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came naturally subject to a signal punishment, and God expelled him the garden of Eden, and

placed at the east of it, cheru“ bim and a flaming sword which turned

every way, to keep the way of the tree of “ life.” Sore regret, on account of the bliss which they had forfeited, and fearful anticipation of the sorrow and death which they were doomed to suffer, now deeply saddened the minds of Adam and Eve. With tears, they looked back on the happy seat, so lately theirs, and “ hand in hand, with wandering “ steps and slow, through Eden took their “ solitary way

The garden of Eden, which they were thus expelled, has been generally supposed

* “ Various conjectures have been formed concerning the

place where man was first created, and where the garden of “ Eden was situated; but none of these have any solid founda“tion. The Jews tell us that Eden was separated from the rest of the world by the ocean, and that Adam, being banished " therefrom, walked across the sea, which he found every way “fordable, by reason of his enormous stature. The Arabians "imagined paradise to have been in the air, and that our first " parents were thrown down from it on their transgression, as " Vulcan said to have been thrown down headlong from a heaven by Jupiter."


to be the original state in which our first parents were placed. But this opinion, however general, seems to be founded in mistake. That our first parents were in a state, previous to their enjoyment of the garden of Eden, is evident, I think, to any one who carefully peruses the early part of their history. In the 16th and 17th verses of the second Chapter of the Book of Genesis, we are told that 6 the Lord God com“manded the man, saying, of every tree of “the garden thou mayest freely eat; but “ of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, “ thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day “that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely 6 die.”—Let it be remarked, that he received this prohibition, when he was in the garden of Eden ; but if we turn to the 29th verse of the first Chapter, we shall find God giving to man a general grant, without any prohibition :-" And God said, Behold, I “ have given you every herb bearing seed, 66 which is upon the face of all the earth, 6 and every tree, in the which is the fruit “ of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be 66 for meat.”—It is evident, beyond dispute, that these two passages refer to two different states. When the first grant was

given—the grant of every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, Adam and Eve must have been where no tree of knowledge, no forbidden tree grew, and they must have been intended to live, at least, so long in that state as to have occasion for food, else the grant would have been superfluous, and apt to mislead them with regard to the subsequent restriction. And what I have now inferred from the two passages just quoted, is corroborated by another passage, the 8th verse of the second Chapter : “ And the Lord God “ planted a garden eastward in Eden, and

there he put the man whom He had 66 formed.”_Here we should attend to this phrase " the man whom He had formed.” The man, it would appear, was not formed in the garden ; but in a state prior to it, where he had every tree for food, without any exception, which was not the case when he was in Eden.

The truth seems to be this, Adam and Eve in their first state, were under the dis. cipine of merely what is called natural religion. The only commandment which they had from God, was to keep themselves pure, to love Him and to love one another. This commandment, naturally arising out of the relations in which they were placed, they kept, and were unsullied. God therefore advanced them to a higher state, (for progression is characteristical of every rational and upright being :) He placed them amidst all the delights of paradise, and added to a moral, a positive injunction. The positive injunction was nothing more than this: - there was a certain tree in the garden, the fruit of which they were commanded not to taste. Now, here it deserves to be remarked, (as it is not often sufficiently attended to,) that a positive precept is generally a severer test of our obedience than even a moral one. A moral precept, strictly considered as such, is a precept the reason of which we see: a positive precept again, strictly considered as such, is a precept the reason of which we do not see. A moral duty then arises out of the nature of the case itself prior to any external command. A positive duty, on the other hand, does not arise out of the nature of the case ; but merely from external command, nor would it be a duty at all, were it not for such com


mand received from Him whose creatures and subjects we are.

From the very circumstance, then, of a precept being not moral; but positive ; from its not seeming to us to arise out of the nature of things ; but merely from the authority which enjoins it, we are sometimes apt to consider it as comparatively unimportant, and may therefore, in the hour of temptation, be more easily led to disregard it. If the order of the whole man be not perfectly established ; if our virtue be not perfectly confirmed, such an injunction, it is most likely, will be the very

first that is violated. This was precisely the case with Adam : he violated the positive injunction of his God, and became subject to punishment."God expelled him * from the garden of Eden, and placed at “the east of it cherubim and a flaming “ sword, which turned every way, to keep “ the way of the tree of life.”

In the history of this fatal catastrophe, there is mention made of a Wicked One, by whose infernal wiles it was effected. This Wicked One is denominated the Serpent. But surely it cannot be supposed that nothing more than a mere Serpent is here in

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