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day when thus appropriated to its own proper purposes. Oh! it is a merciful boon from the Creator to his creatures, especially in this world of pain and sin. Yes, brethren, the Sabbath was indeed made for man, for his benefit, and comfort, for the rest of his body from toil and pain and the sweat of his brow, for the ease of his mind from care and trouble, and for the sanctification of his soul through the means of grace. Man, and the poor man more than any other, has cause to bless God for the Sabbath, and to feel that he would be deprived of one of his greatest mercies if it were taken from him. Oh then let us all more faithfully and conscientiously devote the day to these great purposes for which God has hallowed it.
3. I observe, lastly, that what we must each one do for ourselves, we must be careful to do for our children, our domestics, our dependents, and even for our cattle, so far as they can participate in the blessings of the Sabbath. Every thing must be so arranged and ordered in our domestic concerns, as that all in our families may enjoy the rest of the day, and partake of
its means of grace. We must make it a day of ease from their usual toil, of quiet happy repose of body and mind, and of spiritual improvement. Yes, brethren, our sons and our daughters, our men-servants and our maidservants, must be permitted, nay, if necessary, required, to rest and worship as well as ourselves. Horses also, and other animals, are to be freed from their week-day labour and exertion, though they may be lawfully employed in the easy task of conveying their owners to the house of God.
I have left several arguments unnoticed, and much unsaid, which might have been advanced on the authority and requirements of this holy day. I have said what I could in one single expository sermon. May the great Lord of the Sabbath accept and bless what has been spoken, and give us all hearts to honour and delight in this first and best of days, and to employ it suitably for his glory and our own salvation.
THE FALL OF MAN.
GENESIS iii. 24.
So he drove out the man; and he placed al 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.
WHAT do we meet with here? What is this that now we read of? We left the creation holy and happy; the creatures good, and man created in the image, and under the especial favour of God. Has some dire change then taken place, that God is driving his new-made creature out before him? Has man rebelled, and is the Almighty punishing him? It is even so. Man has sinned: he has broken the one commandment given him by his maker, and has presumptuously despised the threatening that was annexed to it. Therefore wrath is
gone out against him. God is banishing him from his presence, and will no longer delight in him, nor hold communion with him. This is the mournful subject of the present sermon, the lamentation and woe, of which we have now to consider the circumstances.
We fix upon three points especially for our consideration.
I. The commandment given to man upou his creation.
II. His unhappy transgression of that commandment.
III. The punishment inflicted upon him for his disobedience.
We consider, in the first place, the commandment given to man.-When Almighty God had created the first human pair, he prepared for them a beauteous abode, even the garden of Eden, where he "made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food;"" and the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it." In the employments of a not laborious industry, (and even these relieved by the rest of the holy Sabbath), in the enjoyment of
every pleasant fruit and herb and seed, and in divine communion with his gracious maker, man was appointed to pass his time, innocent, holy, and happy. One only restriction was laid upon him. Of the fruit of every tree in the garden he was permitted freely to eat, whatever his heart desired, except of one. For God had planted two particular trees in the midst of the garden, the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and of the latter he expressly forbade him to taste. The prohibition was made in these positive terms, "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat:" and the prohibition was strengthened by this annexed threat, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Such was the commandment.
Now it being the will of the Almighty that man should be placed in a state of trial, it was necessary that some test of his obedience should be appointed: and what could be easier than this? When he had a full grant of all the other fruit, surely it was not much that he should be restrained from one.
confined to eat only of one, and
Had he been
all the rest