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ble. All the parts, taken together, appear to be completely suited to answer the highest and best possible end that God could propose to answer by creation. The highest and best end God could propose, in the creation of all things, was the most full display of all his great and amiable perfections. Such a display of himself must make both himself and his intelligent creatures the most completely holy and happy. If we now examine the system of things which he actually created in six days, we shall see that they are abundantly sufficient to display all the perfections of his nature to the best advantage. By the creation of the heavens and the earth, he has given as full a display of his power as can be given. The heavenly bodies are immensely great, and animals and insects are extremely small; and by creating such great and small things, in a vast variety, he has displayed his creating power as clearly as if he had created millions of larger or smaller worlds. If we consider the beauty and order of the heavens and the earth, we must be convinced that he has displayed his wisdom, as clearly as creation can display it. If we consider the adaptedness of the heavens and the earth to the use, convenience and happiness of his creatures, we shall see that they display his goodness as clearly as creation can display it. If we consider the nature and character of good and bad angels, and of good and bad men, we shall see that, according to the plan of redemption, they will be so disposed of, as to bring all the perfections of God into the clearest, strongest and most interesting light. By making some perfectly holy and happy for ever; by. making some perfectly holy and happy for a season, and then subjecting them to a state of complete sin and misery for ever; by making some holy, and then unholy, and then holy and happy for ever; and by making some totally sinful and miserable to all eternity, he will display his power, his wisdom, his goodness, his sovereignty, his grace and his justice, in the fullest and clearest manner possible. If he had created ten thousand worlds of intelligent creatures, he could not have placed them in any circumstances different from the circumstances of angels and men; and consequently he could not have displayed any of his perfections in a more full, amiable and glorious light than they will be displayed by the rational and irrational creatures which he created in six days. These works form not only a system, but the best possible system; so that, as Solomon says, “ nothing can be put to it, or taken from it,” to make it more perfect. And from this we may justly conclude that God did, at one and the same time, create all things that he ever intended to create. I must add,
5. It appears from the process of the great day, that angels
and men are the only rational creatures who will then be called to give an account of their conduct. Christ has plainly informed us that all good and bad angels, and all good and bad men will then be collected together, and judged according to their works; but no other intelligent creatures are mentioned as being present on that great and solemn day, either by Christ, or any other inspired writer. But why not, if the sun, moon, and all the planets and fixed stars are inhabited by rational and accountable beings? The great day is called “the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” The design of it is to display the rectitude of God's conduct towards both the happy and the miserable, or to make it appear to every individual person that he has not only treated him right, but that he has treated every other rational creature in the universe right. It is only on this account that we can see the necessity or even the propriety of a general judgment. God can make every person see and feel that he has treated him right before the day of judgment; but he cannot make every person know and see that he has treated all other creatures right, without calling them all together, and fully opening his conduct towards them and their conduct towards him and one another. And since this will be the business of the great day, it is necessary that every intelligent creature in the universe should be actually present at the day of judgment. If the sun, or moon, or planets, or fixed stars, are inhabited by rational and accountable creatures, it is as necessary that they should be present as that angels and men should be, for they must be constituent parts of God's great system; and his conduct towards them, and their conduct towards him, must have had some connection with his conduct towards angels and men. But we have no reason to expect from any thing said in scripture, that any intelligent creatures will be present at the day of judgment, besides angels and men; from which the inference is natural and irresistible, that no other intelligent creatures besides angels and men ever have been created. These form a moral, connected and perfect system, and of course are to be called together and judged according to their works at the last day, and to be set up as mirrors to display the divine glory in the clearest manner to all eternity; which will completely answer the highest and best end that God could propose in the great work of creation.
Now the foregoing considerations, if taken singly, and much more if taken together, form an argument in favor of the Mosaic account of the creation, which cannot be easily resisted; and which seems to constrain us to believe that the heavens and the earth with their inhabitants, which were created in six days, comprise all things that God ever did and ever will create. The whole current of scripture is in favor of this supposition; and it may be well questioned, whether any argument, drawn from reason and philosophy, can counterbalance such scriptural evidence. We must believe, therefore, that God created all things in the space of six days, and has ever since rested from the work of creation.
But, however, I will consider several things, which may be objected against the leading sentiments in this discourse.
1. It may be said that Moses had no occasion to mention any other worlds than the heavens and the earth, if there had been millions of them, which were created before this world. Answer: If there had been other worlds created before this, it would not have been proper for Moses to say, “ In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ;" which naturally implies that the creation of the heavens and the earth were the first things that he ever created. The phrase "in the beginning” has reference to the first time of God's exerting his creative power, and not to the order of the things which he created; and excludes the supposition of his having created any being, or object, before he created the heavens and the earth.
2. It may be said that it is more agreeable to our ideas of infinite power, wisdom and goodness, that God should create more worlds than two, or ten, or twenty, or twenty thousand; and, therefore, it is very rational to suppose and believe that he has actually created as many worlds as there are suns, and moons, and planets, and fixed stars. Answer: This does not appear more consistent with the wisdom of God, which must limit creation to one finite connected system. For two worlds may form as wise and benevolent a system as two millions. And to suppose the contrary, is to suppose that it is not only morally impossible, but naturally impossible for God to form the most wise and benevolent system.
3. It may be asked, why has God actually created the planets and fixed stars, if he never designed that they should be inhabited by rational and accountable creatures? They are said to be immensely larger than this world, and supposed to be capable of supporting immensely more inhabitants than this world is capable of supporting. Why then should not God fill them with rational inhabitants; and if he has not filled them with such inhabitants, what valuable purpose can they answer? To this it may be replied,
1. That they may answer many valuable and important purposes of which we are at present wholly ignorant. There are ten thousand objects in this world, that we cannot perceive answer any valuable purposes. Who can tell why God has made so many high, rugged, barren mountains; or so many large, barren
plains; or so many dreary, sunken, barren swamps and marshes; or so many useless flowers and poisonous herbs; or so many apparently useless fowls and fishes? But though we cannot see what good purposes such objects answer, yet we must believe that God has never made any one thing in vain ; or which he has not made, or will not make to answer some valuable end. And the planets and fixed stars, those vast and distant orbs, may answer a thousand important purposes with which we are totally unacquainted, though not a living creature moves on their surface. Though the sun is a hundred and sixty times larger than our earth, and though there may not be a single inhabitant upon it, yet we know it is of essential and immense service to our world. And though we cannot see what peculiar benefit the planets and fixed stars, at so great a distance, can do us, yet they may be of vast advantage to us in innumerable ways which we cannot discover. Besides, as all things were created by Christ, and for Christ, so those immensely great and grand objects may have been made to display divine power, and give magnificence to the great Redeemer and his glorious work of redemption. For some reasons, God has spread a beauty over the whole face of the earth; and for similar reasons, “he may have garnished the heavens by his Spirit.” All the arguments, in favor of the planets and fixed stars' being inhabited, are founded in ignorance; but the objections against their being inhabited, are founded on scripture. And to set up our short sighted reason and vain philosophy against the inspiration of Moses, is certainly unbecoming, if not sinfully presumptuous.
1. It appears from what has been said, that the enemies of divine revelation have no just ground to object against the Bible because it does not give a true and full account of the work of creation. Thomas Paine and other infidel writers have made this objection against the inspiration of the scriptures. They say that they cannot see why God should not create more worlds than two; and why those worlds should not be inhabited. They argue from the immense magnitude of the planets, and from their vast distance from our world, that they could not be made for the benefit of the inhabitants of this world, and consequently, that they can be of no service if they are not inhabited. They argue from analogy, that it is absurd that the greater should be made to serve the less. But some little things are vastly more valuable and important than some far greater things. One human soul is infinitely more important than the sun, moon, planets, and the whole material creation. They overlook the vast importance of the whole human race, who are rational and immortal beings, and capable of endless happiness or misery; and the great and astonishing work of redemption, which has been devised and carried on by the incarnation, life, death and government of the divine Redeemer. It is not half so strange that God should garnish the heavens with the sun, moon and stars, those vast material orbs, for the service of men, as that he should give his only begotten Son, the Lord of glory, to suffer and die on the cross to save the sinful race of men from deserved and everlasting ruin. God designed that the whole work of creation should be subordinate and subservient to the great work of redemption; and that the inhabitants of the upper world should all be employed in the service of his Son, and for the benefit of this lower world. If philosophers had just and exalted ideas of the work of redemption, they would not be so apt to magnify the sun, moon and stars above this little world and its apparently little inhabitants. The inspired writers, who unfold ihe great plan of redemption and the infinitely important consequences which shall flow from it, have given us'a much more clear, just and extensive view of this world, than any uninspired philosophers ever have given, or can give, by all their researches into the works of nature. We ought not, therefore, to be slow of heart to believe what the inspired writers have told us about this world, notwithstanding all the dreams of uninspired men. We have a more sure word of prophecy, to which we should do well to hearken, instead of listening to any visionary, philosophical objections against the inspiration of the holy scriptures. The objections which have been made against the Mosaic account of the creation, have arisen from the same source from which almost all other objections against the Bible have arisen ; that is, from ignorance of the work of redemption.
2. If angels and men are all the intelligent beings that God created in six days, then there is no reason to think that this world, after the day of judgment, will be a place of residence for either the happy or miserable part of mankind. There are three very different opinions concerning the state of this world after the general judgment. Some suppose that this world will then be the new heavens and new earth which are spoken of in scripture, and the place of the final and eternal residence of good
Some suppose, on the contrary, that this world will be reserved to the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, where they will suffer to all eternity. A third opinion is, that this world will be burnt up at the day of judgment, and never become habitable again. All these different and contrary opinions are professedly founded on particular passages of scripture,