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stored with all that was good, and put all things in it at his disposal and to his use. He appointed him supreme sovereign, under Himself: for him, whatever was in existence had been called up—for his service, and his enjoyment: for him even was “ the moon appointed for seasons ;" for him did “the stars” give their “shining;" and for him did “ the sun arise,” and “ know also his going down.” manifold are the works of the Lord! how in his riches hath he made them all! how is the earth full of his riches !"
Man was made immortal, intelligent, innocent, and happy. He was made, according to these qualities and endowments, in both kinds, male and female; either being equal to the other in dignity of character, inasmuch as either was equally animated by that breath of God which caused man to be “a living soul,” although priority of personal being was necessarily the appointment of the man.
Another great and important distinction is herein to be seen, as drawn by the Almighty, between man and other inhabitants of the world. They came, at his command, from their material, male and female. Man was made alone. Every form and faculty he possessed was specially designed and given him by his Creator. His body was formed, or shaped, from the earth, but still the earth was in his respect a passive instrument; no power had been granted it for production of a being of his destined endowments; it could impart to him neither shape, nor life, nor faculty. God had reserved to himself the exercise of this right and office. Other animals came perfect in their several kinds from the earth; he was not, it would seem, to have his perfectness from it; he was not, in his real character, to be its creature: he was its creature only as deriving his external covering from its substance. Therefore it was, that, when he was made, he stood alone in his kind; and the distinction of sexes, we are told, was not commanded, but was drawn, by the same power that made him. Man, when made, was alone, or comprised the sole immortal being of earth; and from him, in order to be precisely of his own kind, and because that God, having “breathed the breath of life” into one, would not breathe it into another, his “help meet” was taken. She was taken from him, after his entire creation after he had been formed from the earth, and had “ become a living soul by the breathing into him by God of the breath of life;" as St. Paul says, “ The woman is of the man,” altogether, in his perfect character. She was entirely of his own nature, earthly and spiritually; and hence had their appointments the more indissoluble union. When she was made, or built, as the word may be more expressively translated, it was from the rib of man; and, on that account, as being raised from his very substance, Adam said, “ This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” He immediately perceived that she was essentially part of himself; he was attracted towards her by the sameness of nature; he comprehended the purpose of God in both her formation and the means and manner of it; and so
did he “ cleave unto” her. She was immortal, naturally in soul, and conditionally in body, as he was; she was equally “ made in the image of God,” as we find it written, “ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him ; male and female created he them.” Whatever was this image of God, it was attached in its best and fullest signification to either. “ Have ye not read,” said our blessed Lord, “ that he which made them at the beginning, made them male and female ?" Eve received her actual creation in man, when God, having “ formed him out of the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;" and therefore were they in effect male and female at the first, and by this operation both alike “ made in the image, and after the likeness,” of God. I do not employ this as an unauthorized and imaginative argument.
It is of the same character with one that has been heretofore used by the great apostle of the Gentiles; I mean in that part of his writings where he shews Jesus Christ to be a Priest after the order of Melchisedec, and demonstrates the superiority of the Christian over the Levitical Priesthood : “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met him." And, is not our mode of argument further justified, lamentably justified, by the corruption which belongs to all men, by reason of the sin of Adam? offensive by nature to God, as having been in our
first father's loins when he disobeyed the commandment of God, and incurred the sentence of death. Thus, as we, being derived from him, do partake of his whole nature, so did Eve, as being derived from him, partake of his whole nature too; and, it were an absurdity to suppose, that being derived from him, after, by a certain process, he had “ become a living soul," she should not, when divided from him in person, be “a living soul” likewise : no production could be had from him, which was not in his own nature; and that could not be said to be in his nature, which should be wanting in so specially distinctive a point; she, in consequence, received, at her formation, or building up, by the hands of God, the same perfectness of character which had been originally granted by that Mighty Being to himself. When God had in this manner made them, He bestowed his blessing in the following words : “ Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.” He commanded the propagation of their kind, and expressly appointed that dominion which He had before pronounced should be theirs.
To repeat, for better elucidation, in few words, what has been already urged-Man was created “ in the image, and after the likeness," of God; they, in the language of Scripture, a language which may in this place be followed by us with singular propriety; they were “ created male and female;" male and female, in that image, and after that likeness. It was necessary that they should be so created, that they might be jointly fitted for the ensuing blessing : “And God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” If there had been any difference or inequality of creation, other than in time or sex, between the male and the female; if the one had not been created “ in the image, and after the likeness," of God, while the other was so created, human kind, in succession, would not have been in compliance with the declared intention: there would have been a deteriorating mixture of nature. In the case of the cattle, and other irrational beings, there was, properly, a procession from the ground of male and female, and they were by that means respectively similar and equal in nature: no other life or faculty was designed for them than what they received from the ground. We see, thus and further, how impossible it was but that woman should be altogether of the nature of man: there could have been no union, in agreement with the stated purposes of God, had there been this essential difference.
I will offer what remarks appear to be necessary upon the words I have just cited, the words of blessing, as applied to the multiplication of the kind, and the replenishing of the earth,-in the present chapter, and reserve for another' consideration the nature and extent of dominion which at creation was bestowed upon man: each subject will give ample scope for separate discussion.