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THE WHOLE DIVINE SCRIPTURE.
I. 1 IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. In the beginning of time, God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, made, of nothing, the whole great and goodly frame of the world; both the heaven and the earth, and the other elements, with all the furniture and inhabitants of them all.
I. 2 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. Yet, not all together, and at once, nor in this perfect form, at first, wherein we now see them; but by leisure and degrees; for both the earth and elements, in their first being, were a rude and confused heap, by him newly created without any matter preceding, or without any fashionable shape at all; it being not distinguished, fashioned, beautified, as afterward: neither had this vast mass of water and earth interiningled, as yet any light, either for distinction or ornament; but even in this their confusion, the Holy Spirit, the preserver of all creatures, upheld, cherished, and gave fit succour to this imperfect beginning of all things.
1. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Then God willed, and in this point brought his eternal decree to execution, that there should be light; not of the sun or stars, which were not yet created; but a common brightness only, to distinguish the time, and to remedy that former confused darkness: and it was accordingly made.
I. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God approved this light, by him created, to be of excellent and necessary use; and established it, by his allowance, as fit to continue, and to be interchanged with darkness,
I. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God set to either of them their due times and courses; appointing that the light should serve for day, darkness for night, and that man afterwards should so call them ; and so was the first natural day, consisting of evening and-morning, fully finished.
I. 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Then God willed, that there should be a large, clear, airy distance, betwixt those upper waters, which are gathered into clouds, and these below.
I. 7 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.
Therefore, God caused this large extent of air, to spread itself high and wide; and thereby made a separation, betwixt those airy, and these lower earthly waters: and it was done.
I. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And this dilated air, as also that above, he taught man, after, to call Heaven; and established the due use and course thereof; and thus was the second natural day, consisting of evening and morning, finished.
I. 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it
Further, God willed that these lower waters should be gathered into one common place of receipt; and that the dry land, which was till now covered over therewith, should appear: and it was so done.
I. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
And God taught to call this dry land, according to the nature of it, Earth; and the common receptacle of waters, Seas: and God allowed this second day's work also, as of necessary and excellent use for his purposed creatures.
I. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Then God willed, that, by his immediate power, even before the sun was created, the earth should bring forth all manner of vegetables; both those that do voluntarily sprout up, and those which do since require the art and labour of man: all buds, blossoms, herbs, trees, which both may and do bear fruit according to their kind; and whose fruit by his appointment containeth in it the seed of their own kinds: and it was so done.
I. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And the earth brought forth, as God commanded her, all manner of vegetables, in very great variety, according to the several kinds; both of herbs that yield their own seed as the means of their future increase, and all trees that bear fruit, and whose fruit by his appointment containeth in it the seed of their own kind: and God allowed them as of necessary and excellent use, and established the benefits thereof to his future creatures.
I. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. And thus was the third natural day, consisting of morning and evening, also finished.
I. 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And God further willed, that, in the highest part of the air, which we call heaven, there should be made the stars, which are so many glorious lights, in the firmament; partly, to make a perpetual and constant division betwixt day and night; and partly, to be certain and natural signs for man's direction, in his course of judgment and practice, for sowing, planting, sailing, and such other common affairs; and partly, to make a distinction of seasons: summer, winter, spring, harvest, autumn, years, months, weeks, days, hours:
I. 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Lastly, which is their chiefest use, he willed that they should serve to give lively heat and light, from those high places wherein he set them, to his creatures here upon earth: and it was so done.
I. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
And now God made, amongst the rest, two great lights greater than the rest, not in body but in glory; the greater, to rule the day; to which purpose, he gathered into it all that light, which hitherto was diffused through the air: the lesser, together with the other smaller stars, to rule the night.
I. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
Thus God, I say, made these heavenly lights, and placed them in the highest part of the air, that they might the better give light to the earth;
I. 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
And that they might interchangeably govern the day and night, and distinguish the light from the darkness, the dawning and twilight from the clear day: and God allowed them, as of excellent and necessary use for his other creatures.
I. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. So the fourth natural day, consisting of morning and evening, was fully finished.
I. 20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly,
TO THE HIGH AND MIGHTY MONARCH,
BY THE GRACE OF GOD KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND Ireland, defender of the faith.
MOST GRACIOUS AND DREAD SOVEREIGN:
OTHING can so much concern a man to seek for, as life eternal. The only means to find this eternal life, is the knowledge of God. There is no means to know God, to purpose, but by his Word. This word, though plain, and clear in the main truths, yet wants not some difficulties, in other expressions. The explication of these difficulties, is, for a great part, the occasion and matter of our sermons, lectures, commentaries; every man holding it both a high honour, and a happy service, to be God's trucheman to the world. The clearest and shortest way of explication, is, by Paraphrase. Many learned interpreters, both of our Church and the Roman, have undertaken this task by par cels; the use and benefit whereof, is, and should no less be, universal.
My meanness hath, therefore, boldly endeavoured this great work; which, as I durst not undergo, without the aid of the best commenters, both ancient and modern; so I do in all humility subject it to the grave and holy judgment of this renowned Church. It is so far from my thoughts, peremptorily to prescribe senses unto any, as that I am ready, upon better information, to amend my