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The First Chapter of Genesis.

The First Chapter of Genesis.

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Published by glennpease

Job xxxviii. 4 : " Where wast thou when I laid the foundations
of the earth ? declare, if thou hast understanding.”

Job xxxviii. 4 : " Where wast thou when I laid the foundations
of the earth ? declare, if thou hast understanding.”

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 03, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GENESIS. BY S. R. DRIVER, D.D. Job xxxviii. 4 : " Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth ? declare, if thou hast understanding.** The thoughts of the writers of the Old Testament turn often to the contemplation of Nature. Besides drawing from it frequent illustrations in the way of analogy or metaphor, they contemplate it more directly; they regard it sometimes in the mystery of its origin, sometimes as an ever-present declaration of the great attributes of the Creator. One writer, in the familiar chapter with which the Bible opens, prefixes to his history of the antiquities of his nation a view of the stages by which this earth was adapted to become the habitation of man. Another writer, in that unique chapter of the Book of Job from which my text is taken, meets a great moral difficulty by pointing to our imperfect acquaintance with the secrets of the physical universe, as analogous to our imperfect comprehension of the moral government of the world. The author of Psalm xix., in words
^ Preached in the Cathedral, Christchurch, on Sunday, Nov. 29, 1885. 164 SERMON VIII. which the music of Haydn has made doubly familiar to us, points to the spectacle of the heavens by night as a continual witness to the work of the Divine artificer, speaking the same silent but expressive language wherever the canopy of the skies extends.^ In Psalm civ. — that " Poem of Creation," as it has been termed — we are led to contemplate the provi-dence by which the wants of small and great are supplied, the purposes which different objects sub-serve ; while the countless forms of animal life are set before us as a manifestation of the Divine Spirit  — " Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled ; thou gatherest in their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created ; and thou renewest the face of the earth." Each of these aspects of nature would supply
material for reflexion ; but I propose to confine myself to-day to some thoughts suggested by the first chapter of Genesis. I need not quote its words ; for in its general outline it will be familiar to all who hear me. Much has been written and said upon it — so much, indeed, that the materials for profitable consideration might well appear to be exhausted. But the subject is one of those in which every age finds a fresh interest, and by the study of which every ^ V. 4 : " Their line (/. e, the measuring-line circumscribing their domain) is gone out through all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world." The form of the comparison is as in Prov. XXV. 3, 20, 25, xxvi. 3, 14 and elsewhere (in the Hebrew, the form of all these resembles that of xxv. 3, xxvi. 3 in the English Version). THE FIRST CHAPTER OF GENESIS. 1 65 generation has something to learn. Let me therefore invite your attention to two questions connected with it. Let us inquire, firstly, Does the picture which it

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