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5. There is no case so desperate, but faith may get sure footing with respect to it in the power and word of God. Let the people of God be ever so low, they can never be lower than when they were not at all. Hence the Lord says, Isa. lxv. 18. ‘Be glad and rejoice,’ &c. He spoke a word and so the creature was made at first; and it will cost him but a word to make it over again. Hence Christ is called “the beginning of the creation of God,” Rev. iii. 14. O seek to be new-made by him; that old things may pass away, and all things become new.
6. Give away yourselves to God through Jesus Christ, mak
ing an hearty, a cheerful, and an entire dedication and
surrender of your souls and bodies, and all that ye are and have, to him as your God and Father, resolving to serve and obey him all the days of your life; that as he made you for his glory, you may in some measure answer the end of your creation, which is to shew forth his praise. Serve not sin or Satan any longer. God made you upright and holy; but Satan unmade you, stripping you of your highest glory and ornament. Relinquish his service, which is the basest drudgery and slavery, and will land all that are employed in it in hell at last; and engage in the service of God in Christ, which is truly honourable and glorious, and will be crowned with an everlasting reward in the other world: for where he is, there shall his servants also be.
7. Lastly, This doctrine affords a ground of love, peace, justice and mercy betwixt men, which should be carefu cultivated by all that would desire to be with God for ever. For says the prophet, Mal. ii. 10. “Have we not all one Father ? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” The consideration of being created by God, should be a powerful inducement to us to
practise all the duties we owe to one another as men and Christians.
. OF THE CREATION OF MAN. GEN. i. 27.--So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them.
AVING discoursed of the creation of all things out of
nothing, and exhibited some of the displays of the Wol. I. B. b
admirable wisdom, power, and goodness of God apparent therein, 1 come now to speak of the creation of man, the masterpiece of the lower creation. In the text we have an answer to that question, “How did God create man?” God only spake the word and then the other creatures were pro. duced: but being to create man, he called a council of the Trinity for that end; whereby the excellency of man above the other creatures, who is a compend of the world, is clearly demonstrated. Here we have the execution of that council, So God created man, &c. For, as says Seneca, a heathen moralist, man is not a work huddled over in a haste, and done without great forethought and consideration; forman
is the greatest and most stupendous work of God, even of
God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. As the sacred historian had said before of the Creator, ‘Let us make man in our image,’ &c. so it is not for nought that he repeats the act of creating three times in this verse; in which also the Us in the former verse is restrained to God; so that the plura. lity there spoken of is not God and angels, but the three persons, one God; for it was not angels, but God that created man. Man here signifies man and woman, male and female, Adam and Eve. Wherefore they are called him and them; for as they were originally one, God having made two of one by creation; so they two were made one again by marriage. And they were both made in one day, Gen. i. 26.-31. ; and that in the image of God, which is twice repeated; the import whereof seems to be, that man was made very like God. Whereas there is but a shadow and vestige of him in the inferior creatures, as we may read the name and perfections of God in the least herb of the field; man was made so to represent God in his moral perfections as to imitate his virtues. Two things are here to be considered, I. God's making man male and female. II. His making man after his image. I. Let us consider God's making man, male and female; that is, man and woman. First, Adam was the male, and Eve the female. These were the common parents of all mankind, and there was no man in the world, before Adam. He is expressly called “ the first man,’ 1 Cor. xv. 5. and Eve “the mother of all living,' Gen. iii. 20. And hence it is said “God hath made of one blood all nations of men, Acts xvii. 26.
Secondly, Man consists of a soul and body, which being united constitute man; that is, man or woman. Here I shall consider, 1. The body; and, 2. The soul. 1. The body of the man. Man's body is a piece of most. rare and curious workmanship, plainly indicating its divine Maker. In it there is a variety of members, none of them superfluous, but all adapted to the use assigned them by the wise Creator. The man's body, as Moses tells us, was formed of the dust of the ground, Gen. ii. 7. Hence he was called Adam, which signifies red earth; of which sort of virgin-earth man's body seems to have been made. The word rendered dust, signifies not dust simply, (says Zanchius), but clay, which is earth and water. This may teach us humility, and repress our pride, and particularly glorying in beauty or any external advantages of person, seeing we are. sprung of no higher original than the earth upon which we tread; especially seeing, as we derived our first being from it, we must return to it again, there to abide till the resurtion-day. - - - - 2. The woman's body was formed of the man's, Gen. ii. 21, 22. of a rib of the man's side, but not a bare rib, but flesh on it, ver. 23. which was taken out of his side while he was in a deep sleep, into which God cast him; so that he felt no pain. And it is not improbable, that in that deep skeep God revealed to him what he himself afterwards declares concerning Eve, and marriage in general, ver, 23, 24. Whether Adam had more ribs than other men, is not determined, If he had, it was not superfluous to him as the origin of mankind, though it might be as a private person; and therefore Eve being made of it, there was no more use for it. If he had not more ribs than other men, yet he sustained no loss thereby, which was otherwise made up, ver. 21. either by a new rib, or hardening the flesh to the use of a rib. In this the wisdom of God doth illustriously appear. . (1.) The woman's body was made of nobler matter than the man's, to be some ballast to the man’s excellency in respect of his sex, that he might not despise but honour her. The word rendered made, Gen. ii.22, is in the Hebrew built. He made the man, but he built the woman, as a stately palace, or house, where all mankind draw their first breath.
(2.) It was made of the man's body, to teach men to love their wives as their own flesh. (3.) It was not made out of man's head, to shew her that she is not to be her husband's mistress, nor usurp authority over him, 1 Tim. ii. 12.; nor out of his feet, to shew him that she is not to be his slave, to be trampled on by him; but out of his side, near his heart, to shew him that she must be treated as his companion, loved, nourished, and cherished by him. (4.) Lastly, The mystery of the church drawing her life out of Christ's sleeping the sleep of death on the cross, Eph. v. seems to have been here intended and shadowed forth. The bodies of both our first parents were far more beautiful, handsome, and graceful than our bodies are now. We are begot of men, but they were the immediate workmanship of God. The author being more excellent, the workman. ship must be so too. And so Adam signifies to be ruddy, and to shine, Lam. iv. 7. So that to Eve in particular may justly be applied the following lines of a celebrated poet:
A woman loveliest of the lovely kind,
Secondly, The soul of man was of an original far different from that of his body. Moses gives us this account of it, Gen. ii. 7. “The Lord God—breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” The Lord inspired him with a living reasonable soul, which presently appeared by his breathing at his nostrils; whereas before he was only a fair lifeless body. And this different account of man's soul and body clearly holds forth, that it was not fetch. ed out of any power in the matter of his body, but was created of nothing. For this inspiration plainly implies that some. thing was infused into it, which was not in it before, and did not originally inhere in it.' Thus was the soul both of the man and the woman created; for that both were created with rational souls, is taught in our text, where they are said to be made after God's image; and Moses leaves us to go. ther the manner of the creation of the woman's soul from that of Adam’s. Concerning the soul of man, three things are specially to be known. - -
1. That it is an incorporeal or spiritual substance, different from the body. It is called a spirit, Zech. xii. 1. And Stephen prays, Acts vii. 59. ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Compare Luke xxiv. 39. where our Lord says concerning his body after his resurrection from the dead, ‘Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” *
2. As the souls of Adam and Eve were immediately crea. ted of God, so the souls of all their posterity are immediately formed by God, and proceed not from their parents by generation, or any other way: but God infuseth the soul created by him of nothing, into the body formed in the womb when it is fitly organised to receive it. And yet a man may properly be said to beget a man, though he only begets the body, as well as to kill a man, though he can only kill the body. This is plain from that express scripture-testimony, Zech. xii. 1–4 that formeth the spirit of man within him.” So, Heb. xii. 9. God is held forth as “The Father of spirits,” in opposition to men as “the fathers of our flesh;" which must needs be by immediate creation: for otherwise he is the Father of our flesh too, Eccl. xii. 7. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to God who gave it.’ He gave the body too, but the soul in such a manner as he gave not the body.
3. Hence the soul is immortal, being a spirit, and dies not with the body, Eccl. xii. 7. just cited. Being immaterial, not consisting of parts, it cannot be dissolved. Men can kill the body, but not the soul; and therefore it doth not die with the body, being invulnerable, and unsusceptive of external injuries, Matth. x. 28, and xxii. 32. Neither does it sleep till the resurrection, as some have foolishly supposed. Our Lord told the thief on the cross, that that very day he (that is, his soul) should be with him in paradise, not to sleep, but to be actively employed in exercises peculiar to the heavenly state. And certain it is that the apostle Paul had no such thought, when he said, Phil. i. 23. “I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” If his soul was to sleep and doze in indolence and inactivity after his death, he had never preferred the dissolution of his body, and the advantage of being with Christ, to his continuing in his mortal state, in which he was most usefully employed.