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hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. Chap. xl. 12, 13.
Who hath mea. sured the waters in the hollow of his hand? and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance ? Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? Job ix. 8.
Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. These are magnificent descriptions of the creating power of God, and exceed every thing of the kind that hath been attempted by the pens of the greatest sa: ges of antiquity.-By this operation God is distinguished from all the false.gods and fictitious deities which the blinded nations adored, and shews himself to be the true God. Jer. x. 11. 12. • The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.' Psal. xcvi. 5. • All the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made. the heavens.' Isa. xxxvii. 19. “ Thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth : thou hast made heaven and earthi’ None could make the world but God, because creation is a work of infinite power, and could not be produced by any finite cause: For the distance between being and not being is truly infinite, which could not be removed by any finite
agent, or the activity of all finite This work of creation is common to all the three persons in the adorable Trinity. The Father is described in scripture as the Creator, 1 Cor. viii. 6.- The Father, of whom are all things. The same prerogative belongs to the Son, John i. 3. All things were made by him (the Word, the Son); and without him was not any thing made that was made.' The same honour belongs to the Holy Ghost, as Job xxvi
. 13. “By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens.' Chap. xxxiii. 4. • The Spirit of God hath made me (says Elihu), and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.' All the three persons are one God; God is the Creator; therefore all the external works and acts of the one God must be common to the three perons. Hence, when the work of creation is ascribed to the Father, neither the Son nor the
Holy Spirit are excluded; but because, as the Father is the fountain of the Deity, so he is the fountain of divine works. The Father created from himself by the Son and the Spirit; the Son from the Father by the Spirit; and the Spirit from the Father and the Son; the manner or order of their working being according to the order of their subsisting. The matter may be conceived thus: All the three persons being one God, possessed of the same infinite perfections; the Father, the first in subsistence, willed the work of creation to be done by his authority; · He spake, and it was done ; he commanded, and it stood fast.'—In respect of immediate operation, it peculiarly belonged to the Son. For the Father created all things by Jesus Christ,' Eph. ii. 9. And we are told, that all things were made by him,' John iii. 3. This work in regard of disposition and ornament, doth peculiarly belong to the Holy Ghost. So it is said, Gen. i. 2. • The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,' to garnish and adorn the world, after the matter of it was formed. Thus it is also said, Job xxvi. 13. above cited, “By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens.'
IV. Our next province is to shew what God made. All things whatsoever, besides God, were created, Rev. iv. 11. * Thou hast created all things; and for thy pleasure they are, and were created. Col. i. 16.
Col. i. 16. “By him were all things created.' The evil of sin is no positive being, being but a defect or want, and therefore is not reckoned among the things which God made, but owes its existence to the will of fallen angels and men. Devils being angels, are God's creatures; but God did not make them epil, or devils, but they made themselves so,
Those things that were made in the beginning were most properly created of God; but whatsoever is or will be produced in the world, is still made by God, not only in respect that the matter whereof they are made was created by him, but because he is still the first cause of all things, without whom second causes could produce nothing; and whatever
power one creature has of producing another, is from God. Hence Elihu says, as above cited, The Spirit of God hath made me;' though he was produced by the operation of second causes. And it is worth while ta consider what David says on this bead, Psal. cxxxix. 13,-16. This clearly appears from the impotency of the creature to
produce any thing according to nature, when God denies his concurrence. Hence we have a chain of causes described, Hos. ii. 21, 22. where. God is the first cause, and acts the same part in all other operations wherein creatures are concerned: “I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth, and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil, and they shall hear Jezreel.' If it be asked, then, what did God make? I answer, he made every thing that has a being, this stately stçucture of the universe, and that vast variety of creatures that are in it, sin only excepted, which he permitted should take place, but had no hand in the effecting of it as such.
V. I proceed to shew of what all things were made. Of nothing; which doth not denote any matter of which they were formed, but the term from which God brought them; when they had no being, he gave them one. There was no pre-existent matter to make them of, nothing at all to work upon : for he made all things both visible and invisible, Col. i. 16. Rom. xi. 36. If then he made all things, he must needs have made them of nothing, unless he would say there was, besides God, something before there was any thing, which is a palpable contradiction. To create is properly to make a thing of nothing, to make a thing have an existence that had none before. Thus were the heavens and the earth made of nothing simply; that is, they began to exist, which they never did before. This is what is called immediate creation, as I shewed on the first head. But there is a mediate creation, as I also noticed, which is a producing of things from matter altogether unfit for the work, and which could never be disposed, but by an al. mighty power to be such a thing. Thus man's body was created of the dust, and this itself was created of nothing, and was utterly unfit for producing such a work without a superior agency
VI. The sixth head is to shew, how all things were made of nothing. By the word of God's power.
power. It was the in. finite power of God that gave them a being; which power was exerted in his word, not a word properly spoken, but an act of his will commanding them to be, Gen. i. 3. God, said, 'Let there be light, and there was light,' Psal. xxxiii
. 6,9. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made. He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood
fast. By his powerful word he called them from nothing to being, Rom. iv. 17. God calleth those things which be not as though they were.' This is a notable evidence of infinite power, which with so great easiness as the speaking of a word, could raise up this glorious fabric of the world. An heathen philosopher considered this as a striking instance of the sublime, peculiar to the books of the Jewish legislator.
VII. Our next business is to shew in what space of time the world was created. It was not done in a moment, but in the space of six days, as is clear from the narrative of Moses. It was as easy for God to have done it in one moment as in six days. But this method he took, that we might have that wisdom, goodness, and power that appeared in the work, distinctly before our eyes, and be stirred up to a particular and distinct consideration of these works, for commemoration of which a seventh day is appointed a sabbath of rest.
But although God did not make all things in one moment, yet we are to believe, that every particular work was done in a moment, seeing it was done by a word, or an act of the divine will, Psal. xxxiii. 9. forecited. No sooner was the divine will intimated, than the thing willed instantly took place.
In the space of these six days the angels were created; and it is not to be thought that they were brought into being before that period; for the scripture expressly asserts, that all things were created in that space, Exod. xx. 11. And though Moses, Gen. i. makes no express mention of the angels, yet, Gen. ii. 1. he shews that they were created in one of these six days, as he mentions the host of the heayens and the earth; and it is certain, that in the host of heaven the angels are included, 1 Kings xxii. 19. where Micaiah the prophet says, “I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven (which can be no other than the angels) standing by him.'
The works of the first day were, (1.) The highest heaven, the seat of the blessed, and that with the angels its inhabitants, who in Job xxxviii. 4;—7. under the designation of morning-stars and sons of God,' are said to have sang together, and shouted for joy,' when the foundations of the earth were laid, as being then made. (2.) The earth, that is, the mass of earth and water, which Moses says was without forin and void ; that is, without that beauty and order which it afterwards received, and destitute of inhabitants, and without furniture and use. (3.) The light, which was afterwards gathered together, and distributed into the body of the sun and stars.
The works of the second day were the firmament; that is, that expansion or vast space which extends itself from the surface of the earth to the utmost extremity of the visible heavens, which ver. 8. is called heaven, that is, the ærial heavens, the habitation of birds and fowls, through which they wing their way. This vast extension is called the firmament, because it is fixed in its proper place, without which it cannot be removed without force and violence. Another work of this day was the dividing of the waters above the firmament, that is, the clouds, from the waters as yet mixed with the earth, which were afterwards gathered together into seas, rivers, lakes, fountains, &c.
On the third day, the lower waters were gathered into certain hollow places, which formed the sea ; and the dry land appeared, adorned with plants, trees, and herbs, which continue to be produced to this day,
On the fourth day, the sun, moon, and stars were made, to enlighten the world, and render it a beautiful place, which otherwise would have been an uncomfortable dun, geon, and to distinguish the four seasons of the year.
On the fifth day, the fishes and fowls were made.
On the sixth day, all sorts of beasts, tạme and wild, and creeping things were produced out of the earth; and last of all, man, male and female.
It is probable that the world was created in autumn, that season of the year in which generally things are brought to perfection for the use of man and beast. But this not being an article of faith, we need not insist upon it.
VIII. I come now to 'shew for what end God made all things. It was for his own glory, Prov. xvi. 4. • The Lord hath made all things for himself, Rom. xi. 36. “For of him, and through him, and to him are all things.' And there are these three attributes of God that especially shine forth in this work of creation, namely, his wisdom, power,
1: His wisdom eminently appears, (1.) In that after the