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Distinguished link in being's endless chain!
Man was created after the moral image of Deity, his soul, an embodied immortal spirit; his body capped the climax of visible creation. He was endowed with all the rational powers, with intellect to discern and plan. His body was the crowning glory of created matter; was put in motion by the pure breath of the great Jehovah, with all the appetites and sensibilities, requisite for the unalloyed enjoyment of the rich bounties in the store house of nature, and with physical powers to execute, all that reason and genius should dictate to be done. He was the grand connecting link between Heaven and Earth—his soul communing with God and Humanity ; celestial and terrestrial pleasures commingling in harmony.
As the finishing touch on that elysian state of man, Woman was made, and added a brighter lustre, a softer melody, a finer tone, a richer enchantment, and new delights, to the heart of man, and the beauties of creation. The great Architect looked upon this finished work with delight, heaven rejoiced, angels smiled, Satan wept, hell was moved. This Elysium was suspended by a single cord-obedience to God in but one particular-one tree had forbidden fruit, all else was free as mountain air, and ample as their needful wants. With lightning speed and burning wrath, Lucifer flew
to the bowers of Eden, put on the deceptive mask of the wily snake; sang the siren song of untasted pleasures within the reach of the happy pair ; infused his polluting breath with theirs; seduced them from allegiance to their King; destroyed their innocence by inducing disobedience ; stamped the indelible stain of sin on their purity, with ink infernal; infused his own vile passions in their nature; planted the poison of mortality in their bodies ; sowed the seeds of thistles, briars, and thorns in their garden; snatched the flowers of bliss from Paradise ; cut the silver cord of all their joys ; stripped them of happiness, and left them naked; hiding, and writhing in bitter agony and keen despair. Ruin ensued, Jehovah frowned, the earth was cursed, the rebels fled, heaven mourned, angels wept, Satan smiled, hell rejoiced. The deed was done, man had fallen.
Thus were our first progenitors betrayed and seduced from the duty they owed to their Creator ; all the miseries of their fall rushed upon them and their progeny ; their created powers in full vigor, but poisoned with the miasma of hell; with a clear perception of good and evil, and with full power to choose between them, a natural impulse inclined them to the latter; the most cogent reasons pressed upon them to still love God and return to him for succor; but their hearts were charged with rebellion and enmity against him, and his government; and they at once commenced weaving a garment of self righteousness to hide the shame of their degradation. But all was vain—they were doomed culprits, and could neither hide their shame, or flee from impending wrath. They were arraigned-had no excuse -were condemned—the sentence of death was passed
—the sword of justice drawn—when Mercy interposed. The sword was stayed-her plea was heard—the Eternal Son gave his bond for the penalty-Man was spared, and again became a probationer--not in his native innocence, but by faith in the glorious Redeemer and Mediator, could ultimately be restored to his original purity and bliss.
Hence we find Man the cap stone of the climax of paradoxes; a complex budget of contradictions; a heterogeneous compound of good and evil; the noblest work of God, bespattered by Lucifer; an immortal being, cleaving to things not eternal; a rational being, violating reason; an animal with discretion, glutting, instead of prudently feeding appetite ; an original harmonious compact, violating order and revelling in confusion. Man is immortal without realizing it; rational, but often deaf to reason; an animal, transgressing the law of appetite; a combination of noble powers, waging civil war, robbing, instead of aiding each other ; yet, like the Siamese twins, compelled to remain in the same apartment. They were created allies, to promote their own happiness and the glory of their king ; but Beelzebub, the first rebel against heaven, has made them conspirators. Appetite is lead astray by pleasure; they first stupify, then dethrone reason; immortality becomes paralyzed, and loses sight of things eternal-stupified reason and voracious appetite run riot, and depose the soul, all these fall in the ditch together, and the devil gets the hindmost, the only one worth having at last.
Notwithstanding his ignominous fall from original purity, a way has been provided, by which man can be restored to his native dignity, and again repose in the
sunbeams of God's love. The Eternal Son cancelled the bond given for the redemption of our race, at the time and place appointed; by giving his life, a sacrifice for its payment. He has opened a fountain in the house of King David, where every stain may be washed away. He has opened the gushing streams of the waters of life, where all may freely drink and live. The noble powers of man are left, but associated with bad company. We have only to separate these-keep ourselves unspotted from the world, close in with the terms made by Mercy, and all will yet be well.
With his nature polluted as it is, so important was man considered by the Trinity, that all Heaven was moved to devise the plan of his restoration. O, Man, look within, and see the wonders, the powers of thy immortal soul. Through the long vista of history, a single glance carries us back to the time of our creation. Our minds, with the rapidity of light, encircle the globe, measure the stars, grasp the arcana of nature, and find a resting place, only in the contemplation of the great Jehovah. We are heirs of glory, why cling to earth, and turn our backs on our legal inheritance ? Forbid it reason, forbid it heaven, forbid it Almighty God.
The treasures of the deep are not so precious
Locked up in woman's love.—Middleton.
Poet Middleton and his Lady Love, were probably among the few happy pairs, contemplated by the Indian Philosopher, who beļieved souls were made in heaven, to meet and match on earth; but often got separated on their way down, and got mis-matched, and of course were rendered miserable. I believe, with the poet, that if a woman can succeed in locking a man in her love, and keep the key, and make him stay locked, their earthly bliss must be precious. But once out, he is as hard to get in, as an untamed bird, escaped from a cage.
The marriage institution is the bond of social order, and, if treated with due respect, care, and discretion; greatly enhances individual happiness, and consequently, general good. The Spartan law punished those who did not marry; those who married too late; and those who married improperly. A large portion of the evils that have defaced the original organization of the Roman Church, were the result of the injunction of celibacy, imposed on the priests; an embargo that is gradually being raised. There are other causes that have stripped the marriage institution of its ancient simplicity, and rendered its pure stream turbid in places. Among the Patriarchs, before there were any rakes, parents never interfered, the young pair made the match, and the girl always married the man of her choice, an indispensable pre-requisite to a happy union. Latterly, especially among the rich and great, the parents make the matches, and marry portions of money, or noble blood, together, instead of their children-mutual esteem, the foundation of happiness, is a secondary concern. Fashionable circles; gay life; levees among the great; watering places; and wealth, or an appearance of wealth; often cheat the young into Matrimony, without any love in the pot, and without the aid of parental authority, the very circumstance that should induce it; for, as society now