The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 2: The Creation
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"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all
the host of them by the breath of His mouth." "For He
spake, and it was;" "He commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm
33:6,9. He "laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not
be removed forever." Psalm 104:5.
As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was
exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was diversified with mountains,
hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes;
but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and rugged, abounding
in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do; the
sharp, ragged edges of earth's rocky framework were buried beneath
the fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant
growth of verdure. There were no loathsome swamps or barren
deserts. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at
every turn. The heights were crowned with trees more majestic
than any that now exist. The air, untainted by foul miasma, was
clear and healthful. The entire landscape outvied in beauty the
decorated grounds of the proudest palace. The angelic host
viewed the scene with delight, and rejoiced at the wonderful
works of God.
After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life
had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the
Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been
fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. To him was
given dominion over all that his eye could behold; for "God said,
Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them
have dominion over . . . all the earth. . . . So God created man
in His own image; . . . male and female created He them." Here
is clearly set forth the origin of the human race; and the divine
record is so plainly stated that there is no occasion for erroneous [p. 45] conclusions. God created man in His own image. Here is no
mystery. There is no ground for the supposition that man was
evolved by slow degrees of development from the lower forms of
animal or vegetable life. Such teaching lowers the great work of
the Creator to the level of man's narrow, earthly conceptions.
Men are so intent upon excluding God from the sovereignty of the
universe that they degrade man and defraud him of the dignity
of his origin. He who set the starry worlds on high and tinted
with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth
and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came
to crown His glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as
ruler of the fair earth, did not fail to create a being worthy of the
hand that gave him life. The genealogy of our race, as given by
inspiration, traces back its origin, not to a line of developing
germs, mollusks, and quadrupeds, but to the great Creator.
Though formed from the dust, Adam was "the son of God."
He was placed, as God's representative, over the lower orders
of being. They cannot understand or acknowledge the sovereignty
of God, yet they were made capable of loving and serving man.
The psalmist says, "Thou madest him to have dominion over the
works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet: . . .
the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, . . . and whatsoever
passeth through the paths of the seas." Psalm 8:6-8.
Man was to bear God's image, both in outward resemblance
and in character. Christ alone is "the express image" (Hebrews
1:3) of the Father; but man was formed in the likeness of God.
His nature was in harmony with the will of God. His mind was
capable of comprehending divine things. His affections were
pure; his appetites and passions were under the control of reason.
He was holy and happy in bearing the image of God and in perfect
obedience to His will.
As man came forth from the hand of his Creator, he was of
lofty stature and perfect symmetry. His countenance bore the
ruddy tint of health and glowed with the light of life and joy.
Adam's height was much greater than that of men who now inhabit
the earth. Eve was somewhat less in stature; yet her form
was noble, and full of beauty. The sinless pair wore no artificial
garments; they were clothed with a covering of light and glory,
such as the angels wear. So long as they lived in obedience to
God, this robe of light continued to enshroud them. [p. 46]
After the creation of Adam every living creature was brought
before him to receive its name; he saw that to each had been given
a companion, but among them "there was not found an help meet
for him." Among all the creatures that God had made on the
earth, there was not one equal to man. And God said, "It is not
good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet
for him." Man was not made to dwell in solitude; he was to be a
social being. Without companionship the beautiful scenes and
delightful employments of Eden would have failed to yield perfect
happiness. Even communion with angels could not have satisfied
his desire for sympathy and companionship. There was none of
the same nature to love and to be loved.
God Himself gave Adam a companion. He provided "an help
meet for him"—a helper corresponding to him-one who was
fitted to be his companion, and who could be one with him in love
and sympathy. Eve was created from a rib taken from the side of
Adam, signifying that she was not to control him as the head, nor
to be trampled under his feet as an inferior, but to stand by his side
as an equal, to be loved and protected by him. A part of man,
bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, she was his second self,
showing the close union and the affectionate attachment that
should exist in this relation. "For no man ever yet hated his own
flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it." Ephesians 5:29. "Therefore
shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave
unto his wife; and they shall be one."
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