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moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea."
I do not now propose to enter into a particular discussion or to state a more detailed opinion of the subject of animal food, whether the permission of it is comprised within the meaning of this grant, or not. That subject will be introduced with greater regularity and advantage in an after-place. I may, however, say so far as that I believe it is not comprised in it; and, in brief notice of any who would insist that we use animal food in consequence and by authority of it, as being the original grant of dominion, I observe, that, admitting we do, it is not in consequence of its first design and terms, but, from the extension which God afterwards saw fit to allow in consideration of altered circumstance.
There are many uses in which the inferior animal creation is subservient to us besides that one of food; and, in order even to them, this grant of dominion was requisite; nor is it otherwise than of reasonable belief, that, in the first state of the world, before man had become corrupt in his nature, there were uses which have since been lost, or which have ceased to be compatible with his later and deteriorated state. In addition, let me remark, that, as we are created beings, we cannot call any thing our own, we cannot exercise a power over any thing, without the consent of Him who is its Lord and ours. All is God's, in right of creation; and, neither could we have pretended to power of control, nor would it have been suffered by Him, over any, the most insignificant
part of creation, without His purpose and licence. This sentence, conferring dominion, is our warrant of rule: it justifies the authority we claim, defining its extent, and making it of effect as proceeding from Him who only could grant it, and from whom proceeding what none can successfully or harmlessly dispute.
The earliest exercise of this dominion, of which we have record, is that of the giving of names to the animals by Adam : " And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam, to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fawl of the air, and to every beast of the field.” This was an open demonstration to the world of the endowment with which God had in this instance blessed man; it was a plain and formal announcement, that he, who was empowered to give names to the inferior creatures, declaring their characters and qualities, and marking the difference of their respective natures, was he to whom a positive dominion over them had been assigned. The name of Adam was, we may presume, given of the will of the Creator, as in remembrance of the origin of his material part from the earth, and as exhibiting him, in his delegated power over the earth, as the representative before God of the material and lower worla. · Let us make man,” that is, Adam, are God's words; and God was his Lord; Adam gave name to Eve, saying, “ She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man"--and he “ called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living”—and woman was placed by the Almighty in subjection unto man. It is the expression—" he brought them”—the beast and the fowl“ unto Adam to see what he would call them;" by which it has been suggested that God desired “to exercise and improve his understanding.” I cannot assent to the suggestion, man being, on the instant of his coming from the hands of his Creator, as perfect in understanding as his nature admitted ; and this fact is rather a proof of the excellence, than of any step in the improvement, of his understanding. I can only receive the sentence as purporting that the animals were brought unto Adam to be named, a construction which is borne out by what next follows : “ And whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” It was the clearness of his understanding which enabled him to name them. The object was the giving of names, and not a mere exercise of the ingenuity of Adam. It was, in its full effect, the formal delivery, and the first consequent assertion, of power. It was the ostensible placing of the various members of the irrational animal creation to his proper disposal ; it was the external means of appointing him their Lord; the sealing of the grant of dominion. By this act they were confessedly under his power, God
Himself presenting him in it as His vicegerent; they seemed themselves to offer him acknowledgment, and to do him homage; they then received a “ fear” of him, which in its principle thenceforward continued, became his subjects, yielding themselves in submissive appropriation to the uses for which he might require them.
That in the beginning the irrational animals rendered to man a more willing and full obedience than they have since rendered, is as true as that the earth, in its primal and uncursed state, gave and could not but give a better product than has been since had from it. Indeed, we may easily conceive that the dominion over either one suffered by the fall in similar manner and in equal degree. The earth, though it is still made to obey us, does resist; it is by a sort of compulsion that it gives us of its fruit. So, likewise, with the irrational animals. They cause us trouble; they oftentimes occasion us disappointment as the earth opposes our wishes, and does not always give us a product agreeably to what we may think a just expectation. It is, therefore, to be concluded, that the obedience, which they originally yielded to man, was as willing and peaceful as we believe the fruit of the ground to have been ready and adequate to his desire of it. There was no imperfectness; and that could not have been called a perfectness of dominion, according to its intention, where so strong a resistance should have prevailed as is at present seen. We can subdue the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and the beast of the field,
but we are not free from danger and suffering in the contest; we can subdue the earth, but it is by “the sweat of the brow,” by the undergoing of labour and toil, and weariness and pain. It brings forth “ thorns and thistles," as they so frequently inflict wounds and death. There is the same relative deterioration, and, being so, we may judge that the perfectness of the original dominion over either was relatively the same too. As the earth was perfectly in obedience to man, so were the animals. He did not fear them; he had no dread of their strength, or their violence. He was their Lord; and they, by their immediate submission, recognized the justness. of his authority. Thus was the earth subject to man; thus were all the occupants of it, small and great, weak and powerful, and of whatsoever kind, placed under his dominion; and, with them, also, the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air! They minis
1 But especially (that which as reason enables us, and prompts us especially to observe) there is an evident regard (so evident, that even Pliny, a professed Epicurean, could not forbear acknowledging it) which all things bear to man, the prince of creatures visible; they being all as on purpose ordered to yield tribute unto him ; to supply his wants, to gratify his desires ; with profit and pleasure to exercise his faculties; to content, as it were, even his humour and curiosity. All things about us do minister (or at least may do so, if we would improve the natural instruments, and the opportunities afforded us) to our preservation, ease, or delight. The hidden bowels of the earth yield us treasures of metals, and minerals, quarries of stone and coal, so necessary, so serviceable to divers good uses, that we could not commodiously be without them ; the vilest and most common