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band, and he shall rule over thee.—17. And to the man He said, Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed be the ground for thy sake; in pain shalt thou eat of it all the the acute torments of parturition? silence” (1 Timoth. ii. 11, 12), she was, Nature must have implanted in her a in the Old Testament, admitted to the desire stronger than the vehemence of highest office of teaching, that of propain. It is this strange arrangement of phets, as Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah. nature which occupied the reflection of Our text is, therefore, far from making many ancient writers; and our text re- man the tyrant of his wife, but designs presents it as the consequence of dis- him as her protector and superior adviser. obedience, and as a punishment. Sensuality 17-19. Man was from the beginning is the beginning of sin, and the increased intended to work; he was placed in Paviolence of the passion is its chastisement. radise to keep and to cultivate it: but the -Although, in general, childbirth is, in toil and exhaustion of labour were the the East, and especially for women who baneful consequences of man's sin; he was work much in the open air, considerably doomed to eat its produce with pain; oreasier than in more northern climes, it is dinary attention was now no more suffifrequently most painful, and not seldom
The great physical difficulties fatal, so that a heart-rending cry of de- diminished his spiritual dignity. His time spair and anguish is, in Biblical language, and his strength were henceforth, in a compared with the cry of a woman in great measure, absorbed by the material travail. The third punishment of wo- cares of a toilsome life. His mind was man is her subjection under the will curbed under the weight of bodily fatigue. of her husband, who shall be “her mas- The serene calmness of his soul was ter," and who shall “rule over her.” clouded by slavish hardship. He had atShe had before been his equal, she was a tained the Divine faculty, but the drudgery part of him; but she became the cause of his of his life prevented him either from enfall; she was, therefore,doomed to obey him, joying or from developing it. This is the since she had disobeyed God. That this curse of labour. And it seems to be redependence of the woman was, among the peated with emphasis: “thou art dust,” Hebrews, never of a degrading or rigor- not a god as thou hadst vainly hoped to ous character, we have attempted more become (ver. 19); the body is dissolved, fully to prove in another place (see note though the imperishable spirit soars up to on Exod. pp. 279-281). But exactly the Him who has given it. Thus, our narrasame notions are theoretically enjoined in tive explains or accounts for the difficulties the New Testament. The wives are em- of agriculture, which make life a perpetual phatically commanded “to submit them. struggle with repugnant elements: “In selves under their husbands, as to the the sweat of thy face thou shalt cat Lord; for the husband is the head of the bread,” not" thy bread”; for, hitherto, man wife" (Ephes. v. 22, 23); the woman was had, without care and without trouble, created for the man (1 Corinth. xi. 9); lived on the beautiful fruits of Eden. she is commanded to be under obedience Frequently, all the laborious exertions of (1 Corinth. xiv. 34). The New Testa- the husbandman are lost; his anxiety is ment is, perhaps, even more rigorous repaid with disappointment; he hopes than the Old; for whilst it commands that his vineyard will bring forth the woman “to learn in silence with all grapes, and it produces wild grapes," and subjection, but not to teach, nor to usurp often even “briers and thorns” (Isai. v. 2, authority over the man, but to be in 6); his field bears “thistles instead of
days of thy life; 18. And thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou returnest to the ground; for out of it wast thou netinu? taken: for dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.- ima wheat, and cockle instead of barley” (Job master of his destiny, but he may therexxxii, 40);- in a word, the curse of God by become the author of his destruction. rests on the earth (comp. Sirach, vii. 16). This is the danger and the curse. But Instead of eating the more nutritious pro- even heathen authors had at least a duce of the corn-crops, he will often be dim notion of the dignity of labour ; compelled to be satisfied with “ the herb they understood, that work exercises of the field"; this alone will remain to him the mind, and leads to inventions; from the former blessing, as obtainable
that it engages
the thoughts, and with less toil and exertion (i. 29);
shields them against idle reveries; that he, expelled from the garden, find so many it invigorates the heart, and keeps it fruit-trees furnishing a delicious and abun. aloof from corruption and effeminacy. dant food. It was only by the proclama- Thus is just the punishment of sin, a tion of the fourth commandment that the weapon against it; labour was the consepanting exertion was partially relieved; it quence of past transgression, but it was limited labour to six days of the week; destined to avert it for the future: wisdom the seventh day was restored to perfect had been acquired; and purity might be rest; it recalls the pure happiness of Pa- preserved by submitting to the price for radise; it does not share the curse of the which it was obtained. The wound had be. working days; it is devoted to the mind and
come necessary by man's disobedience; but its elevation. The Decalogue is an eman- it is a wound which restores better health. ation of love as well as of wisdom; it is a These are, with a beautiful expression of harbinger both of truth and of peace.- Gregory the Great, “the bitter arrows 1 The life of the man is one of “pain," from the gentle hand of God.”— But our like that of woman (ver. 16); their passage teaches us further, that man, punishment is equal in intensity; but though destined to rule over nature, must it is very widely different, in character, yet humble himself before God; that he at from that of the serpent. And this leads once commands and obeys; and that in the us to the principal idea of our section, feeling of the governor he must not forget which has now been developed in almost the submissiveness of the child. This is its whole extent. The serpent was de- another side of his twofold character. graded, the human pair was ennobled by 20. The very curse which God had the glory of intelligence; the former was pronounced against the woman reminded presscd down nearer to the earth, it was Adam that she was dear to him in more condemned to go upon the belly; the latter than one respect. She was not only his rose heavenwards on the youthful wings companion, the partner of his life, but she of the mind; the one eats dust, the other was destined to become the mother of his became capable of imbibing the dew of children, in whom he would feel his own eternal truth. Thus, man has made a gi- existence renewed, who would bear his gantic step beyond the limited sphere of likeness, and be the linAs which were to his primitive existence. But, although he connect him with the remotest posterity. has not actually lost his innocence, he has She was to him, at first, only “a woman" ventured upon a path where it is difficult or part of man; now he was induced to and almost impossible not to risk it. Ho change this general appellative designahas gained the liberty of choice, but that tion for the significant and more specific choice may be fatal; he has become the name, “the mother of all living." Thus,
/ Srol she
named him 20. And the man called his wife's name Eve; for she became the mother of all living.-21. And the Lord God made to the man and to his wife garments of skins, and clothed them.-22. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree a double bond of affection tied him to innumerable petrifactions in the interior of his wife; she was the solace of the pre- the earth preach with a thousand tongues sent, and the pledge of the future. The that organic life was, by myriads of myfall had not weakened but strengthened riads, destroyed during immeasurable ages their conjugal love. The wife was, indeed, before the existence of man; and we know the only treasure which Adam took with that the eating even of vegetable food is him from Paradise into the desert of life, inseparable from a vast destruction of to remind him of a more than earthly small living beings. But this difficulty happiness. Although she had just been does not exist. The Bible nowhere asserts, the cause of death, he called her the “ life- that the sin of Adam brought death upon giving;" for through her the genera- the animals, but only upon the human tions of man are eternal, although the in- race. The strictest comparison of all dividuals pass away. He had given her a analogous passages renders this indisputname; and thus claimed and manifested able. The animals were, according to the his superiority over her.
Bible also, never exempt from death. It 21. Since garments had now become nowhere teaches clearly that the organiza. necessary by the aroused feeling of shame, tion of the animals, like that of man, has God Himself prepared them, and clothed been altered and depraved by the fall; the first parents. Although He was forced though we must admit that it sometimes to punish them, His love had not ceased. acknowledges a parallel or corresponding His paternal care accompanied them to change in men and beasts (see vi. 12, 13); the tumultuous arena of worldly strife. but we need certainly not to have recourse Scarcely any primitive nation has failed to the monstrous conjectures that the pe
use the skins of animals for the trified animals in the earth never enjoyed earliest clothing, and none was long defi- real life; that their existence was only an cient in the art of preparing them skil
appearance or a dream; and that they fully for convenience and neatness; the passed through a merely somnolent state! Phænicians ascribed this invention to So far may piety stray from common sense, Usous, and the Samojedes, Esquimaux, if it defies science; if it allows no scope to and North American Indians are at present the intellect; if it thinks to feed one hufamous for their skill in preparing furs.- man faculty on the destruction of all the If any proof were necessary, that animals rest (see note on ix. 1–4). were believed to have, in Paradise also, 22—24. By a guilty act had man atbeen subject to death, those "skins" would tuined the godlike knowledge of good and be sufficient. Many and laborious have evil; he had thereby forfeited the privilege been the arguments to show that death of eternal life originally designed for him. came into the world only after the fall; But Paradise, the abode of perfect bliss, this doctrine has been considered one of could not resound with the agony of death. the strongest pillars of religion, and the It was, therefore, necessary, that man necessary basis of every true science. If
should be expelled from thence for ever. such an opinion were enforced by the Bible, If he remained in Eden, he might eat of a new breach between faith and science the fruit of life, and thus remove the would be caused, as great and insuperable mortal condition which was now his fate. as any other hitherto discussed. For, the As he was created immortal, the partici
Iorit ut mfered in a heal if he curand a hard Knowledge of id devic u will hic treve GENESIS III. 22–24.
of life, and eat, and live for ever:... 23. Therefore the
life, beautifying the heart and gladdening So entirely did God exclude the first the soul, is promised and granted.
III.-THE GENERATIONS BETWEEN ADAM
CHAPTER IV. 1. TO V. 32.
SUMMARY.-Adam and Eve begat two sons, Cain and Abel. The former became a
husbandman, the other a shepherd. Both offered, after a certain time, the firstlings of their labour; but God rejected the gift of Cain, whilst He accepted that of Abel. Cain's jealousy was, by this mortification, enhanced into glowing hatred against his brother; God saw his sinister schemes, and forewarned him that offerings are not accepted unless they are accompanied by a benevolent and loving heart. The tumult in Cain's breast was temporarily silenced; but when he was alone with Abel in the field, his rankling envy overpowered him, and he killed his innocent brother (vers. 1-8). The justice of God was not slow in visiting this atrocious deed; Cain was declared an exile on the earth; the soil which it would be his lot to cultivate would be sterile and reluctant; he should not even have the consolation of an early death; and a mark was given to him, that nobody might kill him (vers. 9—15). He settled in the east of Eden, in the land of Nod, where he built a town, and called it Enoch, after his son (vers. 16, 17). The heads of the following generations are Irad, Mehujael, and Lamech. The latter took two wives, Adah and Zillah; by the former he became the father of Jabal, who was a breeder of cattle, and of Jubal, who was the inventor of musical instruments; and Zillah bare to him a daughter, Naamah, and a son Tubal-cain, who was skilled in the manufacture of implements of iron and brass. In that age the arts of peace began to flourish, and agricultore was improved (vers. 18—22). A personal incident concerning Lamech, one of great importance for the laws of the avenging of blood, is inserted (vers. 23, 24). Eve also bore another son, Seth; he became the father of Enos, in whose time religious worship assumed a higher and purer form (vers. 25, 26). 1. And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, 1. Adam and Eve shared faithfully the gave to the child expressed well the manimiseries of exile; their mutual love was fold emotions of her soul: her son was the only reminiscence of the happy not, like herself and her husband, the di. days of Eden; a son was the first offspring rect creation of God Himself; nor did of their affection; the delighted mother he see the light of day without His omniexclaimed with mingled feelings of grati- potent help — for who understands the tude and pride: “I have acquired secret development of the slumbering a son with the Lord," and called him embryo?-he was, indeed, her son; she Cain. The “mother of all living” had was conscious of it with a certain legitibegun to justify her name; she had added mate dignity; but she acknowledged with a link to the chain of human generations; humility, that, without the assistance of the first germ for the perpetuity of man- God, her strength would have been of no kind was sown. This son belonged to her; avail; the chief glory belongs to Hin he was the first-born of her pains; she who shields the mother, and protects the had borne him long under her heart, and offspring.-When Seth, the ancestor of had in tender hopes watched the mystery the pious Noah, was born (v.3), it is exof his birth; it was, therefore, from her, pressly added, that Adam begat him that he received his name; she had ob- “in his own likeness, after his image,” tained this right from her greater anxieties, that he, therefore, bore the seal and imher fonder cares; and the name which she press of God Himself. It would have