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14. And God said, Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heaven, to divide between the day and between the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and
15. And let them be for luminaries in the expanse of the heaven, to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16. And God made the two great luminaries — the greater luminary to rule the day, and the lesser luminary to rule the night — and the stars.
17. And God placed them in the expanse of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide between the light and between the darkness: and God saw that it
upheaving of the land, but only a concentration of the floods to certain parts: not even the doctrines of the Neptunists are here expressed. Nor does the poetical and more copious paraphrase of our text in Ps. civ. 6—9, imply a greater harmony with the modern results; the retreat of the waters reveals the unevenness of the earth's surface; mountains and valleys appear; and the floods are enclosed within strict boundaries. This does not explain
the formation of the strata, nor of the
FOURTH DAY. THE CELESTIAL ORBS. Ver. 14-19. The first part of the creation is finished; their service is threefold: to mark the dif. the framework of the universe is made, it ference between day and night, to ncie only remains to be completed; the outlines the various seasons of the year, and to are drawn, they need only to be filled up; illumine the earth. They were, therefore, the design is manifested, the execution necessary even after the creation of light; follows of necessity. The works of the the latter could not indicate the various three first days point to those which await changes in the aspect and condition of the the creating power of God on the three earth; it was unable to guide and to direct following days; the labour of the fourth the labours of man. But the use of the day has not so much reference to that of luminaries is entirely limited to the planet the third or fifth, but to that of the first which we inhabit; the earth is the centre day; the luminaries which are now called of the universe, and the hosts of heaven into existence, point to the light, which are intended for its service; they are the was the first of the Divine works; they are only infallible measure of time, for which not considered as animated bodies, occu- man can devise but imperfect substitutes; pying an intermediate place between the both the sun and the moon were necessary vegetable and animal kingdoms; their mo. for the computation of time; the months tions involve no free activity; they follow were determined by the latter, but the the laws of a prescribed necessity; they are seasons and years were regulated by the held in their unchangeable orbits. These former.-They are fixed in the expanse laminaries are divided into three classes, which was created on the second day; the sun, the moon, and the stars; and they are, originally, no part of it; they
was good. 19. And it was evening, and it was morning; a fourth day.
20. And God said, Let the waters teem with abundant creatures that have life; and fowl may fly above the earth towards the expanse of heaven. 21. And God created the great monsters, and every living creature that moveth, with which the waters teem, after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind: and God saw that it was good.
are the visible wonders of the heaven: and, as the earth depends on them for light and warmth, for cheerfulness and the blessings of vegetation, they are described as having dominion over the earth; the sun during the day, and the moon during the night; but, since the moon is not always visible, since she is not, as she miglit have been expected to be, as constant a companion of the night as the sun is of the day, the starry
host has been added to cheer the unfriendly gloom. Thus, Biblical astronomy is derived from mere optical appearance; the eye alone is the judge; the moon is represented as the second of the great heavenly orbs, and as a luminous body; the stars are nothing else but her companions; and their only end is to shed their chaste lustre on our small planet.
Fiftu DAY. FISHES AND BIRDS. VER. 20–23. The earth had been adorned with the organs fitting them to move in their regay and variegated luxuriance of vegeta- spective elements; these are accidental tion; but the water and the air were still analogies, not determining the order of empty and dreary; and breathing life was the created beings, but showing still more wanting throughout the globe. In the powerfully their barmony and symmetry. same order in which the different parts of But it is to be admitted, that, on the whole, the earth had been created or organized, a gradual progress is observed: first were they were now peopled with living crea- produced the cosmical elements; then the tures, not by spontaneous production, but vegetable; then the animal kingdom; and, by the behest of God; first the two move- at last, man.— The water was filled with able elements, water and air, and then the huge fishes, which are mentioned as the continents; and thus, the fifth day corres- majestic representatives of all greater inponds accurately with the second, and the habitants of the sea; and with the living sixth with the third. It is, therefore, of creatures which abound in that element, little importance to enquire whether, ac- and which comprise all its other tenants. cording to the Biblical account, the living For, it seems to have been usual to divide beings were created in a steady grada- the fishes into two chief classes according tion from the less to the more perfect; the to their size. When the air, also, had been great monsters of the sea are, perhaps, as peopled with living beings, to which, howfully organized as the birds of heaven ; ever, the earth was not entirely denied the works of the three last days do not (ver. 22); God blessed all these creatures; succeed each other after an independent He granted them fruitfulness and increase; principle; they follow the arrangement of for they have not, like the plants, the innate the three first days; they are their neces- power of spontaneous propagation. But sary complement, The fishes and the they were incapable of receiving a higher birds, therefore, are not compled on the blessing; this was reserved to those more same day, because both are oviparous, or exalted beings whose animal nature was because both are furnished with peculiar ennobled and elevated by the spark of
22. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and the fowl may multiply on the earth. 23. And it was evening, and it was morning; a fifth day.
24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, cattle, and reptiles, and beasts of the earth, after their kind: and it was so. 25. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the
Divine Reason. And even the blessing of the fishes and birds redounds on man; for, under his dominion the whole animal
creation was given (ver. 26, 28); even if he used them for his food, they would still exist in abundance.
Sixtu Day. Tas ANIMALS OF THE EARTH AND MAN. VER. 24 -31. Still was the richest and most beautiful proaching nearer to His own spiritual napart of the globe without its inhabitants; ture; and stamping the creation more visithe ocean was filled with an endless variety bly as the work of the Infinite Mind. He of beings; the air re-echoed with the happy decided, after solemn self-deliberation, sounds of the winged tribes; but the and Man was created. He was endowed luxurious vegetation bloomed in vain; with Divine faculties; he received a part and in vain shed the king of the day his of eternal Reason; he was formed in the cheerful beams on the lifeless plains and image and likeness of God, which propahills. The earth demanded its tenants; gated itself through all generations (v.3); and they were brought forth on the sixth and he was ordained to rule over the day. They were animated beings; they beasts of the field, and the fishes of the lent life to the calm and solitude of nature;
Even physically, man seems to they were created in three great classes: concentrate within himself the characterthe grass-eating larger quadrupeds, in- istic qualities of all other animated beings; cluding the beasts of burden, and the he is the type of all types of the animal cattle; the carnivorous beasts of the forest ; kingdom, and its indisputable head; and and the worms and reptiles.
he is organised to live in almost every And now was the whole earth peopled part of the globe. with life; all its habitable parts had their But which are those Divine faculties of proper occupants, all perfect in their kind; man? how was he armed to maintain his but there was no unity among them, no superiority over the brute creation? His connecting link; each passed an isolated intellect penetrates, beyond the sensual existence, without relation to the rest;- perception, to unseen regions; his imagi. should the creative energy of God pause nation carries him, beyond time and space, here? Had He called the earth and all from the real to the ideal, from the finite the heavenly hosts into existence, merely to the infinite; his reason explores the to adorn the former, and to leave it as an mainspring and hidden connection of exabode or a prey to the brute creation? ternal things; his mind is almost boundGod, who had produced the world from less in device; it makes wonderful disthe abundance of His love, required other coveries and inventions, either by a flash beings whom He might make the lords of of genius, or the patient labours of exthat wondrous structure; beings more perience and induction; he embodies subcapable of comprehending and enjoying it; lime ideas in the form of art, and beauty of embracing and understanding it as a becomes the hand-maid of truth; memory whole;“the uniting tie of all creatures”; ap- stores up the treasures of the past, and
cattle after their kind, and all the reptiles of the earth after their kind: and God saw that it was good.
26. 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 heaven, and over the
hands them over to reason to argue and religious convictions, and knows how to to draw conclusions; he searches the mu- combat for them; he feels gratitude to his tual relation between cause and effect, till benefactors, and he forgives the injuries of he ascends to the First Cause, the Creator his enemies; he delights in the sociable and Governor of the world; he can trace exchange of thoughts and sentiments; and back the past history of the planet which feels himself a member of a political comhe inhabits through many successive re- munity formed to advance his highest aims volutions, and he anticipates other stages and objects; he is privileged to admire the of its existence, which silently prepare moral order of the world; he is the inthemselves in accordance with laws strument of God Himself, of whose majesty which his sagacity has discovered; he has he gives witness; his erect form looks up been permitted to find, by mere compu. to heaven; and he feels, that there is the tation, the existence and motion of distant true home of his soul; he alone enjoys planets; he is capable of communicating, liberty and free will, whilst the vast sideby the medium of language, his deepest real bodies, and even all the other organic thoughts, and his innermost feelings; he beings, are subject to an immutable nemay thus either instruct or delight, he cessity; he is not the slave of a blind inmay offer sympathy or implore it ; the stinct, he reflects on himself, and examines pliant voice assumes the tender tone of his resolutions and his deeds; he conquers, approbation, or the sterner accent of re- by the strength of his mind, temptation buke; a radiating smile playing on the and baseness; bis moral energy masters lips betrays the emotions of the soul; and a passion and seduction; conscience, his sympathetic tear pearling from the eye monitor and his guide, cheers him with its bears testimony to the living fountain of applause, and torments him with its sting; love flowing within the heart; his actions he considers himself responsible for his are regulated after the prudent calculation deeds before the higher tribunal of his soul of means and end, of direction and aim; he and of his Creator: he might, at least, distinguishes between the eternal ideas strive after all this excellence; but if he and their transitory embodiment in the yet totters and falls, he feels, that contrimaterial world; he practises virtue with- tion and repentance will restore him to out a selfish object; not from fear, but mercy; and if he is oppressed by misery from love; not from motives of egotism and sin, if he is seized by despondency or pleasure, but from a profound sense of and despair, he looks with joyous confihis dignity; he forgets his own advantage, dence to a redemption beyond the grave, and strives nobly for the welfare of his and is uplifted by the glorious hope of fellow-men; his heart is kindled for the immortality. All these priceless privileges great objects of mankind; they are his have been allotted to man exclusively; own, his dearest interests; he considers it they constitute his resemblance to God, no sacrifice to seal a life of struggle and and lead him from earth to heaven; no devotion with a deach of martyrdom, if animal, however powerfully or perfectly he but promotes the cause of humanity; organized, possesses any of them; it might he is determined to perish rather than to surpass man in strength, in size, in ensuffer ignominy, and he sacrifices his ex- durance, or in courage: man is destined istence for glory and fame; his heart is to rule over it by his reason, by the power open to the lessons of faith; he lives in his of the mind; he has, therefore, to acquire
cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the reptiles which creep upon the earth. 27. And God created man in His image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. 28. And God blessed them, and God said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill
and to conquer that dominion which is not iii. 22); we are not seriously concerned if granted him without the exertion of his some natural philosophers make him the higher faculties. And this wonderful lineal descendant of the monkey or the greatness and depth of human nature is Batrachian.— It is true, man is physically our sarest proof of an eternal and omni- weak, and frail, and transitory; he is, at potent Creator; it is a surer proof than his birth, and in his infancy, more helpless even that derived from the contemplation than any other creature; and the great of His marvellous works; for, it comes not number of his wants render him often the from without; it is an intuitive conviction slave rather than the ruler of nature; he of the mind, that it is a part of a kindred, is beset with infirmity and disease; his though infinitely more perfect Spirit. life is frequently a series of sorrows and It is, at the same time, an irresistible ar- sufferings; his Divine nature is seldom gument for the doctrine, that man is dif
developed, and passion or malice destroy ferent from the animals not simply in his own happiness and that of others; the degree, but specifically; that he is not Scriptures allude to these infirmities and merely a more perfect animal, but forms defects a thousand times in touching another, a higher order of beings. We do and pathetic terms; but they are never not deny, that animals are gifted with an without hope and consolation; they do not instinct often bordering upon mind; that abandon man to despair; they leave the theiringenuity and skill sometimes demand solution of this superhuman mystery to our bighest admiration; that they are God, and teach man how to bear for a while susceptible of feelings and impressions, these miseries not only with fortitude, but capable of love and hatred, and, sometimes, with cheerfulness, and how to prepare the of acting according to the principle of means soul, by a life of love and usefulness, for a and end; but all these facts imply only more perfect existence. If the scepticism another proof of the truth, that there exists of the Ecclesiastes, in some features, rea continuous chain in the whole organic sembles the gloomy views of Pliny (vii. 1), creation; they are the points of transition or Lucretius (i. 223), it is, in the final refrom the lower to the higher order: bat sults, directly opposed to them; it points man possesses, in a great degree of deve- to the ever-watchful eye of God, and to lopment, powers which are entirely denied His love, which will dissolve all that apto animals; and which just constitute his parent discord into endless harmonies. principal characteristics. His physical na- Even heathens, not unfrequently, acture chiefly connects him with the animal knowledged with astonishment the woncreation; but that is not his dominant, it derful power of man ; they considered is not even his stronger part; it is sub- extraordinary accomplishments as the ordinated to, and controlled by, his moral immediate gifts of the gods, and worand intellectual powers; if man neglects shipped the deity in such distinguished his reason, he resembles the beast, he des- mortals; they erected to them temples, cends from the higher to the lower class and assigned to them a place among the of creatures; the spiritual part is his immortal gods. We remind our readers guiding principle. This is the Biblical con- of that magnificent song in the Antigone ception with regard to the position of man; of Sophocles, which commences: “Many the Scriptures attribute to him a dignity things are mighty, but nought is mightier “but little inferior to God Himself”(comp. than man"; which describes his dominion