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whose fumes ascended up unto heaven, as an offering and a sacrifice to God of a sweetsmelling savour, clothed our first parents with its spoils, covered the shame of their nakedness, and admirably typified the robe of the Redeemer's righteousness which Isaiah celebrates, and without which, the sinner shall find himself eternally naked and confounded before his Judge—that robe, without which, one of the guests having entered the marriage feast, was ignominiously cast out into outer darkness. Thus, like Isaiah on the mountains of Israel, at a subsequent period, the first sinner in Eden, though he may have seen less clearly than the evangelical prophet, the salvation of God, was enabled, rising above his shame and misery, and withdrawing from beneath the weight of the divine malediction, to look into a distant future, and sing this song of deliverance, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,"



GEN. III. 22–24.

And the Lord God said: Behold man is become as one of us to knou good and evil ; and now lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man, and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.

We have now arrived at the last of our aeditations, and it only remains for us to witness the winding up of that drama of happiness and innocence, temptation and fall, judgment and punishment, whose successive scenes have been exhibited before our eyes. We are now about : to behold Adam deprived of access to the tree of life, excluded from his abode, banished from

places where he had drawn life from its real source, and casting perhaps a last and sorrowful look towards the garden of the Lord, which he has lost for ever. Let us also yield to the strong desire which he feels. Let us once more turn towards Eden to recall to our recollections its mysterious and instructive scenes. But alas! if our looks love to linger on the creature of God, innocent, pure, and happy, we soon see the seducer approach him with all the deadly influence of hell, we hear his insidious questions, his denial of the truth of God. Doubt enters into the heart of the woman; she wavers in uncertainty between two contrary influences, and on the verge of an abyss She falls into it, and in her fall draws down with her Adam and her unhappy posterity. The Lord does not punish His creature immediately upon his revolt; he leaves him time for repentance, and with a view to this, he interrogates him in a manner calculated to awaken in his heart a consciousness of his crime. But Adam, who has lost his primitive innocence, now feels towards his God, instead of the love of a child, nothing but the fear of a slave; he trembles ; he is confounded; and yet he is still a stranger to humiliation! At length, the sentence of con

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demnation falls from the mouth of the righteous Judge; the earth is cursed; its beauty is withered ; Eden is doomed to be converted into a wilderness; happiness is changed into misery under the strokes of the Divine malediction; man, cut off from the source of life, passes through a long succession of labours, miseries, and sufferings, to the grave and to corruption; his soul cannot die, but it is under the curse; it has lost the favour and the love of God, and communion with Him. Man, who beheld, in the beauty of creation and in the objects which surrounded him, the most striking proofs of the tender mercy of a Father, now sees in them only marks of His indignation and righteous wrath.

But no; amid those gloomy elouds, a feeble light appears; the curse of the Most High contains a future blessing for man; a mysterious promise accompanies the sentence pronounced upon the serpent; in process of time his power shall be destroyed; the influence which he has usurped over mankind shall be taken away from him, by the seed of the woman. ciful God, by holding out to man a distant but consolatory hope, prevents him from sinking into despair on account of his deplorable situ.

Thus a mer

ation. O the love of God! The posterity of Adam, while sharing with him his condem nation and his misery, shall find a remedy along with the evil; blessing and life shall yet be the heritage of those, who had nothing to expect but curse and death.

But as God cannot cease to be just, and as He can never allow His law to be trampled under foot with impunity, the sentence pronounced must be executed in all its rigour. Eternal God! It is then Thy holiness and Thy justice that we have to contemplate this day; it is Thy horror of sin, it is the proof that Thou dost not hold the sinner guiltless! Oh, fill us with awe and reverence in Thy presence! Teach us “what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God,” that we may be constrained to flee from the wrath to come, and to seek refuge in thy mercy, as displayed in Jesus, who is our only hope!

The subject of this day's meditation is difficult in many respects, though extremely instructive. And first, with regard to the meaning of the words: “Behold, man is become as one of us to know good and evil;** three different interpretations lay claim to our acceptance.

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