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1. What we understand about it. (1.) The making of the world; it was framed, and had a beginning, not being from eternity. (2.) The author and efficient cause of it, God. (3.) What God made, the worlds; all things, heaven, earth, sea, air, &c. and all the inhabitants thereof, angels, men, cattle, fowls, fishes, &c. (4.) How they were made, by the word of God, that word of power which spake all things, into being. Or it may denote Jesus Christ, who is called the word of God, and by whom God made the worlds. (5.) Whereof they were made. This is declared negatively, Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear, that is, not of pre-existent matter, but of nothing. By things that are seen may be understood visible corporeal things; and if these were made of nothing, much more things that are not seen. But I rather understand it of all thin which are seen to have a being; for that word relates to the eyes of the understanding, as well as of the body. 2. How we understand this creation of the world, through faith. Not that we can understand nothing of the creation by the light of nature; for the eternity of the world is contrary to reason as well as faith: but we have the full and certain knowledge of this work of creation in the particular circumstances of it, through faith assenting to divine revelation, and no other way, In speaking to this work of creation I shall shew, I. What we are to understand by creation. II. That the world was made, or had a beginning. III. Who made it. IV. What God made. V. Whereof all things were made. VI. How they were made. VII. In what space of time they were made. VIII. For what end God made all things. IX. In what case or condition he made them. X. Deduce some inferences from the whole. I. I am to shew what we are to understand by creation, or what it is to create. - 1. It is not to be taken here in a large sense, as sometimes it is used in scripture, for any production of things wherein second causes have their instrumentality; as when it is said, Psal. civ. 30. “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the earth.” Where the meaning is, thou sendest forth thy quickening power, which roduceth life in the creatures from time to time: for the }. speaks not here of the first creation, but of the continued and repeated production of living creatures, in which the divine power is the principal agent. But, 2. We are to take it strictly, for the production of things out of nothing, or the giving a being to things which had none before. And here you would know, that there is a twofold creation, one immediate, and the other mediate. (1.) There is an immediate creation; as when things are brought forth out of pure nothing, where there was no preexistent master to work upon. Thus the heavens, the earth, the waters, and all the materials of inferior bodies, were made of nothing; and the souls of men are still produced from the womb of nothing by God's creative power, and infused into their bodies immediately by him, when they are fully organised to receive them. (2.) There is a secondary and mediate creation, which is the making things of pre-existing matter, but of such as is naturally unfit and altogetherindisposed for such productions, and which could never by any power of second causes be brought into such a form. Thus all beasts, cattle, and creeping things, and the body of man, were at first made of the earth, and the dust of the ground; and the body of the first woman was made of a rib taken out of the man. Now, this was a creation as well as the former; because, though there was matter here to work upon, yet it could never have been reduced into such a form without the efficacy of Almighty power. We have an account of both these in the history of the creation. It is said, Gen. i. 1. ‘In the beginning God cre. ated the heavens and the earth; i.e. he made that mighty mass of matter out of nothing, which was at first a rude and indigested lump; for the earth was without form, and the heavens without light. And then by that same omnipotent power he reduced it into that beautiful order and disposition wherein it now appears to our view. * II. I go on to shew that the world was made, that it had a beginning, and was not eternal. This the scripture plainly testifies, Gen. i. 1. above quoted. And this reason itself teacheth: for whatsoever is eternal, the being of it is necessa' ry, and it is subject to no alteration. But we see this is not the case with the world; for it is daily undergoing alterations,

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III. I am next to shew who made the world, and gave it a beginning. That was God and he only, Gen. i. 1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This will evidently appear from the following particulars. 1. The world could not make itself; for this would imply a horrid contradiction, namely, that the world was before it was ; for the cause must always be before its effect. That which is not in being, can have no production; for nothing can act before it exists. As nothing hath no existence, so it hath no operation. There must therefore be something of real existence, to give a being to those things that are ; and every second cause must be an effect of some other before it be a cause. To be and not to be at the same time, is a manifest contradiction, which would infallibly take place if any thing made itself. That which makes is always before that which is made, as is obvious to the most illiterate peasant. If the world were a creator, it must be before itself as a creature. - 2. The production of the world could not be by chance. It was indeed the extravagant fancy of some ancient philosophers, that the original of the world was from a fortuitous concourse of atoms, which were in perpetual motion in an immense space, till at last a sufficient number of them met in such a so conjunction as formed the universe in the beautiful order in which we now behold it. But it is amazingly strange how such a wild opinion, which can never be reconciled with reason, could ever find any entertainment in a human mind. Can any man rationally conceive, that a confused rout of atoms, of diverse natures and forms, and some so far distant from others, should ever meet in such a fortunate manner, as to form an entire world, so vast in the bigness, so distinct in the order, so united in the diversities of natures, so regular in the variety of changes, and so beautiful in the whole composure ? Such an extravagant fancy as this can only possess the thoughts of a disordered brain. 3. God created all things, the world, and all the creatures that belong to it. He attributes this work to himself, as one of the peculiar glories of his Deity, exclusive of all the creatures. So we read, Isa. xliv. 24. “I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.” Chap. xlv. 12. ‘I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even my Wol. I. A a

hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. Chap. xl. 12, 13. “Who hath mea. sured the waters in the hollow of his hand? and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance 2 Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? Job ix. 8. *Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. These are magnificent descriptions of the creating power of God, and exceed every thing of the kind that hath been attempted by the pens of the greatestsa. es of antiquity.—By this operation God is distinguished om all the false gods and fictitious deities which the blinded nations adored, and shews himself to be the true God. Jer. x. 11. 12. ‘The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the worldby his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” Psal. xcvi. 5. “All the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.’ Isa. xxxvii. 19. “Thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth : thou hast made heaven and earth.” None could make the world but God, because creation is a work of infinite power, and could not be produced by any finite cause: For the distance be. tween being and not being is truly infinite, which could not be removed by any finite agent, or the activity of all finite agents united. This work of creation is common to all the three persons in the adorable Trinity. The Father is described in scripture as the Creator, 1 Cor. viii. 6.- The Father, of whom are all things.’ The same prerogative belongs to the Son, John i. 3. ‘All things were made by him (the Word, the Son); and without him was not anything made that was made The same honour belongs to the Holy Ghost, as Job xxvi. 13. ‘By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens.’ Chap. xxxiii. 4. ‘The Spirit of God hath made me (says Elihu), and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.' All the three persons are one God; God is the Creator; and therefore all the external works and acts of the one God must be common to the three perons. Hence, when the work of creation is ascribed to the Father, neither the Son nor the

Holy Spirit are excluded; but because, as the Father is the fountain of the Deity, so he is the fountain of divine works. The Father created from himself by the Son and the Spirit; the Son from the Father by the Spirit; and the Spirit from the Father and the Son; the manner or order of their working being according to the order of their subsisting. The matter may be conceived thus: All the three persons being one God, possessed of the same infinite perfections; the Father, the #: in subsistence, willed the work of creation to be done by his authority: “He spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.”—In respect of immediate operation, it peculiarly belonged to the Son. For ‘the Father created all things by Jesus Christ, Eph. iii. 9. And we are told, that “all things were made by him, John iii. 3. This work in regard of disposition and ornament, doth peculiarly belong to the Holy Ghost. So it is said, Gen. i. 2. “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, to garnish and adorn the world, after the matter of it was formed. Thus it is also said, Job Kxvi. 13. above cited, “By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens.’ IV. Our next province is to shew what God made. All things whatsoever, besides God, were created, Rev. iv. 11. “Thou hast created all things; and for thy pleasure o are, and were created.” Col. i. 16. “By him were things created.” The evil of sin is no positive being, being but a defect or want, and therefore is not reckoned among the things which God made, but owes its existence to the will of fallen angels and men. Devils being angels, are God's creatures; but God did not make them evil, or devils, but they made themselves so. - Those things that were made in the beginning were most properly created of God; but whatsoever is or will be produced in the world, is still made by God, not only in respect that the matter whereof they are made was created by him, but because he is still the first cause of all things, without whom second causes could produce nothing; and whatever power one creature has of producing another, is . from God. Hence Elihu says, as above cited, “The Spirit of God hath made me;’ though he was produced by the operation of second causes. And it is worth while to conider what David says on this head, Psal. cxxxix. 13,-16. This clearly appears from the impotency of the creature to

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