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Noah in reference to all living creatures : “ Into your hand they are delivered ; every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (ix. 23.) Adan's dominion then was of a very limited and peculiar kind, and would be despised by the greater part of his descendants; but it was all that suited his pure nature, and the state of a world without sin. The lust of power had no place in the heart of the first man. That was an after-growth of sin unknown to his righteous soul ; and when he afterwards saw it fearfully developed in the destructive lives of many of his children, what anguish must have possessed his soul, and how must he have looked back with penitential bitterness of heart upon his own original dominion, upon his own mild sway over the inferior creatures, in whose happiness he felt a lively interest, and who looked up to him as to a benignant master, whom it was their privilege to serve. As for the dominion of man over his fellow-men, it could have had no place but for the entrance of sin into the world; for in a primitive state of holiness whoever desired to be great, would only have aspired to be the minister of blessing to his brethren ; whosoever would be chief, would only have coveted the office of servant to his neighbour. Matt. xx. 25–27. The principles laid down by Cbrist for the regulation of the Christian commonwealth, must then have been in full force. None would have arrogated to them selves the title of master, but would have put it from them with alarm, knowing that all were brethren, (Matt. xxiii. 8, 10.) that the sovereignty of the world was not assigned to man, in order that some might coerce their equals, and exercise despotic rule

over their fellows, all being alike kings and priests unto God, all alike bound by the perfect law of liberty, “the royal law,” which teaches “ thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” James i. 25; ii. 8.

In connexion with the words of our text, it is indeed impossible to avoid casting a retrospective glance upon the fallen earth, which during the lapse of ages has been contested for by cruel tyrants, urged on by the insatiable desire of dominion, by the raging last of power. Christianity, one would have thought, ought long ago to have brought back the golden age. It has done something for os, nay much ; for it has taught some few to know and feel, that there is a divine truth in the morality of Christ, and that were his precepts really obeyed, the earth would be blest with a prodigious increase of happiness. And the little remnant of believers in this heavenly morality, are as the pure leaven pervading the unclean mass of that distempered human nature, which knows but of one worship, that of self; but of one God, which is also self; but of one end and aim of all its thoughts and words and works, which under all its disguises, onder its seeming religion, its feigned morality, its pretended good will to others, is still nothing more at last than unmitigated selfishness. And may we not say now, happy are the individuals, to whom the benignant office is assigned, of attempting to leaven the unrighteous mass, by infusing into it pure and righteous principles ! Happy the little flock to whom it is given to proclaim “Peace on earth, and good will to men,” God reconciled to the world, and as the effect of this, man reconciled to man. Man ceasing to exercise tyranny over his neighbour, but loving him even as he loves himself!

Other thoughts, too, press into the mind when the subject of our contemplation is human tyranny, and the lust of domination. For can we forget that man bas not been satisfied with an external sovereignty over bis fellows, but bas aimed to subjugate the inmost thought:, the heart, the mind, the conscience of his brethren, that all may tend in subservience to his will! And of all tyrannies has not this been the most appalling, the most outrageous ? Surely it has, and the coercion of man's animal form, of his body, when it has been subjected to the most brutal slavery, has only bid fair to rival, but bas not really equalled, the desperate wickedness of the attempt to coerce bis mind, his spirit, created at the first in the likeness of the triune God. Truly the soul sickens, when it traces upon the faithful page of history, the everaccumulating register of crimes, springing from this one prolific sin, the lust of power. In profane history, we meet with little more than the records of tyranny; in almost every paragraph we have an evidence of man's insatiable desire of dominion; and, alas, the annals of the church unfold to us the same sad tale, and here too we read “ of wars and rumours of wars,” of the fierce oppression of man by man, and all to effect the object of his spiritual degradation, to bring about the captivity of his soul, not to his Creator, but to his fellow mortal; not to God his Maker, but to his brother man. Again we repeat, happy the people to whom it is assigned to scatter the seeds of righteousness over a desolated earth, to loosen by their counsels the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burthens, that the oppressed may go free ; that every yoke may be broken! Isaiah Iviii. 6.

VERSES 29, 30.-" And God said, behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat ; and it was so." The contents of these verses have been already alluded to in commenting on the preceding verse, when it was the object to shew that man's dominion over the inferior creatures did not at the first extend to the power of destroying life, and that no other sustenance except that of the green herb was provided for the food of the animals which are now carnivorous. To man every herb bearing seed was assigned for meat; but also in addition, every tree bearing frait. To the inferior orders of living creatures, the green herb was appropriated ; the distinction between the food of man and beast, and the pre-eminence of the human race, being here clearly indicated. And all became man's in the way of gift from God. Behold, says God, “ I have given you every herb bearing seed, and every tree bearing fruit, to you it shall be for meat.” My gift extends to the whole vegetable world, with the exception of the green herb, which is destined for the use of those inferior living creatures over whom you will exercise dominion. Fear not, then, to appropriate my bounty to your own use, for you the fruit-tree, and the herb bearing seed were created.

VERSE 31.-“ And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold it was very good.

And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. The contents of this closing verse have also been adverted to before,

and it will not therefore be necessary to enlarge upon the fact which they assert. Suffice it to say, that faith yields a ready assent to the declaration in our text, and to every suggestion of unbelief, to every misgiving of heart, caused by the present untoward aspect of the world, replies with confidence, “from the beginning it was not so,” (Matt. xix. 8.) at first all things were good, “ And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold it was very good."

The first scene of man's eventful history bas now been opened to us. We have beheld the erection of a mighty theatre, upon whose stage man was evidently to be the chief actor, and we naturally seek, even at the outset, for some insight into the divine Artist's plan, and ask, to what purpose the stupendous apparatus he has erected, to what end the formation of man in his own image and likeness? Nor are we without materials to help us in this enquiry, for they have been provided for us by the very Being who devised the wonderful scheme. It is He who tells us that he created all things for himself, even to illustrate his own perfections, that to the powers and principalities in heavenly places he might make known by the charch, bis own manifold wisdom, (Eph. iii. 9, 10, 11.) according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord ; a purpose replete with love to man, concerning whom the Lord bas said, “ I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea, I have made him.” Isa. xliii. 7. And what was that peculiar glory of the Lord which was to be illustrated in connexion with his creature man? Here too the scripture will help us to an answer, and if we would see that glory, as he desired to see it who penned for our instruction this

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