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The waters separated
from the earth 8 And God called the firmament | heaven be gathered together unto
A. M. 1. Heaven. And the evening and one place, and let the dry land the morning were the second day.
appear : and it was so. 9 And God said, Let the waters under the 10 And God called the 9 dry land Earth ;
P Job xxvi. 10; xxxviii. 8; Psalm xxiv. 2; xxxiii. 7; xcv. 5; civ. 9; cxxxvi. 5, 6; Proverbs viü. 29; Ecclesiastes
ters of the planets, as seen at å distance equal to that Before the seas and this terrestrial ball,
The most ancient of the Greeks have spoken nearly any planet may be readily found by multiplying the in the same way of this crude, indigested state of the cubic miles contained in the earth by the number primitive chaotic mass. in the column, and the product will be the quantity
When this congeries of elementary principles was required.
brought together, God was pleased to spend six days This is a small but accurate sketch of the vast solar in assimilating, assorting, and arranging the materials, system; to describe it fully, even in all its known re- out of which he built up, not only the earth, but the volutions and connections, in all its astonishing energy
whole of the solar system. and influence, in its wonderful plan, structure, opera
The Spirit of God] This has been variously and tions, and results, would require more volumes than strangely understood. Some think a violent wind is can be devoted to the commentary itself.
meant, because 117 ruach often signifies wind, as well As so little can be said here on a subject so vast, as spirit, as averia does in Greek; and the term God it may appear to some improper to introduce it at all;
is connected with it merely, as they think, to express but to any observation of this kind I must be permitted the superlative degree. Others understand by it an to reply, that I should deem it unpardonable not to give clementary fire.. Others, the sun, penetrating and a general view of the solar system in the very place drying up the earth with his rays. Others, the angels, where its creation is first introduced. If these works who were supposed to have been employed as agents be stupendous and magnificent, what must He be who in creation. Others, a certain occult principle, termed formed, guides, and supports them all by the word of the anima mundi or soul of the world. Others, a his power! Reader, stand in awe of this God, and sin magnetic attraction, by which all things were caused not. Make him thy friend through the Son of his love; to gravitate to a common centre. But it is sufficiently and, when these heavens and this earth are no more, evident from the use of the word in other places, that thy soul shall exist in consummate and unutterable the Holy Spirit of God is intended; which our blessed felicity.
Lord represents under the notion of wind, John iii. 8; See the remarks on the sun, moon, and stars, after and which, as a mighty rushing wind on the day of verse 16.
pentecost, filled the house where the disciples were
sitting, Acts ii. 2, which was immediately followed by Verse 2. The earth was without form and void) their speaking with other tongues, because they were The original term inn tohu and ina bohu, which we filled with the Holy Ghost, ver. 4.
These scriptures translate without form and void, are of uncertain ety- sufficiently ascertain the sense in which the word is mology ; but in this place, and wherever else they are
used by Moses. used, they convey the idea of confusion and disorder. Moved] nonna merachepheth, was brooding over ; From these terms it is probable that the ancient Syri- for the word expresses that tremulous motion made by ans and Egyptians borrowed their gods, Theuth and the hen while either hatching her eggs or fostering Bau, and the Greeks their Chaos. God seems at first
It here probably signifies the communito have created the elementary principles of all things; cating a vital or prolific principle to the waters. As and this formed the grand mass of matter, which in the idea of incubation, or hatching an egg, is implied this state must be without arrangement, or any dis- in the original word, hence probably the notion, which tinction of parts : a vast collection of indescribably con- prevailed among the ancients, that the world was genefused materials, of nameless entities strangely mixed; rated from an egg. and wonderfully well expressed by an ancient heathen
Verse 3. And God said, Let there be light) 7° poet :
718 71 7X YEHI OR, vaihi or. Nothing can be con
ceived more dignified than this form of expression. It Ante mare et terras, et, quod tegit omnia, cælum, argues at once uncontrollable authority, and omnific Unus erat toto naturæ vultus in orbe,
power; and in human language it is scarcely possible Quem direre Chaos; rudis indigestaque moles, to conceive that God can speak more like himself. Nec quicquam nisi pondus iners; congestaque eodem This passage, in the Greek translation of the SeptuaNon bene junctarum discordia semina rerum. Ovid. I gint, fell in the way of Dionysius Longinus, one of the
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The earth rendered prolific, and CHAP. I. clothed with trees, herbs, grass, fc. and the gathering together of the 11 And God said, Let the earth
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waters called he Seas : and God bring forth #grass, the herb yieldsaw that it was good.
ing seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit
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r Heb. vi. 7.
Heb. tender grass.
! Luke vi. 44.
most judicious Greek critics that ever lived, and who the first day, because without it no operation of nature is highly celebrated over the civilized world for a could be carried on or perfected. treatise he wrote, entitled llepe 'Ypovs, Concerning the Light is one of the most astonishing productions of SUBLIME, both in prose and poetry; of this passage, the creative skill and power of God. It is the grand though a heathen, he speaks in the following terms :- medium by which all his other works are discovered, Ταυτη και ο των Ιουδαιων θεσμοθετης (ουχ ο τυχων | examined, and understood, so far as they can be known. ανηρ,) επειδη την του θειου δυναμιν κατα την αξιαν | Its immense diffusion and extreme velocity are alone εχωρησε, καξεφηνεν ευθυς εν τη εισβολη γραψας των sufficient to demonstrate the being and wisdom of God. νομων, ΕΙΠΕΝ Ο ΘΕΟΣ, φησι, τι; ΓΕΝΕΣΘΩ ΦΩΣ: Light has been proved by many experiments to travel και εγενετο. .
ΓΕΝΕΣΘΩ ΓΗ: : εγενετο. . “So at the astonishing rate of 194,188 miles in one second likewise the Jewish lawgiver (who was no ordinary of time! and comes from the sun to the earth in eight man) having conceived a just idea of the Divine minutes 113 seconds, a distance of 95,513,794 Engpower, he expressed it in a dignified manner; for at lish miles. the beginning of his laws he thus speaks : GOD Verse 4. God divided the light from the darkness.) SAID-What ? LET THERE BE LIGHT! This does not imply that light and darkness are two and there was light. LET THERE BE EARTH! distinct substances, seeing darkness is only the privaand there was earth.”—Longinus, sect. ix. edit. tion of light; but the words simply refer us by anticiPearce.
pation to the rotation of the earth round its own axis Many have asked, “ How could light be produced once in twenty-three hours, fifty-six minutes, and four on the first day, and the sun, the fountain of it, not seconds, which is the cause of the distinction between created till the fourth day ?” With the various and day and night, by bringing the different parts of the often unphilosophical answers which have been given surface of the earth successively into and from under to this question I will not meddle, but shall observe the solar rays; and it was probably at this moment that the original word w signifies not only light but that God gave this rotation to the earth, to produce fire, see Isa. xxxi. 9; Ezek. v. 2. It is used for this merciful provision of day and night. For the the sun, Job xxxi. 26. And for the electric fluid or manner in which light is supposed to be produced, see LIGHTNING, Job xxxvii. 3. And it is worthy of remark ver. 16, under the word sun. that it is used in Isa. xliv. 16, for the heat, derived Verse 6. And God said, Let there be a firmament] from VN esh, the fire. He burneth part thereof in the Our translators, by following the firmamentum of the fire (ox 133 bemo esh:) yea, he warmeth himself, and Vulgate, which is a translation of the otepɛopa of the saith, Aha! I have seen the fire, 718 787 raithi ur, Septuagint, have deprived this passage of all sense and which a modern philosopher who understood the lan- meaning. The Hebrew word up? rakia, from jip? guage would not scruple to translate, I have received raka, to spread out as the curtains of a tent or pavilion, caloric, or an additional portion of the matter of simply signifies an expanse or space, and consequently heat. I therefore conclude, that as God has dif- that circumambient space or expansion separating the fused the matter of caloric or latent heat through clouds, which are in the higher regions of it, from the every part of nature, without which there could be seas, &c., which are below it. This we call the alneither vegetation nor animal life, that it is caloric or mosphere, the orb of atoms or inconceivably small latent heat which is principally intended by the origi- particles; but the word appears to have been used by nal word.
Moses in a more extensive sense, and to include the That there is latent light, which is probably the whole of the planetary vortex, or the space which is same with latent heat, may be easily demonstrated : occupied by the whole solar system. take two pieces of smooth rock crystal, agate, corne- Verše 10. And God called the dry land Earth ; and lian, or flint, and rub them together briskly in the dark, the gathering together of the waters called he Seas and the latent light or matter of caloric will be imme- These two constitute what is called the terraqueous diately produced and become visible. The light or globe, in which the earth and the water exist in a most caloric thus disengaged does not operate in the same judicious proportion to each other. Dr. Long took the powerful manner as the heat or fire which is produced papers which cover the surface of a seventeen inch by striking with flint and steel, or that produced by terrestrial globe, and having carefully separated the électric friction. The existence of this caloric-latent land from the sea, he weighed the two collections of or primitive light, may be ascertained in various other papers accurately, and found that the sea papers weighbodies; it can be produced by the flint and steel, by ed three hundred and forty-nine grains, and the land rubbing two hard sticks together, by hammering cold papers only one hundred and twenty-four ; by which iron, which in a short time becomes red hot, and by experiment it appears that nearly three-fourths of the the strong and sudden compression of atmospheric air surface of our globe, from the arctic to the antarctic in a tube. Friction in general produces both fire and polar circles, are covered with water. The doctor did light. God therefore created this universal agent on I not weigh the parts within the polar circles, because
The earth brings forth
trees, herbs, grass, fc. after his kind, whose seed is in herb yielding seed after his kind, B. C. 4004. itself, upon the earth : and it and the tree yielding fruit, whose
seed was in itself, after his kind : and God 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and saw that it was good.
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Luke, chap. vi. 44.
there is no certain measurement of the proportion of acknowledged by any of Kennicott's or De Rossi's land and water which they contain: This proportion MSS.; nor by any of the other versions. If the acof three-fourths water may be considered as too great, count of the second day stood originally as it does now, if not useless ; but Mr. Ray, by most accurate experi- no satisfactory reason can be given for the omission of ments made on evaporation, has proved that it requires this expression of the Divine approbation of the work so much aqueous surface to yield a sufficiency of va- wrought by his wisdom and power on that day. pours for the purpose of cooling the atmosphere, and Verse 11. Let the earth bring forth grass-herb watering the earth. See Ray's Physico-theological fruit-tree, fc.] In these general expressions all kinds Discourses.
of vegetable productions are included. Fruit-tree is An eminent chemist and philosopher, Dr. Priestley, not to be understood here in the restricted sense in has very properly observed that it seems plain that which the term is used among us; it signifies all trees, Moses considered the whole terraqueous globe as being not only those which bear fruit, which may be applied created in a fluid state, the earthy and other particles to the use of men and cattle, but also those wbich had of matter being mingled with the water. The present the power of propagating themselves by seeds, &c. form of the earth demonstrates the truth of the Mosaic Now as God delights to manifest himself in the little account; for it is well known that if a soft or elastic as well as in the great, he has shown his consummate globular body be rapidly whirled round on its axis, the wisdom in every part of the vegetable creation. Who parts at the poles will be flattened, and the parts on can account for, or comprehend, the structure of a sinthe equator, midway between the north and south poles, gle tree or plant ? The roots, the stem, the woody will be raised up. This is precisely the shape of our fibres, the bark, the rind, the air-vessels, the sap-vesearth; it has the figure of an oblate spheroid, a figure sels, the leaves, the flowers, and the fruits, are so many pretty much resembling the shape of an orange. It mysteries. All the skill, wisdom, and power of men has been demonstrated by admeasurement that the and angels could not produce a single grain of wheat ! earth is flatted at the poles and raised at the equator. A serious and reflecting mind can see the grandeur of This was first conjectured by Sir Isaac Newton, and God, not only in the immense cedars on Lebanon, but afterwards confirmed by M. Cassini and others, who also in the endlessly varied forests that appear through measured several degrees of latitude at the equator the microscope in the mould of cheese, stale paste, and near the north pole, and found that the difference &c., &c. perfectly justified Sir Isaac Newton's conjecture, and Verse 12. Whose seed was in itself] Which has consequently confirmed the Mosaic account. The the power of multiplying itself by seeds, slips, roots, result of the experiments instituted to determine this &c., ad infinitum; which contains in itself all the point, proved that the diameter of the earth at the rudiments of the future plant through its endless geneequator is greater by more than twenty-three and a half rations. This doctrine has been abundantly confirmed miles than it is at the poles, allowing the polar diame by the most accurate observations of the best modern ter to be both part shorter than the equatorial, accord- philosophers. The astonishing power with which God ing to the recent admeasurements of several degrees has endued the vegetable creation to multiply its difof latitude made by Messrs. Mechain and Delambre.- serent species, may be instanced in the seed of the elm. L'Histoire des Mathem. par M. de la Lande, tom. iv., This tree produces one thousand five hundred and part v., liv. 6.
eighty-four millions of seeds; and each of these seeds And God saw that it was good.] This is the judg- has the power of producing the same number. How ment which God pronounced on his own works. They astonishing is this produce ! At first one seed is depowere beautiful and perfect in their kind, for such is the sited in the earth ; from this one a tree springs, which import of the word 210 tob. They were in weight in the course of its vegetative life produces one thouand measure perfect and entire, lacking nothing. But sand five hundred and eighty-four millions of seeds. the reader will think it strange that this approbation This is the first generation. The second generation should be expressed once on the first, fourth, fifth, will amount to two trillions, five hundred and nine thouand sixth days ; twice on the third, and not at all on sand and fifty-six billions. The third generation will the second ! I suppose that the words, And God saw amount to three thousand nine hundred and seventythat it was good, have been either lost from the con- four quadrillions, three hundred and forty-four thouclusion of the eighth verse, or that the clause in the sand seven hundred and four trillions ! And the fourth tenth verse originally belonged to the eighth. It ap- generation from these would amount to sir sertillions, pears, from the Septuagint translation, that the words two hundred and ninety-five thousand three hundred in question existed originally at the close of the eighth and sixty-two quintillions, eleven thousand one hunverse, in the copies which they used; for in that ver- dred and thirty-six quadrillions! Soms too immense sion we still find, Kai eldev ó Okoç Oti kalov. And God for the human mind to conceive; and, when we allow saw that it was good. This reading, however, is not the most confined space in which a tree can grow, it
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Creation and design
of the celestial luminaries. 13 And the evening and the 15 And let them be for lights in
morning were the third day. the firmament of the heaven, to 14 And God said, Let there be lights in give light upon the earth : and it was so. the firmament of the heaven, to divide w the 16 And God y made two great lights; the day from the night; and let them be for greater light ? to rule the day, and a the signs, and » for seasons, and for days, and lesser light to rule the night : he made the years.
Deut. iv. 19; Psa. Ixxiv. 16; cxxxvi. 7.—w Heb. between y Psa. cxxxvi. 7, 8, 9; cxlviii. 3, 5.—Heb. for the rule of the day and between the night.- - Psa. lxxiv. 17; civ. 19.
wa Psa. viii. 3.o Job xxxvüi. 7.
appears that the seeds of the third generation from one no oth is often used. And is it not the almighty elm would be many myriads of times more than suffi- energy of God that upholds them in being? The cient to stock the whole superfices of all the planets sun and moon also serve as signs of the different in the solar system! But plants multiply themselves changes which take place in the atmosphere, and by slips as well as by seeds. Sir Kenelm Digby saw which are so essential for all purposes of agriculin 1660 a plant of barley, in the possession of the ture, commerce, &c. fathers of the Christian doctrine at Paris, which con- For seasons) Dimyo moadim; For the determinatained 249 stalks springing from one root or grain, and tion of the times on which the sacred festivals should in which he counted upwards of 18,000 grains. See be held. In this sense the word frequently occurs ; my experiments on Tilling in the Methodist Magazine. and it was right that at the very opening of his reve
Verse 14. And God said, Let there be lights, gc.) lation God should inform man that there were certain One principal office of these was to divide between festivals which should be annually celebrated to his day and night. When night is considered a state of glory. Some think we should understand the original comparative darkness, how can lights divide or distin- word as signifying months, for which purpose we know guish it? The answer is easy : The sun is the monarch the moon essentially serves through all the revolutions of the day, which is the state of light ; the moon, of of time. the night, the state of darkness. The rays of the sun, For days) Both the hours of the day and night, as falling on the atmosphere, are refracted and diffused well as the different lengths of the days and nights, are over the whole of that hemisphere of the earth imme- distinguished by the longer and shorter spaces of time diately under his orb; while those rays of that vast the sun is above or below the horizon. luminary which, because of the earth's smallness in And years.] That is, those grand divisions of time comparison of the sun, are diffused on all sides beyond by which all succession in the vast lapse of duration the earth, falling on the opaque disc of the moon, are is distinguished. This refers principally to a comreflected back upon what may be called the lower plete revolution of the earth round the sun, which is hemisphere, or that part of the earth which is opposite accomplished in 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 48 to the part which is illuminated by the sun : and as the seconds ; for though the revolution is that of the earth, earth completes a revolution on its own axis in about yet it cannot be determined but by the heavenly bodies. twenty-four hours, consequently each hemisphere has Verse 16. And God made two great lights] Moses alternate day and night. But as the solar light reflected speaks of the sun and moon here, not according to from the face of the moon is computed to be 50,000 their bulk or solid contents, but according to the protimes less in intensity and effect than the light of the portion of light they shed on the earth. The expressun as it comes directly from himself to our earth, sion has been cavilled at by some who are as devoid (for light decreases in its intensity as the distance it of mental capacity as of candour.
" The moon," say travels from the sun increases,) therefore a sufficient they, “is not a great body; on the contrary, it is the distinction is made between day and night, or light very smallest in our system.” Well, and has Moses and darkness, notwithstanding each is ruled and deter- said the contrary? He has said it is a great LIGHT; mined by one of these two great lights ; the moon ruling had he said otherwise he had not spoken the truth. the night, i. e., reflecting from her own surface back It is, in reference to the earth, next to the sun himon the earth the rays of light which she receives from self, the greatest light in the solar system; and so the sun.
Thus both hemispheres are to a certain true is it that the moon is a great light, that it affords degree illuminated : the one, on which the sun shines, more light to the earth than all the planets in the solar completely so; this is day: the other, on which the system, and all the innumerable stars in the vault of sun's light is reflected by the moon, partially; this is heaven, put together. It is worthy of remark that on night. It is true that both the planets and fixed stars the fourth day of the creation the sun was formed, and afford a considerable. portion of light during the night, then “first tried his beams athwart the gloom proyet they can be said to rule or to predominate by found ;" and that at the conclusion of the fourth milletheir light, because their rays are quite lost in the nary from the creation, according to the Hebrew, the superior splendour of the moon's light.
Sun of righteousness shone upon the world, as deeply And let them be for signs] nnes leothoth. Let sunk in that mental darkness produced by sin as the them ever be considered as continual tokens of God's ancient world was, while teeming darkness held the tender care for man, and as standing proofs of his dominion, till the sun was created as the dispenser of continual miraculous interference ; for so the word light. What would the natural world be without the VOL. I.
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The celestial luminaries
are set in the firmament. A. M. 1. 17 And God set them in the darkness : and God saw that it was
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firmament of the heaven, to give good. light upon the earth,
19 And the evening and the morning were 18 And to o rule over the day, and over the the fourth day. night; and to divide the light from the 20 And God said, Let the waters bring
OF THE MOON.
A howling waste, in which neither animal nor earth are probably decompositions of some of the vegetable life could possibly be sustained. And what elastic fluids belonging to the atmosphere itself, so would the moral world be without Jesus Christ, and we may suppose that in the vast atmosphere of the the light of his word and Spirit ? Just what those parts sun, similar decompositions may take place, but with of it now are where his light has not yet shone : “dark this difference, that the decompositions of the elastic places of the earth, filled with the habitations of cru- fluids of the sun are of a phosphoric nature, and are elty," where error prevails without end, and supersti- attended by lucid appearances, by giving out light." tion, engendering false hopes and false fears, degrades The body of the sun he considers as hidden generally and debases the mind of man.
from us by means of this luminous atmosphere, but Many have supposed that the days of the creation what are called the maculæ or spots on the sun are answer to so many thousands of years; and that as real openings in this atmosphere, through which the God created all in six days, and rested the seventh, so opaque body of the son becomes visible ; that this atthe world shall last six thousand years, and the seventh mosphere itself is not fiery nor hot, but is the instrushall be the eternal rest that remains for the people of ment which God designed to act on the caloric or laGod. To this conclusion they have been led by these tent heat ; and that heat is only produced by the solar words of the apostle, 2 Pet. iii. 8: One day is with light acting upon and combining with the caloric or the Lord as a thousand years ; and a thousand years matter of fire contained in the air, and other subas one day. Secret things belong to God; those that stances which are heated by it. This ingenious theory are revealed to us and our children.
is supported by many plausible reasons and illustraHe made the stars also.) Or rather, He made the tions, which may be seen in the paper he read before lesser light, with the stars, to rule the night. See the Roval Society. On this subject see the note on Claudian de Raptu Proser.. lib. ii., v. 44.
There is scarcely any doubt now remaining in the
philosophical world that the moon is a habitable globe.
to be a body similar to our earth; to have its surface
rivers, lakes, and seas. And there is the fullest evi-
here the stars are enter into detail, which would be improper here, it is in great abundance, Dr. Herschel supposes they form sufficient to say that these discoveries tend to prove primaries and secondaries, i. e., suns revolving about that what we call the sun is only the atmosphere of suns, as planets revolve about the sun in our system. that luminary ; "that this atmosphere consists of He considers that this must be the case in what is various elastic fluids that are more or less lucid and called the milky way, the stars being there in proditransparent ; that as the clouds belonging to our gious quantity of this he gives the following proof :
OF THE SUN.
OF THE STARS.