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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

On the fourth day, the expanded atmosphere became transparent, and the shining orbs of the universe could be seen from the surface of the earth.

Our globe was then placed in such astronomical relation to them as to be subjected by their influences to the vicissitudes of day and night, summer and winter; and that they might serve for signs, and for years.

Thus, the sun, moon, and stars which God had made, by giving the earth's axis a certain inclination to the plane of the ecliptic, became diffusive of the most genial influences over the land and sea.

It was now a fit and beautiful abode for animals of every kind.

The dwelling-place was perfected, well aired, and gloriously illuminated by the lights of heaven; food was abundantly provided; and the mansional estate waited only a joyous tenantry to be complete.

This was the work of the fifth and sixth days.

On the fifth, fish and water-fowl were produced from the teeming waters; and on the sixth, cattle, reptiles, land-fowl, and the beasts of the earth, came out of "the dust of the ground," male and female, after their several kinds.

But among all these there was not one fit to exercise dominion over the animal world, or to reflect the divine attributes.

Therefore the Elohim said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the living creatures".

So Elohim created man in His image; male and female created He them.

Further details concerning the formation of the human pair are given in the second chapter of Genesis, verses 7, 18, 21-25.

These passages belong to the work of the sixth day; while that from verse 8 to 14 pertains to the record of the third; and from 15 to 17 is parallel with chapter 1:28-31, which completes the history of the sixth.

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them"; and the Jehovah Elohim, on reviewing the stupendous and glorious creation elaborated by the Spirit; pronounced it "very good".

Then the Elohim or "Morning Stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy". (Job 38:4-7)

OF THE SABBATH DAY

On the seventh day, which was neither longer nor shorter than the days which preceded it, "God ended his work which he had made"; and because of this notable event, "he blessed and sanctified it".

A day is blessed, because of what is or will be imparted to those who are commanded to observe it.

The sanctification of the day implies the setting of it apart that it might be kept in some way different from other days.

The manner of its original observance may be inferred from the law concerning it when it was enjoined upon the Israelites.

To them it was said, "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy".

If it be asked, how was it to be kept holy?

the answer is, "in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor any one or thing belonging to thee"; and the reason for this total abstinence from work is referred to the Lord's own example in that "he rested the seventh day".

The nature of its observance in the ages and generations, and the recompense thereof, is well expressed in the words of Isaiah: -- "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it".