Creation of the earth and man
The earth before the creation of Adam the habitation of the angels who kept not their first estate — A geological error corrected — The Sabbath day and the Lord’s day— The formation of man and woman — The “great mystery” of her formation out of man explained — Eden — The Garden of Eden — The original and future paradises considered — Man’s primitive dominion confined to the inferior creatures and his own immediate family — Of the two trees of the garden — And man in his original estate.
The general account of the work of the six days is contained in the first chapter of Genesis; while in the second is presented among other things, a more particular narrative of the work of the sixth day in the formation of the first human pair.
Let the reader peruse the history of the creation as a revelation to himself as an inhabitant of the earth. It informs him of the order in which the things narrated would have developed themselves to his view, had he been placed on some projecting rock, the spectator of the events detailed. He must remember this. The Mosaic account is not a revelation to the inhabitants of other orbs remote from the earth of the formation of the boundless universe; but to man, as a constituent of the terrestrial system. This will explain why light is said to have been created four days before the sun, moon, and stars. To an observer on the earth this was the order of their appearance; and in relation to him a primary creation, though absolutely pre-existent for millions of ages before the Adamic era.
The duration of the earth’s revolutions round the sun previous to the work of the first day is not revealed: but the evidences produced by the strata of our globe show that the period was long continued. There are indeed hints, casually dropped in the scriptures, which would seem to indicate that our planet was inhabited by a race of beings anterior to the formation of man.
The apostle Peter, speaking of the “false teachers” that would arise among Christians “by reason of whom the way of truth would be evil spoken of” illustrates the certainty of their “damnation” by citing three cases in point; namely, that of certain angels; that of the antediluvian world; and that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now the earth, we know, was the place of judgment to the contemporaries of Noah and Lot, and seeing that these three are warnings to inhabitants of earth, it is probable that they are all related to things pertaining to our globe in the order of their enumeration — first, judgment upon its pre-Adamic inhabitants; secondly, upon the antediluvian world, which succeeded them; and thirdly, upon Sodom after the flood.
Peter says that “the Angels”, or pre-Adamic inhabitants of the Earth, “sinned”; and Jude, in speaking of the same subject, reveals to us the nature of their transgression. He says, verse 6,
“the angels maintained not their original state, but forsook their own habitation”.
From which it would appear that they had the ability to leave their dwelling if they pleased; secondly, that they were sometimes employed as messengers to other parts of the universe; this their name (ἄγγελος, angelos, one sent) implies; thirdly, that they were forbidden to leave their habitation without special command to do so; and fourthly, that they violated this injunction and left it. Having transgressed the divine law, God would not forgive them; “but casting them down”, or driving them back, “he committed them to everlasting chains of intense darkness to be reserved for judgment”. Hence, it is clear, when they were driven back to their habitation, some further catastrophe befell them by which their committal to darkness was effected. This probably consisted in the total wreck of their abode, and their entire submergence, with all the mammoths of their estate, under the waters of an overwhelming flood. Reduced to this extremity, the earth became “without form and empty; and darkness overspread the deep waters”. Its mountains, hills, valleys, plains, seas, rivers, and fountains of waters, which gave diversity of “form” to the surface of our globe, all disappeared; and it became “void”, or empty, no living creatures, angels, quadrupeds, birds, or fishes, being found any more upon it.
Fragments, however, of the wreck of this pre-Adamic world have been brought to light by geological research, to the records of which we refer the reader, for a detailed account of its discoveries, with this remark, that its organic remains, coal fields, and strata, belong to the ages before the formation of man, rather than to the era of the creation, or the Noachic flood. This view of the matter will remove a host of difficulties, which have hitherto disturbed the harmony between the conclusions of geologists and the Mosaic account of the physical constitution of our globe.
Geologists have endeavoured to extend the six days into six thousand years. But this, with the scriptural data we have adduced, is quite unnecessary. Instead of six thousand, they can avail themselves of sixty thousand; for the scriptures reveal no length of time during which the terrene angels dwelt upon our globe. The six days of Genesis were unquestionably six diurnal revolutions of the earth upon its axis. This is clear from the tenor of the sabbath law.
“Six days shalt thou labour (O Israel) and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
Would it be any fit reason that, because the Lord worked six periods of a thousand or more years each, and had ceased about two thousand until the giving of the law, therefore the Israelites were to work six periods of twelve hours, and do no work on a seventh period or day of like duration? Would any Israelite or Gentile, unspoiled by vain philosophy, come to the conclusion of the geologists by reading the sabbath law? We believe not. Six days of ordinary length were ample time for Omnipotence, with all the power of the universe at command, to re-form the earth, and to place the few animals upon it necessary for the beginning of a new order of things upon the globe.
– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 10–12). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.
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