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lavished all the powers of genius and the charms of verse upon the subject, these and the like counterfeit or secondary paradises, the copies of the true, will live and bloom, so long as the world itself shall endure.
It hath been already suggested, that a garden is calculated no less for the improvement of the mind, than for the exercise of the body; and we cannot doubt, but that peculiar care would be taken of that most important end, in the disposition of the garden of Eden.
From the situation and circumstances of Adam, it should not seem probable, that an all-wise and allgracious Creator would leave him in that state of ignorance in which, since the days of Faustus Socinus, it hath been but too much the fashion to represent him. For may we not argue in some such manner as the following?
If so fair a world was created for the use and satisfaction of his terrestrial part, formed out of the dust, can we imagine that the better part, the immortal spirit from above, the inhabitant of the fleshly tabernacle prepared for it, should be left in a state of destitution and desolation, unprovided with wisdom, its food, its support, and its delight?
If men, since the fall, and labouring under all the disadvantages occasioned by it, have been enabled to make those attainments in knowledge which they certainly have made; and we find the understanding of a Solomon replete with every species of wisdom, human and divine; can we conceive ignorance to have been the characteristic of the first formed father
of the world, created with all his powers and faculties complete and perfect, and living under the immediate tuition of God?
If upon the trial of Adam, as the head and representative of mankind, their fate, as well as his own, both in time and eternity, was to depend, can we ever think his Maker would expose him to such a trial, with a mind not better informed than that of a child or an idiot?
If redemption restored what was lost by the fall, and the second Adam was a counterpart of the first, must we not conceive Adam to have once been what man is, when restored by grace to "the image of "God in wisdom and holiness?" And does not he, who degrades the character of the son of God in Paradise, degrade in proportion the character of that other Son of God, and the redemption and restoration which are by him?
Our first father differed from all his descendants in this particular, that he was not to attain the use of his understanding by a gradual process from infancy, but came into being in full stature and vigour of mind as well as body. He found creation likewise in its prime. It was morning with man and the world.
We are not certain with regard to the time allowed him to make his observations upon the different objects with which he found himself surrounded; but it should seem, either that sufficient time was allowed
h Luke, iii. 38." Which was the son of Adam, which was "the son of God.”
him for that end, or that he was enabled, in some extraordinary manner, to pervade their essences, and discover their properties. For we are informed, that God brought the creatures to him, that he might impose upon them suitable names; a work which, in the opinion of Plato', must be ascribed to God himself. The use and intent of names is to express the natures of the things named; and in the knowledge of those natures, at the beginning, God, who made them, must have been man's instructor. It is not likely, that, without such an instructor, men could ever have formed a language at all; since it is a task which requires much thought; and the great masters of reason seem to be agreed, that without language we cannot think to any purpose. However that may be, from the original imposition of names by our first parent, we cannot but infer that his knowledge of things natural must have been very eminent and extensive; not inferior, we may suppose, to that of his descendant king Solomon, who "spake of
trees, from the cedar to the hyssop, and of beasts "and fowl, and creeping things, and fishes." It is therefore probable, that Plato asserted no more than the truth, when he asserted, according to the traditions he had gleaned up in Egypt and the East, that the first man was of all men xooopwraros, the greatest philosopher.
As man was made for the contemplation of God here, and for the enjoyment of him hereafter, we cannot imagine that his knowledge would terminate
i Τα πρωτα ονόματα οι Θεοι έδεσαν.-In Cratylo.
on earth, though it took its rise there. Like the patriarch's ladder, its foot was on earth, but its top, doubtless, reached to heaven. By it the mind ascended from the creatures to the Creator, and descended from the Creator to the creatures. It was the golden chain which connected matter and spirit, preserving a communication between the two worlds.
That God had revealed and made himself known. to Adam, appears from the circumstances related; namely, that he took him, and put him into the garden of Eden; that he conversed with him, and communicated a law to be by him observed; that he caused the creatures to come before him, and brought Eve to him. In these transactions, God probably assumed some visible appearance; because, otherwise than by such assumed appearance, no man, while in the body, can see God. And we find, by what passed after the fatal transgression, that "the "voice or sound of the Lord God walking in the "garden," was a voice or sound to which Adam had been accustomed, though guilt, for the first time, had made him afraid of it.
If there was at the beginning this familiar intercourse between Jehovah and Adam, and he vouchsafed to converse with him, as he afterwards did with Moses, "as a man converseth with his friend," there can be no reasonable doubt but that he instructed him, as far as was necessary, in the knowledge of his Maker, of his own spiritual and immortal part, of the adversary he had to encounter, of the consequences to which disobedience would subject him,
and of those invisible glories, a participation of which was to be the reward of his obedience.
When God, in after times, selected a peculiar people to be his church and heritage, to receive the law from his mouth, and to be the guardians of his promises, he "chose one place to place his name "there;" to be the place of his residence, where he appeared and was consulted. He gave directions for the construction of a temple or house, in a particular manner appropriated to him, and called his; which, though composed of worldly elements, was so framed, as to exhibit an apt resemblance, model, or pattern, of heavenly things; to serve as a school for instruction, as a sanctuary for devotion. Might not the garden of Eden be a kind of temple or sanctuary, to Adam; a place chosen for the residence and appearance of God; a place designed to represent and give him ideas of heavenly things; a place sacred to contemplation and devotion? Something of this sort seems to be intimated by the account we have of the garden in the second chapter of Genesis, and to be confirmed by the references and allusions to it in other parts of the Scriptures.
With this view, we may observe, that though Paradise was created with the rest of the world, yet we are informed, the hand of God was in a more especial manner employed in preparing this place for the habitation of man. "The Lord God planted a gar"den eastward in Eden. And out of the ground "the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food. And a "river went out of Eden, to water the garden; and