Generations kept on growing to the point where, for space reasons, I had to omit the epigraphs related to Adam and Eve for each chapter. For your edification I have reproduced them here, together with some YouTube clips also demonstrating the ongoing cultural importance of Eden.
Now from his Maker’s voice he flees,
Which was before his joy,
And thinks to hide, amidst the trees,
From an all-seeing eye.
Compell’d to answer to his name,
With stubbornness and pride,
He cast himself on God the blame,
Nor once for mercy cried.
John Newton & William Cowper, Olney Hymns. 1. Works of Rev John Newton. Edinburgh: Nelson, 1849.
§1: Generations of Heaven (Time)
1. Genre and Metaphor
But heaven in thy
creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate’er thy thoughts, or thy heart’s workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.
How like Eve’s apple doth thy beauty grow,
If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!
William Shakespeare (1564–1616), Sonnet XCIII.
2. Biblical Signs of People beyond Eden
What Adam had, and
forfeited for all,
Christ keepeth now, who cannot fail or fall.
George Herbert (1593-1633), “The Holdfast.”
3. The Lord Is Not Slow
Adam lay i-bowndyn,
bowndyn in a bond,
Fowre thowsand wynter
thowt he not to long
And al was for an appil,
an appil that he tok.
As clerkes fyndyn wretyn
in here book
Anon, Adam Lay Ybounden. British Library Sloane 2593, ff.10v-11 (c 1400).
§2: Generations of Earth (Place)
4. Clues from the Ancient Near East
So de Lawd put Adam
to sleep and tuck out a rib and turned de rib into a woman name Eve. So when
Adam woke up again, dar was Eve, stretched out by his side, wid her haid on his
“Where’d you come from, gal?”say Adam.
“No mind whar I come from,” say Eve, “I’s yar, ain’t I?”
So Adam and Eve got married and settle down to raise a crop for de Lawd.
Roark Bradford (1896-1948), Ol’ Man Adam an’ His Chillun.
5. Culture and Geography
We thinke that Paradise and Calvarie,
Christs Crosse, and Adams tree, stood in one place;
Looke Lord, and finde both Adams met in me;
As the first Adams sweat surrounds my face,
May the last Adams blood my soule embrace.
John Donne, (1572–1631), “Hymne to God my God, in my sicknesse.
6. The Table of Nations
Desire of nations, come!
Fix in us Thy humble home:
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head;
Adam’s likeness now efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Final Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Charles Wesley (1707–1788) (altd Whitefield, George), “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” In Whitefield, Songs for Social Worship.
§3: Generations of Adam (Humanity)
7. What Is Man: What’s in a Name?
Man hath stil either
toyes, or Care,
He hath no root, nor to one place is ty’d,
But ever restless and Irregular
About this earth doth run and ride,
He knows he hath a home, but scarce knows where,
He says it is so far
That he hath quite forgot how to go there.
Henry Vaughan (1621–1695), “Man.”
8. What Is Man: What’s in an Image?
When Satan, still in
gaze as first he stood,
Scarce thus at length failed speech recovered sad:—
“O Hell! what do mine eyes with grief behold?
Into our room of bliss thus high advanced
Creatures of other mould—Earth-born perhaps,
Not Spirits, yet to Heavenly Spirits bright
Little inferior—whom my thoughts pursue
With wonder, and could love; so lively shines
In them divine resemblance, and such grace
The hand that formed them on their shape hath poured.
John Milton (1608-74, Paradise Lost. IV. 356-365.
9. The Special Creation of Adam?
The hye God, whan he
hadde Adam maked,
And saugh him al allone, bely-naked,
God of his grete goodnesse syde than,
“Lat us now make an helpe unto this man
Lyk to hymself”; and thanne he made him Eve.
Heere may ye se, and heerby may ye preve,
That wyf is mannes helpe and his confort,
His paradys terrestre, and his disport.
Geoffrey Chaucer (c 1343–1400), “The Merchants Tale,” Canterbury Tales.113-120.
10. Religion before Adam
Those ancients who in
the golden age, who sang its happy state,
perhaps, in their Parnassus, dreamt this place.
Here, mankind’s root was innocent; and here
were every fruit and never-ending spring;
these streams–the nectar of which poets sing.
Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), “Purgatorio, 28:139-144.” Divine Comedy.
11. The Importance of Genealogy
“I, Eve, sad
Of all who must live,
I, not another,
Plucked bitterest fruit to give
My friend, husband, lover.
O wanton eyes run over!
Who but I should grieve? –
Cain hath slain his brother:
Of all who must die mother,
Christina Rosetti (1830–1894), “Eve.” Poems, 209.
§4: Generations of Glory (New Creation)
12. Original Sin
All mankind fell in
One common sin infects them all;
From sire to son the bane descends,
And over all the curse impends.
Through all man’s powers corruption creeps
And him in dreadful bondage keeps;
In guilt he draws his infant breath
And reaps its fruits of woe and death.
Lazarus Spengler (1479-1534) “All Mankind Fell in Adam’s Fall.” (tr. Loy, Matthias). Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary.
13. The Transmission of Sin
O wisest love! that
flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive and should prevail.
John Henry Newman (1801–1890, Praise to the Holiest in the Height.
14. Adam and the New Creation
Down in the Garden
see Adam and Eve;
They’ve learned good and evil and they’ve learned how to grieve.
They’re hiding in shame now, but see how
The Lord gives them cover enough,
He’s sending out his mission of love.
Jon Garvey, Mission of Love. 1996.
15. A Tale of Three Testaments • 206
Thou, Lucifer, in
likeness of a wicked adder,
Got by guile those that God loved;
And I, in likeness of a man that lord am of Heaven,
Graciously thy guile have requited go guile against guile!
And as Adam and all through a tree died,
Adam and all through a tree shall turn again to life;
And guile is beguiled and in his guile fallen:
Piers Plowman, Piers the Plowman, Passus XVIII.
16. A Tale of Two Temples
See, my soul , a
From the wreck of Adam’s race:
‘Midst ten thousand foes, despising,
‘Tis the work of sovereign grace;
Here Jehovah shows his face.
Joseph Irons (1785–1852), “Temple,” Zion’s Hymns, 110.
17. The Devil and All His Works
. . . One in particular had he created
so mighty in his thinking; he let him wield so much power,
highest next to Him in Heaven-Kingdom. He had him so brightly created,
so winsome were his ways in heaven, that came to him from the Lord’s that he was like the light of the stars. He should have loved the work of the Lord.
he should have held dear to himself his joys in heaven and should have thanked his Lord
for those delights that He shared with him in that light then would He have permitted
him for a long time to wield power.
But he turned himself to a terrible thing; he began to heave up trouble against Him,
against that highest Heaven’s Ruler, who sits on the saintly throne.
The Junius Manuscript, Genesis, ll.252-61. Burchmore, Susan (tr.). The Junius Manuscript, Genesis, ll.235-85.
18. Alternative Views
Old Adam was the
first man formed, this everybody knows,
He never paid his tailor’s bill because he wore no clothes;
No soft kid gloves upon his hand, as you may well suppose,
No shirt nor collar round his neck, nor shoes to hide his toes.
He neither rent nor taxes paid, nor duns came to his door;
And he’d enough of meat and drink, and some left for the poor.
But then the poor were not yet born nor either were the great,
No thieves nor rogues had he to fear, he never locked his gate.
Traditional, Old Adam Was a Gentleman (Roud 12887). Collected from Elizabeth A. Bond of Faringdon, Berkshire.