Графични страници
PDF файл


it would not have been wiser and better to create as many more? It is, therefore, just as reasonable to believe that God created all that he ever did create, or ever intended to create, in six days, as in any other space of time that could be mentioned, or conceived.

2. All the works of God must compose but one whole, or perfect system. This we may safely conclude from the perfect wisdom of God. He could not consistently begin, or continue to operate, before he had formed a wise and benevolent design to be answered by creation. This design must have been one; and have comprised the nature and number of all things that he should ever create ; because it would not have been wise to create any one thing, but what would some way or other, tend to promote his one great and good de Every house is built by some man; and every wise builder forms, as nearly as he can, the dimensions of the house he is going to build, and fixes in his own mind all the materials necessary to complete his building. He means to provide as many and no more articles, than he supposes are necessary to finish his house. Now, the apostle tells us that “he, who built all things, is God.” If the only wise God made all things, then he had a wise and good design in making all things; and if he had a wise and good design in making all things, then he made nothing more, nor less, than he foresaw would have a tendency, some way or other, to promote his one, connected and perfect design in creation. Suppose that God had created a million of worlds and no more; the reason would have been that so many worlds, and no more, and no fewer, would completely answer his design in creating. And all these could not answer his one great design in creating them, without composing one whole, or connected system. For if they were not connected, there would be no reason for creating just so many and no more. pears that all the works of creation, be they more or less in number, must compose one whole, made up of all its parts connected together. And if this be true, it is reasonable to suppose that God created all things at once; or that when he began to create, he continued to create, till he had created every thing which he foresaw would be necessary to carry into effect his one, original, and perfectly wise and good design in creation. And he could create all these things in six days, as well as in any other period of time.

3. Those things which we know God did create in six days, compose a whole, or form a complete system. The lower heaven is intimately connected with the earth. The sun, the moon, the stars, the firmament, the atmosphere, the heat, the cold, the clouds and the rain, were all made for the service


Hence it ap

and benefit of mankind; and are so 'necessary, that they could not subsist without the kindly influence of these things, which belong to the lower heaven. And it is no less evident that there is a constituted connection between the inhabitants of the upper heaven and the inhabitants of this lower world. The upper heaven was the first place, and the inhabitants of it the first intelligent beings, that God brought into existence on the first day of creation. This is strongly intimated by the question which God put to Job," Where wast thou, when I laid the foundations of the earth? when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" There was an early communication between angels and men. It was an evil angel that tempted our first parents to commit their first offence, which ruined all their posterity. There were good angels, who guarded the tree of life after the first apostacy. And good angels have ever since been ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation. But the great and glorious scheme of redemption has formed a very important and inseparable connection between the upper and lower worlds, and all things which were created in six days. This the apostle Paul teaches in several places. In one place he says, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Here God is represented as creating all things in reference to, and in connection with, the great scheme of redemption. In another place, we are told that “ all things were not only created by Christ, but for him;" that is, to promote the great design for which he suffered and died. And we are farthermore told that it was God's eternal purpose, “in the dispensation of the fulness of times to gather together in one all things in Christ; both which are in heaven and which are on earth.” The work of redemption has formed an inseparable and everlasting connection between the visible and invisible worlds. So that all things, which were created in six days, form a whole, or are constituent parts of one great and important system. This gives us just ground to conclude that this system contains all the works of God, and was brought into existence at one and the same time.

4. Those things which were created in six days, not only form a whole, or system, but the most perfect system conceiva





ble. All the parts, taken together, appear to be completely suited to answer the highest and best possible end that God could propose to answer by creation. The highest and best end God could propose, in the creation of all things, was the most full display of all his great and amiable perfections. Such a display of himself must make both himself and his intelligent creatures the most completely holy and happy. If we now examine the system of things which he actually created in six days, we shall see that they are abundantly sufficient to display all the perfections of his nature to the best advantage. By the creation of the heavens and the earth, he has given as full a display of his power as can be given. The heavenly bodies are immensely great, and animals and insects are extremely small; and by creating such great and small things, in a vast variety, he has displayed his creating power as clearly as if he had created millions of larger or smaller worlds. If we consider the beauty and order of the heavens and the earth, we must be convinced that he has displayed his wisdom, as clearly as creation can display it. If we consider the adaptedness of the heavens and the earth to the use, convenience and happiness of his creatures, we shall see that they display his goodness as clearly as creation can display it. If we consider the nature and character of good and bad angels, and of good and bad men, we shall see that, according to the plan of redemption, they will be so disposed of, as to bring all the perfections of God into the clearest, strongest and most interesting light. By making some perfectly holy and happy for ever; by making some perfectly holy and happy for a season, and then subjecting them to a state of complete sin and misery for ever ; by making some holy, and then unholy, and then holy and happy for ever; and by making some totally sinful and miserable to all eternity, he will display his power, his wisdom, his goodness, his sovereignty, his grace and his justice, in the fullest and clearest manner possible. If he had created ten thousand worlds of intelligent creatures, he could not have placed them in any circumstances different from the circumstances of angels and men; and consequently he could not have displayed any of his perfections in a more full, amiable and glorious light than they will be displayed by the rational and irrational creatures which he created in six days. These works form not only a system, but the best possible system; so that, as Solomon says, “ nothing can be put to it, or taken from it,” to make it more perfect. And from this we may justly conclude that God did, at one and the same time, create all things that he ever intended to create. I must add,

5. It appears from the process of the great day, that angels

and men are the only rational creatures who will then be called to give an account of their conduct. Christ has plainly informed us that all good and bad angels, and all good and bad men will then be collected together, and judged according to their works; but no other intelligent creatures are mentioned as being present on that great and solemn day, either by Christ, or any other inspired writer. But why not, if the sun, moon, and all the planets and fixed stars are inhabited by rational and accountable beings? The great day is called “the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God." The design of it is to display the rectitude of God's conduct towards both the happy and the miserable, or to make it appear to every individual person that he has not only treated him right, but that he has treated every other rational creature in the universe right. It is only on this account that we can see the necessity or even the propriety of a general judgment. God can make every

a person see and feel that he has treated him right before the day of judgment; but he cannot make every person know and see that he has treated all other creatures right, without calling them all together, and fully opening his conduct towards them and their conduct towards him and one another. And since this will be the business of the great day, it is necessary that every intelligent creature in the universe should be actually present at the day of judgment. If the sun, or moon, or planets, or fixed stars, are inhabited by rational and accountable creatures, it is as necessary that they should be present as that angels and men should be; for they must be constituent parts of God's great system; and his conduct towards them, and their conduct towards him, must have had some connection with his conduct towards angels and men. But we have no reason to expect from any thing said in scripture, that any intelligent creatures will be present at the day of judgment, besides angels and men; from which the inference is natural and irresistible, that no other intelligent creatures besides angels and men ever have been created. These form a moral, connected and perfect system, and of course are to be called together and judged according to their works at the last day, and to be set up as mirrors to display the divine glory in the clearest manner to all eternity; which will completely answer the bighest and best end that God could propose in the great work of creation.

Now the foregoing considerations, if taken singly, and much more if taken together, form an argument in favor of the Mosaic account of the creation, which cannot be easily resisted ; and which seems to constrain us to believe that the heavens and the earth with their inhabitants, which were created in six days, comprise all things that God ever did and ever will creThe whole current of scripture is in favor of this supposition; and it may be well questioned, whether any argument, drawn from reason and philosophy, can counterbalance such scriptural evidence. We must believe, therefore, that God created all things in the space of six days, and has ever since rested from the work of creation.

But, however, I will consider several things, which may be objected against the leading sentiments in this discourse.

1. It may be said that Moses had no occasion to mention any other worlds than the heavens and the earth, if there had been millions of them, which were created before this world. Answer: If there had been other worlds created before this, it would not have been proper for Moses to say, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ;” which naturally implies that the creation of the heavens and the earth were the first things that he ever created. The phrase "in the beginning” has reference to the first time of God's exerting his creative power, and not to the order of the things which he created; and excludes the supposition of his having created any being, or object, before he created the heavens and the earth.

2. It may be said that it is more agreeable to our ideas of infinite power, wisdom and goodness, that God should create more worlds than two, or ten, or twenty, or twenty thousand; and, therefore, it is very rational to suppose and believe that he has actually created as many worlds as there are suns, and moons, and planets, and fixed stars. Answer: This does not appear more consistent with the wisdom of God, which must limit creation to one finite connected system. For two worlds may form as wise and benevolent a system as two millions. And to suppose the contrary, is to suppose that it is not only morally impossible, but naturally impossible for God to form the most wise and benevolent system.

3. It may be asked, why has God actually created the planets and fixed stars, if he never designed that they should be inhabited by rational and accountable creatures? They are said to be immensely larger than this world, and supposed to be capable of supporting immensely more inhabitants than this world is capable of supporting. Why then should not God fill them with rational inhabitants; and if he has not filled them with such inhabitants, what valuable purpose can they answer ? To this it may be replied,

1. That they may answer many valuable and important purposes of which we are at present wholly ignorant. There are ten thousand objects in this world, that we cannot perceive answer any valuable purposes. Who can tell why God has made so many high, rugged, barren mountains; or so many large, barren

« ПредишнаНапред »