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simple this test was in itself, and the more easy the duty which it prescribed; the more conspicuously was the benignity of their God revealed, and the more inexcusable was their own rebellion. What simpler test could they have chosen, than abstinence from a particular tree, however good for food and pleasant to the eyes?" What duty could be of easier performance ; seeing it did not intrench upon a single enjoyment; as they were surrounded with similar enjoyments; the Lord God having made to grow, every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food ?' What could be more condescending on his part, than the appointment of so delightful a probation? And what more wanton, more thankless, or more provoking, on theirs, than the violation of its terms?

Disobedience under such circumstances, was of an aggravated sort : but it will appear still more flagrant, from the consideration, that this very tree, whose touch was death, was fraught with salutary instruction. Placed in the midst of the garden, and often meeting the eyes of our first parents, it could hardly fail to teach them such truths as these :

That God is the Lord of all things ; and, consequently, thit man's dominion was neither absolute nor independent---that in the enjoyment of God alone, is the satisfying good of man---that in judging of good and evil, man is not to be directed by his own reason or pleasure, but by the revealed will of God---that man had not yet arrived at his highest happiness ; but was bound to expect and desire a more perfect state; yet in tbat way alone which God had appointed---that if he would escape death, he must avoid the cause of it; i. c.

sin, or the breaking out of his desires beyond those li. mits which God had assigned to them. How much further the unclouded mind of the first man might have carried his reflections on the forbidden tree; to what sublime corrceptions of the divine nature, and works, and providence, it might have led him, we, in our shattered state, with our discordant affections and obscure lights, are poorly qualified to judge. Yet, disabled as we are, by the Fall, from taking such rapid, capacious, and elevating views of whatever is tair, and good, and magnificent in the creature, and the Creator, as were competent to a sinless being, we can discern enough to persuade us, that the tree of knowledge of good and evil must have been, to innocent man, a rich source of intellectual improvement and moral joy.

The third use of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, was that of a sacramental pledge.

Our first parents were placed not only under the general obligations of moral law, but under a peculiar moral constitution, which the sovereign goodness of God superadded to their condition as accountable creatures. This constitution is ordinarily termed, the codenant of works ; by which, in the event of their adhering to the terms of their probation, the divine faithfulness was engaged to confer on themselves and on their posterity, an immortality of bliss. But, in the event of their failure, that same faithfulness was engaged to subject them and their progeny to the penalty of the law. It will be perceived, that punishment; upon the commission of sin, was a matter of course. For that a creature should rise up in rebellion against the Creator, and suffer no inconvenience on account of his crime, is a

contradiction, if not in words, yet certainly in things. Whereas the promise of eternal life was purely gratuitous ; no creature having a right to demand more than this, that so long as he continues obedient, he shall not be miserable. Nor can any good reason be assigned, why the most bigh God, if it so pleased him, may not create rational beings for a temporary existence only, and, when his purposes are fulfilled, remand them back again to nothing. The promise, therefore, of eternal life, converted the law of obedience into a pacific covenant, of which the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge, were the two sacraments ; the former being a visible document of God's faithfulness to his promise, and the latter a visible document of his faithfulness to his threatening. And thus the assurance of life or death being exhibited to our first parents, by sensible signs, they were constantly admonished of the interest staked in their hands, and of the infinitely happy or horrible issue of their probationary state.“

< See The Christian's Magazine; New York, 1807, p. 67.




ABILITIES of understanding ought to be different in
different men, why?

Adam, whereof made..

Where placed....

What immediate command he received from God 11
Called to name the creatures

How he instantly understood the meaning of God's

Did not name the creatures all at one time..... 32
When first taught to use sounds of his own for the
names of things

Learned the use of words by being called to name
the creatures

Not directed what particular names to give the

Named the woman

Did not make the reflection that the man and his
wife were inseparably to live together

When he first began to think, did not abound in-
stantly with a variety of conceptions...

Did not at first make long soliloquies

Placed at first in the midst of plain and few ob-
jects ...

Heard at first from God nothing but what was
most obvious and intelligible ..

His first day, not a day of hurry and confusion 45
The state of his original knowledge

How he began to make words

Not endowed with a sudden apprehension of the
nature of the living creatures

Had no such knowledge of the animal world as
Milton supposes •



Adam was no philosopher...

Had no innate science

Nor innate sentiments of morality
All his ideas from sensation and reflection

Knew no more of God than wbat he had heard

or seen could occasion him to think of him.. 55
Had no innate knowledge of bimself

Had only a capacity of attaining just notions of his

Not endowed with an innate astronomy

His judgment at first uniformed...

How he becanie afraid of God.'.'.

How created in the image of God

Not endowed with an unerring understanding:

His capacity quick and lively

Had all the powers of a sound mind

Sufficiently endowed, if he would have kept God's

Having done the will of God, might, by the tree of
life, have lived for ever.....

With Eve at the time she ate of the forbidden

Not superior to Eve in understanding to reject the

Afraid because naked, why!.........

Not at first sensible of God's omnipresence

What he meant in the words he spake unto God
concerning his being naked

Not appomted to die the very day he transgressed 208
By eating the forbidden tree, did not become wise
as God is wise .

Adam and Eve both made on the sixth day

Their first notions of things narrow and unim-

How their knowledge enlarged..

How they formed their first language

Why first employed in the garden

The opinion of writers concerning their original

knowledge, groundless
Not surprised at hearing the serpent speak with
man's voice



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