Page images

A. M. 1. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 1. AND PART OF CH. 2. the historian means here, is only to represent a peculiar | Paradise, and a great pen, wherewith God wrote his circumstance in the woman's composition, viz. her decrees: that this throne was carried about upon angels?. assumption from the man's side: and therefore what re- necks, whose heads were so big, that birds could not fly lates to the creation of her soul must be presumed to go in a thousand years from one ear to another; that the before, and is indeed signified in the preface God makes heavens were propped up by the mountain Koff; that before he begins the work; It is not good that man the stars were firebrands, thrown against the devils should be alone, I will make him an help-ineet for him,' when they invaded heaven, and that the earth stands that is, of the same ? essential qualities with himself. For upon the top of a great cow's horn; that this cow stands we cannot conceive of what great comfort this woman upon a white stone, this stone upon a mountain, and this would have been to Adam, had she not been endowed mountain upon God knows what; with many more abwith a rational part, capable of conversing with him; surdities of the like nature. had she not bad, I say, the same understanding, will, These are some accounts of the world's creation, and affections, though perhaps in a lower degree, and which nations of great sagacity in other respects have at with some accommodation to the weakness of her sex, in least pretended to believe. But alas! how sordid and order to recommend her beauty, and to endear that soft- trifling are they, in comparison of what we read in the Dess wherein (as I hinted before) she had certainly the book of Genesis, where every thing is easy and natural, pre-eminence.

comporting with God's majesty, and not repugnant to Such is the history which Moses gives us of the origin the principles of philosophy? Nay, where every thing of the world, and the production of mankind: and if we agrees with the positions of the greatest men in the should now compare it with what we meet with in other Heathen world, the sentiments of their wisest philosorations recorded of these great events, we shall soon phers, and the descriptions of their most renowned poets. perceive, that it is the only rational and philosophical So that were we to judge of Moses at the bar of reason, account extant; which, considering the low ebb that merely as an historian; had we none of those supernalearning was at in the Jewish nation, is no small argu- tural proofs of the divinity of his writings, which set ment of its divine revelation. What a wretched account them above the sphere of all human composition; had was that of the Egyptians, (from whence the Epicureans borrowed their hypothesis,) that the world was made by his vicegerent: that, surprised at this news, the Earth desired dance, and mankind grew out of the earth like pum- Gabriel to represent her fears to God, that this creature, whom kins ? What strange stories does the Grecian theology he was going to make in this manner, would one day rebel tell us of Ouranos and Ge, Jupiter and Saturn; and against him, and draw down his curse upon her: that Gabriel what sad work do their ancient writers make, when they returned, and made report to God of the Earth’s remonstrances; come to form men and women out of projected stones? but God resolving to execute his design despatched Michael, and

afterwards Asraphel, with the same commission: that these two How unaccountably does the Phenician historian make angels returned in like manner to report the Earth’s excuses a dark and windy air the principle of the universe; all and absolute refusal to contribute to this work; whereupon he intelligent creatures to be formed alike in the shape of deputed Azrael, who, without saying any thing to the Earth took an egg, and both male and female awakened into life by an handful out of each of the seven different layers or beds, and

carried it to a place in Arabia, between Mecca and Taief: that a great thunder-clap? The Chinese are accounted a

after the angels had mixed and kneaded the earth which Azrael wise people, and yet the articles of their creed are such brought, God, with his own hand, formed out of it an human as these That one Tayn, who lived in heaven, and was statue, and having left it in the same place for some time to dry, famous for his wisdom, disposed the parts of the world not long after communicating his spirit, or enlivening breath, into the order we find them; that he created out of no

infused life and understanding into it, and clothing it in a won

derful dress, suitable to its dignity, commanded the angels to thing the first man Panson, and his wife Pansone; that fall prostrate before it, which Eblis" (by whom they mean Lucithis Panson, by a power from Tayn, created another fer) refusing to do, was immediately driven out of paradise. ikan called Tanhom, who was a great naturalist, and N. B. The difference of the earth employed in the formation of thirteent men more, by whom the world was peopled, till, different colours and qualities of mankind

who are derived from

Adam, is of great service to the Mahometans in explaining the after a while, the sky fell upon the earth, and destroyed it, some of whom are white, others black, others tawny, yellow, them all; but that the wise Tayn afterwards created an- olive-coloured, and red; some of one humour, inclination, and other man, called Lotziram, who had two horns, and an complexion, and others of a quite different.— Calmet's Dictionary

on the word Adam. odoriferous body, and from whom proceeded several men and women, who stocked the world with the present studied the causes of nature's works, asserts that the world is the

b Thales, whom the Greeks suppose to be the first who deeply inhabitants. But, of all others, the Mahometan account work of God, and that God of all things is the most ancient sinca is the most ridiculous; for it tells us, that the first things he had no beginning. Pythagoras said, that as often as he conwhich were created, were the Throne of God, a Adam, templated the fabric and beauty of this world, he seemed to hear

that word of God, by which it was commanded to be. Plato

thought that God did not form the world out of matter eternal Gen, ii, 18.

and coeval with himself, but that he made it out of nothing, and * So the original word means, and so the vulgar Latin has according to his good pleasure, he also believed, that man was translated it.

not only made by God, but that he was made after the image of * See Cumberland's Sanchoniatho,

God, and had a spirit akin and like to his Maker. Among the . As to the formation of Adam's body, Mahometans tell us Latin poets, Virgil speaks after the same mode, when he intromany strange circumstances, viz., That after God, by long con- duces Silenus singing how the tender ball of earth grew out of tinued rains, had prepared the slime of the earth, out of which the compressed seeds or ingredients of all things; and Ovid, too, he was to form it, he sent the angel Gabriel, and commanded when he tells of the birth of heaven and earth, and of man being ham, of seven layers of earth, to take out of each an handful: formed after the image of God; while among the Greeks, Hesiod, that upon Gabriel's coming to the Earth, he told her, that God in his Theogony, has celebrated, in most melodious lines, the kod determined to extract that out of her bowels, whereof he formation of all things quite according to the doctrine of Moses. propued to make man, who was to be sovereign over all, and / -Huetius' Inquiries.

say, to

appear at set

A. M. 1. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 1. AND PART OF CH. 2. his works none of that manifest advantage of antiquity | aside; that it should turn at a certain determinate point, above all others we ever yet saw; and were we not and not go forward in a space where there is nothing to allowed to presume, that his living near the time which obstruct it; that it should traverse the same path back he makes the era of the world's creation, gave him great again in the same constant and regular pace, to bring assistances in point of tradition; were we, I

on the seasons by gradual advances: that the moon wave all this that might be alleged in his behalf; yet should supply the office of the sun, and the very manner of his treating the subject gives him a times, to illuminate the air, and give a vicarious light, preference above all others. Nor can we, without when its brother is gone to carry the day to the other admiration, see a person who had none of the systems hemisphere; 3 that it should procure, or at least regulate before him which we now so much value, giving us a the Auxes and refluxes of the sea, whereby the water is clearer idea of things, in the way of an easy narrative, kept in constant motion, and so preserved from putrethan any philosopher, with all his hard words and new-faction, and accommodated to man's manifold conveniinvented terms, has yet been able to do; and, in the ences, besides the business of fishing, and the use of compass of two short chapters, comprising all that has navigation: in a word, that the rest of the planets, and been advanced with reason, even from his own time to all the innumerable host of heavenly bodies should perthis very day.

form their courses and revolutions, with so much certainty and exactness, as never once to fail, but, for almost this 6000 years, come constantly about in the same

period, to the hundredth part of a minute; this is such a CHAP. IV.The wisdom of God in the works clear and incontestable proof of a divine architect, and of the Creation.

of that counsel and wisdom wherewith he rules and

directs the universe, as made the Roman philosopher, Though the author of the Pentateuch never once at- with good reason, conclude, “ That* whoever imagines, tempts to prove the being of a God, as taking it all that the wonderful order, and incredible constancy of along for a thing undeniable; yet it may not be impro- the heavenly bodies, and their motions (whereupon the per for us, in this place, to take a cursory view of the preservation and welfare of all things do depend) is not works of the creation, (as far at least as they come un governed by an intelligent being, himself is destitute of der the Mosaic account,) in order to show the existence, understanding. For shall we, when we see an artificial the wisdom, the greatness, and the goodness of their engine, a sphere, a dial, for instance, acknowledge at almighty Maker.

first sight, that it is the work of art and understanding ; Let us theu cast our eyes up to the firmament, where and yet, when we behold the heavens, moved and the rich handy-work of God presents itself to our sight, whirled about with an incredible velocity, most conand ask ourselves some such questions as these. What stantly finishing their anniversary vicissitudes, make any power built, over our heads, this vast and magnificent doubt, that these are the performances, not only of reaarch, and spread out the heavens like a curtain ?' Who son, but of a certain excellent and divine reason?” garnished these heavens with such a variety of shining And if Tully, from the very imperfect knowledge of objects, a thousand, and ten thousand times ten thousand astronomy, which his time afforded, could be so confidifferent stars, new suns, new moons, new worlds, in dent, that the heavenly bodies were framed, and moved comparison of which this earth of ours is but a point, all by a wise and understanding mind, as to declare, that, regular in their motions, and swimming in their liquid in his opinion, whosoever asserted the contrary, was ether? Who painted the clouds with such a variety of himself destitute of understanding ; ' what would he have colours, and in such diversity of shades and figures, as is said, had he been acquainted with the modern discoveries not in the power of the finest pencil to emulate ? Who of astronomy; the immense greatness of the world, that formed the sun of such a determinate size, and placed it part of it (I mean) which falls under our observation; at such a convenient distance, as not to annoy, but only the exquisite regularity of the motions of all the planets, refresh us, and nourish the ground with its kindly warmth? without any deviation or confusion; the inexpressible If it were larger, it would set the earth on fire; if less, nicety of adjustment in the primary velocity of the it would leave it frozen: if it were nearer us, we should earth's annual motion; the wonderful proportion of its be scorched to death; if farther from us, we should not diurnal motion about its own centre, for the distinction be able to live for want of heat: who then hath made it of light and darkness; the exact accommodation of the so commodious 36 a tabernacle (I speak with the Scrip- densities of the planets to their distances from the sun : tures, and according to the common notion) out of which the admirable order, number, and usefulness of the it cometh forth,' every morning, like a bridegroom out several satellites, which move about the respective of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant, to run his planets; the motion of the comets, which are now found course ?' For so many ages past, it never failed rising to be as regular and periodical, as that of other planeat its appointed time, nor once missed sending out the tary bodies; and, lastly, the preservation of the several dawn to proclaim its approach: but at whose voice does systems, and of the several planets and comets in the it arise, and by whose hand is it directed in its diurnal same system, from falling upon each other: what, I say, and annual course, to give us the blessed vicissitudes of would Tully, that great master of reason, have thought the day and night, and the regular succession of differ- and said, if these, and other newly discovered instances ent seasons ? That it should always proceed in the of the inexpressible accuracy and wisdom of the works same straight path, and never once be known to step

3 Ray's Wisdom of God in the Creation.

* Tully on the Nature of the Gods. See Stillingflect's Orig. Sacr., 1. 3., c. 1. * Ps. xix. 4, 5.

Clarke's Demonstration of a God.

A. M. 1. A C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 1, AND PART OF CH. 2 of God, had been observed and considered in his days? | largeness of the camel, and the smallness of the insect, Certainly atheism, which even then was unable to with are equal demonstrations of an infinite wisdom and stand the arguments drawn from this topic, must now, power, Nay, a the smaller the creature is, the more upon the additional strength of these later observations, amazing is the workmanship; and when in a little mite, be utterly ashamed to show its head, and forced to ac- we do (by the help of glasses) see limbs perfectly well knowledge, that it was an eternal and almighty Being, organized, a head, a body, legs, and feet, all distinct, God alone, who gave these celestial bodies their proper and as well proportioned for their size, as those of the mensuration and temperature of heat, their dueness of vastest elephants; and consider withal, that, in every distance, and regularity of motion, or, in the phrase of part of this living atom, there are muscles, nerves, the prophet, "who established the world by his wisdom, veins, arteries, and blood; and in that blood ramous and stretched out the heavens by his understanding.' particles and humours; and in those humours, some

If, from the firmament, we descend to the orb whereon drops that are composed of other minute particles : we live, what a glorious proof of the divine wisdom do when we consider all this, I say, can we help being lost we meet with in this intermediate expansion of the air, in wonder and astonishment, or refrain crying out, with which is so wonderfully contrived, as, at one and the the blessed apostle, 50 the depth of the riches both of same time, to support clouds for rain, and to afford the wisdom, and knowledge of God! how unsearchable winds for health and traffic; to be proper for the breath are his works, and his ways of' creation and providence of animals by its spring, for causing sounds by its mo- ' past finding out!' Lion, and for conveying light by its transparency? But But there is another thing in animals, both terrestrial whose power was it, that made so thin and fluid an ele- and aqueous, no less wonderful than their frame; and ment, the safe repository of thunder and lightning, of that is their natural instinct. In compliance with the winds and tempests? By whose command, and out of common forms of speech I call it so; but in reality, it whose treasuries, are these meteors sent forth to purify is the providential direction of them, by an all-wise, and the air, which would otherwise stagnate, and consume all-powerful mind. For what else has infused into birds the vapours, which would otherwise annoy us? And by the art of building their nests, either hard or soft, acwhat skilful hand is the 2 water, which is drawn from the cording to the constitution of their young? What else sea, by a natural distillation made fresh, and bottled up, makes them keep so constantly in their nests, while they as it were, in the clouds, to be sent upon the 'wings of are hatching their young, as if they knew the philosophy the wind' into different countries, and, in a manner, of their own warmth, and its aptness for animation ? equally dispersed, and distributed, over the face of the What else moves the swallow, upon the approach of earth, in gentle showers ?

winter, to fly to a more temperate climate, as if it unWhose power and wisdom was it, that 'hanged the derstood the celestial signs, the influence of the stars, earth upon nothing,' and gave it a spherical figure, the and the change of seasons ? What else 6 causes the most commodious that could be devised, both for the salmon, every year, to ascend from the sea up a river, consistency of its parts, and the velocity of its motion ? some four or five hundred miles perhaps, only to cast its Tható weighed the mountains in scales,' and 'the hills in spawn, and secure it in banks of sand, until the young a balance,' and disposed of them in their most proper be hatched, or excluded, and then return to the sea places for fruitfulness and health ? That diversified the again? How these creatures, when they have been climates of the earth into such an agreeable variety, wandering, a long time, in the wide ocean, should again that, at the farthest distance, each one has its proper find out, and repair to the mouth of the same rivers, seasons, day and night, winter and summer? That clothed seems to me very strange, and hardly accountable, the face of it with plants and flowers, so exquisitely without having recourse either to some impression given adorned with various and inimitable beauties, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of * Rom. xi. 33. * Ray's Wisdom of God. them?' That placed the plant in the seed (as the young “Where has nature disposed so many senses, as in a gnat ?” is in the womb of animals) in such elegant complica- (says Pliny in his Natural History, when considering the body tions, as afford at once both a pleasing and astonishing and taste, and smell? where hath she generated that angry and

of that insect,) “Where hath nature planted its organs of sight, spectacle? That painted and perfumed the flowers, gave shrill voice ? and with what cunning adjointed its wings, there the sweet odours which they diffuse in the air for lengthened its legs in front, and arranged that hungry cavity our delight, and, with one and the same water, dyed like a belly so greedy of blood, especially human ? with what them into different colours, the scarlet, the purple, the skill hath she pointed its sting for pricking the skin? and, carnation, surpassing the imitation, as well as compre- hath she made it so as to serve a double purpose, being sharp

although its slenderness be so great as to render it invisible, yet bension of mankind ? That has replenished it with such ened in point for penetrating the skin, and at the same time an infinite variety of living creatures, % so like, and at hollowed out for sucking up the blood ?” And if Pliny made the same time so unlike to each other, that of the in- so many queries concerning the body of a gnat, (which, by his numerable particulars wherein each creature differs from own confession, is none of the least of insects,) what would he,

in all likelihood, have done, had he seen the bodies of these aniall others, every one is known to have its peculiar malculæ, which are discernible by glasses, to the number of ten, beauty, and singular use? Some walk, some creep, twenty, or thirty thousand in a drop of pepper-water, not larger some fly, some swim; but every one has members and than a grain of millet? And if these creatures be so very organs fitted to its peculiar motions. In a word, the small, what must we think of their muscles, and other parts? pride of the borse, and the feathers of the peacock, the muscular motion, is exceedingly minute and curious, and to the

Certain it is, that the mechanism, by which nature performs the

performance of every muscular motion, in greater animals at Jer. Ii, 15. * Ray's Wisdom of God in the Creation. least, there are not fewer distinct parts concerned, than many * Dr Sam. Clarke's Sermons, vol. ii.

millions of millions, and these visible through a microscope.* Ray's Wisdom of God in the Creation.

Ray's Wisdom of God in the Creation.

A. M. I. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. I. AND PART OF CH. 2. at their first creation, or the immediate and continual | his formation, observe him perform all the operations of direction, of a superior cause. In a word, 'can we be- life, sense, and reason; move as gracefully, talk ás hold the spider's net, the silk worms' webs, the bees' eloquently, reason as justly, and do every thing as cells, or the ants' granaries, without being lost in the dexterously, as the most accomplished man breathing: contemplation, and forced to acknowledge that infinite the same was the case, and the same the moment of time, wisdom of their Creator, who either directs their unerring in God's formation of our first parent. But (to give the steps himself, or has given them a genius (if I may so thing a stronger impression upon the mind) we will supcall it) fit to be an emblem, and to show mankind the pose, 6 that this figure rises by degrees, and is finished pattern of art, industry, and frugality ?

part by part, in some succession of time; and that, when If from the earth, and the creatures which live upon the whole is completed, the veins and arteries bored, it, we cast our eye upon the water, we soon perceive, the sinews and tendons laid, the joints fitted, and the that it is a liquid and transparent body, and that, had it liquor (transmutable into blood and juices) lodged in been more or less rarefied, it had not been so proper for the ventricles of the heart, God infuses into it a vital the use of man: but who gave it that just configuration principle; whereupon the liquor in the heart begins to of parts, and exact degree of motion, as to make it both descend, and thrill along the veins, and an heavenly so fluent, and at the same time so strong, as to carry blush arises in the countenance, such as scorns the help and waft away the most unwieldy burdens ? Who hath of art, and is above the power of imitation. The image taught the rivers to run, in winding streams, through moves, it walks, it speaks: it moves with such a majesty, vast tracts of land, in order to water them more plenti-as proclaims it the lord of the creation, and talks with fully; then throw themselves into the ocean, to make it such an accent, and sublimity of sentiment, as makes the common centre of commerce; and so, by secret and every ear attentive, and even its great Creator enter into imperceptible channels, return to their fountain-head, in converse with it: were we to see all this transacted beone perpetual circulation? Who stored and replenished fore our eyes, I say, we could not but stand astonished these rivers with fish of all kinds, which glide, and sport at the thing; and yet this is an exact emblem of every themselves in the limpid streams, and run heedlessly man's formation, and a contemplation it is, that made into the fisher's net, or come greedily to the angler's holy David break out into this rapturous acknowledghook, in order to be caught (as it were) for the use and ment ? Lord! I will give thee thanks, for I am fearfully entertainment of man? The great and wide sea is a and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works, and very awful and stupendous work of God, and the flux that my soul knoweth right well: thine eyes did see my and reflux of its waters are not the easiest phenomena substance, yet being imperfect, and in thy book were all in nature. 2 All that we know of certainty is this, that my members written.' the tide carries and brings us back to certain places, at Nay, so curious is the texture of the human body, and precise hours: but whose hand is it that makes it stop, in every part so full of wonder, that even Galen himself, and then return with such regularity? A little more or (who was otherwise backward enough to believe a God) less motion in this fluid mass would disorder all nature, after he had carefully surveyed the frame of it, and and a small incitement upon a tide ruin whole kingdoms: viewed the fitness and usefulness of every part, the who then was so wise, as to take such exact measures in many a several intentions of every little vein, bone, immense bodies, and who so strong, as to rule the rage and muscle, and the beautiful composition of the whole, of that proud element at discretion ? Even he, 3« who fell into a pang of devotion, and wrote an hymn to his hath placed the sand for the bound thereof, by a per-Creator's praise. 8 And, if in the make of the body, how petual decree, that it cannot pass;' and placed the much more does the divine wisdom appear in the creaLeviathan (among other animals of all kinds) “therein tion of the soul of man, a substance immaterial, but to take his pastime, out of whose nostrils goeth a smoke, united to the body by a copula imperceptible, and yet and whose breath kindleth coals;' so that he maketh so strong, as to make them mutually operate, and symthe deep to boil like a pot, and maketh the sea like a pathize with each other, in all their pleasures and their pot of ointment,' as the author of the book of 4 Job ele- pains; a substance endued with those wonderful faculgantly describes that most important creature.

ties of thinking, understanding, judging, reasoning, If now, from the world itself, we turn our eyes more choosing, acting, and (which is the end and excellency particularly upon man, the principal inhabitant that God of all) the power of knowing, obeying, imitating, and has placed therein, no understanding certainly can be so praising its Creator; though certainly neither it, nor low and mean, no heart so stupid and insensible, as not any superior rank of beings, angels, and archangels, or plainly to see that nothing but infinite wisdom could, in so wonderful a manner, have fashioned his body, and

* Hale’s Origination of Mankind. inspired into it a being of superior faculties, whereby ? Ps. cxxxix. 14, 16. Clarke's Sermons, v. 1. he 5 teacheth us more than the beasts of the field, and a Galen, in his book, On the Formation of the Embryo, takes maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven.'

notice, that there are, in a human body, above 600 muscles, in

each of which there are, at least, ten several intentions, or due Should any of us see a lump of clay rise immediately qualifications, to be observed; so that, about the muscles alone, from the ground into the complete figure of a man, full no less than 6000 several ends and aims are to be attended to. of beauty and symmetry, and endowed with all the parts The bones are reckoned to be 284, and the distinct scopes, or and faculties we perceive in ourselves, and possibly far and thus it is in some proportion with all the other parts, the

intentions of each of these, are above 40; in all, about 12,000; more exquisite and beautiful; should we presently, after skin, ligaments, vessels, and humours; but more especially with

the several vessels of the body, which do, in regard of the great · Charnock's Existence of a God.

variety and multitude of those several intentions required to Fenclon's Demonstration of a God.

them, very much exceed the homogeneous parts. Wilkin's 3 Jer. v. 22.

Job xli, 31. 5 Job xxxv. 11. Natural Religion.


A. M. 1. A.C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 2. FROM VER. 8. the whole host of heaven'can worthily and sufficiently flesh,' his very self, diversified only into another sex; Jo it; "for who can express the mighty acts of the and could easily foresee, that the love and union which Lord, or show forth all his praise ?'

was now to commence between them was to be perpetual, Thus, which way soever we turn our eyes, whether we and for ever inseparable. For the same divine hand look upwards or downwards, without us, or within us, which conducted the woman to the place where Adam upon the animate or inanimate parts of the creation; we was, presented her to him in the capacity of a matrishall find abundant reason to take up the words of the monial father; and, c having joined them together in the Psalmist, and say, O Lord, how wonderful are thy nuptial state, pronounced his benediction over them, to works! in wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is the intent that "they might enjoy unmolested the dofull of thy riches.' 360, that men would therefore praise minion he had given them over the other parts of the the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that creation, and, being themselves d fruitful in the procreabe doeth for the children of men! that they would offer tion of children, might live to see the earth replenished him the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and tell out all his with a numerous progeny, descended from their loins. works with gladness!'

In the mean time God had taken care to provide our first parents with a pleasant and delightful habitation

4 See Patrick's Commentary. 5 See Gen. i. 28, 29, 30. SECT. II.

c The words of Milton upon this occasion are extremely fine.

all heav'n,

And happy constellations, on that hour
CHAP. I.-Of the state of man's innocence.

Shed their selectest influence; the earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill :

Joyous the birds ; fresh gales, and gentle airs

Whisper'd it to the woods, and from their wings
As soon as the seventh day from the creation (the first

Flung rose, flung odours, from the spicy shrub.

Disporting. day, as we said of Adam's life, and consequently the first day of the week) was begun, Adam, awaking out grave and majestic beauty, is inimitable.

Nor can we pass by his episode upon marriage, which, for its of his sleep, musing, very probably, on his vision the

Hail wedded love! mysterious law ! true source preceding night, beheld the fair figure of a woman ap

Of human offspring! sole propriety proaching him, a conducted by the hand of her almighty

In paradise, of all things common else!

By thee adult'rous lust was driv 'n from men, Maker; and, as she advanced, the several innocent

Among the bestial herds to range ; by thee beauties that adorned her person, the comeliness of her

(Founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure)

Relations dear, and all the charities shape, and gracefulness of her gesture, the lustre of her

Or father, son, and brother, first were known. eye, and sweetness of her looks, discovered themselves

Perpetual fountain of domestic sweets !

Whose bed is undefild, and chaste pronounc'd in every step more and more.

Here love his golden shafts employs; here lights It is not to be expressed, nor now conceived, 6 what

His constant lamp, and waves his purple wings; a full tide of joy entered in at the soul of our first parent,

Reigns here and revels when he surveyed this lovely creature, who was destined

d The words of the text are, •Be fruitful, and multiply, and

replenish the earth:' whereupon some have made it a question, to be the partner and companion of his life ; when, by a whether this is not a command, obliging all men to marriage secret sympathy, he felt that she was of his own likeness, and procreation, as most of the Jewish doctors are of opinion? and complexion, 'bone of his bone, and flesh of his But to this it may be replied. 1. That it is indeed a command

obliging all men so far, as not to suffer the extinction of man*P, cvị. 2. : Ps. civ. 24. * Ps. cvii. 21, 22.

kind, in which sense it did absolutely bind Adam and Eve, as . It is the general opinion of interpreters, both Jewish and also Noah, and his sons, and their wives, after the flood: but, Christian, that God himself, or, more particularly, the second 2. that it does not oblige every particular man to marry, appears person in the ever-blessed Trinity, God the Son (who is there from the example of our Lord Jesus, who lived and died in an fore styled in Scripture, Isa. Ixiii. 9. “the angel of God's pre- unmarried state; from his commendation

of those who made nice) appeared to Adam, on this and sundry other occasions, in themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of God,' Mat. xix. 12.; : visible glorious majesty, such as the Jews call the Schechinah, and from St Paul's frequent approbation of virginity, 1 Cor. vii. which seems to have been a very shining flame, or amazing 1, &c. And therefore, 3. it is here rather a permission than a splendour of light, breaking out of a thick cloud, of which we

command, though it be expressed in the form of a command, as siterward read very frequently, under the name of the glory of other permissions frequently are. See Gen. ii. 16. Deut. xiv. 4. the Lord, and to which we cannot suppose our first parents to

-Poole's Annotations. have been strangers. We therefore look upon it as highly pro

e The description which Milton gives us of the garden of kable, that this divine Majesty first conducted Eve to the place paradise, is very agreeable in several places, but in one more where Adam was, and not long after their marriage, conveyed especially, where he represents the pleasing variety of it. them both, from the place where they were formed, into the

Thus was this place garden of Eden.- Patrick's Commentary.

A happy rural seat of various view.

Groves, whose rich trees wept od'rous gums and balm ; Milton has expressed the joy and transport of Adam, upon

Others, whose fruit burnish'd with golden rind, his first sight of Eve, in the following manner:

Hung amiable ; (Hesperian fables true,
When out of hope, behold her! not far off ;

If true, here only) and of delicious taste.
Such as I saw her in my dream, adornd

Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks,
With what all earth, or heaven could bestow,

Grazing the tender herb, were interpos'd ;
To make her amiable. On she came,

Or palmy hillock, or the flow'ry lap
Led by her heavenly Maker (though unseen)

Of some irriguous valley spread her store.
And guided by his voice; not uninforın'd

Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose.
Of nuptial sanctity, and marriage rites.

Another side umbrageous grots, and caves
Grace was in all her steps, heav'n in her eye,

Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
In ev'ry gesture dignity and love.

Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
I overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud.

Luxuriant. Meanwhile murm'ring waters fall
“This turn hath made amends, thou hast fulfill

Down the slope hills, dispers'd, or in a lake
Thy words, Creator bounteous, and benign!

(That to the fringed bank, with myrtle crown'd,
Giver of all things fair! but fairest this

Her crystal mirror holds) unite their streams.
Of all thy gifts."

The birds their choir apply. Airs, vernal aire,

« PreviousContinue »