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Their theory is this: Originally all the matter that makes up the solar system, existed in a vapory or gaseous state, and was widely diffused throughout the regions of space. In process of time, this widely diffused substance began to consolidate at several different points, each point forming a nucleus around which the adjacent matter continued to collect, till a world, such as ours, or such as any one of the other planets, was produced. Thus, by mere accident, (for without a God it could be nothing else,) the planets were formed and located. This being done by a natural law, the same must be our conclusion, concerning other processes, whether we can explain all the facts of the case, in accordance with the theory, or not.
245. We reply that the theory leaves too many things unexplained. It does not account for the commencement of the creative work. It gives no reason for the beginning of each world. It does not account for the size and position of the heavenly bodies. Why did they happen to be formed in the best possible places, and grow to the best possible size? And in what way, or by what cause, did they commence the revolutions they perform, both on their axes and round the sun? These questions are not answered, and cannot be, by any merely natural theory that has ever been devised. We must seek an explanation of these things from some other source.
SECTION IV. NECESSITY OF A CREATOR.
246. The solar system is a most wonderful contrivance of the divine mind. The sun is the centre of the system. It is a large body, and, according to the acknowledged philosophy of the subject, it exerts a controlling power over the rest of the system. It could not have fulfilled its evident purpose, if it had been of different size or location. Without a Deity, it might have been different. Chance might have made it larger or smaller; it might have made it give too much light or too little. So, too, chance would have been quite as likely to place the sun outside the circle of bodies, to be lighted and warmed by it, as within that circle, where alone its work could be
properly performed. Or, it would have been as likely to have made a sun of some other body, the Earth, for instance, or Venus, or Mars; and who does not see, that, in such a case, the operations of the system would have been very imperfectly performed, if performed at all?
247. Not only is the sun the only body that could perform its offices, and is located in the only proper place for doing its work; but the work is done, so to speak, in the most economical and judicious manner. Observe; the sun does not travel round the planets to warm them and give them light; but it occupies a central and permanent position, and the planets, placed around it, are turned over, and so alternately offer their several sides to its light and heat. Could anything be more natural and admirable than this arrangement? The old doctrine which taught that the earth was the centre of the system, and that the sun and stars revolved around it, was at once exploded, when the size and distance of the sun were ascertained. Men reasoned thus: It is not to be supposed that an immense body, much larger than the earth, and ninety-five millions of miles from it, should make a circuit of such inconceivable extent, to accomplish an object that can be accomplished in a much better way. The better way, the true economy, is, to turn this little planet over every twenty-four hours, and thus permit all parts to enjoy the blessings of the parent luminary. But the force of this reasoning, which facts show to be conclusive, depends wholly on the idea that the affairs of the system are wisely and judiciously conducted. Reasoning upon the chance theory, the ancient doctrine is as likely to be true as the modern. The true plan was evidently chosen, because it was the best; and this act of choosing, implies, of necessity, the existence of an intelligent Creator, as choosing the best method, shows his wisdom and goodness.
248. That God, in the beginning, did, therefore, create the heavens and the earth, as the Bible says, seems the most obvious and best sustained of all truths; and we are constrained to regard, as the most marvellous thing, among the wonders of the world, the unbelief of men, or even their doubts, in regard to this fact. We
may be allowed to hope, then, that the arguments for a creating intelligence, that have been presented, more especially the objections to opposing theories, may be regarded as entirely conclusive, and may establish in the mind, this soundest of philosophical truths, and most practical of theological doctrines.
THE CREATION CONSIDERED WITH REFERENCE TO THE FACTS OF GEOLOGY.
- Primitive Condition of the Earth; First Day of Creation; Second Day; Third Day; Fourth Day; Fifth day; Sixth Day; the Seventh Day.
SECTION I.-PRIMITIVE CONDITION OF THE EARTH.
2. And the earth was without | Spirit of God moved upon the face form, and void; and darkness was of the waters.
upon the face of the deep; and the
249. That the surface of the earth was originally water, is conceded by all respectable Geologists. The strata of rock, with vegetable and animal remains imbedded in them, were evidently formed in water. And there can be no doubt, that, what now constitute the highest mountains on the globe, was once beneath the surface of the ocean; and that they have been lifted up to their present position, by some power acting from below. There is reason to believe that such upheavals and depressions have occurred many times. Some of the witnesses of what is here stated will be introduced. Professor Jameson, of the University of Edinburgh, uses the following language; - "It is impossible to deny that the seas have formerly, and for a long time, covered the masses of earth that now constitute our highest mountains; and further, that these waters during a long time, did not support any living bodies." La Place, an infidel philosopher, gives his testimony to the same point. He says;
"There cannot be the least doubt, but that the sea covered a great part of our continents, on which it has left incontestable proof of its existence.' Buffon, too, maintains that the earth was once in a liquid state. De Luc says: "It is unnecessary to stop to prove, that our continents have once formed the bed of the sea; there is no longer any diversion of opinion among naturalists upon this point." Buckland says the same thing;- "All observers admit the strata were formed beneath the waters.” Professor Silliman, of Yale College says;· "The incumbent ocean is indispensable, equally so with the agency of internal fires, to the correct deductions of the theoretical Geologists." See Bakewell's Geology, p. 562. Turner's Sacred History, vol. I. p. 32. Buckland, vol. I. p. 42.
250. It is an extraordinary coincidence, that many of the pagan nations have had traditions, referring the present order of things to original chaos. Such traditions have been found among the Greeks and Romans, the Phoenicians, the Scandinavians, the Bramins of India, &c. &c.
SECTION II. FIRST DAY OF CREATION.
3. And God said, Let there be light and there was light.
4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night: and the evening and the morning were the first day.
251 The statement that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, shows that the writer is speaking of the earth's surface. This was the place that was without form and void; and here the first effort of creative power is put forth. We do not understand the expression, "Let there be light," as relating to the actual creation of light, but to its production in a particular locality. "Let light be there," that is, on the face of the deep, or at the earth's surface, would convey the true idea, as we understand the subject. Till the time here referred to, the earth was surrounded by a thick mist or vapor, rising up many miles above its surface, and shutting out the
sun's rays. The removal of this vapor by the Divine Spirit, or, if one prefers the expression, by a natural law, would allow the light to shine down upon the earth's surface, and drive away the surrounding darkness. The whole was a natural process, as far as anything is natural; and it was, in a certain sense, supernatural, as all else, in the same sense, now is. That this view of the subject is correct, is proven, both by the language employed, and by the philosophy of the subject.
That darkness was upon the face of the deep, justifies the inference that elsewhere it was not dark; and that the light may have shined above, though not at the earth's surface; and hence, "Let there be light," must be explained with the limitation we have given the expression, and which the connection seems to require. The other clause, "face of the waters," where the Spirit of God moved, confirms the view we have given, by confining to that locality, this first effort of creative power.
Further than this; -It is well understood, and acknowledged, by all who have investigated the subject, that originally the earth's temperature was much greater than it is at present; the result of which would be, the production of the mist or vapor, and consequent darkness, implied in our interpretation; and the removal or diminution of that, would let the light be where it had before been excluded.
252. The separation of light and darkness is easily explained. The light, coming from any fixed point, on one side of the earth, would produce darkness on the other side; and thus a separation would take place. "Evening and morning" are occasioned by an alternation of light and darkness and the revolution of the globe on its axis, would produce this result. And it may be added, that the mention of evening and morning implies such a revolution; and we know, moreover, that such a motion would have a tendency to bring our world into its present globular, or nearly globular form, in accordance with laws of matter now well understood.
If the views we have given of light be objected to, on the ground that the sun was not created till the fourth day, we simply ask that this objection be permitted to lie