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Harps ever tuned, that glittering by their side
Thee, Father, first they sung Omnipotent,
CREATION OF MAN. Man was separated from all earthly creatures by being formed an intelligent being. His mind could trace the skill and glory of the Creator in the works of his hands. His thoughts could rise to God, and wander through eternity. The universe
was to him a mirror, by which he saw reflected, every moment, in every place, and in every form, the beauty, greatness, and excellence of Jehovah. To Him his affections and his praises rose, more sweet than the incense of the morning; and made melodious harmony with the loftier music of heaven. He was the priest of this great world ; and offered the morning and evening sacrifice of thanksgiving for the whole earthly creation. Of this creation he was also the lord ; not the tyrant, but the rightful, just, benevolent sovereign. The subjection of the inferior creatures to him was voluntary, and productive of nothing but order, peace, and happiness. With these endowments and privileges, he was placed in paradise-no unhappy resemblance of heaven itself; and surrounded by every thing which was “good for food, or pleasant to the eye,” or fragrant to the smell. In an atmosphere impregnated with life ; amid streams in which life flowed ; amid fruits in which life bloomed and ripened; encircled by ever-living beauty and magnificence, peaceful within, safe without, and conscious of immortality, he was destined to labour, only that he might be useful and happy, and to contemplate the wonders of the universe, and worship its glorious Author, as his prime and professional employment. He was an image of the invisible God; created to be like him in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, his most ilļustrious attributes; and, like him, to exercise dominion over the works of his hands.
In this situation, also, removed far from death and disease, from sorrow and fear, he was formed for endless improvement. His mind, like that of angels, was capable of continual expansion, refine
ment, and elevation; and his life, of perpetual exaltation in worth, usefulness, and honour.“ God was his visitor; angels were his companions.
To complete this system of delight, he was created to be the parent of countless millions, who, like himself, were all to be sinless. They were also to inhabit the same world of peace, life, and happiness; to possess the same immortality; and to share in the same endless enjoyment. At the head of this lower creation, he was to stand and survey this great globe, filled with his own offspring; and to see the whole immense family, like himself, children of God, and heirs of his everlasting love.
GOD, OUR CREATOR. By the character of God as Creator, we are called upon, in the most solemn and affecting manner, to regard him with unceasing admiration, reverence, and awe. There is something singularly awful, something singularly fitted to inspire profound reverence in the character of God as our Creator-in the consideration of him as the Being by whom we were made. On this Being, we cannot but feel, if we feel at all, that as we derived our existence from him, so we absolutely depend on him for our continuance in being, and for all which can render that being comfortable or desirable. In this view we can scarcely fail to realize that we are nothing, and that he is all.
At the same time, the amazing nature of his works, their number, their variety, their beauty, their grandeur, their magnificence, the glory of the end for which they are made, and the astonishing
fitness of the means by which it is accomplished, necessarily excite, in every sober and contemplative mind, the highest possible admiration, an admiration which will continue and increase for ever.
ADAM ON HIS OWN CREATION. As new waked from soundest sleep, Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid, In balmy sweat; which with his beams the sun Soon dried, and on the reeking moisture fed. Straight toward heaven my wondering eyes I turn’d, And gazed awhile the ample sky; till raised By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung, As thitherward endeavouring, and upright Stood on my feet: about me round I saw Hill, dale, and shady woods, and sunny plains, And liquid lapse of murmuring streams; by these Creatures that lived and moved, and walk'd or flew ; Birds on the branches warbling; all things smild; With fragrance and with joy my heart overflow'd. Myself I then perused, and limb by limb Survey'd, and sometimes went, and sometimes ran With supple joints, as lively vigour led; But who I was, or where, or from what cause, Knew not; to speak I tried, and forthwith spake; My tongue obey'd, and readily could name Whate'er I saw. “Thou sun," said I, “ fair light, And thou enlighten'd earth, so fresh and gay, Ye hills, and dales, ye rivers, woods, and plains, And ye that live and move, fair creatures, tel, Tell, if ye saw, how I came thus, how here? Not of myself: by some great Maker then, In goodness and in power pre-eminent; Tell me how I may know him, how adore, From whom I have that thus Í move and live, And feel that I am happier than I know.”
PARADISE. The creation of the world was now completed. - The heavens were finished, and all the host of them.” The sun was constituted a perpetual fountain of light, and set in the firmament to rule over the day, and to distribute warmth and life, activity and enjoyment, to all the sentient inhabitants of the world. In his absence, “the moon walked in brightness, to rule the night," and shed on the earth a softer but no less beautiful splendour than that of day. The stars, also, spreading their glory throughout the sky, delightfully illustrated the wisdom of the Creator, and rejoiced over the inferior works of his hands.
The whole process, also, of forming the earth, of clothing it with verdure, of replenishing it with animals, of providing the means of their subsistence and comfort, and of arraying it with beauty and magnificence, was brought to an end. Fresh from the perfect hand of its Creator, it was a work of such excellence, that the eye of infinite wisdom, surveying all its parts, saw that it was “very good.” It was a habitation which angels beheld with delight; a palace fitted for the residence of an immortal, virtuous, happy being; of him who was to be made in the image of God; of him who was to have dominion over the earth and every thing which it contained.
This mighty preparation conveys to us high ideas concerning the object for which so much was done. God does nothing but with the strictest propriety. The bounty which here flowed in such copious streams, was directed by infinite wisdom, as well as poured out by infinite goodness. While,