I need some help to find some theological references. First, some background. Lots of the earliest posts on this blog were about the function of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. I argue, there, that the promise of eternal life was annexed to the Tree of Life and that Adam could have eaten the fruit of that tree by faith in God’s word and so secured the promise of eternal life for himself and all his offspring. This understanding of the Garden covenant alters the traditional Reformed Covenant of Works, because it adds the extra dimension of eternal life by faith, not works, to the agreement.
Edward Fisher, in his Marrow of Modern Divinity, agrees with me, so, of course, he must be right. He also says that “some learned men, do think” the same. The problem is, I have not found which learned men he is referring to as most theologians of his time believe that the Tree of Life acted like a Zwinglian sacrament, functioning only to remind Adam of what he hoped for if he remained obedient to the law of God by abstaining from eating the fruit of the other tree. Fisher writes a dialogue between Nomista (the legalist) and Evangelista (the true gospel man):
Nomista. Well, sir, I do perceive that Adam and all mankind in him were created most holy.
Evangelista. Yea, and most happy, too: for God placed him in paradise in the midst of all delightful pleasures and contents, wherein he did enjoy most near and sweet communion with his Creator, in whose presence is fullness of joy, and whose right hand are pleasures evermore, (Psa 16:11). So that if Adam had received of the tree of life, by taking and eating it, while he stood in the state of innocency before his fall, he had certainly been established in a happy estate for ever, and could not have been seduced and supplanted by Satan, as some learned men, do think, and as God’s own words seem to imply, (Gen 3:22)
Does anyone know who these “learned men” might be?