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all-potent mandate, successively scrutinized by the Divine inspection, and severally declared “good”! The manner of the description cannot be surpassed. It is universally and justly admired, because it is felt to be solemn, simple and sublime. And the selection is as judicious as the manner is forcible. Let us follow the author in his selection of objects.

Light he makes the first-born of the new creation. And what if his philosophy be excepted against, in making its existence precede that of its known source? We need not the less admire the moral beauty of the conception. What would the creation be without light by which to behold its beauty ? Light is the means of our most important and interesting sensations. Light is the source of animation and gladness. It is the image of peace and hope and glory. The philosopher has not, even yet, ascertained its subtle essence. Science has, even yet, found little more to say respecting its origin or nature, than the words of this primal poet imply: God said, Let there be light, and there was light; and God saw the light, that it was good.” Good indeed ! Science can only respond to religion, “ Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun."

Yet how welcome to wearied body and mind is the alternation of night, when it comes to soothe us with its silence, and close our eyes in its darkness, and refresh us by its temporary oblivion! Therefore the Creator banished it not from His new-made world, but only divided the light from the darkness (science tells us by how simple a process, the earth's daily rotation on its axis), that each might have its season and fulfil its

appropriate purposes.

Then the firmament,—what a field of wonder and glory is there revealed, whether in the bright day or the

clear night, till obscured by the ascent or descent of the waters for which it is the curious depository !—the firmament, respecting which our childish imaginations have nearly corresponded, no doubt, to the language of the world's childhood, that “God hath spread out the sky, which is strong and as a molten mirror.” (Job xxxvii. 18.) Let Science tell me that this radiant firmament is but the unsubstantial reflection of solar light, and I admire and wonder more.

Let her teach me how the waters which are above it are sustained in the thin air by their own higher rarity, till made to descend in showers of fertility and blessing; and in proportion as all this is more curious and beautiful, I the more devoutly, while more rationally, refer it to the Divine Artificer.

The wonders of the heavenly bodies are sketched with graphic hand, though it is indeed a mere sketch. “God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 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.” Here, again, Science could, no doubt, exalt the description, forbidding us to suppose either the greater luminary, the sun, or the immeasurably distant gleams of the fixed stars, to have been appointed solely to give light upon the earth. But their subserviency, and that of the attendant moon, to the use, the convenience and the adornment of the human residence in this single world, is accurately, while poetically and devoutly, described. They do distinguish our day and our night; they make and they mark our times and seasons; and enlarged science only bids us apply the same glowing description to the appearances and uses of suns and moons

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and stars, as seen in every other of the countless worlds and systems of God's universe.

Our admiration is again challenged by the distribution of the earth's surface into sea and land. God again commands; and continents and islands rise, and the ocean subsides into its appointed channel. Science may shew us some of the natural processes by which it is probable that these changes were carried on through successive ages; but in pointing out the instruments by which God works, it only the more emphatically asserts His agency as operating everywhere and always. Land and water -are the meet receptacles for varied tribes respectively of living and rejoicing creatures. And their separation was therefore the requisite arrangement for filling both with conscious existence; while, for the supply of all the wants and the attainment of all the desires of an intellectual race to be subsequently called into being), a highway over the deep, connecting the remotest lands, was left open to the discovery of the intelligent beings who would require it. And now the fair earth was clothed with grass, with herbs, with trees, each (as the writer expresses it) " with its own seed within itself after its kind,” fitted to reproduce its like in perpetual succession and with exuberant increase ; so that, as far as observation can testify, not one in a thousand of nature's tribes has, through all the chances of ages, become extinct.

The vegetable creation completed, the animal was now formed to enjoy it. Resources of food and shelter provided, participants were made ready to subsist upon them and reside among them, and in many ways taught to minister to their renewal. No matter whether it was at the interval of a day, or in the gradual succession of ages. Genesis says, the former; Science, the latter. But the poetry and the devotion lie in that general order of suc

cession which reason took for granted before minute geology shewed the exact order of sequence, in marine plants first and then marine animals, terrestrial plants next and then terrestrial animals. The world's stonebook declares the same general order of succession as the Mosaic Bible. The connection and mutual dependence of the vegetable and animal worlds, is a most beautiful and interesting portion of the economy of Nature, palpable to popular observation and rewarding the minutest search. The Creator's paternal blessing was given to all His animated creatures as He formed them with their respective powers and assigned them their appropriate habitations : "every living creature that moveth which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind,” and “cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth after its kind;" God saw that each was good, and to all He said, “Be fruitful and multiply."

The crowning act of creation still remained. In the words of England's sacred poet, There wanted yet the master-work, the end

Of all yet done; a creature who, not prone
And brute as other creatures, but endued
With sanctity of Reason, might erect
His stature, and upright with front serene
Govern the rest, self-knowing; and from thence
Magnanimous to correspond with heaven,
But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends; thither, with heart and voice and eyes
Directed in devotion, to adore
And worship God supreme, who made him chief
Of all His works.”

And man therefore was made; " made in God's image, after His likeness ;"-invested with His authority over His lower works; intrusted, by the supremacy


of his reason, with dominion over all the tribes of air and land and sea, and commanded to subdue the earth and its resources to his use and enjoyment.

The writer of the Jewish record of creation has not said (for how should he have known it?) that this most distinguished creature of God was made for the immortality of a yet fairer and higher existence. The best part of the human capacities and destiny was long unknown to the human race themselves, as is still the case with large portions of them. They felt the risings of their intelligent and moral nature; but knew not whither these things could point, when, to all appearance, all was blotted out in death. Not till ages after did Christ abolish death from the tablet of human existence. But the Christian philosophy, which teaches that this life is preparatory to one which shall be everlasting, has imparted a fulness of meaning, which could not be designed by him who penned them, to the simple and expressive declarations of the olden poet-worshiper : “In the image of God created He man;" “And man became a living soul;" “ And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold it was VERY GOOD.”



Gen. ii. 8-iii. 24.)

To the reflecting and religious mind, which has already traced God in the outward creation, the Moral world next opens a wider and more difficult field of inquiry.*

* “M. I think myself that Paradise was in Asia, certainly. “ A. I dare say it was. “ M. You are not interested in the subject ? “ A. No, uncle; or rather I do not mind reading those books.

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