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though involved in, is yet distinguished from, ETERNITY.
The stupendous process, through which all material objects were brought into being by the word of the Almighty One, is summarily described by the sacred historian, who, in comparatively a few words, informs us how, “ In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Well might the Psalmist,
' in contemplation of this inconceivable exertion of Infinite Power, reverently exclaim, “ Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him: for He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”
The apostle Paul, in writing to the Roman converts to the Christian faith, shows that, from the outward creation, “ the invisible things of God, even His eternal power and Godhead, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made:” so that they who obey Him not are without excuse, because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
CHAP. II.-The last and noblest product of Creative goodness was man. “And God* said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon
the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
n And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every thing that moveth upon the earth.” The rational intelligence
”' with which man is endowed, and his consequent power over all the inferior orders of being, are here strikingly illustrated. And when Jehovah surveyed the works which He had made He pronounced them good: but it is of man only that it is said, 66 and God blessed them.” Man was not only dis
* The word here used is the plural name of God, Elohim : “ And Elohim said, Let us make man," &c.
tinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of reason, but pre-eminently by being made in the image of God. Then was infused into him a pure and immortal spirit-a principle of an eternal nature from his Infinite Creator; for “ the Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Thus, possessing within himself an undying existence—holy and happy-and having dominion over all other creatures, he was truly an emblem, or image of God. He had access to “ the tree of life," which grew “ in the midst of the garden” wherein the Lord God had placed him.
CHAP. III.-But the continuance of man's felicity and perfection depended on his obedience to his Creator. His allegiance was tested by a positive command, and death was the penalty annexed to the infringement of the Divine law. Through the subtlety and temptation of the serpent,--the agent of evil(who is called in Scripture the Devil and Satan)-he was induced to break the command of his God, and thus became liable to all the distresses and sufferings of mortality. But his greatest loss consisted in his becoming estranged from his gracious Creator in dying to that holy and happy state which he enjoyed in paradise. That immortal spirit, which had been “ breathed into him" by the Almighty, no longer subsisted in its native innocence and purity; but had become subject to the influence of Him who hath “ the power of death”—that fallen angel which had deceived and betrayed Him. How awfully changed was also the outward condition of man !-driven from Eden, the garden of God, excluded from the tree of life, whilst the visible creation shared in the curse.
CHAP. IV.-Yet fallen, as they were, the compassion and mercy of Jehovah were still extended towards the intelligent creatures whom, in His infinite beneficence, He had been pleased to call into existence; and, whilst the attribute of immutable justice awarded the penalty, that of unfathomable love provided a means of pardon and restoration; for, with the awful sentence pronouned on them, they received the gracious
assurance that he, who had so cruelly deceived them and laid waste the works of God, should be subdued by one who would proceed from the woman, whose frailty had first yielded to the delusive baits of the tempter. “ And the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above every beast of the field; and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; -it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Obscure as was this intimation to our first parents of a Deliverer, who should triumph over the betrayer and enemy of mankind, their faith and hope were thus directed towards a Redeemer-even to Him who,“ in the fulness of time,” was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
CHAP. V.-And Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. In them we have a very striking illustration of the power of the opposite principles of good and evil. Cain gave proof of the most awful effects of the fall: he
was of that wicked one :” but “righteous