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ever is pleasant and delightful; it is recorded to have contained “ every tree which was pleasant to the sight and good for food;" to have had, also, “ the tree of life in the midst” of it, and “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Here it was that man was placed; and this it was into which he was “put, to dress it, and to keep it ;” and, when placed in it, that he received the command,“ 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 die.”

It is necessary that we discuss in regular order the several subjects which are thus brought to our view; the actual locality of “ the garden of Eden;" “ the tree of life; the tree of knowledge of good and evil ;” and the condition of man in this his first residence. It will be convenient to appropriate a chapter to each one, and to take them in the order I have just named. The actual locality of the garden of Eden is, therefore, our present subject.

Various opinions, many of them so strange as to make it almost incredible that they should have been entertained, have been holden on this point '.


Many, both

Jews and Christians, have so little understood the importance of a true history of the beginning of the world, and of the human race, as the only sure foundation of the true religion, and have so little relished the simplicity of this narrative, or have found it so contrary to the preconceived opinions of their own, borrowed chiefly from the Greek Philosophy, that they would have it considered as history in the disguise of allegory, and not to be taken in its literal meaning. The discussions have not only involved a question of the locality of the garden, but the actual existence


It is a sufficient confutation of this notion, that if the Mosaic history be an allegory, it is allegory without a key, which no man can interpret; and delivering his history in this disguise, the inspired teacher of the chosen race has in truth given no information, and might as well have left his tale untold, as have told it in so obscure a riddle; which is neither calculated to convey any moral truth, nor to serve any political purpose the author might be supposed to have in view. If Paradise was not literally such a garden as Moses has described, but the condition of the first man represented under that image; what then was the reality which that image represents ? What were the particulars of the first man's first condition? If the prohibition imposed upon him was not simply that of tasting the fruit of a particular tree, but of something else; what was that something else really forbidden ? If the woman was not formed out of a portion of the body of the man ; what was the actual manner of her formation, which is enigmatically so described ? We may

add another consideration. The narrative of this chapter must be either all plain matter of fact, or all allegory. It cannot be matter of fact in one part, and allegory in another. For no writer of true history would mix plain matter of fact with allegory in one continued narrative, without any intimation of a transition from the one to the other. If, therefore, any part of this narrative be matter of fact, no part is allegorical. On the other hand, if any part be allegorical, no part is naked matter of fact: and the consequence of this will be, that every thing in every part of the whole narrative must be allegorical. If the formation of the woman out of man be allegory, the woman must be an allegorical woman. The man therefore must be an allegorical man; for of such man only the allegorical woman will be a meet companion. If the man is allegorical, his paradise will be an allegorical garden ; the trees that grew in it, allegorical trees; the rivers that watered it, allegorical rivers : and thus we may ascend to the very beginning of the creation; and conclude

of it as parcel of the earth. By some it has been allegorized, received altogether in a mystical sense, the very rivers which mark its situation being made to have mystical meaning. By some it has been placed in a higher region of the air, carried out of the visible world. Others have understood it as denoting the whole earth in its primal fertility. There have, moreover, been others, who, admitting it as parcel of the earth, have so differed in respect of its position, as to fix it in the most opposite directions, some in the extremest north, and some in the extremest south. Our safest course is to follow, as implicitly and literally as we can, the account of Moses: without his account, we have do information at all; for, the traditions of the heathen possess no value otherwise than as they prove that there once was such a place, they being corruptions of a first account, increased upon in every age by fable and fancy'. It is revelation alone which can give a correct insight; and the revelation of the Bible is the only revelation man has. That “ the garden of Eden” was a place, having real and visible existence;


at last that the heavens are allegorical heavens, and the earth an allegorical earth. Thus the whole history of the creation will be allegory, of which the real subject is not disclosed ; and in this absurdity the scheme of allegory ends. --BISHOP HORSLEY.

There is no doubt to be made, but that the garden of Eden, planted by the hand of God, and that, in some respects, in a supernatural manner, hath been the pattern, out of which the poets have formed their fortunate islands, the Elysian fields, the meadows of Pluto, the gardens of the Hesperides, of Jupiter, and Alcinous.-Dr. WellS.

a spot chosen by God out of a particular region of the earth, and blessed in more than ordinary degree, -I hold to be true. It is described by Moses geographically; and it is spoken of as part of a country then well understood. Circumstances are related by him as concerning it, which make local existence a necessary conclusion; boundaries and productions are named in positive terms; therefore, and because, if we receive Moses, we must receive his account, I will neither occupy time, nor waste matter, in discussing the question of its actual existence, further than by offering a notice brief as may be.

Allegorical is not so usually mixed up with actual description as to give us any warrant for the inference, that, in this place, where Moses is setting forth the history of creation, a visible work, he would introduce an allegorical or mere figurative work, the effect of which would necessarily be to throw doubt and shade on all else. If the description of Paradise be allegorical, where does allegory begin, and where does it end? We shall be left to view the whole history as but allegory; and then what must be our conduct in respect of any

knowledge of the works of creation, or of the Creator Himself? I accordingly, take “ the garden of Eden” to have been a real spot', marked out and dis

Of this seate and place of Paradise all ages have held dispute ; and the opinions and judgements have beene in effect, as divers, among those that have written upon this part of Genesis, as upon any one place therein, seeming most obscure : some there are, that have conceived the being of the terrestrial Paradise, without all regard of the world's geographie, and without any respect of tinguished from the rest of the earth, and designed for the special habitation of man, while at the same


east and west, or any consideration of the place where Moses wrote, and from whence he directed (by the quarters of the heavens) the way how to find out and judge, in what region of the world this garden was by God planted, wherein hee was exceeding respective and precise. Others, by being themselves ignorant in the Hebrew, followed the first interpretation, or trusting to their own judgements, understood one place for ano

and one errour is so fruitful, as it begetteth a thousand children, if the licentiousnesse thereof bee not timely restrayned. And thirdly, those writers which gave themselves to follow and imitate others, were in all things so observant sectatours of those masters, whom they admired and beleeved in, as they thought it safer to condemne their owne understanding, than to examine theirs. For (saith Valianus in his Epistle of Paradise) Magnos errores, magnorum virorum auctoritate persuasi, transmittimus; Wee passe over many grosse errours, by the authority of great men led and persuaded. And it is true, that many of the fathers were farre wide from the understanding of this place. I speake it not, that I myselfe dare presume to censure them, for I reverence both their learning and their pietie, and yet not bound to follow them any further, than they are guided by truth ; for they were men, et humanum est errare. And to the end that no man should be proud of himselfe, God hath distributed unto men such a portion of knowledge, as the wisest may behold in themselves their owne weaknesse : Nulli

dedit omnia Deus; God never gave

the knowledge of all things to any one. St. Paul confest that hee knew not, whether he were taken up into the third heaven in the flesh, or out of the flesh; and Christ himself acknowledgeth thus much, that neither men nor angels knew of the latter day; and therefore, seeing knowledge is infinite, it is God (according to St. Jude) who is only wise. Sapientia ubi invenitur ? (Saith Job) but where is wisdome found ? and where is the place of understanding? man knoweth not the price thereof, for it is not found in the

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