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I.

step by step, first in the production of the DISC.
inanimate elements, next of vegetable,
and then of animal life, till we come to
the masterpiece of the creation, man en-
dued with reason and intellect. The house
being built, it's inhabitant appeared; the
feast being set forth, the guest was intro-
duced; the theatre being decorated and il-
luminated, the fpectator was admitted, to
behold the splendid and magnificent scene-

ry
in the heavens above, and the earth be-
neath; to view the bodies around him.
moving in perfect order and harmony, and
every creature performing the part allotted
it in the universal drama; that, seeing
he might understand, and understanding,
adore it's fupreme author and director.

Not that, even in the original and per fect state of his intellectual powers, he was left to demonftrate the being of a God, either a priori, or a pofteriori. His Creator, we find, immediately, manifested himfelf to him, and converfed with him, informing him, without all doubt, of what

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DISC. had paffed previous to his own existence,

I.

which otherwife he never could have known; inftructing him, how, and for what purpose the world and man were made, and to whom he was bound to afcribe all praise and glory on that account. The lofs of this inftruction occafioned fome of his defcendants, in after ages, to worship the creature instead of the Creator. Ignorant of him who gave the fun for a light by day, they fell proftrate before that bright image of it's Maker's glory, which to the eye of fenfe appeared to be the God that governed the world.

The other parts of this system were produced by the word of the Creator. "He

66

fpake, and it was done." The elements were his fervants: "he faid to one, Go,

and it went; to another, Come, and it "came; to a third, Do this," and the commiffion was inftantly executed. But to the formation of man (with reverential awe, and after the manner of men be it fpoken) he feems more immediately to have

addreffed

addreffed his power and wisdom.

"Let us DISC,

"make man ;" All things are now ready; let the work of creation be compleated and crowned by the production of it's poffeffor and lord, who is to ufe, to enjoy, and to rule over it; "Let us make man."

The phrafeology in which this refolution is couched is remarkable; "Let us make 66 man ;" but the Old Teftament furnishes more inftances of a fimilar kind; "Behold, "man is become like one of us; Let us go "down, and confound their language; "Whom shall we fend, and who will go " for us?" These plural forms, thus used by the Deity, demand our attention.

Three folutions of the question have been offered.

The first is that given by the Jews, who tell us that in thefe forms, God fpeaks of himself and his angels. But may we not afk, upon this occafion" Who hath "known the mind of the Lord, or who

hath

I.

DISC. hath been his counsellor?" With which

I.

of the angels did he at any time vouchsafe to fhare his works and his attributes? Could they have been his coadjutors in the work of creation, which he fo often claims to himself, declaring he will not give the glory of it to another? Do we believedo the Jews believe-did any body ever believe that man was made by angels, or made in the image and likeness of angels? Upon this opinion, therefore, we need not spend any more time. We know from whence it came, and for what end it was devised and propagated.

A fecond account of the matter is, that the king of heaven adopts the style employed by the kings of the earth, who frequently speak of themselves in the plural number, to exprefs dignity and majesty. But doth it seem at all reasonable to imagine that God should borrow his way of speaking from a king, before man was created the earth? The contrary sup

upon

pofition would furely carry the air of more probability

I.

probability with it, namely, that because the DISC. Deity originally used this mode of expreffion, therefore kings, confidering themselves as his delegates and representatives, afterwards did the fame. But however this might be, the interpretation, if admitted, will not fuffice to clear the point. For, as it has been judiciously obferved, though a king and governor may fay us and we, there is certainly no figure of speech, that will allow any fingle perfon to fay, " One of "us," when he speaks only of himself. It is a phrase that can have no meaning, unless there be more perfons than one concerned.

What then fhould hinder us from accepting the third folution, given by the best expositors ancient and modern, and drawn from this confideration, that in the unity of the divine effence there is a plurality of persons coequal and coeternal, who might say, with truth and propriety, "us make man ;" and, "Man is become "like one of us?" Of fuch a perfonality

"Let

revelation

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