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reflection. When it comes from the sun it is of the purest white, but very few substances give it back unchanged. The leaves of plants, for example, reflect the green rays, the others being in a great measure lost, while among the varied blossoms that deck our fields, each one reflects its peculiar hue. To this decomposition of light, when reflected from terrestrial objects, we owe the beauty of the varied landscape, and, at the same time, that ready and distinct perception of different objects which results from their diversified colours. And we may further remark, that if it had been otherwise ordered, we would have had not merely the sameness of an Arctic scene, but a glare more intolerable than that of a summer's sun shining on new fallen snow.
The first mention that is made of the rainbow, is in Genesis ix. 12, when it is said, that after the Lord had made a covenant, that there should not be any more a flood to destroy the earth, he said, " This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember my covenant." The manner in which the rainbow is here spoken of, would almost lead us to suppose that it had previously been unknown, that the mist which is said to have watered the earth (Gen. ii. C) fell only during the night, and that rain in the day time was caused by some change in the constitution of the atmosphere, which removed the d.snger of a second flood. Be this, however, as it may, the rainbow is the token of an everlasting covenant; and if the ancient heathen were led by vague tradition to honour it as a deity and the messenger of the gods, it should surely remind us of the awful catastrophe it commemorates, and of the gracious promise Jehovah afterwards made. It affords, too, a very apt similitude for illustrating the joys which spring from hope in the Redeemer. When the Christian looks on the dark cloud of affliction with the eye of faith, he sees there the bow of promise in all its beauty; he remembers that the Lord, who provided an ark of refuge wherein to save his people from the flood of vengeance, has promised to keep them unto the end; and he feels confident that no cloud can long exclude him from the sunshine of a Father's love.
Mild arch of promise! on the evening sky
Thou shinest fair with many a lovely ray,
Each in the other melting. Much mine eye
Delights to linger on thee; for the day.
Chanceful and many weathered, seemed to smile.
Flashing brief splendour through its clouds a while.
That deepened dark anon and fell ill rain:
But pleasant it is now to pause and view
Thy various tints of frail and watery hue,
And think the storm shall not return again.
Such is the smile that piety bestows
On the good man's pale cheek, when he In peace
Departing gently from a world of woes.
Anticipates the realm where sorrows cease!
We find the rainbow again spoken of in Ezekiel i. 28. "And above the firmament that was over their heads, was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone, and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins, even upward, and from the appearance of his loins, even downward, I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord." Similar passages are found in Revelations iv. 3, and x. 1. In these passages the rainbow is evidently employed as a means of shadowing forth the perfections of the Redeemer. And let no one accuse us of giving undue indulgence to our fancy, when we say that it is admirably adapted to the purpose to
which it is applied. The symbols of Scripture art, •! of them, appropriate. The sacrifice of a lamb, without spot or blemish, for instance, is a fit type of the offering up of the Holy One on the cross for us j bread and wine, in the Sacrament of the Supper, naturally shev forth the benefits we receive from him, whose flesh is meat indeed, and whose blood ia drink indeed; the wasi.'nr. with water in baptism, naturally represents the puriication of the soul by grace: and, in like manner, [he rainbow is an apt symbol of him who " makes iiama to principalities and powers the manifold wisdom of God ;" for, as in it all the various colours are exhibited, and still their beautiful harmony is preserved, so. ii Christ, the different perfections of deity are separately manifested, and, at the same time, their essential una is proved.
If, therefore, we admit the propriety of the Scripture expression, " God is light," and if we allow thai the orb of day is the best image of the Creator's glory,then the decomposition of Light into its original clement*, k reflection and refraction in this terrestrial scene, it the appropriate emblem of the work which Christ has it complished here. The rays of the unclouded sun, when they shine full on the eye, give pain instead of pleasure, and dazzle, instead of enabling us to see; but,reflected from the varied landscape around, they produce all that beauty of colouring which delights the eye, and all that cheerful sense of security which distinguishes the smiling day; and, in like manner, Jehovah, in til essen tial majesty, clothed with honour and with strength, covering himself with light as with a garment, pours down a flood of glory, which no created being can directly contemplate, and " no man can see and live; but in Jesus and in his work, this brilliance of omnipotence is veiled, and the blinding splendour of pure divinity, which, directly viewed, would overwhelm us.» changed into a softened radiance, that gives all its Wis and all its beauty to that heavenly habitation, vrliich "hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, lo to in it; for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the U& is the light thereof."
By Th£ Late Rev. William GniMOT,
Minuter of Kclls.
"Leaving us an example, that we should folio* ■" steps."—1 Peteh ii. 21.
The excellence of Christianity is evinced, not more by the sublimity of its doctrines, and tl» purity of its precepts, than by the perfect example of its author. The founders of all theannent systems of philosophy and Religion had many blemishes, which were at variance with their principle*. and tarnished their fame; and should we ifi"1" them too closely, we should be betraved into error, prejudice, and crime. They frequently contradicted, by their lives, what they so powerfully enfor" by their eloquence. Like the Scribes and Pbaris those high pretenders to sanctity, "they bom heavy burdens, grievous to be borne, and" 1' them upon men's shoulders, but they themselr* would not move them with one of their fingers." Christianity, in fact, is the onl v system of Religi*11 ever communicated to mankind, which exhibits, in the person of its blessed founder, a perfect example of all moral excellence. A f;ood life » Bl to be "visible philosophy," and that of Jesu* * the mirror from which is reflected his subLnX and amiable Religion. It proves to us not mere'J that his Religion is true, but likewise that it is nracticable, and he who assumed our nature, and had a fellow-feeling for all our infirmities, has shewn us our duty in every relation of life, and become at once our instructor and our guide. That character, which even his enemies have never ventured to impeach, attracts our admiration by its beauty, and disarms malice by its modest unobtrusive excellence. Never can we examine it too narrowly, or imitate it too closely. "Because, Christ also has suffered for us, leaving ns an example, that we should follow his steps."
Let us pause for a few moments to contemplate the character of the blessed Jesus. Let us endeavour to concentrate some of those rays of excellence, which were reflected from his humanity. How dignified, how divine, is his person and the purity of his conduct! In the words of inspiration, "He was holy, harmless, undefiled." No unhallowed thoughts ever rose in his heart. Nay, to indulge such thoughts, he enumerated amongst the greatest of crimes. Contemplate his equanimity. The storms of passion disturb not the placid tranquillity of his soul. Him, no interest captivates, no ambition inflames, no fame dazzles, no grandeur allures. He is equally unmoved, whether (he inconstant Jews, strewing his path with ftmvers, wished to make him their king, or raised 'he inhuman crv, "away with him, away with him." His mind is majestic, and serene as the unclouded heaven from whence he sprung. It is franqnil as the ocean, which he stilled with his voice. By his abstinence, humility, and self-denial, he shews his contempt of the illusive pleasures, the vain honours, and the empty grandeur of this passing state. He beholds them, as the *»n scums to view those fleeting vapours, that rav conceal, but cannot add to his majesty and effulgence. Sublimer objects occupied his mind. Beyond the troubled horizon of this world, his tye rests on a region of purer bliss. From this vale of tears, he looks forward to that better world, where his Father shall wipe all sorrow from the eyes; and, amid the conflict and humiliation of the present scene, anticipates his triumph at the right hand of God, where he shall obtain "a mime, above every name." Ye! whose hearts are captivated by the riches, the pleasures, and the ■lonours of the world, reflect, that he who had all these in his power, despised them as beneath the "ii^'nity of an immortal nature, and not worthy to I* compared to the glory that shall be revealed tons.
Nor was that heart so pure and serene, without kindness and beneficence. His tranquillity was not the result of apathy, nor his temperance that of insensibility to the benevolent affections. The God-Man, is all love, all goodness, all beneficence. His whole life is a beautiful epitome of his divine and amiable Religion. How admirably does it accord with that dispensation of love and mercy, which he came to communicate! When angels announced his advent to the shepherds of Bethlehem, it was in songs of joy, which proclaimed,
"Peace on earth, and good-will to the children of men." The star which pointed him out to the wise men, was the precursor of that " Sun of Righteousness that was to arise with healing under his wings." He appears amongst men, full of grace and truth; and though his enemies have assailed his doctrine, they have been forced to confess their admiration of his life. Yes, Christians, his mercy and his beneficence attest his divinity no less than the ancient predictions, and those miraculous works, which prove him to be the Son of God with power. He goes about continually doing good. His divine lips are opened only to instruct, and his blessed hands are unceasingly stretched forth in works of charity and beneficence.
As he walks in the fields, amid the works of the Creator smiling around him, he inculcates the sublimest truths of his Providence and his love. With what simplicity and affection does he breathe the words of divine wisdom! He who clothes the lilies of the valley, will he not much more clothe his children? And he who feeds the birds of the air, will he not protect and nourish those who love him? He recommended our love to each other by the example of his supreme love, " which maketh his sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and his rain to fall on the just and on the unjust." He inculcates upon us, mercy to our brethren, by the mercy of God to us; forbearance to each other, from his long suffering; and the mutual forgiveness of injuries, as we expect forgiveness from Him, whom we have all so frequently offended.
Pie communicates the sublimest truths in the most beautiful and interesting parables, derived from the most familiar incidents in life, or the simplest objects of nature. From the brow of a mountain, beneath the canopy of heaven, he teaches the will of the Great Author of nature, who is not confined to temples made with hands. How full of affection are his words, " Blessed are the meek; blessed are the merciful; blessed are the poor in spirit; blessed are the peace-makers." He is fond of the candour, simplicity, and innocence of little children, so congenial to his own nature, which unites to the simplicity of a child, the dignity and magnanimity of a God. "Unless ye become as little children," says he, "ye cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." He calls himself by the affectionate and humble appellation of the good shepherd, who came to gather the "lost sheep of the house of Israel." In him is fulfilled the ancient prediction, "that he shall feed his flock as a shepherd; he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young."
Compassion and kindness flow from his lips. He weeps over the grave of a departed friend. His greatest miracle was wrought in proof of the most amiable sentiment which actuates the human breast. He felt for the poor culprit who was brought before him. "He that is without sin amongst you," says he, "let him cast the first stone." And he would "not send away the multitude fasting in the wilderness, lest they should faint by the way." And on that night on which he was betrayed, when his disciples, weary with watching, had fallen asleep, instead of guarding their master in the season of his suffering and his peril, he merely rebuked them in these gentle terms: " Could ye not watch with me," says he, "one hour,"—a last, a parting hour! then, as if regretting the reproof he had just given, he immediately adds this apology: "The spirit, indeed, is willing, but the flesh is weak." Full of affection to his native country, he exclaims, " Oh, Jerusalem, (anticipating the judgments ere long to befall that devoted city,) thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy little ones together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!" "As he beheld from a mountain," savs the Evangelist, "the city, he wept over it." " Daughters of Jerusalem," says he, at another time, to the sorrowing females who deplored his fate, when he was dragged through the city, bending all the while under the weight of his own cross, "weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children." What disinterested friendship! What divine composure! What love of his country!
His miracles, too, while proofs of his divine mission, were eternal monuments likewise of his love. They accord with that goodness by which his whole doctrine and life were so peculiarly distinguished; and, as one expresses it, "have a much stronger character of beneficence than of power." Unlike his predecessors, the prophets, he wrought no miracles of the severe kind, and his disciples wrought but few, and such only as were necessary to establish their authority, and to confirm their doctrines. He bade not, like Moses, the earth open to swallow up his enemies, nor, like Elijah, invoked the fire of heaven to consume the votaries of idolatry. In proof of his mission, the sun stood not still to prolong the slaughter of his foes; the sea rolled not back to overwhelm his enemies with its waves; the voice of the thunder accompanied not the promulgation of his laws; nor did darkness, lightnings, and tempests fill the people with terror. On the contrary, "the songs of angels chanted peace at his birth;" a heavenly voice proclaimed, " This is my beloved Son, hear ye him ;" and the ocean sunk to a calm when he uttered these words, "Peace, be still." His sympathy evaporates not in unavailing expressions of pity; but every miracle he wrought, carried a blessing in its bosom to some distressed fellow-creature. In him were realized the prophecies of old, "That the eyes of the blind were opened, the ears of the deaf unstopt, the lame leapt as the hart, and the tongue of the dumb was heard to sing." He wrought not one miracle for his own advantage, to relieve himself from pain, or to extricate himself from difficulty and misfortune. No, Christians, affliction and sorrow he bore without even a murmur; but the
distresses of others touched his benevolent heart, and called forth his miraculous powers. He restored a daughter from the dead to the arras o( her afflicted mother; and called a brother from the grave, to the embraces of his weening and disconsolate sisters. But it was chiefly for the wlvs. tion of the souls of men, that he became on earth the "way, and the truth, and the life." This was the grand end of his mission; for this he lived, ho suffered, he died; for this he ascended triumphant from the grave, "leading captivity captive." With him a new era was to arise. "Truth was to spring out of the earth, ::nd righteousness was to look down from heaven." "The cwW places were to be made straight, and the ruined places smooth." "Old things were to he done away, and all things were to be made new." The savage nature of man was to be humanized! the wolf was to lie down with the lamb, and the leopard was to dwell with the kid. The wilderness and solitary place was to hear his voice, and be glad, and the desert to rejoice, and blossom as the rose. The voice of God was again to I* beard in the gardens and in the groves, and incense and a pure offering were to ascend up on high, from the rising to the setting sun. Such are the H«std effects of that divine charity, which so eminent!; characterized the life and the dispensation of Je»ns —which is the queen of all the virtues,—the lord of perfectness and the fulfilling of the law! " B; this shall all men know," says he, "that ye are m; disciples, if ye love one another."
Nor was the character of Jesus lessdistinfUKed for sincerity and justice! He gives to e«r; man his due, "provides things honest in the skat of men." "He did no sin, neither was gal' found in his lips." The son of God pays tribute to Caesar. In short, he who came to establish a kin;dom not of this world, gives tribute to whom tribute is due, honour to whom honour, and slit1*! a respect to human governments and institutions.
Neither were the sterner virtues of justK* temperance and self-denial combined in him »'i'k that ruggedness and austerity of manners, »'hia frequently characterize the founders of new syswms of Keligion. He was mild, gentle and unassuming and, though the eternal Son of God, denww himself as the humblest of men. Thus, he is compared to a Lamb without spot, to express the gentleness of bis nature, as well as the inrannlateness of his sacrifice. He affects no pecub* reservedness of temper, but, on the contrary, mixes in all the innocent pleasures of society, ud his first miracle was wrought at Cana of Galilee. at the celebration of a marriage feast. He treat! man suitably to his nature, as a being formed to live in society, and whose happiness springs free the proper exercise of all the amiable affections a his nature. Not, therefore, forbidding in bis manners, he was so easy of access, that the very children. attracted by the mildness and benignity ot us nature, flocked unto him, and he took them up » his arms and blessed them, saying, " of snd"1S the kingdom of heaven." We find no IiTshnes, Bo rudeness, no selfishness or affectation in the character of Jesus. His is that genuine mildness and nnaffected kindness of deportment, so different from that *alse politeness so common in the world, and which frequently varnishes over the hasest qualities of the heart. Greatly, therefore, do they mistake the true spirit of his Religion, who consider it to consist in mortification, solitude and privations, as was supposed by the monks and anchorites of the early ages, who mistook the doctrines of Plato for those of Christ. No, Christians, we are to let our light shine before tceo, an<i genuine Christianity consists in that universal goodness and benevolence which breathes ncikim but love to God and man.
Xor was his piety less ardent than his beneficence. We find him proof against all the snares of the tempter, and all the wealth and kingdoms of the world will not induce him to deny his God. ■ "It wis his meat and his drink to do the will of hit father;" and with emotion He exclaims, " to do thy will I take delight, O my God." Apart from men, he frequently conversed with God; in the retired garden of Gethsemane, or in the solitary Mount of Olives, ho often spent whole n;;-nfs in prayer, and the silent stars witnessed the pious aspirations of the Son of Man. Christians, if Jesus so prayed, who had no errors to be corrected, or sins to be forgiven, as we have, then well may we. Well may we pour out our spirits in that prayer which is the revealed channel of divine communication, which wafts the soul to the heavens to which it aspires, and assimilates it to the obiect which it adores.
His Religion is truth itself, and truth is in all Us thoughts, his actions, and his words. That sincerity is ever the object of his praise, which fives life and energy to Religion, and lies at the Inundation of all the virtues. Thus, the ostentatious hypocrisy of the Pharisees he reproves with ffiore than his usual earnestness, and the prayer Thich he has left us as a model for our imitation, is the most simple, comprehensive and sublime. How divine is the prayer, that the " will of God mav be done on earth, as it is done by the angels i.n Heaven ;" and though he was soon to introduce >new order of things, a better dispensation, of *bicb the former was but the shadow, yet we find aim in the synagogues and temples of the Jews, paying- a becoming respect to the institutions of Religion, which wise and good men must ever revere, >! the cause of order, sultordination, and instruction, among the great mass of mankind. Thus, to a mind the most comprehensive and enlighttaed, we find him uniting the utmost modesty, humility and simplicity.
If suffering be the grand test of the excellence of the Christian, in how sublime and interesting a light must our Saviour appear! It is affirmed W the ancients, that to behold a good man bravely struggling with adversity, and by patience overcoming it, is a spectacle on which even the gods look down with delight. But how much more admirable must he appear, who not only bears,
but rejoice* in suffering, that he may promote the present and eternal happiness of others. How great is Jesus in suffering! here he is nothing less than the God in humanity. Is he not subjected to hunger, to poverty, to persecution and sorrow; oppressed, calumniated, despised? Is not his breast bare to every blast of affliction? Is he not assailed by every art of malice? Was he not almost wholly destitute of those consolatory endearments of friendship, which alleviate, by tendet sympathy, the miseries of the unfortunate? Was he not destitute of all the ease which wealth affords, and while the " foxes have their holes, and the birds of the air have their nests, the Son of Man had not where to lay his head." His good deeds, his labours of love, met not even with the animating meed of deserved approbation; and what is frequently unmeritedly bestowed on the statesman and the warrior, is denied to the most benevolent soul that ever appeared upon earth. Around the brow of Jesus no wreath of glory was twined. He was a friendless wanderer in this vale of tears, but the unspotted excellence of his own character bore him up under all the complicated misfortunes and afflictions to which he was exposed. It was this that enabled him in meekness, resignation and patience, to possess his soul. It was this that enabled him to display that exemplary magnanimity, that elevation of character, that trust in Providence, that cheerful resignation to his Father's will, which the heaven-born spirit of his Religion can only inspire. It was this which enabled him to show with what unshrinking fortitude he could carry himself amid all the troubles and persecutions by which he was assailed. In the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest, this led him to support the mildest dignity, the most sweet and amiable forbearance, though surrounded by bigotted priests, by malignant rulers, by a ferocious soldiery, and a low and brutal rabble. "When he was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not, but in all things submitted himself to Him who judgeth righteously." It was this that, in the garden of Gethsemane, even in the hour of his bitterest anguish, caused him to exclaim in these memorable words of resignation, "Not my will, O God! but thine be done." Finally, it was this which, at the Cross on Mount Calvary, when his enemies were inflicting upon him all that malice could devise, or cruelty inflict, made him pray with love all divine, for forgiveness to his bloody and implacable murderers! Well might the centurion exclaim, " Truly this was a just man; truly this was the Son of God."
In short, Christians, what a character was here! What spotless purity, what unassuming modesty, what ardent, extensive, and unwearied beneficence, what sublime and fervent piety! what fortitude in adversity, what patience in suffering, and what resignation to the divine will! In the period of his humiliation, he evinced all the glory of unshaken magnanimity, and while he suffered the death of a man, he displayed all the fortitude and benignity of a God.
Such, Christians, is a short and imperfect sketch of that excellence which the Apostles have handed down to us. From the obscurest source was to arise that divine stream which was to refresh and beautify the earth. He who was born in a stable, laid in a manger, the heir of indigence and misfortune, despised by the rulers, and held at naught even by the vilest of the people, condemned as a felon, and executed as the basest malefactor, who exhibited in his life an utter contempt for all the honours, riches and pleasures, which are the darling objects of human pursuit, was destined to give birth to a Religion superior to the most perfect delineation of human wisdom, which was to supersede that of the Gesars, and spread itself to the remotest corners of the earth,—a Religion which was to give hope to the despairing, and consolation to the afflicted, to become the parent of liberty and civilization, to restore to humanity its violated rights, and to raise man to the true dignity of his nature. But it belongs to the divine wisdom to produce from causes apparently the most inadequate, the most sublime and magnificent effects. The feeble acorn which Jesus planted, has become a mighty tree, whose top reaches to the heavens, whose branches spread over the whole world, so that all nations may repose under its shade. The rock cut out of the mountain without hands, was to smite the image (of superstition,) and fill the whole earth.
Let this, then, be the great model of our imitation,—let this be the pillar of light to conduct the pilgrim through the perilous wilderness,—let it be the star to guide the mariner through the tempestuous ocean of life. Consider those as your greatest enemies, who would persuade you that Christianity emancipates you from the ties of moral obligation. For what end did Christ teach us such holy precepts, if we were not bound to obey them? or set before us such exalted virtues, if we are not bound to imitate them? Can we call Jesus Master and Lord, and yet neglect the duties which he has commanded? Can we contemplate such disinterested beneficence, without feeling our bosoms glow with kindred love,—such dignified purity, without preserving ourselves from sensual and degrading indulgences, —such integrity and justice, without respecting the rights of our brethren, and the claims of our country,—finally, such sublime and fervent piety, without elevating our desires and our affections to the source of all excellence and perfection? If we contemplate him in all the beauty of his character, it must be the object at once of our admiration and love ; we shall be attracted by its excellence, and imperceptibly be led to imitate what we love and admire.
Weak and imperfect as we are, we must ever come short of the faintest image of his excellence. Yet our souls will be ennobled by the object of our contemplation, animated by the virtues which we admire, and inspired with that love by which we are redeemed. By this alone shall we prove ourselves worthy of the Christian's name, advance the
interests of Christ's kingdom upon earth, and prepare ourselves for the rewards and enjoyments above.—Amen.
Cain And Abel.
By The Rev. James Esdaile,
Minister of the East Church, Perth.
"The Lord had respect unto Abel, and to hia offering; but unto Cain, and to hi* ottering, he had not ropect."
The offering of these two brothers is the first act of worship recorded in the history of Religion j and bivinf its origin in the very cradle, as it were, of the human race, we need not be surprised at its early and universal prevalence among mankind. We are not told vbeiber they offered from the suggestion of their own feelura, or in consequence of a positive appointment by Cod; hence much controversy has prevailed on this subject, into which I decline to enter; and shall mere!) ^e in one sentence, the argument which appears decisive, in my mind, in favour of the divine appointment of sacrifices. It is this, that if sacrifices are of human invention, it follows as a matter of course, that fallen, apostate man could devise an acceptable method ut approaching God : but the apostle tells us, that it was bi faith that " Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice itan Cain ;" that is, he offered in the faith of some proiuised blessing connected with sacrifice; and whatever is of faith is not from the invention of men, but by. the revelation of God.
I hold, then, that both the brothers offered in consequence of a divine command, or in dependence on a divine promise. What was it then, that made the difference? It is needless to ngitate this question after the explicit declaration already quoted from the words of the apostle, who tells us, that the excellence of Abels sacrifice consisted in the faith of the offerer. But ft may probably discover, in the nature of their respective offerings, some features of the mind and feelings of tie offerers. "Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord." This was an authorised offering under the law, and acceptable to God when offered la a proper spirit; but it was an offering of tbanksgivin? rather than of supplication; auid we may infer that it was offered by Cain as an expression of gratitude M temporal mercies, and that he looked to no higher blessings; in short, Cain's offering was one that might have been presented in the state of innocence as a symbol of thankfulness to the Giver of all good. But Abel's offering was an expiatory sacrifice, which could not, by possibility, have been comprehended in the state * innocence. Abel by faith looked forward to that sacrifice which was to take away the sin of the world; s"" the very circumstance of his offering such a taenia, and of God's accepting it in honour of his faith, tt * decided proof that infinitely more was revealed to our first parents after the fall, than is recorded by the sacTM historian. This is not a defect in his writings, butn proof of the divine wisdom by which they were dictate*, which guarded the great mystery of godliness agnwt premature disclosure, but scattered marks and tokens on every hand, that after ages might see that it J* the prominent feature in all God's dispensatiorB suw the beginning of the world.
In consequence of the rejection of Cain's offetvnft we are told that he "was very wroth, and his countenance fell." From this, it is evident that he hail * perienced a grievous disappointment. What, then, <" we suppose to have been his expectations, or why «" his wrath directed against his brother? It wss w* that he envied his spiritual privileges; the man *& really prizes these blessings cannot hate him who f*