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FALL of ADAM, 8c.
Tlow very difficult must it be for an un. believer to give any tolerable account of the first making of the world.
We find ourselves living on this globe of earth, but we none of us know (except so far as the Scriptures teach us) how it was formed, nor at what period of time. Has the earth been from everlasting ? That seems impossible, for it cannot have made itself. Who made it then ? | The Scriptures tell us it was God. But at what
time? About fix thousand years ago, as we may gather from the Bible; and there are many reafons for thinking (though we will not here dwell on that point that it is not unlikely to have existed about some such space.
We will now speak briefly of the manner in which the world was made, and then proceed to our main subject, which is, the formation of Adam and his fall,
* In the beginning," fays the Scripture, (that is, in the beginning of the history of our race) 66 God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void, (that is, it was without regular fhape or order) and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light; and God saw the light that it was good; and God called the light, day, and the darkness called he night; and the evening and the morning were the first day.”
The world having been thus made and brought into order on the first day, God proceeded on the second to make the firmament, that is, the air or atmosphere, by which she divided the waters, which were on the earth, from the watry clouds which were above it."
On the third day, (the earth having been as yet covered over with one universal lea) the waters were commanded to “ gather themselves together into one place, so that the dry land might appear;" and at the fame time the trees and herbs were created. : On the fourth day, God made those stwo great lights; the sun, or the greater light, to rule the day, and the moon, or the lesser light, to rule the night. He made the stars also.”
On the fifth, all those living creatures, which either swim in the sea, or fly in the air, were called into existence,
And on the sixth, the cattle and living thing's which walk or creep on the earth.
And now, last of all, was made man, the lord of this wonderful creation.
There was evidently a plan in this procedure of the Almighty. The earth was first made, and next the animals, and then man; just as a house is first built and set in order, and then the inhabitant walks into it. · But let us here take notice of the manner in which the making of man is spoken of, When God made the light, he said merely, 6 Let there be light, and there was light.” When he made the beasts, he said only, “ Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind;" but when man was about to be created, the Almighty is represented as saying, “Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness;" and it is added, 6 Let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth. So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him; male and feinale created he them."
What a being of dignity then is man! he was created in the very image of his Maker, and after his likeness! The powers of thought, of reason, of imagination, and of memory, are wonderful powers; they are pofleffed by the Creator in their full perfection, and they have been communicated in a suitable degree to man the creature also, though not in like manner to
the brutes. Let it then be remembered, that all these bespeak the divine original of man. But that remarkable expression, of his being “ made in the image of God," seems also evidently to imply, that man was at first made like io God, in respect to purity and holiness. The devils, no doubt, poffefs much of those powers of reason and thought, and imagination and memory, which were spoken of; and if man, while he was endowed with these, had been created in a state of wickedness, he might then more properly have been said to be made in the likeness of the devil, than in the holy likeness of his Creator. God then made man upright. When our first forefather came out of his Creator's hands, he was pure and holy like Him that made him. “ He was created," as the apostle expresses it, 6 after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness.”
Here let my readers stop to contemplate the pleasing subject of this fair creation of God. We read that God now “looked down on every thing which he had made, and behold it was very good;" that is, every thing answered the end for which it was created, and every thing was perfect in its kind. The earth was not that disordered place, which since the fall it has become. The herbs and the trees yielded freely their increase. Blight, and mildew, and famine, and scarcity, and poverty, and want, were as yet unknown. Death had not yet entered with its attendant train of sorrows, sicknesses and