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GENESIS i. 1.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
THE foregoing words are rendered remarkable by the fact of their forming the commencement, or the introductory part, of that divine volume, emphatically termed the Bible. The word Bible signifies, in its original sense, a book, and in consequence the Bible signifies the book, which is so termed by reason of its superiority to all books which have ever been written from the commencement of time, or which ever will be written as long as eternity itself shall exist.
This sacred book, as you are aware, is divided into two parts. One of these is termed the Old, and
the other the New Testament. The word Testament signifies covenant or agreement; and the Old Testament is so called because it contains the terms of the covenant, or agreement, which God made with man, which began just after the creation, and which was at various times renewed, until the time of Malachi, who prophesied about four hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
After the completion of this, the Almighty withdrew all intercourse with man, according to the hint which has just been given, for the space of about four hundred years. At the expiration of this period, Jesus Christ appeared upon earth as the bearer of a new message from heaven, by whom the terms of a new covenant were proposed, and the will and disposition of God more fully manifested with respect to the future happiness of mankind. The particulars of this message, which was on different occasions proclaimed by our Lord during his peregrinations in the land of his countrymen, have been recorded by certain of his faithful disciples, the Apostles and Evangelists. And this portion of the Bible, for a self-evident reason, is termed the New Testament, that is to say, the New Agreement which God has vouchsafed to make with man, by the instrumentality and mediation of his only Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
And this divine volume is it, in which the words of our text are the first words which present themselves to the notice of the reader. When, there