to them that lay hold of her, Prov. ii. 18. because the study and practice of true wisdom, fill the soul with an ineffable pleasure.
XV. Moreover, it was man's duty: Ist. Attentively to consider this tree as pleasant to the eyes, Gen. iii. 6. and to contemplate therein the perfections of the Son of God, whose brightest vision was one day to complete bis happiness. &dly. By the use and enjoyment of this tree, to testify his communion with the Son of God, and acknowledge him as the author of the life he longed for ; which, though innocent, he was to seek after, not in himself, but in God as a liberal rewarder. Sdly. He himself, in imitation of the Son of God, and as in communion with him, ought to be as a tree of life to his wife and posterity, by giving them holy advice and example, as a plant of the garden of God, a partaker of the divine life, and as ministering to the life of his neighbour. « The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life," Prov. xi. 80.
XVI. Besides the tree of life, Moses speaks of another tree, deriving its name from THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, concerning whose name and use we began to speak, chap. jï. & XX, XXI. That it was designed for man's probation is undoubted: but whether it was also a symbol of the covenant is disputed. I freely own I see no reason why this should be denied. For all the requisites to constitute a symbol of a covenant here concur. We have an external and visible sign instituted by God; we have the thing signified, together with a beautiful analogy; we have, in fine, a memorial of man's duty: all which fully constitute the nature of a sacred symbol or sacrament.
XVII. The external sign was a certain tree, “in the midst of the garden, good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise," Gen, iji. 8, 6. The use of this sign was twofold: 1st. That it might be attentively viewed and considered by man, while he carefully meditates on the mystical signification of this tree. For that end it was so beau. tiful and so desirable to the view, and placed in the middle of the garden, where man most frequently resorted. Adly. That from a religious obedience he should abstain from eating of it, and thereby acknowledge God's absolute dominion over bim, and his expectation of anothei world, in which he should be forbid nothing truly desirable,
, XVIII. The thing signified was in like manner twofold, the sealing both of the promise and the threatening of the covenant. For its being called the træ of khoroledge of good, intimated, that man, if from a principle of love he obeyed this probationary precept, should come to the knowledge, sense, and fruition of that good wbich is truly and excellently so, and the ful knowledge of which is only obtainable by sense
and enjoyment. On the other hand, when called the tree of the knowledge of evil, thereby is signified, that man, if found disobedient, should be doomed to the greatest calamity, the exceeding evil and wretchedness of which he should at last know by experience. And even they, who, in other respects, would not have this tree called a symbol of the divine covenant, do confess,
XIX. There was here a very plain memorial of duty. For this tree taught, Ist. That man was sincerely to contemplate and desire the chief good, but not to endeavour after it, but only in the manner and way prescribed by heaven; nor here to give in'to bis own reasonings, how plausible soever they might appear. Adly. That man's happiness was not to be placed in things pleasing to the senses of the body. There is another and a quite different beatifying good, which satiates the soul, and of itself suffices io the consummation of happiness. 3dly. That God was the most absolute Lord of man, whose sole wil], expressed by his law, should be the supreme rule and directory of all the appetites of the soul, and of all the motions of the body. 4thly. That there is no attaining to a life of happiness, but by perfect obedience. 5thly. That even man in innocence, was to behave with a certain religious awe, when conversing with his God, lest he should fall into sin. To these add what we have already observed, chap. iii. & XXI.
XX. That very accurate and great divine, Hieronimus Zanchius, after giving a history of these trees, expresses their mystical signification in these words; de creat. Hom. lib. i. c. i. g 8. “ Moreover, these two trees in the midst of Paradise, and near each other, were very evident types of the law ard gospel, or of Christ. The law declares what is good, and what is evil: Christ is the true and eternal life. Both were in the midst of Paradise, because the law and Christ, in the midst of the church, are always to be proposed to the posterity of Adam. One near the other, because the law leads to Christ.” I cannot fully express what regard I pay
" to this great divine, whose commentaries I exceedingly prefer to the new-fangled comments, with which the minds of students are at this day distracted and led astray. Nevertheless, these expressions seem to be more ingenious than solid and judicious. For under the covenant of works, Adam neither had, nor was it necessary he should have any sacraments which respected Christ, the gospel and grace. This however may be said in excuse of these and the like things, which often occur even in the most learned authors, that though
these things were not proposed to man at first in innocence in order to represent to him the grace of Christ, yet they were so wisely ordered by God, that man, by reflecting upon them, could after the fall discover in them the dark resemblance of those things which God afterwards, by a new promise, was pleased to reveal.
XXI. Other learned men have not thought proper to reckon the tree of knowledge among the symbols and seals of the cover nant of works, for these following reasons: 1st. Because all sacraments are given for use, but man was forbid the use of this tree. edly. Because sacraments are signs of a blessing which they seal to those who use them in a proper way; but this tree sealed no blessing to any who should use it, but rather a curse. These considerations, however, are not of that weight that we should therefore depart from the more received opinion. And it is easy to answer both these arguments, not only from the truth of the thing itself, but also from the very hypotheses of these learned men.
XXII. It is indeed true, that all sacraments were given for use; but it is also certain, that the external use of all secraments is not after one and the same manner; all are not granted to the mouth and palate. There are sacraments whose use consists in the contemplation of the sign, and meditation on the thing signified. Some learned writers maintain, that the rainbow was not a symbol only of the aumenical, or general covenant with the whole earth, but also of the covenant of grace in Christ, and they think that the lours of the rainbow, the red, the fiery, and the green, denote, that by blood, holiness and mercy are united. But we can conceive no other sacramental use of the rainbow, besides the contemplation of it. In like manner, they place the brazen serpent amung the sacraments of the Old Testament, whose use consisted only in the beholding of it. Nay, they are of opinion concerning the tree of life itself, that it was not pro miscuously to be used by man, since" to him alone that overcometh, it is given to eat of the tree of life," Rev. ii. 7. “Whence," say they," it does not appear that Adam touched it before the fall; nay, the contrary is rather evident." And yet they say, that it was the first and most ancient representa tion of the Son of God, and of the life to be possessed through him, Wby then may not the free of knowledge also be called a symbol of the covenant, though proposed only to be looked at by man, though he was never to eat of it?
XXIII. I go a step farther, and say, that there is no ab burdity, should such a sacrament be appointed whose! Disé
should consist in a religious abstinence. Nor should those learned men, if consistent with themselves, be averse to this opinion. The deluge, say they, from which Noah was preserved, must needs be reckoned among the types. But the use of the waters, in respect to Noah, consisted in this, that they were neither to touch him and his, to their hurt, nor force themselves into the ark in which he was shut up; the waters of the Red sea likewise signified the same thing in tħe same manner to Israel. Nay, what may seem strange, these learned say,
that the first sacrament of the covenant of “the ejectment of Adam out of Paradise, and the barring up his access to the tree of life :” or, as one is pleased to express himself, “ the first sacrament was the tree of life, which, though at first it regarded the covenant of works, and the exclusion from it was the punishment of fallen man ; nevertheless, that very exclusion was at the same time a sign of the grace and goodness of God." I would beg of those very learned men, to explain in what the sacramental use of the tree of life was to have consisted under the covenant of
after man was expelled Paradise, and that tree was no longer to be in his view. There is here no other use but a mystical abstinence and deprivation. And thus we imagine we have fully answered the first argument.
XXIV. Let us now consider the second, and we say, it is not inconsistent with the nature of sacraments, to seal death and condemnation, to those who unduly and irregularly use them: for the covenant of God with man is ratified, not only by the promises, but also by certain threatenings belonging to it'; but sacraments are the seals of the whole covenant, not excepting the threatenings to the profane abusers of them. When a map partakes of the sacraments, he comes under an path and curse, and makes himself liable to punishment if he deals treacherously. To say nothing of the sacraments of the covenant of works, the very sacraments of the covenant o. grace are the savour of death unto death to hypocrites and profane persons, who in the bread and wine of the Eucharist eat and drink damnation to themselves, 1 Cor. xi. 27, 29. But it is not true, that the tree of knowledge sealed only death ;: for it also sealed life and happiness. It was the tree of knowledge, not only of evil but of good. As these learned men themselves acknowledge, while they write, that “ had Adam obeyed, he would upon his trial have come to the knowledge and sense of his good to which he was called, and had a natural desire after, even eternal life and consummate happiness.” Whence we conclude, that notwithstanding these