« AnteriorContinuar »
firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night *;” “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'.” So did the Deity cause two great spiritual lights “ to give light upon the earth ;” whereof “the lesser light” (or the Mosaic dispensation) was “ to rule the night,” and “the greater light" (“the glorious light of the Gospel"), “ to rule the day. The “ lesser light” in the firmament, possessed no light of its own, it served but to reflect the glory of “the greater light;" so the “ lesser light” of the Mosaic dispensation possessed no light in itself, but the light which it communicated was a portion of the glorious light of that “ greater light," the Gospel. And they, upon whom neither of these lights hath shined, who have not enjoyed any light of revelation, have still had glimmering lights to guide them ; namely, the lights of nature and reason, and they have established for themselves religious creeds, founded upon " the law written in their heartsz.” Thus, there is one glory of “the greater light,” the Gospel ; another glory of “ the lesser light” which preceded it; and another glory of natural religions; and one natural religion differs from another natural religion, in point of excellence, as to the degree of that glimmering light which it displays. Or, as St. Paul expresses it, “ There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glorya.” And, as in each division of the periods occupied in the creation, the evening is spoken of as preceding the morning, so did the twilight of the Mosaic dispensation precede the full manifestation of “the day-spring from on high," when “ the Sun of Righteousness” appeared, “ with healing in His wings.”
z Rom. ij. 15.
* Gen. i. 14. y Gen. i. 16.
“ God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters e." " And GOD called the firmament (or expansion) heaven.—And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear; and it was so. And GOD called the dry (land] earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He seas f.” We have seen, that the dividing of the waters of the Red Sea afforded a figure of the salvation imparted by baptism through the blood of Christ ; and that the sea is a figure representing the heathen and infidel world, from which sea " the Israel of
a 1 Cor. xv. 41.
b Gen. i, 5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31.
Luke, i. 78.
d Malachi, iv. 2.
God” is ransomed by Christ. By “ waters," are also denoted, “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues 8;" and the nations which remain in infidelity, are gathered together, and they constitute the sea, upon whom darkness rests, as“ in the beginning," when “ darkness was upon the face of the deep b;" and these waters are separated from “ the nations of them that are saved,” for the latter are “above the firmament,” while the former shall have their portion with him who “was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with himk."
As God made man in His own image, and gave him dominion over the earth l; so, through Christ, we “put on the new (man) which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him who created himm;" through Him we are regenerated “, we are “born againo,” we are made
kings and priests unto God and His Father," and we obtain “a crown of righteousness 9," “ a crown of glory!,” “a crown of life,” in the kingdom of heaven. God having
“ ended His work,” “ blessed
8 Rev. xvii. 15. Isaiah, xxxii. 20.
h Gen. i. 2.
n Titus, iii. 5.
James, i. 12.
the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and madet."
So He hath appointed a rest for His people", that, when they have ended their work, they may enter into it, and their “ rest shall be glorious W.” Blessed and holy is he that hath part in this rest*, " for he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works as God did from His y."
Thus in the Mosaic history of what took place “ in the beginning?,” we discover dawnings of those important truths, which are delivered throughout the sacred writings, and which are, in so many passages in those writings, clothed in language borrowed from that history. The distinction between heaven and earth; the universal darkness dispelled by light from above; the day and the night; the “two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; the stars also ;” the division of the waters, and the establishment of dry land in the midst of the seas ; evening preceding morning ; these are the subjects upon which Moses principally dwells in his relation of what occurred “ in the beginning," when“ GOD
i Gen, ü. 2, 3.
" Jere. vi. 16. Matt. xi. 29. Hebr. iv. 1, 3, 9.
* Isaiah, xi, 10.
x Rev. XX. 6.
created the heaven and the earth ;” and each of these subjects is, throughout the Scriptures, adopted as a figure to represent, or to illustrate, some part of the religious history of man.
We find Moses asserting, that “ in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," and, throughout his relation, we observe, that the several works of creation arose, whenever “ God saida.” Accordingly the Psalmist says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth b." The word of God, then, created the heavens and the earth; so St. John says, “ In the beginning was the WORD-all things were made by Himo;" this: “ Word was with God and was Godd," and was “ made flesh and dwelt among use," and Christ was He by whom “ were all things created f.” Such a strict accordance with each other, have all the several parts of the Holy Scriptures.
As the brief history, then, which Moses records of what took place “ in the beginning," furnishes such strong figures for typifying and illustrating the scheme and the history of Christianity, does it not appear probable, that the creation itself had, in its several parts and ope
a Gen. i. 3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20,
d John, i. 1. 24, 26.
e John, i. 14. b Psalm xxxiii. 6.
f Coloss. i. 16. 1 Cor. viii. © John, i. 1, 3.
6. Hebr.i. 2.