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or desire. We are authorized to infer thus much; sorrow, disappointment, and death, not being introduced, until the divine anger had been provoked by disobedience. This was God's original intention in man; this was the nature, and this was the character, He had bestowed upon him at his creation, and by the placing of him in Paradise, and which He had made him capable of retaining; and, we must admit, that the veriest benevolence was visible in the whole dispensation. He made him to be happy, not to be miserable ; to live, not to die. It was his own aftersin which brought forth sorrow, and which called in death, to disturb the peace and order of the world. We are not to say what was the ultimate particular design of the Creator towards him; whether he was to have remained for ever in the garden of Eden, or Paradise, in his first condition, as some would have it, but which we do not seem to be warranted in concluding upon; whether his nature was there to have received a further exaltation and glory; or whether, after due trial, as may have been the more probable intention, he was to have been removed from thence unto higher happiness. Nor can we say, what dispensation, when mankind should have largely increased, according to the primal blessing, “ Increase and multiply,” was to have been theirs, had they been born, and had they lived, in purity and innocence; or, what was to have been the relative position of Paradise and Adam, with the rest of the earth and themselves.
Replenish the earth and subdue it”-shews that the whole earth was to
have been inhabited by them; but, what was to have been its relation generally to this particular portion of it, we are not informed. Questions have been raised concerning both these points, more curious than wise. Whatever might have been the purpose, it was frustrated. These things can now be known to God only: neither is the knowledge of them suited to us, nor are we suited to it; and, we may be sure, that it is more to our peace to have it not. We must be content, as one part and consequence of our deterioration, to remain on these, as well as on many other points, in an ignorance not to be dissipated. Whatever, notwithstanding, in them, was God's purpose, it was a purpose of wisdom and goodness : further good to man was it which was in prospect. They, with other matters to which in the preceding chapters I have made allusion, have undergone much and frequent investigation; and, as was to have been expected, with a constant want of success. Men have attained to a no more competent degree of knowledge on them than on other; and, it has been thus, because God has made no revelation of the particulars of the condition of man in Paradise, or of His own future design. only infer that the one was good, while we are told that the other was happiness. It was the sole object of the sacred historian to present us with such information as should be suitable to ourselves and our capacities, and correspondent with our condition ; with such as should enable and lead us to fulfil our part of God's purpose. This has been amply done;
and that knowledge, which has not been granted, we may deem not to be necessary to the requirements of our faith, or the regulation of our conduct. Why should we seek to know what God had designed if man had not sinned, and which design his sin has prevented? Knowledge, to be properly knowledge, must have a purpose : it can in this case have none, because it cannot be made applicable to the altered circumstances. We are informed of man's general state previously to his sin; of his blessed state, and of the fact of his happiness; and of the state, also, to which his sin reduced him; of the qualifications necessary to replace him in the favour of God; and of as much of the state to which his now obedience shall carry him as may operate to the persuading of him to endeavour its attainment. This is a sufficiency of knowledge. It teaches us, that, whatever was the particular state of Adam in Paradise, whatever was the state, to which, if he had persevered in obedience, he had been finally destined, it was, in either case, a state of high and of higher happiness; a state, which he forfeited for himself and all his posterity; and the capacity of regaining which, or a similar state, can be acquired but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God and man, on faith and obedience. It was a state of happiness, adapted to the powers of his nature; it was a state of knowledge, complete to the capacity of his mind; there was no defect, no infirmity in it.
So blessed was this state, so satisfactory were the enjoyments of it, that the condition of departed souls, who shall have passed their mortal course with fidelity, is termed Paradise, as if there were no other word so expressive of its serenity and peace; as if the felicity of the one were of the same kind and perfectness with the felicity of the other; a similitude, be it remarked, which our blessed Saviour has justified us in using. It was the language of his merciful promise to the penitent malefactor, who, in the agony of an ignominious and painful death, confessed his mission and divinity, “ Verily, I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” St. Paul applies the word in the same signification where he says, " I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth ;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth ;) how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” St. John, in the Revelation, recording the words which he heard in the spirit, writes thus: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God;" -shewing, by the similitude, the exalted condition of man in that blessed place. The prophet Isaiah had been beforetime remarkably strong in his notions of it, comparing Zion, in her restoration, to Paradise, because he could compare her to nothing more desirable and attractive : his description, which refers to it under the appellation of Eden, and the garden of the Lord, is as follows: “ The Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein ; thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Ezekiel also speaks much to our purpose : “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God: Thou sealest up the sum full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of the Lord; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” And addressing himself to Israel, “ In the day that I have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden.” These instances confirm our explanation. The application of our Saviour demonstrates, that Paradise, or the garden of Eden, was preparatory to a better state than itself. This first Paradise was not the place into which the souls of the faithful departed were