Page images



[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]



In the Preface to the “ Pre-Adamite Earth," I stated that the principles or laws there adduced, and applied to the successive stages of the ancient earth, would be exhibited in their historical development, in a short series of treatises (each treatise complete in itself) in relation to individual man, to the family, to the nation, to the Son of God, .to. the .church which he has founded, to the revelation which he has: completed, and to-the future prospects of humanity. Artardiross the principles which were there seen holding their waỹ through the successive kingdoms of primaval nature, are here reguñod, and are exhibited in their next and higher application to individual man.

On the day of man's creation it was, that law first subjectively icigned on earth. Prior to that event, the so-called laws of nature were mere modes of Divine operation, known only to the mind of the Creator. But a being had now come who could consciously stand face to face with them, could conceive of them, employ them, and ascend in homage from them to the Divine Lawgiver. In him, all these pre-existing laws were recapitulated, and others were superadded. He himself was a system of moral government. Not only was the grand process of the Divine disclosure to be continued in man and by him, but he was so constituted that to him the entire manifestation was to be made. The laws of the Divine procedure, therefore, are here distributed into three Parts, consisting of the end aimed at; the method of attaining it; and the reasons for the employment of that method.

The grounds for the adoption of this three-fold arrangement may be more explicitly stated thus :— reverentially assuming, first, that every step of the Divine procedure is related and tending to an ultimate end ; it may be inferred, secondly, that “the only wise God” who "seeth the end from the beginning," pursues that end, not improvidently and uncertainly, but according to an all-comprehending method ; and, thirdly, that the method chosen involves special reasons why it has been preferred. For unless we can suppose the Divine Being to be coerced by a necessity superior to himself, or to be bound by the.iron:mechanism of-fats, we must infer that He has intelligently devised, and voluntarily adopted, the entire plan of his procedure; and if so, jt follows that He has done so for reasons,

“ acadišdingta "the counsel of his own will.” These three parts, though inšėparably united, are essentially distinct.

An illustration of this view may be taken from Scripture;" the heavens declare the glory of God.” Here, first, the end they answer is plainly affirmed; they declare the glory of their Creator. But, secondly, what is the method by which this end is attained ? Doubtless, ever since there has been an intelligent eye to behold them, the mere splendor, numbers, and magni



« PreviousContinue »