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And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made ; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it : because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food : the Tree of Life also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden: and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. - a The name of the first is Pison : that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. - And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx-stone. " . And the name of the second river is Gihon : the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel : that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat : But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
In the first chapter of Genesis, God is revealed to us in his divine IMAGE as the creator and Giver of all things; in this lesson we are taught to know God as the Supreme Gover Nor of the world, over which he had given man subordinate dominion. It appears from other parts of Scripture *, that before the world was created God had prepared a kingdom in heaven, for the reception of such of the human race as should after a proper trial upon earth attain unto righteousness. That mankind might enjoy in some degree, during their state of probation, a foretaste of heavenly bliss, God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, or made it holy, by setting it apart as his own day. The day which the Lok D saw fit thus to bless and sanctify, was that on which he rested, or left off creating the things belonging to this world, the day on which he viewed his own wonderful works, and pronounced them good. As a further blessing to the first pair, the Lord God prepared a Paradise for them; a delightful abode which was a lively type or figure of heaven; for in it grew the TREE of Life, and there they beheld the glorious IMAGE of God Under what form the Lord God appeared to the first pair we are not told ; but we may reasonably suppose, he shone forth in divine glory, not in awful majesty, as he afterwards appeared upon Mount Sinai, but with mild refulgence, as the Prophets describe him in their visions to eminently distinguished from the highest of created Beings. The exact situation of Paradise cannot now be known; but, from the account we have of the rivers which flow
* Matthew xxv. 34. -~ + See Ezekiel, i. 26, 27. Chap. viii. 2, 3. Dan. vii. 9. Also the visions of St. John, in the Apocalypse,
ed from the garden of Eden, it was in the eastern part of the world. - That the first pair might have no fears of being deprived of the blessings of Paradise, or erroneously suppose that they had a natural right to retain them, the Lord God graciously entered into a Covenant by which he asserted his own right as Supreme Governor, and named the conditions on which the blessings of Paradise should be continued to mankind ; and these were the conditions of the covenant—The Lord God gave mankind permission to enjoy freely all the blessings of Paradise, and promised to continue their lives as long as they should keep their part of the covenant; and the Lord God commanded mankind not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, which grew by the Tree of Life, and subjected them to the penalty of Death, in case they broke this Commandment. . The Tree of Life was the outward and visible sign of God's first Covenant with mankind, in their state of innocence ; , and the Tree of Knowledge was the test of man's obedience under this covenant. - - * . . . The first Covenant certainly had a reference to a future state ; without it the utmost mankind could possibly have done, would have been to continue inno
cent, or free from sin, but they could not have become
righteous through Faith and Obedience: and without righteousness, they could not have been admitted into
the kingdom of heaven. The Lord God by sanctifying the Seventh Day has made it the duty of mankind to keep it holy to the end of the world; but we do not find that the Sabbatic Law was included in the Jirst covenant; while mankind were innocent, no Commandment was necessary to enforce a remembrance of their CRs a to R, for none but sinners
sinners would forget the Lord who made them, and profane his. Sabbath. The Lord God knew that it was not good for mankind to be idle; he therefore allotted them work for the six days of the week. . . .
The institution of the Sabbath was the first spiritual blessing bestowed upon the human race; nothing could so effectually promote the happiness of mankind, even in a state of innocence, as the contemplation of the works of God ; nothing could so properly prepare them for that heavenly bliss for which they were created, as holding communion with their Creator ; offering up to God their pious' adoration, and receiving from God those assurances of divine approbation, which in his infinite goodness He bestows on all who worship Him in spirit and in truth; "though not in the same way they were bestowed in the beginning of the world. The obligation to keep the Sabboth holy, can never be annulled as long as the world endures; for as all mankind in successive generations partake of the blessings of creation, they are all bound to remember their Creator ; and how can they testify this remembrance so properly as by keeping holy that day which he set apart as his own It is the height of folly as well as presumption to slight and profane the Sabbath, and we cannot do so without offending God, and relinquishing the highest pleasures we are capable of enjoying on this side heaven. Let us then keep that divine commandment, which makes a part of the religion of christians; Let us remember the Sabbath Day, and keep it Holy, - - Though mankind by means of that Reason with which their CREAT or had endued them were capable of comprehending, when once revealed to them, many things relating to the nature and attributes of God,
they were not able by their own natural powers to discover them: they might-have known indeed from the works of the creation that there must be a GoD ; and with the rudiments of every good principle in their minds, they would undoubtedly have felt a desire to please their MAker, whose Image they bore, and from whose bounty they received such manifold blessings; but they could not by searching find out God”, nor were they left to form their own conjectures: Divine Fevelation anticipated all fruitless inquiries, for before man could say, Where is God my Maker P the Lord God manifested forth the glory of the E1 ERNAL FATHER, and convinced the human race, by means of their outward senses, of the existence of a God! This was the beginning of Divine Revelation. 2 4. When the Derry was once revealed to them, mankind, in their state of innocence and perfection, could not but desire to please God; intended by their Creator for immortal bliss, they would naturally wish for everlasting life; by their own natural powers they could neither learn; the one, nor be assured of the other. But divine revelation was afforded to instruct them in the Law of God, to inform them that they were by nature mortal, and to intimate to them, that in order to have everlasting life, they must not merely continue innocent, but become righteous.
Not only in respect to spiritual things was divine revelation necessary to mankind ; without it the first human pair would not have known how to select food, or choose a habitation for themselves; but before they could well feel the appetites of hunger and thirst, before they could well form a wish to enjoy in perfection the comforts and conveniences of the world, they were
* Job xi. 7, put