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by God, and sometimes wandering by the side of the river, shaded by the trees, watching the animals, the birds, the fishes, all enjoying themselves. But it was not the beautiful garden that made Adam and Eve so very happy; fine trees, and gay flowers and hills, and woods and rivers, all so pleasant, could not make them really happy, for Adam and Eve had something within them which the merry little creatures around them had not. God had given Adam and Eve a spirit which could think, and understand, and love; and while they walked together, or sat under the shade of the trees, and talked, they could think and speak of him who had made everything they saw, and they thanked him for it. Their holy and kind God was their delight and the joy of their lives. Wherever they went, whatever they were doing, they thought of God, their hearts were set on pleasing him. Adam and Eve were alike in this; they both loved God with all their hearts, and loved each other too. They were not selfish; they liked best to please each other, and obey their God. So Adam and Eve had a happy home.
2. Adam and Eve's holy visitors. God lived in heaven; but not alone there; there were a great many spirits, called angels, in heaven with God. God had made these angels before he made the world. The angels were good and wise, and very happy; they were God's obedient servants; they were delighted to do what he told them, and carry his messages wherever he sent them. How pleased the angels were when they saw this world, which God had made. In one part of the Bible it says, that when they saw the beautiful work of their great and wise God, they sang
together and shouted for joy. The angels loved Adam and Eve too, and liked to see them so happy ; for angels are kind and full of love, and like to see people really happy. I can imagine that very often God gave the angels leave to visit Adam and Eve in their happy home in the garden of Eden. What joyful visits these must have been. But, most of all, God came to see them and talk with them, which was the greatest pleasure of all. Their hearts were full of joy when they heard his voice in the garden; they were not afraid of God-" Perfect love casteth out fear."
3. Adam and Eve's wicked visitor. A long, long while ago some of the angels in heaven became proud and were disobedient. God could not let them live in heaven with him any longer: they were turned out of heaven. The Bible tells us the name of the place where these wicked angels live-it is hell. There was one of these wicked angels who was perhaps worse than all the rest; he was king or prince over the others-his name is Satan. Now, when Satan saw Adam and Eve so good and happy in the garden of Eden, he was vexed and angry; for Satan hates the holy God, and cannot bear to see any one loving and praising him. Evil thoughts came directly into his mind. Perhaps he thought, "I will try to make Adam and Eve disobedient, and then they will not love God as they do now."
There was one kind of tree in this garden which bore fruit, but Adam and Eve had never tasted that fruit, and they had never wished to taste it; why was this ? Because their God had told them not to eat it, and they were sure he knew best; besides this, he had
told them that if they did eat it, they should "surely die," so they never thought of such a thing; they loved their God too much to think of displeasing him so.
One day Satan came into the garden and saw Eve standing near the tree. He spoke to her: he said, "Has God said that you must not eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden ?" Notice how Satan is trying to make Eve think God unkind. Eve answered: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, 'Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.'' Satan answered, "It is not a sure thing that you will die; God knows very well that directly you eat of it, you will see and know things you never knew before."
When Eve heard these cunning words, she should have turned away from Satan directly, and said, “My God is holy, wise, and kind, and I will obey him, whatever you may say: go away;" but Eve listened: she let Satan's wicked words lodge in her heart, till she began to think her best friend unkind and untrue. Eve looked at the fruit, and thought it very beautiful; and now, for the first time, she longed to taste what God had forbidden her to touch. She thought more of Satan's lying speeches than the holy commands of God.
Eve put out her hand and gathered some of the fruit, and ate it; but this was not all: she picked more and carried it to Adam. Oh! what did Adam say? What did he do? Adam could have said, and he ought to have said, "No, Eve, take it away. I will not disobey; our God has forbidden it: that is
enough for us. But Adam did not speak like this; he took the fruit in his hand and then ate it.
Another time I will speak to you of the sad change, and the wonderful plan of mercy.
ACTS of kindness and soft words have great power, even over an enemy. "When I was a small boy,” says Mr. Southey, the poet, "there was a black lad in the town, by the name of Jim Dick. I and a number of my playfellows were one evening collected together at our sports, and began teasing the poor black, by calling him 'negro,' 'blackamoor,' and other ill names; the poor fellow appeared very grieved at our conduct, and soon left us. We soon after agreed to go a-skating, and on the day agreed on I had the misfortune to break my skates, and I could not go without borrowing Jim's skates. I went to him, and asked him for them. 'Oh yes, Master Robert, you may have them and welcome,' was his answer. When I went to return them, I found Jim sitting by the fire in the kitchen, reading the Bible. I told him I had returned his skates, and was very much obliged to him for his kindness. He looked at me as he took his skates, and, with tears in his eyes, said to me, 'Robert, don't never call me blackamoor again,' and then left the room. The words pierced my heart, and I burst into tears, and from that time resolved never again to abuse a poor black." What a noble example is here! Who will not imitate the poor black, and do good even to those who treat them with unkindness?
WHY SHOULD YOU LOVE THE BIBLE? FIRST, Because it tells you of the best friend you have in the world-of the best home you can ever enjoy of the best company you will ever find; and points out the way not only for you to seek, but to make sure of calling it all your own-yes, your own.
It is the Bible that tells you of the Friend of sinners of that holy, happy world called heaven-of saints and angels who are there for ever, and for ever blessed. And, what is more than all, promises to you, that if you pray for the Holy Spirit to give you a new heart, all these blessings, favours, and glories shall be yours. Do you love the Bible? Do you pay attention when it is read to you? or, if you can read it, do you love it better than any other book ? or, is it the case that you do not love the Bible, and that you would rather read a foolish, silly book, or an idle tale ? Well, now think a little, that if such is the case you are not fit to die. If you have no love to the Bible, it is because you have no love to the Saviour, and you have no love to heaven for the sake of its holiness or its company; and then, if so, the dreadful consequences will be, that your happiness and pleasure are in such persons and things as are opposed to the great God, his beloved Bible, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only real friend of poor, sinful, helpless little ones like you.
Dear reader, pray now for the Holy Spirit, that you may feel your want of a Saviour, and then you will truly love the Bible.