1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Our Terrestrial System Before the Fall
Our friend says, that his notion is that all creation became corrupt at the fall, even to the elements. This is the general idea. Moses tells us very plainly, that when the terrestrial system was completed on the Sixth Day, that God reviewed all that He had made, and pronounced it "very good." But, in what sense was it very good? In an animal and physical sense; for it was a natural and animal system, not a spiritual one.
Such a system is essentially one of waste and reproduction; and was organized with reference to what God knew would come to pass. This is implied in the placing of the earth in such a position with respect to the sun, moon, and stars, that there should be a diversity of seasons, &c.
Thus, fall and winter, seasons of decay and death, were institutions existing before the Fall; and presented to Adam and Eve phenomena illustrative of the existence in the physical system of a principle of corruption, the extent of which, however, they might not have been fully apprized of.
Death and corruption, then, with reproduction, the characteristic of spring and summer, is the fundamental law of the physical system of the Six Days. Adam and Eve, and all the other animals born of the earth with themselves, would have died and gone to corruption, if there had been no transgression, provided that there had been no further interference with the physical system than Moses records in his history of the Six Day.
Let us, by way of illustration, confine our attention to the two animals at the head of animated nature, called Adam and Eve. Concerning them, it may be inquired,
"If they would have died under the proviso above stated, how can Paul's saying be true, that 'Death entered into the world of sin?;'"
True; the death principle was an essential property of their nature; but as they did not die till after their transgression, death did not enter in till after that event. But, the inquirer means,
"If they would have died anyhow under the proviso, how can death be said to be the consequence of sin?"
Death is not the consequence of sin, sin being the original physical cause-but the physical consequence of a moral act. If thou doest thus and so, "dying thou shall die;" but just reverse this saying, and let it read, "If thou doest thus and so, "dying thou shalt not die."
Here are moral acts with diverse physical results. Now, if these two results are ordained upon two essentially dying creatures, because animal creatures, what is implied? Why, that in the one case the dying process shall not be interrupted, and therefore death would follow: while in the other, the process should be interrupted, and therefore life should be established.
In the former case, all that would be necessary would be to let things take their natural course; but in the latter, this would not do; and therefore it would be necessary to bring into play a transforming force which should change the very good animal nature into a very good spirtual, or incorruptible nature, which latter formed no part of the system of the Six Days.
Now, these conditions were fulfilled by the arrangements in Paradise, where sin first made its appearance. There were there two trees; the one styled "the Tree of Lives;" the other, "the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil;" and which, because of the penalty attached to the eating of its fruit, may be styled "the Tree of Deaths."
The lives and the deaths of Adam and Eve were predicated, not upon any peculiarity of their animal constitution, but upon the relations they might come to sustain to those two trees in Paradise. Moses has given us the history of their case, and from this we learn that they placed themselves under the law which sentenced them to death by eating of the fruit they were commanded not to eat.
Now, all that was necessary for this sentence to take effect was just to allow the laws of the animal economy to take their course, and the result would be death and corruption, or a return to the dust from whence they were taken.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, July, 1855
2 And on the seventh day Elohim ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
The six days of Genesis were unquestionably six diurnal revolutions of the earth upon its axis. This is clear from the tenor of the Sabbath law.
"Six days shalt thou labour (O Israel) and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
Would it be any fit reason that, because the Lord worked six periods of a thousand or more years each, and had ceased about two thousand until the giving of the law, therefore the Israelites were to work six periods of twelve hours, and do no work on a seventh period or day of like duration?
Six days of ordinary length were ample time for Omnipotence with all the power of the universe at command to re-form the earth, and to place the few animals upon it necessary for the beginning of a new order of things upon the globe.
Elpis Israel 2.1.
3 And Elohim blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which Elohim created and made.
We meet with no traces in the Mosaic history of ceremonial observances, or religious worship, pertaining to the novitiate. To rest one day in seven; believe that the Lord God would perform His word if they transgressed; and to abstain from touching the Tree of Knowledge, was all their Gracious Benefactor required.
There was no "religion" in the garden of Eden -- no sacrifices, or offerings, for sin was as yet a stranger there. Their tenure of the Paradise was predicated upon their abstinence from sin: so that it could be forfeited only by transgression of the law of the Lord.
Elpis Israel 2.12.
The paradisaic was a state of union between God and man, which union sin, "the transgression of law," divided. Hence, religion is that remedy or system of things, divinely appointed for closing up the breach, and restoring paradisaic harmony upon the earth. As the Sabbath, therefore, was instituted before "sin entered into the world by one man," it is evident that it was no part of the sin-remedy, and consequently not a religious institution.
Shavbath, called "Sabbath" in our tongue, signifies cessation, resting, or time of rest, from the verb shahvath, he ceased; hence the phrase, eth-yom hasshavbath, the resting or sabbath day. Moses says that this day was "the seventh day," and that it terminated the period during which the Elohim by the Spirit of the Invisible were occupied in fitting up the earth as a dwelling-place for the animal races.
The work being ended on Friday night, shahvath, he ceased, the Spirit ceased or refrained from creating and making on Saturday. Hence the reason given for blessing and sanctifying the seventh day
-"And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."
He did not rest in the sense of being tired; for
"the everlasting God, Yahweh, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary:"
but he simply assumed inactivity, or ceased his demiurgic operations. What the words of blessing were we cannot tell, because they are not recorded.
We may, however, infer that they were words of promise to man for whom the sabbath was made; and judging from subsequent revelation, we may conclude that the words of sanctification and blessing predicted a state of things upon the earth in the enjoyment of which all Adam's posterity approved of God should "be as the gods," holy, happy, and in perfect harmony with himself.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, July 1853
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh Elohim made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for Yahweh Elohim had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And Yahweh Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
When the dust of the ground was formed into a body of life, or living soul, or, as Paul terms it, a physical or natural body, it was a very good animal creation. It was not a pneumatic, or spirit-body, indeed, for it would then have been immortal and incorruptible, and could neither have sinned, nor have become subject to death; but for an animal or natural body, it was "very good," and capable of an existence free from evil, as long as its probationary aion, or period might continue.
If that period had been fixed for a thousand years, and man had continued obedient to law all that time, his flesh and blood nature would have experienced no evil; and at the end of that long day, he might have been permitted to eat of the Tree of the Lives, by which eating he would have been changed in the twinkling of an eye into a spirit-body, which is incorruptible, glorious, and powerful; and he would have been living at this day.
Eureka - 2.2.4.
The man is put on the same footing with all other creatures. They are bodies or "souls of life," and so is he; they all have "the breath of the spirit of lives," and so has he; they are all "dust of the ground," save those from the waters, and so is he; the only difference between him and them is the same thing that constitutes the difference between the dog and the lion, or the elephant and the camel -- organization of the dust.
Breath of Life
In this word was life, spirit, or energy . "It was God. All things were made by it, and without it was not anything made that was made" (John 1:1-5). Hence, says Elihu,
"the Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me Iife;" (Job 33:4)
or, as Moses testifies,
"the Lord God formed man, the dust of the ground, and breathed in to his nostrils the breath of lives; and man became a LIVING SOUL" (Gen. 2:7).
Now, if it be asked, what do the Scriptures define "a living soul" to be? -- the answer is, a living, natural, or animal body, whether of birds, beasts, fish, or men. The phrase living creature is the exact synonym of living soul. The Hebrew words nephesh chayiah are the signs of the ideas expressed by Moses. Nephesh signifies creature, also life, soul, or breathing frame from the verb to breathe: chayiah is of life -- a noun from the verb to live.
Nephesh chayiah is the genus which includes all species of living creatures; namely Adam man, beme beast of the field, chitu wild beast, remesh reptile, and ouph fowl, &c. In the common version of the Scriptures, it is rendered living soul; so that under this form of expression the Scriptures speak of "all flesh" which breathes in air, earth, and sea.
Writing about body, the apostle says, "there is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." But, he does not content himself with simply declaring this truth; he goes further, and proves it by quoting the words of Moses, saying, "for so it is written, the first man Adam was made into a living soul ;" and then adds, "the last Adam into a spirit giving life, eiV pnenma zwopoioun" (1 Cor. 15:44-5).
Hence, in another place, speaking of the latter, he says of him, "now the Lord is the Spirit -- ode kurioV to pnenma eotin. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into His image from glory into glory, as by the Lord the Spirit -- apo kurion pnenmatov" (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
The proof of the apostle's proposition that there is a natural body as distinct from a spiritual body, lies in the testimony, that "Adam was made into a living soul;" showing that he considered a natural, or animal body, and a living soul, as one and the same thing. If he did not, then there was no proof in the quotation, of what he affirmed.
A man then is a body of life in the sense of his being an animal, or living creature -- nephesh chayiah adam. As a natural man, he has no other pre-eminence over the creatures God made, than what his peculiar organization confers upon him. Moses makes no distinction between him and them; for he styles them all living souls, breathing the breath of lives.
Thus, literally rendered he says,
"the Elohim said, the waters shall produce abundantly sherets chayiah nephesh the reptile living soul;" and again, "kal nephesh chayiah erameshat every living soul creeping."
In another verse,
"let the earth bring forth nephesh chayiah the living soul after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth, &c.;" and "lekol rumesh ol earets asher bu nephesh chayiah to every thing creeping upon the earth which (has) in it living breath" (Gen. 1:20, 21, 24, 30), that is, breath of lives. And lastly, "whatsoever Adam called nephesh chayiah (the living soul) that was the name thereof" (Gen. 2:19).
Quadrupeds and men, however, are not only "living souls," but they are vivified by the same breath and spirit. In proof of this, I remark first, that the phrase "breath of life" in the text of the common version is neshemet chayim in the Hebrew; and that, as chayim is in the plural, it should be rendered breath of lives. Secondly, this neshemet chayim is said to be in the inferior creatures as well as in man.
Thus, God said,
"I bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is ruach chayim spirit of lives" (Gen. 6:17). And in another place, "they went in to Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, in which is ruach chayim spirit of lives." "And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing, and every man; all in whose nostrils was neshemet ruach chayim BREATH OF SPIRIT OF LIVES" (Gen. 7:15-22).
Now, as I have said, it was the neshemet chayim with which Moses testifies God inflated the nostrils of Adam; if, therefore, this were divine particula aure a particle of the divine essence,
as it is affirmed, which became the "immortal soul" in man, then all other animals have "immortal souls" likewise; for they all received "breath of spirit of lives" in common with man.
Elpis Israel 2.3.
8 And Yahweh Elohim planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
"When Moses penned the words "in Eden", he was westward in "the wilderness of the land of Egypt." From the expression, then, we are to understand, that there was a country styled Eden in his day, which lay to the westward of his position.
Adam and Eve were its aborigines. It was "the East" of the Egyptians...It was quite an extensive range of country, and in after times became the seat of powerful dominions.
It appears to have been well watered by the branches, or tributaries, of "a river that went," or flowed, "out of it" (verse 10). These were four principal streams, whose names, as given by Moses, are the Pison, "which compasseth the who land of Havilah;" the Gihon, "the same is it which compasseth the whole land of Khush," or Khushistan; the third, the Hiddekel, or Tigris; "that is it which goeth eastward to Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates" (verses 11-14), frequently styled in the Scriptures, "the Great River" (Gen. 15:18).
On the map before me, there are four rivers which flow together, and at length form a river which falls into the Persian Gulph. This indicates the country called Eden, namely, that which is watered by these rivers; so that we may reasonably conclude, that in early times it comprehended the land east of the Jordan, Syria, Assyria, part of Persia, Khushistan, and the original settlements of Ishmael (Gen. 25:18.)
Elpis Israel 2.8.
A garden eastward in Eden
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
While Eden was "the East" eastward of the wilderness, the garden of Eden was eastward in Eden. "Eden the garden of the Lord," and "the garden of Eden," are quite different ideas. The former designates the whole of Eden as the Lord's garden; the latter, as merely a plantation in some part of it.
To plant a garden is to fence in a certain piece of land, and to adorn it with fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs. If unenclosed, and consequently, unguarded, it is not a garden.
The name of the plantation implies, that its surface was protected from the invasion of the animals, whose habits made them unfit tenants of a garden. The place, then, was an inclosure, planted with "every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food."
Its situation, Moses says, was "eastward," having a river flowing through it to water it. I suspect from this, that it laid somewhere between the Gulph of Persia, and the junction of the Euphrates and the Tigris.
The text reads,
"and a river went out of Eden to water the garden and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads":
which I should interpret thus: -- a river flowing out of Eden was caused to water the garden on its way to the sea; and from the garden northward, the river diverged into its tributaries, which terminated at four several heads.
The heads were not in the garden, but at remote distances from it. The garden of Eden was watered by only one, and not by four rivers; as it is written,
"a river went out to water it;"
which certainly excludes the four from its inclosure.
Elpis Israel 2.9.
15 And Yahweh Elohim took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep
The garden being prepared in Eden, the Lord placed the man there whom He had formed. It was there the "deep sleep" came over him, and he first beheld his bride. They were now settled in Paradise; and, protected by its inclosure from the intrusion of the inferior creatures, they passed their days in blissful tranquillity, innocent of transgression, and in peaceful harmony with God and the creatures He had made.
Adam dressed the garden and kept it. This was his occupation. Though as yet sinless, it was no part of his enjoyments to be idle. To eat bread in the sweat of the face is sorrowful; but to work without toil is an element of health, and cheerfulness, and is doubtless the rule of life to all the intelligences of the universe of God.
But, he was not simply an inhabitant of the Paradise, placed there "to dress and keep it." The work before him was to begin the replenishment, and subjugation of the earth. For in the blessing pronounced upon them, God said, "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." The material was all before him. The earth was to be peopled; and the culture of the garden, as the model of improvement, to be extended as his posterity spread themselves over its surface.
Elpis Israel 2.10.
16 And Yahweh Elohim commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
That "every tree of the garden" did not include "the tree of life," is evident from the considerations that have already appeared in the Christadelphian. It is evident also from a comparison of the terms of allusion. Thus in Gen. ii. 9, "every tree" is mentioned first, and then follows "the tree of life also, which is in the midst of the garden" - which shows the tree of life distinct from "every tree," and standing apart "in the midst."
This was the position of the "tree of knowledge," as appears from Eve's response to the first enquiry of the serpent:
"Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it."
The two trees evidently stood together "in the midst"-apart-and were not included in "every tree of the garden," of which Adam and Eve might "freely eat." Adam and Eve had not touched the tree of life, as apparent from the words,
"And now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, therefore."
Such language would have been inapplicable if they had been in the habit of partaking of the tree of life.
The Christadelphian, June 1894. p232
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
...in their novitiate, Adam and his betrothed had a nature capable of corruption, but were not subject to death, or mortal. The penalty was "dying thou shalt die;" that is,
"you shall not be permitted to eat of the Tree of Life in arrest of dissolution; but the inherent tendency of your animal nature shall take its course, and return you to the dust whence you originally came."
Mortality was in disobedience as the wages of sin, and not a necessity.
Elpis Israel 2.12.
The Eternal Spirit drew a line before Adam, and said, Thou shalt not cross, or pass over that line upon pain of evil and death. That line was the Eden law; on the east of that line was the answer of a good conscience, friendship with God, and life without end; but on the west, fear, shame, misery, and death.
To obey, was to maintain the position in which he was originally placed; to disobey, to cross over the line forbidden. But
' "he was drawn away, and enticed by his own lusts."
The narrative of Moses proves this. The man was enticed of his own lust to cross over the line, or to disobey the law; so that his own lust is the Diabolos. Thus, etymology and doctrine agreeing, our definition must be correct.
These are the most remarkable trees that have ever appeared in the vegetable kingdom. They were "pleasant to the sight, and good for food."
This, however, is all that is said about their nature and appearance. They would seem to have been the only trees of their kind; for, if they had been common, Eve's desire to taste the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and their inclination to eat of that of the Tree of Life, could have been gratified by eating of other similar trees.
...The final consequence of eating of this tree being death, it may be styled the Tree of Death in contradistinction to the Tree of Life. Decay of body, and consequent termination of life, ending in corruption, or mortality, was the attribute which this fatal tree was prepared to bestow upon the individual who should presume to touch it.
...In the sentence "thou shalt surely die," death is mentioned in the Bible for the first time. But Adam lived several centuries after he had eaten of the tree...
The obscurity which creates the difficulty, does not lie in the words spoken, but in the English version of them. The phrase "in the day" is supposed to mean that on the very day itself upon which Adam transgressed, he was to die in some sense. But this is not the use of the phrase even in the English of the same chapter. For in the fourth verse of the second chapter, it is written,
"in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew."
This, we know, was the work of six days; so that "in the day" is expressive of that period. But in the next before us, the same phrase represents a much longer period, for Adam did not die until he was 930 years old; therefore, the day in which he died did not terminate till then.
Elpis Israel 2.11.
...the sentence judicially pronounced would write itself in his constitution after the example of Elisha's imprecation of the leprosy on Gehazi who went from the presence of the prophet's words as white as snow.
Visible hand of God Ch 4.
18 And Yahweh Elohim said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
The woman was of the man
Adam, having been formed in the image, after the likeness of the Elohim on the sixth day, remained for a short time alone in the midst of the earthborns of the field. He had no companion who could reciprocate his intelligence; none who could minister to his wants, or rejoice with him in the delights of creation; and reflect the glory of his nature.
The Elohim are a society, rejoicing in the love and attachment of one another; and Adam, being like them, though of inferior nature, required an object, which should be calculated to evoke the latent resemblances of his similitude to theirs. It was no better for man to be alone than for them.
Formed in their image, he had social feelings as well as intellectual and moral faculties, which required scope for their practical and harmonious exercise. A purely intellectual and abstractly moral society, unattempered by domesticism, is an imperfect state. It may be very enlightened, very dignified and immaculate; but it would also be very formal, and frigid as the poles.
A being might know all things, and he might scrupulously observe the divine law from a sense of duty; but something more is requisite to make him amiable, and beloved by either God or His fellows. This amiability and social feelings enable him to develope; which, however, if unfurnished with a proper object, or wholesome excitation, re-act upon him unfavourably, and make him disagreeable. Well aware of this, Yahweh Elohim said,
"it is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a help fit for him" (Gen. 2:18).
Elpis Israel 2.6.
19 And out of the ground Yahweh Elohim formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And Yahweh Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
The testimony of Moses in regards to the formation of woman, brings to light a very interesting phenomenon, which has since been amply proved to be the result of a natural law. It is, that man may be made insensible to pain by being placed in a deep sleep.
The Lord Elohim availed Himself of this law, and subjected the man He had made to its operation; and man, because he is in His likeness, is also able to influence his fellow-man in the same way. The art of applying the law is called by various names, and may be practised variously. The name does not alter the thing.
A man's rib might be extracted now with as little inconvenience as Adam experienced, by throwing him into a deep sleep, which in numerous cases may be easily effected; but there our imitative ability ceases. We could not build up a woman from the rib.
Greater wonders, however, than this will man do here after; for by "the Man Christ Jesus" will his Bride be created from the dust, in His own image after His own likeness,
"to the glory of God throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Elpis Israel 2.6.
22 And the rib, which Yahweh Elohim had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
She was to be a dependent creature; and a sympathy was to be established between them, by which they should be attached inseparably. It would not have been fit, therefore, to have given her an independent origin from the dust of the ground. Had this been the case, there would have been about the same kind of attachment between men and women as subsists among the creatures below them.
The woman's companionship was designed to be intellectually and morally sympathetic with "the image and glory, of God," whom she was to revere as her superior. The sympathy of the mutually independent earthborns of the field, is purely sensual; and in proportion as generations of mankind lose their intellectual and moral likeness to the Elohim, and fall under the dominion of sensuality; so the sympathy between men and women evaporates into mere animalism.
But, I say, such a degenerate result as this, was not the end of her formation. She, was not simply to be "the mother of all living;" but to reflect the glory of man as he reflected the glory of God.
To give being to such a creature, it was necessary she should be formed out of man. This necessity is found in the law which pervades the flesh. If the feeblest member of the body suffer, all the other members suffer with it; that is, pain even in the little finger will produce distress throughout the system. Bone sympathizes with bone, and flesh with flesh, in all pleasurable, healthful, and painful feelings.
Hence, to separate a portion of Adam's living substance, and from it to build a woman, would be to transfer to her the sympathies of Adam's nature; and though by her organization, able to maintain an independent existence, she would never lose from her nature a sympathy with his, in all its intellectual, moral, and physical manifestations. According to this natural law, then, the Lord Elohim made woman in the likeness of the man, out of his substance.
He might have formed her from his body before he became a living soul; but this would have defeated the law of sympathy; for, in inanimate matter there is no mental sympathy. She must, therefore, be formed from the living bone and flesh of the man.
To do this was to inflict pain; for to cut out a portion of flesh would have created the same sensations in Adam as in any of his posterity. To avoid such an infliction,
"the Lord God caused a deep sleep to, fall upon Adam, and he slept."
While thus unconscious of what was doing, and perfectly insensible to all corporeal impressions, the Lord "took out one of his ribs, and then closed up the flesh in its place." This was a delicate operation; and consisted in separating the rib from the breast bone and spine. But nothing is too difficult for God. The most wonderful part of the work had yet to be performed. The, quivering rib, with its nerves and vessels, had to be increased in magnitude, and formed into a human figure, capable of reflecting the glory of the man.
Elpis Israel 2.6.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
When the Lord God presented the newly formed creature to her parent flesh, Adam said,
"this is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Ishah (or Outman), because she was taken out of Ish, or man. Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh".
Thus, Adam pronounced upon himself the sentence that was to bind them together for weal or woe, until death should dissolve the union, and set them free for ever. This was marriage. It was based upon the great fact of her formation out of man; and consisted in Adam taking her to himself with her unconstrained consent.
There was no religious ceremonial to sanctify the institution; for the Lord Himself even abstained from pronouncing the union. No human ceremony can make marriage more holy than it is in the nature of things.
Superstition has made it "a sacrament," and, inconsistently enough, denied it, though "a holy sacrament," to the very priests she has appointed to administer it. But priests and superstition have no right to meddle with the matter; they only disturb the harmony, and destroy the beauty, of God's arrangements.
A declaration in the presence of the Lord Elohim, and the consent of the woman, before religion was instituted, is the only ceremonial recorded in the case.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Guided by the precepts of the Lord God, his conscience continued good, and his heart courageous.
They were no more abashed than children in their nudity; for though adults in stature, yet, being in the infancy of nature, they stood before the Elohim and in the face of one another, without embarrassment. This fact was accidentally recorded. As we shall see hereafter, it is a clue, as it were, given to enable us to understand the nature of the transgression.
Elpis Israel 2.11.