The Allurements of the Temptation
Genesis 3:1-6
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…

If we translate these words in a language more metaphysical, we shall find that they include the three elements which are considered to constitute perfection: goodness, beauty, and truth. Goodness in that which pleases the taste, beauty in that which delights the sight, truth in that which gives knowledge or wisdom. And remark, that in seeking this perfection the woman obeyed an impulse which God Himself had given to her nature. Yes, it was the eternal destination of man to love, admire, and appropriate to himself all that is good, all that is beautiful, all that is true. It was his destination to grow in that perfection which he already possessed by nature, but which might be developed to infinity by his union with Him who is Goodness, Beauty, Truth, and Sovereign Perfection. It was, therefore, in Him alone, and in the harmony of their will with His, that our first parents were to seek perfection. The commandment which God had given them was intended to lead them to this perfection, by placing them in a state of dependence and responsibility. It was designed to unite them to their Creator and to give them the consciousness of all that is good, beautiful, and true in the moral, as well as in the visible world, which was their habitation. But, alas! a doubt has entered into the mind of Eve, already guilty through the admission of it; the word of her God is no longer her light and the sole object of her confidence; she is going to seek out of God, goodness, beauty, and truth; yea, she expects to find them in the very object whose enjoyment has been forbidden her under pain of death, in disobedience, and in sin! Henceforward all is changed in the objects of her desires, because all is changed in her heart; henceforward we see in her pursuit of a false perfection and of a false happiness, nothing but what St. John calls, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life."

(L. Bonnet.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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?

WEB: Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, "Has God really said, 'You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?'"

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