Page images
PDF
EPUB

VERMES.

This class is divided into five orders; i.e., Intestina, Mollusca, Testacea, Zoophyta, and Infusoria. The last four, existing in the waters, we considered on the fifth day.

INTESTINA; comprising, principally, the Gourd-worm, the Tapeworm, the Hair-worm, the Lark-worm, the Dew-worm, the Tubeworm, the Leech.

This is the lowest class of animal life; and yet, even here, we find man's benefit most markedly considered. Supposing to-day every leech in the world were to die, or there were to be a prohibition from using it, what consternation would there be in many cases. Yes, my dear children, even this common worm of the waters oftentimes gives relief to the human frame when nothing else can. May we, then, praise our God, in the survey of this day's creation! How countless have been the mercies that have passed before us: and even now, the very worm—the last link of animated life, comes in, and willingly lends man the very assistance he needs !

Having thus, my beloved children, considered the three great divisions of the creation of this day, i.e. the quadruped, serpent, and insect tribes, we come to a being of altogether a different order—a being made in the image of God. This is the account of his creation, as particularized in Gen. ii. :-“ And the Lord God formed man out

of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” This was the crowning act of the sixth day. The previous days, God having brought the world into being, furnished it and filled it with animated life. He now places Adam in it, to rule and have dominion over every living thing. Of the extent of Adam's blessedness we can have no conception; but this is revealed, that he was perfect the day he was created. The immediate time of Eve being brought to Adam, having been previously created in him, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, is not recorded.

Thus the Lord saw every thing that He had made, and behold it was very good; "and God rested on the serenth day from all His work which He had made, and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it He rested from all His work which God created and made.” (Gen. ii. 1-3.)

At this time, all was peace and happiness in Eden; for, as it shall be when restored, so was it ere it fell. The leopard and the kid lay down together, and the lion ate straw like the ox; and all was peace. Adam had a soul capable of communion with God, and a body of perfect symmetry and beauty ; no sin had sullied the one, nor sickness marred the other. How long this blessed state continued is unrevealed; for though Adam was created upright, yet his standing depended on his obedience. Genesis ï. 15, 17, gives us the prohibitory law of Eden:-“ 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.” Genesis iii. opens with the great enemy of God and man tempting Eve, and by his subtlety beguiling her; and she ate of the tree in answer to his temptation, and in violation of God's command; and she gave to her husband, and he did eat; and dying, they died : that is, the soul instantly was cut off from God; the body became mortal or dying; and both body and soul were exposed to the judgment of God and the second death. Thus sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. And the history of all mankind is summed up in these words --He was begotten, and he died-the earth is at once their cradle and their grave. How affecting is the picture given by the afflicted Patriarch Job !—“Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. And dost thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? not one.” (Job xiv. 1—4.)

But, my beloved children, amid all the gloom and sorrow of the first day of man's wretchedness, see the dawning of that hope that Day-star, that arose even amid the horrors of that great darkness. The guilty Adam and his wife, and Satan, stood before their great Creator; but ere one word of judgment is pronounced on the

tempted and fallen, the Tempter is thus addressed,—“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.” This was the great prophecy of the Messiah-the Lord-the Woman's Seed—the Virgin's Son—the Emmanuel, God with us—God manifest in the flesh. All subsequent prophecy went back to this primary one, which testified of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. (Gen. iii. 15; Isa. vii. 14; 1 Pet. i. 11.)

After this, the ground was cursed for Adam's sake, and Adam and Eve, clothed with coats of skin, were banished from the garden,then came the birth of Cain and Abel,—and now, for the first time, we expressly read of sacrifice. Abel offers, and offers by faith, a Lamb; and as “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” (Heb. xi. 1,) Abel's faith must have rested on a promise ; and, beyond all doubt, as Abraham did, so Abel saw the day of Christ afar off, and was glad. The lamb lay on his altar; and the death which he deserved, the lamb suffered. But Cain also brought his offering ; here was no blood ; and there could be no faith, for there was no promise—no substance of things hoped for; and his offering was rejected. And Cain was wroth with God, and his countenance fell. On this, the devil, the murderer from the beginning, led him to kill Abel, God's accepted child, and he died.It was the just one who died; and 0, blessed thought! his spirit went to God who gave it. Yes, the spirit of the first man who died, in a

world that had fallen, went to God-went to God in triumph-went up justified, doubtless, amid the songs of millions round the throne. How could this be? Even thus: the Son of God had covenantedhad purposed (and being God, his purpose was immutable) to become man, and die, as a lamb, the Just for the unjust, and so pay, as the kinsman Redeemer, the price of redemption; and in virtue of this sacrifice, so certain to be offered, the holy and just God received into paradise the spirit of the justified Abel. The next important scene in the world's history is the birth of Seth, born in Adam's likeness—the likeness of a dead man. Five generations were then born; and Adam died. This was the first death of nature; for 900 years Adam had lived; but now the hour came, and he died.

After this is the translation of Enoch,—“ And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (Gen. v. 24.) The commentary on this passage by the Holy Spirit in the Epistle to the Hebrews, is,

By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death, and was not found, because God had translated him ; for before his translation, he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” (Heb. xi. 5.)

There is here something full of joy,—that whilst the grave opened to receive the first man because of death; the heavens opened to receive the second without tasting death. Was it not the earnest that even the dead should live again? Surely it was. If you compare the dates of the fifth of Genesis, you will find that Adam died fifty-seven years before the translation of Enoch, and Seth fifty-five years after.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »