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only have lost himself in the wide field of conjecture. But God did not wish that any lawful desire of his creatures should remain unsatisfied. Unwilling that mankind should be left in ignorance of themselves, and uncertainty respecting the grounds of their happiness, He has revealed to us the treasures of his wisdom; he has changed our natural darkness into light; the mystery of our nature has been unveiled; we have learned with certainty both the original source and final purpose of our existence. With regard to our origin, in particular, Divine Revelation is express and ample. It discovers to our view the cradle of the human race;
it makes us, in a manner, present at the creation; it exhibits to us the birth of our first parents ; it shows us man animated by the Spirit of God, placed as lord over the works of the Most High, and put in possession of an abode suited to his wants and desires. In order that he might effectually enjoy the Divine benefits, it was necessary that he should have a fit Companion : such a companion was given to him; and here, My Brethren, we have before you.
that particular circumstance of the creation, which our text calls upon us this day to set
To consider THE FIRST UNION FORMED ON EARTH, and to investigate, in that union, consecrated by the Almighty, THE ORIGIN AND BASIS OF THE HOLY INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE, are the objects of this discourse. To solicit your attention to a subject so calculated to win it, can scarcely be necessary :--let us, therefore, only beseech the “Father of Lights” to grant his blessing upon your intentions and our endeavours; and that, in order to give effect to our meditations on his Word, his Spirit may accompany it in
I. “ And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him.” God speaks, My Brethren, when he executes. The Holy Scriptures attribute to the Almighty those faculties with which he has endowed intelligent corporeal beings: hence they ascribe speech to Him, whose mere volition imparts activity to every thing that exists. In order to instruct mankind, the teacher must make himself understood; he must speak their language, and present the loftiest conceptions in a familiar form. The business of the sacred writers being to acquaint us with the proceedings of eternal wisdom, they purposely lower the Divine nature; clothing it with a body, and enduing it with human organs, as a means of admitting us to the counsels of the Almighty, and of enabling us to conceive the motives of his supreme designs.
The Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone : I will make him an help meet for him.” How many blessings to man will have their source in this pure and affecting connection! There, united in interests with his companion, by means of bonds sanctioned by religion, he will labour in concert with her for their common prosperity; there, in that perfect intimacy, they will both find the alleviation of their toils, and the consolation of their sorrows; there will they form those hallowed relations, which bind so forcibly the parent to the child, the child to his parent; there will effectual and unceasing solicitude have its reciprocal recom
pense in devotedness, respect, and affectionate gratitude; there, under the immediate protection of God, the hearts of his creatures will expand to every sweet emotion of feeling and of nature. What, above all, marks the excellence of this sacred institution, is, that in it the man and the woman both concur, by means of different qualities, to the same end. The one was manifestly designed to discharge the more severe functions of our condition; the other, weaker but more delicate, is formed to second his ruder labours, or occasionally to supersede them, by applying to those assiduous occupations which more peculiarly, demand patience and address. That which the one acquires by means of active industry, the other preserves by prudent and well-regulated economy. The one, bold and adventurous in his projects, conceives and executes with vigour; the other, distinguished by a lively and acute sensibility, follows all their intricacies with the nicest precision : the one is entitled to command, by the possession of strength; the other, though occupying the second place, subdues, by a power peculiar to herself, him who claims to govern: she directs not, she persuades; by seeming to yield, she rules; the spell of her empire is in her meekness, and her sway is softened and rendered acceptable by the agreeable manner in which it is exercised.
“ The Lord God said, It is not meet for man to be alone. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam, to see what he would call them and what. soever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." When the Creator peopled the earth with inhabitants, and conferred upon them the blessing of fecundity, he designed their subjection to a creature of a superior order, capable of using his benefits with gratitude, and of presenting before Him the homage of all nature. Of these numerous living creatures, some were to abide with Adam, to serve him, in that magnificent Paradise, the culture of which was entrusted to his care; and to lend their powerful aid to assist his posterity, destined to fertilize, with the sweat of their brow, a soil which could minister to their wants