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garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” She speaks of her own knowledge; and the most scrupulous criticism would not judge otherwise : there is nothing to cause us to think that the injunction to her was not immediate from God. Besides, there can be no doubt that man was placed in the garden on the day of his creation : the whole of God's works were performed within six days, and the planting of that garden was of the work of one of them. In truth, there is reason to believe that it was planted on the third day; but that is a point more fitly to be entered upon when we come to consider the particular subject to which it belongs, and I will indulge in no anticipatory remarks. And, again, Adam, we may suppose, named the other animals at the time he received his grant of dominion; and that grant was made, after man was created, male and female. If we have to take the account of the second chapter as an account of exact order, we shall be obliged to set much of the work of creation after the seventh day, which would be manifest error. We, then, for all these reasons, do conclude that, where it is said, God created man, male and female, he created them and formed them on the sixth day, in either kind. We are to take the account of the first chapter as an account of exact order; and the naming of the irrational animals will be therefore made to have occurred after the division into the kinds of male and female ; for that must, as I have said, have been after the assignment of dominion over them : it was in itself. an exercise of dominion; it was a claim of authority; and, as the assignment was unto both, they must both have been in full previous existence and formation ; and the placing of them in the garden of Eden must have happened thereafter, that is, when the grant of “ the herb bearing seed,” and of the “ tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed,” was delivered ; otherwise, we should have two separate grants of food the same in kind; what, I presume, no one will contend for.
This matter being made so far clear, I will offer some few and brief remarks upon the words of the former part of the blessing which God now pronounced on the man and the woman: “ Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” It was the design of God, from the beginning, to fill the earth with the species of man whom he had at that time created, the expression “ replenish the earth” shewing that there was no part of it in which mankind were not fitted to have their dwelling and sustenance. To “replenish the earth” must be a work of very lengthened time: God, notwithstanding, made it at once capable of containing all the inhabitants which it was appointed on its most distant day to possess. He did not produce just so much as should be required for first use, and leave the future supply to the call of future necessity. He created the whole together, since the power of creation was not a second time, in the material world, to be manifested. Useless, then, as we may conceive so much of our globe to be; unoccupied, waste, and even barren, as it appears to our sight, yet are we to believe that the time will arrive when all shall be in requisition and service. God created man, as we have seen, male and female; and He gave them the power of multiplication in the blessing he delivered: “ God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Without this blessing, they had been without this power : it ordained, likewise, to their descendants the same nature and privileges which they themselves held and enjoyed : in them, it was vouchsafed unto all men; and thus did God “ make of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and determine the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” Had Adam and Eve continued in the innocence in which they were made, innocence in their kind would have been perpetuated; as was the root so would have been the branches; both would have been holy before the Lord, and blessed, without interruption, through everlasting generations. All were created, on the day that God made man, all being visible to the eternal eye, “ in the image, and after the likeness” of God; and, if the parent stream had retained its purity, all that flowed from it would have been equally pure.
This blessing of multiplication satisfies us that God never designed that Adam and Eve should be the sole occupiers of the earth ; it decides to us the fact, that his wisdom and omniscience both designed and beheld, at the beginning, the creation of all men.
He had, truly, we may readily under
stand, never made so large a world for the service of these two: He had never given so extensive a dominion to them, if He had not determined that they should increase into a sufficient number for the due and full exercise of it. He had not designed for them, as solitary individuals, all the herb and fruit of the ground; we are, therefore, plainly bound to acknowledge, that the countless millions of our race were then present to his sight, unto whom “all things are naked and opened;" who seeth the things that are not, and calleth by their names things which have yet to be; and we are satisfied, that we were all of us intended to be born in purity, and fixed in happiness; and that it would have been so, if sin had not entered, and blotted the fair prospect. “By man sin entered into the world, and death by sin :" God called not death—he made it not: it was not of him.
The multiplication of man was appointed in this blessing, by which we likewise learn, that we were originally destined to be born into the world by the will of God, and that we were created for the service of God. Other animals were created for the service of man. To no created beings, not even to angels, was granted authority over him: the Lord alone was his King. This very circumstance gave proof of man's superior destiny. In all creation, in the whole and every distinct part of it, there was a purpose. For man were all other living beings and things of the world created and formed; and for whom was he created and formed but for the Almighty Creator himself? God's own divine blessing rested upon him ; and no intervening government was suffered to exist.
In all this we have abundant cause for praise and adoration of our Creator. On every step we take, in the consideration of the work of his hands, we find fresh demands on our wonder, and our piety, and our thankfulness. Benevolence was the ruling principle and is the prominent feature : every provision was appointed for the happiness of his creatures; every care was exhibited for security of their well-being : in no point was there defect.
What happiness might have been man’s, if he had continued in his obedience! how blessed would he have been in his condition ! happy in himself, happy in all about him ! with a world, beautiful and glorious, made for him; and in his own original kind blessed and perfect ! And, let us not fail to remark, how blessed in his parental character; witnessing in his fellow-creatures, in creatures sprung, by God's ordinance, from himself, nought but innocence and happiness also ! This had constituted a blessing of exalted rank, and of inestimable value: it had made and continued earth a paradise, and elevated men in feeling very near to the angels of God. Unfortunately, it became otherwise: and now, being by nature corrupt, the multiplication of our kind draws with it many anxieties, and troubles, and evils. Still, it is designed for, and may be made a blessing; since, if we will only, in dependence on the grace of God, exert so much of good as yet remains in us, it will become a means of great comfort and satisfaction. Though