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formation, the candour so often experienced will accept of such notices as can be obtained by inference and deduction.
When we think of Paradise, we think of it as the seat of delight. The name Eden authorizes us so to do. It signifies PLEASURE; and the idea of pleasure is inseparable from that of a garden, where man still seeks after lost happiness, and where, perhaps, a good man finds the nearest resemblance of it which this world affords. “What is requisite,” exclaims a great and original genius, “to make a wise and a “happy man, but reflection and peace? And both “ are the natural growth of a garden. A garden to " the virtuous, is a Paradise still extant; a Paradise “ unlost?.” The culture of a garden, as it was the first employment of man, so it is that to which the most eminent persons in different ages have retired, from the camp and the cabinet, to pass the interval between a life of action and a removal hence. When old Dioclesian was invited from his retreat to resume the purple which he had laid down some years before, " Ah,” said he, "could you but see those fruits “and herbs of mine own raising at Salona, you « would never talk to me of empire !” An accomplished statesman of our own country, who spent the latter part of his life in this manner, hath so well described the advantages of it, that it would be injustice to communicate his ideas in any words but his
“No other sort of abode,” says he, 'seems " to contribute so much both to the tranquillity of “mind and indolence of body. The sweetness of “the air, the pleasantness of the smell, the verdure " of plants, the cleanness and lightness of food, the “exercise of working or walking; but, above all, the
* Dr. Young-Centaur not Fabulous, p. 61.
exemption from care and solicitude, seem equally "to favour and improve both contemplation and
health, the enjoyment of sense and imagination, “ and thereby the quiet and ease both of body and “ mind. A garden has been the inclination of kings, " and the choice of philosophers; the common fa“ vourite of public and private men; the pleasure of " the greatest, and the care of the meanest; an ern“ployment and a possession, for which no man is “ too high nor too low. If we believe the Scrip
tures,” concludes he, we must allow that God Almighty esteemed the life of man in a garden, the
happiest he could give him; or else he would not “ have placed Adam in that of Edent."
The garden of Eden had, doubtless, all the perfection it could receive from the hands of Him, who ordained it to be the mansion of his favourite crea. ture. We may reasonably presume it to have been the earth in miniature, and to have contained specimens of all natural productions, as they appeared, without blemish, in an unfallen world; and these disposed in admirable order, for the purposes intended. And it may be observed, that when, in after times, the penmen of the Scriptures have occasion to describe any remarkable degree of fertility and beauty, of grandeur and magnificence, they refer
* Sir William Temple Garden of Epicurus.
us to the garden of Eden. “He beheld all the plain “ well watered as the garden of the Lord.” “ land was as the garden of Eden before them, but " behind them a desolate wilderness 4.” The prophet Ezekiel, at the command of God, for an admonition to Pharaoh, thus portrays the pride of the Assyrian empire, under the splendid and majestic imagery afforded by vegetation in its most flourishing state : “ The Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an
high stature, and his top was among the thick “ boughs. The waters made him great, the deep set “ him up on high, with her rivers running round “ about his plants, and sent out her little rivers to all “ the trees in the field. Therefore his height was " exalted above all the trees of the field, and his
boughs were multiplied, and his branches became
long, because of the multitude of waters when he s shot forth.-Thus was he fair in his greatness, and “ in the length of his branches; for his root was by
great waters. The cedars in the garden of God “ could not hide him, nor was any tree in the garden “of God like unto him in his beauty. I have made “ him fair by the multitude of his branches ; so that “all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of “ God, envied himo.” After having related the fall of this towering and extensive empire, the prophet makes the application to the king of Egypt: “To “ whom art thou thus like, in glory and greatness,
among the trees of Eden? Yet shalt thou be
c Gen. xiii. 10.
d Joel, ii. 3.
e Ezek. xxxi, 3, &c.
brought down, with the trees of Eden, to the lower
parts of the earth.” In another place we find the following ironical address to the king of Tyre, as having attempted to rival the true God, and the glories of his Paradise: “ Thou sealest up the sum “ full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast “ been in Eden, in the garden of God: every pre“ cious stone was thy covering--thou wast upon the
holy mountain of God—thou wast perfect in thy ways, from the day that thou wast created, until iniquity was found in thee. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy
wisdom, by reason of thy brightness: I will cast “ thee to the ground; I will lay thee before kings, " that they may behold thee.”
Traditions and traces of this original garden seem to have gone forth into all the earth; though, as an elegant writer justly observes, “they must be ex
pected to have grown fainter and fainter in every " transfusion from one people to another. The “ Romans probably derived their notion of it, ex
pressed in the gardens of Flora, from the Greeks,
among whom this idea seems to have been sha« dowed out under the stories of the gardens of “ Alcinous. In Africa they had the gardens of the
Hesperides, and in the east those of Adonis. The term of horti Adonidis was used by the ancients to
signify gardens of pleasure, which answers strangely “ to the very name of Paradise, or the garden of “ Edens.” In the writings of the poets, who have
f Ezek. xxviii. 12, &c. * Spence's Polymetis, cited in Letters on Mythology, p. 126.
lavished all the powers of genius and the charms of verse upon the subject, these and the like counterfeit or secondary paradises, the copies of the true, will live and bloom, so long as the world itself shall endure.
It hath been already suggested, that a garden is calculated no less for the improvement of the mind, than for the exercise of the body; and we cannot doubt, but that peculiar care would be taken of that most important end, in the disposition of the garden of Eden.
From the situation and circumstances of Adam, it should not seem probable, that an all-wise and allgracious Creator would leave him in that state of ignorance in which, since the days of Faustus Socinus,
it hath been but too much the fashion to represent him. For may we not argue in some such manner as the following?
If so fair a world was created for the use and satisfaction of his terrestrial part, formed out of the dust, can we imagine that the better part, the immortal spirit from above, the inhabitant of the fleshly tabernacle prepared for it, should be left in a state of destitution and desolation, unprovided with wisdom, its food, its support, and its delight?
If men, since the fall, and labouring under all the disadvantages occasioned by it, have been enabled to make those attainments in knowledge which they certainly have made; and we find the understanding of a Solomon replete with every species of wisdom, human and divine; can we conceive ignorance to have been the characteristic of the first formed father