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"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Adam, and the "help meet for him," were both created on the sixth day; and the following chapter relates the particular circumstances which attended the formation of the woman. Another striking peculiarity of expression is much to be noted. "And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness." "So God created man in his own image; in the image
of God created he him."
What are the parWherein does the
ticulars of this image? likeness consist? In the form of his body it could not be, for God is a Spirit incorporeal, every where existing. Doubtless the resemblance is to be sought in the faculties of his mind, and the nature of his soul. Now the New Testament presents us with three distinct points, in which the man of God's workmanship resembled his Maker. These are Knowledge, Righteousness, and Holiness.* These therefore principally formed that lovely
See on this subject the first sermon in a volume also published by the Author.
and excellent image in which man was originally created. The high and distinguished honour that was thus conferred upon man qualified him to become God's vicegerent in the earth, and to have "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." He blessed these also, his creatures, with fruitfulness, and gave them every herb with its seed, and every tree with its fruit, for food. As yet the flesh of animals was withheld; but the grant of this also was afterwards made to Noah.
Thus was Creation finished; and its infinitely glorious, ever-blessed Maker, reviewing his works with complacency, pronounced them all to be "good." As each successively came out of his hands, they were seen to be good: but when the whole was completed, and especially when man, the best and noblest, was produced, then he declared them to be very good. "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."
Here let me now endeavour to conclude with a few reflections.
1. Creation proves the existence of God.Wherever we see an effect we know that there must have been a previous cause; where we behold a work, we are sure that there must have been an agent; when we look upon a house, we know that it was built by some man; and so he who built all things is God. On whatever part of creation we cast our eyes, we perceive works which set at nought all human power and ingenuity. The minute and the magnificent alike proclaim Almighty power. On every flower and on every insect is stamped the mark of God, as on the lofty mountains and the raging seas. The more we examine the parts and properties of any of these, the more we see of beauty, harmony, and use. We perceive every thing contrived, with the most admirable skill, to answer the purpose for which it is intended. Contrivance proves design, and where design is, there is an intelligent mind. And what living creature, what natural production, shall we examine, that does not bear proof of consummate wisdom in all its conformation? that does not proclaim an almighty and
omniscient God? Creation, then, is a sufficient ground of natural religion; so that the Apostle declares that even they who are without revelation are yet without excuse, if they are impious and ungodly. "For," saith he, "the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse; because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful." But alas! how totally has the book of creation failed in teaching the knowledge of God! How thankful therefore should we be for the books of revelation! By faith in them we especially "understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things that do appear." But these inspired writings not only instruct us in the things of creation; they lead us also to the knowledge of the mercies of redemption, and the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. They teach us indeed to bless God for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life;
but, above all, for his inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.'
2. Every view of creation should lead our thoughts to God.-Too many are found, who suffer their eyes to wander, with brutal gaze, over all the beauties of nature; but we, looking through nature up to nature's God, should soar on the wings of devout contemplation from earth to heaven, and to him who dwelleth in the heaven of heavens. How can we be so well employed? or whence derive a greater pleasure? Let then every stupendous work in nature, and every minute beauty which we perceive, continually fill our souls with adoring recognition of their great and blessed Author. And when we contemplate the heavens, the moon, and the stars, which he hath ordained, and where he hath set in the midst of them the sun, rejoicing as a bridegroom to run his course, let us not fix our eyes upon them in ignorant wonder, or mere philosophical pleasure, but worship profoundly him who sitteth on the circle of the