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tants of the world: mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut off as a weaver my life; He will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt Thou make an end of me. I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will He break all my bones; from the day even to night wilt Thou make an end of me. Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove; mine eyes fail with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me. What shall I say? He hath both spoken unto me, and Himself hath done it. I shall go softly all my days in the bitterness of my soul.”

Meanwhile, he who had been the messenger of death from the Lord to Hezekiah, once more presents himself before him, and, as a messenger of glad tidings, conveys to him a promise of deliverance. The voice of Isaiah again addresses him: “Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee, and add unto thy days fifteen years, and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria.”

Upon hearing these words the pious king

Judah again takes up his lyre; but how different are its strains now: “O Lord, by these things men live, and in these things is the life of my spirit; so wilt Thou recover me, and make me to live. Behold, for peace I had great bitterness ; but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption : for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back. For the grave cannot praise Thee ; death cannot celebrate Thee : they that go down to the pit cannot hope for Thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day : the father to the children shall make known Thy truth. The Lord was ready to save me : therefore will I sing my songs to the stringed instruments, all the days of my life in the house of the Lord.”

You may imagine, my brethren, that these sweet thoughts, these thanksgivings for a signal deliverance, in which the Lord had displayed the riches of his goodness, have little in connection with the subject of our meditations, as we are this day called to contemplate the first man, bowed down under the weight of that condemnation, which formed the basis of our last discourse. Yet it is just this situation of fallen man, that reminds us of


Hezekiah ; not that Adam had humbled himself like him, had prayed like him, and like him had seen the deliverance of the Lord ; but that, even under the weight of the condemnation, which had justly fallen upon him, he was a monument of the mercy and longsuffering of his God. Like Hezekiah, he saw the prolongation of a life, which he had reason to expect to see dried up in its sources, under the malediction of the Most High ; like Hezekiah, he had occasion to chant a hymn of thanksgiving and praise. He continued, it is true, condemned with all his race. “ The earth was cursed for his sake;" he was doomed to “eat the fruit of it in sorrow, and in the sweat of his brow all the days of his life.” He was to share, with his companion, a life which sin had poisoned. But was this all he had reason to anticipate, when, after his fall, he fled, ashamed and trembling, from the presence of the Lord ? No, doubtless ; the sanction of the command which he had violated was, “The day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” That day, that terrible day, had now arrived. Adam, indeed, suffered the execution of the sentence in the separation of his soul from God, which is

spiritual death. He bore, it is true, in his body the germ of dissolution, that was, at a future period, to bring forth in him sickness and death. But had he nothing more to fear from the just wrath of the Almighty? As he had sinned, as he had fallen, failed to fulfil the end of his being, and, as far as in him lay, frustrated the design of God in creating him, had he not reason to expect that death, the terrible wages of sin, would immediately be inflicted upon him; that an offended God would again consign him to that nothing out of which he had drawn him, or rather that, banishing him for ever from his presence, he would deliver him over to eternal torments, with those who are served in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day?" But, instead of this, what does he experience? First, he sees a God slow to anger, who questions him in a manner calculated to awaken in his conscience a lively and painful feeling of his sin, and to excite in his heart a repentance unto life,-a God who condescends to give him reasons for the sentence which He pronounces upon him. And what does that sentence tell him ? Does it


consign him at once to death, to destruction, to annihilation ? No! “cursed is the ground for thy sake.” . . This earth, then, shall not open its jaws to swallow him up! “Thou shalt eat of the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread.” Time then is allowed, a respite is afforded to the sinner! The woman is condemned “in sorrow to bring forth children.” Adam, then, shall have offspring! The creature of God, who has deserved for himself perdition and ruin, is called to communicate to others, to thousands of future generations, the existence which God has given him, and which, in His rich mercy, He recalls not again! Adam, who at first was speechless in the presence of his Judge-Adam, who had brought down upon his guilty head the weight of the Divine wrath, and whose soul, trembling with fear, and already tormented by remorse, the malediction of the Most High had reached-Adam, in hearing the sentence which his God pronounces upon him, sees mercy beaming even through the terms of the condemnation. Through the gloomy cloud of the Divine curse, he discerns a feeble light; he fixes his gaze upon it; a ray of

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