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written by Moses, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to give a relation of things which God in His infinite: wisdom saw fit to reveal to mankind, and which never could have been known to them had they not been revealed from heaven, for they were brought to pass before mankind were created.
We are here taught that there is One Go U the Creator of Heaven and Earth ; that the world we live in had a beginning ; that the Almighty, withinfinite wisdom, formed the plan of creation, and brought into existence, by his Word, the earth, with all its appendages and inhabitants, in a space of time amounting to six of what we call natural days. Each day's work is particularly descnbed, by which we learn the progress of creation, and are led to reflect upon the various and wonderful works of Gpp. n . , . v
We find that the first act of creation, relating to this world, was, to bring out of nothing, a chaos, or muss without form, and void of every thing which now renders the earth a beautiful and convenient abode, and that this unformed world was wrapt up in darkness: yet we may conclude from what follows, thafi in its first state, this world contained the principles of metals, minerals, salts, vegetable substances, and all the terrestrial elements, which were intended to produce and renew whatever might be necessary for its future inhabitants; together with the rudiments of animal bodies, and in short all that is comprehended under the general name of original matter, one single particle of which, as philosophers demonstrate, can never be destroyed but by the Creator himself, though all may undergo various modifications to the end of time* As a chaos the
* See the History of the Heavens by the Abb e de la Pluche,vol.ii.
B 3 world world Was not habitable, but God by another astonishing act of almighty power, divided the light from the dartntss. • ,'
Still-the world was not fit for the reception of the living creature*, which God designed should dwell in it, so He divided the Waters which surrounded it, and caused a part of them to ascend and gather into clouds, that they might be in readiness to fall occasionally in rain, si>ow, and hail, to water and refresh the earth: beneath this body of waters Go D placed a jirmament of air, that the living creatures when made might have a proper-element to breathe in.
Overspread with the waters which remained below <S*e firmament, the earth was unfit for the growth and ikmrishment of trees and plants The Creator, therefore, collected the water together into a vast hollow, which he prepared to receive it, and sd/ormed'the ocean; the earthly particles at the same rwerie consolidated ifito dry laid, and appeared, as is supposed, under the Afferent forms of plains and mountains, hills, dales, and •vstteys'; between Which the water flowed from the ocean, and became seas; metallic and' mineral substances, and all that constitute the interior parts of the earthi were now, as we may conceive, arranged in different strata with perfect order, while the various plants '.were'at the same time fashioning beneath in the earth, .in the most wonderful manner, and dispersed in soils suited to their respective natures. Grass of various kinds then sprung up, aad overspread the surface of the ground with its delightful verdure; innumerable plants, furnished with leaves and flowers, appeared among it, trees of every kind, clothed with leaves and blossoms, some bearing the most delicious fruits, adorned the earth, all bearing in therpselves the seeds of future
trees and plants, \hat «o species might tie &ftt Xb the end of the worM, and bringing with them perhaps the first of all 'the insect tribes, destined to feed upon then* leaves. It is wbrthy 'of observation, that the 'power of God produced these successive wonders before the operations *f nitfure" were "regulated. ' The C^eavor wasted ho Sith to' dissolve'the Vegetable ffftfd, afld atriTnate his new creation ; every tree attd^lant was made ki ortce, ^eWect in its «WII4-before' it:'?^re*r; but rfrwals efte will of the Altrirghty tSidt tfie sun should be histrumentd to the future growth aird preservation of the vegetable tribes; and that this bright luminary, together with the moon, should serve to -distinguish day and $gh^"',ip!irl(ig, stirfmier, 'auttirnn, and winter, !and divide "tint, iii'Euhify'shoi^ci wicceed r£ into months and years;. Tor' these purposes, extended in ail probability to "6ther revolving plahets belonging to the solar system, Gt>D, either at this time created the sun or clearing 'our annosphere, directed its invigorating rays, for the first time, to this earthly globe, and caused the moon and stars to appear in the firmament.
Having completed the formation of the heaven, the earth, and the waters, and prepared food of various 'kinds, God next called into being the anirhal creation. The waters above and below the Firmament, which were respectively impregnated with the aerial and watery tribes, at the command of the Creator, instantly sent forth different kinds of living creatures, fowls of the air, and fishes of the sea, in astonishing variety and abundance!
After the air and waters had produced their inhabitants, the earth by the Almighty Word broilght forth the different kinds of terrestrial creatures: all these were, like the fishes of the sea, and fowls of the B 4 sir. air, endued with animal life; and the Creator bestowed upon each species various instincts and faculties, to enable them to provide for themselves, and their future offspring, and to render them subservient to the use or pleasure of mankind.
But among all the inhabitants of the Earth, there was not one capable of. admiring its wonderful construction, or of knowing.the Creator ; not one fit to be at the head of the Creation, to bear dominion or rule over the rest; therefore God made Man a Being greatly superior to every other order of creatures in the world, for he. was in the Image of God, he bore some faint resemblance to his Maker. ... „' .
- It is true that, like the. other living creatures in the world, Man had an earthly nature; but he had also a spiritual nature, a reasonable soul, endued with a principle of immortal life, by the immediate inspiration of . G »d, which accordingly bore the divine Image.
Man was created with faculties fpr society and conversation, but with the animals he could not converse, because they possessed neither reason nor speech. This was known to the Creator, but not to Adam, every living thing therefore was led by a divine impulse to pass in review before their appointed Governor; and he was permitted to give names to them, which privilege still belongs to mankind. We here find that the first Man was named Adam; this name was given to him by the Creator, it signifies Man.
Instead of creating out of the dust of the earth, the human being who was to be the companion of Adam, and to partake with him the blessings of creation and providence. God formed her of one of Adam's ribs, and Adam justly considered her as another self, and understood that it was bis duty to love her with constancy of affection. The name Woman, which Adam gave his Wife, shews, by its affinity to his own name, that he acknowledged her to be of the same nature with himself; and though it is not expressly mentioned, we may be certain that God breathed into the Woman as well as the Man the breath of life, and she also became a living Soul, or she could not have been made in the /mage of God. ''
The blessing which God bestowed upon the human pair. after he had created them, was like that before pronounced on the inferior creatures, but with this addition, that they wero to replenish the earth and subdue it, and to have dominion over the fowls of the air, &c. which signi.;ed that they had the privilege of cultivating the earth, and employing its productions for the various purposes of human life. At the same time mankind were instructed to regard all these gifts and privileges as bestowed bythe Supreme Governor, GOD, who himself allotted to man the food that was to sustain his life, which included all kinds of gram and fruits; and God made a particular grant of all that we call herbage, for the maintenance of the lower creatures ; so thai Man could not withhold food from the cattle of the Jield, nor even from the meanest reptile, without manifest injustice. By this wise ordina ion, the dominion of Man over the other creatures, though it set him greatly above them, kept him in due subordination to the Supreme Governor, /'
All the works of creation when viewed by the CreaTor, weie pronounced Good ;by which may be understood, that they were perfect in their kinds, so as to require no alt ration or improvement; and it is remarked by thosi; who have made the .works of nature their particular study, that amirlst the endless variety of the B 5 vegetable