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the forbidden fruit. She was pleased with the relish of it, and persuaded her husband also to eat some. Their eyes were immediately opened; they saw their guilt and their wretchedness, and felt the stings and lashes of an avenging conscience. The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

Before they had sinned, they had been graciously admitted to converse with their Maker, and had unspeakable delight in the sacred intercourse; but as soon as they had transgressed his command, shame and consciousness of guilt took place; they were afraid of his looking on them, and when they heard the sounds of his presence in the garden, endeavoured to hide themselves from him. But, alas ! there is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide theanselves. He called forth the criminals, who tried to excuse themselves by throwing the blame of their wickedness upon others. Adam laid the blame of what he had done upon his wife ; and Eve, on the other hand, accused the serpent. God, however, is not mocked : palliating excuses are but as a spider's web; while an honest confession and resolution of amendment will effectually recommend the sinner to mercy.—Heimmediately pronounced sentence upon the offenders ; but, at the same time, to comfort them under their distress, he gave them a gracious intimation, that he would raise up in future time a Deliverer, whoshould bruise the serpent's head, and triumph over their malicious enemy. He then drove them out of the garden of Paradise, and sent them into a country towards the east, where they were obliged to dig and labour for their support, till, at last, they died.

We sin against God when we neglect to do what he has commanded, or when we do what he has forbidden: and we may judge of the hatred of God against sin, by the punishment inflicted upon Adam, and the express declaration of his holy word. The soul that sinneth shall die: and, the wages of sin is

death. This death consisteth, not merely in the separation of the soul from the body, but more especially in the separation of the soul and body, when re-united, from the blessed presence of God. Fear not them who kill the body, but who are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. How great then is the guilt and folly of those who make a mock at sin, and take pleasure in that which is so offensive to their Creator, and productive of so much misery! Oh, let us all confess our offences at the footstool of a pure God, and with sincere dependence on the great Mediator and Redeemer, who was but obscurely revealed to Adam, but who, in these our days, hath been manifest in the flesh, and brought life and immortality to light ; let us embrace the gracious terms of the new covenant; and resolve, by the Divine assistance, to cleanse our hearts from the love of sin, to cherish an hatred and abhorrence of it, and to bring forth fruit unto holiness.

CHAPTER III.

CAIN AND ABEL.

Cain and Abel, the two first sons of Adam and Ece, (whose family was gradually increased,) pursued very different employments. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. Their tempers were as different as their occupations. Abel was a lover of righteousness, and obedient to his parents; but Cain was obstinate and wicked, neither fearing God nor loving man. It was usual, in the infancy of the world, to present oblations to God, the giver of every good gift; and when the brothers brought their offerings, Abel of the firstlings of his flock, and Cain of the fruit of the ground, the sacrifice of Abel, on account of his piety and goodness, was more acceptable to God than the

offering of Cain ; and God bore witness to his gifts, by some visible token of his favour. The Lord also condescended to reason with Cain, and to assure him, that if he would be good and righteous, he and his offering should likewise be accepted. But, instead of reforming his behaviour and temper, he grew worse and worse : he hated his brother more and more ; and at length his malice and anger became so violent, that he rose up against Abel and slew him. He flattered himself that there was no witness of his guilt, and that no one would know it; but there is no safety, except in innocence and virtue. Wherever we are, and whatever we do, we are under the immediate eye of God. The Almighty Judge was a spectator of the crime, and afterwards expostulated with him: Where is Abel thy brother? What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood crieth from the ground. He then pronounced judgment upon the murderer : in consequence of which Cain removed with his wife and children from his habitation, and having wandered from place to place, as a fugitive and a vagabond, at length settled in the land of Nod. He, however, still carried the mark of his guilt along with him. He was vexed with the horror of conscience within, and calamities without; and walked upon earth a woful spectacle, labouring under the distemper of a wounded spirit, which no medicine can cure.

I Learn, from the wickedness and misery of Cain, to correct and regulate your own life. Do not content yourself with the mere outward forms of devotion, but lift up your heart with your hands unto the Lord. Guard carefully against the first approaches of hatred and malice, lest they should increase upon you by degrees, and hurry you into the most shocking excesses. An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgressions.

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CHAPTER IV.

THE FLOOD.

3874.

God was pleased to comfort Adam and Eve Before for the loss of Abel, by giving them another Christ son, whom they called Seth. Moses, who wrote this account, has not given us the names of all the children of Adam ; for he intended only to set forth the creation, and some remarkable events,

and to point out the particular family from which the Saviour of the world was to arise.

The descendants of Seth were so eminent for their piety and virtue, that they were called the sons of God; and one of them, Enoch, was so beloved by the Almighty, that he was taken up into heaven, without suffering the pains of death: but the family of Cain, being impious and corrupt, were called, by way of distinction, the sons and daughters of men.

After a long course of time, however, the descendants of Seth also neglected the worship and service of the great Creator : and being allured by the beauty of the women, who were of the race of Cain, gave themselves up to the indulgence of sinful appetites. By degrees the human race overspread with sin; all flesh corrupted its way upon the earth, and every imagination of the heart was only evil continually. God was pleased to use various methods to bring them to repentance, and turn them from their evil ways: but they would not hear his voice : they trampled upon his mercies, and despised all his warnings; and grew worse and worse, more and more abandoned : till the time of punishment came, and the Almighty destroyed the world of the ungodly by a flood of waters.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just man, and walked with God: he was diligent in the discharge of his duty both towards God and towards man, and, therefore, God was

was

Before

pleased to save him from the general destruction ; and not only him, but, for his sake, his wife, and his three sons, and their wives. For this purpose he commanded him to make a large vessel, called an ark, after a particular plan; and when it was completed, he shut up and secured in it him and his family, and some of every living thing of all flesh, with proper provision for their subsistence.

As soon as this was done, the flood came Christ on with great violence. In the very same 2349. day, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows (or flood gates) of heacen were opened ; so that the waters in a short time prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, and all the high hills, which were under the whole heavens, were covered. The wretched inhabitants began to feel the truth of those threatenings which they had laughed at and despised. Now at last they lift up their hands to heaven, and cry out to God for help; but, alas ! all in vain. The sentence is gone forth; judgment hath taken hold of them; the mighty waters are pouring upon them on every side, and nothing is to be seen but

vengeance and destruction. e By the word of God, saith St. Peter, the world which then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word, are kept in store, reserced unto fire against the day of judgment. What manner of persons, therefore, ought we to be, in all holy conversition and godliness!

CHAPTER V.

GOD'S COVENANT WITH NOAH.

In the midst of judgment God remembers mercy, Though the destruction by the flood was so general and extensive, yet he preserved a small remnant of the liuman race, from whom a new generation was

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