« EdellinenJatka »
I hope you will read often, with care and attentiondo you as much good as yours have done to me!
I hope that, in future, the glorious scenes of the work of creation, here related, will come more frequently into your thoughts as you look at the magnificent works of God, in the midst of which his goodness has placed you,-on the shores of our beautiful lake, on our hills, on our meadows, and at the foot of our glorious mountains. I hope that they will teach you daily to know more of the power and wisdom of God, and that they will encourage you to pray to Him who is all good as well as all powerful.
Lastly, I hope that this account of the visible creation may ever remind you that there is a new creation, more wonderful still, of which the Bible constantly speaks, and which is absolutely necessary for each of us. It is wrought in our souls by God, when he converts them; for “if any man be in Christ," says St. Paul, “ he is a new creature."
Therefore, my friends, I entreat you to seek this living and true God, our creator, in the holy word in which he has revealed himself to us. There he is to be found; there will he meet the child who is longing for him, praying to him, waiting for him. He will “create in him a new heart, and renew within him a right spirit.” He will take him in his arms, as the father in the parable his prodigal son, and will say,
“Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him,"—the robe of our Redeemer's righteousness ! (Luke xv. 22.)
It is by laying to heart the truths revealed in Scripture that a soul is converted to God, and escapes from the wrath to come. Hear the words of the parable spoken by our Lord Jesus: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. .... If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead" (Luke xvi. 29, 31).
But let us ever search the Scriptures with a sincere and humble heart; for the Lord has said, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isa. lxvi. 1, 2).
GENEVA, August 2, 1856.
In presenting this book to English readers, the translator feels that a benefit is conferred not only on children, but on all parents and teachers; for it is a model of what Bible lessons ought to be.
It ought not to detract from the merit of these lessons, as mudels of teaching, that all cannot fully agree in Professor Gaussen's views about geology, as he does not teach anything dogmatically, or that is still uncertain. He says, “ There are still many difficulties in the details of this subject, which we do not perfectly understand, but which will yet be cleared up, as former difficulties have been.” Geology is a science still in its infancy; and the wisest philosophers, when attempting to read the records of the rocks, are but as children learning to read, stumbling and making inistakes very often. He is the wisest who is the most willing to confess how little he knows, and who ever feels that if there sometimes seem to be contradictions between Nature and the Bible, the fault is in the reader, and not in the books, whose perfect agreement and harmony will be more and more clearly seen the better they are understood.
The translator has not attempted to make this translation perfectly literal: to do so would be to destroy the spirit of the book in order to preserve the letter. Long words have been avoided when possible, even by adding, when it appeared necessary, a few words or sentences, to make the author's meaning more clear in English. Quotations from English books are given in the words of the English authors, sometimes at greater length than in the French work; and the quotations from Scripture have in some cases been given more fully, and verses have been added, where it made the passage more complete.
J. H. January, 1860
THE WORLD'S BIRTH-DAY.
“IN THE BEGINNING."
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."- GEN. 1. 1.
THE Book of Genesis is the most ancient and the most venerable, the most instructive and the most indispensable of all books.
It is the foundation, the beginning, and the anticipated explanation of all others.
How necessary it is, then, before beginning the study of this book, that we should pray to God that his Spirit may give us understanding and a teachable spirit-a spirit of meditation and prayer.
You already know, doubtless, what is meant by the Greek name "Genesis,” which we are accustomed to give to this book. The ancient