Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said…
I. THINGS USUALLY APPEAR UNTO US AS WE STAND AFFECTED TOWARDS THEM IN OUR HEARTS.
II. SIN PROCEEDS NOT FROM THE OUTWARD OBJECT, BUT FROM THE CORRUPTION OF THE HEART WITHIN.
III. IT IS DANGEROUS TO A MAN TO FIX HIS SENSES UPON ENTICING OBJECTS.
IV. MEN BY NATURE ARE MORE APT TO GIVE CREDIT UNTO LIES THAN UNTO THE TRUTH OF GOD.
V. MEN ARE EASILY DRAWN TO BELIEVE AND HOPE ANYTHING OF THAT WHICH THEY AFFECT AND DESIRE.
VI. THE TERRORS OF WRATH TO COME CANNOT PREVAIL AGAINST STRONG AND VIOLENT AFFECTIONS TO THINGS THAT ARE PRESENT.
VII. OUTWARD SENSE IS AN ILL AND A DANGEROUS GUIDE.
1. Sense was never given men for a judge or counsellor to determine and direct, but only for an informer.
2. Sense can show us nothing but the outward forms of such things as it represents, upon which we shall never be able to lay the ground of a right judgment: wherefore judgment according to appearance, is opposed to God's true and infallible judgment (1 Samuel 16:7).
VIII. A MAN CANNOT NATURALLY DESIRE ANYTHING BUT UNDER A SHOW AND APPEARANCE OF GOOD.
IX. MAN IS AN ILL CHOOSER OF HIS OWN GOOD.
X. IT IS A GROSS EVIL TO CHOOSE NOT WHAT IS GRANTED US, BUT WHAT WE LIKE ESPECIALLY, OUT OF RESPECT TO OURSELVES IN PARTICULAR.
XI. LUST, ONCE CONCEIVED, WILL AT LAST BRING FORTH ACTUAL SIN IN FULL PERFECTION. First, it cannot be otherwise, because inward desires and affections are the ground of all outward actions and performances, as Solomon tells us (Proverbs 4:23), which therefore must needs follow, unless there be some impediment cast in the way, especially in this corruption of man's nature, wherein they bear all the sway. Secondly, God is pleased it shall be so, that men may be made known by their actions, as a tree is known by his fruit.
XII. IT IS NOT IN THE POWER OF SATAN HIMSELF, TO DRAW ANY MAN TO SIN WITHOUT HIS CONSENT.
XIII. THEY THAT SIN THEMSELVES, ARE COMMONLY SEDUCERS OF OTHERS TO SIN.
XIV. ONE WHO HAS FALLEN INTO SIN, IS OFTEN MOST DANGEROUS TO HIS NEAREST FRIENDS.
XV. IT IS THE PROPERTY OF TRUE LOVE TO COMMUNICATE TO OTHERS WHATSOEVER ITSELF EMBRACETH AS GOOD.
XVI. THE STRONGEST MAN IS NOT ABLE TO STAND AGAINST SATAN, IF GOD LEAVE HIM TO HIMSELF.
(J. White, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?