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The Reader who is desirous of finding an illustration of any prophecy in particular, will be sure to meet with it, either in its place in the Old Testament, or in some one of the places where it is cited in the New Testament.
In like manner every parable and miracle will be found in one or other of the Evangelists.
A copy of the Index to Dr. Doddridge's Harmony of the Four Gospels is inserted in the last volume, in order that the Reader may be enabled, with ease, to find any event related by the Evangelists; and also to take the whole History of our Lord consecutively, so as to form out of these Discourses one continued History from the Birth of our Lord to his Ascension. In doing this, he will find that not one important circumstance, from the last entry of our Lord into Jerusalem to his Ascension, is omitted.
CREATION OF MAN.
Gen. i. 26.
And God said, Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness.
THOUGH men constantly trace their origin to
1 their immediate parents, and frequently to their remoter ancestors, yet they rarely consider When, or How they first came into existence, or Whether any change has taken place in their nature since they came out of their Creator's hands. That there was a period when no such creature as man existed, even reason itself would teach us; for every effect must proceed from some cause : and therefore the forma, tion of man, however remotely we trace his origin, must, in the first instance, have been the product of some intelligent Being, who was eternally selfexistent. But we are not left to the uncertain deductions of reason: God has been pleased to reveal unto us (what could not otherwise have been known a) the time and manner of our creation, together with the state in which we were created. And these are the subjects which we would now propose for your consideration : I. The circumstances of our creation
a Heb. xi. 3.
We may not unprofitably notice somewhat respecting the time
[Five days had been occupied in reducing to order the confused chaos, and in furnishing the world with whatever could enrich or adorn it. On the sixth, God formed man, whom he reserved to the last, as being the most excellent of his works; and whose formation he delayed, till every thing in this habitable globe was fitted for his accommodation. It is not for us to inquire why God chose this space of time for the completion of his work, when he could as easily have formed it all in an instant: but one instructive lesson at least we may learn from the survey which he took of every day's work; it teaches his creatures to review their works from day to day, in order that, if they find them to have been good, they may be excited to gratitude; or, if they perceive them to have been evil, they may be led to repentance. At the close of every day, God pronounced his work to be “good :" but when man was formed, and the harmony of all the parts, together with the conduciveness of each to its proper end, and the subserviency of every part to the good of the whole, were fully manifest, then he pronounced the whole to be “ very good.” From this also we learn, that it is not one work or two, however good in themselves, that should fully satisfy our minds; but a comprehensive view of all our works, as harmonizing with each other, and corresponding with all the ends of our creation.]
In the manner of our creation there is something worthy of very peculiar attention
[In the formation of all other things God merely exercised his own sovereign will, saying, “Let there be light," “ Let such and such things take place.” But in the creation of man we behold the language of consultation; “Let us make man.” There is not the least reason to suppose that this was a mere form of speech, like that which obtains among monarchs at this day; for this is quite a modern refinement: nor can it be an address to angels; for they had nothing to do in the formation of man: it is an address to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, both of whom co-operated in the formation of Him who was to be the master-piece of divine wisdom and powerb. This appears from a still more striking expression, which occurs afterwards; where God says, “Now man is become like one of us, to know good and evil." And it is confirmed in a variety of other
b The work of Creation is ascribed to Jesus Christ, John i. 1–3. and to the Holy Ghost, Gen. i. 2. Job xxvi. 13. and xxxiii. 4.
c Gen. iii. 22.