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heavens and their inhabitay gf were created, those things that have only being and not life, then those that have being and life, but not sense, then those that have being, life, and sense, but not reason, and last of all, man, having being, life, sense, and reason, were successively formed. “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.” (2.) In his appointing of every thing to its proper use, by the law of creation, Gen. i. Hence the wisdomof God is celebrated in that work, Jer. x. 12. 'He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.'
2. The power of God appeared, (1.) In creating all things by a word, which instantly produced the effect intended. (2.) In that he created plants, herbs, and trees, before the sun, moon, and stars, which now naturally are the causes of the earth's producing its fruits; as also light before them, for discovering their beauty and verdure.
3. His goodness appears, in that he first prepared the place before he brought in the inhabitants, first provided the food before the living creatures were made, and adorned and fitted all for the use of man, before he formed him.
IX. If it is asked, In what state were all things made ? I answer, They were all very good,' Gen. i. 31. The goodness of the creature consists in its fitness for the use for which it was made. In this respect every thing answered exactly the end of its creation. Again, the goodness of things is their perfection ; and so every thing was made agreeable to the idea thereof that was formed in the divine mind. There was not the least blemish or defect in the work; but every thing was beautiful, as it was the effect of infinite wisdom as well as almighty power. And God being the end of all
, even natural things tend to him, (1.) Declaring his glory in an objective way, Psal. xix. 1. (2.) Stirring us up to seek him, and behold him as our chief good and portion, Acts xvii. 26, 27. Rom. i. 20. (3.) Sustaining our life, and serving man, that he might serve God, for which he was made very fit, in regard of the rich endowments of his mind, all pure, holy, and upright, 1 Cor. x. 31. All the sin and misery that is now in the world, by which its beauty is greatly marred, its goodness defaced, and disorder and irregularity so universally prevail, proceeded from Satan, and man's yielding to his temptations.
Í shall shut up this subject with a few inferences.
1. God is a most glorious being, infinitely lovely and desirable, possessed of every perfection and excellency. He made all things, and bestowed upon them all the perfections and amiable qualities with which they are invested. So that there is no perfection in any of the creatures which is not in him in an eminent way, Psal. xciv. 9. 'He that planted the ear, shall he not hear ? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?' Whatever excellency and beauty is in the creatures, is all froin him; and sure it must be most excellent in the fountain.
2. God's glory should be our chief end. And seeing wliatever we have is from him, it should be used and employed for him: For all things were created by him and for him,' Col. i. 16. Have we a tongue ? It should be employed for him, to shew forth his praise; hands? they should do and work for him; life? it should be employed in his service; talents and abilities? they should be laid out for promoting his interest and honour ; and, upon a proper call, we should be ready to suffer for him.
3. God is our Sovereign Lord Proprietary, and may do in us, on us, and by us, what he will : Rom. ix. 20, 21. Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour and another unto dishonour? There is no reason to murmur and fret under the cross, or any afflicting dispensations, that he exercises us with. Should he destroy that being that he gave us, to whom would he do wrong? As he gave it us freely, he may take it away, without any impeachment of his goodness and justice. May not God do with his own what he will ?
4. We should use all the creatures we make use of with an eye to God, and due thankfulness to him, the giver; employing them for our use, and in our service, soberly and wisely, with hearts full of gratitude to our Divine Benefactor; considering they stand related to God as their Creator, and are the workmanship of his own hands. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving, 1 Tim. iv. 4. They are not to be used to his dishonour, or the feeding of our base lusts and irregular appetites, but to fit us for and strengthen us in the performance of our duty to him.
5. There is no case so desperate, but faith may get sure footing with respect to it in the power and word of God. Let the people of God be ever so low, they can never be lower than when they were not at all. Hence the Lord says, Isa. Ixv. 18. ' Be glad and rejoice, &c. He spoke a word and so the creature was made at first; and it will cost him but a word to make it over again. Hence Christ is called the beginning of the creation of God,' Rev. iii. 14. O seek to be new-made by him; that old things may pass away, and all things become new.
6. Give away yourselves to God through Jesus Christ, making an hearty, a cheerful, and an entire dedication and surrender of your souls and bodies, and all that ye are and have, to him as your God and Father, resolving to' serve and obey him all the days of your life ; that as he made you for his glory, you may in some measure answer the end of your creation, which is to shew forth his praise. Serve not sin or Satan any longer. God made you upright and holy; but Satan unmade you, stripping you of your highest
' glory and ornament. Relinquish his service, which is the basest drudgery and slavery, and will land all that are ema ployed in it in hell at last; and engage in the service of God in Christ, which is truly honourable and glorious, and will be crowned with an everlasting reward in the other world: for where he is, there shall his servants also be.
7. Lastly, This doctrine affords a ground of love, peace, justice and mercy betwixt men, which should be carefully cultivated by all that would desire to be with God for ever. For says the prophet, Mal. ïi. 10. Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers ?' The consideration of being created by God, should be a powerful inducement to us to practise all the duties we owe to one another as men and Christians.
OF THE CREATION OF MAN. Gen. i. 27.-So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them. AVING discoursed of the creation of all things out of
nothing, and exhibited some of the displays of the Vol. I.
admirable wisdom, power, and goodness of God apparent therein, I come now to speak of the creation of man, the masterpiece of the lower creation. In the text we have an answer to that question, “How did God create man? God only spake the word and then the other creatures were produced: but being to create man, he called a council of the Trinity for that end; whereby the excellency of man above the other creatures, who is a compend of the world, is clearly demonstrated. Here we have the execution of that council
, So God created man, &c. For, as says Seneca, a heathen moralist, man is not a work huddled over in a haste, and done without great forethought and consideration; for man is the greatest and most stupendous work of God, even of God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. As the sacred historian had said before of the Creator, · Let us make man in our image,' &c. so it is not for nought that he repeats the act of creating three times in this verse; in which also the US in the former verse is restrained to God; so that the plurality there spoken of is not God and angels, but the three persons, one God; for it was not angels, but God that created man. Man here signifies man and woman, male and female, Adam and Eve. Wherefore they are called him and them; for as they were originally one, God having made two of one by creation ; so they two were made one again by marriage. And they were both made in one day, Gen. i. 26.-31.; and that in the image of God, which is twice repeated; the import whereof seems to be, that man was made very like God. Whereas there is but a shadow and vestige of him in the inferior creatures, as we may read the name and perfections of God in the least herb of the field; man was made so to represent God in his moral perfections as to imitate his virtues. Two things are here to be considered,
I. God's making man male and female.
II. His making man after his image. I. Let us consider God's making man, male and female ; that is, man and woman.
First, Adam was the male, and Eve the female. These were the common parents of all mankind, and there was no man in the world, before Adam. He is expressly called 'the first man,' i Cor. xv. 5. and Eve the mother of all living,' Gen. iii. 20. And hence it is said God hath made of one blood all nations of men,' Acts xvii. 26.
Secondly, Man consists of a soul and body, which being united constitute man; that is, man or woman. Here I shall consider, 1. The body; and, 2. The soul.
1. The body of the man. Man's body is a piece of most. rare and curious workmanship, plainly indicating its divine Maker, In it there is a variety of members, none of them superfluous, but all adapted to the use assigned them by the wise Creator. The man's body, as Moses, tells us, was formed of the dust of the ground, Gen. ii. 7. Hence he was called Adam, which signifies red earth; of which sort of virgin-earth man's body seems to have been made. The word rendered dust, signifies not dust simply, (says Zanchius), but clay, which is earth and water. This may teach us humility, and repress our pride, and particularly glorying in beauty or any external advantages of person, seeing we are sprung of no higher original than the earth upon which we tread; especially seeing, as we derived our first being from it, we must return to it again, there to abide till the resurtion-day.
2. The woman's body was formed of the man's, Gen. ii. 21, 22. of a rib of the man's side, but not a bare 'rib, but flesh on it, ver. 23. which was taken out of his side while he was in a deep sleep, into which God cast him ; so that he felt no pain. And it is not improbable, that in that deep sleep God revealed to him what he himself afterwards declares concerning Eve, and marriage in general, ver. 23, 24. Whether Adam had more ribs than other men, is not determined, If he had, it was not superfluous to him as the origin of mankind, though it might be as a private person; and therefore Eve being made of it, there was no more use for it. If he had not more ribs than other men, yet he sustained no loss thereby, which was otherwise made up, ver. 21. either by a new rib, or hardening the flesh to the use of a rib. In this the wisdom of God doth illustriously appear.
(1.) The woman's body was made of nobler matter than the man's, to be some ballast to the man's excellency in respect of his sex, that he might not despise but honour her. The word rendered made, Gen. ii, 22, is in the Hebrew built. He made the man, but he built the woman, as a stately palace, or house, where all mankind draw their first breath.