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animals were deposited there and yet, as they could not be covered up so as to be imbedded in the solid rocks by aqueous deposits, till sunk beneath the water, they would occupy a common level with animals, and seem to have been placed in their position at the same time.
274. (3.) The question whether the days of creation were literal days, or periods of indefinite length; both interpretations being sustained by usage, is still open to discussion. That a special exercise of divine power could have created the world in six natural days is not doubted; and as the first production of the earth's arrangements, must have been special, with any view we can take of the subject, there is perhaps no more difficulty in regarding it as special and peculiar, with respect to time, than with respect to mode. Analogy, more than any exegesis of terms, or facts of Geology, favor the idea of extending the term " day" to a long and indefinite period. If the condensation of the planets, from a gaseous to a solid state; the deposition of strata, forming the earth's crust; and other processes; some of which must have occurred before the Mosaic account begins, and others may have occurred before that period, were slow, and required periods of great length, as seems indisputable; then the production of light at the earth's surface, the formation of the atmosphere, the separation of dry land and water, etc., would most naturally be subject to the same law of progress, and require long periods for their completion. Some Geologists take this view of the term day, among whom may be mentioned, Jameson, Silliman, Good, Hitchcock, &c.
275. If it be objected to this view of "day," that it is described in the account as made up of an "evening," and a "morning," and must therefore have been a natural day of twenty-four hours; we reply, that the passage may be differently construed, with equal fidelity to the original; "There was evening and morning, the first day". - in other words, the earth turned on its axis, producing a succession of evening and morning during the first period, may be the true rendering. But if this does not meet the objection satisfactorily, there is another reply that may, and may not, be more satisfactory. It is this; Each
period may be spoken of, with propriety, as having an evening and a morning; and it is worthy of remark that each Geological epoch is represented as being marked by a gradual approach, and then by a gradual decline, of what constitute its distinguishing features, not unlike the approach of light and its gradual decline in the natural day. The late Hugh Miller takes this view, and illustrates it beautifully.
276. It is worthy of special notice, in this connection, that the six days of creation are called "generations ;" and the whole period of creation is called " a day," ii. 4
a pretty good evidence that the latter term is used in a very extended and indefinite sense a usage the more satisfactory, in establishing this point, for being employed by the same writer, and in connection with the same subject.
277. In conclusion of this subject, it may be proper to recapitulate the main points of agreement, between the Mosaic account, and the well ascertained facts of Geology.
(1.) The earth was originally in a liquid state, made so, mainly, by the action of heat.
(2.) There was a time when no vegetable or animal life existed on the earth. Moses makes a considerable period to have elapsed before the creation of vegetables or animals. Geologists, too, assure us that there could have been no vegetable or animal, during the period the Primitive Rocks were being deposited.
(3.) The whole earth, being once covered with water, there must have been a time when the water and dry land were separated. Such separation, Moses informs us, took place by the fiat of Omnipotence. Geologists tell us there was such a separation, and that similar convulsions have been frequent in past ages.
(4.) The first living thing created, was vegetation. So says the Bible; and few Geologists have expressed any doubt on this point.
(5.) The first living animals created, were marine. Moses speaks thus, and so do Geologists, as these are found lowest among the deposites of animal remains.
(6.) Man was made last. So says the Bible; and
All human relics are
Geologists agree to this statement. found at the surface. This is admitted as true now; but there is, with some men, a lingering hope that future discoveries will detect the existence of human bones in the rocks (of which there are yet no well attested examples,) that will prove the Bible false. We have only to wait and see.
278. These are the prominent points of the Bible record; and they are fully sustained by scientific investigations. These investigations, it should be added, belong to modern times; and so far as we know, only to modern times. Hence there was no source from which the ancients could have obtained such information, but from the Divine Being, who must, therefore, have revealed it to them.
SECTION VIII. THE SEVENTH DAY.
1. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day
from all his work which he had made.
3. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
279. That God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that on it he had rested (ceased, as the word means) from all his work, is simply a statement of the origin of the sabbath, as understood by the writer, and was probably not written at the time the account was, with which it is connected, but at a later period, when other Mosaic institutions were established. This is made
obvious, both by a careful inspection of the place where it is found, showing clearly that it does not belong there; and also by the fact, that, no where in the book of Genesis, is there any allusion to such an institution as. the sabbath.
280. The original record simply states that God ended his work which he had made; and he rested (ceased) on the seventh day from all his work which he had made; but it does not state that, on this account, God sanctified, or set apart, that day as a sabbath.
281. It may be added that the translators were evidnetly misled by this interpolation, and gave a rendering to the word "rest," which does not belong to it in this connection. True the original word means rest, and the term sabbath, as denoting a day of rest, is derived from it; but it also means, rest from, or cease to do a thing, and plainly has this meaning here.. It is translated cease in viii. 22.
CREATION OF MAN AND THE UNITY OF THE RACE.
CONTENTS: :- Creation of Man; Unity of the Race as a Bible doctrine; Unity of the Race on Natural Grounds; Common Theory Considered; True Theory.
SECTION I.— CREATION OF MAN.
282. The creation of man is involved in great obscurity. The fact of his creation is asserted in the Scriptures, and the fact of his creation is proved by Geological phenomena; for there was a time when, according to Geology, man did not exist; as he does now exist, it follows that he must have been created. But the manner of his creation, is wholly unknown. He was made of the dust of the ground. This we know, independent of revelation. All the materials that make up the human body are found in the soil, the atmosphere, and other elements. Perhaps it is as true of man, as to his physical existence, as of other animals, that "the earth brought him forth." It is certain that he can be referred to no other source. We are not aware that Philosophers" have ever assigned him any other origin; and therefore, in this particular, they should not object to the Bible doctrine.
283. But this being admitted, the mind is still unsatisfied, and must ever be, as to the mode by which these elements were combined into a human body. To derive man from the ape, and then from some other animal still lower, and so on back to the insect, does not remove the
difficulty. The first starting point needs a God, as much as the full stature of a perfect man; and hence, were we to admit this theory, we could not get rid of a first intelligent cause that originated and conducted the long continued process. But admitting a God, the difficulty is removed only in part, since the mode of creation, he has not condescended to reveal, and philosophy throws no clear light upon the subject.
284. God made man male and female. The word "man" includes both sexes. This affords a conclusive argument against any theory that shuts out a Deity from the creative work. It would have been a singular chance that produced a man and a woman at the same time, especially if we adopt the theory that traces our existence back through untold generations to the smallest of earth-born creatures. Two operations, commencing at the same time, and continuing on in parallel lines through innumerable ages, and terminating at last in the perfect form of a male and a female, and coming at this result at the same time, is a chance phenomenon that few sensible men will be likely to adopt.
285. One truth, we think, is beyond dispute, that it is much more difficult to exclude a Deity from the creation, than to admit his agency, though we may see, or think we see, objections to the latter view. We ought not to reject propositions that are well sustained, though involving some difficulties, when, in so doing, we are compelled to admit others, at which common sense revolts; and yet this is a common weakness, with a certain class of men, who call themselves philosophers, and who arrogate to themselves a much larger share of reason and common sense, than they are willing to allow to others.
286. Two things are asserted of man, having reference to his creation, that are worthy of special notice. One is, man's physical creation. God made him of the dust of the ground, and breathed into him the breath of life, and he became a living soul. Another is, his spiritual creation. God made him in his own image. The importance of this fact made the author repeat it, In the image of God made he him. The first of these passages can have no reference to the soul or spirit, as the term "soul"