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The Golden age. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1906-1915, May 10, 1906, Page 3, Image 3

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“I Am The Way. The Truth, and The Life” The Origin of Things as Revealed in Genesis. By DR. A. C. DIXON. I.— > In the beginning of every book of geometry is a list of maxims, such as: “ The whole is equal to the sum of its parts.” “A straight line is the shortest distance between two points.” These maxims are self-evident truths—truths which are so evident that they do not demand proof, because everybody of sound mind knows without proof that they are true. Geometry is built on these maxims. There is only one maxim in the Bible, and that is the first verse of the book: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Every one of sound mind knows that there is a God. If he says in his heart there is no God, the Psalmist pro nounces him a fool. Results demand causes, and intelligent results demand intellligent causes. If a man cannot see that results demand causes, he is of unsound mind. The Bible, therefore, does not attempt to prove that there is a God, but takes it for granted, and gives in its first verse the one maxim upon which everything that follows is founded. If you accept this self-evident truth, you have no difficulty in accepting as true all the miracles that follow, for the less is included in the greater. If “God created the heaven and the earth,” He could certainly divide the waters of the Red Sea, cause the earth to cease its rotation and keep the sun fixed in the sky, make a fish to swallow Jonah and keep the prophet alive. Miracle is God at work, and the Creator of the universe can, of course, regu late anything in the universe. This only Biblical maxim places spirit before matter. “In the beginning God created.” “God is a Spirit” before matter. Matter, therefore, is not eternal, and spirit is not dependent upon mat ter, while the existence of matter is dependent upon spirit. We are not taught that God created all things out of nothing. Omnipotent Spirit has re sources that can produce matter. Milton’s “Par adise Lost” is a creation of his genius, and did not exist in its present form before Milton. He made it, but he did not make it out of nothing. His men tal, moral, and spiritual resources were such as to produce “Paradise Lost.” So the infinite, spirit ual resources of God created the material universe. 4 ‘The heaven and the earth” implies order, if not perfection. It reads as if God made all things good, and somewhere between the first and second verses there came into this perfect order a cata clysm which changed cosmos into chaos, like the advent of sin afterwards in the moral world. After this “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” We need not insist upon translating “was” “became,” though such a translation is possible. The first verse declares that God created the heaven and the earth perfect, as He is in the habit of doing things. And the second verse gives the result of the catas trophe which marred His perfect work, leaving it “without form and void,” with darkness covering the wreck. This harmonizes with Isa. 45:18: “God himself that formed the earth and made it, He hath established it, He creatpd it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.” The word here translated “in vain” is in Hebrew the same as that translated “without form” in Genesis 1:2. Isaiah informs us > Mill Hw W »li fiRBWi [ttfer The Golden Age for May 10, 1906. that God did not create the earth “without form,” so that it must have been “without form” after creation by some sort of cataclysm. Just as He made man in His own image and Satan marred His perfect work, so He made heaven and earth perfect, to be marred, it may seem, by the direct and pow erful agency of the arch enemy of beauty and or der. Now begins the work of restoring chaos to cos mos in the material world, as God begins at once after the fall the restoration of man from sin to righteousness. “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Matter which was created by Spirit is now moved upon by Spirit and all the pro cesses of restoring to form and beauty which have been going on ever since that time is the work of the Spirit of God. “By his Spirit he hath garnish ed the heavens.” (Job 26:13.) God creates all things perfect and for some inscrutiable reason He permits evil forces to mar His perfect work. But He never leaves the work of His hands to be utterly destroyed by evil. Though we may not un- w. * wMb A. C. DIXON, D. D. derstand why God permits the marring of His work, we can see how God reveals Himself more fully in the process of restoration than in the act of crea tion. In creation we see a God of power and wis dom, while in restoration we see a God of power, wisdom, love, patience, and sympathy. He creates by the fiat of His will, but in order to restoration He becomes incarnate, lives with His spiritual chil dren, leads them like a shepherd, and supplies all their needs. The glory of redemption outshines the glory of creation. The first two verses of Genesis give us an out line of the whole Bible: (1) Construction; (2) Destruction; (3) Reconstruction. Or, as Dr. G. Campbell Morgan puts it: (1) Generation, (2) Degeneration, (3) Regeneration. God constructs, and it is the Devil’s malicious purpose to destroy, while God with infinite love and patience recon structs His work. The first chapter of John’s Gospel informs us that our Lord Jesus Christ is Creator-God: “All things were made by Him.” And in Col. 1:17 we read “He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” The Christian’s Savior is the God of the universe, and all material worlds are the ex pression of His wisdom and power. From the Canary Islands. The following are some pertinent extracts taken from an interesting letter received by J. F. Cargile from J. H. Brown, an earnest mission worker situat ed at (Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, Canary Islands. It is regretted that lack of space prevents our using Mr. Brown’s beautiful letter in full. He says in part: “/Since my return to the Islands, I have opened two more schools—one free day school and another Sunday School, which was so much needed; I have now two native teachers, who give their whole time to the work besides myself and wife, who gives her whole time to teaching and visiting. All this is done by faith in God, for as you know, we have no Society nor even Church or individual, who has guar anteed to be responsible for our support, much less for the expenses of the Mission and maintenance of our native teachers—it is not for us to know how or from whom all the money is coming; it is enough for us to know that all our needs will be supplied by Him upon whom we wait. I enclose a handbill printed in Spanish from which you will see that we have preaching every day in the week, which the dear Lord is blessing in the saving of many souls. “On Sunday week, alter the evening service was over, nine people came forward and publicly con fessed faith in Christ, and offered themselves for baptism; and since then eight more have been con verted, and after careful public examination and profession of their faith in Chiist, were also re ceived for baptism, making in all seventeen persons. We have also much persecution, crowds of people come around our house to throw stones and spit in my lace, but we do not mind this if we can only gain souls for Christ.” The Cole Lectures. At Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., there is given each year a series of lectures called the “Cole Series,” which are the result of a fund do nated by E. W. Cole, of Tennessee, for the purpose of a perpetual series of religious discourses to be delivered by prominent speakers. The concludding lecture of the 1906 series, was de livered by Dr. Francis H. Smith, of the University of Virginia, and the subject of his discourse was “Christ the Teacher.” Dr. Smith has filled the lectureship of the Cole Series this year and has done so to the great pleas ure and profit of the students, and has won the love and gratitude of them, as well as of the faculty of Vanderbilt University. Dr. John Watson, of Liverpool, will deliver the Cole series next year. Dr. Watson is well known as the author of the “Bonnie Briar Bush,” and is as eminent in his literary work under the nom de plume of “lan Maclaren,” as he is in his work as a pastor and teacher. “The Entrance of Thy Words Giveth Light.” 3