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was not a literal place, where was the land of Nod situated, which lay on the east of it? Gen xiii. 10. “ And Lot lifted
and beheld all the plain of Jordon, that it was well watered every where, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt." In this text the plain of Jordon is described by being compared to the garden of the Lord, by which Eden is doubtless meant. Eden was watered by four rivers to which reference is made, to describe the well watered plain of Jordon. Now if Eden was not a literal garden, then the plain of Jordon is described by being compared to a place that never existed. That Eden is here referred to as a literal place, and not as a mere description given of it, as an ideal garden, is erident from its being connected with Egypt, which must be acknowledged to he literally a place. "As the garden of the Lord like the land of Egypt.) The meaning appears to be this: As the garden of Eden was watered by four rivers, and as the land of Egypt was watered by the flowing of the Nile, so the plain of Jordon was well watered.
Isa. li. 3. “For the Lord shall comfort Zion : He will com fort all her waste places, he will make her wildernesses like Eden, and her deserts like the garden of the Lord "Here' the garden of the Lord of Eden is referred to; for the purpose of describing the prosperity of the church, when the moral wastes shall be made glad' by the tidings of salvation, and when her borders shall be enlarged by the conversion of the gentiles to God.
As the garden of Eden presented an assemblage of nature's excellencies, ever clad in a verdant and flowery mantle, strewing her delightsome walks and pleasant shades with flowers and fruits ; so shall Zion bloom with moral flowers, and shed her fragrance on the world, when her light shall come and the glory of the Lord shall rise
her. But who does not see, that in order to sustain the Prophet's figure, Eden must have a real and literal existence? If Eden had only an allegorical existence, and God make Zion like Eden, then, the latter day glory of christianity, which has been predicted by prophets, looked for by saints, and prayed for by all the faithful, vanishes into an allegory, and ends in a inere phantom that will at last elude the grasp, and disapa? point the hopes of the long expecting church. There are
other texts which speak of the garden of Eden, that might be noticed. Ezekiel xxviii
. 13. “ Eden the garden of God.” Chap. xxxvi. 35. And they shall say, this land, that was desolate, is become like the garden of Eden.” Joel ii. 3. “ The land is as the garden of Eden." These references to the garden of Eden, by inspired authors, clearly show that the garden described by Moses, as the first abode of man, had a literal and real existence.
But the scriptures not only contain references to the garden of Eden, but direct reference is made to the scenes said to have transpired therein, as we will now show.
Job xxxi. 33. “If I covered my transgressions as Adam." Job, no doubt, here refers to Adam's attempt to hide himself among the trees of the garden as described, Gen. iii. 8. “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, amongst the trees of the garden.” Now who does not see that the account of Adam's sin, and attempt to hide himself, must be a narration of literal facts, in order to justify such allusions to them.
On the above text Dr. Clarke has the following note. “Here is a most evident allusion to the fall: Adam transgressed the commandment of his maker, and he endeavored to conceal it; first by hiding himself among the trees of the garden ; secondly by laying the blame on his wife.” 2 Cor. xi. 3. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity of Christ.” Here the seduction of Eve is directly referred to by an inspired Apostle, in the use of the same terms employed in the original account. Eve said, “the serpent beguiled me;" and Paul says, “the serpent beguiled Eve,” referring to it as a literal fact. Again, it is said that “the serpent was more subtle than any
beast of the field ; while Paul declares that it was through his subtlety that he beguiled the woman. From this, it must be clear that the Apostle understood the account of the first transgression as a literal history; and it is not possible for us to conceive how any one can think otherwise, who has
confidence in his inspiration.
1 Tim. ii. 14. “ And Adam was not deceived, but the
woman being deceived, was in the transgression ” The Apostle is here speaking of the subjection of the woman to the the man. “ I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to
authority over the man.” For the subjection of the woman,
the A postle assigns two reasons. The first is, the man was first formed. The second reason is contained in the text under consideration. “Adam was not deceived, but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression.” This plain reference to the deception of the woman, and that too, in proof of an important principle, involved in the matrimonial relation, must clearly show, beyound all doubt, that the account of the fall of man is literal and real. If the account of the fall be a mere allegory, and the deception of the woman, consequently, not a literal fact, it could furnish no argument in support of the authority of the man, over the woman. Indeed, to say that wives should be in subjection to their husbands, because “the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression," while, in fact, no such deception and transgression ever took place, the whole being a mere allegory, is too futile to charge upon such a master of logic as the Apostle Paul. Such an imputation, to an inspired Apostle, would not only be trifling, but profane. When the Apostle asserted that wives should be in subjection to their husbands, because “the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression,” had some grave Universalist matron objected to his conclusions, saying that the story of Eve's deception and transgression, was a mere allegory, without any foundation in literal fact, he certainly would have been confounded, unless he contended for a literal interpretation of this portion of the Mosaic history.
Before we close our remarks upon this subject, we will devote a few observations to what has been said in opposition to the above literal exposition of the garden of Eden, and of the fall of its once happy inmates. On this subject Mr. Hosea Ballou has made the following remarks. After giving a summary statement of the scriptural account, he adds: “This is, in short, the scriptural representation of the first sin, and I consider it to be figurative. Should it be said that this garden was a literal garden, that the tree of life was a literal tree, and that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was also literal; I should be glad to be informed what evidence can be
.adduced in support of such an idea. Where is the garden now? Where is the tree of life now? Where is the tree of knowledge, of good and evil, now? Are these trees now growing on the earth as literal trees? We are not informed in the scripture that this garden was carried off to heaven, or that either of the trees was removed. It is written that God drove the man whom he had made out of the garden and placed cherubims and a flaming sword at the east of the garden to prevent the man from approaching the tree of life. If the garden were literal, why could not Adam have gone into it on the north, south, or west side ?” Treatise on Atonement, page 35.
Mr. B. appears to argue, in this case, altogether by asking questions ; but it should be recollected that if no answer could be given to the above interrogations, they would not disprove the existence of a literal garden, since a mere want of information on any subject cannot prove its falsity, or non-existence. It has often been said that " a novice
questions which a wise man cannot answer,” though we do not consider this to be the case in the subject before us; we consider Mr. B's questions perfectly capable of solution. If we understand him, he intends three objections to the literal existence of the garden of Eden in the extract we have above given, which we will briefly notice.
1. Mr. B. appears to object to a literal exposition of the subject, on the ground that there is no evidence to support it.
“ I should be glad to be informed what evidence can be adduced in support of such an idea.". In answer to this
if no other evidence could be adduced, the text itself is sufficient, until some evidence be offered to prove it to be figurative ; since every document is to be literally interpreted, unless good reasons can be rendered for a different construction. Taking this view, Mr. B's call for evidence in favour of a literal construction, comes with a very ill grace, unțil some more cogent reasons shall be offered on the opposite side of the question than any thing we have been able to discover in his performance on the subject. But we think the evidence in favor of a literal interpretation of the subject is ample, and if Mr. B. or any who embrace his views wish « to be informed what evidence can be adduced in support of such an idea," so far as our efforts are concerned, they may
far from provo
have their desires gratified by consulting the pages over which the reader has just passed.
2. Mr. B. appears to found an objection to a literal interpretation of the subject, on the circumstances that neither the garden nor the trees are now known to exist on earth. He asks :
“ Where is the garden now? Where is the tree of life now? Where is the tree of knowledge now? Are these trees now growing on the earth as literal trees ?” That the garden now exists no one will pretend, but this is very ing that it never did exist. It is perfectly consistent to suppose, that when man was expelled from the garden, and the ground cursed for his sake, that it should decay and cease to bloom. If Mr. B's mode of reasoning be sound, it will disprove many other portions of the sacred history, for it would probably cost our opponents as much trouble to inform us where the land of Nod is, to which Cain retired, and where he built the city of Enoch, as it would for us to inform them where Eden was situated. When Mr. B. or any of his friends will inform us where Cain built his city, we will point to the place where Eden once bloomed ; sor, as Cain's settlement was east of Eden, Eden, in turn, must have been west of the city of Enoch, and when our opponents will point to the latter of these places, we will inform them by what rule they may find the place of the former.
3. Mr. B. supposes that if it had been a literal garden, from which Adam was expelled, he might have re-entered at another point. His language is : “It is written that God drove the inan out of the garden, and placed cherubims and a flaming sword at the east of the garden, to prevent the man from approaching the tree of life. If the garden were literal why could not Adam have gone into it on the north, south, or west side ?” To this a very plain answer is given in the language of inspiration. Gen. iii. 23, 24. “The Lord God placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” If then the flaming sword turned every way to guard the tree of life it must have cut off Adam's approach from every point. But it may be asked, why the cherubims and flaming sword were placed at the east of the garden if they were intended to guard it on all sides? We answer,