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ties appointed for it, from whence The 8th verse of the 5th chapter it had issued, verse 8. In so retiring, of Amos seems to me an exhortaeither at this or at some former tion to man to seek the favour of period or periods, it produced the Almighty God, who made the primitive mountains. For as the stars, and caused darkness


the rivers, after Noah's deluge, seem to earth, even at noon-day, which he have returned to their former chan- afterwards turned into light; and nels (Gen. ii. 10–14), so the gene. who called forth the waters of the rality of the larger mountains now great deep to deluge the world. The existing, though covered with the passage, 2 Pet. iii. 5, 6, seems to me deposits of the last deluge, are, by to refer to the creation, and also to many, supposed to have been formed a deluge wherein all creatures had by previous deluges. And why perished ; and if so, it could not should we not suppose water, and have been that of Noah: indeed, land, and atmosphere, to have lite- the transition from the creation of rally existed from the beginning, the heavens by the word of the Lord, rather than a chaos of elements? to the deluge of Noah, seems to me The earth and the heavens are spe- too sudden for admission. cifically mentioned, Gen. i. 1; the If the hypothesis I have here earth, the deep, and the waters, offered (of considering the Mosaic verse 2; the waters, verses 6-10, description of the creation to regard as being the same with the great appearances as they would have deep and the sea ; and the very same presented themselves to a specdeep of waters caused the deluge of tator the surface of the Noah, Gen. vii. 11; viii. 2, 3, 5. In earth, and on a particular part) the civth Psalm the inspired author be considered fanciful, let the obseems to be meditating on the crea- jector reflect that the holy Scription. The heavens are first mentioned, tures expressly state, that “darkness verse 2; then the waters, the clouds, was upon the face of the deep." I and the wind, verse 3; the earth is am not bound to believe that it then clearly described, verses 5 and existed any where else; either, as 6, as (in the passage already quoted some commentators say, above our from Job) “covered with the deep atmosphere, or, as others will have as with a garment; the waters stood it, beyond the remotest orbit of above the mountains," which were, Saturn, no longer accounted the therefore, already in existence. remotest orbit, and beyond the “At thy rebuke they fled, at the chrystalline orbs, which no one now voice of thy thunder they hasted admits to have ever had existence. away,” verse 7. I cannot feel con- The surface of our globe was destented with the exposition of one tined to be the residence of man. who says, “perhaps there was a As he was to view all things from clap of thunder;" but I would this station, so all descriptions in rather suppose a universal tempest the sacred writings have a reference while the great deep was retiring to to this station. Thus, the word its former bed, and the atmosphere, “heaven," is used for the expanse under the influence of a “rushing or atmosphere between him and the mighty wind," was gradually clearing. clouds, and also for whatever he sees In thus retiring, verse 8, the waters through this transparent medium; rushed by and over the mountains, as the sun, moon, and stars, which, and down the valleys, to their ap. when the sky is unclouded, appear pointed reservoirs ; whence (though to him as if fixed in this firmament. they once reissued, at God's com- Thus again, our great spiritual advermand, to drown a guilty world, in šary is called “the prince of the the time of Noah) they shall never power of the air," (Ephes. ii. 2) as I again return,--for so God has pro- suppose, because he is “the god of mised, Gen. ix. 11.

this world,” in the air of which man Christ. Observ. No. 292.

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breathes. And as to my confining the Lord (John i. 1,) were the these appearances to one particular heavens made, and all the host of part of the surface, I have done so them by the breath (or spirit) of his because time is necessarily reckoned mouth.” (Ps. xxxiii. 6.) “ By his on some particular meridian when it Spirit (or by the breath of his mouth) is said, “ the evening and the morn- hath he garnished the heavens.' ing were the first day.” It could Job xxvi, 13. not, without an express miracle, be Many annotators appear to hold evening or morning to all the world the same opinion with myself as to at once. In the development of the actual creation of land and water creation, time must have commenc- on the third day, and think they were ed on some particular longitude,and rather separated than made. And from some particular event. The thus, at the subsiding of Noah's meridian I have chosen is that on food, a wind was the immediate which man was first created; and agent employed to effect the same the event, that which is first re- purpose. Gen. viii. 1. corded,—the moving of the Spirit of If it be asked why I am contented God on the face of the waters. This to assign no natural cause for the mode of reckoning from noon to creation of herbs and plants in full noon was continued by many na. perfection, while I endeavour to actions, and is so still by astronomers. count for other appearances from

The generality of modern com- natural causes, I reply that it does mentators oppose the idea of the not follow that the creation of Holy Spirit having employed the plants should be thus accounted for, instrumentality of the wind. Some any more than that of Adam himsay the atmosphere was not yet self. God sometimes uses means, created : but the theory now offered and sometimes uses none. Comsupposes that it was. Others consider mentators inform us, that many that the employment of any natural writers, both Jewish and Christian, agency would be degrading to the both ancient and modern, have held narrative ; and so indeed it would, that the sun, moon, and stars, were if a natural agency were substituted not literally created, but caused to for that of the Divinity. But I need appear on the fourth day. “ But it not enter upon an argument to shew rather seems," says one of them, in (what is not disputed), that God offering his own solution of the diffifrequently makes use of natural culty, “ that God took the light, means to effect the purposes of his which he had created separately to will. Many writers, both Jewish cause the day, and put it into the and Christian, held that a wind sun and stars, which till then were was thus employed; and many bea- opaque bodies.” Such an incomthen philosophers have their tra- prehensible theory requires better ditions respecting it. The He- support. I admit that the sun, moon, brew, Greek, and Latin words for and stars, do serve for the divisions “ spirit” also signify “wind;" the of time into day and night, months latter being a striking symbol of and years, and, by the help of. the former, being invisible, though eclipses especially, into still longer powerful in its operations. (John periods. That the sun and moon, iii. 8.) The Holy Spirit, on the day and even the stars, in an unclouded of Pentecost, came from heaven atmosphere, give light, cannot be “as the sound of a rushing mighty denied. They serve also " for signs wind.” (Acts ii. 2.) When our Lord and for seasons:" to the husbandJesus Christ bestowed on bis dis- man they give notice when to plant ciples the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and to sow. To the traveller on he “breathed upon them.” (John the desert, or the navigator on the xx.22.) With this the following texts ocean, they are natural beacons. perfectly accord. By the word of But that the primary use of the

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fixed stars is to give light to the shew that the waters above the carth, few will now venture to as. heavens (Gen. i. 6, 7,) were not sert. They are generally allowed literally rain. All that I perceive it to be self-luminous, and incalculably to mean, is, that there had been no distant, bodies, very probably the rain since the creation. suns of other systems; since it is If it be objected, that, by supascertained that our sun, if removed posing the creation a deluge, I am to such a distance as any fixed star confounding two very different opeis known to equal or exceed, would rations of the Deity, very distinctly appear no larger or brighter than described in the holy Scriptures (as that star. Many thousands of the Gen.j. 1-6. and viï. 1–5.) I reply, stars emit so feeble a ray, that they that, though the Mosaic creation may have been seen only by the aid of have sprung out of a deluge, the the most powerful optical instru. restoration of the earth, and its inments; and that, perhaps, but once habitants, after the flood of Noah, in the lifetime of the most diligent could not properly be called a creaand accurate observer. Had they tion. In the former, all crcatures then been designed merely to give seem to have been destroyed: “the light to this planet, would they not earth was without form and void.” have been placed nearer, or made In the latter, men and animals were larger, or brighter, by Almighty miraculously saved. The fish were, and Infinite Wisdom ? 'If it still be perhaps, not injured; and the sceds thought that the words, “ he made of the plants were, possibly, prethe stars, also,” cannot bear any served. The Mosaic account, then, other sense than that they were begins (as it should do) with the literally created on the fourth day, preparation of this planet for the let it be observed that the words use of man. With its former state hemade” in our version are in italics, we can have no concern, and therehaving been inserted by the English fore it was not mentioned. That translators with the view of making the last flood retired through the the sense clear: but it is, I believe, chasms of previously formed strata, very generally acknowledged that is, I believe, generally acknowleged; they are better omitted; for the and that those strata were formed meaning seems to be, that as the sun by the subsiding of a still remoter governs the day by the superiority deluge seems more than probable. of its light, so the moon rules over One difficulty (as the Christian Obthe night, and over the stars also. server has justly remarked) is comSome commentators seem to sup- mon to all theories. Human bones pose that God, having previously liave not been found in a fossil state. made the sun and stars, set them in But I would submit that they have their places on the fourth day, and not been sought for where alone thus garnished the heavens with they should be expected, that is, in them, as a robe is decorated with such alluvial soils as are acknowspangles. But the passage from ledged to be the certain deposits of which the idea seems to have been Noah's flood. They have bitherto taken (Job xxvi. 13.) may (I con- been looked for in the solid rock, ceive) be reconciled with the theory where animals, fish, and plants are now offered. By his Holy Spirit sufficiently abundant. But if a single he made those stars, originally, with human skeleton is found in gravel, which the heavens were garnished, though at an unaccountable depth, on the fourth day, through the some murder is suspected: and if a operation of the wind dispelling the number of skeletons are found toclouds which had hid the sun and gether, then a battle is made to ac. stars from the face of the great count for the fact; but that they deep. A passage (Gen. ii. 5.) has were antediluvian, seems not to have been quoted by some annotators, to been even suspected.

vircumstances of the Primitive Christians. [APRIL To conclude, then, I conceive that that our Lord's first followers were not only angels and fixed stars, but in general persons grossly ignorant, that the sun, the moon, the planets or in abject circumstances of life: (and our own planet among the few of them, perhaps, were persons rest), may have been created as de- of this description. The great mascribed in the first verse of Genesis, jority appear to have been persons of long before the period mentioned decent or respectable circumstances

, in the following verses. And, in- though not distinguished by rank, or deed, I feel persuaded that never affluence, or learning ; persons cawas there a period in which the pable of forming a sound judgment, Creator existed without a creation, and having at least some little stake though he was prior to any-and to lose in the world. The followevery one of his works. This idea, ing list will prove the truth of this rehowever, has no tendency to esta- mark; and it may not be thought unblish the eternity of matter; for, interesting,as also incidentally throwevery work of God had its beginning ing some light upon the sort of chanfrom God. God alone is from ever- nels through which our holy religion lasting. Man deals with time and made its way to public notice and place; God with infinite space and esteem*. The list indeed, after all, eternity. These things may, there- is but humble; but it is not despicafore, be incomprehensible to man; ble: it is at least a much more nu. but, surely, they cannot be proved merous, as well as miscellaneous, to be false.

jury than is thought necessary for

deciding the most important secu-
lar interests. A few names are in-

troduced of persons who are not ex-
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

pressly recorded to have been ChrisIt was declared by our blessed tians, from the circumstances under Lord, that not many of the wise, or which they are mentioned having a rich, or mighty, should enrol them- bearing upon the general argument. selves among his disciples ; and John the Baptist was the son of a there are numerous passages both priest, Luke i. 5. Mary, the moin the Gospels and the Epistles, ther of our Lord, was cousin to this which prove, that, in general, the priest's wife, and so intimate as to early Christians were a poor and spend three months on a visit at her despised community. This circum- house; Luke i. 36, 56. Joseph, bestance, so humbling to the self-es- trothed to Mary before the miracuteem of human intellect and dignity, lous dispensation began: he was, was perhaps providentially ordained, therefore, probably of equal rank in in order to evince the truth of Chris. life with herself. The circumstance tianity by the triumphs which it of his being a carpenter does not obtained, not only without the prove deep poverty. James and John assistance, but amidst the opposi- were the sons of Zebedee, who was tion, of all that this world accounts rich enough to have hired servants, wise and great. The infidel, how- Mark i. 20 : they wished St. Paul ever, has unfairly wrested it into

to remember the poor, which seems an argument, to prove the incom- as if they had not reckoned thempetency of the first believers to in- selves such, Galat. ii. 10. A cenvestigate the claims of the religion turion, having soldiers and servants which they espoused. “ Have any under him, Matt. viii. 9. We find of the Scribes and Pharisees believed on him?" has ever been the * In India this enumeration has been language of those who looked for employed in answer to an argument urged interest or authority, rather than against Christian missions, as if none but the force of truth, to decide their be poor and ignorant persons had originally

embraced Christianity. – Asiatic Journal lief. But it is not in reality, the fact, for Oct. 1825.



mentioned a certain scribe, Matt. fishermen, Luke v. 10. He declares viii. 19; Matthew, the Evangelist, he had forsaken all to follow Christ, collector of customs, Matt. ix. 9; Matt. xix. 27, implying he had Jairus, a certain ruler, Matt ix. 18; something to forsake ;-Andrew, SiMark v. 22; and a woman, who mon's brother, Mark i. 16 ;– The was at least rich enough to have suf- centurion whose servant was sick, fered many things of many physi- Luke vii. 2 ;-Widow of Nain : as cians, upon whom she had spent all “ much people of the city were she had, Mark v. 26, Luke viii. 43, with her,” she was probably a woman for the ancient physicians were very of consequence, Luke vii. 12; The rapacious. James, the son of Al. publican or collector of taxes, rephæus, Matt. x. 3, is perhaps the presented, in the parable, as offersame as Levi, the son of Alphæus, ing the acceptable prayer, Luke Mark ii. 14. As Levi was xviii. 10; Zaccheus, chief among collector of customs, Alphæus was the publicans, and rich, Luke xix. %; probably a respectable man. Per- Cleophas, husband of one of the haps Matthew and Levi were the Marys before-mentioned, Luke same : 'in this case, James xxiv. 18, John xix. 25; Nicodemus, Matthew's brother. Mary, the wo- a ruler of the Jews, John iii. l; A man with an alabaster box of very certain nobleman, whose son was precious ointment, was sister to sick, John iv. 46 ; His whole house, Martha and Lazarus, Matt. xxvi. 7, ibid. 53; Officers, sent to take JeJohn xi. 2, xii. 3; and Martha had a sus, who probably believed, John household so large as to be “cum- vii. 46; James, Joses, Juda, and bered about much serving,” and Simon, our Lord's brothers, and of was “careful and troubled about course connexions of Zacharias the many things,” Luke x. 41, and (per- priest : they became believers, haps) made a supper, John xii. 2. Mark vi. 3, Acts i. 14 ;-Many of Lazarus, the brother of these, seems the chief rulers, John xii. 42, whose to have been a man of some conse- faith, however, was doubtful: “they quence; for at his death, many Jews loved the praise of men more than the came to comfort Mary and Martha, praise of God," 43;-Joses,surnamed and he was buried in a costly sepul- Barnabas, a possessor of land, Acts ohre,John xi. 19,38. Pontius Pilate's iv. 36, 37 ; Paul, the apostle, known wife perhaps believed, Matt. xxvii. to have been a respectable man, Acts 19. The centurion that watched the vii. 38; Simon, the sorcerer, who crucifixion, Matt. xxvii. 54, Luke was baptized, Acts viii. 13; Ethioxxiii. 47; Joanna, the wife of He- pian eunuch, " of great, authority,” rod's steward, Luke viii. 3. Perhaps ibid. 27; Tabitha, a woman in good her husband also believed. Susanna, circumstances, Acts ix. 36 ; Simon, and many others, ministered to a tanner, probably in easy

circumChrist out of their substance or pro- stances, ibid. 43; Cornelius, the perty, ibid. ; Joseph of Arimathæa, centurion, Acts x. 1, 2; His kinsa rich man, Matt. xxvii. 57; A men, and near friends;

ibid. 24; scribe, not far from the kingdom of Manaen, brought up with Herod, God, Mark xii. 34 ; The good man the tetrarch, Acts xiii. 1; Sergius of the house where the last supper Paulus, deputy of Paphos, ibid. 7; was eaten, perhaps a believer; his Lydia, seller of purple, evidently house was large, Mark xiv: 14, 15; in easy circumstances, Acts xvi. 14; Mary, probably one of the women Her household, ibid. 15. The who ministered to our Lord out of gaoler must have been a man of her substance, Mark xv. 40, 41; some respectability. ibid. 33; His James the Less, Joses, and Salome, household, ibid. ; Not a few chief her sons, probably believers like womep of Thessalonica, Acts xvii. 4 ; their mother, ibid ;-Simon Peter, Jason was able to receive the brepartner of James and John, master thren in his house, ibid. 7. Per

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