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earth. The sun, the moon, the stars, the firmament, the atmosphere, the heat, the cold, the clouds, and the rain, were all made for the service and benefit of mankind ; and are so necessary, that they could not subsist without the kindly influence of these things, which belong to the lower heaven. And it is no less evident, that there is a constituted connection between the inhabitants of the upper heaven and the inhabitants of this lower world. The upper heaven was the first place and the inhabitants of it the first intelligent beings, that God brought into existence on the first day of creation. This is strongly intimated by the question God put to Job, “ Where wast thou, when I laid the foundations of the earth? when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" There was an early communication between angels and men. It was an evil angel, that tempted our first parents to commit their first offence, which ruined all their posterity. There were good angels, who guarded the tree of life after the first apostacy. And good angels have ever since been ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation. But the great and glorious schemes of redemption has formed a very important and inseparable connection between the upper and lower worlds and all things, which were created in six days. This the apostle Paul teaches in several places. In one place he says,
“ Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the begin. ning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ : to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Here God is represented as creating all things in reference to and connection with the great scheme of redemption. In another place we are told, that “all things were not only
created by Christ, but for him ;" that is, to promote the great design, for which he suffered and died.-And we are furthermore told, that it was God's eternal purpose, “in the dispensation of the fulness of times to gather together in one all things in Christ ; both which are in heaven and which are on earth.” The work of redemption has formed an inseparable and everlasting connection between the visible and invisible worlds. So that all things, which were created in six days, form a whole, or are constituent parts of one great and important system. This gives us just ground to conclude, that this system contains all the works of God and was brought into existence at one and the same time.
4. Those things which were created in six days, not only form a whole, or system, but the most perfect system conceivable.
All the parts, taken together, appear to be completely suited to answer the highest and best possible end, that God could propose to answer by creation. The highest and best end God could propose, in the creation of all things, was the most fuil display of all his great and amiable perfections. Such a display of himself must make both himself and his intelligent creatures the most completely holy and bappy. If we now examine the system of things, which he actually created in six days, we shall see that they are abundantly sufficient to display all the perfections of his nature to the best advantage. By the creation of the heavens and the earth, he has given as full a display of his power, as can be given. The heavenly bodies are immensely great ; and animals and insects are extremely small; and by creating such great and small things, in a vast variety, he has displayed his creating power as clearly, as if he had created millions of larger, or smaller worlds. If we consider the beauty and order of the heavens and the earth, we must be convinced, that he has displayed his wisdom, as clearly as creation can display it. If we consider the adaptedness of the heavens and the earth to the use, convenience and happiness of his creatures, we shall see that they display his goodness, as clearly as creation can display it. If we consider the nature and character of good and bad angels and of good and bad men, we shall see, that according to the plan of redemption, they will be so disposed of, as to bring all the perfections of God into the clearest, strongest and most interesting light. By making some perfectly holy and happy forever ; by making some perfectly holy and happy for a season and then subjecting them to a state of complete sin and misery forever; by making some holy and then unholy ; and then holy and happy forever; and by making some totally sinful and miserable to all eternity; he will display his pow. er, his wisdom, his goodness, his sovereignty, his grace and his justice in the fullest and clearest manner possible. If he had created ten thousand worlds of intelligent creatures, he could not have placed them in any circumstances different from the circumstances of angels and men ; and consequently he could not have displayed any of his perfections, in a more full, amiable and glorious light, than they will be displayed, by the rational and irrational creatures, which he created in six days. These works form not only a system, but the best possible system ; so that as Solomon says, nothing can be put to it, or taken from it, to make it more perfect. And from this, we may justly conclude, that God did, at one and the same time, create all things, that he ever intended to create. I must add,
5. It appears from the process of the great day, that angels and men are the only rational creatures, who will then be called to give an account of their conduct. Christ has plainly informed us, that all good and bad angels and all good and bad men will there be collected together and judged, according to their works; but no other intelligent creatures are mentioned, as being present on that great and solemn day, either by Christ, or any other inspired writer. But why not, if the sun, moon and all the planets and fixed stars are inhabited by rational and accountable beings? The great day is called, “the day of the Revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” The design of it is to display the rectitude of God's conduct towards both the happy and the miserable, or to make it appear to every individual person, that he has not only treated him right, but that he has treated every other rational creature in the universe right. It is only on this account, that we can see the necessity, or even propriety of a general judgment.--God can make every person see and feel, that he has treated him right before the day of judgment; but he cannot make every person know and see, that he has treated all other creatures right, without calling them all together and fully opening his conduct towards them and their conduct towards him and one another. And since this will be the business of the great day, it is necessary that every intelligent creature in the universe should be actually present at the day of judgment. If the sun, or moon, or planets, or fixed stars are inhabited by rational and accountable creatures, it is as necessary, that they should be present, as that angels and men should be ; for they must be constituent parts of God's great system ; and his conduct towards them and their conduct towards him, must have had some connection with his conduct towards angels and men. But we have no reason to expect from any thing said in scripture, that any intelligent creatures will be present at the day of judgment, besides angels and men; from wbich the inference is natural and irresistable, that no other intelligent creatures besides angels and men ever have been created. These form a moral, connected and perfect system ; and of course, are to be called together and judged according to their works at the last day and to be set up as mirrors to display the divine glory in the clearest manner to all eternity which will completely answer the highest and best end, that God could propose in the great work of creation.
Now the foregoing considerations, if taken singly; and much more, if taken together, form an argument in favour of the Mosaic account of the creation, which cannot be easily resisted ; and which seems to constrain us to believe, that the heavens and the earth with their inbabitants, which were created in six days, comprize all things, that God ever did and ever will create. The whole current of scripture is in favour of this supposition ; and it may be well questioned, whether any argument, drawn from reason and philosophy, can counterbalance such scriptural evidence. We must believe, therefore that God created all things in the space of six days, and has ever since rested from the work of creation.
But however, I will consider several things, which may be objected against the leading sentiments in this discourse.
1. It may be said, that Moses had no occasion to mention any other worlds than the heavens and the earth, if there had been millions of them, which were created before this world. Ans. If there had been other worlds created before this, it would not have been proper for Moses to say, “ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ;” which naturally implies that the creation of the heavens and the earth were the first things, that he ever created. The phrase, “ in the beginning," has reference to the first time of God's exerting his creative power and not to the order of the things, which he created; and excludes the supposition of his having created any being, or object, before he created the heavens and the earth,
2. It may be said, that it is more agreeable to our ideas of infinite power, wisdom and goodness, to create more worlds than two, or ten, or twenty, or twenty thousands; and therefore it is very rational to suppose and believe, that he has actually created as many worlds as there are suns and moons and planets and fixed stars. Ans. This does not appear more consistent with the wisdom of God, which must limit creation to one finite connected system
For two worlds may form as wise and benevolent a system, as two millions. And to suppose the contrary, is to suppose, that it is not only morally impossible, but naturally impossible for God to form the most wise and benevolent system.