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of God commenced operating upon them first : and as the text declares that darkness was upon the face of the deep, the first act of setting the confused chaos in order was the dispersing of that darkness; therefore it says, " And the Spirit of God moved
the face of the waters.” So that the very first symptom of natural life is ascribed to spirit, not to matter.
THE CREATION OF Light. The next operation was the creation of light. Verse 3 And God said, let there be light, and there was light;"! or, according to the Hebrew, (77897) “ be light, and there was light:" for the verb' let is not in the original. Now the question arises, What is light? To which I answer, it is the most subtle and perfect fluid in nature—it is the universal principle of life, and is used in the scriptures as the symbol of lifeas likewise darkness is the emblem of death. Now death implies a cessation of motion, a perfect paralization of matter. And such was the condition the confused chaos was in, when it was enveloped in darkness; which darkness is as really matter as is the crust of the earth ; 'for it is nothing else than the humid densities or particles of the atmosphere gravitating to their centre, through the rays of the solar orb being intercepted by the disk of the earth, or any other phenomenon which the Creator chooseth to use ; and it is said concerning the darkness that was over all the land of Egypt, that it was darkness which might be felt. But light, as I have observed, implies life or motion, and there can be neither life or light without motion; therefore, when the Almighty Creator said, Be light, it was actually the infusing of life into nature—it was nothing less than the spirit taking possession of the waters, preparatory to their conjointly taking possession of the earth, the body, as I shall shew more at large further on.
I would now request the reader's attention to the terms night and day, as they are placed, namely, the night first; because, when God by his Spirit commenced operating upon the confused chaos, it was covered with darkness—a true emblem of mankind in their present natural fallen state, for until the Holy Spirit illuminates the mind of man, it is nothing (in a spiritual sense) but a dark chaos ; therefore the church of Christ may well say, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now,
&c. “ And God said, let there be light.” Now it does not follow that light was not in existence prior to that, as there never was a time when light did not exist ; for God himself being the fountain of light and life, it consequently is eternal, as respects its generation. Therefore, when atheists ignorantly ask how there could be day and night without the sun, they only manifest their insane folly, as did the notorious Thomas Paine, when he asked the same question; which question I shall fairly answer in the proper place. But now to the text.
Light DiviDED FROM DARKNESS. “And there was light. And God saw the light that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness. (v. 5.) And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night.'
Now the word on youm, day, implies tumultuousness, agitation, &c. ; thus denoting the action of the subtle fluid or spirit light upon the confused chaos, which was covered with water or ice. Therefore it is probable, that the division of the light from the darkness alludes to the fact of the light being called day, and the darkness nightterms significant of their condition, the day denoting the atmosphere in motion, and the night the densities of the atmosphere gravitating to the earth, as I shall have occasion to shew more at large.
Thus was the first day performed, on the principle of life communicated to the natural creation; or, in other words, it was the quickening of nature—which brings me to the next operation,
THE EXPANSION OF THE WATERS. Verse 6. “And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, to divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.” The word ypy translated firmament, signifies to expand, to stretch forth; it is called in the 150th Psalm the
. the firmament, his power. The particle of in the English translation is not in the original Hebrew.
It is most evident to the commonest observer, that it is by the action of light that the darkness or gross particles of the atmosphere are scattered; therefore God by his Spirit infused light into the darkness, or waters, (for the atmosphere is no
praise him in הללוהו ברקיע עזר .power of God
hing else than water in a rarified state,) and caused an expansion of the same; consequently the passage might have been correctly rendered, “Let there be an expansion in the midst of the waters;"! and in that sense the word yp7 is used, Isaiah xlii. 5, and many other places. So that as the perfect Auid light is the agent which God useth to quicken, expand, and give motion to the whole creation, it is justly called the power of God.
Verse 8. And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” Now, the firmament being called heaven, seems to have reference to its being the
uling principle, ordained to regulate the balance of nature; for, as in a spiritual sense, the secret influence of the Holy Spirit in the mind of man, moving him Godward, is called the kingdom of heaven, so, likewise, the natural firmament being the active principle or kingdom of life, which, by its subtle agency, infuseth life into all nature, it, in a natural sense, is called heaven also.
THE GATHERING OF THE WATERS.
“ And God said, let the waters under the heaven (the firmament) be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear : and it was so.” The gathering together of the waters into one place, seems to imply their retiring into the centre of the earth, as it says, “ The earth was without form and void," or hollow; as the word 172 signifies emptiness, hollowness, having nothing, &c. And in my opinion I am supported by the second verse of the 104th Psalm, where it saith concerning the wonderful works of God in the creation, that “ He stretched out the earth above the waters.” So it is perfectly rational and scriptural to conclude, that the waters retired into the centre of the earth. And in the 24th Psalm and second verse it says, “ He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods." Thus was the earth at once constituted the womb of mineral, vegetable, and animal life, by receiving into it the soul, the circulating medium, by which, like animal bodies, it is enabled constantly to expand and supply itself, just the same as animal bodies are expanded and renovated by the blood, as they are constantly wearing away by friction. And thus did the womb of the earth become the great chimical laboratory, in which all the wonderful and mysterious operations of nature are performed.
I am aware that a prevalent opinion exists amongst philosophers, that the centre of the earth is fire; and there are strong reasons to suppose so, seeing that if excavaters get to a certain depth in the earth, the heat is so intense that animal life cannot there exist; and, likewise, that the gulf streams flowing under the Panamaan Mountains, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans,being so hot, must, as they suppose, acquire their heat from the central fire of the earth; from which it is by some supposed the eruption of the volcanoes proceed. But if we consider the fact, that the earth liameter may be computed at 8,292 miles, we may allow a central abyss for the waters of 18,876 miles in circumference, which would leave 1,000 miles for the crust of the earth—a substance quite sufficient for the work of spontaneous combustion to