« AnteriorContinuar »
mament, from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament, heaven : and the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, · Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear :' and so it was. And God called the dry land, earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he seas : and God saw that it was good. And God said, ' Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruitful tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth :' and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind : and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind : and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, “ Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth :' and it was
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night : he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth : and to rule over the day, and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness : and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, 'Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open fir
mament of heaven.' And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind : and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them saying, “ Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, “ Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind : and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kinds, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth, after his kind : and God saw that it was good. And God said, “ Let us make man in our image, after our likeness : and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.' And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face. of all the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I
have given every green herb for meat:' and it
And God saw every thing that he had made; and behold it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus the heavens, and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made : and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work, which God created and made.
THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE CONTEMPLATED
You are animated with proper sentiments of piety, when you speak of the structure of the universe. No one indeed, who considers it with attention, can fail of having his mind filled with the supremest veneration for its author. Who can contemplate without astonishment, the motion of a comet, running far beyond the orb of Saturn, endeavouring to escape into the pathless regions of unbounded space, yet feeling, at its utmost distance, the attractive influence of the sun, hearing, as it were, the voice of God arresting its progress, and compelling it, after a lapse of ages, to reiterate its ancient course? Who can comprehend the distance of the stars from the earth, and from each other? It is so great, that it mocks our conception ; our imagination is terrified, confounded, and lost, when we are told, that a ray of light, which moves at the rate of above ten millions of miles in a minute, will not, though emitted this instant from the brightest star, reach the earth in less than six years. We think this earth a great globe; and we see the sad wickedness, which individuals are guilty of, in scraping together a little of its dirt: we view, with still greater astonishment and horrour, the mighty ruin which has, in all ages, been brought upon mankind, by the low ambition of contending powers, to acquire a temporary possession of a little portion of its surface. But how does the whole of this globe sink, as it were, to nothing, when we consider, that a million of earths will scarcely equal the bulk of the sun; that all the stars are suns; and that millions of suns constitute, probably, but a minute portion of that material world, which God has distributed through the immensity of space. Systems, however, of insensible matter, though arranged in exquisite order, prove only the wisdom and power of the great architect of nature. As pero ent beings, we look for something more; and we cannot open our eyes without seeing it.
IS THERE A GOD?
IS THERE A GOD?—It is a question of infinite moment, on the solution of which depend every obligation, and every consolation of religion. It is a question, however, which it is unnecessary to involve in the perplexity of abstruse speculation, since it may be determined by a single argument, which is so obvious as to be intelligible to every capacity, and withal so conclusive, that the whole weight of the great cause of religion may be safely rested upon it.
No man observes the construction of a clock, or other piece of mechanism, without immediately concluding it to be the production of some ingenious artist. And this conclusion is the same, whether it be deduced from the relation which the mind perceives between the ideas of a work and a workman, an act and an agent, in any particular case, or referred to an universal axiom, grounded on the observation of many individual cases in which it is exemplified. When a vulgar spectator infers from the marks of design and ingenuity which any species of manufacture discovers, that there must have been some mechanic employed in producing it;-when the same ob. server so far generalises his ideas as to remark, that every work supposes a workman ;—and when the philosopher, who has accustomed himself to contemplate the ideas of sensible objects abstractedly, maintains that every effect must have a cause, and that every effect which bears evident marks of design, must have a designing or intelligent cause ;—the mind, in each case, passes through the same operation; the same relation of ideas is observed; and the same conclusion is drawn, perhaps with precisely the same degree of conviction : for no general truth is more evident than any particular truth comprehended in it.
All the refinements of philosophy can add nothing to the clearness and certainty with which