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ness he called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
The ancient Hebrew Doctors have concluded that this mode of computing time, was in commemoration of darkness having preceded light, which is in amount virtually telling us, that light was not before it was made, or that light was not eternal, which elicits nothing; and certainly it will produce no more surprise that these ancient Hebrew Doctors looked no farther than the creation of atmospheric light, than that their descendants should continue universally to adopt and cherish the crude opinions of their miserably infatuated and benighted ancestors.
The law and the gospel must be had recourse to, in order to exhibit the eternal purpose of an infinitely wise Being, in this his own peculiarly appointed mode of calculating time, and which Sceptics of our own day call an unjust and inexplicable invertion of the order of nature; seeing that morning must have been the forerunner of noon, and which was of course the harbinger of evening. Had this method of computing time been applied to the works of the Creator effected on the first day alone, and
had the Deity made no continued repetition of the same express form of language, some plausible reasons for such a conclusion might certainly have been offered in support of this notion, still continued to be entertained by the Jews, a people denominated by God himself “wonderful from the beginning," and assuredly more singular in nothing, than in the misapplication of temporal for spiritual things; it will require, however, but a little attentive examination on our part of the sacred writings, in order to dispose of, with scriptural accuracy, this, but apparent difficulty; and we shall also be enabled to discover in the sense in which the words “ Evening and Morning" are used, and are made a continuous termination of the labours of the Creator on each respective day: an high and pre-eminent display of the eternal Divinity and divine attributes of God—the word made flesh.
The first reflection calculated seriously to impress the mind of the christian reader, is this, that the method of calculating time here established, has God for its author, whom it would be impious to suppose, speaking with any thing like levity, or giving utterance to language void of infinite wisdom; for in those words, "Evening and Morning,” God the Father assigns, day by day, the entire glories of the creation, to that distinct person in the Godhead, of whom it is thus written : “ All things were made by him ; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Herein exhibiting the divine Omnipotence of God, the word made flesh, while at one and the same time, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” is doubly apostrophised in the words, “Evening and Morning;" the times of the death of Christ by crucifixion on Mount Calvary; and likewise the appointed time of his resurrection from the dead, and which took place accordingly on the morning of the first day of the week, “before it was light;" both of which events occurred with corresponding accuracy according to the precisely fore-shadowed appointments of the Deity, and which first day of the week in commemoration of our Lord's prevailing over death, (the gates of hell) was immediately set apart by his disciples as a day of holy rest: a proceeding tacitly approved of by “the Lord of the Sabbath,” during the intervening time which elapsed between his resurrection, and ascension, to the abrogation of the ancient Hebrew Sabbath under the law; and its continuance has been confirmed down to the present epoch of the world, as the beginning of the christian dispensation, and the commencement of the last age of the world.
Of our Lord's resurrection the Psalmist thus predictively speaks in part of the 16th Psalm, “I have set God always before me: for he is on my right hand, therefore I shall not fall.”
“Wherefore my heart was glad, and my glory rejoiced: my flesh also shall rest in hope.”
“For why? thou shalt not leave my soul in hell: neither shalt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption.”
Should those notions appear fanciful, let the reader bear in mind our Lord's injunctions to his hearers when on earth, “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and these are they that testify of me.”
By this mystical apostrophization of the times of the death and resurrection of the Messias, we are not only, as has before been observed, presented with the first evidence of the eternal Divinity, and distinct Person of the incarnate Deity, but also by this method of calculating time by the “Evening and the Morn
ing," the character and offices of the Creator, both in conformity to, and in accordance with, the whole tenor of subsequent revelation in the establishment of a future and universal christian church; and the christian may here fairly and fearless ask the sceptic, whether the divine truths of christianity are not rightly based on the death of a crucified and risen Saviour ? and therefore could have no other origin than he, who with such perfect propriety and justice, is called the “author and finisher of our faith.”
What a wonderful chain of events necessarily connected with and dependent upon each other for their completion, do we behold, resulting in consequences of the highest possible magnitude to the Creator and mankind at large, in that mystical manner of apostrophizing the “ Immanuel God with us," in the actual possession of both his Divine and human natures at the time of his death and resurrection; who in the beginning of all things, surveys the creation and fall of the first Adam ; who was of the earth, earthly, and his own incarnation; presenting us with himself as the antitype of the levitical sacrifices, even before he had bestowed existence on the origin of our race ;