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V. 31. 1. All things were according to the plan of the Divine mind. 2. Nothing was useless, or spoiled in the making. 3. All things answered the purposes intended by them. 4. Everything was perfect in its kind. 5. All things as a mirror displayed the perfections of God.-L.
I cannot tell by what logic we call a toad, a bear, and an elephant ugly, they being created in those outward shapes and figures which best express the actions of their inward forms, and having passed that general visitation of God,
THUS the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 8 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it because that in it he had rested from all his work which
God created and made.
The Divine rest was not a rest of weariness, but of complacency. And how blessed an imitation herein might there be of the blessed God Himself, who beheld His six days' works, and lo! they were all very good! So we may, in some degree of conformity to Him, finding our works to be in that sort good as that He will by gracious indulgence accept them as such, have our own sabbath,-a sweet and peaceful rest in our own spirits. Though we can pretend no higher than sincerity only, yet how sweet are the re
flections of a well-instructed conscience upon that!-Howe.
A week filled up with selfishness, and the Sabbath stuffed full of religious exercises, will make a good Pharisee, but a poor Christian. There are many persons who think Sunday is a sponge with which to wipe out the sins of the week. Now, God's altar stands from Sunday to Sunday, and the seventh day is no more for religion than any other. It is for rest. The whole seven are for religion, and one of them for rest.-H. W. Beecher.
These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
It is God's immediate work to communicate the first principles of things; but their growth is promoted
by the instrumentality of man.-A. Fuller.
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
It is said that in the island of Ferro there exists a certain tree, from the leaves of which distils a quantity
of water sufficient to supply every living creature on the island. As there is neither spring, well, nor river in
this island, Providence has thus supplied this want. The branches of this wonderful tree are thick and extended. Every morning a cloud rises from the sea, which, being driven by the wind to the summit of the cliff on which the trees grow, by degrees settles on the trees, from the leaves and branches of which the water flows down into a
large stone reservoir to the quantity of many hogsheads. This singular phenomenon is attested by travellers, who affirm that they were eye-witnesses of the fact, and is only contradicted by one who, it is said, is no farther a philosopher than he is sceptical and incredulous.-Universal History.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
We now know from chemical analysis, that the animal body is composed, in the inscrutable manner called organization, of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, lime, iron, sulphur, and phosphorus. Now all these are material substances which, in their various combinations, form a very large part of the solid ground.-Dr. J. Pye Smith.
Imagination here presents to us the heavenly Potter at work. We see Him first collecting the clay; next arranging and tempering it; afterwards setting the wheel in motion, and then there gradually rises up before us the appearance of a perfect man; but it is cold and motionless, like a statue. The blood has not been made to circulate, the heart to beat, the lungs to play. The Divine Artist proceeds next to impart the vital principle: 'He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life' (or 'lives'), 'and man became a living soul.'-Dr. Payne.
Yes, reader, you are not only mortal, but immortal. Immortality! What a
word! what a thing! Did you ever revolve it? A deathless creature, an everlasting existence! Such is your soul. Eternal duration alone, apart from the consideration whether it is to be spent in torment or in bliss, is an awful idea. You are to live somewhere for ever. Should this matter be allowed to lie forgotten among the thousand unconsidered subjects? How can you help being anxious? Going on step by step to eternity, should you not pause, ponder, and say, ' Whither am I tending?' The rational course is either to disprove your immortality, or seriously to reflect upon it; either to persuade yourself that, though you live as a man, you shall die as a brute, or else to act as an immortal being. The careless infidel is more consistent than the unanxious nominal believer in revelation. For a man to express his belief that he is immortal, and yet to care nothing about immortality, is the most monstrous inconsistency in the universe.-J. A. James.
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
This paradise was the beautiful metropolis of a beautiful world.Dwight.
The tree of life' seems to have been a sacramental pledge of immortality; and by eating the fruit of it life and felicity were sealed to Adam, so long as he continued obedient. The 'tree of knowledge' might be thus
called, because that, by a prohibition of its fruit, a revelation was made to Adam of his Creator's will; of his own duty, interest, situation, and danger; of the consequences of his future conduct; and of the prescribed condition of life and death, happiness or misery; in which things his most interesting knowledge consisted. By ab
staining from this fruit the knowledge of good would be enjoyed; and by eating of it the knowledge of evil would be fatally introduced. It might also intimate that man should set boun
daries to his thirst for knowledge, and covet rather to know and obey the commands of God than to pry into unrevealed secrets.-Scott.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 18 And the name of the
second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel : that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
Havilah had gold, and spices, and precious stones; but Eden had that which was infinitely better- the tree of life, and communion with God. So we may say of the Africans and In
dians; they have the gold, but we have the gospel. The gold of their land is good, but the riches of ours are infinitely better.-M. Henry.
15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
The garden of Paradise itself, although planted by the hand of God, had its proper cultivation been neglected, would speedily have become a desert.-Anon.
Man, even in Eden, was not to be idle. It is a stupid notion that happi
ness consists in slothful ease, or in having nothing to do. The idle, whether among the very rich or the very poor, are commonly among the most worthless and miserable of mankind. -A. Fuller.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The probation to which our first father was subjected strongly illustrates the benevolence of God. Man lived in the midst of abundance. The palate and the eye were alike gratified, and the wishes seemed to have nothing left to ask. One fruit only was forbidden; and this merely for the purpose of trying his fidelity. Had he been placed in hard and difficult circumstances, encircled by few enjoyments, exposed to great temptations, and the subject of ignorance and doubt concerning his duty, he would still have been indispensably bound to obey. But his real situation was the reverse of all this. In his circumstances obedience was most reasonable and easy,
and, being confined to a single point, he was enabled to summon all his watchfulness, resolution, and strength to this point only, to keep it supremely in view, and to guard against everything that might tempt him to transgress. Were an earthly parent to try the obedience of a child, and make his right to the inheritance of an estate to depend on the performance of his filial duty, such a mode of trying him would at once be pronounced as most reasonable and generous, and as strongly indicative of parental affection.-Dwight. I marvel, then, that even the infidel himself does not blush when he talks of the little sin' of eating the apple! Can any sin, I ask-even the sin of
Judas in betraying his Lord, or the sin of the Jews in crucifying him, or the sin of the infidel in rejecting the inspired testimony concerning him-be compared in atrocity with the sin of Adam in eating this apple'? Transgression gathers its guilt from the magnitude of the motives to avoid it; and that, again, from the amount of ruin and wretchedness into which it plunges. Who, then, can calculate the guilt contracted by Adam in his eating the forbidden fruit?-Dr. Payne.
The heinousness of any sin, again,
lies in the deliberate and determined
The tree of knowledge of good and evil' might be any tree whatever. One cannot, therefore, but lament the vulgar practice of painters representing it as an apple-tree, which has given occasion to many profane and silly witticisms. Dr. Kitto.
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
This law is not, cannot be, reversed. All attempts to produce a contrary state have been against nature, and have uniformly terminated in evil.Dr. Redford.
Man singly is but half man, at least but half human-a king without a kingdom.-Lavater.
And yet I do not find that man in innocence was sensible of the want of a helper. His fruition of God gave him fulness of contentment; he found neither leisure nor cause of complaint.
If man had craved a helper, he had grudged at the condition of his creation, and had questioned that which he had, perfection of being. But He that gave him his being, and knew him better than himself, thinks of giving him comfort in the creature, whilst he sought none but in his Maker. He sees our wants and forecasts our relief, when we think ourselves too happy to complain. How ready will he be to help our necessities, who thus provides for our perfection!-Bp. Hall.
19 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. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
This giving a name to the animals implies a knowledge of nature, and an extent of verbal nomenclature, which the most sagacious philosophers since the fall have none of them pos
sessed. It is a saying of Plato that he was most wise that imposed names on things; yea, had more than human wisdom.-L.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof: 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh : she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
The woman was made of a rib out of Adam's side; not made out of his head to top him, nor out of his
feet to be trampled upon by him; but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected,
and near his heart to be beloved. Adam lost a rib, but in lieu thereof he had a help-meet for him. What God takes away from his people, He will one day or other restore with advantage.-M. Henry.
In this, too, as in many other things, Adam was a 'figure of Him that was to
come.' E latere Christi morientis extitit ecclesia: The church is taken out of dying Jesus' side,' as Eve out of sleeping Adam's. Christ did not redeem and save poor souls by sitting in majesty on His heavenly throne, but by hanging on the shameful cross.Gurnall.
24 Therefore shall a man leave shall cleave unto his wife: and they
The mutual inclination of the sexes for each other, when regulated by the law of God, and free from other restraints, becomes the foundation of all the relations of life, the source of the most rational of our earthly comforts, and equally beneficial to individuals, families, and nations-like a river which, gliding within its banks, beautifies and enriches the neighbouring plains. But when unscriptural restraints are imposed, or when it bursts through the appointed bounds, it diffuses vice, discord, disease, and misery with horrible rapidity; like the same
his father and his mother, and shall be one flesh.
river obstructed in its natural channel, overflowing its banks, desolating the fields, and converting the neighbouring country into a noxious marsh or bog. -Scott.
The place assigned to the woman in heathen and Mahomedan countries has been highly degrading; and the place assigned her by modern infidels is not much better. Christianity is the only religion that conforms to the original design, that confines a man to one wife, and that teaches him to treat her with propriety.-A. Fuller.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
It has been shown by Dr. Pye Smith and others that the nakedness here spoken of was not absolute but partial. In this sense the word is used in John xxi. 7.-L.
Blushing is now the colour of virtue, and they are commonly the least apt to blush who are most vicious; but it was not then the colour of innocence; they that had no sin in their con
science might well have no shame in their faces, though they had no clothes to their backs.-M. Henry.
If it be still hard for us to comprehend this circumstance of the sacred history, it is because our judgment is false and vitiated since the fall, and because we have equally lost the notions of true shame and of true honour.-M. Saurin.
OW the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the 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.
Satan's policy was to enter into discourse with the woman when alone. Had she kept close to the side out of which she was lately taken, she
had not been so much exposed. There are many temptations to which solitude gives great advantage; but the communion of saints contributes much