II. How did God create the world?

1. God, the Father, created the world through the Son and Holy Ghost. Of the Son, it is said, “ All things were made by him.” (John 1: 3.) Of the Holy Ghost, it is said, “The Spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters.” “The Spirit of God hath made me.” (Gen. 1: 2. Job 33: 4.)

2. God created the world most freely, without any constraint. There was no necessity in the case, but such as resulted from the decree of his* own will, which, although it was eternal and immutable, was, nevertheless, most free. “For he spake, and it was done.” “But our God is in the heavens, he hath done whatsoever he pleased.” (Ps. 38: 9; 115: 3.)

3. God made the world by his simple command, word, and will, without any labor, fatigue, or change of himself, which is the highest form of working. There are five kinds of operations or agents: 1. There are natural agents, which operate according to the force of their own nature, without any intelligence or will ; such is the operation of fire, water, medicinal herbs, precious stones, &c., the action and operation of which is marked out by nature. 2. We have other operations, or agencies, which although they are greatly controlled by nature, are, nevertheless, not with out some desire or will of their own, even though the government of reason be wanting. Yet the action of these agents is of such a nature, that it is oftentimes forced from them against their will, which may be said to be true of animals. 3. Are the agencies of men, who act according to their corrupt desires and inclinations. 4. Are the agencies of good spirits whom we call angels, who act according to reason, and willingly, as men do, but who are free from corruption. 5. The highest and most complete kind of operation is that which results from an understanding and will most pure and holy ; which is subject to the wisdom and counsel of no one who is superior ; which is, therefore, of all others, the most free, wise, and good, and which is truly infinite, such that all other things depend upon it alone. Such is the operation or agency of God alone. “ He spake, and it was done ; he commanded and it stood fast.” “ God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” (Ps. 33: 6,9. Rom. 4: 17.)

4. God created all things out of nothing. It was not, therefore, from any essence of Deity, nor from any pre-existing matter co-equal with him self, from which God created the heavens and the earth. For if all things were created by God, nothing is excepted but the Creator himself, so that all other things were created, not even excluding the matter out of which they were formed.

5. Obj. Out of nothing is nothing. Ans. According to the order of nature as it is now constituted, it is true, that one thing is generated or produced from another. It is also true that nothing can be produced out of nothing by men ; but what is impossible to man is possible with God. Hence, this proposition, out of nothing is nothing, is not true when applied to God. Nor is it true of the first creation, or of the extraordinary working of God, but only of the order of nature as it is now established. That God created all things out of nothing, should contribute to our comfort; for if he has created all things out of nothing, he is also able to preserve us, and to restrain, yea, to bring to naught the counsels and devices of the wicked.

God created all things most wisely, and very good, that is, he made every thing perfect according to its kind and degree. “ All things were very good.” (Gen. 1 : 31.) Every thing was created free from deformity and sin, and from evil under every form. Obj. But death is evil. Ans. God did not create death, but inflicted it as a just punishment upon the creature, on account of sin. Reply. But it is said, “God creates evil.” “ Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it.” (Is. 45:7. Amos 3:6.) Ans. These things are spoken of the evil of punishment and not of guilt. God is the author of punishment, because he is the judge of the world; but he is not the author of sin he merely permits it.

6. God created the world, not suddenly, nor in a moment of time, but in six days. “ On the seventh day, God ended all his works.” (Gen. 2 : 2.) But why did not God create all things in a moment of time, when he had the power to do so? 1. Because he designed that the creation of matter should be a thing distinct, and manifest from the formation of the bodies of the world, which were made out of it. 2. Because he would show his power, and freedom, in producing whatever he willed, arid that without any natural causes. Hence, he gave light to the world, made the earth fruitful, and caused plants to grow out of H, before the sun or moon were created. 3. He wished to give an exhibition of his goodness and providence in providing for his creatures, and having a regard for them before they were born ; to do this, he brings animals upon the earth T already clothed with plants and pasture, and introduces man into the world which he had most richly furnished with every thing necessary to meet his wants, and to administer to his comfort. 4. God created all things successively, that we might not sit in idleness, but might have an opportunity of considering his works, and thus discerning his wisdom, goodness, and power.

7. Lastly, God created the world, not eternally, but at a certain and definite time ; and, therefore, in the beginning of time. u In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.” (Gen. 1:1.) According to the common reckoning, it is now, counting from this 1616 of Christ, 5534 years since the creation of the world. For, from the creation of the world to the birth of Christ,

These calculations harmonize sufficiently with each other in the larger numbers, although some years are either added or wanting in the smaller numbers. According to these four calculations, made by the most learned men of our times, it will appear, by comparing them together, that the world was created by God at least not much over 5,559 or 5,579 years. The world, therefore, was not created from everlasting, but had a beginning.