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They are sometimes, however, permitted to wander throughout the whole earth, the air, and heaven itself, to execute the judgments of God.1 Job i. 7. "from going to and fro in thé earth." 1 Sam. xvi. 15. "the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled him." i Pet. v. 8. "the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about.' John xii. 31. "the prince of this world." 2 Cor. iv. 4. "the god of this world." Matt. xii. 43. " he walketh through dry places." Eph. ii. 2. "according to the prince of the power of the air." vi. 12. "against spiritual wickedness in high places.' They are even admitted into the presence of God. Job i. 6. ii. 1. 1 Kings xxii. 21. "there came forth a spirit, and stood before Jehovah." Zech. iii. 1. "he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” Luke x. 18. "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Rev. xii. 12. “woe to the inhabitants of the earth, for the devil is come down unto you." Their proper place, however, is the bottomless pit, from which they cannot escape without permission. Luke viii. 31. "they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep." Matt. xii. 43. " he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none." Mark v. "he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country." Rev. xx. 3. " and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up." Nor can they do anything without the command of God. Job i. 12. "Jehovah said unto Satan,
1 ... do him mightier service as his thralls
Here in the heart of hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy deep. Paradise Lost, I. 148.
2 So stretched out huge in length the Arch-Fiend lay,
Left him at large to his own dark designs.
Milton may have borrowed in both instances from Du Bartas, who lays stress on this particular.
God holds them chain'd in fetters of his power;
Behold, all that he hath is in thy power." Matt. viii. 31. "suffer us to go away into the herd of swine." Rev. xx. 2. "he laid hold on the dragon.... and bound him a thousand years.' Their knowledge is great, but such as tends rather to aggravate than diminish their misery; so that they utterly despair of their salvation.3 Matt. viii. 29. " what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" See also Luke iv. 34. James ii. 19. "the devils believe and tremble," knowing that they are reserved for punishment, as has been shewn.
The devils also have their prince. Matt. xii. 24. "Beelzebub, the prince of the devils." See also Luke xi. 15. Matt. xxv. 41. "the devil and his angels." Rev. xii. 9. "the great dragon was cast out.... and his angels." They retain likewise their respective ranks. Col. ii. 15. "having spoiled principalities and powers." Eph. vi. 12. "against principalities, against powers." Their leader is the author of all wickedness, and the opponent of all good. Job i. and ii. Zech. iii. 1. "Satan." John viii. 44. "the father of lies." 1 Thess. ii. 18. "Satan hindered us." Acts v. 3. "Satan hath filled thine heart." Rev. xx. 3. 8. "that he should deceive the nations no more." Eph. ii. 2. "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Hence he has obtained many names corresponding to his actions. He is frequently called "Satan,” that is, an enemy or adversary," Job i. 6. 1 Chron. xxi. 1."the great dragon, that old serpent, the devil,"
that is, the false accuser, Rev. xii. 9. "the accuser of the brethren," v. 10. "the unclean spirit," Matt xii. 43. "the tempter, " iv. 3. "Abaddon, Apollyon," that is, the destroyer,7 Rev. ix. 11. "a great red dragon," xii. 3.
CHAP. X.-OF THE SPECIAL GOVERNMENT OF MAN BEFORE THE FALL, INCLUDING THE INSTITUTIONS OF THE SABBATH AND OF MARRIAGE.
THE Providence of God as regards mankind, relates to man either in his state of rectitude, or since his fall.
With regard to that which relates to man in his state of rectitude, God, having placed him in the garden of Eden, and furnished him with whatever was calculated to make life happy, commanded him, as a test of his obedience, to refrain from eating of the single tree of knowledge of good and evil, under penalty of death if he should disregard the injunction.o Gen. i. 28. " subdue the earth, and have dominion-." ii. 15-17. "he put him into the garden of Eden.... of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat; but in the day that thou eatest of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt surely die."
This is sometimes called "the covenant of works," though the Adversary of God and man,
Paradise Lost, II, 629,
who bids abstain
But our Destroyer, foe to God and man?
well thou know'st
God hath pronounc'd it death to taste that tree,
lest the like befall
Charg'd not to touch the interdicted tree,
If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
So easily obey'd amid the choice
Of all tastes else to please their appetite,
So Bishop Taylor. I find in Scripture no mention made of any such covenant as is dreamt of about the matter of original sin; only the
it does not appear from any passage of Scripture to have been either a covenant, or of works. No works whatever were required of Adam; a particular act only was forbidden. It was necessary that something should be forbidden or commanded as a test of fidelity, and that an act in its own nature indifferent, in order that man's obedience might be thereby manifested. For since it was the disposition of man to do what was right, as a being naturally good and holy, it was not necessary that he should be bound by the obligation of a covenant to perform that to which he was of himself inclined;1 nor would he have given any proof of obedience by the performance of works to which he was led by a natural impulse, independently of the divine command. Not to mention, that no command, whether proceeding from God or from a magistrate, can properly be called a covenant, even where rewards and punishments are attached to it; but rather an exercise of jurisdiction.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil was not a sacrament, as it is generally called; for a sacrament is a thing to be used, not abstained from: but a pledge, as it were, and memorial of obedience.
It was called the tree of knowledge of good and evil from the event; for since Adam tasted it, we not only know evil, but we know good only by means of evil.3 For it is by evil
covenant of works God did make with all men till Christ came; but he did never exact it after Adam.' Works, IX. 399. And in his treatise on The Doctrine and Practice of Repentance, Gen. ii. 17. is quoted as the first of the texts to prove 'the old covenant, or the covenant of works.' VIII. 303.
1 Were it merely natural, why was it here ordained more than the rest of moral law to man in his original rectitude, in whose breast all that was natural or moral was engraven without external constitutions and edicts?' Tetrachordon. Prose Works, III. 336.
2 That some of the objects in Eden were of a sacramental nature we can hardly doubt, when we read of the tree of knowledge, and of the tree of life.' Bp. Horne's Sermon on the Garden of Eden. See also his two Sermons on the Tree of Knowledge and of Life. See also Du Bartas. All serv'd the mouth, save two sustain'd the mind, All serv'd for food, save two for seals assign'd.
And a few lines further, of the tree of knowledge,
3. Perhaps this is that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good and evil, that is to say, of knowing good by evil.' Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. Prose Works, II. 68.
that virtue is chiefly exercised, and shines with greater bright
The tree of life, in my opinion, ought not to be considered so much a sacrament, as a symbol of eternal life, or rather perhaps the nutriment by which that life is sustained. Gen. iii. 22. "lest he take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever." Rev. ii. 7. " to him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life."
Seeing, however, that man was made in the image of God, and had the whole law of nature so implanted and innate in him, that he needed no precept to enforce its observance, it follows, that if he received any additional commands, whether respecting the tree of knowledge, or the institution of marriage, these commands formed no part of the law of nature, which is sufficient of itself to teach whatever is agreeable to right reason, that is to say, whatever is intrinsically good. Such commands therefore must have been founded on what is called positive right, whereby God, or any one invested with lawful power, commands or forbids what is in itself neither good nor bad, and what therefore would not have been obligatory on any one, had there been no law to enjoin or prohibit it. With regard to the Sabbath, it is clear that God hallowed it to himself, and dedicated it to rest, in remembrance of the consummation of his work ;' Gen. ii. 2, 3. Exod. xxxi. 17. Whether its institution was ever made known to Adam, or whether any commandment relative to its observance was given previous to the delivery of the law on Mount Sinai, much less whether any such was given before the fall of man, cannot be ascertained, Scripture being silent
the tree of knowledge grew fast by,
Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill. Paradise Lost, IV. 222. Which may have been borrowed from Du Bartas ;
He, happy, knew the good by the use of it;
He knew the bad, but not by proof as yet. P. 83.
The church began in innocency, and yet it began with a sacrament, the tree of life-.' Bp. Taylor. Works, I. 149.
5 See the passage quoted from Tetrachordon in the preceding page, note 1.
6 See Thomas Aquinas, 12 Qu. 96. Art. 6. Concl.
Now resting, bless'd and hallow'd the sev'nth day,
As resting on that day from all his work. Paradise Lost, VII. 590.