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to reserve the blood, for the expiation of sin, required this early abstinence from it, that they might be the better prepared to submit to that law, and understand the reason of it: which was, that it was the life of the beast, which God accepted instead of their life, when they had forfeited it by their sins." To conclude this point, I will adduce a passage from the Book of Leviticus: “I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood : and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you, which hunteth or catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is the life thereof; therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”
The care of God, which extended itself to all things living, in admirable provision for their wants and gratifications, is beautifully manifested: “ He caused the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man.” He accommodated the food He had provided to the circumstances of each one, shewing therein wisdom and goodness most excellent. It is an additional proof of the original superiority of man, in every faculty he possessed, over other living creatures; an additional proof, that, from the beginning, superiority and dominion were intended for him. The cattle, and the fowl, and the creeping thing, were not endued with properties enabling them to provide, instrumentally, their own food; there was no capability to this purpose, nothing adapting them to it, either in the form of their bodies, or the character of their instinct. Proofs of sagacity are, certainly, exhibited by many of them in wonderful manner, in the searching for and in the storing of food; but they have no means of providing it, as man has; they search for and they store it, already prepared to their use, if we may so speak concerning them. They were enabled to seek it; their instinct taught what was fit for them, and where to find it; and that was the extent of property, either given or required. It was not so with man.
Cultivation, and care of a higher kind, were necessary to him in his seeking of the food appointed; the herb which bare seed, and the tree in the which was the fruit of a tree yielding seed, demanded a thoughtful and an inventive attention: besides which, these fruits were to be gathered were to be husbanded: he was himself to look for food—to provide ; here, therefore, are eminent marks of superior design and capacity. Even here was he shewn that he had duties, and that he had superiority; that his was an existence, not destined to end in a mere temporary frame, but one in which
were involved a great plan and purpose of the Almighty Creator.
When God had thus made, and blessed, and gifted man, He put him into the garden of Eden, a place which appears to have been previously formed-on the third day, as is generally credited,—if we receive the term in literal signification, as, whatever may be said to the contrary, I think we must; and there again He gave him directions, what he was to eat, and what he was to abstain from eating. No mention of this place occurs in the history of the works of the six days; and, for the omission, a good reason, in my judgment, has been assigned. The first chapter of the Book of Genesis delivers an account of creation in its general view; and, the formation of the garden being one particular act of it, it was left by Moses to be spoken of in the recapitulation of the second chapter; but, our present subject will not be complete, unless a notice of it be introduced. This I will reserve for the matter of the next chapter. I now say thus much, in order to gain an opportunity of stating the reason for which no mention is made of the formation of this garden in the first chapter, or of the appointment of it for the more peculiar habitation of the first man. It is, in fact, the same reason, for which the particulars of the formation of woman, and some others, are reserved for the statements of the second chapter.
I will close this part of our proposal with claiming
attention to the vast beneficence of the Creator, which so fitted His works to the service of His creatures; which provided, to perpetual generations, the spontaneous productions of the earth for those who were by their nature unable to cultivate the ground; but which made a superior care and foresight necessary in those to whom He had given properties of designing and executing. That beneficence still exists. The food of irrational animals will still growman must exercise his ingenuity, his care, his foresight. “ The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.” A change in the same respect and degree has been made in the appointment of the irrational animals, but the same distinction remains—“ The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and unto his labour until the evening. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.” Man must yet do as was then ordained; and his own efforts alone are not sufficient now, as they were not then; the blessing of God is yet necessary to give effect to the work ; nor will it be given, unless man answerably exercise the powers that have been bestowed on him. Though he has a permission to use animal food, the fruits of the ground are essential to his proper support: he cannot exist in any comfort, or in any continuance, without them. The plant and the tree are altogether essential. Even the animal food would fail him, if he did not duly cultivate the
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ground. Thus do we see how the same order has existed from the beginning of things, in its relative degree, unto the present age; how that plan, on which God first acted, is yet in operation; how the means, which He then ordained for the sustenance of man, must yet be applied to; how the truth of His word is fulfilled; how the verity of His power is confirmed to us. We are under His Providence: all things do depend upon Him; and, it is on an acknowledgment of dependence, and on our acting as He has commanded us to act, that our enjoyment of them rests. Every thing we have is of His gift. given”—are the words of the grant. If He had not given we could not have had : if His blessing were not upon all things, they could not be useful to us: from Him they derive their power of nourishment, with every other utility. These properties He may likewise remove or suspend at His pleasure. This is an awful consideration, and one that should never be lost sight of. We should remember Him, in every possession, and every enjoyment. His blessing should always be intreated, His power acknowledged, and His loving-kindness praised. Gracious is He, bounteous, and merciful.
We think that our own ingenuity is very excellent; that our own foresight is admirable ; that our own care is great ;—but what would they be if God did not "give ?” “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it,” is true in general sense. Every property, by which we have, or gain to ourselves, possession, or enjoyment, has proceeded from Him : and, in all our