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by Dr. John Thomas
In these, the ground is cursed, and the man sentenced to a life of sorrowful labour, and to a resolution into his original and parent dust.
The terms in which the last particular of his sentence is expressed, are explanatory of the penalty annexed to the law.
"Thou shalt return into the ground," and "Unto dust shalt thou return," are phrases equivalent to "Dying thou shalt die".
Hence, the divine interpretation of the sentence, "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," is, "In the day of thy eating all the days of thy life of sorrow, returning thou shalt return unto the dust of the ground whence thou wast taken".
Thus, "dying," in the meaning of the text, is to be the subject of a sorrowful, painful, and laborious existence, which wears a man out, and brings him down to the brink of the grave; and, by "die," is signified the end, or last stage of corporeal existence, which is marked by a ceasing to breathe, and decomposition into dust.
Thus, man's life from the womb to the grave is a dying existence; and, so long as he retains his form, as in the case of Jesus in the sepulchre, he is existent in death; for what is termed being is corporeal existence in life and death.
The end of our being is the end of that process by which we are resolved into dust -- we cease to be.
This was Adam's state, if we may so speak, before he was created.
He had no being.
And at this non-existence he arrived after a lapse of 930 years from his formation; and thus were practically illustrated the penalty of the law and the sentence of the Judge.
For from the day of his transgression, he began his pilgrimage to the grave, at which he surely arrived.
He made his couch in the dust, and saw corruption; and with its mother earth commingled all that was known as Adam, the federal head, and chief father of mankind.
TREE OF LIFE.
"Eat and live for ever".