1 Cor. xy. 46. and so it is "written, the first man adam was made a li7ing soul, the last adam was made a quickening spirit. howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural ; and afterward that which is spiritual.

Great and sacred was the day of Adam's birth : if for no other reason, yet for this, — that he was the first man, and had a living soul. The impressions received by the original human being, dropped silently at dawn from infinite night upon this green earth, can never have been repeated. With maturity of powers, yet without a memory or a hope ; with fulleyed perception, yet without interpreting experience ; with all things new, yet without wonder, since also there was nothing old ; he was thrown upon those primitive instincts by which God teaches the untaught ; left to wander over his abode, and note the ever-living attitudes of nature : and from her bewildering mixture of the original with the repeated, from rest and weariness, from the confusion of waking and of dreams (both real alike to him), from the glow of noon and the fall of darkness and the night, from the summer shower and the winter snow, to disentangle


some order at length, and recognize the elementary laws of the spot whereon he dwelt.


Fast as five senses and a receiving mind would permit, did he find ivhere he was, and ivhen he came, and by what sort of scene he was environed; how the fair show of creation came round, each part in its own section of space and time, persuading him to notice and obey. And when he is thus the pupil of the external world, he is training to become its Lord, — by the discipline of submission learning the faculty of rule. Beneath the steady eye of human observation, nature becomes fascinated, and consents to be the menial and the drudge of man, doing the bidding of his wants and will, and apprenticing her illimitable power to his prescribing skill. And so was it given to the father of our race, for himself, and for his children, to subdue the earth, — to put forth the invisible force of his mind in conquest of its palpable energies, — to give the savage elements their first lesson as the domestic slaves of human life, and make 'some rude advance towards that


docility with which now they till and spin, and weave, and carry heavy burdens, with the fleetness of the winds and the precision of the hours. To a living and understanding soul, what was the unexhausted world, but in itself a Paradise ? And was there aught else for its earliest inhabitant, but to discover what fruits he might open his bosom to receive from the universe around? Worthily does the Bible open with the story of Eden, the fresh dawn, the untrodden garden, of our life. Truly, too, whatever geologists may find and say, is that day identified with the general act of creation ; for, in no intelligible human sense, was there any universe, till there was a soul filled with the idea thereof. The system of things, of which Moses proposed to him-


self to write the origin , was not a Saurian or a Mammoth's world, not such a creation as was pictured in the perceptions of huge reptiles and extinct fishes ; but such universe as the spirit of a man discerns within, and so spreads without him ; and of this it is certain, that the instant of his birth was the


date of its creation. For had he been different, it would not have been the same ; had he been opposite, it would have been reversed ; and had he not been at all, it would not have appeared. Whatever is solemn in the apparition of the fair and infinite universe, belongs to the day of Adam's birth.

Greater, however, and more sacred, was the day of Christ's birth ; of that ' second man,' as Paul says with glorious meaning, of that ' last Adam,' who was ' a quickening spirit,' and the first parent of a new race of souls. He, too, was placed by the hand of God upon a fresh world, and commissioned to explore its silent and trackless ways, — to watch and rest in its darkness, and use and bless its light, — to learn by instincts divine and true, of its blossoms and its fruits, its fountains and its floods. But it was the world within, the untrodden forest of the soul where the consciousness of God hides itself in such dim light, and whispers with such mystic sound, as befit a region so boundless and primeval, — it was this, on which Jesus dwelt as the first inspired interpreter. To him it was given, not to cast his eye around human life and observe by what scene it was enco7npassed ; but to retire into it, and reveal w^hat it contained; not to disclose how man is materially


placed, but ivhat he spiritually is ; to comprehend and direct, not his natural advantages of skill and physical power, but his grief, his hope, his strife, his love, his sin,


his worship. He was to find, not what comfort man may open his bosom to receive, but what blessing he may open his heart to give ; nay, what transforming light may go forth from the conscience and the faith within, to make the common earth divine, and exhibit around it the mountain heights of God's protection : to show us the Father, not as the great mechanic of the universe, whose arrangements we obey that we may use them ; but as the Holy Spirit that moves us with the sigh of infinite desires, and the prayer of ever conscious guilt, and the meek hope — that stays by us so long as we are absolutely true — of help and pity from the Holiest. And if the affections are as the colored window — near and small and of the earth — or far and vast and of the sky, through which we receive the images of all things, and find them change with the glass of our perceptions, how justly does the Apostle Paul deem the work of Christ ' a


new creation ! ' If he that makes an eye, cahs up the mighty phantom of the heavens and the earth ; he that forms a soul within us, remodels our universe and reveals our God. Eden then is less sacred than the streets of Bethlehem and the fields of Nazareth ; though, as befits the cradle of the natural man who needs such things, its atmosphere might be purer, and its slopes more verdant. Indeed in all their adjuncts do we see the character of the two events, and how 'afterwards alone came that/ which was spiritual.' When the first man heard the voice and step of the Most High, it was outwardly among the trees, as was natural to one born of the mere physical and constructing energy of God, without a mother and without a home ; when Jesus discerned the divine accents, the whispers of the Father were ivithin


him, the solemn articulation of the spirit infinitely affectionate and wise ; — a distinction altogether suitable to one born of that mother who hid many things in her heart, — granted to us by that gentlest form of the Divine love, whence alone great and noble


natures are ever nurtured. When Adam entered life, the earth was glad and jubilant; when Christ was born, the joy was testified by angels, and the anthem sounded from the sky. The ' first man ' subdued the physical world ; the last man won the immortal heaven.

Fellow-men and fellow-Christians, there is an Adam and a Christ within us all ; — a natural and a spiritual man, whereof the father of our race and the author of our faith are the respective emblems, both in the order of their succession, and the nature of their mission. We are endowed with powders of sense, of understanding, of action, by which we communicate with the scene of our present existence, and win triumphs over external and finite nature ; by which we appropriate and multiply the fruits of Providence permitted to our happiness. And we are conscious, however faintly, of aspirations and affections, of a faith and wonder, of a hope and sadness, which bear us beyond the margin of the earthly and finite, and afford some glimpse of the infinitude in which we live. By the one we go forth and discover our knowledge, by the other return within and learn our ignorance ; by the one we conquer nature, by the other we serve God ; by the one we shut ourselves


up in life, by the other we look with full gaze through death ; by the one we acquire happiness, and sagacity, and skill, — by the other wisdom, and sanctity, and truth ; by the one we look on our position and all that


surrounds it with the eye of economy, — by the other, with the eye of love. Our first and superficial aim is to be, like Adam, lord below ; our last to be, like Christ, associate above. In short, the individual mind is conducted through a history like the sacred record of the general race, and, if it be just to its capacities, passes through a period of new creation ; and every noble life, like the Bible, (which is ' the book of life,') begins with Paradise, and ends with Heaven.

Ere Jesus became the Christ, he was led into the desert to be tempted. And before the Messiah within us, — the messenger-spirit of God in the soul, — can make his inspiration felt, and render his voice articulate and clear, we too must have been called to severe and lonely struggles with the power of sin. On no lighter terms can the natural man pass into the


spiritual, and Deity shape forth a dwelling within the deeps of our humanity. In childhood, we live in God's creation, as in the unanxious shelter of some Eden ; the innocent in a garden of fruits, where the tillage demands no toil, and with smallest restraint, we have little else but to gather and enjoy ; and he utmost duty is to abstain, rather than to do ; to keep the lips from forbidden fruits, not to spend the labor and sorrow of the brow or of the soul, to raise and multiply the bread of nature or of life. And many, alas I there are, who make their life this sort of holiday thing unto the end, and retain its childishness, — only, from the nature of the case, losing all its innocence ; strolling through it as a mere fruit-gathering place, a garden of indulgence, a Paradise sacred no more because empty now of God, and unvisited by the murmurs of his voice.

There comes a time to us all, when the sense of


responsibility starts up and rebukes our anxiety for ease ; tells us that we are living fast, and once for


all, a life that enlarges to the scale of eternity, and is embosomed everywhere in God ; bids us spring from our collapse of selfishness and sleep, take up the full dimensions of our strength, and go forth to do much, if it be possible, and at least to do worthily and well. And full often is the conflict terrible between the indolence of custom, the passiveness of self-will, and this inspiring impulse of the divine deliverer within us. Many a secret passage of our existence does it make bleak as the wilderness, and lonely as the Dead- Sea shore ; in many an hour of meditation, seemingly the stillest, does it inwardly tear us, as in the mid-strife of heaven and hell, and leave us wasted as with fasting nigh to death; but oh! if we are only true to the Spirit that declares ' we shall not live by bread alone;' if we quietly descend from the pinnacle of our pride (though sin may pretend to make it sacred and call it a turret of the temple) ; if we keep close to the meek appointed ways of Kim whom our presumption must not try ; if we bend no knee to the majesty of splendid wrong, but in single allegiance to the Holiest, drive away the most glorious spirit of guilt that honors our strength with his assault ; — do we not find at length that angels come and minister unto us ; that the waste appears to vanish suddenly away, and the desert to blossom as


the rose ; that we are restored as to a garden, not of the earth, but of the Lord, filled with the whispers of divinest peace? And so our energy is born from the moments of weakness and of fear ; and were there no hell to tempt us, there were no heaven to bless. From the crisis of trembling and of doubt, we issue 6*


forth to take up our mission gladly, with the unspeakable shelter of God without us, and the hidden life of his love within us.

Again : he who gave us the Gospel was ' the Man of Sorrows;' and the glad tidings of great joy were pronounced by a voice mellowed by many a sadness. And not otherwise is it with the messenger-spirit of our private hearts ; which does not become the Christ, the consecrated revealer of what is holy, unless it be much acquainted with grief. Heaven and God are best discerned through tears ; scarcely perhaps discerned at all without them. I do not mean that a man must be outwardly afflicted, and


lose his comforts or his friends, before he can become devout. Many a Christian maintains the truest heart of piety without such dispensations ; and more, alas ! remain as hard and cold as ever in spite of them. That there is felt to be a general tendency, however, in the blow of calamity, and the sense of loss, to awaken the latent thought of God, and persuade us to seek his refuge, the current language of devotion in every age, the constant association of prayer with the hour of bereavement and the scenes of death, suffice to show. Yet is this effect of external distress only a particular instance of a general truth, viz., that religion springs up in the mind, ivherever any of the infinite affections aiid desires press severely against the finite conditions of our existence. In ill-disciplined and contracted souls, this sorrowful condition is never fulfilled, except when some much-loved blessing is forcibly snatched away, and their human attachment (which is infinite) is surprised (though knowing it well before) at the violence of death, knocks with vain cries at the. cruel barriers of our



humanity, and is answered by the voice of mystery from beyond.

But such was not the sorrow with which Christ was stricken : nor is such the only sorrow with which good and faithful minds are affected. There are many immeasurable affections of our nature, besides that which makes our kindred dear: — the yearning for truth, the delight in beauty, the veneration for excellence, the high ambition of conscience ever pressing forward yet unable to attain, — these also live within us, and strive unceasingly in noble hearts ; and there is an inner and a viewless sorrow, a spontaneous weeping of these infinite desires, whence the highest order of faith and devotion will be found to spring; so much so, that no one can even think of Christ, visibly social and cheerful as he was, without the belief of a secret sadness, that might be overheard in his solitary prayers. Those who make the end of existence to consist of happiness may try to conceal so perplexing a fact, and may draw pictures of the exceeding pleasantness of religion ; but human nature, trained in the school of Christianity, throws away as false the delineation of piety in the disguise of Hebe, and declares that there is something higher far than happiness; that thought,


which is ever full of care and trouble, is better far ; that all true and disinterested affection, which often is called to mourn, is better still ; that the devoted allegiance of conscience to duty and to God, — which ever has in it more of penitence than of joy, — is noblest of all.

If happiness means the satisfaction of desire (and I can conceive no other definition), then there is necessarily something greater, viz. religion, which



iQiplies constant yearning and aspiration, and therefore non-satisfaction of desire. In truth that which is deemed the happiest period of life must pass away, before we can sink into the deep secrets of faith and hope. The primitive gladness of childhood is that


of a bounded and limited existence, which earnestly wishes for nothing that exceeds the dimensions of possibility ; — of a human Paradise, about whose enclosure-line no inquiry is made ; and through sorrow and the sense of sin, we must issue from those peaceful gates, and make pilgrimage amid the thistle and the thorn, instead of the blossom and the rose ; and lie panting on the dust, instead of sleeping on the green sward of life, before we learn through mortal weakness our immortal strength, and feel in the exile of the earth the shelter of the skies. Theji^ however, the spirit of Christ, the Man of Sorrows, gives us a rebirth of joy through tears. Before, we were simply unconscious of death ; then, we enter into the consciousness of immortality. Before, our will was restrained by a law which we could not keep ; then, it is emancipated by a fresh love that more than keeps it; whose free inclination goes before all precept and authoritative faith ; and hopeth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things ; nay, even can do all things, through the Christ who strengtheneth it.

Children then of nature, we are also sons of God ; born of the genial earth, we are to climb the glorious heaven ; and to the human lot that makes us of one


blood with Adam, is added the divine liberty of being of one spirit with Christ. That liberty we cannot decline, for we are conscious of it now; and if we look not on it as on the face of an angel, it will


haunt us with its gaze like the eye of a fiend. The severe prerogatives of an existence half divine are ours. To u'ear away life in unproductive harmlessness is innocent no more ; with the glory we take the cross; and instead of slumbering at noon in Eden, must keep the midnight watch within Gethsemane. We, too, like our great leader, must be made perfect through suffering; but the struggle by night will bring the calmness of the morning ; the hour of exceeding sorrow will prepare the day of godlike strength ; the prayer for deliverance calls down the power of endurance. And while to the reluctant their cross is too heavy to be borne, it grows light to the heart of willing trust. The faithful heirs of 'the Man of Sorrows,' transcending the trials they cannot decline, may quit the world with the cry ' it is finished,' and pass through the silence of death to


the peace of God.

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