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existing animal kingdom, with some further species now extinct (as the fossil elephant, rhinoceros, etc.), but which geology attests to have lived in the opening stages of the human period. It was late in this period—in the evening, as Milton rightly places it, of the sixth day—that man was created ; yet no evening closes this day in Genesis, for the evening there precedes the morning, and man's day is not yet enveloped in the initial shadows of another period.

(7.) The seventh day succeeds continuously, without a night between.

(8.) It has been objected, that on the hypothesis here stated, Moses is made to record the creation of the EXTINCT fishes, plants, reptiles, and birds, but not the species still extant. The “sixth day,” which is the period assigned to the existing creation, is, on this hypothesis, the era only of the mammalia; and as it cannot be maintained that the other tribes survived from former periods—because the fossils are mostly of a distinct species from any of the creatures now living—we are left without any account at all of the creation of the whole vegetable kingdom, and with two-thirds of the animal. The answer is easy. The sacred history records the points in which each day differed from its predecessor, and is silent on those in which it agreed with them. There was, indeed, an entire new creation in each, but that creation consisted partly of new species in the genera already existing, and partly in the addition of new genera ; and it is the latter, not the former, that finds place in the sacred memoir.

. Fishes created on the first day, and vegetation first appearing on the third, continued also throughout every succeeding day-not in the same species, but in others more suited to the relations into which they were now brought with other creatures. The sixth day likewise received its proper creation of plants and lower animals, filling both land and sea ; but as these, under other forms, had entered also into the earlier creations, the brief record of Genesis is silent upon them, and mentions only the higher orders of mammalia and of man, which were now brought into being. It is a record of creation, in the highest sense of the word, passing over all new modifications of previously existing races, to note those which were then for the first time introduced into being. This suggestion seems at once simple and complete, and the advance of the science having removed other difficulties, formerly objected to, we may venture to think the geological interpretation of the Mosaic “day” the true one.

V. It will be observed that in this, and indeed in all other schemes of reconciliation, the language of the sacred book is taken to describe the appearance rather than the actual nature of objects : in other words, it expresses the optical not the scientific truth. “ We treat the history of creation,” says Kurtz, "with its six days' work, as a connected series of so many prophetic visions. ance and evanishing of each such vision seem to the seer as a morning and an evening, apparently because these were presented to him as an increase and decrease of light, like morning and evening twilight." Hugh Miller, adopting this view, supposes a diorama, over whose shifting pictures the curtain rose and fell six times in succession-once during the Azoic period, once during the middle Palæozoic period, once during the Carboniferous period, once during the Permian or Triasic period, once during the

The appear

80, too.

Qolitic or Cretaceous period, and, finally, once during the Tertiary period ; and he declares himself greatly mistaken if we have not in the six geologic periods all the elements, without misplacement or exaggeration, of the Mosaic drama of creation.* We believe

It would be unreasonable to suppose that a revelation so brief as is that of the first chapter of Genesis-(not intended to teach physical science) --a subject so vast, embracing the origin of all things, the history of ages, the beginning and progress of life upon this planet-could or would be so full as to leave no point unexplained, no question upon which a difficulty could be raised. It would be absurd to expect that the whole history of the globe, as it is written on the rocks,—that every truth recorded in those vast and stony pages-should find a place in the brief narrative of Moses ; but it is a marvellous proof of the inspiration of that narrative, that in it that history is epitomised and given, as it were, in miniature, and that as both science and scriptural knowledge advance, so that both the facts of geology and the teaching of Genesis are better understood, the enemies of revelation are compelled to acknowledge that an agreement exists between them.

Such are the stratified systems composing the crust of the globe," observes Mr. Page, reviewing the stratified systems, as they have been brought to light,“ such the types of vegetable and animal life that have successively peopled its surface. In these we find a long gradation of change and progress-not progress from imperfection to perfection, but from humbler to more organised forms. From the lowly

* “Testimony of the Rocks,” p. 184.

+ “Text Book of Geology,” p. 124.

Let us

sea-weeds of the Silurian strata and marsh plants of the old red-sandstone, we rise to the prolific clubmosses, reeds, tree-ferns, and gigantic endogens of the coal-measures ; from these to the palms, cycads, and pines of the colite ; and from these, again, to the exogens or true timber trees of the present era. So also in the animal kingdom : the graptolites and trilobites of the Silurian seas are succeeded by the higher crustacea and bone-clad fishes of the old red-sandstone ; these by the sauroid fishes of the coal-measures ; the sauroid fishes by the gigantic saurians and reptiles of the oolite; the reptiles of the oolite by the huge mammalia of the tertiary epoch ; and these, in time, give place to present species, with man as the crowning form of created existence.”

now exhibit, in a tabular form, the several geologic systems and groups, with their characteristics and epochs, and append to them the Mosaic days or epochs, with their characteristics, so that the eye may at once perceive the harmony of the Book and the Rocks. It may

be useful to observe, that the groups in the Cainozoic epoch are founded upon the perceptible approach to existing species—taking the fossil shells as the index. Thus, eocene (eos, the dawn, and kainos, recent) implies that the strata of this group contain only a small proportion of existing species, which may be regarded as indicating the dawn of existing things ; miocene (meion, less) implies that the proportion of recent shells is less than that of extinct ; pliocene (pleion, more), that the proportion of recent shells is more or greater than that of the extinct ; and pleistocene (pleiston, most), that the shells of this group are mostly those of the species inhabiting the present seas.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Gen. 1, 2. The earth was I. Metamorphic, or Non-Fossiliwithout form and void [invi- ferous. All hard and crystalline

Clay-slate.

Mica-schist. sible and unfurnished]. And rocks.

Gneiss and the Spirit of God moved

Granitoid schigts.
upon the face of the waters.

Ver. 3-5. FIRST DAY. II. Silurian. Remains of pecu-
Earliest appearance of light liar lowly, crustaceans, mollusca, ) Upper Silurian.
and life.
radiata, and zoophytes.

Lower Silurian.
Ver. 6—8. SECOND DAY.

Cambrian (?)
The waters divided by the
firmament.

Ver. 9-13. THIRD DAY. III. Old Red Sandstone. Remains Yellow sandstones.
Land is created from the deep, of fishes abundant, of other animals Red conglomerates.
and is clothed with vegeta- none, and of plants very few and Grey fossil sandstones.
tion.
imperfect

Great conglomerate (?)
Ver. 14-19. FOURTH DAY. IV. Carboniferous. Remains of
Large forests clothe the earth, plants and animals abundant—the Coal measures.
and supply the coal deposits. distinguishing features being excess Millstone grit.

of tropical vegetation in the coal Mountain limestone.
measures, and marine shells and 200-

Lower coal measures.
phytes in the mountain limestone.
Ver. 20—23. Fifth Day. V. Permian. Remains of plants
Giant reptiles and colossal and animals very closely allied and
birds formed. They have left often identical with those of the Magnesian limestone.
their footprints in the Per- carboniferous strata.

Lower new red sandstone. mian sandstone.

BIBLICAL NATURAL HISTORY.

PALÆOZOIC,
(ancient life.)

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