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opposed to the feed of the serpent. ?OK
degrees have easily gained upon mankind, that, by the remains of virtue and wisdom, which were in Adam, he had undertaken a new combat with the serpent and with better success. But seeing the commencement of the enmity is ascribed to Eve, the woman, who was both weaker by nature and first overcome, it is clearer than noon-day, that the grace of God alone is here all in all.
XXIV. 2dly. The seed of the woman. By which 2. The is signified nor all mankind but elect believers; as feed of the appears from that diftinction, by which that feed is woman, that wicked men, who are of their father the devil,
John 8. 44. 1 John 3. 8, and the children of the wicked one, Mat. 13. 38, are the feed of the serpent. The feed of the woman therefore, is the godly, posterity of Eve: namely, the children of the promise, who are counted for the seed, Rom. 9.8. And perhaps this is the reason, why the godly are called the feed of the woman, and not the feed of the man: because as the woman was wholly endebted to a gracious promise, that she was appointed to oppose and fight against the ferpent,'not without the delired succeis : fo allo, it was not those children in general, who were to be born of her, according to the law of nature, by matrimonial commerce; but those only, whose mother she was to be by the fame gracious promise, who are here accounted for her feed. For, tho' Eve, as the was joined to Adam in marriage, is the natural mother of all mankind, even of those, who are called the feed of the serpent. Yet the fame Eve, being, by virtue of this divine promise, set in opposition to the serpent, by whom she was overcome, is the mother only of the blessed feed; which was to proceed from her, not according to the law of nature, but in virtue of the promise of grace: this is therefore called the feed of the woman; even of that woman, who is, and in so far as the is, placed in opposition to the serpent.
The mean XXV. The mean, by which the appointed heirs of com- become actually partakers of the promised benefits, is munion.
faith in the surety, as is intimated by a twofold enigma or dark saying. ift, As all the heirs are called by the common name, seed; this denores the mystical union and communion of the seed, which is fanétified, with that, which fanctifies; so that what the latter has done or fuffered, the former is accounted to have done or fuff red in him. But the band of that union is faith, by which we receive Chrift, adhere to him, and become one spirit with him, I Cor. 6. 17. 2dly. As the bruising the serpent's head is afcribed to the feed : which, indeed, Christ alone does by the merit of his obedience, and the infinite efficacy of his spirit; yet the elect also in Christ, and by the power of Christ, conquer him through faith. Chriit is the general in this combat, the feed of the woman by way of eminence, who overthrows and triumphs over the enemy: but next to Christ, and under him, be: lievers alto fight and overcome by his power," and they omerco.me him by the blood of the lamb, Rev. 12. 11: that is, because on that very 'account the blood of the lamb was shed for them. The victory, which the ref of the feed gains over the serpent, cannot but follow upon the shedding of the blood of the lainb, who is the feed of Eve. Moreover, that victory is obtained only by faith ; wkatsoevir is born of God overcome!h the world (consequently the devil, who is call d the prinie and God of this world, Eph. 6.912,
2 Cor. 4. 4). And this is the victory, that overcometh
the world, even our faith. Why these
XXVI. It is not to be thought improbable, that mysteries fo many and so great o ysteries of faith are exprefied are brieflv in few words. For, the words are both very proper
to tigrify, ard elfe where in fcripture do fign fy what fcarely proposed.
we have here faid, and it became the wisdom of God, to lay before the primitive church fome short abridgement, which, by its well contrived brevity might comprehend the sum of the things to be believed;
and then it is our duty, to form high and honourable
XXVII. Moses, having distinctly related, what God The name
* A way of speaking, when we place that after, which should come before,
rated by Moses, in the fenle we are presently to Thew, 1:
let us therefore dismiss this ungrounded wwbureauiting Ridicu.
XXVIH. But why was she called 1, Chaveb Eve? Jously dirived by Some of the Rabbins ridiculoufly derive that name she Rab. from it, which in 'Piel denotes to kgnify or disclose, bins.
because she was a great talker, according to Baal Har.
ferved. As also by
XXIX. No less ridiculous is Lyranues, who says, Lyranus' that Eve in Helrew denotes life, but suljeet to penalties : and Co- most of all, Peter Comestor, author of the Scholastic mestor.
history, that Adam then deploring the misery-of bis pofterity, called bis wife kve, alluding to ibe cries of infants; the male, newly born crying A, but the female É; as if we should say, all born of Êve will say A or E. This perhaps might be pardonable in poor Comestor, and in the age in which he lived: but it is highly ridiculous, that, amidst so great a light of knowledge, Cornelius 1-Lapide, in his commentaries should not bluth to call such trifling by the name of pious cons templations. There is nothing in the word nin, that can denote anguish or penalty. But let us proceed to what is serious.
XXX. Moses explains the reason of the denomi- In what nation in these words; because she was, or was con
to be the ftituted, the mother of all living. By all living, some- mother of fimes, is understood all men in general, as P/.14 3. 2. all living. And it is certain, that, except Adam, all that ever did, do now, or shall hereafter live, derive their ori. gin from our mother Eve. But if this alone was intended, here it might be asked, ift.. Why, Adam chole to call his wife the mother, rather than himself the father of all living, as the natural origin of all iş equally dyere both ? 2dly. Why, as we have shewn from the series of the Mofaic history, he gave this name to his wife, not till after the fall; seeing, if we attend to natural generation only, she becaine the parent, not so much of the living as of the dead? 3dly, Was this a thing so very worthy of notice, since it was felf-evident, that all, who were to exist, were to defcend from ker, who was the only woman in the
XXXI. It seems therefore more adviseable, and mere becoming both the faith and piety of Adam, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, who accurately relates those things, to understand by all living, both the Lord Christ, who is che fountain of life, and the elect, who, being united to him, are quickened by hiş Spirit. The woman was constituted the mother of these living, by the word of promise, by which she
word. ! ?