« הקודםהמשך »
rendered in the Margin) a Soul; and Fowls, that may fly above the Earth, in the open Firmament of Heavens and God created great Whales, and every living Creature that moveth, which the Waters brought forth abundantly after their Kind, and every winged Fowl after his Kind, and God saw that it was good. The Beasts and Reptiles, as produced out of the Earth, were the Work of the Fifth Day, ver. 24. And God said, Let the Earth bring forth the living Creature after his Kind, Cattle, and creeping Thingi and Beajl of the Earth after his Kind, and it was so. And God made the Beast of the Earth after his Kind, and Cattle afer their Kind, and every Thing that creepeth upon the Earth after his Kind: and God saw that it was good. They were all pronounced to be good, yea, very good, being the Productions of infinite Wisdom and Goodness, formed in Member, Weight, and Measure, of the most exquisite Beauty, the most delicate Proportion, without Desect, without Superfluity, exactly fitted and enabled to answer the various Purposes of their Creation, to execute the Will of their Creator, to minister to the Delight and Service of Man, and contribute to the Beauty and Harmony of the universal System. These, therefore, were the first Inhabitants of Paradise, in which they were settled by their Maker, with a special Blessing to increase and multiply their Species, in the several Regions of Nature, appointed for their Habitation. We may consider them as the numerous Domestics of some great and mighty Prince, sent beforehand, to fill, adorn, and beautify the several Offices and Apartments of his Court, and give him a magnisicent and triumphant Reception. Accordingly we find, that so
soon soon as Man was created in the Image of God, veYi" ib, 27. God gave him an absolute Power and Domi- . nion over them all. He blejsed thenif and said unto themt Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it, and have Dominion over the Fish of the Seat and over the Fowl of the Air, and over every living Thing that moveth upon the Earth. As Man was thus created in the Image of the Ever-blelied Trinity, all the Excellencies and Persections that were to be found in every Species oi Animals in their most persect State, were all in a super-eminent Degree in • the persect human Nature^ thereby our first Parent had an intire Knowledge, and absolute Dominion over all the various Kinds, Ranks* and Orders of the animal and vegetable Worldv By the first he was enabled to know the very central Natures, and most kitimate Properties and Powers of every Species, and to give them significant Names, expressive of their several Natures. Thus we read, Gen. 11. 19. And mt of the Ground the Lord God formed every Beast of the Field, and every Fowl of the Air, and brought them' wito Adam to fee what he would call them; and whatsoever Adam called every living Creature, that was the Name thereof. The Original of all Names was to express the Nature of the Things named, upon which Account Names and Natures were very frequently in Scripture used promiscuously. And as he persectly knew their several Properties and Powers, and had them all in a super-eminent Degree within himself, fo he had an absolute Power to direct and con- . troul them, so as to sulfil the Will of their Creator, in answering the End of their Creation, and pre'""^erving the Peace and Harmony of the whole System.
Whilst they received through him, as God's Vicegerent, and their Governor, such Communications of Happinese, as their Nature was capable of, and their State of Being required. He was their immediate Lord, receiving from the infinite Fountain of Light and Good, a constant uninterrupted Communication of Lise and Blessing, which were through him derived to all the several Parts and Inhabitants of the animal and vegetable Creation, and thereby kept them all in absolute Subjection and Dependence upon him; so that he had an intire Dominion over this whole visible World which we inhabit. To this original Charter or Commission, the holy Pfalmist resers, Pfal. viii. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Lord, what is Man, that thou art mindful of him, and the Son of Man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him lower than thi Ægels, to crown him with Glory and Worjhip: Thou madest him to have Dominion, over the Works of thy Hands, thou hast put all Things in Subjection under his Feet; all Sheep and Oxen, yea, and the Beasts of the Field, the Fowls of the Air, and the Fijhes of the Sea, and whatsoever walketh through the Paths of the Sea.
Here, Madam, let us make a Stand, and review,with Astonishment and Rapture, the infinite Wisdom, Power, and Goodness of our Almighty Creator, the transcendent and inconceivable Beauties of the new World, the Harmony, the Peace, and Happiness of these its once happy Inhabitants, blesiedV with more- exalted Faculties, Strength, and Beauty, cropping the everlasting Verdure, the unsading Flowers of Paradise, drinking the untainted Streams of Lise and Immortality in a delicious Garden, into which neither Sin nor Sorrow, Corruption or Death"* had yet entered, exempt from Pain and Sickness* Labour and Misery, where the Spirits of Darkness had no Power, nor the least Appearance and Shadow of Evil could find Admission; where all was Purity, Light, and Pleasure, the Joys and Beauties of eternal Spring; where each of them, in their proper Place and Order, were ministering to the Happiness of their Sovereign Lord, the Harmony and Order of the System; and proclaiming aloud, as it were with one Voice, the Glory and the Goodness of him that made them !— Such was, such must have been, (if we believe the Scriptures) the blessed Condition of these once happy Creatures.
Is there any Thing in this Account that seems either impossible or improbable? Does not the whole appear consistent, reasonable, worthy of God, and agreeable to Scripture i On the other hand, how mean, how trifling, how unworthy of God, how repugnant to Scripture, is the Philosophy of those, who suppose them to be either animated by Evil Spirits, or else, allowing them no spiritual Principle of Motion or Action, suppose them to be mere Machines, to have no more Sense or Perception than a Clock, or a Watch; that though they have some Motion, some Appearance of Sense, and Shadow os Reason, yet it is no more than what arises from the Structure of their Organs, and the Mechanism of their frame; that they are therefore no more the Objects of our Compassion, than any other Piece of Machinery. That their Cries and Complaints, which we commonly fancy to be Expressions of Grief, Pain, or Suffering, are no more to be regarded than the Sound
of of a Drum when it is beaten, or the Noise of a Clock when it strikes. Is not this offering Violence to Reason, Nature, and common Sense? Is it not making a Mock of God's Creatures? Sure I am that the Scriptures, and most antient Philosophy, treat this Subject in a very different Manner. Moses declares, in the most express Manner, that they have living Souls, Gen. i. 29, 30. And God said) Beholds I have given you every Herb bearing Seed which is upon the Face as all the Earth; and every Tree, in which is the Fruit of a Tree, yielding Seed, to you it shall be for Meat. And to every Beast of the Earth, and to every Fowl of the Air, and to every Thing that creepeth upon the Earth, wherein there is Life, or (as it ought to be rendered, as in the Margin, a living Soul) I have given every green Herb for Meat. On this Account it is that the Scriptures every where represent them as Objects of the Divine Care and Compassion, as depending upon him for the Support and Sustenance of that Lise which he has given them. Hence holy^/W, xxxiii. 41. asks this Question, Who provides h for the Raven his Food? TVhen his Young-ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of Meat» •The Pfalmist has the fame Expression, Psal. cxlvii. 9. That God giveth Fodder to the Cattle, and feedeth the young Ravens when they call upon him. Sa again, Psal. civ. speaking of the whole Brute-Creation, he fays, These wait all upon thee, that thou may est give them their Meat in due Season; when thou gives it them, they gather it; when thou openest thy Hand, they are filled with Good» Our blessed Lord fays the fame Thing, Matt. vi. 26. Behold the Fowls of the Air, for they sow not, neither do they spin, and yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. And, in the Levitical Lcnv, God seems to assert his Vol. I. Q, peculiar