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exist, and when nothing was in existence but the ever-living God. What efforts of the divine power, and what expressions of the divine goodness may have been made in the creation of other systems and other worlds besides those of which the Scriptures speak, and which have no revealed relation to “the heavens and the earth,” it is at least safe to say we are utterly ignorant. To erect any theory at all upon such an hypothesis, is utterly unphilosophical. So far as the Creator himself has informed us, the creation of “the heavens and the earth” was his first work, and constituted the earliest manifestations of his glory, the first ray of the divinity which broke forth. The meat fact here taught us is, that the heavens and the earth not only had a beginning, but were created. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It is no marvel that the idea of a creative power that produced all things out of nothing was above the reach of men who were destitute of a supernatural revelation. Men have no experience, no observation of such a fact as this, and no science that can account for it. We may be allowed to remark, and with emphasis, that the scriptural doctrine of creation is so purely a historical question that it does not seek any philosophical solution. It is a subject on which science is entitled to no theory, because it is decided by the divine testimony; a subject with which science may not interfere; nor was it ever designed to be investigated by human philosophy. The great and radical error of modern philosophers lies in supposing that the primeval creation was effected by a process which natural science prescribes. Science may have much to do with the changes and revolutions which have taken place in the material world; this is her province; while upon the doctrine of creation itself, she has no claim to be heard. What does science know of creation ? or what has she to do but “STAND STILL AND CONSIDER the wondrous works of God?” “Dost thou know when God disposed them? dost thou know the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?” God speaks to these presumptuous world-makers in the language, “Where wast thou, when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof if thou knowest? or who hath stretched out the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened, or who hath laid the corner-stone thereofo” We have no need of the lights of natural science, but to illustrate, and to pour their radiance on the works of God. Creation is a MIRACLE, if ever there was a miracle in the world; and what need is there of scientific principles in order to explain a miracle? The Creator does not tread in the footsteps of physical science; true science treads, and treads cautiously in the footsteps of the Creator. We take our position on the broad and immovable basis of God's word, and ask, what is the scriptural idea of creation ? Let the answer be given in the first chapter of the book of Genesis. Let it be given in the language of the prophet, “Thou, even thou art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein.” Let it be given in the language of the Psalmist, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth.” Let it be given in the language, “Thus saith God the Lord; he that created the heavens and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth and that which cometh out of it.” Let it be given in the language of the apostle, “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” It is not to the cabinet of the geologist, nor laboratory of the chemist, that we make our appeal for information on this high subject. It belongs to them to inquire how material things are sustained, and perpetuated, and by what laws they granulate and grow, after they are created; of creation they know nothing. The Scriptures mean by creation those acts of omnipotence by which God gives being to that which did not exist be
fore; they mean by it, not only to cause existence, but entire and completed existence. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” They convey the thought, that creation was the maturéd act of God; it was performed by a word, and under the direct and immediate influence of a divine command. This may not accord with the rationalism of modern science, but is in strict accordance with Christian faith. It is not by science that we arrive at this conclusion. The sacred writers instruct us, that “through FAITH we understand, that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” The Creator himself knows how the worlds were created; and he has told us. He knows the influence of second causes; for he called them into being at the primeval creation, and gives them their place in his government and control of the natural world. But he claims for himself the prerogative of the mighty Creator.
The third fact here revealed, is that this world was created in sia days. Here again the Scriptures are at issue with science. Modern geologists tell us that this is not possible; and all we need reply to the bold assertion is, “With men it is impossible, but all things are possible with God.” Everything is possible with God that does not involve a contradiction. And where is the contradiction in God's creating this material world in six days? Revealed theology, we are told, must be in “organic connection” with natural science. We are instructed that that theology is not true which is at war with the true science of nature; and that to make revelation and science harmonize with reason, we are driven, from an inspection of the internal organization of our globe, to the conclusion, that “the mere shell of the earth takes us back through an unknown series of ages, in which creation appears to have followed creation at the distance of vast intervals between.” There are, it is said, strata, or layers in the earth's foundation, which must have been formed in a certain order; that we scarcely leave the surface of the earth without finding deposits which take us beyond the limits of recorded time; that there are fossil remains, and beds of coal and limestone, which must have been the spoils of other and departed worlds; that countless ages were necessary for this arrangement, and that “the earth itself is a crowded store-house of evidence of its gradual formation.” It is enough in reply to such a statement, that it is inconsistent with the Mosaic narrative. Although our main object is to show the inconsistency of these positions with the sacred writings, we may be permitted here to remark, that even upon the hypothesis that the earth exhibits evidence of its formation through the power of natural causes, it does not follow that it was not formed in six days, because the very idea of