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word of grace, accompanied with the consolations of the Holy Spirit, shall be diffused throughout the four quarters of the world, and reach to every nation under heaven. Here “ there is neither Greek nor Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free.” No exclusion from a participation of these waters arises from any national distinctions. Over all the banks of this river the branches of the symbolic trees of Paradise, and especially of the Tree of Life, spread themselves, loaded with delicious fruit, and covered with healing leaves; and blessed be God, the branches bend so low, that whosoever will, may lift his hand and gather them. Of this if a man eat, he shall live for

ever.

If a further confirmation of the import of the Tree of Life in Rev. xxii. be necessary,

it

may be found in the allusion made, by the twelve manner of fruits which it is said to bear, to the doctrine of the Gospel of Christ as published by the twelve Apostles of our Lord. This “ Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” It is, instrumentally, the life of the fallen soul of man. Accompanied by the Spirit of life, it quickens those who are dead in trespasses and sins, raises them up, and causes them to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. The life which it is the means of communicating, is the same in nature, though inferior

in degree, with that of glorified spirits. Ours is life; theirs is health: and, blessed be God, we know that by continuing to derive nourishment and medicine from the Tree of Life, we also who have been quickened to newness of life, shall be restored to spiritual health, the capacity for eternal enjoyment.

I cannot conclude without calling the attention of my

friend to the beautiful connexion which is found to subsist between all the dispensations of God towards man, though I have before done it, and may often repeat the call. That connexion is a complete answer to every deistical and heretical cavil, and a firm foundation for our faith. It illustrates the way of salvation, and the nature of salvation itself. The Scripture presents to us a picture of perfect symmetry, in which all the objects bear a relation to each other. Its principal features are everlasting Mercy and inviolable Truth. “The mercy” of our God “is from everlasting to everlasting, and his truth endureth throughout all generations.” The works of creation and providence have been so contrived as to illustrate redemption, and the contrivance is so evident as to manifest design. It would be contrary to all rational induction to say, that the application made by the later inspired writers, is mere accomodation of the representative shadows of former dispensations to realities in the New Testament system.

Were a tree to be split asunder, there would be no difficulty in determining that the severed parts had belonged to each other: the exactness with which they would fit into each other, and the multiplicity of minute adaptations, would preclude all controversy. We trace the same minuteness and exactness in the facts and doctrines of the old and new Testaments. The folly of man has rent them asunder; but their identity in aim and purpose admits of no doubt. They were intended to display one and the same grand source of blessing to man. “ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to day, and for ever.” Before the fall, he was the fountain of life, natural and spiritual, to all his rational creatures, formed in his image, and dependent on communion with him for their happiness: since the fall, in another relation, he has been the fountain of life and salvation to all who have been quickened from the universal state of death in trespasses and sins to which the fall had reduced mankind : and, in the yet future state, his presence will constitute heaven, and fellowship with him will be the essence of its blessedness.

This connexion which the most distant parts of Divine Revelation have with each other, will be more fully manifested in my next letter, and is, indeed, the grand point which I am aiming to establish in the whole course of my correspondence with you.

Praying that you and myself, my dear friend, may more richly experience, from day to day, the life giving virtue of the Tree of LIFE,

I remain your's truly,

LETTER X.

THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE.

MY DEAR FRIEND, It is a trite observation, that contrasts mutually illustrate each other. Of this, day and night, summer and winter, are apt examples in the natural world, as spiritual light and darkness, sin and holiness, are in the spiritual world. Thus also the two allegorical trees, which were Divinely planted in the garden of Eden, will mutually afford aid in an inquiry into the several purposes of their plantation.

My last letter related to the former of these; and I now proceed to consider the latter. And as I find among the Observationes Sacrce of the learned Vitringa two chapters on this subject, I shall not obtrude on you any crude opinions of my own, but shall send you a translation of a very valuable disquisition, which, to the best of my knowledge, has not yet appeared in an English dress. It will occupy more of your time than any one of my former lucubrations has claimed; but I am sure that you will not regret this demand, when you have read what I have to lay before you.

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