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be safely concluded from the fact, that persons having a good voice are very seldom entirely in tune; it is only now and then, at long intervals, that such individuals feel themselves in complete possession of their faculty.
The same remark applies to the higher and more interesting case of a public speaker, as it is well known that he is able only to exercise his talent to his own satisfaction, and so as to do justice to himself, on rare occasions and in seasons peculiarly happy.
2. Adam suffered nothing from the pain of apprehension. As he knew no evil, either natural or moral, so he feared none. He knew not what it was to tremble and look upward; to suffer from a blow not yet inflicted, and to experience the dread of affliction to be worse than the reality. In our present state our fears may answer the best of purposes, as they put us on our guard, and move us to caution and to vigilance, and often successfully put us on escaping from many an evil under which we might have been made to labour. But still they are the occasion of much sore travail under the sun.
That many an hour has been imbittered to us by the fears of evil that has never befallen us is perhaps not a matter seriously to be regretted, for independent of the benefit, in the shape of caution and vigilance we derived from them, there may be advantages of a moral kind deducible from our apprehensions. And it is moreover true, that to be saved from fear, while we are exposed to danger, is so far from being a good, that it would be a serious evil to us. But Adam was equally a stranger to all experience of calamity, and to all apprehension of it. Deducting the amount of all this wo, still there is a mighty surplus of misery to be accounted for.
3. Adam was free from the torment of sinful and unruly passions; such as anger and malice, lust and resentment, envy and jealousy; and the only fellowinhabitant of earth was as pure and as holy as he was himself.
It needs neither sage nor moralist to tell us how large a part of all that man suffers is to be traced to these accursed passions. So truly is this 'the case, that this single idea of being exempted from these tormenting inmates of our corrupt hearts might occupy a long discourse. We might tell you a little of the woes of him in whose bosom anger burns like a fire, imbittering life to the man who entertains it: or of malice operating with all the steadiness of principle, and with diabolical zeal rejoicing in iniquity and in wretchedness or of impurity craving indulgence which brings bitterness and remorse into the soul: or of revenge glowing with a hunger only to be satisfied by the sighs and the tears, perhaps the groans and the death struggle, of the unhappy victim, revenge which pursues its object to perdition, and leaps with him into Tophet; for he that forgives not shall not be forgiven. We might tell you how envy pines and sickens, and gnaws its own vitals, at the sight of excellence: or of jealousy which frowns upon a rival and plots his injury though at the expense of private and the public peace. We might tell you of wars and calamities, and we might dwell on the picture till our very hearts grew sick with the catalogue of woes. But Adam, as yet, had never tasted of the tree which bore fruit giving the knowledge of good and evil. Not one of all these accursed feelings found entrance into his heart. On the contrary, love and peace, purity and kindness, complacency and overflowing
comfort, filled and possessed his heart with continual rejoicings.
4. Adam was free from the torment of an accusing conscience, he knew nothing of the insufferable anguish of a wounded spirit, he knew not what it is to prefer strangling to life. All other misery is light compared to this, for the spirit of a man may sustain his infirmity, but this is what none can bear. We have all felt the anguish which belongs to remembered transgression and forfeited peace. Some of us can recollect sleepless nights, during which we watered our pillow with bitter tears, and breathed from a burdened heart fruitless and unprofitable regrets. This suffering, if it issue in true repentance, is not to be repented of; but still in itself it is painful. To be without this visitation of an alarmed and disturbed conscience, when we have so much occasion to entertain fear, would not be desirable. Viewed in connection with the effects it may produce, it is a dispensation of mercy. But happy Adam had neither the grief resulting from "the barbed arrow of a frowning God," nor had he any occasion of alarm; all was peace and rectitude; his heart was a quiet home.
5. We shall merely mention farther, that Adam was not born to see his Eve decay and die, and then himself to sink and expire. He was neither exposed to the fear, nor to the visitation, of death.
II. The happiness of Adam was abundantly greater than is explained by these remarks: for to be free from misery which we have neither felt nor imagined is not a proof of happiness in the individual of whom this can be said. But our common parent had, in addition to a blessed exemption from all the miseries under which we labour, and in addition to a happy
ignorance of them all, the enjoyment of all the happiness of which his two-fold nature was capable.
1. The most perfect health was his, and such perhaps as none of his children now enjoy. We are not careful to watch our sensations, and it is not desirable that we should; but the probability is, that not a day passes over our heads without our suffering some degree of disorder either very slight or very acute. The pleasurable feelings which belong to vivacious youth, the ceaseless mirth, the gleesome smile, the lively motion, the rapid glance, the elastic tread, are all to be referred to the full pulse of health-but alas! how soon the countenance becomes clouded, the eye grows wan, and the step falters-infirmity visits, and then dwells with us. But Adam and Eve had all the vigour and healthfulness which belonged to frames the immediate workmanship of God, at first hand from their Maker, and which he himself declared to be "very good," excellent and perfect in themselves. A consequence of all this must have been that each enjoyed the most perfect beauty, such as the eye of fallen man has never witnessed in his species.
"Goodliest of all his sons, since borne,
And fairest of her daughters, Eve."
There is a something in beauty which charms the sense with a feeling, upon occasions, which is as pure as it is lively, and God doubtless endued man with this sensibility to its attraction. But alas! my brethren, the faded remains of beauty which exist in this sinful world are frequently in union with disease. It is a remarkable fact that a great number of the finest countenances belong to persons of a diseased constitution: and we well know that every natural excellence is allied to corruption and to sin.
2. They had all the delight which the elements can impart. The air, instead of being loaded with noxious vapours diffusing disease and death, was perhaps impregnated with matters congenial to life and enjoyment: instead of being the scene of tempest and of cloud, it was calm, or only agitated by the summer breeze: instead of such variableness of temperature as now makes it the medium of scorching heat and chilling cold, it was so equable and so mild that the pure and holy pair needed no covering for protection; and, because their thoughts were as pure and unadorned as their persons, they knew no moral purpose which concealment could answer. "Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, for even their mind and conscience are defiled."
Again, the earth had received the command (Gen. i. 11) to be fruitful, and from that expression, as well as from chap. iii, 18 and 19, we infer, that in paradise, that garden planted of the Lord, (chap. ii, 8,) the earth brought forth fruit of itself. It needed rather pruning to check its luxuriance than any encouragement to its growth. Every fruit and flower had the highest excellence of its nature, and grew uncultured and unblighted.
Thus was this place
“A happy rural seat of various hue,
Groves whose rich trees wept od'rous gums and balm;
Hung amiable, and of delicious taste:
Between them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
Of some irriguous valley spread her store: