Imatges de pÓgina
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tle room is found for the admiffion of harmony; and in the performances of mufic, by not giving a proper weight and command to the first and governing part, by overftraining the chords, and by not having the voices either agreeably toned, or properly tuned ; and to complete the mifchief, by filling and even oppreffing the ear with found, which is called. filling the houfe, no fuch thing as harmony can exift, and if it could, there is no room in the ear for it to be perceived.-Such, at prefent, is the common flate of pfalmody that, thereby it might be confidered a fort of accident for even an attentive person to difcover that harmony is a property of founds. Thus, an inflitution, defigned for an emblem of the world of truth and harmony, is perverted into an emblem of folly and difcord.

I am fenfible that many questions relative to this view of the frame of the creation, are here left unanswered.—It was only here de-. figned to point out in what general directions, it is conceived, that the whole might be tra ced out to be formed by the various progreffions of one moving fluid; as really as the various courses and windings of a river may be traced out to be formed by one stream of waters. When I fay the whole might be traced out, I must be understood to mean the frame of the world; for what the creation is, more than its difpofition anfwerable to the will of God, I prefume not to enquire.

My only object in fuggefting this theory of nature, is to bring into view the frame of the heavens and earth, as being originally

conftituted of water and by water, according to the fcriptures; and what may be the powers of that wonderful agent in nature, which is fo often alluded to in the fcriptures, as being the voice of the Lord, and fignal of the divine prefence, which is full of majesty, and which, to us, is moft apparent in the clouds,

Section 2, The original Perfection of the

Creation.

Whatever is properly built upon a foundation must neceffarily harmonize with it; and whatever properly belongs to a head muft neceffarily agree to it.-That which does not harmonize and agree cannot properly be confidered as belonging to a foundation and head; the doctrine, therefore, of the original rectitude and perfection of all worlds, refults neceffarily from the truth of Chrift, confidered in the preceding Section, viz. that he is the perfect Foundation and Head of the whole Creation.

But this doctrine of Chrift's being confi. tuted the Foundation and Head of the whole created Universe, is fupported in the fullest manner by the divine record,-In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, Gen. i. 1.-All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made, John i, 3-By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, vifible and invifible; whether they be thrones,

or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him, Col. i. 16. And it has been fhewn that fuch declarations as these, that all things were crea ted in Chrift, and that they are by him, and of him, and through him, &c. intend that he is the Foundation and Head of the Creation; for, through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, and that the things which are feen were made of things which do not appear.

And having this Revelation of Chrift, as being the perfect Foundation and Head, we come to the certain knowledge of the original uprightness and perfection of all created beings and things; and this fact of the creation has been ever perceived and confeffed by all men who have faith; but as this flate of the creation refults wholly from the truth of Chrift, we may come to the knowledge of it only by the revelation or knowledge of Jefus Chrift; for, through faith, and that only, we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God.

And it is not ftrange that men, without faith-men who reject the truth of Chriftgreat and learned men! have difputed much, whether it be inconfiflent with the divine perfection for creatures to have originally exifted imperfect, and fubject to fuffering; for without the knowledge of Chrift, as being the Foundation and lead of all Worlds, we are in utter darkness with refpect to the divine fyftem, and can determine nothing refpecting the confiflency or inconfiflency of

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any flate of the creation with the divine pers fections.-So far from being able to deter mine what relations may or may not be fup pofed to fubfift, confiflently with the divine perfections, between God and creatures; what can we determine without the knowledge of Chrift, even with respect to the divine attributes themfelves, or one poffible relation which God can fuftain towards creatures, or they towards him?-Rejecting this ground of divine revelation, that the whole creation was made under a covenant, or framed by a conflitution of union with Chrift; and taking the ground of Deifm, we cannot fhew the impoffibility of creatures exifting originally imperfect, nor, if innocent, why they might not fuffer; nor can we, upon this ground, clear any fubject of inquiry concerning God, and the relations of creatures to him, which things belong wholly to the fyftem of faith.

But, in the light of divine truth it is demonftrable, that no creation could have exifled but through a divine medium, and in perfect agreement with a divine foundation and head; and that, exifting thus, all worlds were neceflarily in the most exact harmony, and all things continuing in this original glo rious ftate, no evil, no fuffering, could poffibly eill in the univerfe.

The exact agreement of the whole superflructure with its foundation-the perfect union of all worlds, terreftrial and angelic, with their Divine Head, was the fingle object of the divine pleafare, when God Jaw every

thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good. By this union to the creation, Christ was then, as he now is, the excellence, the riches, and the beauty of heaven and earth!

Section 3. The Nature and State of the Angels.

We understand that the Angels are Spirits, but from this it is not neceffarily inferred that they are immaterial beings; for many material fubftances, which are very powerful and fubtile, fuch as winds and finer juices, on account of their active and penetrating natures, are called Spirits. It may be concluded that the angels were made on the fifth and fixth days of the creation, by the fame operations which produced the fish of the fea, and the fowl of the air, and the beast and cattle and creeping thing of the earth. And from many circumftances it appears, that there was a certain analogy in this work of peopling both worlds. This indeed seems plainly to be inferred from the defign of the Creator refpecting this world; for as Adam, as to a realm and dominion which fhould be given to him, was to be the figure of Chrift, it was neceffary that his realm and fubjects fhould be a figure of, or analogous to the world of the angels, where Chrift, in the beginning, erected his throne, and among whom he reigned in his own person, as in his natu

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