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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.

THE END.

:

INDEX TO VOL. IV.

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

231
Adam, whereof made..

10
Where placed....

10
What immediate command he received from God 11
Called to name the creatures

11
How he instantly understood the meaning of God's
voice

13
Did not name the creatures all at one time..... 32
When first taught to use sounds of his own for the
names of things

34
Learned the use of words by being called to name
the creatures

35
Not directed what particular names to give the
creatures

35
Named the woman

42
Did not make the reflection that the man and his
wife were inseparably to live together

42
When he first began to think, did not abound in-
stantly with a variety of conceptions...

44
Did not at first make long soliloquies

19
Placed at first in the midst of plain and few ob-
jects ...

44
Heard at first from God nothing but what was
most obvious and intelligible ..

44
His first day, not a day of hurry and confusion 45
The state of his original knowledge

51
How he began to make words

46
Not endowed with a sudden apprehension of the
nature of the living creatures

52
Had no such knowledge of the animal world as
Milton supposes •

53

53

Page
Adam was no philosopher...

53
Had no innate science

53
Nor innate sentiments of morality
All his ideas from sensation and reflection

55
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

53
Had only a capacity of attaining just notions of his
duty

56
Not endowed with an innate astronomy

58
His judgment at first uniformed...

54
How he becanie afraid of God.'.'.

58
How created in the image of God

60
Not endowed with an unerring understanding:

67
His capacity quick and lively

68
Had all the powers of a sound mind

69
Sufficiently endowed, if he would have kept God's
commandments

83
Having done the will of God, might, by the tree of
life, have lived for ever.....

90
With Eve at the time she ate of the forbidden
fruit.

132
Not superior to Eve in understanding to reject the
temptation...

133
Afraid because naked, why!.........

161
Not at first sensible of God's omnipresence

163
What he meant in the words he spake unto God
concerning his being naked

164
Not appomted to die the very day he transgressed 208
By eating the forbidden tree, did not become wise
as God is wise .

218
Adam and Eve both made on the sixth day

5
Their first notions of things narrow and unim-
proved

17
How their knowledge enlarged..

17
How they formed their first language

19
Why first employed in the garden

49
The opinion of writers concerning their original

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

52

51

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