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see in the creation, still He chose, for the wisest purposes, to divide the work of that creation into six parts, that so having blessed the seventh day, as his day of rest, he might thereby not only teach us that we ought to labour on the other days, but also that He might lay the foundation of the worship and adoration solely due to Him, as the Creator of the world, by us his creatures.

3. As the inspired historian, in recording the work of creation, did not intend to compose a book of science, we need not busy ourselves with the geological speculations by which some ingenious men build up theories from insufficient data, and attempt minutely to explain the phenomena which the earth exhibits. We may rest assured that no discoveries of science or philosophy, when properly conducted, will ever shake the foundations of revealed truth. It will be sufficient to remark, that the two great convulsions of nature-the first at the creation, by which a part of the globe gave way for the reception of the waters, which formed the

and the second at the deluge, by which the sea-bed of the former world, that had been covered with water for sixteen hundred and fifty-six years, probably became the earth which we now inhabit, would necessarily produce effects, to which causes now

sea;

existence furnish no resemblance or analogy.

Moses, it is further to be observed, describes the effects of the creation optically, or as they would have appeared to the eye: witness his account of the appearance of the moon on the fourth day, by which the rules of the creation respecting that planet, now familiar to us, were first made manifest.

4. In general we must make it a rule, in reading the Scriptures, to understand them literally as they are written. We are therefore bound to understand in that sense what Moses says of the Creation.

Let us now proceed with the revealed history of mankind.

The first man was Adam, who was formed 72. out of the dust of the ground. God breathed

into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul. He differed from the rest of the created beings, in that God created him in his own image, and after his own like

That likeness related, without doubt, to his soul, since God is a spirit, and has no body: and he was created in the image of God,

The first man.

ness.

in that his soul was immortal, through the gift of God, and capable of eternal existence; that it was spiritual, and capable of knowledge, that it was capable of choice-or free, innocent, and naturally virtuous. And here, let it be remarked, that although dominion 73. was given him over all other creatures, yet that does not imply that he is to use that authority without mercy, for then he would be their tyrant, and not their king. Man is therefore bound to use his pre-eminence, so conferred upon him, in protecting and pitying brute creatures, and not in ill-using them.

Adam in his state of innocence was placed in the Garden of Eden, of which a description is given in the 2nd chapter of Genesis. Here a helpmate was provided for him in Eve his wife, who being made from one of 74. his ribs, became, as Adam himself expresses it, “bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh." (Id. v. 23.) This garden was a delicious spot watered with many rivers, and abounding with all sorts of trees agreeable to the eye, and to the taste. Among others, God there planted the tree of life, and that of the knowledge of good and evil, with strict command to Adam that he should not eat of the latter,

The first Woman.

75. 78.

Threat of

in case of disobedience.

77.

punishment accompanied with the threat, that in the day

that he should eat thereof, he should surely

die. The event proves that this threat did 76. not mean a death of dissolution as we under

stand the word now to mean: but that, whereas he was of an immortal nature, his body should by his disobeying God, become liable to mortality, and the forerunners of death, sickness and disease. As society did not exist then, and consequently man could not be subject to the temptation which now assails him in yielding to which he disobeys God's commands, the Almighty, in order to prove his faith and obedience, could not try him by any simpler means than by the injunction to abstain from eating of the fruit of that tree. It must be remembered that this prohibition relates to the woman as well as to the man.

The commands of God, as the sequel of the history of Adam proves, did not infringe on his liberty to choose between obedience and disobedience: the choice was left to him. And such was the pride even of our first parents, that they broke through the commandment. They, being left to themselves, immediately had the presumption to think they were independent of their Maker, and they therefore yielded to the insinuations of Satan ; who, under the shape of a serpent, persuaded them that by eating of the fruit of that tree, they would become equal with God. This disobedience of God's commands constituted sin then, as it does now and will to the end of the world.

Sin introduced.

Why God permits the existence of evil in 79. this world it is not for us to inquire; we must be persuaded that it is for some ultimate good purpose. Without it, indeed, we should not have trials to go through. This life would no longer be one of preparation for the next, as it requires that we should avoid evil if we would be admitted there; and, besides, God in his mercy has provided us with his holy word, which at all times of distress will afford us relief, if we would have recourse to its truths, praying to God's holy Spirit for assistance. But that evil, and evil spirits, or angels in a fallen state, do exist we cannot deny, since the holy Scriptures assert it; and no circumstance proves in a more forcible manner the divinity of our Saviour, than his miraculous power over demons during his abode on earth as man.

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