« AnteriorContinuar »
God has ever throughout the sacred volume thus spoken of himself in the plural number, and he but two or three times. This remarkable language begins to appear with the creation of man: in speaking thus to his Son, or with his Son, he speaks also with the Holy Spirit, equal and coeternal with both. For man, thus highly elevated above the other creatures, of the formation of which Moses has spoken, is constructed in a different manner. He is to be a reasonable creature, whose spiritual or intellectual
operations were to be an imperfect image of those eternal operations by which God produces all things from himself. That word of counsel or consultation, which God uses, marks that the creature about to be made is the only one which shall act by consideration or intelligence.
That which follows is not less extraordinary. Hitherto we have not seen in the history of the creation the finger of God, if the expression may be allowed, applied to corruptible matter. But, to form the human
& Gen. iii. 28. xi. 7. Isaiah vi. 8.
body, God himself takes the earth, and that earth moulded by such a hand, receives the most graceful and befitting figure that has yet appeared in the world. And think not that this care, being thus bestowed on a perishable, is bestowed on an unworthy object; for, frail as these frames are, which every revolving season brings nearer to their dissolution, imperfect in their happiest forms, and subject to severe disease, you know that the bodies of good men are called in Scripture the temples of the Holy Ghost: “ Know
ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God “ dwelleth in you“?" And observe the practical conclusion, which is drawn from this doctrine as to purity of life:
“If any man “ defile the temple of God,” by unclean works of any kind, fornication, adultery, and lasciviousness, “ Him shall God destroy; for “ the temple of God is holy, which temple
And again, “ What, know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in
ye not that
ye are "
which ye “ have of God, and ye are not your own". You will observe that our bodies are here called indiscriminately the temples of God and of the Holy Ghost, the expression being identical. But the manner in which the soul is produced is yet more marvellous : God does not draw it forth from matter, he inspires it from on high, it is a breath of life which comes from himself.
b1 Cor. iii. 16.
il Cor. iii. 17.
When the brute creatures were formed, God said, “Let the waters bring forth abun“ dantly the moving creature that hath life, “ and fowl that may fly above the earth';" and “ Let the earth bring forth the living “ creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping
thing, and beast of the earth after his “ kind.” So humble was the origin of all the animals assigned to a brute existence : God draws them from the bosom of the waters and of the earth: but that being, whose life ought to be an imitation of his own, who ought to live by reason and intelligence, who ought to be united to God by contemplating and loving him, and who, for
k 1 Cor. vi. 19.
1 Gen. i. 20.
that reason, was made in his image, could not be drawn out of matter. God in fashioning matter may impart to it a graceful form: but in whatever manner it
be moulded or turned, he will not find therein his own image or resemblance. The being made in his image, and who may be happy in possessing him, must be the result of a new creation; he must come from on high ; and this is what is meant by that “ breath of
life,” which God himself is said to have breathed into the nostrils of our first parent, by which “ man became a living “ soul.”
Such, my brethren, is our origin, as given in that work, which, exclusive of its claim to inspiration, exclusive of the proofs to be deduced from many parts of it that it has been dictated by God himself, approached nearer in time to the subject of which it treats by ten centuries than any other historical book now in existence". But if our origin be
The call of Moses, whilst feeding Jethro's flock, was before Christ, according to the Jewish chronology, 1492 years, according to the Samaritan, 1597. The birth of
matter of just curiosity, infinitely more interesting must be our future destination; and this also is only to be learned from the sequel of the sacred volume. Our religion, which is coeval with the world itself, shall only be consummated with the world's destruction. It began with the creation of man, and will be completed by his resurrection and final judgment; when, as we are informed, Christ shall come and gather his saints from the four winds. And think not that this religion has ever changed, even from the time of our first offending parents : the condition of man, indeed, hath undergone various revolutions, but Christ expected or given hath formed the immoveable basis of
Assuredly nothing can be conceived more worthy of God than his having first prepared and chosen for himself out of a guilty world a people who should be a palpable example of his eternal Providence, a people
Herodotus is assigned to the 1st year of the LXXIVth Olympiad, corresponding with the year 484 before Christ *.
* L'Art de vérifier les dates.