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by Dr. John Thomas
Experimental philosophers can form water, air, and earths; they can bring down lightning from the expanse; they can weigh, or rather calculate the weight of, the sun, moon, and stars; they can speak by electricity; paint by sunlight; and outstrip the wind by fire.
These are wonderful combinations of their genius.
But what have these they did not receive?
And from whom did they receive it?
They subject certain substances to certain conditions.
They do not originate a single principle.
The elements and the laws to which all simple and compound bodies are subject, are independent of the experimenters.
They may say, "Let water be formed"; and by passing the electric spark through the gaseous mixture, water will be formed; but it is the power of God that doth it, and not theirs.
After a like manner, the Elohim gave the word; they brought the latent elements of the globe into play; they gave direction and application to power; and the Spirit of the Invisible God accomplished all they were commanded to arrange.
The Spirit of the Incorruptible God through the Elohim created the heavens and the earth.
They said, "Let there be fight"; they saw that it was good; He made the expanse: they called it heaven: -- He did it all through them; and they executed by His power what He enjoined.
This power, or Spirit, being committed to them, it became "the Spirit of the Elohim".
Hence, in the beginning, the Spirit of the Elohim created; which being plainly indicated in the second verse of the first chapter of Genesis, needed not afterwards to be repeated; so that throughout the chapter, "Elohim" is written instead of "the Spirit of the Elohim," and is found in connection with a singular verb, not as its nominative, but as the governed word of the nominative singular, ruach, Spirit, understood.
This is the solution I offer of this grammatical enigma.
It is a part of the "strong delusion" which has supplanted the truth, to suppose that the Invisible God left the throne of the universe on a visit to this region of immensity, where, like a mechanic building a house, He worked in creating the earth and all things therein.
After this fashion He is supposed to have made man; and when His mechanism was complete, to have applied His mouth to his nostrils, and "breathed into him a particle of His own divine essence, by which he became a living and immortal soul".
Such a procedure on the part of the "Only Potentate," whose abode is in the light, and whose servants, the Elohim, are innumerable, would have been unfitting His dignity and underived exaltation.
He has revealed Himself to us as a Potentate, a King, a Lord, etc. ; now, they who fill these stations commit to others the service of executing their will and pleasure.
And thus it is with the Invisible and Eternal Potentate.
His kingdom ruleth over all.
His angels, or Elohim, mighty in strength, do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His words.
They are His hosts; His ministers, that do His pleasure.
In the light of this revelation I understand the Mosaic record of the creation.