« PreviousContinue »
of Salvation, and at last to bear their disembodied souls to the realms of peace and happiness.
$ 9. The second class consists of the opposers of God, and the enemies of Man, of whom the chief is Satan. They are permitted to exercise a restricted dominion upon earth, to tempt and to prove, to seduce and to afflict mankind, to barden the hearts of the impenitent, to lead the wicked to destruction, and finally to execute the just vengeance of heaven upon the heirs of condemnation.
$ 10. The Creation of the visible World, out of preexisting matter which « without form, and void,” took place, according to the account of Moses, the inspired historian of the Jews, in six days; such being the decree of infinite wisdom, that the production and arrangement of the several parts of the material Universe, should occupy certain determinate periods, rather than instantaneously spring forth into being, entire and finished, at the fiat of Omnipo
§ 11. On the first day, after that the Eternal Spirit had brooded over the unorganized elements of all things, and by the divine energy had given impulse to the primordial mass, “ God said, Let there be Light, and there was Light.” It may be supposed that the particles of this subtle and elastic fluid, separated from the denser matter, and were at once so brought together and arranged, as to produce a division of Light from Darkness, a succession similar to that of evening and morning; and to constitute, what is denominated by the Sacred Writer, “ the First Day.”
$ 12. The work of the Second Day includes the emptying of the vast expanse of Firmament, and the separation of the waters of the system ; those which were to occupy the surface of the earth, from those which were to have their destination above the Firmament, or lower Heaven.
§ 13. On the Third Day, the waters which were below the firmament, were gathered together from their general diffusion over the face of this globe within certain bounds, and the dry land appeared between the “ Seas.” No sooner had the receding wa. ters exposed the prolific earth to the influence of light and heat, than its surface was furnished with a vegetable covering; and the mode of reproduction established in each species of herb and tree.
$ 14. On the Fourth Day, the solar system was completed : The Sun and Moon were made, and subjected to those universal laws which still preserve them in their relative situations, with regard to this and other parts of the complicated fabric of the Uni
God made the fixed Stars also, which spangle the firmament far beyond the distance of the two great lights which were appointed to give light, the one by day and the other by night, to this terrestrial globe.
§ 15. On the Fifth Day, the first production of animated creatures took place, replenishing abundantly the air and water with tenants fitted to their respective elements. The fowl which was adapted to fly through the atmosphere that surrounds the earth, and the fish to swim in its various waters, received the blessivg of God, and the order to perpetuate their kind, “ Be fruitful and multiply."
§ 16. On the Sixth Day, were formed from the earth itself, terrestrial animals, all four-footed beasts and creeping things. And as the last pre-eminent work of the Almighty's hand, was MAN created, in the image, after the likeness of his Creator. To him was given dominion over all the living creatures which had been previously produced, and, as sustenance, every nutritious plant which grew around him. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good.” Thus the Heavens with their splendid luminaries, and the Earth with its various tribes, animate and inanimate, with which the air, and sea, and land are furnished, together with man the appointed Lord of all, were brought to consummate excellence at the termination of the Sixth Day.
§ 17. When the Earth was rendered a delightful and convenient habitation, and not till then, it pleased God to create man ;-" male and female created he them.” By the Almighty Power, and to illustrate the glory of God, the most perfect of all his works, of the most complicated and beautiful structure, was formed from the Dust of the Earth. The human body was made superior to that of all other animals, in the peculiar adaptation of its members and organs to the service of the living soul, which was intended to give it animation. Into this body, so wonderfully constructed, the Almighty infused a rational and immortal Spirit, immaterial, distinct from and independant of the body, endued with understanding and freewill. The first woman Eve, the mother of all living, was formed of a bone taken from the side of Adam, the first man, during a deep sleep which the Lord God caused to fall upon him; and she was gifted with the same nature and similar faculties, in order that she might be a help meet for him, out of whom she had been taken.
$ 18. Man was created in the image of God, resembling the Deity in his primitive purity and happiness, in certain powers of mind which fitted him for personal intercourse with heaven, in his spiritual soul; and, though his body was of mortal fabric, in being possessed of a conditional promise of immortality even to it;--in the superiority of his faculties and his corporeal frame over those of other creatures : and above all in the dominion which was assigned him as sovereign of this lower world.
Heb. xi. 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Gen. i. 21. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind.
Gen. i. 1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Neh. ix. 6. Thou, even thou, art Lord alone : thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. Heb. iii. 4. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. Col. i. 16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers : all things were created by him, and for him. John i. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Gen. i. 2. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, Psalm civ. 30. Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created ; and thou renewest the face of the earth.
Psalm cxlviii, 1, 2. 5. Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.