love and mercy, determined upon the salvation of Adam and Eve's posterity, therefore He spoke to Adam and Eve and rebuked them sternly, but also helped them. That is, at eventide with great kindness He came near to sinful Adam, appeared to him, raised His voice, called Adam and asked him where he was. Adam replied: 'I1 heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.' God said: 'Who2 told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?' It should be observed that these questions do not show that God did not know where Adam was and what he had done—God forbid!—but their object was by these gracious words to give Adam an opportunity of reflecting on his sin and his lost condition, so that he might perceive its enormity and wretchedness. For up to that time Adam was unaware of the heinousness of his sin, and considered that the cause of it was not himself but the woman whom God had given him. He thus deemed God Himself the ultimate cause of his sin. The woman also made an excuse for herself and asserted that the whole cause was the snake.3 Therefore, while they fancied themselves free from blame, if God had not helped them and had not drawn near and conversed with them, they certainly would not have become aware of their sin. Hence they would not have repented, but

1 Gen. iii. 10. 2 Gen. iii. 11. 3 Gen. iii. 12-13.

would have fallen into eternal destruction. Yet, through the above mentioned and the following words which God spoke to them, they were given power and an opportunity of recognizing their sin of repenting, and of once more trusting and hoping in God.

'And1 the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.’ By these consolatory words God, in the first place, gave Adam power to feel enmity towards sin and wickedness, and to repent of it. Secondly, in these words God gave the promise of a Saviour, who would overcome Satan and deliver man from his grasp.

Thus, on hearing these words, Adam's heart once more became illumined with the light of God's love and of trust in Him. He was again drawn near to God, and, through his belief in the promised Saviour, who, according to the Old and the New Testament, is Jesus2 Christ the Lord, Adam's repentance was accepted in God's sight. It was thus that Adam obtained pardon of his sin and

1 Gen. iii. 14-15.
2 Cf. Gen. xii. 3; xviii. 18; xxii. 18; Ps. xxii.; Isa. liii.; Heb. ii. 14; 1 John iii. 5, 8; v. 4-6.