? ?Temptation sharp? Thank God a second time! Why comes temptation but for man to meet And master and make crouch beneath his foot, And so be pedestaled in triumph? Pray ?Lead us into no such temptations, Lord?? Yea, but, O thou whose servants are the bold, Lead such temptations by the head and hair, Reluctant dragons, up to who dares fight. That so he may do battle and have praise!?
3. How could a penalty so great be justly connected with disobedience to so slight a command?
To this question we may reply:
(a) So slight a command presented the best test of the spirit of obedience.
Cicero: ?Parra res est, at magna culpa.? The child?s persistent disobedience in one single respect to the mother?s command shows that in all his other acts of seeming obedience he does nothing for his mother?s sake, but all for his own. This shows, in other words, that he does not possess the spirit of obedience in a single act. S. S. Times: Trifles are trifles only to trifiers. Awake to the significance of the insignificant! for you are in a world that belongs not alone to the God of the infinite, but also to the God of the infinitesimal.?
(b) The external command was not arbitrary or insignificant in its substance. It was a concrete presentation to the human will of God?s claim to eminent domain or absolute ownership.
John Hall, Lectures on the Religious Use of Property, 10 ? ?It sometimes happens that owners of land, meaning to give the use of it to others, without alienating it, impose a nominal rent ? a quit-rent, the passing of which acknowledges the recipient as owner and the occupier as tenant. This is understood in all lands. In many an old English deed, ?three barley-corns,? ?a fat capon,? or ?a shilling,? is the consideration which permanently recognizes the rights of lordship. God taught men by the forbidden tree that he was owner, that man was occupier. He selected the matter of property to be the test of man?s obedience, the outward and sensible sign of a right state of heart toward God and when man put forth his hand and did eat, he denied God?s ownership and asserted his own. Nothing remained but to eject him.?
(c) The sanction attached to the command shows that man was not left ignorant of its meaning or importance.
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