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concerning God's providence in the world, and what chap.
III. a rational account may be given of them, supposing evil of punishment to arise from sin, and that there is a God in the world, who is ready to punish the wicked, and to reward the good : which was the thing to be shewed.
OF THE ORIGIN OF NATIONS.
I. All mankind derived from Adam, if the Scriptures be true.
II. The contrary supposition an introduction to Atheism. III. The
E next thing we proceed to give a rational acIU.
-count of, in the history of the first ages of the world
contained in Scripture, is the peopling the world from CHAP. Adam; which is of great consequence for us to understand, not only for the satisfaction of our curiosity as to the true origin of nations, but also in order to our believing the truth of the Scriptures, and the universal effects of the fall of man: neither of which can be sufficiently cleared without this. For as it is hard to conceive how the effects of man's fall should extend to all mankind, unless all mankind were propagated from Adam ; so it is unconceivable how the account of things given in Scripture should be true, if there were persons existent in the world long before Adam was; since the Scripture doth so plainly affirm, That Acts xvii. God hath made of one blood all nations of men, for 20. to dwell on the face of the earth. Some Greek copies read it εξ ενός, leaving out αίματος, which the vulgar Latin follows: the Arabic version, to explain both, reads it ex homine, or, as De Dieu renders it, ex Adamo uno; there being but the difference of one letter in the Eastern languages between D7 and 78, the one denoting blood, and the other man. But if we take it as our more ordinary copies read it, éĘ évòs alpaTos, yet thereby it is plain that the meaning is not that all mankind was made of the same uniform matter, as the author of the Præ-Adamites weakly imagined, (for by that reason not only mankind, but the whole world might be said to be éĘ évòs aimatos, of the same blood, since all things in the world were at first formed out of the same matter ;) but alua is taken there in the sense in which it occurs in the best Greek authors, for the stock out of which men come: so Homer, Ει ετεόν γ' εμός εσσί και αίματος ημετέροιο.
Odyss. 7. Thence those who are near relations are called in So-300. phocles o após almatos, thence the name of consan
BOOK guinity for nearness of relation; and Virgil useth san
-guis in the same sense, Virg. Æn.
Trojano a sanguine duci. So that the apostle's meaning is, that however men now are so dispersed in their habitations, and differ so much in language and customs from each other, yet they were all originally of the same stock, and did derive their succession from that first man whom God created. Neither can it be conceived on what account
Adam in the Scripture is called the first man, and that 1 Cor. xv. he was made a living soul, and of the earth, earthy, 45, 47
unless it were to denote that he was absolutely the first of his kind, and so was to be the standard and measure of all that follows. And when our Saviour would reduce all things to the beginning, he instanceth
in those words which were pronounced after Eve was Mark x. formed. But from the beginning of the creation God
made them male and female ; for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave unto his wife. Now nothing can be more plain and easy than from hence to argue thus: those of whom these words were spoken, were the first male and female which were made in the beginning of the creation ; but it is
evident these words were spoken of Adam and Eve: Gen. ii. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone, and 23, 24.
flesh of my flesh; therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife. If the Scriptures then of the New Testament be true, it is most plain and evident that all mankind is descended from Adam; and no less conspicuous is it from the history of the creation, as delivered by Moses.
For how necessary had it been for Moses, when he was giving an account of the origin of things, to have discovered by whom the world was first planted, if
there had been any such plantation before Adam. But CHAP. to say that all the design of Moses was only to give an account of the origin and history of the Jewish nation, and that Adam was only the first of that stock, is manifestly ridiculous; it being so clear, that not only from Adam and Noah, but from Sem, Abraham, and Isaac, came other nations besides that of Jews. And by the same reason that it is said that Moses only speaks of the origin of the Jewish nation in the history of Adam, it may as well be said that Moses speaks only of the making of Canaan, and that part of the heavens which are over it, when he describes the creation of the world in the six days work. For why may not the earth, in the second verse of Genesis, be as well understood of the land of Judea, and the light and production of animals and vegetables refer only to that, as to understand it so in reference to the flood, and in many other passages relating to those eldest times ? But the author of that hypothesis answers, That the first chapter of Genesis may relate to the true origin of the world, and the first peopling of it; but in the second Moses begins to give an account of the first man and woman of the Jewish nation. Very probable! But if this be not a putting asunder those which God hath joined together, nothing is. For doth not Moses plainly at first give an account of the formation of things in the first six days, and of his rest on the seventh? But how could he be said to have rested then from the works of creation, if after this followed the formation of Adam and Eve in the second chapter? Besides, if the forming of man, mentioned Gen. ii. 7, be distinct from that mentioned Gen. i. 27, then by all parity of reason, yo871 DO 817500, the generations of heaven and earth mentioned Gen. ii. 4, must be distinct from the creation of the heaven