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CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF THINGS FROM THE CREATION TO THE FLOOD, IN ALL 1656 YEARS;

ACCORDING TO DR HALES 2256 YEARS.

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS.

between Leah and Rachel :-the jealousies between

Ishmael and Isaac, and especially Rebekah’s preference The Pentateuch or five books of Moses, designated of Jacob to Esau.” 2 Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, contains the authentic history of the world during a period of 2515 years.

“ It is a wide description, gradually contracted; an account of one nation, preceded

SECT. I. by a general sketch of the first state of mankind. The books are written in pure Hebrew, with an admirable

CHAP. I.—Of the Creation of the World. diversity of style, always well adapted to the subject,

THE INTRODUCTION. yet characterised with the stamp of the same author:

A. M. 1, A. C. 4004; or, according to Hales, 5411. Gen. ch. 1. they are all evidently parts of the same work, and mu

and part of ch. 2. tually strengthen and illustrate each other.”ı

The chief design of the author of the Pentateuch is, to The name of the first Book of the Pentateuch, Genesis, give a short account of the formation of the earth, and which signifies generation or production, has been given the origin of mankind; of the most remarkable events to this portion of the Sacred Canon, because it contains that attended them in the infancy of the world ; and of an account of the generation or production of all things. the transactions of one particular nation more especially, “It narrates the true origin and history of all created from whence the Messias was to spring: and therefore things, in opposition to the erroneous notions entertained it cannot be well expected, that he should extend his by the beathen nations; the origin of sin, and of all moral history to the creation of the supreme empyrean heaven, and physical evil; the establishment of the knowledge which God might make the place of his own residence, and worship of the only true God among mankind; their and the mansions of those celestial beings, whom ho declension into idolatry; the promise of the Messias; constituted the ministers of his court, and attendants on together with the origin of the church, and her progress his throne, a an immense space of time, perhaps, before the and condition for many ages.

It makes known to the Israelites the providential history of their ancestors,

' Horne's Introduction, &c., vol. iv., pp. 5, 6. and the divine promises made to them; and shows them

a This is no novel notion of our own, but what has been conthe reason why the Almighty chose Abraham and his Dr Burnet testifies. For, speaking of some, who supposed that

firmed by many great authorities, as the learned and ingenious posterity to be a peculiar people, to the exclusion of all the whole universe was created at one and the same time, and other nations,—that from them should spring the Mes- the highest heaven and angels included in the first day's work, siah. This circumstance must be kept in view through

“ It may be here proper," says he, “ to present the words of out the reading of this Book, as it will illustrate many six thousandth year, and how many eternities, how many cycles,

Hieronymus.The age of this globe hath not yet reached its otherwise unaccountable circumstances there related. how many centuries must we conceive to have existed prior to It was this hope that led Eve to exclaim, “I have gotten that time, in which angels, thrones, dominions, and other a man—the Lord.' The polygamy of Lamech may be powers worshipped the omnipotent. In a book on the Trinity, accounted for by the hope that the Messiah would be either by Novatian or Tertullian), a world of angels, far above

our firmament, is said to have been created before the Mosaic boza of some of his posterity,—as also, the incest of world, in these words, that in the higher spheres God had forLot's daughters,—Sarah's impatience of her barrenness, merly created angels, appointed spiritual powers, planted -the polygamy of Jacob—the consequent jealousies thrones, dominions, &c., and framed many other boundless ex

panses of skies, &c.; so that this world rather seems to have

been the latest than the sole work of the Deity. In a word, Gray's Key to the Old Testament, p. 76.

Cassian remarks that in his time, that is, in the beginning of the

A

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