God made the earth by His power; He established the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding.
I. IN WHAT RESPECTS JEHOVAH IN UNIQUE.
1. In idea. It is a wondrous conception - a being so great, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. As a conception it stands alone, commands respect, and invites reverent investigation. Such goodness with such power and wisdom!
2. In pretensions.
(1) He claims our sole worship;
(2) our highest and holiest service is his by right, and is unworthy of him;
(3) our welfare and destiny are in his hands.
3. In works. There is nothing he has claimed to be which he has not made good in his works - creation, providence, grace.
II. THIS CONCEPTION OF GOD AS UNIQUE HARMONIZES WITH THE INSTINCTS OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT, AND THE TEACHINGS OF HISTORY AND NATURE. It has cast its spell over the mightiest intellects, and commanded the homage of the purest and best of men. In the worship of him whom it represents the highest longings are satisfied, and the most characteristically human sympathies and principles encouraged. The unity of nature; the mental principle that traces everything to a great First Cause; the manner in which the system of religion of which he is center and dominating principle explains this, and harmonizes the life of man with his surroundings; - are all indications that point to the same conclusion. - M.
He hath made the earth by His power.
I. It is ORGANISED BY WISDOM.
1. This stands opposed to the idea of —(1) The eternity of the universe. The universe is not eternal in its elements, or combinations. There was a period far back in the abysses of eternity, when there was nothing, — when the Absolute One lived alone.(2) The contingent origin of the universe. It sprang from no fortuitous concourse of atoms: "By wisdom hath He founded the earth," etc. God has hollowed out the oceans, and arranged the systems of clouds.
2. The scientific student of nature sees design and exquisite adaptations in every part of nature: "By His knowledge the depths are broken up. We are raised by science," says Lord Brougham, "to an understanding of the infinite wisdom and goodness which the Creator has displayed in all His works. Not a step can we take in any direction without perceiving the most extraordinary traces of design; and the skill, everywhere conspicuous, is calculated in so vast a proportion of instances to promote the happiness of living creatures, and especially ourselves, that we feel no hesitation in concluding that if we knew the whole scheme of Providence, every part would appear in harmony with a plan of absolute benevolence."
II. It is organised by the WISDOM OF ONE BEING. "He" — the Lord God. It is not the outcome of many intelligences. One intellect drafted the whole.
(David Thomas, D. D.)
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