Imatges de pàgina
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tle room is found for the admission of harmony; and in the performances of music, by not giving a proper weight and command to the first and governing part, by overstraining the chords, and by not having the voices either agreeably toned, or properly tuned ; and to complete the mischief, by filling and even oppressing the ear with sound, which is called filling the house, no such thing as harmony can exist, and if it could, there is no room in the ear for it to be perceived.-Such, at present, is the common state of psalmody that, thereby it might be considered a sort of accident for even an attentive person to discover that harmony is a property of sounds. Thus, an inflitution, designed for an emblem of the world of truth and harmony, is perverted into an emblem of folly and discord.

I am sensible that many quellions relative to this view of the frame of the creation, are here left unanswered. It was only here defigned to point out in what general directions, it is conceived, that the whole might be tra. ced out to be formed by the various progresfions 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 say 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 disposition answerable to the will of God, I presume not to enquire.

My only object in suggesting this theory of nature, is to bring into view the frame of the heavens and earth, as being originally constituted of water and by water, according to the scriptures; and what may be the powers of that wonderful agent in nature, which is so often alluded to in the scriptures, as being the voice of the Lord, and hgnal of the divine presence, which is full of majesty, and which, to us, is most apparent in the clouds,

Section 2. The original Perfection of the

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

But this doctrine of Christ's being consti. túted the Foundation and Head of the whole created Universe, is supported in the fullest manner by the divine record,- In the begin. ning 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 mute, Johni, 3. .-By him were all things created ihat are in heaven, and that are in earth, cifible and invisible; 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 shewn that such declarations as these, that all things were crea. ted in Christ, 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 Christ, 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 crea. tion has been ever perceived and confelled by all men who have faith; but as this state of the creation results wholly from the truth of Christ, 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 strange that men, without faith-men who reject the truth of Christgreat and learned men! have disputed much, whether it be inconfilent with the divine perfection for creatures to have originally existed imperfect, and subject to suffering; for without ihe knowledge of Christ, as being the Foundation and itead of all Worlds, we are in utier darkness with respect to the divine system, and can deterinine nothing refpecting the consistency or inconsistency of any state of the creation with the divine pers fections. So far from being able to determine what relations may or may not be supposed to sublist, consistently with the divine perfections, between God and creatures ; what can we determine without the know ledge of Christ, even with respect to the divine attributes themselves, or one possible 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 Christ; and taking the ground of Deism, we cannot Thew the impollibility of creatures existing originally imperfect, nor, if innocent, why they might not suffer; nor can we, upon this ground, clear any subject of inquiry concern. ing God, and the relations of creatures to hiin, which things belong wholly to the system of faith,

But, in the light of divine truth it is de monftrable, that no creation could have exilled but through a divine medium, and in perfect agreement with a divine foundation and lead; and that, existing thus, all worlds were necellarily in the most exact harmony, and all things continuing in this original glorious state, no evil, no fulfering, could poslibly cil in the universe. • The exact agreement of the whole superflructure with its foundation—the perfect Union of all worlds, terrestrial and angelic, with their Divine liead, was the fingle object of the divine picalare, 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!

Se&tion

3.
The Nature and State of the

Angels,
We understand that the Angels are Spi-
rits, but from this it is not necessarily infer-
red that they are immaterial beings; for ma-
ny material substances, which are very pow-
erful and subtile, such 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 same operations which produced the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and the beast and cattle and creeping thing of the earth. And from many circumstances it appears, that there was a certain analogy in this work of peopling both worlds. This indeed seems plainly to be in ferred from the design of the Creator respecting this world; for as Adam, as to a realm and dominion which should be given to him, was to be the figure of Christ, it was necessary that his realm and subjects should be a figure of, or analogous to the world of the angels, where Chrilt, in the beginning, erected his throne, and among whom he reigned in his own person, as in his natu.

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