« PreviousContinue »
as he was, how inconceivably great would his astonishment at himself be to himself.
Is it not then reasonable to suppose, that, for a considerable time, he could be employed in nothing else, but in alternately wondering and praising? especially if we consider that he was created after the Divine Image, and consequently, nothing was so natural or delightful to him, as the beauty of holiness, in adoring his God, and admiring the works of his hands. And
upon the almighty Author of his being graciously vouchsafing to enter into covenant with him, would he not be excited to pour out his soul in still more lively anthems of praise, if livelier were possible, and higher strains of gratitude, while all the man was one continued flame of love to God? Can we then think, in these blest moments, when all his soul was transported with wonder, love, and joy ; or for a considerable time afterwards, he would feel even the smallest want of an help meet for him ? Next, man being created an active, intelligent being, was not to let those powers with which he was endued, lie dormant, but exercise these talents for the glory of his Creator, and the good of creation ; consequently, we find, from the sacred page, the Lord God filling his hands with suitable employment, by placing him in the garden of Eden, for the purpose of dressing and keeping it ; and, in the mean time, bringing to him all the beasts of the earth, and fowls of the air, in order to receive their names.
Now, any who considers what vast numbers of different species there are, and the still greater varieties of each species, must reasonably suppose it would take a pretty long space of time for Adam to give them their names ; for, though he was perfect, yet he was not an infinite, but a finite creature; and so could not do things at once, but must take time for his work, and employ his wisdom in consulting the natures of the different species of those creatures, and give them their designations accordingly, which doubtless he did.
After this we find the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon him; and he slept, which no doubt took up some portion of time. Upon his awakening, how would he be surprised, at beholding a creature so like himself, the comeliest of all creation around ! and still more so, when by revelation he knew she was made of a rib from his side! Bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, he confessed she was, and called her Woman. Thus finding an help meet for him, uniting in affection, they became one, and proved that sacred bond which is so indispensably necessary for the upholding of the human kind. Can we then suppose that Eve, immediately upon her arising from the side of her husband, would run gadding abroad among the trees of the garden ? Surely no, but surprised at each other, wondering at themselves and all around, and she most, if more could be, being last brought into existence, joining in sweet conversation, admiring creation, and praising their Creator ; the man having taught her the knowledge of Him, and declared the covenant, they doubtless spent their first conjugal hours in that very place, or arbour, where Adam first received the hand of his innocent bride from indulgent heaven. Now, if it was the duty, as well as
a great part of the employment of man, in a state of innocence, to contemplate the works of God; it certainly is and ought to be ours, their fallen race.
Meditation is a duty to which the rational soul naturally prompts man. It was by contemplating the works of creation, that the heathens themselves came to the knowledge of a God; " because that which
be “known of God, is manifest in them, for “ God hath showed it unto them; for the “invisible things of him from the creation of
the world, are clearly seen, being under“stood by the things that are made, even “ his eternal power and Godhead,” Rom. i. 19, 20. If heathens made so great a progress by reading in the volume of creation, at the dim light of nature, what ought Christians to do in the sunshine of divine revelation !
The royal Psalmist, struck with beholding a few of the great outlines of creation, even the celestial bodies, crieth out with rapture and astonishment to the Lord, saying, “What man,
that thou art mindful of him! and
“the son of man, that thou visitest him !” Psalm viii. 4. And well might he do so, in consideration of that infinite power, wisdom, greatness, and glory, that hung those immensely ponderous luminaries in the midst of the vast expanse of ether, poised them so nicely, and bade them, to a punctilio, observe their courses, and still supporteth these vast orbs in their stations. I say, in consideration of that Almighty Being, who wrought out the heavens with his fingers, adorning them with stars, which in number, lustre, and magnitude, far
the ken of the most acute astronomer, and lighted these wonderful lamps, or rather globes of fire, in the stupendous arch---that a Being of such infinite wisdom, power, and glory, should condescend to take notice of such a little thing as man! yea, such a vile thing as man had made himself.
But 0, what notice was it that Jehovah did take of him! “Hear, O heavens, and be astonished, 0 earth !” it was not only to create · him a holy and happy creature, nor, when he had fallen by his iniquity, still to continue to