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never so understood it; Moses never so explained it to them, and therefore if it was written to be so understood by them, it was written in vain!

Compare with the preceding the following view of it. Kings, princes, magistrates, in almost all languages, frequently use the plural number, command, or we proclaim.” With how much greater propriety may such language be applied to the King of Kings? Moses did not intend to represent the Deity as making a request, but as denoting his own determination. that is, We will, or, I will now make

66 We

6. Let us,


* Two circumstances appear to have combined to give currency to the strange idea, that the Deity is here holding a conversation with some person distinct from himself. The first is, the translation of the word in the imperative form, Let us make. The verb nwys is the first person plural, future tense, indicative (Kal.) mood. Had it been so translated, “We will make,” it would not have appeared to the English reader to have given such countenance to this strange opinion. He would then have perceived that it was perfectly accordant with the Hebrew idiom, and was precisely upon a par with many other expressions he would find. Such as the following: “Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me we will be glad, we will remember.” Sol. Song i. 4. We

2d. It is advanced with great satisfaction that the word Alehim, God, is used

will make thee borders of gold.” i. 11. We have a little sister.” vü, 8. “Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed-but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” Psalm xx. 6, 7.

“For the king trusteth in the Lord” – “so will we sing and praise thy power.” Psalm xxi. 7--13. I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.- Many, O Lord, my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us ward.” Psalm xl. 1-5. “ Thou art my king, O God.Through thee will we pash down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us; for I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies; in God we boast all the day long." Psalm xliv. 4, 5, 6-8. “ Who will bring me into the strong city--wilt not thou, O God, which badst cast us off? And thou, O God, who didst not go out with our armies." Psalm 1x. 9, 10. Many other passages might be mentioned; but I presume a sufficient number has been given.

Another circumstance which has given currency to the idea that this was a sort of conversation between the Almighty and some other being, is, the commonly received opinion that this account of the creation, and of subsequent transactions was written by the immediate dictation of the Almighty himself, and contains a strictly literal account of the exact proceedings of the Almighty every day. This is one of the opinions which has been most operative in undermining the Christian religion. It has given umbrage to the serious, humble, inquiring Christian. It has furnished the Deist with a weapon, offensive and defensive; it acts as a shield behind which he screens himself in the most provoking attitude of defiance; as a two-edged sword which cuts on the right and on the left; as an empoisoned dart,

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in the plural number. Then be consistent. Does it mean gods? Does it mean more

whose wounds no skill can heal. Not to enlarge upon this idea, as it may probably form the subject of a Lecture, I shall merely make one or two observations on this account in the first two or three chapters of Genesis. Chap. i. 4, 5, “And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." V. 16, 17, 18, 19, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Six days are stated to have been occupied by the Lord in the constitution of the world. In the second chapter and fourth verse, we read, “in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.” In the first chapter and 27th verse, we are told, as a part of the sixth day's employment, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." In the second chapter, 5th verse, we are told that “there was not a man to till the ground.” And in the 20th verse, of the same chapter, that, “for Adam there was not found an help-meet for him;" and afterwards that therefore woman was made. In the first chapter, 11th and 12th verses, we are informed that it was a part of the third day's employment that the earth should “bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself upon the earth, and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb, yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his

gods than one? If so, you destroy your own system, for you deny that there are

kind; and God saw that it was good.” And in chap. ii. 5. we are informed that God created “every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth.”

To me it is utterly incredible, utterly impossible, that this can be intended as a regular, consistent, accurate account of all the minute particulars dictated by God himself.

Let the serious Christian then take the following circumstances into his consideration.

Moses was not born till considerably above two thousand years after the creation of the world. No regular account of the Creation appears to have been previously written,

Moses does not profess to give this account to the Israelites as coming, in every particular, by immediate inspiration from the Deity.

The probability is, that it is a collection of the best accounts which Moses could procure; some from tradition, others, per. haps, from manuscripts; at all events from different and various sources of information.

Looking at the chapters in this point of view, the serious Christian will find one account to conclude with the third verse of the second chapter.

He will then perceive another account to commence, different in point of fact, very different in style. He will particularly notice the alteration in the term relating to the Almighty; in the first account he is invariably called God; in the second, invariably Lord God.

At the commencement of the fourth chapter, he will perceive a different style: probably a third account; or possibly a continuation of the first.

Viewing it in this light, we laugh at the objections of the

more gods than one.

Your own argu. ment then defeats itself, for you never can

Deist; and his darts when levelled against us fall harmless to the ground.

“ It will be no small confirmation,” says the venerable confessor, Theophilus Lindsey, “that Moses did use a discretion of his own in his manner of relating the sin of our first parents, so as might be most serviceable to keep his countrymen, for whom he wrote, in their obedience to the divine law: if it be also true that he took a latitude of the like kind, for the same end, by advancing, and by inserting his account of a divine command, as given at the same early period, even before the fall, I mean the institution of the sabbath, though it was not actually instituted and appointed to be observed till a very long time afterwards.

“ The prevailing opinion indeed has been in later times, that the sabbath was instituted at the beginning of the world, and with a design to be observed by Adam and all his posterity. But many Christians in early times, and since, have been of a different sentiment. And such eminent, judicious scholars and exemplary Christians, as Le Clerc, Beausobre, and L'Enfant, and Mr. Archdeacon Paley, in our own times, after them; have maintained, hy such evidence from the sacred writings as is not easily to be set aside, that though the seventh day is said, Gen. ii. 3, to be blessed by God and sanctified, imme. diately after the creation, the actual separation and distinction of it from the other days of the week, and religious observance of it, was not commanded, nor did take place, till the time of the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt. And if so, which I believe you will find to be a just statement, Moses spoke of the sabbath in Gen, only by way of anticipation and of his own accord, to give the greater dignity and solemnity to the observance of the institution.”

Address to the Youth of the two Universities, p. 115.

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