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Before all ages, and from all eternity, God existed. He was the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, one God in three persons; an Almighty Spirit, infinitely happy.

As he was infinitely happy, he stood in need of no one; as he was Almighty, he could create whatever he pleased out of nothing. Before he thought proper to create, nothing existed but the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; whatever also exists, which we see, or do not see, had no exist


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth- all things visible, and invisible, creatures spiritual and corporal; angels and men.

God commanded, and at his word all things were created. By the sole act of his divine will, all was formed, and arranged in its proper place; the light, the firmament, the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, and the sea, plants, animals, and


It pleased the Almighty to make the world in six days, and on the sixth day he made man after his own image and likeness, by creating for him an intelligent soul; a soul capable of love, which he intended to render eternally happy, if its powers were devoted to the love, knowledge,

and service of the Creator. He, moreover, gave him grace to effect this: and man's eternal reward was to have been the possession of the God who made him. If man had not sinned he would never have known death, for God intended to preserve him immortal in body and in soul.


God also created woman; he called the man Adam, and the woman Eve, and ordained that all mankind should descend from this union. He placed them in Paradise, which was a delightful garden, and to convince them that he was their Sovereign Master, he forbade them to eat the fruit of a certain tree. God called this tree, "The tree of knowledge of Good and Evil: " the good was to be made manifest by their remaining submissive to the will of God, and the evil by their disobedience to the divine command.

Man had been created good and holy, but yet he was not incapable of sin, nor absolutely perfect. The devil tempted him, he disobeyed God, and eat the forbidden fruit. God immediately pronounced against him the sentence of death; and by a just judgment all mankind have inherited his sin. He was driven from Paradise and put under the power of the devil, by whom he had been vanquished, but God pitied him and promised that from his race should be born a Saviour, by whom the power of Satan should be destroyed, and man delivered from sin and death. This promised Saviour was Christ, or the Messiah, who was to be born in due time.


Mankind thus corrupted from the commencement, became more and more wicked as they increased in number. Cain, the eldest son of Adam, slew his virtuous brother Abel, of whom he was jealous, and his posterity imitated him in his crimes.

After the death of Abel, God gave Adam another son named Seth, in whose family the knowledge of the love and worship of God was preserved until his descendants became mixed with those of Cain, and the whole world was corrupted. Then Almighty God resolved to destroy all mankind by a general deluge, except Noah and his family, through whom he resolved to repeople the earth. Before sending the deluge, God ordered Noah to build a large ark of wood in the form of a chest, and to take into it with him, his family, and two of every species of those living things which were to be saved,

The waters descended, and the highest mountains were covered, but the ark, protected by Almighty God, floated in safety. When the waters were abated, Noah left the ark, having been therein confined one year and ten days. The first thing he did was to raise an altar to the Lord, and offer thereon a sacrifice of thanksgiving.


The world was repeopled by the three descendants of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japhet. In the lapse of time men began to forget the God who

had made the heavens, the earth, and themselves. They adored creatures in which they saw anything excellent; for instance, the stars, the heavens, or men superior to the ordinary level of mankind; and idolatry began to spread throughout the world.

Nevertheless, true religion, and the history of the creation were handed down by tradition; but that the knowledge of them might not be totally obliterated by the general corruption, God called the patriarch Abraham, one of the descendants of Shem, and made a covenant with him, promising to be his God and the God of his posterity, in return claiming their love and service.

Circumcision was established as the seal of the covenant, and Abraham was led into the land of Canaan, which God promised to bestow on his posterity. It was the land which we call Judea, Palestine, or the Holy Land, and God wished to be there worshipped by the descendants of Abraham.

In order to fill up the measure of his favours to this patriarch, he promised that from his race should be born the Saviour of the world, by whom all the nations of the earth, after having wandered away from the true God, should again return to their allegiance and serve the Being who had created all things. God confirmed his covenant, and repeated his promises of a Saviour who was to come, to Isaac the son of Abraham, and to Jacob his grandson. He gave to Jacob the name of Israel. Abraham Isaac and Jacob lived in Palestine, sometimes in one place sometimes in another, without any fixed habitation.

Their lives were simple and laborious, tending large flocks and herds. God blessed them because they served him, and they were respected by the princes and inhabitants of the country.

Jacob had twelve sons who are called the twelve patriarchs, and from them descended the

twelve tribes of Israel, which formed the nation called Israelites, or Hebrews.


A universal famine obliged Jacob to leave Canaan and go with his children into Egypt, which was not far distant. Food was abundant in Egypt, owing to the foresight and management of Joseph, the most beloved of the sons of Jacob, for whom he had long mourned as one who was dead, but who had been miraculously preserved by Almighty God, and Pharaoh king of Egypt, who had given him great power in his dominions. Jacob was in consequence received in Egypt, and established himself there with his family. Before his death Jacob gave a particular blessing_to each of his children; predicting that of all, JuIdah would be the most celebrated. From him Palestine was afterwards called Judea, and the Hebrews were named Jews. When Jacob blessed him he announced to him the glory of his posterity, and predicted that Christ, descending from his race, would be the expectation of the people.

The family of Jacob became a great nation, they cherished the faith of the patriarchs, and served the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob: whilst Egypt, plunged in idolatry, knew him not.

Another Pharaoh ascended the throne, and the services of Joseph were forgotten. The jealousy of this prince and his subjects made them resolve to destroy the Hebrews; but Almighty God raised up Moses to guide and deliver them, by wonderful miracles. Egypt was afflicted with ten terrible chastisements, which are called the ten plagues of Egypt. The waters of Egypt were

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