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them to be “ good.” It is said of all parts of creation, as they were finished, absolutely finished, and only as they were thus finished, that “ God saw that they were good;" when they were brought into their designed state, and applied to their designed purpose, He, as it were, examined into them, to see whether they were accordant with the purpose for which he had designed them; and, seeing them to be so, he declared the fact, or, as it is said, “ saw that they were good ;” but, how could he have pronounced this or any part “ good,” before it was in such a state and of such a capacity, that he could examine and see, whether it were adapted to its design? We may hence readily understand the reason for the deferring of the approving sentence. It is the other assumed ground of objection, that the gathering together of the waters into one place appears essentially to belong to the second day's work, as being a portion of the making of the firmament and of the dividing of the waters. This may be a good reason for the deferring of the approving sentence, but it is none for bringing into debate the justness of the order. The work, according to our present received order, of the second day, was of sufficient magnitude, and bore an equal proportion to the work of each other day; and, besides this, the gathering together of the waters into one place was materially connected with the intended properties of the earth; and, therefore, the locating of them and their receptacles, with the fixing of their boundaries, and the endowment of the earth, may with the utmost propriety be appointed at the same date. On the third day, when the waters were gathered together, and received the appellation of seas, the dry land likewise received that of earth; and they are both included in one sentence of approval; and there is at least as much connection between the appearance of the earth and its endowment, as there is between the division of the waters and the gathering of them together. “ In this second day's work, it is not said, as in the rest," observes an old divine , “ God saw that it was good : because, whereas this day's work was about separation of waters, they were not perfectly and fully parted, till the waters, which covered the earth, were couched in their channels; which was not till the third day: and there it is twice said, that God saw it was good ; once, for the entire separation of the waters, and again for the fructification of the ground.” If the received order be abandoned, it would rather be conceded that an additional day should be required. From this we may learn, and the lesson, or the warning, is of important use, how that, when we permit ourselves to begin to question authority, we are running into the wide and tractless fields of doubt and danger. There seems no just reason for invalidating the present order; no argument of weight can be adduced; and that, on which the change would be founded, is but creative of contradiction and difficulty; and, surely, it is far wiser to leave it as it stands. The whole

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objection rests on the merest and most causeless conjecture: it contains no substance; and argument and probability are altogether against it. However, beyond all things else, let us take care, that neither this nor any similar objection lead us into the slightest questioning of the authenticity and correctness of the sacred text. Let us hold it as an incontrovertible position, that there is no undesigned omission in any statement of the inspired writing. Being God's word, it cannot be faulty; and if we will but carefully examine and consider it, we shall find abundant and satisfactory reason for crediting that it is in no particular defective. It may not give us every information we desire; and, when it does not, it does not because it is unfit we should have it. God is a more competent Judge of what is expedient for us, than we are ourselves. What we desire and he withholds, is neither that which would profit us, nor which we could comprehend; and it is, truly, of the nature of man to desire, and to endeavour after the things that he has not, and principally because they are things that he has not. Scripture affords us every information it hath designed or professed to give; and, in its own intention, and the accomplishment of it, there is neither omission, nor error, nor imperfectness of any kind. The fault, when we indulge in


such undue imagination, is always to be imputed to our own negligence, our own deficiency in understanding and penetration. God's Scripture is in no wise to be taxed with inadequateness or folly: if it could be justly so taxed, there would be an end of its authority. The careful and religious reader will reverently bend to it, and will rather condemn him self as lacking knowledge and judgment, than think lightly of its verity and excellence.

The work of the second day was in this manner concluded. The firmament was made, and the waters were divided; they were divided, above and beneath ; the one region was secured against injury from the other, while both were supplied with their proper matter and nutriment. It is for man to adore the power, wisdom, and goodness of God, which contrived and executed so marvellous a scheme; of the God, who in all the design of it looked to the safety, convenience, and general welfare, of the world he had created. The waters above the firmament, and the waters beneath the firmament, he divided, and forbade again to be commingled one with another, and so prevented them from occasioning any confusion in the system. He placed a barrier, by means whereof all hazard would be avoided, while it was so formed and established, that the waters, in regular and sufficient quantities, and likewise at: seasonable times, might have their passage for fertilizing of the earth; while, moreover, by the same arrangement, the


above would be relieved from any hurtful excess. That barrier, besides, he made to be useful and agreeable to animal and to vegetable life; ordaining it, also, according to our perception and service, to be the seat of those great bodies which dispensé to us a light and warmth; and, by means of all which, in beautiful harmony, giving


such exhalations as are both wholesome to our being and delightful to our sense. Rightly may we say, in the words of the King of Israel, rightly may we confess, and triumphantly proclaim, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world."

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