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that should follow; when we see all the histories they relate, the circumstances they mention, the characters they introduce, the ora dinances they institute, all connected with the one great plan of God, must we not say, This cannot be the device of man, it must have come forth from The Lord of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, . and excellent in working !'
This invaluable revelation of God, is called the Bible, i. e. THE Boox, as supereminently distinguished from all others. It is called the book of God; hence the Redeemer says, “In the volume of thy • book it is written of me.' That portion of this book which con, tains the revelation given by God, before the coming of Christ, is called the Old Testament, in distinction from the New, which was given by the Lord himself, and confirmed to us by them that heard him. The Old Testament comprises thirty-nine books, as divided in the English version we use, as well as most others extant; but a. mong the Jews, they consider their scriptures as including only twenty-two books, corresponding with the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. This is owing to their arrangement of them: Judges and Ruth are connected with them; the two books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, are considered as one book each; Jeremiah and the Lamentations are united ; and the twelve minor Prophets form but one book.
The first five books, called the Pentateuch, were written by Moses, and secured as a sacred deposite in the tabernacle, where the ark of the covenant was placed To the same sanctuary were consigned, as they were successively produced, all those historical and propheti. cal books, which were written from the time of Joshua, to the time of David. Solomon lodged these, along with the ark, in the temple which he built, and added the inspired productions of his own pen, After him, a succession of prophets continued to denounce vengeance against the infidelity and disobedience of the Hebrew nation, and to predict the calamities which should follow. Jonah, Amos, Isaiah, Hosea, Joel, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Ha. bakkuk, and Obadiah, successively flourished before the destruction of the temple. About four hundred and twenty years,
* after its foundation, the temple being Hled and burnt by Nebuchadnezzar, the original copies of the inspired writings were doubtless removed to Babylon, where we find Daniel referring to them, Dan. ix. 11,
But, during the captivity, it appears evident, that copies were multiplied, and in possession, not only of Hebrew captives, but
* Attention to the typical fulfilment of scripture, furnishes a powerful argument for its divine original. By what natural coincidence can we ata tempt to account for the following circumstances ? From the calling of Abraa bam to the Exodus from Egypt, includes about 420 years; from the Exodus to the building of the first temple, 420 years ; the duration of that temple, 420 years ; the duration of the second temple, from its cleansing and conseGration to its destruction, also about 420 years. By considering that each of these periods have the same typical object, it will appear very striking
dispersed among the nations where they were scattered. During this captivity also, the Lamentations of Jeremiah, and the Prophesies of Ezekiel and Daniel, were added to the sacred collection. About the year
of the world 3468, the Jews returned from captivity; and in about fifty years thereafter, we find Ezra the scribe engaged in the worship of God according to the law of Moses. On this occasion also we find him employed in copying the scriptures; when he introduced the Chaldean character, which is still used in writing or printing what we call Hebrew. To this collection of Ezra, includ. ing the book bearing his own name, were afterwards added the books of Nehemiah and Malachi, probably by Simon the Just. In the prophecy of Malachi, the Old Testament scriptures are completed. We shall make a few remarks on the New Testament scriptures in their proper place.
This book, the first in order and date, is entitled Bereschith, the beginning, in those Hebrew copies, which adopt the division of the Pentateuch into five books. It is usually called Genesis, from the Greek word meaning generation ; and it is remarkable that the New Testament also opens with biblos geneseas, the book of the generation. It was incontestably written by Moses, and includes the history of the first two thousand three hundred and ten years of the world, From the long period of time which it includes, the account of transactions is very concise, though sufficiently copious to exhibit & most interesting view of the gospel in the patriarchal age.
Chap. I. This book opens with an account of the great work of creation. Every circumstance recorded concerning it, bears the most striking evidence of truth ; very opposite indeed to the wild and inconsistent theories which have at different times been imagined by fanciful men; whose creed and extravagant conjectures concerning creation, only prove the impossibility of treating such a subject with. out the aid of inspiration. Moses writes, not in a philosophical style, but in a style adapted to every apprehension ; simple and concise, yet divinely elegant; calculated to give the justest ideas of that Al mighty Word which called all things into existence.
In reading this chapter, we recommend to the reader's attention, the view of the godhead which it exhibits, the Father, Word, and Holy Spirit, these three, which agree in the work of the first crea. tion, as they do in that of the new creation of God. This distinction, yet unity of the godhead, is a doctrine which revelation only could
communicate, and which man's finite capacity never can fully com. prehend; for, as Job says, “Who can by searching find out the Al.
mighty to perfection! We find the Word commanding, the Spi. RiT brooding and operating, and the Father divinely approving. In like manner, in God's new creation, he who spake all things into being, creates by his powerful word. Of his own will begat he us, • by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his
creation' James i. 18. The Spirit which moved upon the face of the abyss, Gen. i. 2, operated in the womb of the virgin, in the conception of Jesus Christ; and operates in the hearts and consciences of all the elect of God. While he who at first declared all the works of creation to be very good, declared on the holy mount, that he is • well pleased, because his beloved Son had finished the work • which his Father gave him to do;' and when the Son shall deliver up his mediatorial kingdom to God, even the Father, in its perfect state, then will all the works of the new creation be found
very good, in the highest sense of the expression.
The account of the first creation, as delivered by the Spirit of God in this chapter, contains all that is necessary for man to know on this subject. It is written, however, to inform the Christian, about what more nearly interests him, viz. the restitution of all things by the second Adam, the Lord from heaven. The entrance of the curse by sin, has marred all the works of God: the raging elements, the still more boisterous passions of the human mind, the ferocity of the brute creation, and above all death, too plainly prove, an awful al. teration in the works of God, since they were declared VERY GOOD. It is the glorious undertaking of the Blessed One, who rejoiced at the first creation, in the habitable parts of the earth, to restore, with renewed and increased glory, that which is now marred and defaced. • He that sits on the throne; says, Behold I make all things new,' Rev. xxi. 8.
It was a very general opinion among the Jews, and it has been a. dopted by many since, that when the Psalmist says, one day is with • the Lord as a thousand years,' Psal. xc, there is an express refere ence to the days of creation, which are as a thousand years of the new creation. This appears to be much supported by the manner in which the text is quoted, 2 Pet. iii. 8, where it is adduced as a proof that the Lord is not slack concerning his promise of coming again to restore a new heaven and earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Although we will not vouch for the accuracy of every point, it may prove useful as a key to those who wish to trace this subject further, to mention,
1. That as the evening and morning distinguished each of the six days in the first creation, so we will find, every evening and morning of the new creation marked in like manner at every thousand years. Thus, the entrance of sin and death, with the light of the gospel, were the evening and morning of the first day, or first thousand years. The universal wickedness of mankind, the deluge and destruction of the old world, with the deliverance of Noah, and the renewal of the covenant of grace to him, were the evening and morning of the second
day. The world sunk in idolatry, and the calling of Abraham, with the covenant renewed by God to him, bounded the third day. The gross departures of the church of Israel after the gods of the nations, and the sure mercies covenanted to David and Solomon, bounded the fourth day. Darkness filling the earth and gross darkness the people, before the light which God had prepared, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel, began to spring, bounded the fifth day. The darkness of Antichrist, and the angel Aying through the midst of heaven; preaching the everlasting gos
pel, bounded the sixth day. And, lastly, the infidelity and wicked. titness of the latter days, with the ushering in of the Sun of Righteous
ness in the morning of the resurrection, will bound the seven thou: sand years, which God hath sanctified and set apart for the refreshment of his people, the true Sabbatism of the people of God.
2. A very great similarity may be traced in the works of the cor: responding days of the first and second creation. Thus, the first day produced light to this lower world, and this, we see, previous to the sun being placed in the heavens. In like manner, the promised seed of the woman beamed light into the hearts of Adam and his guilty family, and the spreading of this light, by Abel's sacrifice, Enoch's translation, &c. seems to have been the principal work of God in his new creation during the first thousand years. On the second day; we find the separation of the waters by the firmament; and in the second thousand years, we not only find the separation by the floods but a most awful separation between the sons of God, and the children of men. On the third day, we find earth and seas distinguished. În like manner, in the third millennium, we have the sepatation of the church of God from the world, which began in the calling of Abraham, and is carried on in the history of his posterity. In a word, the history of the third thousand years, or third millennium, viz. from Abraham to David, is pretty amply related ; and is an obvious Darration of God separating the spiritual seed from the seas, or col. lected peoples. In this day, the herb's in the church oë garden of God were planted. On the fourth day, the two great lights were planted in the heavens, viz. the kingdom and church of Christ, established before God as a light before him in Jerusalem. This was the lamp ordained for God's anointed; the sun which was afterwards tó be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood. On the fifth day, the waters produced the great whales, and the fish of every kind. And in the fifth millennium, life appeared bringing forth abundantby among the nations; and at same time, the great leviathan, the antichristian kingdom, was the peculiar work of this millennium. In the sixth day, beasts and cattle were created ; and finally man, in the image of God, to have dominion over all the works of God. In the 13th chapter of Revelation, we have the two appearances of the antichristian kingdom, represented, first, as the great beast from the sea, which we have already seen on the preceding day; and a second beast from the earth. Perhaps also the renewed light of Christianity, over what in scripture figure may be called the earths may be included in the work of this day. But, lastly, the finishing
'work of the creation of God, shall be displayed in the resurrection of his elect, who, as they have borne the image of the earthly, are now to appear in the divine nature, in the perfect image of the heavenly. We know not what we shall be, but we know that when he who is our life shall appear, we shall be like him. Man, who forfeited the proper dominion over this lower world, with which he was invested, shall now be restored to it in its utmost perfection. Let the atten. tive reader pursue this subject closely; he may perhaps find more in it than he may be at first aware.of.
CHAř. ÍI.- İt is remarkable, that as we have but a very concise account of the first two thousand years, there is nothing mentioned in this portion of scripture but is of the most extensive importance. The second chapter of Genesis commences with the first positive institution of heaven, the sanctification of the seventh day. It is fashionable at present, to undervalue ordinances, however expressly commanded, unless those of a moral nature. Now, in the first commandments of God, we find nothing moral, but wholly ceremonial or typical. We may be branded, as being hostile to morality; this is not the case ; but let morality have her proper place. All the first institutions of heaven were intended to preach the faith and hope of the gospel. That gospel, properly attended to, is the best preacher of morality. As the Sabbath was made for man, it must have been intended to point out to him some important truth; to Adam, it was the time appointed for his enjoyment of communion and fellow ship with God; to us, it answers the same end now, while it also points forward to eternal rest. In the 7th verse of this chapter, we have a striking and comprehensive account of the constituent parts of the human frame, inuch entitled to attention, because frequently referred to in other parts of scripture. The body was formed of the dust of the ground: to that dust it returns at death, but dissolved by death, like a grain of corn cast into the ground, it first dies, that it may spring forth with tenfold vigour. The body enjoys natural life from Adam, who was a living soul; but it participates in quickened life from the grave, through Jesus Christ. God breathed into this body, the breath of lives, viz. natural life, by which it exists ; veo getative life, by which it grows and vegetates ; spiritual life, which lies in God's favour. Man enjoyed this spiritual life till that day in which he ate the forbidden fruit, but that very day he died; his natural and vegetative lives continue with him till the body returns to dust. It is of the spiritual life our Lord says, · He that eateth of • this bread shall live for ever.' John vi. 58.
We have next an account of the garden of Eden, atid of man's situation there. It would much exceed our limits to enter more minutely into that subject, than to say, that it must have respect to something farther than merely Adam's temporal happiness; for; 1. The first paradise is always spoken of as a figure of the great patadise of God, where God's elect are to enjoy supreme blessedness with himself. 2. I'he trees of Eden are uniformly used as emblems throughout all the scriptures. Jesus Christ is the tree of life. This