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THE JUDGMENT OF ADAM AND EVE.
THE scene is now changed from innocence to guilt; from a condition of perfect happiness to one of "lamentation and mourning and woe." "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" The Schechinah, or visible glory from which the voice of God was heard, appears bursting through the lofty trees in the foreground and shining with an awful intensity, as if the anger of the Lord was visibly kindled at the base ingratitude of his creatures. That voice which had hitherto been the harbinger of joy, now thrills their souls with a presentiment of the most awful visitation. The light through which it is poured upon the ear of the conscious delinquents, has a brightness that innocence might survey with delight, but which is terrible to the contemplation of guilt. The eye of the transgressors quailed beneath the intensity of its blaze. Adam appears appalled at the sight, while Eve sinks to the earth with a mute but despairing conviction of her fall. The branch, which she had so indiscreetly plucked, lies before her, at once a memorial of her guilt and of her shame. The accession of knowledge to Adam is manifested by the consciousness of his nakedness, which he has endeavoured partly to hide. The landscape represents a retired vista of the garden of Eden.
HERE the fearful sentence has been pronounced upon the transgressors. The sad penalty is about to be inflicted. The guilty pair appear before their angry Judge, the one in a distracted attitude of despair, the other cowering before the terrible denunciation of an angered God. The Schechinah surrounds them with that divine light which had been so beautiful in love, but was so tremendous in wrath, and they hear from amidst its portentous blaze the dreadful fiat of condemnation. The serpent gliding round the woman's feet, seems to shrink from the awful issue of his own guile. Upon him the curse is first denounced. "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he. shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." 节能