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generation adding new sins and fresh infirmities to the former?
“ But this picture, we may say, is too ridiculous : let us turn, therefore, to that which the Scripture gives, and learn from thence, that it was necessary man should feel the weight of his transgression, should know the heinousness of sin, should learn the virtues of patience, humility, selfdenial, meekness, and kind compassion to his fellow-creatures; and yet, though reduced to a life of labour and hardship, should not be miserable, should escape all the sorrows which idleness and indulgence bring on, and raise up an healthy, hardy offspring, fit to people the world in a short time, whereby the curse laid upon the earth and man, might, if he had pleased, be turned into a blessing. I suppose, therefore, that whatever was necessary to man was revealed, but nothing more. I consider the Deity in the character of a tender parent, who inures his child to wholesome severities, who lets him sometimes fall into inconveniencies, that he may know his own weakness; and yet, while he is continually instructing him, and pointing the way to useful discoveries, allows him the innocent pleasure of thinking them his own, till reflection calls him back to pay a a debt of gratitude to his benefactor.
« If I had the poetical genius of the author of the Life and Death of Abel, I could, methinks with pleasure, expatiate on that of Adam. To instance only in a trifle: suppose Eve detained at home by sickness or inclemency of weather, her mind intent on the worthy object of her love, gone to provide for her and for himself; necessity had probably soon taught her to braid the tresses of her hair; and she now tries the same method with the rushes of which her bed is formed ; and twisting them round, fastening the rows together with long thorns, she forms a little basket for her, husband, that bringing home his store of provisions another time at once, his labour may be lessened. Let a mind, capable of delicate sensations, conceive, if possible, the pleasing thoughts that must employ our first mother whilst at work; the transport of the husband, at receiving the pretty useful toy, a proof at once of the ingenuity, industry, and affection of one so dear; the pleasure he must have in bestowing praises so well deserved; the heart-felt innocent joy she must have in receiving them, for the desire of praise is not in itself sinful; and, lastly, the cheerful grateful hearts : with which they must offer up together their evening hymns.' I must indulge the pleasing subject a little further: suppose Adam, intent to repay the kind present, having often experienced the use of clay when hollowed out to contain water for his plants, and also the effect of the sun in hardening that part of the clay thrown up on the sides of his reservoir, now sets himself to work, and forms a kind of portable cistern, which, when well dried, he carries home, where, notwithstanding its rustic form, its extreme usefulness must make it highly valuable. But, lo! the little basket, slightly fastened, breaks in pieces, and shows the necessity of more durable materials, than a slight thorn, easily shook out; the rushes now are woven in to fasten the rows: hence in time arise the useful needle and thread. But in the mean time, how many useful works in earth, how many mats for beds, for seats, for cradles, and all kinds of baskets for stores, are invented from these first hints? And how many dull winternights are usefully and agreeably employed ? So that every bitter want, after performing its office for reproof and correction, is repaid with exquisite pleasure by the useful invention which supplies it. Thus, may we likewise suppose our first parents to proceed as to astronomy. An upright stile or stalk placed as a memorial of the place where the by employing his thoughts and labours to the use of himself and others, but not till, having felt his wants, he should be willing to be so employed. Something of this kind is observable in the conduct of God towards his peculiar people: his omniscience wanted not to be informed, that the yoke of legal observances would be needful to restrain the sons of Israel, yet he laid it not on them, till their shameful fall in the worship of the golden calf showed, by experience, its necessity. So, also, Moses was not directed to divide his authority, till experience, and the counsel of Jethro, made him of himself desire it. So, in the case of a second passover, for such as by legal impurity were disqualified to eat of the first, the experience of the want of such a provision led the people to desire it, and then God, who could not be ignorant of it, provided a remedy.-Num. ix. 6. So in the case of the daughters of Zelophehad, Num. xxxvi. l., and many others might be added ; in all which we should be mad to suppose Omniscience could overlook the inconvenience; and must see the design was, that man should be sensible of it himself. I have been, perhaps, in all this too minute; but I could not help endeavouring to show, what I never saw pointed out by any other, the happiness of man, even after his fall, and the great mercy of God in continually bringing good out of evil.”
sun set at the equinox, with its fellow pointing out the rising of the moon at the same time; these, daily observed, would by their oblique shadows, show the course of the sun continually rising and setting nearer the north unto the summer solstice; then gradually returning to the equinoctial point, and getting nearer and nearer to the south, till the winter solstice following ; the consequent lengthening and shortening of the days, with the regular return of the seasons. Another stile, erected to observe the sun's meridian altitude, would soon be observed to mark by its shadow the regular advance of summer and winter, and the course of the moon and stars. Thus much, and much more might be attained, by the constant observations of nine hundred years; and whatever else was necessary would probably be supplied by Him who appointed the heavenly bodies for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years.'-Gen. i. How far the revelation might go, we are not told ; much farther I believe, than is commonly thought: and yet I cannot think it went to that exact nicety which Mr. Kennedy's calendar supposes, because a more simple method of discovery seems to me to have been more suitable to the situation of man, wanting continually useful and agreeable employments. The Creator could have produced, I doubt not, ready clothing by some means or other; yet he only points out the use of skins, most ready and warm indeed, and most fit to typify the covering of our sins by a suffering Redeemer, but far short of the use and elegance contrived since by the sons of Adam. How prodigiously has this want alone, and the command of supplying it, contributed to the happiness of mankind, by civilizing, by employing, by uniting them !
Thus has the goodness of God provided that our miseries should become advantages, to lessen the wickedness of man,
Having seen Mrs. Bowdler's notions on the means possessed by man of acquiring knowledge subsequently to the loss of paradise, the reader may be willing to peruse a very short paper, which led to several others, ascribing the origin of many of the most important arts to the immediate teaching of God, by the appointment of sacrifice.
Reflexions sur l’Origine du Sacrifice,' aux quelles une Expres
sion hasardée par Monsieur de Buffon a donné lieu.
“ Monsieur Buffon, vol. xxix. p. 162. dit de l'homme, “ Par un seul rayon de son intelligence il a produit l'element du feu, qui n'existoit pas sur la surface de la terre.”
6 Il est bien vrai que le feu ne paroît pas un produit naturel, et qu'il a été probable que l'usage en ait demeuré longtems inconnu; mais s'ensuit-il que l'homme par sagesse ou même par hazard, en ait fait la découverte? S'il y avoit des sauvages au monde qui pussent en ignorer l'usage, ils pourroient peutêtre à la longue en faire par le frottement de deux pieces de bois, ou en frappant un caillou; mais qu'il y a loin de cette découverte aux usages du feu. On verroit des étincelles cent fois, sans être plus instruit de la nature du feu, sans découvrir qu'il peut échauffer, et éclairer l'horreur des ténèbres; sans savoir ce que c'est qu'aprêter les viandes, cuire des ouvrages de terre, bouillir de l'eau, ou fondre des métaux. Le bois frotté s'allume à la longue, mais pourquoi l'homme, à qui l'on imagine l'usage du feu inconnu, se seroit-il amusé à frotter ainsi le bois ? S'il l'a fait sans dessein, il faut aussi que sans connoissance et sans dessein il se soit placé près d'un tas de matière combustible; alors le feu ayant pris aura pu lui faire sentir une douce chaleur, mais une douleur cuisante a du se faire sentir ensuite, les effets de cet élément lui étant entièrement inconnu. Si une découverte si hazardeuse, et en même tems si utile, eut été faite par un homme, son nom et sa patrie seroient connus par toute la terre, comme le sont les avantages de cette découvertę. On parle d'un certain Promethée, mais on l'accuse de sacrilège pour avoir volé ce feu du ciel. Cet élément dans tous les tems et dans tous les pays, a été connu, et a été