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many perils before he reaches the field of his arduous and self-denying labours. He becomes the inhabitant of a land, in many instances, where his moral feelings and his social affections are not less shocked than his physical strength is exhausted. He oftentimes lays his aching head on the pillow of disease, when no friendly hand is present to smoothe it, and no gentle voice is heard to cheer his sinking heart. He is an exile from his home, his kindred, and the tender associations of his youth. He is emphatically a stranger in a strange land. Let these things be pondered, in connexion with the great and sacred enterprise in which he is embarked, and it cannot fail to be admitted that the Christian Missionary is invested with the highest claims on the sympathy of all the professed disciples of Christ. But whilst the Christian Missionary ustly claims the sympathy of all his brethren, it is not, let it be remembered, that romantic or sentimental eeling which is dissolved in tears and breathed in sighs, without dictating one effort to assist or encourage, that will meet his demand. Such sympathy may suffice for the pictures of self-sacrifice and suffering which are found in the pages of fiction; but that to which the Christian Missionary lays claim must be animated and sustained by the holy principle of brotherhood in Christ, and must prompt to practical effort and prayerful zeal for the ultimate triumph of the sacred cause in which he is engaged. It is not idle admiration, or the tears and sighs of sentimentalism, but active exertion, and positive, substantial doing, that will meet his case. He has relinquished all the means of personal advancement, and all the prospects of earthly gains, in order to dis. fuse knowledge among the ignorant, and to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified among men who are deluded and ruined by the errors and lying wonders of idolatry. He has fixed his
dwelling far from the home of his youth, and among men who have but few sympathies in common with him, and little ability or disposition to supply his simple, but constantly recurring necessities. Nor, indeed, were the ignorant and superstitious tribes among whom the Christian Missionary casts his lot, competent and willing to supply his necessities, would it be expedient, at first, to accept their aid, as in that case they might be disposed to associate the preaching of the gospel with the guilty and oppressive exactions which have too frequently been resorted to by the white man, to accumulate wealth, and extend his territory and influence. In order, then, to meet the claims of the Christian Missionary, and to aid efficiently the great cause with which he is identified, there must be the exercise of that sympathy which yields the practical fruits of prayer and pecuniary contribution. And let it be remembered, there is no one, who lays claim to the character of a Christian, and has enrolled himself among the disciples of Christ—however limited his means— that is not expected, up to the extent of his ability, to give positive and substantial proof of his sympathy with the sacred cause of missions. All are expected by Him who is the Master and Lord of Christian missionaries, and the rightful Proprietor of all the treasures of men, to aid, in proportion to the means committed to their hands, in sustaining the devoted men who have gone “far hence unto the Gentiles" to preach the gospel. Those who refuse, however specious the pretence or plea under which they do so, expose themselves to the withering blight of the curse that smote Meroz, and to the terrible doom that overtook the unprofitable servant. But, in conclusion, although those who possess the amplest riches devoted them all to the hallowed cause of missions, and although others, like the widow who cast her two mites into the treasury, should consecrate their little all to the same great object, the sympathy demanded by the Christian Missionary would yet be incomplete. He, with special and solemn emphasis, demands what is of still higher importance to him in the self-sacrificing and arduous work in which he is engaged. Like his great predecessor, the apostle
of the Gentiles, he appeals to churches and individual Christians, saying, “Brethren, pray for us.”
Praying for his success and contributing to promote that success, constitute the sympathy demanded by the Christian Missionary.
THE HARMONY OF GEOLOGY WITH THE BIBLE.
GEology, like some of its kindred sciences, has had to run the gauntlet of misunderstanding and prejudice. When its peculiar doctrines were first broached, timid Christians dreaded it as a foe to the Bible. They feared that geological discoveries would be found at variance with Scripture statements. It did not occur to them, that as the God of nature and the God of the Bible are one, the voice in which he speaks from the one volume could not fail to be in harmony with that in which he addresses us from the other; and that, therefore, seeming discrepancies between them would be found, as our knowledge advanced, to result from our own misinterpretations. Hence, as the students of this science unrolled page after page of the geological history of our earth, and found that it had existed for myriads of ages prior to the creation of man; that it had been tenanted by other races of creatures before it became tenanted by its present occupants; that the larger portion, at least of its superior surface, had actually passed through the alembic either of animal or of vegetable life; that many of its rocks, thousands of feet in thickness, and hundreds of square miles in breadth, had either been built up, during the lapse of ages, and at the bottom of the ocean, by the labours of microscopic animalculae, or were composed of their remains; that these races of sentient creatures had, after existing
during periods of time indefinitely long, successively passed away to make room for others; that our earth, in short, had been the theatre of several successive creations, which had been successively destroyed, before it became the residence of man, and that there had probably been a time when, its elements “melted by fervent heat,” it existed as a molten liquid mass, covered with the densest vapours;–as these pages of the ancient history of this teluric orb were one after another unrolled, and made to pour their wondrous tale into the startled ear of the Christian church, the whole thing was so new, and so unheard of, and so opposed to the received interpretations of the sacred text, that the novel science which originated these ideas was hastily concluded by many to be a deadly foe to the Bible. These fears were groundless, and farther research and reflection have entirely dissipated them. In the judgment of the most eminent expositors of Scripture, the correct interpretation of the Biblical record of creation is quite in harmony with the supposition that our globe may have existed for untold ages, and have undergone numerous changes, ere it became tenanted by man. Why should the phrase, “In the begining "–in Gen. i. 1–necessarily signify six thousand years ago? When John, in the opening of his Gospel, tells us, that “In the beginning was the Word,” does he merely mean that six thousand years ago the Word existed? Docs not tho expression rather carry our minds baok to a period in the past indefinitely remote? The pbraso seems to have been equivalent, among tho ancient Hebrews, to—" In a past eternity;" and that this explanation of it has not been dovised to meet the exigencies of geological theories, is proved by the fact of its having been so explained by several of tho early fathers of the church.
Wo do not intend, however, to argue a point which, in theso days, scarcely any one disputes. We take for granted, that the record in Genesis, after introducing God as the Creator of all things, goes on to describe the fitting up of the residence of man. We take for granted, also, that thero is nothing in the record inconsistent with tho supposition, that the material out of which this residence was constructed may have existed previously during a lapse of time, in comparison with which, that through which man has lived dwindles down into a point insignificantly minute. Our object at present is rather to show, that this science, once thought so hostile to rovelation, is now beginning to yield the richest contributions to the evidences of its truth, and is rearing a noble pillar for its support.
We have one of tho main cvidoncos of the Divine origin of Christianity in the miracles wrought by its founders. Tho language of Nicodemus to our Saviour at once commends itself to the soundest judgment,—"Wo know that thou art a teacher como from God, bocause no man can do the miracles that thou docst except God bo with him." But, in tho face of the most satisfactory historical evidenco for the reality of these miracles, tho well-known argument of Hume has been regarded by many as sufficient to set them aside. Mr. Hume affirms, that "no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the tostimony bo of such a kind, that its falsehood would bo moro miraculous
than the fact whioh it endeavours to establish." He says again, that "the evidence of testimony, when applied to a miracle, carries falsehood on the very face of it, and is more properly a subject of derision than of argument" The unfairness and inconclusiveness of this reasoning may be easily shown, as may be seen from the writings of Drs. Campbell, Beattie, Chalmers, and others. But an appeal to Geology at onco upsets it. The reasoning of Hume rests entirely ou the assumption that God has never come out from the profound secrecy in which he dwells, and visibly interfered in the arrangements of our world,—that no event which can be called a miracle has ever occurred — that, in short, as things are now, so they have always been. Geology, however, proves that this is wider from the truth, than pole is from pole. Our world has been tho theatre of several successive creations. Time after time has God come forth on it in the exercise of creating power. One scries of races after another, both of plants and animals, has been called into existence by him. This is incontestable. Any one may rend with his own eyes the proofs of it in the rocky strata beneath him. In tho Wealden formation, for example,—to go no farther back—the remains of enormous reptiles have been found of tho lizard kind, but varying from sixty to one hundred feet in length.* These creatures, and others contemporary with them, seem to havo oxisted on our earth during a long succession of ages, and then to have been swept away. Afterwards came the Mammoth, tho Mastodon, the Dinotherium, &c., the skeleton remains of which may be seen in many of our museums. Theso colossal quadrupeds onco held dominion on the earth, roamed its forosts, devoured its vegetation, sworn in its rivers or pportcd on their banks. But as thero was a time when these races began to exist, so * Tho Iguanodon.
there was a time when they ceased to exist. One series of them passed away to make room for another, till the last of them gave place to man and his contemporaries. And was not tho bringing into existence of these successive races of sentient creatures miraculous? Had Mr. Hume himself,—if we may make the supposition,—stood by when the Iguanodon first sprang into being, or when the Mastodon first appeared browsing in the forest, or when man first stood forth the lord of this lower world, would he not have been constrained to ory out—" A miracle!" These successive creations were miracles,—miracles far more strange and stupendous, some would think, than any that were wrought in connection with Christianity. Geology thus proves, by scientific evidence, what some are unwilling to admit on historical evidence, that miracles have actually occurred. And if the Divine power was thus at work in our world at the commencement of tho human era to create man, why should it be thought a thing incredible that it should have been again at work, at tho commencement of tho Christian era, to redeem man?
Wo might bo reminded here of the development hypothesis. The advocates of this fancy imagine that, by some law of nature, which comes into operation only at remote intervals, one order of creatures has been produced by some other which precedod it. Thus, fishes are supposed to have produced reptiles, reptiles to have produced birds, and perhaps mammalia, and some creature of the mammalian order to have produced man! Where, it will bo asked, on this hypothesis, is man's ancestor 1 Some have assigned this honour to the baboon, or orang-outang. Let not our readers be startled when we tell them, that the anonymous author of tho "Vestiges" actually derives man from the frog! Not, indeed, from the diminutive frog of the present day, but from a giaut raco of them that lived in
primeval times—that croaked in the marshes, and swam in tho pools of a former world!!!* That wo may do this writer no injustice, we givo the following passage from the sixth edition of his work:—
"We cannot but regard with profound interest the question respecting our own immediate ancestry. The mind immediately refers to the simial family, whose form, Bize of brain, and general characters, make so manifest an approach to our own. Yet it may bo doubted if the particular species whence the human family was derived, has ever come under the attention of naturalists. It seems, judging from analogy, as if a larger species than any yet described were required for this place in the tree of being. It may here be observed, that of all the reptilian orders, tho batrachian is that which has the best pretensions to a place in the origin of the Primates. 'It is singular,' says Dr. Roget,' that tho frog, though so low in the scale of vertobrated animals, should bear a striking resemblance to the human conformation in its organs of progressive motion.' It is the only animal besides man with a calf to its leg. It evidently ' is making,' says Dr. Eoget, 'an approximation to the higher ordors of mammalia.' The frog, however, is but a humble offshoot of the main line terminating in the Primates. There is something more like a lineal predecessor of the order in the labyrinthodon of Owen, th at massive batrachian, which leaves its hand-like footsteps in tho now red sandstone, and then is seen no more. Not for nothing is it that we start at the picture of that strange impression,—ghost of anticipated humanity,—for apparently it really is so." p. 342.
Admirable philosopher! How profound his reasoning! The diminutive frog of the present era is "tho only animal besides man with a calf to its
* In previous editions ho Iind nssignod tliis honourable position to the baboou!
leg;" therefore the gigantic frog of a former era is man's ancestor! Oh! that we could see this ancestor! But it never has been seen! We have merely traces of " its hand-like footsteps in the new red sandstone." We are not in possession, it seems, of a fossil tooth, or even a fossil bone, of this our ancestor! But we forget. This writer means to represent this giant frog, not as the immediate, but as the remote ancestor of man,—not as the father, but, perhaps, the great-grandfather of the human race! He evidently means that this massive batrachian developed itself into something else, which something else developed itself into another something else, which other something else developed itself into man! But the misery is, that these something elses cannot be found. There are no traces of them,—no proof that they ever existed. The author of the "Vestiges" has not directed us to any vestiges of evidence that they are not pure fictions of his own imagination. As for the " approximation to the higher orders of mammalia" which the frog is said to be making, Dr. Bogct must surely have discovered it by the microscope. Wo are certain it cannot be detected by the naked eye.
We cannot help thus ridiculing what is ridiculous. This hypothesis is utterly destitute of proof. Not a solitary instance can be produced in which one order of animal existence has originated another. Besides, it is contrary to all analogy, as well as all experience, that any cause should produce an effect greater than itself. If a giant frog, or an oraug-outang, produced man, it produced a creature possessing qualities of which it was itself utterly destitute. Man has reason: they were without reason. How, then, could that come out of them which was never in them? Is it not evident that He who produced man must himself be greater than man, —must have in himself all that man has, and vastly more? No conclusion
regarding the origin of man can be satisfactory which does not trace his existence to a.being superior to himself. That being must be Ood. In fine, while Geology furnishes us with innumerable vestiges of creation, it does not supply us with a solitary vestige of DevelopMent.
Geology confirms the testimony of the Bible as to the recent origin of man. According to the usually received chronology, about six thousand years have elapsed since man was created.* The infidels of former days imagined they had, in this date, a powerful argument against the inspiration of Moses. According to the Egyptian, Chinese, and Hindoo chronologies, man must have been in existence for thousands of years previously. Infidels used to boast, that when the key to the Egyptian hieroglyphics was discovered, the Old Testament would be found to be historically false. This key has been discovered; but these anticipations have not been realized. On every point on which these ancient records touch the Scripture history, they throw light upon it, and confirm it. Not in one solitary instance do they disprove it. It has been found, moreover, that the Egyptian chronology, where it can be relied on, is in perfect harmony with that of Moses. As for the Chinese and Hindoo chronologies, and that portion of the Egyptian, which carry us so far back into the depths of the past, they are now rejected by all scholars as unworthy of credit.
But it has been reserved for Geology to give the most remarkable confirmation in this respect to tho word of God. Every one acquainted with this science is well aware, that had the remains of man, or any of the works of man, been found in the inferior strata of the
* Tho chronology of tho Septungint adds about one thousand five hundred years to that of the Hebrew BiWe. It is of no consequence, however, to the argument which of these chronologies is preferred.