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considerations belonging to our subject are connected.
It has already appeared evident, from documents furnished by natural theology, that mankind are fallen by transgression from the condition in which they were created. Let imagination form to itself a picture of the state of being in which, fresh from their Maker's hand, innocent, and in full possession of His favour, they were originally stationed upon the earth. For the assistance of our conceptions, we are supplied with two models; one, delineated by the finger of God in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis; the other by the pen of man, in the representations given by poets of a golden age. In this argument, the Divine authority of the first of these descriptions is of course to be placed apart from contemplation. Form the picture on either pat tern; form it on any consistent pattern, including unsullied innocence, and the complete possession of the favour of God, the Omnipotent, All-wise, Benignant, and Merciful God. When you have fashioned and refashioned it until it answers to your ideas; there will remain two questions, to which we may desire a reply.
In the first place; in what degree, according to our conceptions, could the mineral substances which have been specified be necessary or useful to men in such a state of innocence, happiness, and favour?
In any case not involving a palpable contradiction, it would be rash totally to deny unknown possibilities. It may be within the range of possibilities, and it might be within the appointments of the good pleasure of the Deity, that coal, and iron, and copper, and the other metals, should be made in some mode subservient to the benefit even of such beings. It does not, however, seem too much humbly to observe, that, according to the measure of human understanding, the necessity, or the important utility, of such substances to such beings is not easily, if at all, to be discerned. Were men dwelling in a Paradisiacal state, or amid the realisation of an age of gold, when neither corporeal need nor mental feeling would prompt a wish for clothing; when the grove, though shelter were superfluous, would ever be at hand with its grateful vicissitude of shade; when trees loaded with fruit, and herbs of grateful taste, were spreading their offerings
in spontaneous luxuriance to meet the first sen-
But, in the second place, if it be assumed that the possession of coal, and of iron, and of the rest of the metals would be not only in a moderate degree desirable, but even of essential advantage, to man in the supposed condition of innocence and felicity, and in the consequent continuance of the favour of the gracious Father of Creation is it possible to suppose that those
* Genesis, iv, 22,
substances would be placed in the situations in which they are now arranged, and under the circumstances and forms in which, at present, they are commonly enveloped?
To answer this question affirmatively appears beyond the possibilities of reason. Consider, that the beds of coal and the metallic veins are deeply stationed below the surface of the earth; that they are buried under strata of powerful resistance; that by the convulsions through which these strata have been disjoined and dislocated the accompanying coal and metal participate in every mode of confusion; and that by the combination of all these circumstances, they are rendered at once of doubtful discovery and of difficult access. Consider farther, that the metallic bodies, when discovered and obtained, are rarely in a state fitting them for the service of man. They offer themselves to him in masses of shapeless, rugged, stony, and intractable ore; and are to be subdued by the strongest discipline of fire and of labour ere they will submit to the forms, and manifest the qualities, which are indispensably necessary, before he can derive a particle of benefit from his acquisition. Is it conceivable that
men, innocent, happy in the full enjoyment of the paternal favour of God, men dwelling in an actual or a virtual Paradise, should be doomed by their Heavenly Father to seek the mineral production which we are supposing them to need, in such a situation, and to find it in such a state? Is it conceivable that they should be appointed to delve in subterranean darkness, amidst water and mire, amidst the suffocations of mephitic air, and the explosions of fire-damps? Is it conceivable that like the criminals of ancient Rome, or the enslaved Indians of Spanish America, they should be thus " damnati ad metalla,” condemned to the mines? Is it conceivable, that when they had at length brought up their prize to the light of day, when they began to examine its aspect and its properties, they should discover it to be in a state wholly unprofitable; and that the toils of the furnace and of the forge, and of many subsidiary operations, were yet required to bring it into the shape, and the texture, and the temper, essential to practical usefulness? Assuredly we may without hesitation conclude, that, if to innocent and favoured man minerals were of importance, they would be provided for him by