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fore, we regard the lower world which we inhabit, and when we raise our eyes to the glorious canopy of heaven, bedecked as it is with its myriads of resplendent orbs,—when we behold these wonderful objects, and ask ourselves whence they are, and by what means they came into existence, we refer to those sacred oracles of truth, in comparison with which all other sources of information shrink into insignificance; and these are they which at the very onset answer the important enquiry in the language of our text, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

And here it ought to be observed, that the first words of the inspired volume, inasmuch as they bear the impress of truth and reason upon them, seem to provide us with a strong presumptive argument in favour of the truth of all the contents which compose the sacred book. It would have been difficult for unassisted reason to have assured us of this great truth, though it might easily have suggested its probability. But when we are told by those sacred records,—the truth of which we infer from the external and internal evidence with which they are accompanied - when we are told by these that there was a time when God created the heaven and the earth, we not only at once acknowledge the probability of the assertion, but we likewise perceive that none other than this assertion could possibly harmonize with human reason when properly cultivated and fairly consulted. Without the information with which our text supplies us, human reason, however improved and enlightened it might be, might easily say that the elements of matter--the material world itself, for example—had existed from all eternity. But the Scriptures tell us that the heaven (the material heaven no less than the immaterial) as well as the world, was brought into existence by the creative power of God. There was therefore a time when these did not exist. When the Holy Scriptures tell us this, we admit it as a truth by far more compatible with sound reason, than the supposition that material things have existed from eternity. We can indeed form no idea of an object without thinking of its author ; without attributing it to a first

cause.

Human reason unassisted from above, I repeat, has and frequently does say that the world has always existed; that it never had a beginning; that it never was created : but I ask whether such could be said of any thing of less magnitude than the globe itself. Should we say of a house or a ship, of a chair or a table, that it had ever been such as we now behold it, that it never was made ? We decidedly should not: neither then can we say otherwise than that the heavens and the earth have been equally made. Thus the Bible, at the very onset, prevents us from falling into error, by assuring us of a direct truth. We are therefore will. ing to trust to its guidance on whatever occasion we seek instruction from it. We despise the folly of those, be they few or many, who exert their pigmy efforts to bring the sacred oracles into disrepute. We at all times look to these as records

which bear on them the impress of truth, and as a composition which has clearly and incontestably been written by the finger of God.

We are, therefore, brethren, to view the words of our text as words which convey to us all the information which it is requisite we should obtain respecting the heavens above and the earth beneath. We know that both of these were brought into existence by the creative power of the Almighty. And to know this, is to know that which cannot fail to impart to us at all times a feeling of security and of comfort. If we once admit that the Almighty has created the heaven and the earth, we admit that he has created all things out of nothing. And the admission here implied brings in its train such varied information, as the man of reflection will easily apply to his advantage. The heaven and the earth imply all material objects of which we can form any conception whatever. The Being who created these must therefore be of a different as well as of a superior nature; and as this nature is not material, it can be none other than spiritual. God, therefore, as our reason now assures us, as well as those Scriptures which, as we have already seen, are so well deserving of our confidence, “is a spirit”; and it was by the superior power which as a spirit he possessed, by which all things were created. No material or bodily action was exerted by the Almighty, but he spake the word and they were made. And agreeably to such an idea as this was it, that after the heaven and the earth were created, “the

ever imprured and enlightened it might be, might ea-ily say that the elements of matter the material world itself, for example—had existed from all eternity. But the Scriptures tell us that the heaven (the material heaven no less than the immaterial) as well as the world, was brought into existence by the creative power of God. There was therefore a time when these did not exist. When the Holy Scriptures tell us this, we admit it as a truth by far more compatible with sound reason, than the supposition that material things hare existed from eternity. We can indeed form no idea of an object without thinkiny of its author; without attributing it to a first cause. Human reason unassisted from above, I repeat, has and frequently does say that the world has alcays existed; that it never had a beginning; that it never was created: but I ask whether such could be said of any thing of less magnitude than the globe itself. Should we say of a house or a ship, of a chair or a table, that it had ever been such as we now behold it, that it never was made ? We decidedly should not: neither then can we say otherwise than that the heavens and the earth have been equally made. Thus the Bible, at the very onset, prevents us from falling into error, by assuring us of a direct truth. We are therefore willing to trust to its guidance on whatever occasion we seek instruction from it. We despise the folly of those, be they few or many, who exert their pigmy efforts to bring the sacred oracles into disrepute. We at all times look to these as records

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