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DISC. "the choice of philofophers; the common "favourite of public and private men; the

II.

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pleasure of the greateft, and the care of "the meanest; an employment and a posfeffion, 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 elfe he would not have placed Adam in that of Eden"."

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The Garden of Eden had, doubtless, all the perfection it could receive from the hands of Him, who ordained it to be the manfion of his favourite creature. We may reasonably prefume it to have been the earth in miniature, and to have contained fpecimens 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 obferved, that when, in after times, the penmen of the Scriptures have

d Sir WILLIAM TEMPLE, Gardens of Epicurus.

occafion

II.

occafion to describe any remarkable degree DISC. of fertility and beauty, of grandeur and magnificence, they refer us to the Garden

of Eden.

"He beheld all the plain well "watered as the Garden of the Lord. "The land was as the Garden of Eden "before them, but behind them a defolate "wilderness f." The prophet Ezekiel, at the command of God, for an admonition to Pharaoh, thus portrays the pride of the Affyrian empire, under the fplendid and majestic imagery afforded by vegetation in it's most flourishing state. "The Affyrian "was a cedar in Lebanon, fair of branches, " and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high ftature, and his top was among the "thick boughs. The waters made him

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great, the deep fet him up on high, "with her rivers running round about his

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plants, and fent out her little rivers to "all the trees in the field. Therefore his

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height was exalted above all the trees of "the field, and his boughs were multi

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plied, and his branches became long, be"cause of the multitude of waters when

e Gen. xiii. 10.

f Joel ii. 3.

"he

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DISC. " he shot forth. Thus was he fair in his

II.

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greatnefs, and in the length of his "branches: for his root was by great wa"ters. 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

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beauty. I have made him fair by the "multitude of his branches; fo that all "the trees of Eden, that were in the Gar"den of God, envied him." After having related the fall of his towering and extenfive empire, the prophet makes the application to the king of Egypt: "To whom "art thou thus like, in glory and great"nefs, among the trees of Eden? Yet "shalt thou be 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 "fealeft up the fum full of wisdom, and

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perfect in beauty. Thou haft been in "Eden in the Garden of God; every pre"cious stone was thy covering-thou wast

8 Ezek. xxxi. 3, &c.

upon

II.

upon the holy mountain of God-thou DISC. "waft perfect in thy ways, from the day "that thou waft created, until iniquity "was found in thee-Thine heart was << lifted up because of thy beauty, thou haft "corrupted thy wifdom, by reafon of thy brightness: I will caft thee to the ground; I will lay thee before kings, that they 66 may behold thee","

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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 expected to "have grown fainter and fainter in every "transfufion from one people to another. "The Romans probably derived their no"tion of it, expreffed in the gardens of "Flora, from the Greeks, among whom, "this idea feems to have been fhadowed "out under the ftories of the gardens of "Alcinous. In Africa they had the gar"dens of the Hefperides, and in the east "thofe of Adonis. The term of Horti "Adonidis was used by the ancients to fig

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DISC. "nify gardens of pleasure, which answers ftrangely to the very name of Paradise, "or the Garden of Eden." In the writings of the poets, who have lavished all the powers of genius and the charms of verfe upon the subject, these and the like counterfeit or fecondary paradifes, the copies of the true, will live and bloom, fo long as the world itself shall endure.

It hath been already fuggefted, that a Garden is calculated no lefs for the improvement of the mind, than for the exercife 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 fituation and circumstances of Adam, it should not seem probable, that an all-wife and all-gracious Creator would leave him in that ftate of ignorance in which, fince the days of Fauftus Socinus, it hath been but too much the fashion to

P. 126.

iSPENCE's Polymetis, cited in Letters on Mythology, reprefent

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