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cause of their fpiritual sickness, their forrow and mifery. Hence the Psalmist prays, with respect to the enemies and persecutors of the Church ; “ Put them in fear, O LORD, that the nations may “ know themselves to be Enos, miserable men Enos seems to have recollected the meaning of his own name, when he gave one to his fon Cainan; for this may be rendered mourning or lamentation. The grandson of Cainan was called Jared ; which may be translated descending, and has been understood as referring to the descent of the sons of God from that state of separation from the posterity of Cain, in which they had hitherto continued p. In different places of Scripture, the same word denotes the effects of fin; as in Jer. xlviii. 18.
“ Come down from thy glory :". Lam. i.
“ She remembereth not her last end; “therefore she came down wonderfully.” The name Methuselah has been rendered by some, “ He dies, “ and it is sent ;" by others, “ He dies, and the
dart cometh.” According to either translation, the name is viewed as having a prophetical reference to the deluge, which was sent that very year in which this good man died. Enoch, we know, was a prophet; and it would appear that in giving a name to his son, he foretold the flood pearly a thousand years before it came. Methuselah called his son Lamech, that is, poor, mude low, or one who is struck.
o Pral, ix, 20. Sce Ainsw. on Gen. iv, 26.
p Heidegger. Hiftor. Sac. Vol. i. Ex. vi. 1. 32.
v. The corruption of our narure appears from the dominion which death hath exercised over children. The apostle Paul, in proving the existence of a law previous to that given from Mount Sinai, and the condemnation of men by this law, obferves, “ that death reigned from Adam to Mo. « ses, even over them that had not finned after “ the fimilitude of Adam's transgression 9;" that is, over children, who had never finned in their own persons. That death indeed reigned over these, or exercised its full power on them, is evident from the Scripture-history. Vast multitudes of children must have perished in the deluge. The destruction of the cities of the plain extended to persons of every age. Many thousands, who had never actually finned, must have suffered in the plague of the first-born. The command of God, with respect to the extermination of the Amalekites, and other devoted nations, included children as well as' adults. But, to use the language of Abraham, when interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah, as God “ will not destroy the
righteous with the wicked," we may be assured that the children, over whom death was permit. ted to reign, were not viewed by him as righteous. " Who ever perished, being innocent ?” They “ had not finned after the fimilitude of Adam's a transgression.” They could be viewed as, guilty, therefore, only as having sinned in that common parent, who, as a public representative, “ is “ the figure of him that is to come '."
To 4 Rom. v. 14.
c Rom. v. 12. 14. comp.
To pretend that the death of infants is to be considered as a mercy rather than a judgment, as taking them away from the evils of this life ; is to beg the question in a very ridiculous manner, by supposing that they indiscriminately make a change to the better, or, in other words, that they muft of necessity be free from future punishment, as being free from fin. This assertion also flatly denies the veracity of God in the threatening and sentence of the law : for it represents that as a blessing, which he denounces as a curse. It is equally repugnant to all the feelings of our nature. For we still view death as in itself, not a benefit, but a calamity. However great the sufferings of life, it is a very rare case, if men do not recoil from death with horror : and for reconciling the mind to it, all the consolations of religion are requisite.
vi. The Scripture-history includes a variety of circumstances which evidently allude to the manner in which fin is transmitted. The first dictate of shame, as felt by the parents of our race, in confequence of the entrance of fin, was to conceal those parts which are the instruments of
generation. All the members of the body are employed as the instruments of unrighteousness ; but shame is especially excited by the nakedness of these ; as if God would set a special mark of, dishonour on them, to remind us that in this way sin, the parent of shame, is transmitted from one generation to another; and that the human race
is continued, and sin communicated, by the very same means,
The ordinance of circumcifion had a similar reference. Being a painful rite, it intimated that sin merits suffering, and that man is subjected to this by the sentence of his Judge. Was this rite performed in the way of excision? It fignified that the whole man deserves to be cut off from the fellowship of God. From the language frequently used in Scripture, it is evident that this ceremony denoted that the heart is depraved and polluted by fin. Therefore we read of the uncircumcision of the heart, and of its being necessary that this should be circumcised by divine grace s. As it was a feal of the covenant of grace, and of “ the righteouiness which is by “ faith ;” it respected man's condemnation by the first covenant, and proclaimed his need of justification and salvation by another. It was to be performed on the eighth day, that is, as soon as the child could be supposed able to bear it without danger, or be cleanfed ; to declare that man is corrupted, that he is subjected to suffering, that his heart is depraved, and that he needs to be regenerated and justified, even from the womb.
The hereditary curse to which woman is subjected, is a striking indication of the manner in which fin is transmitted. “ Unto the woman “ God said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow “and thy conception,” that is, “ thy sorrow in s conception; in forrow thou shalt bring forth
children," s Lev. savi. 45.; Jer. is. 26.; Deut. x. 16.; xxx. 6.
« children t." Had this sentence been confined to Eve herself, it might have been viewed as merely the punishment of her personal guilt. But it is entailed on her daughters. It subsists in its full force, although it is nearly fix thousand years since it was pronounced. Individuals, indeed, in almost every region, from some peculia: rity of frame, and even the females in general belonging to some nations, feel the effect of the lat-, ter part of this sentence in a very inferior degree, having little pain in child-bearing. But this no more forms an objection to the general law, than does the great fertility of some parts of the earth to the curse pronounced on it for the fin of man. Sorrow in conception and child-bearing is the common lot of women in every age : and for what end, but to remind mankind, in their successive generations, of the manner in which sin entered into the world ; to teach them also that they were “ conceived in fin," and that it is impossible that “ he who is born of a
woman should be righteous ?” This hereditary sorrow, which is the native fruit of sin, proclaims to the woman, every time she conceives or bears a child, that the “ travaileth with ini“quity, hath conceived mischief, and brings forth “ falsehood."
It also deserves notice, that sorrow in these respects is confined to our nature.
It is unknown to all other animals, in any similar degree, except in peculiar cafes, or as proceeding from some U4
t Gen, iii. 16.