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#N THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND
AN account of the origin of the world in which we dwell, how and when it began its existence, and the manner in which it rose into its present form and became so adapted to the use of man, cannot but be, both desirable, and interesting. And, as God, the Creator, sees fit to make this world the scene of most wonderful works, and marvellous displays of his glory ; the history he has given us of creation may, naturally, be concluded to be instructive. How careful are men to preserve the records of great cities, or kingdoms—of their rise and prosperity—and of the manner and order in which they attained to their present flourishing condition' And with pleasure and avidity are such records generally read. With what humble gratitude, then, should we receive from God, who alone could give it, a history of the origin and beginning of that world, in which we have our existence, and where the part we act is of such vast and never ending importance 1
IT is proposed, in this discourse, to make some observations on creation, and on what was done on each of the six days, in which God made the heaven and the earth ; and, then make such reflections and application, as, it is hoped, may be instructive and useful.
IT is said in our text, in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. i. e. before there was any material existence—heaven and earth comprehending the globe on which we dwell, and all the heavenly bodies, which we behold, and of which we have any knowledge whatever –For, when it is said, God made two great lights to rule the day and the night, it is added, “ He made the stars also.” . Before this, it appears, there was no creation, excepting that of the angels, who are spirits. That these had their existence before this world, is evident from what God says to Job respecting the creation of the world, in his solemn address to him, Job. xxxviii. 6, 7. “Whereupon are the foundations there“ of fastened : Or who laid the corner stone thereof, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons “ of God shouted for joy " . When we attend strictly to the holy scriptures, and to the manifest sense and import of them, we fin there is much reason to conclude, there never was, or will be any other creation, excepting that of the angels, than what was done and completed in those six days, the work of each one of which is mentioned in the chapter before us. All the infinitely important ends of creation, and of divine providence, are to be answered in God’s government over the angels, and over the several objects, which were created in six days.
OF creation, and of creative power, we can have no better or more striking ideas than are conveyed by the strong and impressive terms, in which the account is given us by the sacred writer. “God spake, and it “ was—He said, let there be light, and there was light.” IFrom this consideration David infers the obligation there is on all to fear the Lord. Psalm xxxiii. 8, 9. “Let all the earth fear the Lord ; let all the inhabit“ ants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, “ and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” What language, beyond this, could give us an idea of almighty power—of a power, which it is impossible to resist
THE work of the first of the six days, we have in the five first verses. “In the beginning God created the “ heaven and the earth. And the earth was without “ form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of “ the deep : and the Spirit of God moved upon the “face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light, “ and there was light. And God saw the light, that it “ was good : and God divided the light from the dark“ness. And God called the light Day, and the dark“ness he called Night. And the evening and the “morning were the first day.” It seems by this account, that the earth, at its first appearance, was a confused mass—its materials lying in a chaotic state, without order and arrangement: But the Spirit of God, divine Energy, moved on the face of the waters—God spake, and light appeared. It should seem, by the account, that the light was rather obscure, and diffused over the mass of matter, which was yet lying in confused order; but that God, nevertheless, made such a separation of it from total darkness, as to form a distinction betwixt day and night: For God had not yet formed the two great lights, which we behold in the heaven,
IN the three next succeeding verses, we have an account of the second day’s work. “And God said, Let * there be a firmament in the midst of the waters; and “let it divide the waters from the waters. And God * made the firmament, and divided the waters, which “ were under the firmament, from the waters which ** were above the firmament, and it was so. And God * called the firmament Heaven: and the evening and “ the morning were the second day.” What is here termed a firmament means an expanse—the large expansion we behold with our eyes above the face of the ground, which soon then began to appear. For now a division or separation of waters was made. The waters were separated from the air, the atmosphere, which surrounds our earth, and in which we breathe. And in the verses immediately following, we have an account of the waters being gathered into one place, which are called Seas ; and of the immediate appearance of the dry land—Of the formation of the grass, and of trees to bear fruit, each containing seed in itself for a continued succession and growth of them on the face of the earth.— God speaks, and these all immediately rise into life.