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OF THE WOMAN, eminently so called. I own, indeed, when the feed of the woman is opposed to the seed of the serpent, and between both an enmity established, both seeds are to be understood collectively : that by the feed of the serpent, all the wicked are intended, who Mat. lii. 7. are called the generation of vipers ; by the seed of the woman, elect believers, together with Christ their head; yet it is without all doubt, that
, in this seed, there is some eminent one, to whom that name does chiefly belong, and by whose power the rest of the seed may perform the things that are here foretold. Just as the feed of Abraham is sometimes to be understood more largely, at others more strictly; sometimes denoting his posterity by Ifaac and Jacob, as Gen. xvii. 8. “ I will give unto thy feed the land wherein thou art a stranger :” sometimes more especially believers of his posterity, who walk in the steps of the faith of their father Abraham, and to whom the promife of the inheri: tance of the world, by the righteousness of faith, iş made, Rom. iv, 12, 13 : fometimes, most especially, that eminent one in the seed of Abraham, who was to be the spring of every blessing, as Gen 21. 18. " in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blefsed; which is Christ,” Gal. 16. Thus allo the things here said are, in their measure, common to all be lievers ; but then some effects are primarily and principally to be ascribed to him, who, in this feed, is the eminent one, namely, Chrift: as the Apostle also distinguishes the feed that sancti. fieth, and that which is fan&tified; both which are of one, Heb.
XVII. But the reasons, for which Christ is called the feed of the woman, seem to be chiefly these two ; one peculiar to Christ, the other common to him with other men. That which is common, is his being of the fame blood with us, that we might know him to be our brother and next kinsman. For, men, in Scripture-language, are called, “ born of a woman,”: Job xiv. 1. and Job xv. 4; and xxv. 4: “ born of women, Mat.
But then, we miuft add that which is peculiar to himself, that though Christ, indeed, had a woman for his mother, being « made of a woman," Gal. iv. 4. yet he had no man for his father, being “ without father," Heb. vii. 3. See Jer. xxxi. 22. " a woman hall compass a man.” For, though this laft reason holds not in believers, who are likewise called the feed of the woman, for another reason, to be explained directly; yet, seeing Christ holds the principal place in this feed, as he bruises the head of the devil in one fenfe, and believers in another; fo įherefore he is called the feed of the woman in a different sense
from them. The same words are indeed, used of both; but because, Christ is far more excellent than they; therefore when they are applied to Christ, they have a much more illustrious meaning.
XVIII. It. is indeed true, that Christ is the seed of Adam whose son he is called, Luke iii. 38. also the seed of Abraham, and the son of David, because he was born of a virgin, who defcended from them. Yet there was great reason, why he fhould be here called the seed of the woman, rather than of Adam. For, Adam, in Scripture, is represented as the origin of fin and death. Eve, indeed, was first in the transgression : but as it was not Eve, but Adam, who was expressly confti. tued the federal head of all mankind; fo fin and death are said to have entered into the world by Adam, Rom. v. 12, 14, Wherefore he who delivers us from sin and death, ought not to be considered as subordinate to Adam, and as his fon : but, as the second Adam, and the head of another family, op. posed to Adam. However, as he was to be our kinsman and brother, it was necessary he should be born of a woman; and that Adam, as his fon by the spirit and by faith, should be subordinate to him. For, since God says here, that he would put enmity between the woman and her feed, and between the ferpent and his seed, without any mention of Adam : it must be, ihat either Adam is excluded this promise, or comprized under the feed of the woman.' The respect and regard we ought to have for our parent, who was the author and teacher of the true religion to his posterity, forbids our saying the first. Nor do I think we should say the second : because it is agreeable to reason, that the woman should be comprized under, and acçounted in the man; hot, on the contrary, the man under the woman. It therefore remains, we say the third ; namely, that Adam, as he was the origin of fin and death, is opposed to Chrift; as himself was saved, is to be accounted to the feed of the woman, whose head is Christ, and so to be subordinate to Chrift. Chrift therefore is called the feed of the woman, beçause, being the origin of a þetter stock, he is opposed to Adam as the root of a corrupt race. And it is hinted, that Adam himself owes his salvation to the woman, on account of her feed.
XIX. Paul, if I mistake not, leads us to this, i Cor. xi. 11, 12. “ Neither is the man without the woman, neither the wos man without the man in the Lord. For, as the woman is of 'the man, even fo is the man also by the woman: but all things of God.” I do not remember to have seen a fuller explication of this place, than what I shall give from the Theses of a cer
very learned person. That the man and the woman may BE IN THE LORD, partakers of the grace and redemption purchased by Christ, they are mutually indebted to one another, for something common to both, which the one neither had, nor could have obtained without the other. For, as the woman is éx rõ ævdgos OF THE MAN, from whose rib she was formed, and who could not have been in the Lord, had it not been for the man, without whom she could not have so much as existed : so the man is in the Lord dicé tãs guveixós BY THE WOMAN, for the woman was appointed to be the first enemy of the serpent, and the Messiah is called the seed of the woman; but the man obtains the same happiness by the woman, as by faith he lays hold on the Messiah, who was to descend from her in virtue of the promise. The woman is OF THE MAN, materially and naturally: not so the man of the woman (which yet might be said ; if we only mean ordinary generation, according to the manner that children are of a woman, Mat.i.3,5,6.and Christ himself,Gal.i.4.) But BY THE WOMAN; because not materially, but spiritually and supernaturally, by grace and faith. Thus therefore the man is the origin of being to the woman, the woman of well being to the man. Butto prevent pride on either hand on this account, and their arrogating any thing to themselves, it is added, but all things are of God: by whose wisdom and most free disposal it was ordained, that the woman should derive her natural origin from the man; the man his supernatural from the woman; and become mutually debtors to one another: but the glory of both these privileges to remain entirely to God alone, the supreme cause.
XX. Hence it is evident, such a Saviour is promised, who was to be man, and the Son of man. But seeing he is described as stronger than the devil, who, by fin, had acquired a right over man; it follows, that he is also true God. For the bruising of the serpent's head is afcribed to him : and this he does, ift, By the merit of his satisfaction ; and therefore he must have been of such dignity, as to be able to pay a suitable ransom for all the elect. 2dly, By the efficacy of his Spirit, which gradually abolisheth every power of the devil, and so shews himself to be stronger than the strong man.
XXI. God declares the MANNER in which this Saviour was to purchase salvation, by saying to the serpent, thou shalt bruise his heel. In which words there is, ist, A denunciation of sufferings, to be inflicted on Christ by the devil and his inAtruments, whereby he would be thrown down for a time. While he himself bruises with his foot the serpent's head, and strips him of all his power; the serpent by his envenomed sting,
will grievously wound his * heel, and constrain him to stagger and fall. For a man in an upright posture, stands on his heels, which being grievously wounded he is thrown down. 2dly, A prophecy of his resurrection. For his head will not be bruised, nor his heart wounded, nor any vital part grievously affected; but only his heel hurt; nay, not both but only one. Though he was therefore thus to be thrown down, yet he was soon to rise again, on resuming strength, and shew himself a conqueror to the whole world.
XXII. The sufferings here denounced are not only WARLIKE, as a certain author calls them, with which the serpent together with his feed, from a hatred to holiness and righteousness, afsaulted Christ; but even JUDICIARY being inflicted by the most righteous sentence of God on the Son the surety, to thew his righteousness by which he could not pardon fin without a due satisfaction. For God here personates a judge: pronounces sentence against the devil, declaring his destruction at the appointed time. But the same sentence also condemns the surety of men to undergo those vexations of the devil, which, as a conqueror, he could have inflicted on finful men. He had indeed acquired his dominion over man by evil practices. Yet after man, by forsaking God, his lawful Lord, had enslaved himself to the devil, the justice of God in every respect, required his being subject to the devil, as God's jailor and executioner, for his torment, punishment, and condemnation. In which sense the devil is said to “ have the power of death,” Heb. ii. 14. and that even by virtue of the law and sentence of God: for the sting of death is fin; that is, sin introduced death, and the instruments of it, and made them sharp, mortally to wound man: but the [strength] power of fin is the law; that is, the
power that sin has of putting man to death, is in virtue of the divine law, which threatened the finner with death, 1 Cor. xv. 56. Whence it follows, that the power of the devil over sinners of mankind is so far lawful, because the devil obtains the power of death over man, but death its power from sin, and lin from the law. But as that law is most righteous, life cannot be granted to the finner in prejudice thereto. It is therefore neceffary, that satisfaction be made to it from some other quarter ; and that the devil should exercise that power of death, which he had acquired by fin, either on the finner himself, or on his furety. Yet in such a manner, that, while he puts the furety to death, he lays violent hands upon himself, and loses all his dominion over the elect; for full fatisfaction is made, by the death of the furety, to that divine justice by which the devil had obtained power over the finner. These words therefore shew, how the devil in a way agreeable to divine justice, may be deprived of all that power over the elect, which justice had granted him over sinners: namely, because the devil was to exercise that power over the surety of men, by biting his heel, or putting him to death. So that 'thofe fufferings, which was here foretold to endure, are in the highest degree, judiciary or satisfactory. Compare these things with what we have faid, Book II. Chap. VI. Sect. 23, 24.
puts Some have observed, that this expression of bruising Christ's heel, was not altogether an obfcure representation of his death on the cross, to which his feet were nailed.
XXIII. The heirs of those benefits or blessings, are, ist, The woman herself, 7v87, with the demonstrative particle he, namely, that woman whom the serpent had first attracted and conquered. She is here mentioned, but not in exclufion of her husband; but because the, having been enticed by the flatteries of Satan, seemed to have contracted a greater familie arity with him; and therefore her enmity to the devil was to be a most admirable effect of divine power and goodnefs. But then it was also a remarkable contempt put upon the proudest of spirits, that he should be vanquished not by the man, but the woman,
very woman, whom he had so easily subdued by his delusions. In fine, from this it most clearly appears, that the whole work of our salvation is owing to divine grace. For if Adam had here been expressly set in opposition to the serpent, because he was stronger and more prudent by nature, and was last overcome by the devil; this thought might by 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 feed of the woman. By which is signified not all mankind but elect believers ; as appears from that distinction, by which that feed is opposed to the feed of the ferpent. For it is evident, that wicked men, who are of their father the devil,” John viii. 44. 1 John iii. 8. and “ the children of the wicked one,” Mat. xiii. 38. are the seed 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 feed," Rom. ix. 8. And perhaps this is the reason