« AnteriorContinuar »
by the giver of thanks, and then he should cease. Again, a person praying or giving of thanks in a public assembly is understood to do so, not only on behalf of himself, but also on behalf of those present. How then can they respond “Amen " unless it is done decently as God has commanded ? Who then but a fool would say “ Amen,” to a long, heathenish, hypocritical prayer, for Jesus said of those in his day who, for a pretence, made long prayers, “ Therefore shall they receive greater damnation.” Therefore with Christ's short and comprehensive prayer before us as a model, one should be careful to copy closely after it, and sin not in this thing.
THE BEGINNING AND END OF THE WORLD
Before entering upon the interpretation of the prophecies of the Old and New Testament Scriptures which relate to the things which are yet to be manifested in the latter days, we propose first to show and refute some of the erroneous and unscriptural views touching the creation and the end of the world, as they are commonly held and taught in the sectarian churches by their teachers, and as they are set forth in their religious books by their commentators and writers. While there is a little diversity of opinion among them upon some of the minor points yet upon the main questions they are generally pretty well agreed; and as their views and theories are in opposition to, and destructive of a large portion of the Old and New Testament Scriptures touching the creation and prophecies concerning those great and wonderful things which are yet to come to pass in the latter days, we therefore consider it necessary before treating of the hidden age and the things which are to arise hereafter to correct those errors and to remove them out of the way, so that persons of honest and inquiring minds may avoid the errors of the wicked.
THE CREATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH Matthew Henry in his treatise upon the creation of the natural heavens and earth, and the creed of the Presbyterian church, says that in the beginning God created all things out of nothing. This statement is an error, a false doctrine, and very injurious and misleading, and moreover it is a flat denial of the Scriptures which declares emphatically that the earth and the waters upon it existed and were there present when the creative work of God first began, which is proved as follows. The first verse in the Book of Genesis, which says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” does not refer to anything that God did before the first day, nor does it refer solely to what he did on the first day, but it is a general statement of what God did in the six days. This any person may see by what the Lord himself said after the six days' work was done, even as it is written in the first verse of the second chapter, saying, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” Therefore the first verse is a general statement of what the Lord did during the six days of creation. A definite and specific amount of work was done in each day of the six days of creation, and the amount of work that was done in each day is carefully noted and enumerated, for all God's creative work was done in the six days.
Therefore we inquire, What condition of things existed at the beginning when the very first act in the drama of creation was performed? The answer to this question is found in the first passage of the second verse of the first chapter of Genesis, saying, " And the earth was without form, and void, and