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A. M. 1. A C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 1. AND PART OF CH. 2. Mosaic account of the origination of this planetary world | turn, Herschell, or Urania describes about the sun, have begins.
so near a similitude and relation: the same form, the In the introduction of the history indeed we are told, same centre, and the same common luminary with one that God created a the heaven and the earth :' but when another, that it can hardly be imagined but that they it is considered, that heaven in Scripture language, is were the production of one and the same creation. And very commonly set to signify no more than the upper therefore, though the historian seems chiefly to regard region of the air; that we frequently read of the fir- the earth in his whole narration; yet there is reason to mament of heaven, the windows of heaven, 3 the bottles presume, that the other parts of the planetary world of heaven, and the hoary frost of heaven,' &c., none of went all along on in the same degrees of formation which extend beyond our atmosphere, we have no with it. grounds to conclude, that at one and the same time God 2. It is to be observed farther, that this planetary created every thing that is contained in the vast extra- world, or system of things, was not immediately created mundane spaces of the universe. On the contrary, when out of nothing, (as very probably the supreme heavens we find him recounting to Job, that at the times when were,) but out of some such pre-existent matter as the he laid the foundations of the earth, the morning stars ancient heathens were wont to call chaos. And accordsang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy,' ingly we may observe, that in the history which Moses we cannot but infer, that these stars, and these sons of gives us of the creation, he does not say, that God at God, were pre-existent; and consequently no part of the once made all things in their full perfection, but that Mosaic creation.
c. In the beginning he created the earth,' that is, the matBy the heaven therefore we are to understand no ter whereof the chaos was composed, which was without more, than that part of the world which we behold above form,' without any shape or order, and void,' without us: but then I imagine we have very good reason to any thing living or growing in it; ‘and darkness was extend our conceptions of this world above us so far, as upon the face of the waters,' nothing was seen for want to include in it the whole planetary system. The of light, which lay buried in the vast abyss. truth is, the several planets that are contained within the According to tradition, then, and the representation magnus orbis, (as it is called), or the circle which Sa- which this inspired author seems to give us, d this chaos
" Gen, i. 20. Gen, vii. 11. Job xxxviii. 37. bounds of the universe, and placed at equal distance from its • Job xxxviii, 29. * Ibid. ver. 4, 7.
centre the sun; this new hypothesis supposes, that there are fifth century, it was the common opinion of Catholics, that many more systems of suns and planets, besides that in which before the beginning of the Geneseos, viz., the birth of the we have our habitation; that every fixed star, in short, is a sun, Mosaic world: it was beyond a doubt God must have created all encompassed with its complement of planets, both primary and these heavenly powers.” Burnet's Arch. Phil. c. 8.
secondary, as well as ours; and that these stars, with their a By heaven, some understand in this place the highest planets are placed at regular distances from each other, and, super-firmamentary heaven, and by the earth, that pre-existent according to their distances from us, seem to vary in their matter whereof the earth was originally made; and so the sense respective magnitudes.-Derham's Astro-theology, in the preof the words will be-"that God at first created the matter liminary discourse. whereof the whole universe was composed, all at once, in an c What our translators render in the beginning' some instant, and by a word's speaking; but it was the supreme learned men have made in wisdom God created the heavens heaven only which he then finished, and formed into a most and the earth;' not only because the Jerusalem targum has it excellent order, for the place of his own residence, and the so, but because the Psalmist, paraphrasing upon the works of the habitation of his holy angels; the earth was left rude and indi- creation, breaks forth into this admiration. O Lord! low gested, in the manner that Moses has described it, until there wonderful are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them all,' should be a fit occasion for its being revised, and set in order Ps. civ. 24. And again, exhorting us to give thanks unto the likewise.”
Lord for his manifold mercies, he adds, who by wisdom made b The better to understand this, and some other matters, in the heavens,' Ps. cxxxvi. 5. where, by wisdom, as some imagine, our explication of the formation of celestial bodies, it is proper he means the Son of God, by whom, says the evangelist, John to observe, that there are three more remarkable systems of the i. 3. “all things were made, or all things created,' says the world, the Ptolemaic, Copernican, and what is called the New apostle, Col. i. 16. that are in heaven, and that are in the System, which astronomers have devised.
earth;' and therefore the meaning of the phrase must be, that 1. In the Ptolemaic, the earth and waters are supposed to be God, in creating the world, made use of the agency of his Son. in the centre of the universe, next to which is the element of Among the ancients (says Petavius, on the work of the six air, and next above that the element of fire; then the orb of days, B. 1., c. 1.) it was a well known and very common opinMercury, then that of Venus, and then that of the Sun; above ion, that by the noun principium, or beginning, was signified the sun's orb those of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; and above the Word or Son. And to this interpretation the word Elohim them all, the orbs of the fixed stars, then the crystalline orbs, in the plural number, joined with bara a verb singular, seems to and lastly, the cælum empyreum, or heaven of heavens. Au give some countenance; though others are of opinion, that a these massy orbs, and vast bodies borne by them, are in this noun plural, governing a verb singular, is no more than the system supposed to move round the terraqueous globe once in common idiom of the Hebrew tongue; and for this idiom a very twenty-four hours; and beside that, to perform other revolutions considerable commentator assigns this reason :- That the in certain periodical times, according to their distance from the Hebrew language was originally that of the Canaanites, a people supposed centre, and the different circumference they take, strangely addicted to idolatry and polytheism; and who there
2. In the Copernican system, the sun is supposed to be in the fore made more use of the plural Elohim, than of the singular centre, and the heavens and earth to revolve round about it, Eloah; which usage the Jews .continued, though they were according to their several periods; first Mercury, then Venus, zealous assertors of the unity of the Godhead, and thereupon then the Earth with its satellite the Moon; then Mars, then most commonly joined a verb of the singular number with it, Jupiter with its four moons; lastly, Saturn with its five, or pursuant to their notions of the divine unity.—Le Clerc's dissert. more moons revolving round it; and beyond, or above all these, De ling. Hebraica. is the firmament, or region of fixed stars, which are all supposed d To mention one author out of the many which Grotius has to be at equal distances from their centre the sun.
cited, Ovid, in the beginning of his Metamorphoses has given 3. In the New System, the sun and planets have the same us this description of it: site and position as in the Copernican; but then, whereas the
Before the appearance of the earth and sky Copernican supposes the firmament of the fixed stars to be the
Which covereth all things, Nature
A. M. I. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 1. AND PART OF CH. 2. was a fluid mass, wherein were the materials and ingre- is sometimes in love with one, and sometimes with audients of all bodies, but mingled in confusion with one other. But this account of Moses was to last for ever, another, so that heavy and light, dense and rare, Auid as being the ground-work which God designed for all and solid particles, were jumbled together, and the his future revelations; and therefore it was requisite to atoms or small constituent parts of fire, air, water, and have it framed in such a manner, as that it might conearth, (which have since obtained the name of elements), descend to the meanest capacity, and yet not contradict were every one in every place, and all in a wild confu- any received notions of philosophy. sion and disorder. This seems to be a part of God's The Jews, it must be owned, were a nation of no original creation; but why he suffered it to continue so great genius for learning; and therefore, if Moses had long, before he transformed it into an habitable world, given thein a false system of the creation, such as a is a question only resolvable into the divine pleasure: simple people might be apt to fancy, he had both made since, according to the ideas we have of his moral per- himself an impostor, and exposed his writings to the fections, there is nothing to fix the creation of any thing contempt and derision of every man of understanding: sooner or later, than his own arbitrary will determined. and yet, to have given them a particular explication of Only we may imagine, that, after the revolt of so many the true one, must have made the illiterate look upon angels, God, intending to make a new race of creatures, him as a wild romancer. By God's direction, therefore, in order to supply their place, and fill up (as it were) he took the middle and wisest way, which was to speak the vacancy in heaven; and withal, resolving to make exact truth, but cautiously, and in such general terns as trial of their obedience before he admitted them into his might neither confound the minds of the ignorant Jews, beatific presence, singled out one (as perhaps a there nor expose him to the censure of philosophizing Chrismight be many chaotic bodies in the universe) placed at tians: and we may well account it an evident token of a proper distance from his own empyrean seat, to be the a particular providence of God overruling this inspired habitation of the creatures he was about to form, and penman, that he has drawn up the cosmogony in such a might delay the fitting it up for them until the time manner, as makes it of perpetual use and application; which his infinite wisdom had determined for their crea- forasmuch as it contains no peculiar notions of his own, tion was fully come.
no principles borrowed from the ancient exploded phi3. It is to be observed farther, that though Moses losophy, nor any repugnant to the various discoveries might have in his view the whole planetary system, and of the new. know very well, that every day each planet advanced in 4. It is to be observed farther, in relation to this acthe same proportion, as the earth did in its formation : count of Moses, that when God is said to give the word, yet what he principally chose to insist on (as a specimen and every thing thereupon proceeded to its formation, of all the rest) was this sublunary creation. He who he did not leave matter and motion to do their best, was versed in all the learning of the Egyptians,' could whilst he stood by (according to Dr Cudworth's expresnot be unacquainted with the vulgar, or what is usually sion) as an idle spectator of this sport of atoms, and the called the Piolemaic hypothesis, which came originally various results of it; but himself interposed, and, confrom Egypt into Greece; and yet, instead of expressing ducting the whole process, gave not only life and being, his notions according to this, or any other system, we but form and figure to every part of the creation. find him giving us a plain narrative, how matters were The warmest abettors of mechanical principles do not transacted, without asserting or denying any philosophic deny, but that ' a divine energy at least must be admitted truth. Had be indeed talked a great deal of globular in this case, where a world was to be formed, and a wild and angular particles, of centrical motion, planetary chaos reduced to a fair, regular, and permanent system. Fortices, atmospheres of comets, the earth's rotation, The immediate hand of God (they cannot but acknowand the sun's rest, he might possibly have pleased the ledge) is apparent in a miracle, which is an infraction, taste of some theorists better; but theories we know are upon the standing laws of nature; but certainly, of all things of uncertain mode. They depend in a great miracles, the creation of the world is the greatest, not measure upon the humour and caprice of an age, which only as it signifies the production of matter and motion
out of nothing, but as it was likewise the ranging and Throughout the Universe had but one form Which men have named Chaos—'Twas a
putting things into such order, as inight make them Raw and shapeless massa heap of nature's
capable of the laws of motion which were to be ordained Discordant seeds wildly huddled together
for them. ? For whatever notions we may have of the Nor else but useless weight, &c. all matter existed as chaos before the beginning of the stated economy of things now, it is certain that the laws Mosaic world, what was it? for what purpose, or in what place of motion (with which philosophers make such noise) did it exist before that time? I answer, that things such as could not take place before every part of the creation these are not too narrowly to be searched after, since, in a great was ranged and settled in its proper order. mieasure, they exceed the power of human investigation. Thus,
It we see at times stars arising in our hemisphere which never
be allowed however, since, even in the Mosaic
may before had been apparent, but whose pre-existence in some shape, account, there are some passages, such as, “Let the and in some quarter of the universe, cannot properly be doubted. earth bring forth grass, let the earth bring forth the living And, also, comets are frequently discovered, concerning whose creature after his kind, and it was so,' that whatever urigio and first place of abode the abilities of man cannot elicit
comes under the compass of mechanical causes, might the least dawning of information. In fine, it is not to be supposed that the heavens themselves are free from decay,--the possibly be effected by matter and motion, only set on celestial as well as the terrestrial bodies must have their inver- work by infinite wisdom, and sustained in their being sions and transmutations; and by the lapse of time and return of and operation by infinite power; but whatever is above ekars, the fixed stars may be converted into planets, and planets, when their deteriorated matter is consumed, in their turn may become fixed stars, &c.-Burnet's Archeol. Phil., c. 9.
See I'histon's Theory. Sce llale's Origin of Vankind
A. M. I. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 1. AND PART OF CH. 3. the power of second causes, such as the production of globes of these several planets were completed. And matter out of nothing, the formation of the seeds of all as the grosser parts subsided, the lighter, and more animals and vegetables, the creation of our first parents, tenuous mounted up; and the lucid and fiery particles and inspiring them with immortal souls, &c., these we (being lighter than the rest) ascended higher, and, by affirm, and these we ought to believe, were the pure the divine order, meeting together in a body, were put result of God's omnipotent power, and are ascribed to in a circular motion, and in the space of a natural day, him alone.
made to visit the whole expansum of the chaos, which To this purpose we may observe, that before our occasioned a separation of the light from darkness, and author begins to acquaint us with what particular crea- thereby a distribution of day and night:c and this was tures were each day successively brought into being, he the work of the first day. d takes care to inform us, (as a thing essential and pre- The next thing which God Almighty commanded, was, paratory to the work,) « that the Spirit of God moved that the waters, which as yet were universally dispersed upon the face of the waters.' For, whether by the over the face of the chaos, should retire to their respecSpirit of God, we are to understand his holy and tive planets, and be restrained within their proper limits essential Spirit, which is the third person in the ever-by several atmospheres. Hereupon all the aqueous blessed Trinity, whether that * plastic nature, which parts immediately subsided towards the centres of the (according to some) was made subservient to him upon several planets, and were circumfused about their this occasion, or any other emanation of the divine globes; by which means the great expansum was again power and energy, it is reasonable to suppose, that its cleared off, and the region of the air became more lucid moving or incubation upon the chaotic mass, derived and serene. And this is the operation which Moses into it a certain fermentation, impregnated it with several calls • dividing the waters under e the firmament, from kinds of motive influence, and so separated and digested the waters which are above the firmament,' for the its confused parts, as to make it capable of the disposi- waters under the firmament are the waters of the earth, tion and order it was going to receive.
the waters above the firmament are those of the moon, and other planets, which, in the second day's work, were
dismissed to their several orbs, but were confusedly CHAP. II.-The History.
mixed, and overspread the whole face of the expansum
before. In this condition we may suppose the chaos to have Thus, on the second day, the delightful element of been, when the fiat for light was given; whereupon all air was disentangled and extracted from the chaos: and the confused, stagnating particles of matter began to one part of the business of the third, was to separate the range into form and order. The dull, heavy, and terrene other remaining elements, water and earth.' For the parts, which overclouded the expansum or firmament, watery particles, as we said, clearing the expansum, and had their summons to retire to their respective centres. falling upon the planetary orbs, must be supposed to They presently obeyed the Almighty's orders, and part cover the face of the earth, as well as other planets, of them subsided to the centre of the earth, some to when the great Creator gave the command for the Jupiter, some to Saturn, some to Venus, &c., till the waters to be gathered into one place, and the dry land A. M. 1. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 1. AND PART OF CH. 2. to appear.' Whereupon the mighty mountains instantly s and their satellites. Nor was it only for the dispensareared up their heads, and the waters, falling every way tion of light to this earth of ours, that God appointed from their sides, ran into those large extended valleys, the two great luminaries of the sun and moon to attend which this swelling of the earth, in some places, had it, but for the measure and computation of time likenade for their reception in others. The earth, being wise: that a speedy and swift motion of the sun, (acthus separated from the waters, and designed for the cording to the Ptolemaic system,) in twenty-four hours habitation of man and beast, (which were afterwards to round the earth, or of the earth (according to the Coperbe created,) was first to be furnished with such things as nican) upon its own axis, might make a day; that the were proper for their support; grass for cattle, and time from one change of the moon to another, or thereherbs and fruit-trees for the nourishment of man. Im- abouts, might make a month; and the apparent revolumediately, therefore, upon the divine command, it was tion of the sun, to the same point of the ecliptic line, covered with a beautiful carpet of flowers and grass, might not only make a year, but occasion likewise a trees and plants of all kinds, which were produced in grateful variety of seasons in the several parts of the their full proportion, laden with fruit, and not subjected earth, which are thus gradually and successively visited to the ordinary course of maturation. For how great by the reviving heat of the sunbeams : and this was the soever the fecundity of the primogenial earth might be, work of the fourth day. yet it is scarce to be imagined, how a trees and plants After the inanimate creation, God, on the fifth day, could be ripened, into their full growth and burden of proceeded to form the animate; and because fish and fruit, in the short period of a day, any other way than fowl are not so perfect in their kind, neither so curious by virtue of a supernatural power of God, which first in their bodily texture, nor so sagacious in their instinct, collected the parts of matter fit to produce them; then as terrestrial creatures are known to be, he therefore formed every one of them, and determined their kinds ; began with them, and cout of the waters, that is, out of and at last provided for their continuance, by a curious such matter as was mixed and concocted with the water, enclosure of their seed, in order to propagate their he formed several of different shapes and sizes ; some species, even unto the end of the world : and this was vastly big, a to show the wonders of his creating power; the work of the third day.
I Cudworth's Intellectual System.
c If we rather approve the Copernican hypothesis, we must Gen. i. 2. It is observed by some later Jewish, as well as say, that the earth, having now received its diurnal and annual Christian interpreters, that the several names of God are often motion, and having turned round about its axis, for about the given as epithets to those things which are the greatest, the space of twelve hours, made this luminous body, now fixed in a strongest, and the best of their kind; and thereupon they think, proper place, appear in the east, which, in the space of twelve that since the word Ruach signifies the wind, as well as the hours more, seemed to be in the west; and that this revolution Spirit, Ruach Elohim should be translated a most vehement wind, made a distinction between day and night.—Bedford's Chronoinstead of the Spirit of God;' and that this signification agrees logy. very well with Moses's account, which represents the earth so d'And the evening and the morning were the first day.' The mixed with the waters, that it could not appear, and therefore Mosaical method of computing days from sunset to sunset, and stood in need of a wind to dry it. But besides that this sense of reckoning by nights instead of days, prevailed among the seems to be a sad debasing of the text, it is certain, that the polished Athenians. From a similar custom of our Gothic anwind (which is nothing but the moving of the air) could not cestors, during their abode in the forests of Germany, words be spoken of now, because it was not created until the second expressive of such a mode of calculation (such as fortnight, se'nday.
night) have been derived into our own language.—Burder's a The word in the Hebrew, according to the opinion of some, Oriental Customs, vol. i., p. 1.-ED. both ancient and modern, interpreters, signifies literally a brood- e Gen. i. 6. The seventy interpreters, in translating the ing upon the waters, even as a hen does upon her eggs; but, as word Rakiagh, the firm or solid, seem to have followed the there are only two places wherein the word occurs, Deut. xxxii. philosophy of the first ages: for the ancients fancied that the 11. and Jer. xxxiii. 9., Mr Le Clerc contends, that in neither heavens were a solid body, and that the stars were fastened of these it will properly admit of this sense; and therefore he therein, which might likewise be the notion of Elihu, Job xxxvii. rather thinks it (as our Ainsworth seems to do) to be a meta- 18.; since he represents the heaven to be strong or solid, like phor taken from the hovering and fluttering of an eagle, or any a molten looking-glass;' whereas, the proper sense of the word other bird, over its young, but not its sitting over, or brooding is something spread or stretched out. And to this both the upon them. A distinction of no great moment in my opinion. psalmist and prophet allude, when they tell us, that God
6 The words are, “Let there be light,' which, as Longinus spreadeth out the heaven like a curtain,' Ps. civ. 2. and “stretched takes notice, is a truly lofty expression ; and herein appears the them out by his discretion,' Jer. x. 12. wisdom of Moses that he represents God like himself, com- f Several commentators suppose the waters above the firmamanding things into being by his word, i. e. his will: for where- ment to be those which hang in the clouds; but the notion of ever we read the words, he said, in the history of the creation, their being planetary waters seems more reasonable, because at the meaning must be, that he willed so and so.-Patrick's Com- this time, there were no clouds, neither had it as yet rained on mentary.
the earth. See Gen, ii, 6.
and some extremely small, to show the goodness of his When God had finished the lower world, and furnished indulgent providence. And (what is peculiar to this it with all manner of store, that mass of fiery light, day's work) here we have the first mention made of God's (which we suppose to have been extracted on the first blessing his creatures, and e bidding them be fruitful day, and to have moved about the expansum for two days after,) was certainly of great use in the production (as F. Simon has evidenced in several other instances.) For of the ether, the separation of the waters, and the rare- work, which relates only to this planetary world, that has the
the fixed stars do not seem to be comprehended in the six days' faction of the land, which might possibly require a more
sun for its centre; Patrick's Commentary and Nicholl's Conferviolent operation at first, than was necessary in those ence, vol. i. See answer to the subsequent objection. lesser alterations, which were afterwards to be effected; c From the words in Gen. ch. i. ver. 20. Let the waters and therefore, on the fourth day, God took and con- bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and densed it, and casting it into a proper orb, placed it at opinion, that fowl derive their origin from the water; and others,
fowl, that may fly above the earth,' &c., some have started an a convenient distance from the earth and other planets ; from the words, 'Out of the ground God formed every heast of insomuch that it became a sun, and immediately shone the field, and every fowl of the air,' raise another, viz. that fowl out in the same glorious manner, in which it has done took their beginning from the earth: but these two texts are
easily reconciled, because, neither denies what the other says, ever since.
though they speak differently; as when Moses says, “Let the After this God took another part of the chaos, an waters bring forth fowl,' he does not by that say, that the earth opaque substance, which we call the moon;' and having did not bring forth fowl. It is most reasonable therefore to think cast it into a proper figure, placed it in another orb, at a that they had their original partly from the waters, and partly Dearer distance from the earth, that it might perpetually than that of beasts, and more firm than that of fishes. Hence
from the earth; and this might render the flesh of fowl less gross be moving round it, and that the sun, by darting its rays Philo calls fowl the kindred of fish; and that they are so, the upon its solid surface, might reflect light to the terres- great congruity there is in their natures (they being both ovitrial globe, for the benefit of its inhabitants : and, at the parous which makes them more fruitful than other animals, and same time, that God thus made the moon, he made, in both steering and directing their course by their tails) is a sufA, M. 1. A. C. 4004; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, 5411. GEN. CH. 1. AND PART OF CH. 2. and multiply,' that is, giving them, at their first creation, that man was created, and introduced into the world in a prolific virtue, and a natural instinct for generation, a manner and solemnity not unbecoming the lord and whereby they might not only preserve their species, but governor of it. To this purpose we may observe, that multiply their individuals: and this was the work of the God makes a manifest distinction between him and other fifth day.
ficient indication. like manner, the other five planets of the solar system, d Moses instances in the whale, because it is supposed to be
the principal and largest of all fishes; but the original word de. There are two things wherein the production of plants, in notes several kinds of great fish, as Bochart in his Hierozom. p. the beginning, differed from their production ever since. 1. 1.1. 1. c. 7. observes at large; and shows withal the prodigious Trat they have sprung ever since out of their seed either sown bigness of some of them; but he should Irave added, that the by le, or falling from the plants themselves; but in the begin- word signifies a crocodile likewise, as well as a whale; Patrick ung, were wrought out of the earth, with their seed in them, to and Le Clerc in loc. propagate them ever after. 2. That they need now (as they e That fish and fowl should here have a blessing pronounced have ever since the creation) the influence of the sun, to make upon them, rather than the beasts, which were made the sixth them sprout ; but then they came forth by the power of God, day, some have supposed this to be the reason ;—that the probefore there was any sun, which was not formed till the next duction of their young requires the particular care of divine day.- Patrick's Commert. in loc.
providence, because they do not bring them forth perfectly formed I am very sensible that the words in the text are, ‘He as the beasts do, but only lay their eggs, in which the young are made the stars also,' ver. 16; but the whole sentence comes in hatched and formed, even when they are separate from their so very abruptly, that one would be apt to imagine, that after bodies: and “what a wonderful thing is this," says one, “that Moses's time, it was clapped in by some body who had a mind when the womb (as we may call it) is separated from the to be mending his hypothesis, or else was added, by way of genitor, a living creature like itself should be produced ?" marginal note, at first; and at length crept into the text itself, I Patrick's Commentary.
creatures, and seems to undertake the creation, even of Thus every thing being put in order; the earth covered his body, with a kind of mature deliberation, if not conwith plants; the waters restored with fish; the air re- sultation with the other persons of the ever-blessed plenished with fowl; and the sun placed at a proper Trinity; 6. Let us make man.'' distance, to give a convenient warmth and nourishment However this be, it is certain that the force and to all; in order to make this sublunary world a still energy of the expression denotes thus much—that the more comfortable place of abode, in the beginning of the production of mankind at first was so immediately the sixth and last day, a God made the terrestrial animals, work of Almighty God, that the power of no subordinate which the sacred historian distributes into three kinds : intelligence could be capable of it: that the curious 1. Beasts, by which we understand all wild and savage creatures, such as lions, bears, wolves, &c. 2. Cattle, all tame and domestic creatures, designed for the benefit
6 Gen. i. 26. The Jewish doctors are of opinion, that the and use of men, such as oxen, sheep, horses, &c. And, God might employ in the work of man's creation; and they tell
consultation was real, and held with such angelical beings as 3. Creeping things, such as serpents, worms, and other a story upon this occasion which seems a little fictitious, viz.. kinds of insects.
that as Moses was writing his book by God's appointment, and Thus, when all things which could be subservient to these words came to be dictated, he refused to set them down, man's felicity were perfected; when the light had, for crying out, O Lord! wouldst thou then plunge men in error, and
make them doubt of the doctrine of the unity? Whereupon it some time, been penetrating into, and clarifying the was answered by God, 'I command thee to write, and if any dark and thick atmosphere ; when the air was freed from will err, let them err. Several modern expositors account it its noisome vapours, and become pure and clear, and fit only a majestic form of speech, as nothing is more common than for his respiration; when the waters were so disposed, for kings and sovereign princes to speak in the plural number,
especially when they are giving out any important order or as to minister to his necessities by mists and dews from command
It has been observed, however, that as there were heaven, and by springs and rivers from the earth; when no men, and consequently no great men, when this was spoken; the surface of the earth was become dry and solid for so there was no such manner of speech in use among men of his support, and covered over with grass and flowers,
that rank for many ages after Moses. Their common custom with plants and herbs, and trees of all kinds, for his enhance the notion of sovereignty) to speak in the first person,
was, in all their public instruments and letters (the better to pleasure and sustenance; when the glorious firmament as it was in our nation not long ago, and is in the kingdom of of heaven, and the beautiful system of the sun, moon, Spain to this very day; and therefore, upon the authority of and stars, were laid open for his contemplation, and, by of the apostles, they all nearly coincide in faithfully declaring
almost all the fathers of the church: “For, from the very times their powerful influences, appointed to distinguish the that God the Father spake these words to the Son and Holy seasons, and make the world a fruitful and delicious Ghost, or at least to the Son." Whitby's Connexions of habitation for him; when, lastly, all sorts of animals in Fathers. Others have thought that this language of Moses rethe sea, in the air, and on the earth, were so ordered presents God speaking, as he is, that is, in a plurality of persons. and disposed, as to contribute, in their several capaci-man, in conjunction, it should seem, with other persons col
c“God is represented to have concerted the formation of ties, to his benefit and delight: when all these things, I sulting in secret counsel.” This circumstance has been justly say, were, by the care and providence of God, prepared received as furnishing evidence in favour of the doctrine of the for the entertainment of this principal guest, it was then Trinity:. "It is generally admitted also, that the manifestations
of the Divine Nature, which were made to the Patriarchs, to
Moses, to Joshua, and others, were made in the person of a In the 24th verse of this chapter it is said, that God com- Christ," the Angel or “Messenger of the Covenant." Thus, manded the earth to produce such and such animals; “Let the when the Lord appeared to Abraham, in the plains of Mamre, earth bring forth the living creature after his kind;' and yet, in it is said, that three men stood by him, yet the Patriarch adthe very next verse, it follows, that God made the beast of the dressed them as he would have accosted one Being, or directed earth, and every thing that moveth after his kind:' but this himself to one as superior—"Nay, my Lord, pass not away," seeming contradiction is easily reconciled by putting together Gen, xviii. When Jacob wrestled with the man who appeared the proper meaning of both these passages, which must certainly to him, he called the name of the place Peniel, “ for I have be this that God himself effectually formed these terrestrial seen God face to face, and my life is preserved;" and when he animals, and made use of the earth only as to the matter whereof blessed the sons of Joseph, he expressed the hope that "the he constituted their parts. Some indeed have made it a ques- angel which redeemed him from all evil would bless the lads," tion, whether these several creatures were at first produced in Gen. xlviii. 16. The angel which appeared to Moses at the bush, their full state and perfection, or God only created the seeds of said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Isaac, and the all animals, (i, e. the animals themselves in miniature,) and God of Jacob, Ex. iii. 6. When Manoah inquired the name of dispersed them over the face of the earth, giving power to that the angel who appeared unto him, the angel answered, “Why element, assisted by the genial heat of the sun, to hatch and askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?”–Using the bring them forth; but for this there is no manner of occasion, same Hebrew word which is applied to Christ by Isaiah, when since it is much more rational to suppose, that God did not in his ninth chapter and sixth verse, he styles him “Wonderful." commit the formation of things to any intermediate causes, but We are told that Manoah, when he knew that he was an angel himself created the first set of animals in the full proportion and of the Lord, said unto his wife, “ We shall surely die because we perfection of their specific natures, and gave to each species a have seen God,” Judges xiii. 18. power afterwards, by generation, to propagate their kind; for It was the object of the Jewish dispensation to preserve men that even now, and in the present situation of things any perfect from idolatrous propensities, and from following after strange species cannot, either naturally or accidentally, be produced by gods. Moses and the prophets therefore insist principally on the any preparation of matter, or by any influence of the heavens, unity of God, though when led to refer to the offices of the other without the interposition of an almighty power, physical expe- persons of the Trinity, they could not but impart some notices riments do demonstrate.- Patrick's Commentary; and Bentley's of a doctrine which was afterwards distinctly to be revealed.”Sermons at Boyle's Lecture.
Gray's Connexion, &c., pp. 121, 123.-Ev.