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were made to fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Last, and greatest, a suitable habitation having been thus prepared for him, man was framed in the likeness of God, to represent Him amongst the inferior creatures, and was inspired by Him with the breath of life. And, respecting all these mighty operations, the Creator is related from time to time to have reviewed, and approved them in His mind. At the close of each separate day or period, He saw, we are told, what had been lately wrought by Him, that it was good : likewise, at the conclusion of the whole, when the evening and the morning were the sixth day, He saw, or contemplated, in one comprehensive view, every thing which He had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis i.)

Thus did the heavens and the earth, with all that appertaineth to them, grow up, and come forth from under the hand of God, bearing the impress of His blessing and approbation. Both the several parts of them were admirably contrived by Him, their wise Master-builder, and the universal scene appeared admirably complete, fitly framed together into one, as a noble temple without flaw or imperfection, and provided with a race of beings who should speak His praise. Surely, we may pronounce, of so perfect and grand a work, that it was most worthy for ever to abide, and be had in remembrance.

Nevertheless, saith the Lord, the Creator, by Isaiah, “Behold, I create new heavens " and a new earth; and the former shall not “ be remembered, nor come into mind;" and St. Peter, in his Second Epistle, after foretelling the certain dissolution of the present, observes, evidently referring to this,—“We, ac

cording to His promise, look for new hea“vens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth right“ eousness.” (2 Peter iii. 13.) Also, it is written by the beloved St. John, “ I saw a new hea“ ven and a new earth : for the first heaven " and the first earth were passed away; and “ there was no more sea :” and a little farther on, it is recorded by him, “ He that sat upon “ the throne said, Behold, I make all things “ new, And He said unto me, Write: for these “ words are true and faithful.” (Revelation xxi. 1, 5.) Hence, our existing case, notwithstanding its original goodness, appears to be not still satisfactory, and approved. By the above Scriptures, and especially by the text, it is signified to us, that we have reason to look back on the first happy condition of the universe with a feeling chiefly of regret, and can be comforted only by the prospect of such a change, as, amounting to a new creation, shall virtually banish the past, or the afflicting thoughts connected with it, from our minds. The question therefore here arises,-by what means hath this come to be our condition ? whence, and in what particulars, can we trace the occasion for new hea. vens and a new earth to be created; and to bring about a forgetfulness of the former; since God in the beginning created them the heavens and the earth that are hithertoso very good ?

Now, concerning this, it will become us distinctly to acknowledge, that, had the universe continued as it was made, nothing better could reasonably have been desired. Had the perfect work of His hands been never marred by an introduction of evil, God would not have seen fit to promise that it should sometime be made anew. But man, and, after him, all created things, have grievously fallen from their first estate. Through envy of the Devil, sin came into the world, and death and misery by sin. Probably within a short time from their creation, did that malicious and subtle adversary corrupt the innocence of our common parents; and thenceforward our condition, like "the roll of the book” spread before Ezekiel, hath been naturally" written,” or marked, “ within and without, with mourning, lamenta, $ tion, and woe.” Within, are evil and agitat

ing thoughts; without, are disastrous accidents, and a vexatious throng of inevitable discomforts. Unbelieving fears and perplexities, with a host of other ungodly and uncharitable affections, commonly distract our minds; and pains and diseases, tending to sundry kinds of death, consume our bodies. Add to which, these two parts of man, designed originally for mutual enjoyment and support, are apt to straiten and afflict each other: an ill-ordered mind frequently destroys the health and activity of the body, and an ill-conditioned body no less frequently very much hindereth the mind, when it would fain be reasoning clearly and aright on the things before it. Likewise the beasts, or animals, which we esteem void of understanding, have been greatly changed, together with nian, for the worse. No doubt, in the day when God saw that they were good, He put into them an instinct or disposition to dwell together affectionately, or, at the least, in peace. It is hardly on any ground to be questioned, but that the all-wise and benevolent Creator designed those inferior creatures to live on the earth both quietly amongst themselves, and in willing subjection to our superior race; whereas now their prevailing habits are, to bite and devour one another, and anxiously to avoid the presence of man, except that certain will resist, or rush on him as a prey. Moreover, the creatures without life--the elements, for instance, and the lights in the firmament, which mark our days and months and years have ceased from being purely beneficial, as they probably were to our first parents in Paradise. So “cursed is the ground,” for the sake of fallen man, that, of its own accord, it chiefly brings forth to him thorns and thistles, and unprofitable weeds : not without the sweat of his face can he eat bread; and after his most patient toil, it is still subject to unfruitful seasons, to the mischief of too much heat, or cold, of long droughts or excessive rains. Also the air, which we breathe, is apt sometimes to be- . come vexatiously stormy and tempestuous, at others to grow putrid, and to engender plagues; the suns of summer are wont to scorch, and the bright frosty moons of winter to chill our frames, instead of comfortably cherishing and refreshing them; and, in short, all things, though suffered hitherto to remain for our preservation, and occasional comfort and delight, cannot but seem considerably disordered in their course: however good enough, in their ordinary way, to keep us alive our allotted days on the earth, they are not sufficient to satisfy and content us, or any more to afford such happiness as, regarding the time of man's

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