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“ From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are
able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith

which is in Christ Jesus."-2 Tim. iii. 15.



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IN the beginning God created the heaven and the Before earth. The great Creator himself never had a Christ beginning. God is from ecerlasting to everlast- 4004. ing. But there was a time when this world and all things in it began to be. He made them at his own pleasure; at that time, and in that manner, which he saw best and fittest for the wonderful work. He created the sun, moon, and stars ; he made the air, the earth, and the sea, and filled them with various living creatures, birds, beasts, and fishes. He then formed man of the dust of the ground, and called him Adam, (because that word in Hebrew signifies earth or ground,) and infused into him the breath of life; so that he is related both to spirit and matter, and hath both united in himself. It was not good, however, for man to be alone; to remain destitute of a rational companion ; therefore the Almighty, having taken one of his ribs, while he was sleeping, made a woman of it, and she became his wife. God probably formed the woman in this particular manner, to remind husbands and wives of their near relation, and the tender love which ought always to subsist between them. Adam called her Ece, that word signifying life, because she was to be the mother of all living. On the seventh day. God rested from his works : not that the creation was attended with any labour and fatigue to him ; but having finished the things which he intended to make at that time, he left off. He then viewed them with pleasure, and pronounced them to be very good.

What an idea of the power of God does the creation give us! He only said, Let there be light, and there was light. He spake, and the earth was made ; the heavens and all the host of them had their being by the breath of his mouth. He is as wise, too, as he is powerful ; the more we consider the beauty, the variety, and the usefulness of the things which are made, the more clearly do we see that they are the works of the highest wisdom and contrivance. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.-How great also is the goodness of God! It is owing to his free goodness that any creatures were formed; and his tender mercies are over all his works. In him we live, and more, and have our being. He giveth us all things richly to enjoy, and hath bestowed such love upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.

HS Who can sufficiently declare the works of thy power, wisdom, and goodness, O thou all-creating and all-supporting God? who can utter all thy praise ? — Imprint upon my mind a deep sense of thine infinite excellences: and teach me, O thou Father of spirits, to love thee with all my heart, to fear thee with the profoundest reverence, to put a steady trust and confidence in thee, to worship thee with a pure adoration, and to honour and obey thee in the whole course of my life.



Man was created innocent and upright, with powers of understanding and will after the image of God; (for it is in these respects that the Scriptures

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say, man was made in the image of God.) immediately placed in the fruitful and pleasant garden of Eden, where he enjoyed many happy tokens of his Maker's love, and was indulged in the free use of all the delights that surrounded him ; with one only restraint, as a test or trial of his obedience. He was forbidden to touch the fruit of one tree, in the middle of the garden, which was called the Tree of Knowledge, the knowledge of good and evil: with a solemn assurance from God, that, if he did touch it, he should die.

Our first parents, while they were obedient to God, enjoyed uninterrupted ease and happiness : and if they had preserved their innocence in this state of trial, would have been raised, in due time, from earth to heaven. But they ungratefully broke the Divine command ; and ate of the fruit of that tree which they were forbidden to eat. Thus sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; the human constitution was immediately debased and impaired; and a sinful, corrupt nature, subject to disease and death, was derived from Adam to all his posterity.

What could be the cause of their guilt ? What could induce them to commit an act by which they forfeited their life and happiness; and how could they be prevailed upon to disobey their great Creator and Benefactor ?-It was by giving ear to evil counsel; for the Devil, the grand adversary of God and Man, appeared in the form of a serpent ; or, as sone think the original word may be translated, a flaming angel, like one of those who attended the Lord. He was originally an angel in heaven, but was cast down for his pride and disobedience; and is represented in Scripture as full of malice, envy, and deceit, seeking to spread misery and ruin through the world, by suggesting evil thoughts and tempting men to sin. With this dreadful design he accosted Ere, and by artfully raising in her mind a foolish, wicked curiosity, and a desire of happiness above her state, prevailed on her to taste

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