Genesis 1:3
Genesis 1:1-5. A true and firm foundation of revelation and faith must be laid in a Divine doctrine of "Genesis," the beginnings out of which have come both the world of nature and the world of grace. In this book we are taught what is the order by which all things must be tried. Coming forth from Elohim, from the Infinite Personality; flowing in his appointed course. The genesis of heaven and earth becomes the genesis of the human family. Out of the natural chaos is brought forth the Eden of rest and beauty. Out of the moral waste of a fallen humanity is formed, by the gracious work of a Divine Spirit, through a covenant of infinite wisdom and loves a seed of redeemed and sanctified human beings, a family of God. The genesis of the material creation leads on to the genesis of the invisible creation. The lower is the type and symbol of the higher. The first day is the true beginning of days. See what is placed by the sacred writer between that evening and morning.

I. THE COMING FORTH OF THE EVERLASTING, UNSEARCHABLE SECRET OF THE DIVINE NATURE INTO MANIFESTATION. "God created." The word employed denotes more than the bare summoning of existence out of nothingness. The analogy of human workmanship ("cutting," "carving," "framing") suggests the relation between creation and the God of creation. The heaven and the earth reflect their Maker. Works embody the mind, the spirit, the will, the nature of the workman. Although the name Elohim, in the plural form, cannot be taken as an equivalent of the Trinity, it points to the great fundamental fact of all revelation, the Divine Unity coming forth out of the infinite solitude of eternity, and declaring, in the manifold revelations of the visible and invisible worlds, all that the creature can know of his fathomless mystery.

II. HERE IS A GLIMPSE INTO GOD'S ORDER AND METHOD. "In the beginning," the immeasurable fullness of creative power and goodness. Formless void, darkness on the face of the deeps apparent confusion and emptiness, within a limited sphere, the earth; at a certain epoch, in preparation for an appointed future. Chaos is not the first beginning of things; it is a stage in their history. The evening of the first day preceded the morning in the recorded annals of the earth. That evening was itself a veiling of the light. Science itself leads back the thoughts from all chaotic periods to previous developments of power. Order precedes disorder. Disorder is itself permitted only as a temporary state. It is itself part of the genesis of that which shall be ultimately "very good."

III. THE GREAT VITAL FACT OF THE WORLD'S ORDER IS THE INTIMATE UNION BETWEEN THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND THAT WHICH IS COVERED WITH DARKNESS UNTIL HE MAKES IT LIGHT. The moving of the Spirit upon the face of the waters represents the brooding, cherishing, vitalizing presence of God in his creatures, over them, around them, at once the source and protection of their life. "Breath;" "wind," the word literally means, perhaps as a symbol at once of life, or living energy, and freedom, and with an immediate reference to the creative word, which is henceforth the breath of God in the world. Surely no candid mind can fail to feel the force of such a witness in the opening sentences of revelation to the triune God.

IV. TO US THE BEGINNING OF ALL THINGS IS LIGHT. The word of God "commands the light to shine out of darkness." "God said, Let there be light," or, Let light be. The going forth of God's word upon the universe very well represents the twofold fact,

(1) that it is the outcome of his will and nature; and

(2) that it is his language - the expression of himself.

Hence all through this Mosaic cosmogony God is represented as speaking to creation, that we may understand that he speaks in creation, as he is also said to look at that which comes forth from himself to behold it, to approve it, to name it, to appoint its order and use. Such intimate blending of the personal with the impersonal is the teaching of Scripture as distinguished from all mere human wisdom. God is in creation and yet above it. Man is thus invited to seek the personal presence as that which is higher than nature, which his own personal life requires, that it may not be oppressed with nature's greatness, that it may be light, and not darkness. There is darkness in creation, darkness in the deep waters of the world's history, darkness in the human soul itself, until God speaks and man hears. Light is not, physically, the first thing created; but it is the first fact of the Divine days - that is, the beginning of the new order. For what we have to do with, is not the. infinite, secret of creation, but the "manifestation of the visible world God manifest. The first day m the history of the earth, as man can read it, must be the day when God removes the covering of darkness and says, Let there be light." The veil uplifted is itself a commencement. God said that it was good. His own appointment confirmed the abiding distinction between light and darkness, between day and night; in other words, the unfolding, progressive interchange of work and rest, of revelation and concealment, the true beginning of the world's week of labor, which leads on to the everlasting sabbath. How appropriately this first day of the week of creation stands at the threshold of God's word of grace! The light which he makes to shine in our hearts, which divides our existence into the true order, the good and the evil separated from one another, which commences our life; and the Spirit is the light of, his own word, the light which shines from the face of him who was "the Word,' "in the beginning with God," "without whom nothing was made that was made." - R.







Let there be light.
I. DIVINELY PRODUCED.

1. For the protection of life. Plants could not live without light; without it, the flowers would soon wither. Even in a brief night they close their petals, and will only open them again at the gentle approach of the morning light. Nor could man survive in continued darkness. A sad depression would rest upon his soul.

2. For the enjoyment of life. Light is one of God's best gifts to the world.(1) It is inexpensive. The world has to pay for the light produced by man; that created by God, we get for nothing. Man has limitations; God has none. Man is selfish; God is beneficent.(2) It is extensive. It floods the universe. It is the heritage of the poor equally with the rich; it enters the hut as well as the palace.(3) It is welcome.

3. For the instruction of life. Light is not merely a protection. It is also an instructor. It is an emblem. It is an emblem of God, the Eternal Light. It is an emblem of truth. It is an emblem of goodness. It is an emblem of heaven. It is an emblem of beneficence.

II. DIVINELY APPROVED. "And God saw the light, that it was good."

1. It was good in itself. The light was pure. It was clear. It was not so fierce as to injure. It was not so weak as to be ineffectual. It was not so loud in its advent as to disturb.

2. It was good because adapted to the purpose contemplated by it. Nothing else could more efficiently have accomplished its purpose toward the life of man. Hence it is good because adapted to its purpose, deep in its meaning, wide in its realm, happy in its influence, and educational in its tendency.

3. We see here that the Divine Being carefully scrutinises the work of His hands. When He had created light, He saw that it was good. May we not learn a lesson here, to pause after our daily toil, to inspect and review its worth. Every act of life should be followed by contemplation.

III. DIVINELY PROPORTIONED. "And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night."

1. The light was indicative of day. In this light man was to work. The light ever active would rebuke indolence. By this light man was to read. In this light man was to order his moral conduct.

2. The removal of light was indicative of night. In this night man was to rest from the excitement of pleasure, and the anxiety of toil. Its darkness was to make him feel the need of a Divine protection.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

I. THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE METAPHOR.

1. Light and the gospel resemble each other in their source and Divine resemblance.

2. Light and the gospel resemble each other in their adaptation to the end designed.

3. Light and the gospel resemble each other in their purity.

4. Light and the gospel resemble each other in their inseparable connection with joy and happiness.

II. THE WILL OF GOD RESPECTING IT.

1. That man should have the light of salvation.

2. That His Church should be the light of the world.

3. That the world should be filled with the light of the gospel of Christ.(1) Now the gospel is adapted to all the world. It is as much suited to one part of it as to another.(2) It is expressly said that it is designed for the whole world. "I am the light of the world." "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."(3) The whole world shall finally enjoy its saving rays. "This gospel of the kingdom," etc. (See Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 60:19, and Habakkuk 2:14.)APPLICATION.

1. Have you the light of Divine grace in your hearts?

2. Have you this light in your families?

3. Have you this light in your neighbourhood?

4. Are you assisting to enlighten the world?

(J. Burns, D. D.)

I. EXPLANATION OF THE PASSAGE.

1. "God said": an anthropomorphism.

2. The God-said of Moses the God-word of John.

3. The first light chemical.

4. "And God saw the light, that it was good." It is to light that the cloud, the sunset, the rainbow, the diamond, the violet, owe their exquisite hues. Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun (Ecclesiastes 11:7). Nay, more: Light is one of the essential conditions of all life itself — alike vegetal, animal, human, and, doubtless, angelic. Yes, there is a better curative than allopathy or homeopathy, hydropathy or aeropathy; it is heliopathy, or light of the sun. Physicians understand this, and so seek for their patients the sunny side of hospitals. And so they unconsciously confirm the holy saying, "To you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings" (Malachi 4:2).

5. Evening: Morning. Observe the order of the words: It is not first morning, and then evening; it is first evening, then morning: "And there was evening, and there was morning, day one."

II. MORAL MEANING OF THE STORY.

1. God is light (1 John 1:5). For aught I know, the apostle's message is literally true. Remember that when we are talking of light we are moving in presence of a very subtile mystery. The origin and nature of light is still a profound problem. True, we talk learnedly and correctly about the laws of light; its laws of reflection, refraction, absorption, dispersion, polarization, etc. But these are only phenomena; they tell us nothing about the nature or origin of light itself. All we know of light is merely a knowledge of the mode and laws of its motion. We do not know the essence of light itself. One thing is certain: light is the nearest known, sensible approach to immateriality, being classed with its apparent kindred — heat, electricity, magnetism — among the imponderables. Indeed, the modern magnificent undulatory theory denies that light is material, and affirms that it is but a mode of motion. We are accustomed to say that there are but two things in the universe — spirit and matter — and that the chasm between these is infinite. Possibly this is one of those assumptions which, did we know more, we would affirm less. Possibly light is an instance of what the philosophers call tertium quid — a third something, intermediate between spirit and matter, ethereally bridging the measureless chasm. Possibly light is God's natural expression, outflow, radiation, manifestation, vestment (Psalm 104:1, 2). Possibly, when the Creator moves in that finite world we call time, He leaves light as His personal vestige and train. His mantle ripples into light, is light itself. In view of this possibility, how natural as well as fitting that the ancient token of God's personal presence among the Hebrews should have been the shechinah, or dazzling glory cloud.

2. And as God is light, so also are His children light. Expressly are they called Sons of Light (Luke 16:8). Expressly is He called Father of Lights (James 1:17). We know that light is latent in every form of matter; for, when sufficiently heated, it becomes incandescent — that is to say, self-luminous. What is flame but a mass of heated, visibly glowing gas? True, it doth not yet appear what we shall be (1 John 3:2). Nevertheless, I believe that light is latent within us all, and that by-and-by, at least in the case of God's saintly children, it will stream forth; not that it will be evolved by the action of any heat or chemical force, but that, under the free, transcendent conditions of the heavenly estate, it will ray forth spontaneously.

3. Jesus Christ Himself, as Incarnate, is the shadow of God's light. Infinite God, Deity as unconditioned and absolute, no man hath ever seen or can ever see, and live (Exodus 33:20). He dwelleth in light which no man can approach unto (1 Timothy 6:15), is light itself. "Dark with excess of light," we poor finite beings cannot behold Him except through the softening intervention of some medium. Therefore the Son of God, brightness of His glory and express image of His person (Hebrews 1:3), radiance of His effulgence and character, or impress of His substance, became incarnate, that in the softer morning star and suffused dayspring of the Incarnation we might be able to look on the dazzling Father of Lights, and not be dazed into blindness.

4. Jesus Christ is not only the shadow or tempered image of God: in the very act of becoming that shadow Jesus Christ also became the Light of the World (John 8:12). Ah, how much the world needed His illumination!

5. As Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, so also is His Church. He, clear as the sun, she, fair as the moon, both together resplendent as an army with banners (Song of Solomon 6:10).In conclusion:

1. A word of cheer for the saint. Ye are sons of light. Recall now how much light means. It means all that is most bright and clean, and direct, and open, and unselfish, and spotless, and lovely, and healthful, and true, and Divine. How exceedingly great, then, your wealth! Oh, live worthily of your rich estate.

2. A word of entreaty to the sinner. Of what use is the most abounding light if we persist in keeping our eyes closed? As there is an eternal day for the sons of light, so there is an eternal night for the sons of darkness.

(G. D. Boardman.)

I. THE UPWARD PROGRESS OF NATURE, as created by God.

II. THE ORDERLY ARRANGEMENT OF NATURE, as settled by God.

III. THE VARIETY OF LIFE IN NATURE, as filled by God. LESSONS:

1. Trust in God's overruling providence.

2. The study of nature should not be separated from religion.

(W. S. Smith, B. D.)

I. Light is PURE. Its property repels defilement. It traverses unstained each medium of uncleanness.

II. Light is BRIGHT. Indeed, what is brightness but light's clear shining.

III. Light is LOVELY. Beauty cannot live without it. So Christ decks all on whom His beams descend.

IV. Light is FREE. The wealth of the wealthy cannot purchase, nor the poverty of the poor debar from it. Waste not time in seeking a price for Him, compared with whom an angel's worth is nothing worth.

V. Light is ALL-REVEALING. By Christ's rays, sin is detected, as lurking in every corner of the heart; and the world, which we so fondled, is unmasked, as a monster whose embrace is filth, and in whose hand is the cup of death.

VI. Light is the PARENT OF FRUITFULNESS. In Christ's absence, the heart is rank with every weed, and every noxious berry. But when His beams enliven, the seeds of grace bud forth, the tree of faith pours down its golden fruit.

VII. Light is the chariot which CONVEYS HEAT. Without Christ, the heart is ice. But when He enters, a glow is kindled, which can never die.

VIII. Light is the HARBINGER OF JOY. Heaven is a cloudless God.

(Dean Law.)

"Let there be."

1. How the growth of the world points back to the eternal existence of the Word.

2. How the eternal Word is the foundation for the growth of the world.

(J. P. Lange, D. D.)

1. Its good, as existing in its ground.

2. Its beauty, as disclosed in its appearing.

(J. P. Lange, D. D.)

1. The first day's work.

2. A whole day's work.

3. A continuous day's work.

4. A day's work rich in its consequences.

(J. P. Lange, D. D.)

We, who worship "the Father of lights," have reason every day that we live to thank God for life and health, for countless blessings. And not least among these may be reckoned the free gift of, and the many "blessings of the light." For in many ways that we can tell off, at once, upon our fingers, and in very many more ways that we neither dream of nor think of, does light minister to our health, wealth, and comfort.

1. The very birds sing at daybreak their glad welcome to the dawn, and the rising sun. And we all know and feel how cheering is the power of light. In the sunlight rivers flash, and nature rejoices, and our hearts are light, and we take a bright view of things.

2. So, too, light comes to revive and restore us. Darkness is oppressive. In it we are apt to lose heart. We grow anxious, and full of fears. With the first glimmer of light in the distance, hope awakens, and we feel a load lifted off our minds.

3. Again, we have often felt the reassuring power of light. In the darkness, objects that are perfectly harmless take threatening shapes; the imagination distorts them, and our fancy creates dangers. Light shows us that we have been alarmed at shadows: quiets and reassures us.

4. Once again, the light comes to us, often, as nothing less than a deliverer. It reveals dangers hidden and unsuspected; the deadly reptile; the yawning precipice; the lurking foe.

5. And when, over and above all this, we remember that light is absolutely essential, not to health only, but to life in every form, animal and vegetable alike, we shall heartily echo the words of the wise king in Ecclesiastes: "Truly the light is sweet; and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun."

(J. B. C. Murphy, B. A.)

The work begins with light, God said, "Let there be light," and at once light shone where all before was dark. God says, "Repent ye — the kingdom of heaven is at hand": then our darkness displeases us, and we are turned to light. Thus of all those blessings hid in Christ from everlasting, and which are predestinated to be accomplished in the creature, light is the first that is bestowed: "God shines in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." But the "heaven" announced "at hand" is yet unformed. No sun yet shines, no fruits adorn the creature. Many steps remain before the image of God will come, the man created in righteousness, to rule all things. Then at once comes a division between what is of God and what is not; between the natural darkness in the creature and the light which God has made. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness comprehends it not. Two conflicting powers are striving each to gain the day, making the old domain of darkness a continually shifting but ceaseless battle field. Then a name is given by God both to light and darkness; that is, the character of each is learnt according to the mind of God. Now the darkness has a name. What God calls it, we call it. His thoughts are not altogether strange to us. Natural as the darkness may seem to the creature, God calls it "night," or deviation. It is a turning from the right or straight line. The light is "day," or movement: there is a disturbance of the darkness. Death rules no longer; life with light is come. Besides, in this name there is a form given to both. Until now light and darkness were unformed, but "day" and "night" intimate order and distribution. Night is darkness put within limits. So with light; it is not "day" till it is arranged and put in form and order.

(A. Jukes.)

Every saved man is a new creation.

I. THE DIVINE FIAT. "Let there be light." The work of grace by which light enters the soul is —

1. A needful work. No heart can be saved without spiritual light, to reveal self and Jesus Christ.

2. An early work. First day.

3. A Divine work.

4. Wrought by the Word. God spake.

5. Unaided by the darkness itself. Darkness cannot help to bring day.

6. It was unsolicited.

7. Instantaneous.

8. Irresistible.

II. DIVINE OBSERVATION.

III. DIVINE APPROBATION. Natural light is good. Gospel light is good. Spiritual light is good.

1. Because of its source.

2. Because of its likeness. God is light.

3. Because of its effects.

4. It glorifies God.

IV. DIVINE SEPARATION. The Christian man has light and darkness contending within him; also contending forces without him.

V. DIVINE NOMINATION. We must call things by their right names.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. The light God has made, and His mind concerning it.

1. Physical light — good; light, sweet; pleasant. Sun, the emblem of many things; cheerful revealing.

2. Mental light — good. Hence in some parts an idiot is called "dark."

3. Gospel light — good; the light of the story of God; light that shined out of darkness to enlighten Gentiles; Christ, the Light of the world, the Sun of Righteousness.

4. Spiritual light — good.

5. Essential light — light of heaven from the Father of lights.

II. The law by which it is governed.

1. Not mixed, but separated.

2. Sons of light must have no communion with darkness.

3. Churches should be lights in the world.

4. Truth not to be mixed with error.Learn:

1. Love the light.

2. Walk in it.

3. Enforce the law concerning it.

(J. C. Gray.)

I. THE THINGS SPOKEN OF IN THE TEXT, LIGHT AND DARKNESS. To each of these terms there are different significations. There is what we term natural light; there are also mental and moral light (the illumination of the understanding and of the heart); there are also providential, spiritual, and eternal light: each of these has its opposite state of darkness. It is true that our text speaks only of light natural; yet, as the works of God in nature are often typical of His works of grace, we may follow the example of Scripture, and in tracing out the truths it teaches, may endeavour to prove, that in the whole economy of nature, providence, and grace, it is the practice and prerogative of God to divide the light from the darkness. Is it darkness with any of the Lord's people present? Are His dealings mysterious? Are their state and prospects full of gloom and obscurity? Child of sorrow, strive to bow with submission to the will of your Heavenly Father. "Let patience have her perfect work." "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." "Why art thou cast down, oh my soul! and why art thou disquieted within me?" "Hope in God, for thou shalt yet praise Him who is the health of thy countenance." "At evening time it shall be light." Yes, then, when you are expecting the darkness to increase — when the sun of enjoyment seems to have set forever, — then, "at evening time it shall be light." "Who is among you that feareth the Lord and obeyeth the voice of His servant: that walketh in darkness and hath no light; let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." "Unto the upright there ariseth light in darkness." There are also spiritual and eternal lights, with their opposite states of darkness. "With Thee is the fountain of life," said the sacred writer, and "in Thy light shall we see light." While we are in the darkness of natural corruption and alienation from God, we know nothing aright, nothing of the evils of sin, nothing of the astonishing love of Jesus, we have no just conceptions of the amazing and stupendous work of redemption, or of the work of the Holy Spirit upon the soul of man. But when in infinite compassion Jehovah enlightens the understanding and touches the heart, we see and feel the reality and vast importance of eternal things — we see at what an awful distance sin has placed us from a God of spotless purity — we feel how deeply we are steeped in the poison and pollution of iniquity — we adore the infinite wisdom manifested in the plan of redemption, that stupendous plan, which while it redeems, pardons, and sanctifies the sinner, satisfies also the high claims of Divine justice, magnifies the Divine perfections, and brings "Glory to God in the highest."

II. We have now to consider WHAT MAY BE AFFIRMED CONCERNING THE OBJECTS HERE SET BEFORE US: GOD DIVIDES THE LIGHT FROM THE DARKNESS. He is accomplishing this upon earth by a mysterious but infinitely wise process. Much light and darkness dwells in the minds of individuals — in the various religious sects throughout the land, and among the different nations of the world. Whatever true light is in the world, it is of God. He is its Author. By nature all are under the dominion of the prince of darkness, and are enslaved by Him. But a stronger than he comes upon him, and delivers the captive from the dark dungeons of iniquity. Jesus came to be a light to them that sit in darkness; He sends His Spirit with His Word to subdue the rebellious heart, to awaken the insensible heart — to pour the light of celestial day upon the benighted spirit — to show the sinner to himself, and to reveal the saving mercy, of God in Christ — to reveal the dangers that lie in his pathway to eternity — to give him right views of every essential truth connected with salvation and eternal life — to teach him everything it is requisite he should know and experience ere he can inhabit the realms of light above — in short, to separate the light from the darkness. Hitherto the very light had been darkness; there had been light in the intellect perhaps, but darkness in the soul (for in many an unrenewed character the one is strangely mixed with the other). There may even possibly exist a theoretic knowledge of Divine things where blackest crimes dwell in the heart and are perpetrated in the life. But where Jesus shines forth in mercy — where the Holy Spirit exerts His power, the light is separated from the darkness: there is no longer that heterogeneous mixture of knowledge and sin, of Divine truth in the intellect and sin in the life, which formerly existed. Jehovah has wrought His wondrous work, has divided the light from the darkness, has separated the sinner from his sins, "and behold all things become new." To conclude: The day of final separation is hastening on, then, forever and at once, God will divide "the light from the darkness," truth from error, holiness from iniquity, the righteous from the wicked. Truth and righteousness shall dwell in heaven, error and iniquity shall sink to hell. The wicked will then be all darkness, the righteous will then be all light.

(W. Burgess.)

And do you think, children, that you were first light and then became dark? or that you were first dark and then became light? Because when you were a baby boy or girl you did not know much; it was very dark: now I hope that the light of the Sun of Righteousness is upon you, that the evening has become the morning. The morning star has risen, I hope. It is light! light!

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

A remarkable effect was mentioned by Mr. Robert Hunt (to whom the public are indebted for much valuable information on solar and other phenomena) to the present writer. In the course of his early experiments on the active power of the sun's rays, he subjected a metal plate to its operation, and, of course, received upon it a picture of the objects within its range. He now rubbed this off, making the surface clear and fresh as at first; photographed a different picture, and then effaced this as he had done the former. In this way he proceeded some ten or twelve times, now receiving, and now rubbing off the traces of the sunlight, when the question arose in his mind, "What would be the result were I to transmit an electrical current through this plate?" To determine it, he caused a current to pass through it diagonally, when, to his astonishment, the various objects that had been, as he supposed, effaced from the surface, rushed to it confusedly together, so that he could detect there a medley of them all; thus proving that there had not been merely a superficial action of the light, but that it had produced a molecular disturbance throughout the plate. Only let, therefore, the sunbeams play uninterruptedly on the iron, the brass, or the granite, and they will crumble into dust under an irresistible power; the falling over them of the mantle of night alone prevents the occurrence of a catastrophe.

(C. Williams.)

It was good.

1. Man's fallen nature is a very chaos, "without form and void," with darkness thick and sevenfold covering all. The Lord begins His work upon man by the visitation of the Spirit, who enters the soul mysteriously, and broods over it, even as of old He moved upon the face of the waters. He is the quickener of the dead soul.

2. In connection with the presence of the Holy Spirit the Lord sends into the soul, as His first blessing, light. The Lord appeals to man's understanding and enlightens it by the gospel.

3. If you keep your eye upon the chapter you will observe that the light came into the world at first by the Word "God said, 'Let there be light.'" It is through the Word of God contained in this book, the Bible, that light comes into the soul. This is that true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

4. The light which broke in upon the primeval darkness was of a very mysterious kind, and came not according to ordinary laws, for as yet neither sun nor moon had been set as lights in the firmament. Can we tell how spiritual light first dawns on nature's night? How He removes darkness from the understanding, and illuminates the intellect, is a secret reserved for Himself alone.

5. The light came instantaneously. Six days were occupied in furnishing the earth, but a moment sufficed for illuminating it. God works rapidly in the operation of regeneration: as with a flash He darts light and life into the soul. The operations of grace are gradual, but its entrance is instantaneous. Although instantaneous, it is not, however, shallow and short lived.

I. THE LORD SEES WHATEVER HE CREATES. "The Lord saw the light."

1. He was the sole observer of it. Neither eye of man, nor bird, nor beast was there to behold the golden glory; but God saw the light. Newly enlightened one, it may be you are pained because you have no Christian companion to observe your change of heart: cease from your sorrow, for God beholds you.

2. That light had come into the world in a noiseless manner, yet the Lord saw it. The entrance of God's Word which giveth light is effected in "solemn silence of the mind." If men make an illumination, we can hear the crackling of their fireworks over all the city; but when God illuminates the earth with the sun, the orb of day arises without a sound. Although the work in your soul has been so quiet, so hidden from the eyes of men, so unremarkable and commonplace, yet take comfort from the text, "The Lord saw the light." No trumpet proclaimed it, but the Lord saw it; no voice went forth concerning it, but the Lord saw it and it was enough; and in your case it is the same.

3. The earth itself could not recognize the light, yet the Lord saw it. How often do we mourn that we have scarcely more light than suffices to reveal our darkness and make us pine for more. Oh, troubled one, lay this home to your soul, the Lord saw the light when earth herself could not perceive it.

4. Let us not forget that besides the light there was no other beauty. The earth, according to the Hebrew, was "tohu and bohu," which, in order to come near both to the sense and sound at the same time, I will render "anyhow and nohow." Even so your experience may seem to be a chaos, nohow and anyhow, exactly what it should not be, a mass of unformed conceptions, and half-formed desires, and ill-formed prayers, but yet there is grace in you, and God sees it, even amid the dire confusion and huge uproar of your spirit.

5. Remember, too, that when the light came it had to contend with darkness, but God saw it none the less. So, also, in your soul there still remains the darkness of inbred corruption, ignorance, infirmity, and tendency to sin, and these cause a conflict, but the light is not thereby hidden from the eyes of God.

6. For many reasons the Lord sees the light, but chiefly He sees it because He made it, and He forsakes not the work of His own hands.

II. THE LORD APPROVES OF WHAT HE CREATES. "God saw the light that it was good." He took pleasure in it.

1. Now, as far as this world was concerned, light was but young and new: and so in some of you grace is quite a novelty. You were only converted a very little while ago, and you have had no time to try yourselves or to develope graces, yet the Lord delights in your newborn life. Light is good at dawn as well as at noon: the grace of God is good though but newly received; it will work out for you greater things by-and-by, and make you more happy and more holy, but even now all the elements of excellence are in it, and its first day has the Divine blessing upon it.

2. Here we must mention again that it was struggling light, yet none the less for that approved of by the Lord. We do not understand how it was that the light and the darkness were together until God divided them, as this verse intimates; but as John Bunyan says, "No doubt darkness and light here began their quarrel," for what communion hath light with darkness. My brethren, I am sure you are no strangers to this conflict, nor is it to you altogether a thing of the past. You are in the conflict still. Still grace and sin are warring in you, and will do so till you are taken home. Let this help you, O ye who are perplexed; remember that struggling as the light is, God approves of it, and calls it good.

3. As yet the light had not been divided from the darkness, and the bounds of day and night were not fixed. And so in young beginners; they hardly know which is grace and which is nature, what is of themselves and what is of Christ, and they make a great many mistakes. Yet the Lord does not mistake, but approves of that which His grace has placed in them.

4. As yet the light and darkness had not been named: it was afterwards that the Lord called the light "day," and the darkness "night," yet He saw the light that it was good. And so, though you do not know the names of things, God knows your name.

5. The light of the first day could not reveal much of beauty, for there was none, and so the light within does not yet reveal much to you; and what it, does reveal is uncomely, but the light itself is good, whatever it may make manifest.

6. But why did God say that light was good?(1) I suppose it was because its creation displayed His attributes.(2) He loves the light, too, because it is like Himself, for "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all."(3) Light is eminently good, for the Lord spent a whole day in creating and arranging it — a whole day out of six. This shows that He attaches great importance to it. Moreover, he gave it the front rank by occupying the first day of creation's week upon it. Even thus the plan of grace was early in the mind of God; it was and is His masterpiece, and He has never yet placed it in the background.(4) I suppose that the Lord approved of the light because it was a seasonable thing. It was what was wanted to begin with. Not but what God could work in the dark, for, as to natural light, in that respect darkness and light are both alike to Him; but we can all see that the works of His creating skill needed light, for how could plants, animals, and men live without it?

III. THE LORD QUICKLY DISCERNS ALL THE GOODNESS AND BEAUTY WHICH EXISTS IN WHAT HE CREATES. The Lord did not merely feel approbation for the light, but He perceived reason for it: He saw that it was good. He could see goodness in it where, perhaps, no one else would have been able to do so.

1. Let us note, then, that light is good in itself; and so is Divine grace. What a wonderful thing light is! Just think of it! How simple it is, and yet how complex. Light, too, how common it is! We see it everywhere, and all the year round. Light, too, how feeble and yet how strong! Its beams would not detain us one-half so forcibly as a cobweb; yet how mighty it is, and how supreme! Scarcely is there a force in the universe of God which is more potent. The grace of God in the same manner is contemptible in the eyes of man, and yet the majesty of omnipotence is in it, and it is more than conqueror.

2. Light is good, not only in itself, but in its warfare. The light contended with darkness, and it was good for darkness to be battled with. Grace has come unto you, and it will fight with your sin, and it ought to be fought with, and to be overcome.

3. The light which came from God was good in its measure. There was neither too much of it nor too little. If the Lord had sent a little more light into the world we might all have been dazzled into blindness, and if He had sent less we might have groped in gloom. God sends into the newborn Christian just as much grace as he can bear; He does not give him the maturity of after years, for it would be out of place.

4. Light was good as a preparation for God's other works. He knew that light, though it was but the beginning, was necessary to the completion of His work. Light was needful, that the eye of man might rejoice in the works of God, and so God saw the light that it was good, in connection with what was to be. And, oh, I charge you who have to deal with young people, look at the grace they have in them in relation to what will be in them.

5. What a mass of thought one might raise from this one truth of the goodness of light and the goodness of grace, as to their results. Light produces the beauty which adorns the world, for without it all the world were uncomely blackness. Light's pencil paints the whole, and even so all beauty of character is the result of grace. Light sustains life, for life in due time would dwindle and die out without it, and thus grace alone sustains the virtues and graces of the believer; without daily grace we should be spiritually dead. Light heals many sicknesses, and grace brings healing in its wings. Light is comfort, light is joy, the prisoner in his darkness knows it to be so; and so the grace of God produces joy and peace wherever it is shed abroad. Light reveals and so does grace, for without it we could not see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

IV. GOD RECORDED HIS ESTIMATE OF THIS FIRST DAY'S PRODUCT. "God saw the light that it was good."

1. This leads me to say to the young Christian, the Lord would have you encouraged.

2. My last word is to older Christian people. If the Lord says that His work in the first day is good, I want you to say so too. Do not wait till you see the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth day before you feel confidence in the convert and offer Him fellowship. If God speaks encouragingly so soon, I want you to do the same.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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