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The author in putting forth this little volume of Sermons, most of them very plain and simple, desires to state that he has not been led to publish them by any sense of their intrinsic value, but because he thinks that whatever truths they contain may probably receive more careful consideration when read than when only heard in oral addresses. He has also been influenced by thinking that some views and opinions which may be met with in them, are not likely to reach the minds of many persons resident in this country from the remoter source of English literature. Such as they are, he commends them to his fellow Churchmen in Southern Africa.
GOD SEEKING ADAM.
GEN. iii, 9.
“And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where
art thou ?"
N the first chapter of the Book of Genesis we
read about the making of God's image, and in the third we read about its breaking. Scarcely was it made but it was broken. As soon as it was set up it fell. Having a law given it, in keeping of which it should find its welfare and life, it broke that law and found misery and death.
And the sum and substance of man's history from that day forward to the present hour has been just this; man, ashamed of his conduct, conscious of his guilt, feeling that he has sinned against the goodness of his Maker and vexed with himself because of his sin, has been hiding himself from God “among the trees of the garden.” And God, loving him still, angry,
angry with a father's anger, has been in search of him, looking in the hope that he may yet be recovered, calling to him, throughout the course of time, and saying, “ Adam, where art thou?" glad if the dead can be brought back to life again, and if the lost one can be found.
In fact, the chapter which we have read this morning, as it is a history of what befel Adam, our father, so is it also a history of human nature and a prophecy of that which should happen to each among the millions of his sons. We have all done, we are all doing, that which Adam did. Tempted by the old serpent, lured by his deceitful arts, led captive by the three-fold cord which is so hardly broken; yielding to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, as Eve yielded; there has come over us that sense of guilt which bears the fruit of shame, and that fear of Him whom we have greatly offended which drives us from His presence, and makes us shrink from the sight of those eyes which are too pure to see iniquity. Naked in His sight, bared of that spotless robe of righteousness which is the dress of heaven, men call upon the trees to hide them, and even upon the rocks and caves to cover them, from the wrath which they deserve and dread. And God, their Father, what has He done? Has He come to them in wrath ? Has He gone after them in a spirit of vengeance, ready to tread them in His anger and trample them in His fury? No. His attribute is mercy; His essence is love. He has been calling to them. ‘Adam,' he has cried to each of us; Adam, man whom I made, child whom I created, where art thou? Wherefore art thou hiding? What hast thou done? Has thou broken
law ? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? Hast thou been sinning ? Is it for this that thou hast been skulking, burying thyself in the dust from which I made thee, because thou knowest from how great a height thou hast fallen into how profound a depth ? Ah, it is sad