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such wonders and glory were to be unfolded, and are now continually unfolding before our eyes-On which those most marvellous scenes are opening, in which we ourselves have so vast and never ending an interest ! How thankful ought we to be to God for the plain, correct account here given us, of the manner and order, in which his own powerful word caused this world and all its inhabitants to rise into existence! It gives us to see, that there is order in all God's works: and GOD, and his power and wisdom were, unquestionably, much more clearly seen, and, of coursequence, much more admired and adored by the angelic host, than they would, or could, have been, had the powerful word, the divine fiat brought all into existence at once, and in an instant, as it could have done.
INFIDELS object, that it is incredible, GOD should be six days on the work of creation; and, therefore, consider the Mosaic account of it as fabulous. No reasonable conjecture, however, can be formed, how such a thought-such ideas of the work of creation should ever enter the mind of man, unless they were immediately suggested by the Spirit of the Creator himself. As it is, the account is fitted, much more, to awaken our attention, and to raise our wonder and admiration, than had it actually been, and only related, that with one word's speaking, God made the whole. Besides the evident order, in which the system rose, by several gradations, into its present form and beauty, which is, in itself, fitted to afford both entertainment and instruction; the Mo. saic history awakens our attention to a voice—a power, which is adequate to creation itself, on every renewed advance of this great work toward its present perfection. And, as the angels were to have so great an interest in man, and in the divine transactions with men, the
preparation gradually made for him, by one display of divine power and wisdom after another, through each of the six days, would naturally excite their attention and expectations, and lead them to conceive man, for whom all this preparation was made, to be, in some way or other, of very great importance to the full accomplishment of the ends
for which creation took place.
But this is not all; out of this is to arise a far more glorious creation than the first. And the mighty displays of divine power, wis lom and goodness, which are here made in the vast and infinitely expensive provision for man, and for the good of man, inexpressibly exceed any thing, which appeared in the former creation. How must the heart of the Great God have been set on man, for his own great name's sake, from eternity ; and on those manifestations of divine wisdom and power and love which are made in the recovery and salvation of sinners ! The order, in which the old creation rose to its present form and beauty, may prefigure an order in the new ;, and, in this view, be very instructive. Relative to this, it is proposed, some observations, shall in their proper place, be made.
2. WHAT abundant ground have we, for gratitude and praise to God, for the account here given us of the original creation ! In what uncertainty and darkness should we have been involved, on this subject, had it not been for divine revelation! Without this, we should not have known how or when the world came into being—How there came to be so many, and such different orders of creatures upon it-How it comes to pass, that a succession of each of all these orders is continued-Nor, the final destination of the whole, or of any part of them. And, considering the nature and character of men, it is at least doubtful, to say no more, whether any one, had there been no immediate divine revelation, would ever have had his thoughts raised, from the visible creation, to the existence of One eternal, invisible, all-wise and omnipotent Creator. But take the account here given us of creation, in connexion with the series of events, as they have been taking place ever since, and as they are still yet taking place; the character and glory of the Great Creator are continually unfolding more and more, and will be so, until the final consummation. Take away divine revelation, the world, in a moral view, will only resemble the earth, when it was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
3. WHATEVER glory there were in the first creation, it was originally in God's design, that this should be foi
lowed by another, of a different nature, and far more glorious-That the first should be preparatory to the second, and the second, in some sense, grow out of the first. Though the constitution, under the first creation and covenant, was perfectly good ; and, had our first parents continued innocent, would have been followed with great and uninterrupted felicity ; still, divine good will and love could not be satisfied with all that creature holiness and happiness, which would, or could have taken place under it. It was, therefore, in the eternal counsel of God, to form, out of the ruins of this, another creation, of a different nature, which displays a glory of divine power and wisdom and love, unspeakably surpassing any, that did, or ever could have appeared in the old. Hear the strong language, in which GOD expresses himself on the subject, by the prophet, Isai. lxv. 17, 18.
“ For behold, I create new heavens, and a new " earth : and the former shall not be remembered, nor " come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice forever " in that which I create : for, behold, I create Jerusa“ lem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” Observe the bold figures, the prophet makes use of, relative to the glory of this new creation, Isaiah xxx. 26. 6 More
over, the light of the moon shall be as the light of " the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold,
as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord « bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the 66 stroke of their wound.” Again, Isaiah xxiv. 23. " Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun
ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Je“ rusalenı, and before his ancients gloriously.” It being the purpose of God, that a new creation should follow the old, and, in some respects, grow out of it; it may be no more than natural to suppose, that there was something in the order, in which the old creation rose gradually to that state of perfection, in which it finally appeared, which in some measure, prefigured the rise of the new creation, out of a state of awful moral darkness and disorder, to that state of perfection and glory, to which it will be brought by the power of Christ.
AFTER the introduction of sin into the world, all, in a moral view, was disorder and darkness : And though a rational nature was left, in man, after the fall, and some materials out of which the power an' wisdom of God could form a church ; yet all was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Now, then, the Holy Spirit of God moved on the face of the deep; and God said, Let there be light, and there was light. To this the apostle alludes, when he says, 2 Cor. iv. 6. “ For God, who commanded the light to shine
out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give " the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the “ face of Jesus Christ." The light began to beam in that ever memorable and gracious promise, Gen. iii. 15, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. And now, we may reasonably suppose, the kingdom of grace was begun, and the Holy Spirit sent down to soften the hearts of our first parents. Now, also, we have reason to believe, that sacrifices were instituted; for we are told, that « unto Adam and his wife - did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed 66 them." Gen. iii. 21. Now things began to take place to prefigure the coming of Christ, and to prepare the way for it: And that new creation was begun, which was to follow the old and so far surpass it in glory. This answered to the first day's work of the old creation. It was a prevalent opinion, amongst the Jews, that the world would continue in a state of moral disorder and confusion for the space of six thousand years; but that the seventh thousand, should open a new and happier state of things, and be the great Sabbath, the rest of the church here on earth.*
From the time that gespel light first began to dawn, God went on, in his holy and wise providence, preparing the way for the Sun of Righteousness to appear. We find that, when the fourth day's work of creation was accomplished, the natural light, which had been but feeble and glimmering, was collected into one great luminary ; and, arose and shone, on the morning of the fifth day, with a brightness and splendor, which had never before appeared. In four thousand years from the creation, God saw the way to be prepared for the coming of Christ : And, on the beginning of the fifth millenary, the Sun of Righteousness arose, and shone on this dark world. Now the prophecy, Malachi iv, 2, was fulfilled, “ Uuto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righ" teousness arise, with healing in his wings; and ye “ shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall." And now, under the infinitely wise and gracious direction of the glorious Head of the church, things are going on in a state of preparation for the happy period of the world's great sabbath of rest, when the new creation, the Christian church, shall appear in far greater spiritual beauty and perfection, than it ever had done before on earth. And, to the glory and praise of the divine Saviour, under his powerful and forming hand, it will rise into a building fit for God. Well may we, who live so near the happy day, hail its coming : And, when the Lord is saying to us, in his providence,“ behold, I come “ quickly," reply, “ even so, come Lord Jesus.”
* Whether the apostle had reference to this, when he says, as 2 Pet. iii. 8, we will not decide. His words are these, “ But, belov“ed, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord
as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." His mind might, possibly, have been led, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to apprehend an allusion in the six day's work of creation, to the formation and state of the new creation through the term of six thousand years from the completion of the old : and, in the rest of the seventh, to the happy, peaceful state of the Church, through the seventh thousand years ; soon after which the dissolution of the present heavens and earth is to be expected.
4. What has been said respecting the creation of the world, may lead us to contemplate and admire that divine wisdom and glory, which appear, and which will forever appear more and more, in the new creation, the Christian church-a church formed out of such materials as the Christian church is formed ; and, raised up from such depths of ruin, of sin and misery and wretchedness, to a state of such spiritual perfection and beauty as, in due time, she will appear in ; and, to such unspeakable felicity as will be enjoyed in that glorious nearness to God, to which she will hereafter be admitted. This was God's plan from the beginning—This was his eternal purpose : And, was what gave birth to the first creation. Therefore Christ, who is, in a peculiar manner, at the head of the new creation, stiles himself “ The beginning 5 of the creation of God." Rev. iii. 14, Importing that