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tinct from the double and mutually counteracting forces which produce its annual orbit. Physics have not discovered, nor can rational conjecture assign any reason for, the diurnal rotation, except the commanding will and exerted power of the divine Creator.”
Thus passed the first day of the creation. “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” The heaven and the earth were called into being. Light was created, as the first principle by which they were to be affected. Time was ordained. The light was divided from the darkness, and to each was given its work and its boundary, from which it could not depart, and which it could in no wise transgress. It was a mighty act; a stupendous operation; a magnificent design; and, what lessons doth it convey to our minds! With what feelings doth it affect us! All that we see, was once—Nothing. Its beginning is brought to us by a certain date. We can fix ourselves on the point of time when the generation of the world commenced its course. The power, wisdom, and goodness, of one Being, gave to it life, and beauty, and strength. The fertile field, the vast forest, the noble river, the measureless sea, the glorious firmament, the sun, the moon, and the stars, were the production of His word. With what notions of the greatness and benevolence of Him who made them what we see them to be, ought all this to inspire us! with what deep thoughts of reverential and awful wonder! with what strong and sincere resolutions of faith in His revelations, and of obedience to His commands! For, of what effect must be the
might of Him to destroy, who was thus mighty to create! And, how vast, how unspeakable, the goodness, which was willing to create with purpose so benevolent and useful ! There is every reason wherefore we should bend in lowliness and in gratitude. The Creator, who is thus revealed to us, is He on whom we are dependent; who governs and sustains us; in whose hands are our destinies to-day and for ever.
We may derive much profit from an often recurring to these grand operations; how “ of old He laid the foundations of the earth; and the heavens are the work of His hands;" we shall be taught duly to estimate the value of worldly goods and acquirements; and to use them but in subservience to the will of the God from whom they have proceeded. His are both they and ourselves, and according to His known intention ought they to be applied. Let every arrogant thought be put away, and every high imagination be cast down. “ Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever He had formed the earth and the world; even from everlasting to everlasting He is God.” Let us, moreover, be satisfied in ourselves, that this, the Bible account, of the origin of the world, is true; and be thankful for the kindness which hath given us so credible a history. We have abundant cause for faith in the verity of the Holy Scriptures; and the whole conduct, therein displayed, of Him who claims creation to Himself, may be received as ample proof that it must be as He says. From other sources we have had other accounts; but none of them carry
even probability with them. They possess neither reason nor proof. They are but the unsupported fancies of men; and every advance mankind have made in knowledge has tended to the exposure of their absurdity. It has not been so with the information we obtain from the Bible. It is all supported both by proof and by reason; and every advance in knowledge has tended to corroborate and confirm it. We may hencefrom be preserved from much fallacy, and from much sin: for, let us be assured, that to ascribe creation to any inferior agent is sin; that to conceit ourselves that we can fix it on other ground, and reconcile it to other cause, than it has pleased Him, the Great Creator, and First Cause, to reveal to us, is a most heinous sin. If we had been placed in an ignorance of this Omnipotent Author, it is plain that we could not render him the obedience which is due : and it is undoubtedly to be supposed, that so great and good a Being would not have performed His work of creation, and at the same time have left us without an influencing and a sufficient memorial of Himself. All men, certainly, have not had the revelation delivered to them, with which we have been blessed; still, as said Barnabas and Paul to the inhabitants of Lystra, “ The living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein-left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” It is apparent in reason, in addition to this witness which is unto all
men, that he would give such a memorial as we have in the Scriptures; and this is the only account, as being systematic in its intelligence, which even pretends to Divine authority: ' of all other schemes, theories, and fancies, there are none that set up a claim to the impress of divinity. They are purely the invention of men, except where they have been formed on corrupt traditions of primeval or Bible statements. The heathen mythology is evidently such a corruption; and, so far, is a testimony, and not a slight one, to their truth. Let us, therefore, be thankful, not only for the act of creation, but, likewise, for this merciful revelation of it: let us praise and bless God for either, showing our gratitude and sincerity by an undeviating faith, and a steady following of every rule of holiness and virtue.
GENESIS i. 6-8.
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.
God had, as we have seen, created the heaven and the earth, that is, he had made, and ordered into their designed and proper substance, this visible globe wherein we hold our being, and that upper region in which it was his purpose that those great and glorious orbs, the sun, the moon, and the stars, should have their place, and exercise their office or appointment. He had, likewise, created the light, whose influence upon the whole was so necessary; He had perceived it to be “ good,” or perfect in its kind, and fitted to its object; He had divided it from the darkness, arranging the distinction, and commanding the respective duties, of day and of night. This was the work of the first day, of the day from which our world dates its original. So much was done. The material was provided, from which what