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ing down upon the plains below, smiling or frowning on the world, which holds the even tenor of its way in the wooded forests and fertile valleys of the earth. There are vast plains which men have never trod ; there are vast forests, wide deserts, which have seldom been mentioned, and when mentioned are not remembered. But the towering mountains are known, and are remembered. Sinai, Ararat, Carmel, Horeb, Zion, and Calvary can never be forgotten. Their moral grandeur rises higher than their physical elevation, and they stood before the ages as the summits from which God has spoken. And so with meaner mountains around which cluster no sacred memories. What Scotchman that has ever seen old Ben Lomond towering over the Loch has ever forgotten it? What Swiss peasant, wherever he has wandered and in whatever clime he has died, has ever forgotten Mont Blanc, the monarch of mountains ?
What mountains are to the surface of the globe, exalted character is to human society. Stretching away back through society are characters rising from the dull monotony of level life that can never be forgotten. They dot the record of ages as mountains dot and diversify the world of nature. There are but few of them, but the few are immortal. The mass the thou
sands, the millions, and tens of millions - have sunk down forgotten and lost; but these live, fresh and fragrant. To a few of these characters, noticeable for their position in history, for their virtues or vices, we propose to call attention in a series of articles on
THE WOMEN OF THE BIBLE,
as they illustrate female life and character.
First in the illustrious catalogue — the mother of us all — stands Eve, to whom we not only trace our origin, but our woes.
Adam was created first. He was placed in Eden, with its pleasures and its delights around him. But he was alone. The beautiful birds of heaven sang his matin and his vespers; the lion gamboled at his feet, the lamb ran by his side ; but he could hold no intercourse with these ; they were below him in the order of being, and he wanted a conscious intellect to communicate with his own. The angels were sent down to speak with him, and they folded their glad wings over his head at night, forming such a pavilion as never sheltered any human being before or since. But they were celestial spirits, and the heart of Adam yearned for a fellow of his own nature, like himself, man, and subject to human passion. It may be a reason why God did not create Adam and Eve at the same time, that he wished to show his creature that it was not good for him to be alone, that he might realize the value of his companion when she was received. When this purpose was accomplished, God caused Adam to sleep ; and when he was unconscious, his side was opened and a rib taken out, and that bone became in a single hour a beautiful, cultivated, charming woman. Various reasons may be mentioned why God did not make Eve, as he did Adam, out of the dust of the earth ; but one is obvious. He wished the woman to be a part of the man, that he might not be tempted to shake her off, as a being not connected with him. She was bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh, not independent of him, but linked by the nearest ties to his own nature. He took the rib out of his side, instead of taking a bone from the head or foot, that Adam might be taught the equality, not the superiority or inferiority, of his wife.
The surprise of Adam when he awoke must have been great, to have found Eve gazing upon him, watching his slumbers, and kindly waiting for him to awake. It could not have taken long for an acquaintance to have been formed. The nature of Adam yearned for such a being, more human and yet more beautiful than the angels, and he took her to his bosom as a gift divine.
There are three portraits of Eve which have come down to our times, and at which we take a passing glance. They are fresh, though the dust of six thousand years has been falling on them ; they are vivid, though all time has been drawing traces on them. The first is
EVE AS AN INNOCENT WOMAN.
As our first mother came from the hand of God, she was perfectly holy. Her nature needed no regeneration to fit her to become the partner of a holy man; and when Adam woke from his sleep, and gazed upon the beautiful being at his side, there was no shame on her brow, and no guilt on her soul. She could look up into the face of God, as an innocent child looks up into the face of a kind and affectionate parent, without the least emotion of fear.
She was also perfectly happy. She was created for just such a world, in just such a state as she found herself in; she found all her wishes gratified, and all her desires met; she was in the very element which her soul needed, and her fertile imagination could stretch itself to no higher or more ecstatic enjoyment. Her spirit was the swell of a delicious harmony, on the pure breath of which struck no discord. Hers was a heart bounding with pleasure at all she heard, and saw, and felt.
She was also perfectly beautiful. There is now nothing material so beautiful as a finely-formed human countenance. But the personal beauty of our first mother must have been greater than our conception. The human countenance and form have been undergoing constant changes for six thousand years ; personal beauty has been deteriorating, until we have now only a meagre burlesque on what God first made so perfect and complete. It is said that on one occasion an Athenian artist wished to make a beautiful statue, and in order to render himself successful, he sent for all the most beautiful maidens in Greece, that he might select the finest feature of each, and blend all into one image of loveliness. Our first mother realized the dreams of that artist; and the symmetry of her person and the beauty of her countenance were equalled only by the innocence and purity of her soul. What a magnificent portrait do we have of Eve before her fall! All the mines of the earth have not gems enough to decorate the frame for such a picture; and since Eden was desolated by sin, the world has no gallery gorgeous enough in which to hang it. The second portrait presents
We pass over a few weeks, months, or years, — for we know not how long Eve lived in sinless enjoy