Page images

And God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth


the earth." Upon this passage let it be observed, that this is the first account we have of the creation of man. Our first parents here stood in the created character, as you are pleased to call it. But instead of their being spiritual, we find they were distinguished by sexes, and commanded to propagate their kind. You say after the six days' work was finished, there was not a man to till the ground. But the language of our historian is entirely different. He informs us that man was commanded to replenish the earth, and subdue it, while in the character in which he was created. Subduing the earth is tilling the ground; and this, man was commanded to do on the first day of his creation.

It was also on the first day of his creation, that dominion was given him over the brute creation. This is another proof that man was at first created with a corporeal body. Will you pretend that the brute creation were put in subjection to man while he was entirely detached from matter, and only a pure spiritual intelligence ? Would such dominion be a blessing to spirits abstracted from all corporeal substances? The farthest from it possible.

ford, in his elaborate connexion between Sacred and Profane History, has the following remarks upon these words. “The Hebrew words might be translated--the male and the female, he created thene ; that is, he created both: not the male only, but the female also. The words of Moses are very plain ; he tells us that God on the sixth day created the woman as well as the man. He does not say that God created both at the same instant, nor in the same manner; for this he distinctly considers in the next chapter. But he here hints to us, that God wade both the male and the female within the time of this sixth day.' See vol. IV. pp. 67, 68.

It is further evident, that our original ancestors were at first created corporeal beings, from verse 29—"And God said, (to Adam and Eve) Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Here we find that God provided man with vegetables for his food. But will you absurdly maintain that beings purely spiritual, feed upon vegetables ? No, you will not. You say yourself, “it does not satisfy the soul, her food is of a different kind."* Thus from the first chapter of Genesis we are taught that man was at first created an earthly, corporeal being, and distinguished by sexes; that he was commanded to propagate his species, and cultivate the earth; and that he might do this more effectually, God provided him with vegetables for his food, and gave him dominion over the brute creation.

The gross mistake into which I conceive you have fallen, arises from considering the second chapter of Genesis a continuation of the history begun in the first. Instead of its being a continuation of the first chapter, it appears to be only an explanation or supplement to the same account. In the first chapter Moses has given a summary account of man's creation; in the second he has given the same account in detail. As the subject of man's creation was vastly important, and as the account of that event was more brief, according to its magnitude, than the account of other events, Moses thought proper to enlarge upon this subject, and inform us of the manner of its accomplishment. Consequently in the second chapter he resumes the subject, and gives a circumstantial account of the creation of man. In the first chapter he tells us that man was made male and female; in the second he informs us of the process. He says the male was made of the dust of the earth, and

* Aton. p. 32.


animated by the breath of the Almighty; and that the woman was taken from the man. In the first chapter he informs us that man was commanded to subdue the earth; in the second he gives the particulars. He says that God planted a garden, and put man into it, to dress and to keep it. In the first he informs us that God gave man the trees and herbs for food ; and in the second, that man was permitted to cat of the trees of the garden. Let any unbiassed person read these two chapters with attention, and it would seem that he must discover that they both relate to the same event. Moses wrote as most of our military commanders write in these days. First by giving a summary of the event, and then by giving a detailed account of the same event. In this manner Moses wrote the history of man's creation ; first by a summary, then in detail.*

Our historian commences the second chapter by saying, “Thus,” (that is, in the manner described in the first chapter) “the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.” In the second and third verses, Moses gives an account of God's ending his work, and consecrating the Sabbath. Here Moses ends bis summary or general account of the creation. You allege a clause in the fifth verse to prove that after the seventh day, there was not a man to till the ground. We readily admit that Moses declares there was not a man to till the ground. But he gives no intimation that this was after the seventh day. On the contrary, we

"The first and second chapters of Genesis," says Dr. Shuck. ford, “give us the whole of what Moses relates concerning the creation of mankind. Now we shall see that they accord perfectly with each other ; if we consider the first chapter as giving a short and general account of this great transaction; and the second to be a resumption of the subject, in order to relate some particuları belonging to it, which, in the conciseness of the first relation, were passed over unmentioned.” Connexion, Vol. IV. p. 67. “The second chapter is no more than a supplement to the former." Ib. p. 71.

have endeavored to show that the second chapter is only a supplement to the first. If this be the case, then the clause you cite, instead of applying after the seventh day, applies before. But let us examine the passage itself, with a view to ascertain the time to which the clause in question alludes. The fourth and fifth verses read thus-“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth, when they were created ; IN THE DAY that the Lord God made the earth, and the heavens, and 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, and there was not a man to till the ground.Now let us ask, when was there not a man to till the ground ? The passage shall answer.

In the day that the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the plants and the herbs. By turning to the first chapter, it will be seen that the plants and herbs were created on the third day; and that man was created on the sixth day. So it was true that there was not a man to till the ground on the day in which the plants and herbs were created; for man was not created until the sixth day, that is, three days later. Thus we see that the fifth verse of the second chapter does not furnish a particle of proof in favor of your hypothesis ; but, when taken in its connexion, goes directly to confirm the views we have advanced. Will you still maintain that this passage applies after the first week of the world, when the subject, the context, and every rational consideration forbid it? I think you will not.

I know of no argument which you adduce in proof of your hypothesis, which has not been examined, except the one founded upon the words, create and form. Be cause Moses in the first chapter uses the word create, and in the second the word form, you take it for granted that these terms express ideas entirely different from

each other. But we have already endeavored to show that the same is meant by creating in the first chapter, that is meant by forming in the second. The subject and connexion put the same meaning upon both terms. I have already shown that the word create is, in the first chapter, applied to the brutes as well as to'men; and if it necessarily signifies bringing into spiritual existence, in one case, it must signify the same in the other. Nay, the argument you draw from these terms to prove that man possesses two natures, the one spiritual and pure, the other earthly and sinful, proves that the brutes also possess two such natures. Moses, it is true, says in the first chapter of Genesis, that God created man, and in the second chapter, that he formed him. And he says precisely the same concerning the brute creation. Chap. i. 21. “And God created great whales, and every living creature." Chap. ii. 19. "And out of the ground the Lord God formed* every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air." Here then the same brute ani. mals are said to have been created in one chapter, and formed in the other, and if this circumstance relative to man proves that he possesses two distinct and dissimilar natures, it proves the same concerning the brutes. But will you contend that the brutes possess two distinct natures, the one immortally pure, the other sinful ? I think you will not. You will probably admit that when Moses, in the second chapter, says the Lord formed the brutes, he alluded to their being brought into existence, which is expressed in the first chapter by the

* Dr. Shuckford has the following remarke upon the word formed. “We say formed, in the perfect tense ; but the Hebrew perfect tense is often used in the sense of a preterpluperfect to speak of things done in a time past. The Syriac version is rightly rendered, God had formed; for the creatures were made before man." Thus our learned author understands the word form to have the same meaning as the word create in the two first chapters of Genesis. See Connexion, Vol. IV. pp. 67-71.

« PreviousContinue »