Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.—Habakkuk 2.4.

[Covenanter Geological Articles.]

THE

CRY OF THE STONES:

Or,

The TESTIMONY of Earth’s

Geological Record

To the CREATION & PROVIDENCE of God

Vindicated in a Collection of Articles

From the Covenanter Magazine, 1849-1851.


I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.—Luke 19.40.

The waters wear the stones: thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth; and thou destroyest the hope of man.—Job 14.19.

Verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.—Mark 11.23.


TrueCovenanter.com: 2009.12.29.

X

TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Introduction.

The following collection of articles is assembled from issues of The Covenanter magazine, edited for many years by James M. Wilson. These are now easily accessible to the public, thanks to the RP Archives website.

For the past 400 years and more the mis-guided "wisdom" of many men has been applied, with much energy and expense, in an effort to draw Christianized society away from an acquaintance with the origin of this world and of the human race. Whatever the purpose of these men may have been, it is certain that Satan's purposes are also put into effect thereby, carried on to the point of weakening the faith of many professing Christians, and subverting the authority of the Holy Scriptures, the proper foundation of our faith.

Geological inquiry is obviously a matter of innocent nature and motive in itself. To the believer, the very earth and rocks of this world are every one a token of the wisdom and power of God, and testimony to his work of Creation. To the believer, these simple substances are the known effects and possessions of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Heb. 1.2; Eph. 1.22.) When he beholds these things, he does not wonder whether there is hidden within them, or in their relationships to one another, a secret record of the world's unknown origin; for he knows the origin of all these things, as being brought forth by the Word of God. (John 1.1-3.)

But as Astronomy, Zoology, and many other fields of learning are abused by infidels at the present day, and compelled to speak contrary to themselves, against the truth of God's word, so too Geology has long been made the mishandled tool of sinners, to carve out an imaginary past, in histories more and more distant every time present theories are invalidated; each new history necessarily being more sure than the former, (to those who place their faith therein,) and serving more fully to mock any notion that the world is of no more age than some 6000 years.

The following articles however, though confessedly "dated" with respect to the theories and data of modern times, may be found by some helpful for a few important ends:

  1. Establishing from Holy Scripture the Truth concerning the work of creation, with greater certainty to the reader.
  2. Demonstrating from Scripture how necessary it is that this point be maintained, and not given up, by those who desire to find in Scripture a basis for morality, or warrant for the hope of Salvation.
  3. Exposing the self-contradictory character and purely speculative nature of those theories which are produced in opposition to Holy Scripture; thus serving to teach the reader how to detect the vanity of pretensions in the boasted wisdom of modern science & philosophy.

So, while it is not to be thought that the following articles are a full answer to the theories of modern "science," (which is never worthy of such answer, 1 Tim. 6.20,) and the present editor would not have the reader to think that what is presented below in the way of counter-theories and explanations of certain observations in nature, are all cited as matters of Christian faith; yet it is hoped that by many individuals, the collection will yet be found useful and edifying.

GEOLOGICAL THEORIES.

Excerpted from:

THE

COVENANTER.

VOL. 5.

SEPTEMBER, 1849.

No. 2.

In the glance which we shall give at this great science, (physical geography,) we look only to the external structure of the earth; briefly protesting against all those theories which refer its origin to an earlier period, or a longer process, than the "six days" of Scripture.  It is true, that Moses may not have been a philosopher, though the man "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians," may have known more than many a philosopher of later days.  It is equally true, that the object of the Book of Genesis was not to give a treatise on geology.  But Moses was a historian—it is the express office of a historian to state facts: and if Moses stated the "heavens and the earth, and all that therein is," to have been created and furnished in "six days," we must either receive the statement as true, or give up the historian as a fabricator.  But if we believe, in compliance with the Divine word, that "all Scripture is by inspiration of God," [2 Tim. 3.16.] by what subterfuge can we escape the conclusion, that the narrative of Genesis is divine?  Or if, in the childish skepticism of the German school, we require a more positive testimony, what can be more positive than the declaration of the commandment of the Sabbath, "that in six days God made heaven and earth," [Exod. 20.11]; founding also upon this declaration, the Sabbath—an institution meant for every age, and for the veneration and sanctification of every race of mankind? If such a declaration can be false, what can be true?  If ever words were plain, those are the words of plainness.  The law of Sinai was delivered with all the solemnities of a law forming the foundation of every future law of earth.  It would have been as majestic, and as miraculous, to have fixed the creation at a million of years before the being of Adam. But we can discover no possible reason for the history, but that it was the truth.  The truth is divine.

If the geologist shall persist in repeating, that the phenomena are incompatible with the history, our reply is, "Your science is still in its infancy—a science of a day, feebly beginning to collect facts, and still so weak as to enjoy the indulgence of extravagant conclusions.  There have been a thousand theories of creation—each popular, arrogant, and self-satisfied, in its own time; each swept away by another equally popular, arrogant, and self-satisfied, and all equally deserving of rejection by posterity.  You must acquire all the facts, before you can be qualified to theorize.  The last and most consummate work of genius, and of centuries, is a true theory."

But, without dwelling further on this high subject, we must observe, that there is one inevitable fact, for which the modern geologist makes no provision whatever; and that fact is, that the beginning of things on the globe must have been totally different from the processes going on before our eyes.  For instance, Adam must have been created in the full possession of manhood; for, if he had been formed an infant, he must have perished through mere helplessness.  When God looked on this world, and pronounced all to be "very good"—which implies the completion of his purpose, and the perfection of his work—is it possible to conceive, that he looked solely on the germs of production, on plains covered with eggs, or seas filled with spawn, or forests still buried in the {65} capsules of seeds; on a creation utterly shapeless, lifeless, and silent, instead of the myriads of delighted existence, all enjoying the first sense of being?

But, if the first formation of the world of life must have been the act of a vast principle, to which we have no resemblances in the subsequent increase and continuance of being, what ground have we for arguing, that the common processes of material existence in our day must have been the same in the origin of things? On the whole, we regard the declaration—"In six days God made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is," as an insuperable bar to all the modern fantasies of the geologist; as a direct rebuke to his profaneness, and as a solemn judgment against his presumption.—Blackwood's Magazine.


THE BIBLE AND GEOLOGY.

Excerpted from:

THE

COVENANTER.

VOL. 6.

SEPTEMBER, 1850.

No. 2.

All truths are consistent.  Science is truth, so far as it goes; for it is the statement of what actually exists in nature.  Revelation is truth; for it contains the word of the Omniscient and the Faithful.  Science and Revelation embrace, in the main, different fields.  The former has to do with sensible objects; the latter, mostly, with the unseen, the spiritual, the eternal.  Still, their borders touch.  Science is the work of mind; in part, it relates to mind, and its objects have God as their author and end.  Revelation is addressed to the inhabitants of the earth, and draws a portion of its arguments and illustrations from this theatre.  In its own field, Science is self-sustained; but Revelation is the higher authority.  True Science must accord with Revelation.  It discovers, arranges, and turns to useful purposes, the works of Him who speaks in the pages of Revelation.

Geology is the science of the structure of the earth.  It treats of its material arrangements, with particular reference to its strata, their distinctive characters, their relative positions, and the changes to which they have been subjected.  It is a science of late origin, and, perhaps, is hardly yet worthy of being termed a science.  It is a very superficial science.  Of the four thousand miles of the earth's semi-diameter, it has penetrated but one or two.  All beneath this is a terra incognita—a vast unknown—open to conjecture and inference, but sealed to actual investigation.  To the shell, then, of the earth—its mere upper crust—the researches of geologists have been necessarily limited. Still, its discoveries have not been wanting in interest and importance. It has been ascertained that this upper section of the earth consists of various strata, composed of different sorts of rock, and other materials, arranged with a certain kind of regularity.  These have been designated, beginning with the lower, as primary, transition, secondary, tertiary, and alluvial.  The first contains no remains of any organized matter, vegetable or mineral.  All the others contain remains, denominated—from a Latin word signifying to dig—fossils.  Among these strata, the lowest contains the relics of inferior genera of animals, after some time appear vegetable remains, then a higher species of animals, and so on until, in approaching the surface, human remains are, for the first time, discovered.  These strata, however, are not entirely regular. They are broken.  The primary having been, apparently, thrust through the overlying by some immense force, now occupy the {34} highest positions, constituting most of the very elevated, and some of the inferior, mountain ranges.  Granite and gneiss, with some of the limestone and sandstone formations, are their chief constituents.  In the great valleys thus formed the fossil-bearing strata are found, sometimes running far up the mountain sides.  During one of these periods—a very early one—geologists affirm that the surface of the earth was covered with vast forests, composed of firs, pines, &c., cone-bearing trees, the only inhabitants being some species of fish and reptiles; and these forests having been swept away by some desolating floods, or by other agencies, and deposited in suitable localities, have been converted by pressure and heat, and other chemical agencies, into the coal beds on which we now draw so largely for our domestic comfort, and for the uses of art.  Finally, the earth is regarded as having been originally in a melted state: the various primary strata having been first deposited, and the others through various periods, and with some re-active periods and events since.  To these latter doctrines—of the coal deposits and the cooling process—we call special attention, for reasons which will appear in the sequel.*[1]

From these facts, which geologists profess to have ascertained with entire certainty, conclusions are deduced respecting the age of the world, and the nature of the changes which, at least its more superficial strata, have undergone.  It is inferred that the primary were originally its only strata.  These were succeeded by the next in order; and then the animals, among the lowest genera, were created. By some great revolution or convulsion the face of the earth was vastly altered.  Then came other animals, and so on through a series of convulsions, attended with the extinction, more or less complete, of existing forms of life, until the earth was prepared to be a habitation for man, substantially as we now find it: the only great event, in the {35} geological sense, since man's creation, being the general deluge.  It is added, that each of the periods intervening between those eras of revolution and re-creation, must have been thousands, may have been millions of years.

These discoveries were startling.  Infidels seized upon them to discredit the Mosaic account of the creation of the world.  Some Bible believers—admitting the facts, and even the conclusions—set themselves to reconcile them with Scripture history.  To effect this, two plans were adopted.  The first in order was, to extend the six days of creation each to an indefinite length—to millions of years.  This was unsatisfactory, as well it might be.  For—1. The term "day," as applied to the seventh day, forbids it.  The seventh was a natural day, so were the six preceding.  2. Even the most elastic stretching of these days will not bring the parties together.  Geologists speak of many grand convulsions—Genesis of only one, the work of the third day, when the seas and the dry land were formed.  The creation of light, of air, of the sun, moon, and stars, of birds, and animals, would constitute no such periods as geologists have imagined.  Geologists say that fishes existed before there was any dry land—in one of the earliest periods.  Genesis declares that all sorts of fishes were created on the fifth day—dry land on the third.

This interpretation having broken down, another succeeded it, viz., that the first chapter of Genesis merely gives the history of the arrangement and reduction into their present order of the materials which had been created an indefinite number of years before, which had been already the subjects of all the revolutions to which we have referred, and which had once more been reduced by some awful catastrophe into a chaotic state, destroying, either totally or partially, the previously existing tribes of animals.  This interpretation regards the first verse of Genesis as a mere statement of the fact that whenever the world did begin to exist, God made it out of nothing: these interminable ages—these overwhelming convulsions, with their intervening periods of repose, &c., filling up, although not mentioned, or hinted at, the incalculable interval between the first verse and the second.

Now, with this and every other concession to the doctrines, and, as we believe, the assumptions of geology, we take issue.  The bare facts of the science, we, of course, do not controvert; meaning by them, the existence of distinct strata, and of remains, many differing from living organizations.  The inferences of geologists as to the age of the world we deny, granting, at the same time, that many of its facts are of a most singular character, and some of them so much so as to compel us to regard them, with our existing knowledge, as unaccountable.

1. The scheme of the geologists disparages, not only the power, but the wisdom of God.  They admit that the world was designed for man.  But how was this dwelling prepared for the use of its proper and destined occupant, and when?  Through a series of creations, at indefinitely distant intervals, the intervening periods exhibiting at one time a molten mass, undergoing a gradual cooling process, until finally it lay an immense, silent, lifeless plain—a dead, dark globe of rock.  Again, it becomes a sea, a marsh, without vegetation, order, or beauty, and so lies another indefinite period, its occupants reptiles of hateful form and character.  Again, it is touched by the divine hand, and becomes covered with boundless forests—but even these furnished {36} with no flowers, yielding no fruit.  Again, for thousands of years—millions—it becomes the dismal abode of huge reptiles, wild, and fierce, devouring one another, and tormenting the smaller tribes of animals. Surely, such a scheme should be well sustained—no small array of evidence would satisfy us, that He who is the "God of order, and not of confusion," ever made a world on a plan like this. [1 Cor. 14.33.] [K1]

2. Great difficulties attend the schemes of geologists.  (1.) Whence come the materials for the higher strata?  They tell us that the granite lies seven miles beneath the surface.  Next to this, and, consequently, deep beneath the upper strata, lie the rocks containing in their system the earliest organized beings.  Whence are the higher strata derived?  Not from the matter of the transition rocks, reduced by disintegration, and then peopled with a new race of living beings.  Had this been so—had the materials which now compose the superficial strata, ever constituted the theatre of trilobitic and bilemnitic existence, and so on through every stage, why are there no remains?  Have they all disappeared?  How singular, that not even a petrified trilobite should have remained, except in the very lowest laminæ of that stratum of rocks which was once so fully peopled with them!  The other strata must have been, each in succession, new creations; for if at each succeeding epoch, the whole was reconstructed by some huge convulsions and catastrophes, what becomes of the regular order of the strata? All would be now an inextricable mass of confusion.  But if each succeeding epoch was distinguished by a new creation, or superimposed upon the old, how comes it that we find this old penetrating, and laying side by side with the new?  Why do not each occupy their own position?  (2.) New difficulties arise, and not a few of them in relation to the coal deposits.  The doctrine of the geologists regarding them we have already stated.  Now, what are the facts?  Take the bituminous coal strata of central and western Pennsylvania.  In all there are some thirteen*[2] distinct strata.  The lowest known, some hundred feet below the surface at Pittsburgh, the highest near the summit of the Allegheny Mountains, not far from the Portage Railroad.  It is safe to say that the lowest is half a mile beneath the highest.  These strata are nearly level, or quite so from east to west; they have a regular inclination towards the south.  Thus the stratum—the six foot vein—which is level with the surface of the Monongehela at Brownsville, is some four hundred feet above the river at Pittsburgh.  The rise is gradual, and very uniform.  These coal strata—and they were deposited, according to the geologists, millions of years ago, and previously to some of the greatest convulsions—have never been much disturbed, as to the intervals between them.  Here, again, are, in regular order, many different sorts of rock, and a variety of earths.  These are limestones, sandstones, slates, clays, &c., all regularly stratified.  How many periods, and what kind of catastrophes would accomplish this in thirteen or more instances? for how many beds of coal are below the lowest known to us, we cannot tell.  Difficulties accumulate when we examine these coal strata more closely.  The same stratum is always of the same thickness to an inch.  The six-foot vein is every where of the same depth exactly.  The first, &c., must have been laid by some careful {37} hand on precisely the same level, a bed precisely level having been prepared for them over a space that we know to cover some hundreds of square miles!  More than this: the coal has a regular cleavage, and this in the same direction.  If you strike upon the end, you work against the grain,—enter the side, and your labours are easy.  The coal comes out in regular parallelopipeds; if these are large, they subdivide; but any portion, however small, has the same figure.  This is so, as far as you subdivide, until the pieces are very small.  Some power must then have sawed off the trunks, omitting all the branches, to precisely the same length—set them on end—and in the same order!  Here is another miracle.  No tossing by a deluge a mass of forests, swept away by overwhelming torrents.  Again, these veins have a mixture of sulphur.  Did the trees contain sulphur?  Now, we affirm that the supposition of the geologists of the vegetable origin of these coal beds is absolutely irreconcilable with these facts.  We know of no laws of nature that would make such beds.  There are no such laws.  They are the direct handiwork of the Creator.  So are all the accompanying strata.  There are other difficulties about these strata.  They are bituminous.  Had the agency of fire—of great heats—been employed in bringing them into their present state, how happens it that this bitumen was not driven off?  It is exceedingly volatile—fire would have expelled it, and left, instead of coal, more or less perfect coke.

We have been speaking of the western coal veins.  Of the eastern—the anthracite—we know less; but who can believe that they are beds of bituminous coal with the bitumen separated from them by heat and other agencies—as geologists say?  Have they the least appearance of having been subjected to any such action?  Not the least.  How, then, it may be asked, do you account for the existence of leaves and other vegetable remains in some coal deposits?  We are not bound to account for them.  We find such remains not rarely in very singular situations; and it is not by any means incredible, that in the agitations to which the surface of the earth, perhaps its depths, have been subjected in the anthracite regions, fissures may have been created through which various sorts of materials, and vegetable remains among the rest, may have been introduced.  At all events, we know that coal is no more wood changed into carbon, than diamonds are carbon changed into stone.  God made them both, just what we see them,—and, with some exceptions to be noticed presently, just where we see them.

We might easily state other difficulties similar to those we have noticed.  It is not necessary.  However unaccountable, many present appearances on the surface of the earth, and beneath it, may be, we cannot admit the conjectural solutions of the geologists.

But how do we account for the existing order of things?  Has not the earth evidently undergone great changes?  To this we say—1. The world was designed as a habitation for man, as all geologists admit, and must have been made so as to answer its end.  In the light of this fact we may easily account for the varieties apparent on its surface—for the existence of mountains, with their intervening plains, and for the almost endless diversity of substances—earths and minerals—which compose it.  The world made for the use of man could not have differed much, at any period, from that which now exists.  For example, where would have been rivers and springs, had there been no mountains, no strata of rock underlying the superficial strata?  In the mountains {38} are the grand reservoirs whence flow, often to great distances, the currents which, as they come forth form the springs, without which rivers could not exist, nor could inhabitants be maintained.*[3]  To permit openings for these outlets of the mountains reservoirs, the strata must be more or less broken, and so thrown into apparent confusion. And again, it was necessary in preparing a world for man, to provide a variety of soil, and to furnish the iron, the copper, the gold, and the silver, the limestone, the chalk, &c., the hundreds of substances which have been rendered subservient to human existence and comfort.  In short, the earth must have been composed of some materials; and, as a habitation for man, who was destined, by the existence of skill, and by labour, to subdue, replenish, and enjoy it, it required to be fitted up with a useful and a pleasing variety.  Apparent disorders are, then—many of them, most of them—essential elements in the wise and beneficent arrangements of the Almighty.

2. Divine power is competent to produce such a creation in the most limited time.  This proposition none but an atheist will deny.  Geologists speak of the "slow operation of general laws," "of chemical affinities," "of gradual development."  Now, we admit that a creation once formed, its operations are carried on by the sustaining and directing hand of the Creator, who acts, generally, upon a uniform plan.  In this is seen both his wisdom and his beneficence—changes, sudden and miraculous in what are termed the laws of nature, would demand changes equally great, at least, in the character and operation of the faculties of the human mind.  But what has this to do with creation?  Creation is the making of a world, it is the establishment of a new state of things, it is the making of the machine; and, surely, he would be far from the mark who would conceive that the laws by which the steam-engine works, were concerned in its creation.  Even if we suppose that the Most High, in making the world, or rather in reducing to order the matter which he had created, followed a course similar to that which he designed to impress upon it when completed, who can aver that the mere epoch of time was a matter of any consequence?  Could he not effect in a day that which, in the ordinary operations of nature, would require an indefinite period?  Surely he could.  How many are the insects, each complete in its parts, whose brief existence does not exceed a few hours of the day?  So rapidly—even more rapidly—might the greatest changes take place, through the exercise of that divine energy which knows no limits.

3. The general deluge, and causes in operation before and since, are enough to account for present appearances—so far as it is necessary to account for them at all.  Geologists admit a general deluge since the creation of man.  They cannot dispute it.  It has left its mark too plainly behind it.  But what was the general deluge?  Was it a mere quiet, but very heavy rain?  Not at all.  “The fountains of the great deep were broken up.”  The crust of the earth underwent great changes; so that when the flood receded, mountains were depressed—valleys lifted up: dry land had become “pools of water,” and seas dry land.  Of course, the arrangement, and continuity of previously existing strata, would be not little interfered with.  Hence, sea shells may now be found on high mountains; and, little question, could we reach {39} them, the remains of terrestrial animals, below the bottom of seas and oceans.  That this change was entire—that what was sea before the flood, became, without exception, or even in general, land, we are far from affirming.  In many instances, however, we may safely affirm, these changes did take place.  And more, the flood, like other floods, had its currents—mighty and overpowering as the mass of its waters. Rolling to and fro—“going and returning.”  Sweeping away the icebergs of the north—if there were any—and tearing the rocks of the mountains from their place, and carrying them, as we now find them, far from their original sites: and again, covering deep, by its alluvial deposits, the dead bodies of the inhabitants of sea and land.  Besides, the deluge was attended with not a few atmospheric changes.  The climates of the earth were, probably, altered.  We know that man, instead of living, as before the flood, nearly a thousand years, soon, very soon, became short-lived.  What wonder, then, if huge animals of some species ceased to exist?—that many species, or even genera, were utterly lost?  The same causes would affect the vegetable kingdom—exterminating certain species, or transferring them to other localities.  But, besides the deluge, there are agencies at work—and were before the flood, sufficient to account for not a few of the most irregular of present appearances.  The flow of rivers—the breaking down of the barriers of inland seas—volcanoes, earthquakes.  Rivers forming deltas—great inland seas becoming dry land—as has evidently been the case in the valley of the Mississippi, in New York, and not a few other places, and as will be the case if the earth last long enough, with the whole chain of northern lakes—volcanoes, forming mountains on land and islands in the sea, and spreading over large regions the products of their power—earthquakes and internal fires, disrupting strata of rocks, and earths, and even lifting up, and varying the position, as history tells us they have done, of vast tracts of land.

Put all these together, and, while we do not affirm that every fact can be accounted for, we do aver that enough can be accounted for, to render a resort to the almost interminable periods and violent conjectures of the geologists wholly unnecessary—and, if unnecessary, unpardonably presumptuous.

We now leave the subject.  Our space would not admit of details. Geology has not yet furnished any reason to depart from the plain and sufficient statement of Scripture, that, "in six days he made the heavens and the earth." [Exod. 20.11.]


GEOLOGICAL PRESUMPTION.

Excerpted from:

THE

COVENANTER.

VOL. 7.

OCTOBER, 1851.

No. 3.

Infidelity is unwearied in its assaults upon divine revelation.  Beaten on one point of attack, it selects another.  Routed in the field of open warfare, it betakes itself to the less hazardous methods of secret and disguised approaches.  Philology, criticism, history, and doctrine, have all failed in the encounter.  Voltaire, and the French Encyclopedists, are nearly forgotten; and even the more subtle Rationalists of Germany have begun a retreat.  Their bold assumptions and sweeping criticisms have been combated and overthrown by calm and thorough investigation.  A new enemy has arisen in the shape of science, "falsely so called," [1 Tim. 6.20]; and at the head of the array stands Geology, with its presumptuous speculations and theories: all the more dangerous from the fact, that it has enlisted under its banners not a few who occupy prominent positions among the avowed advocates of the claims of the scriptures. Startled by the professed discoveries of this young and forward science, Christian teachers and authors have most unnecessarily and unwisely sought to reconcile, by forced interpretations, the clear and heretofore universally acknowledged testimony of the scriptures, with the new theories of the world's structure and formation.

But what is Geology? and what does it profess to know?  These inquiries may be briefly answered.  "Geology," in the language of Dr. Hitchcock, "is the history of the mineral matters that compose the earth, and of the organic remains which they contain;" and when it speaks of "rock," it means not merely the solid and compacted matters to which, in the popular acceptation, that term is limited, but also "the loose materials, the soils, clays, and gravels that cover the solid parts."  Geology examines all these—their arrangement, their mutual relations, the remains of animals and plants contained in most of them; and having thus collected its materials, proceeds to frame its theories, accounting for their arrangement, &c., adopting in its reasonings the principle that most of the facts of geology are to be explained as the result of causes now in operation—the laws of chemical action, &c.,— and these acting, just as they now do, with the same, or nearly the same, rapidity, or rather slowness.  Miracles, indeed, it must admit, but it will allow them, even in the making of a world, only where their causes, operating through millions and millions of years, cannot account for its facts.  In other words, having a past eternity to carve periods out of, it will lavish countless ages for the production of an effect, rather than admit it to be the immediate handiwork of God. {66}

But what has Geology discovered?  We state this just in the words of Mr. Lord:—

"Suppose now the geologist to go forth to examine the structure and materials of the globe.  He observes two classes of rocks, stratified and unstratified.  They are clearly distinguishable.  One has a crystallized form and texture, the other such a form and texture as would result from the deposit of mud, sand, and gravel in water.  These he calls sedimentary.  He finds, of these, a regular succession of beds or layers, which in the aggregate are some eight or ten miles in thickness.  These layers differ from each other in thickness and in their mineral composition; that is, in the kind of earthy materials which they were composed of.  He finds them generally tilted up from the horizontal position in which they were deposited, to a greater or less degree of inclination, and sometimes to a vertical position, so as greatly to facilitate his examination of them.  He gives distinctive names to these successive layers, indicative of their mineral character, as guiess, lime-stone, red sand-stone, slate, coal, clay, &c., &c.  He observes that the lowest of these sedimentary formations every where rests on crystalline rock or granite. Again he observes that a large portion of these sedimentary rocks, to the depth of six or seven miles, contains the skeletons and relics of various plants and animals, terrestrial and marine."

Of these strata, the granite is regarded as universally occupying, where its position has not been disturbed, the lowest place—presenting an irregular surface, with great hollows and elevations.  Of the stratified rocks, Dr. John Pye Smith, a late eminent theologian, who has been captivated with the new notions, says:—

"The first appearance of stratification is in the rock called gneiss.  That is composed of the same materials as granite, on the irregular outline of which it rests.  Over the gneiss, come the beds of mica, schist, and slates, whose thickness, like that of the gneiss, cannot be ascertained, on account of the intervention of other rocks.  Their mode of formation is proved by the most striking characters to have been the same as that of the gneiss.  If we should venture to estimate the united thickness of this class, added to the gneissic, at three or even four miles, we could not be charged with exaggeration.

"There are thirty, or rather more, well defined beds, layers, or strata, of different mineral masses, (different in mineral composition,) lying upon each other, so as to form the surface of the globe on which we dwell.  These combine themselves, by natural characters, into three or four grand groups. Compare them to a set of books, in thirty or forty volumes, piled up on their flat sides.  They are placed one over the other, in a sure and known order of succession; that is, though in every locality some are wanting, the order of position is never violated."

With respect to the animal and vegetable remains in these strata—

"One established principle of the science," says Dr. Anderson, "is, that there are certain groups of animal species found fossil in the different sets of strata which compose the earth's crust, and that these demonstrate something like a series of distinct faunas, corresponding to the number of formations. Seven or eight sets of rocks, at least, are as distinctly characterized by particular sets of fossils.  But the exceptions to the law are likewise very numerous, inasmuch as both species and genera have been carried forward, and are identically the same, from one formation and epoch into another."

With these facts before him, the geologist proceeds to make the world.  He begins with a set of suppositions, framing as many as he finds necessary.  We will here pass over the period of fog, as we may term it, when the entire matter of which the earth is composed was {67} floating about in the form of particles, possessed of properties, but each having only to do with itself, and come to a subsequent period when the particles, having somehow got together, and become solid, the strata are about to be formed.  We turn here to Mr. Lord:—

It must be observed, that the geologists suppose the earth in its earliest and most imperfect state, to have exhibited on its surface no other substance but unstratified rock, which, unless it was originally in a state of igneous fluidity, and became solid by being cooled, is deemed to have undergone no change.  The surface of this primitive rock is supposed to have presented great inequalities of altitude and depression; the elevated portions affording materials, and the valleys space, for the sedimentary deposits in which the fossil remains of plants and animals are now discovered. The higher portions of the primitive rock, being exposed to the influence of the atmosphere and of water, are supposed to have been gradually worn away by the operation of these elements, and the abraded particles to have been washed down to the lower levels of the primitive surface, and thus gradually to have formed a stratum or layer of sediment.  In process of time, the first or lower stratum was covered by a second, consisting of materials geologically different from the first, as limestone differs from slate or sandstone; and that in turn was covered by a third, differing in like manner from the second; and so on through incalculable periods of duration, till the succession of layers, of which there are about thirty, attained a height of ten miles or more, from the foundation."

There remains but one other point to be illustrated: that is, the succession of different strata in this ten miles thick of made land, each with its fossil remains.  To account for this, the geologist imagines a succession of sedimentary deposits swept down from the elevated ranges of rocks, each in turn covered with vegetation or with animals, these latter being extirpated at the end of a certain indefinite but vast period, leaving a second surface for another period of deposit by the same slow and almost interminable process—this deposit being again covered with a new creation of plants and animals, to be again swept away: when the previous process is again renewed.  Of these vast revolutions, they suppose from five to twelve, for doctors differ: the plants and animals to have gone on improving, the lowest being created first, until at length, when after myriads of years, the earth was to become an abode for man, when the events recorded in the first chapter of Genesis took place, and the earth assumed its present, or nearly its present, aspect.  We ought to have said, that during, or after, each successive period, the deposited strata became the bottom of an ocean, to be lifted up by some astounding convulsion, and then peopled.

To reconcile all these dreams with the Mosaic account of the creation, Bible geologists suppose that the first verse of Genesis does no more than state that God made the matter of the heavens and the earth—that almost infinite periods elapsed between this and the "Spirit's moving upon the waters" over it—or they adopt the still more idle notion, that the six days are six of their periods.  The great body of them take the view first mentioned—the latter has now scarcely any advocates.

That geology, so long as it keeps within its own limits, is a useful science, we, of course, freely admit.  By ascertaining the relations of the various strata, it has proved itself highly serviceable in the work of exploring for mineral treasures.  It can point out, with considerable certainty, where coal, for example, may be looked for—thus anticipating {68} accidental discovery, and saving the fruitless expenditure of random research.  But it has no business to presume that it knows, or can discover, or can account for the incidents attending the making of a world.  This is well stated by Dr. Dickenson in his introductory essay to the work before us:—

"Science has no logical connexion with the point at issue.  It cannot disprove what it is not competent to establish.  If it be received, it must be, not on the ground of any scientific deductions, but solely on the ground of testimony; and hence it is a point not to be either overthrown or even supported by the natural sciences; but to be believed on the credit of revelation.  ‘By faith, we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God.’ [Heb. 11.3.]  In all our reasonings, this great fact, that in the beginning God created and completed the heaven and the earth in the space of six days, is to be regarded as a starting point, like a first truth in philosophy, or an axiom in geometry.

"He, therefore, who so far transcends the legitimate object of all true science, as to deny or even to exclude the supernatural, must needs take unwarrantable liberties with the word of God, and expose himself to the charge, if not of downright infidelity, at least of rash conjecture, extravagant fancies, and marvellous credulity."

"The work of creation was necessarily a supernatural work; and hence all reasoning from the general laws of nature, which in their operation were subsequent to the work of creation, is as irrelevant in explanation of the Mosaic account, as the argument drawn from universal experience in disparagement of the miracles recorded in Holy Writ.  Be it so, that great changes have for thousands of years been going on in the organic texture of the globe, this does not legitimate the inference that the world, when created, was not in a perfect state—having the great distinctive features of land and water, and adapted to the immediate and most exuberant production of plants and animals; and though we may see in what way soils are formed, and by what action rocks are worn away, and how what is now land may have once been a lake or the ocean, still, it does not follow that the act of creation was any less a miracle; nor that those wonderful stratified formations, on which so much stress has been laid in support of certain theories, were not the result of causes acting with a rapidity and force, of which, with all our boasted knowledge of natural philosophy and chemistry, we can form no adequate conception.  To admit the original act of creation, and to attempt to account for it on natural principles, or to prescribe the mode in which the primeval creation was effected, is preposterous in the extreme; and he who so far presumes, only exposes himself to the pertinent rebuke: ‘Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare if thou hast understanding.  Who hath laid the measure thereof, if thou knowest; or who hath stretched out the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened; or who hath laid the corner stone thereof?’ [Job 38.4-6.]"

[To be continued.]


GEOLOGICAL PRESUMPTION.

Excerpted from:

THE

COVENANTER.

VOL. 7.

NOVEMBER, 1851.

No. 4.

[Continued from page 68.]

That the assumptions of geologists are inconsistent with the Mosaic account Mr. Lord clearly shows.  It is impossible, without doing violence to the passage, to separate the first verse of Genesis from the subsequent narrative.  The word translated "beginning," is used eighteen times in the book of Moses, and thirty-two times in other parts of the Bible, and is always used "to denote the head of a class, the first of a series of things, persons, acts, or events." In twenty-one of the instances in which it occurs, it is translated "first-fruits"—and "beginning" in such passages as these: "The beginning of Nimrod's kingdom"—"The beginning of my strength"—"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," &c.  In every case, that thing, or event, which is styled the beginning, lies in immediate connexion, is followed in uninterrupted succession by the event, &c., of which it constitutes the first in the series.  From all this Mr. L. correctly reasons:—

"Now to suppose that the act which was first in that series of acts which brought into existence the works of creation, was separated from the second act in that series by an interval of countless myriads of ages, is, so far as the invariable usage of this word determines its meaning, no less preposterous than to suppose that the gathering of the first sheaves of each annual harvest was separated from the remainder of the same harvest by a similar lapse of ages; that the building of Babel was separated by a like interval from the other proceedings of Nimrod in founding his kingdom; that the birth of Jacob's first son was in like manner separated from that of the others; that the first day of a year was separated from the ensuing days of the same year, and contemplated as immeasurably earlier in time; or that the beginning of a king's reign might mean an epoch earlier by incalculable periods than the day of his birth."

This argument our author expands, and very happily introduces the frequent appeals in scripture to the creation of the heavens and the earth, as furnishing not only a conclusive evidence of the divine majesty and power, but as vindicating and establishing his claim to the homage and allegiance of all intelligences; and, particularly, as illustrating the enormity of the crime of idol worship.  Mr. L. associates all this with the law of the Sabbath:—

"To maintain the conviction and publick acknowledgment of the fact that in six days God created the heavens and earth, the sea, and all things therein, {98} was to maintain the conviction and public acknowledgment that Jehovah the self-existent, the God of Israel, was the Creator; and that he accomplished the work of creation not at different, undefined, and unknown periods, but at one period, one epoch, a defined, appreciable, familiar space of six days. The idolatry (namely the worship of Bel, Baal, Beelzebub, Satan,) which prevailed in Egypt and in Canaan when Moses wrote, denied these facts; and regarded the world as eternal, or ascribed the works of creation as it did the works of Providence, to the created intelligence denominated Bel, Baal, &c., and assigned to him the sun as his tabernacle and Shekina.  The antagonism and rivalship of Satan required the homage of his followers; to secure which, required on his part, the arrogation of those works, prerogatives, and rights, on which the claims of Jehovah as Creator and moral governor were founded. Hence to side with the arrogant and usurping adversary, disregarding the Divine testimony concerning the fact of the creation in six days, forgetting, despising, and violating the hallowed seventh day as the appointed sign and memorial of that fact, and thereby denying that Jehovah was the Creator, and that, because he created all things, he was entitled to their universal homage and obedience, was treason against him, and deserved the penalty of death."

And we may add, that on this very point the reveries of geologists are not a little dangerous.  By exalting the efficiency of natural laws, and by filling the minds of their disciples with the importance of long—indefinitely long—periods—by throwing into the shade the almighty fiat of God as the true cause of things, they cannot but weaken the apprehension of God's omnipotent will and wisdom.  They do not teach idolatry directly, but they do magnify the mere properties of matter and the laws of chemistry almost to a level with the most High himself.  God is kept out of view—Nature is every thing, or nearly so.  Deity is removed at a distance from his works, as if He were an idle looker-on, having left the particles of matter to work out their own ultimate order and harmony. To such teachings we would give no place, even for a moment.  We would rest on the declaration of God, who knows how and when the world was made.

But is the scheme of geologists plausible, and has it been proved? We think not.  And on this Mr. L. belabours them with no little vigour. Taking their starting point a period when the earth was a vast surface of granite, with its hollows filled with seas, and its great elevations—he says,

"Now it is to be observed that the thirty-two millions of square miles now occupied by the sedimentary masses, could not, at the commencement of their formation, nor at any period since, have furnished any of the sediment deposited there.  For when the lower portion of the first layer of sediment was deposited, the same primitive rock which it now lies on must have been under it.  And even if the now underlying rock yielded at first a portion of abraded particles, it would, after being covered with such particles to the depth of a few inches, be beyond the reach of the action of the agents of abrasion, and could yield no more.  If, then, the 320 millions of cubic miles of sediment were produced by the wearing down of primitive rocks, either by the action of air and water, or by any other cause, those rocks, it is manifest, must have existed, not within, but out of and beyond the limits of the area over which the sediment was floated, and where it now remains.  Those primitive rocks, if they existed any where, must have existed on the top of the granitic rocks which now rise above the general level of the sedimentary surface. They must have been piled up on the area of eight millions of square miles, assigned above to the existing granite surface; and must have exhibited an average height of forty miles; or if the most elevated summits were as much {99} higher than the general average as the highest summits now are, there must have been granite mountains 200 miles in height, an altitude at which probably neither air nor water would ever wear them down."

Now, suppose the process begun.  We have first an interminable series of ages for the crumbling away of these summits—to form a stratum of soil for the support of vegetables—this is then heaved up by some horrible convulsion—the seas going some where in the mean time. These vegetables are then swept away, and the seas again return. The same process is renewed—and thus alternately, until strata are formed ten miles deep!  Does any one believe it?  But this is not all.  These strata are different—limestone, slate, chalk, gravel, &c.  Surely all these were not formed of granite!  If not, then we must believe that during the various periods the character of these elevations changed—or that they were originally formed in strata—or that when one was washed away a new one might be disclosed, from which a new and different stratum might be formed in the valleys beneath: if the latter were the fact, we have a stratified world essential to the making of a stratified world!

But there are difficulties connected with this working-down process itself.  Some of them our author states:—

"If the seas were deep enough to admit of their receiving sediment to the height of ten miles, the intrusion of such a mass would necessarily displace an equal bulk of water, and thereby raise the general surface, or overflow all but the most elevated portions of the earth's surface not previously submerged. But waiving all this, is it not inconceivable and impossible without a miracle, that the sediment detached from primitive rocks and washed down by river currents, should by the force of those currents, or by any other means, be diffused and precipitated equally over the areas covered by the seas?  Are there currents in the seas extending in all directions from the mouth of rivers? Currents of such extent and force, and in such variety, as to transport materials, course and fine, ponderous and light, thousands of miles, and distribute in different localities such only as were homogenous, and to transport and diffuse also the plants and animals whose fossilized remains are now discovered?  Surely the miracles of Scripture are nothing, compared to those which are necessary to this hypothesis.  For supposing that the slow operation of natural causes might, during the lapse of an infinite succession of ages, wear down a quantity of primitive rock equal in bulk to the sedimentary formations, it is demonstrable that there was not on the globe room for that quantity of rocks to exist, out of the space occupied by those formations, and the space occupied by the waters of the ocean; and it is equally plain, that if such a process was carried on according to the uniform law of those causes, and by means of water as the principal of them, the growth of plants and animals must have been precluded till those formations were completed, so that their remains could not possibly be distributed and fossilized in the respective strata."

In short, on the plan of the geologists, there could have been no source whence these deposits could have come—no way to make them by the disintegration of rocks, if there had been such—no way to distribute the disintegrated materials, if these had existed—no way to bury, without harming their delicate tissues, the extinguished vegetables and animals—no way by which so great a variety of strata could have been formed.  "The theory is mere matter of conjecture.  The notion that the solid surface of the globe was at first all rock, is mere conjecture.  Geology can furnish no evidence {100} whatever that any portion of the surface was at first rock of any kind.  It cannot show that all the primitive rock which now appears, or ever has appeared, has not been raised up from beneath the general level, since the operation of geological changes and of sedimentary formations commenced.  On the contrary, the notorious facts that sedimentary rocks and fossil remains are found in different countries on the summits of the most elevated mountains, where perpetual congelation has preserved them from abrasion; and that the granite surface of Sweden is reported to be gradually rising at the present time, might rather justify the conclusion that all the primitive rocks have in like manner been raised, and within a period not more remote.  If the loftiest masses have been so raised, who can say that those of inferior height have not?  It may give the reins to speculation, and may conjecture, that the earth was formed by the operation of mechanical and chemical forces, of what is called nebular matter; but can offer no semblance of evidence that such was its origin; that it was at first in a state of igneous fluidity, and that the crust when it cooled was granite; but it can offer nothing of the nature of proof to that effect.  On the contrary, the facts that melted matter thrown up from below the crust by volcanic action is not granite when it cools, and that lava cannot be made of granite without other ingredients, might at least suggest the probability that the granite crust was never in a melted state.  It may conjecture that plants and animals which are fossilized were provided somewhere, but cannot tell where; that they were transported somehow to their destined places, but cannot tell how; that being transported, they were by some means kept in a perfect state without injury to their most fragile parts and delicate tissues, long enough for the accumulation of sedimentary matter by the action of natural causes to bury and fossilize them, but cannot show by what means."

Let us now come to coal.  How was coal formed, according to the geologists?  When did the vegetables, the trees, come from any particular locality?  Were forests swept away and hurled into some hollow?  If so, we have some questions to ask.

1. How comes it that the coal rests upon a solid rocky basis?—this must have been first swept clear!  And of course there could have been no trees there at the times, they must have been kept in reserve, or piled away, in the mean time; for, say the geologists—

"Vast masses of those materials must have been universally at hand, and in a condition to be rapidly moved and universally diffused in water, and precipitated on the accumulated vegetable matter, is manifest.  This the author—a geologist—admits, and cites in proof of it the frequent occurrence of fossil trees in the coal measures in an upright position, or but little inclined to the plain of stratification."

2. How does it happen that the materials were so regularly arranged as they are in the coal-strata west of the Allegheny mountains?—for these strata are of uniform thickness—that is, each stratum is of unvarying depth.  This must have been miraculously brought about.  And even more,—the trees must have been laid in precisely the same direction—for the coal has in every part of the stratum a cleavage in the same direction.  3. Where did the materials come from to form the strata of rock, &c., above the coal?—and if they came from some lofty summit, how comes it that they are so different—limestone, sandstone, {101} slate, &c.? These summits must have been stratified.  4. How can we imagine all these miraculous processes to have taken place some thirteen times in succession?—for there are so many coal-beds lying above each other, some with hundreds of feet intervening—each interval having its numerous strata of rock, sand, gravel, &c.

We believe most firmly that the theory of the vegetable origin of coal is sheer nonsense.  There may be difficulties in the way of a satisfactory account of all the phenomena of the coal measures,—but we are sure—even from the data furnished by themselves, that God first made them as they are, and, making allowance for some changes of position as the result of subsequent convulsions of our earth, just where they are.

Our author takes up another topic—one on which the assumptions of geologists have heretofore met no combatant: we refer to the "pebble" deposits.  These, he asserts, cannot be, in all cases, regarded as the detritus of rocks, broken, worn, rounded, and then deposited from currents of water; and, certainly, he has gone far to establish his position:

"An examination of a bed of gravel and pebbles, from a half inch to three or four inches in diameter, will exhibit such a variety in their forms and their mineral composition, as forcibly to suggest the impossibility of their having originally consisted of fragments of rocks, and of their having attained their forms by the friction of rolling in water.  The extreme hardness of most of them precludes the supposition that rocks equally hard had been so broken up as to supply the requisite fragments.  No known natural process would ever accomplish such a result; and if the fragments were provided, no conceivable amount of rolling and friction against each other, without an extreme vertical pressure, and a motive power far exceeding that of currents of water, would ever wear off their angles and give them their rounded form.  Can any one imagine that masses of flint-rock were ever so broken into fragments as to supply the rounded nodules of that mineral; or that rocks of the garnet or topaz family, or any of those of the most simple and homogeneous composition, and of the greatest specific gravity, were ever subjected to such a process; or that if they were they would ever acquire a globular form by trituration in water? . . . .

"If the pebbles were formed by rounding the fragments of pre-existing rocks, they must have been such sedimentary rocks as their mineral composition in some respects resembles.  The pebbles, however, especially the hardest, heaviest, smoothest, and most regularly shaped, are not in their structure sedimentary, but either crystallized, or their ingredients are mechanically combined otherwise than in sedimentary rocks.  In general, they exhibit the appearance of having been chemically or mechanically formed in the beds which they now occupy, after the mineral matter of which they consist had been accumulated in those beds; and their position, in relation to the clay, sand, chalk, or other materials by which they are surrounded, cannot be satisfactorily accounted for on any other supposition.  They are aggregations of quartz, feldspar, mica, or other simple homogenous matter, chemically and mechanically separated from the earthy mass around them; and owing their spherical, oblong, prismatic, or other forms and their smooth surfaces, to the same laws to which diamonds and other crystals owe their peculiar forms and polished sides.  Flint-pebbles abound in chalk-beds, where they could scarcely have been deposited by currents of water; for when, if ever, they were diffused and deposited in their present state at all levels, the chalk must have been in so soft and moveable a condition as to offer no resistance to such currents.  Moreover, they, like many other pebbles in wholly {102} different situations, when broken often exhibit at the centre a nucleus of the aggregation, which cannot be supposed to have existed in the centre of broken fragments of pre-existing rocks, rounded by attrition, and then floated to their permanent position as pebbles."

We are aware—and so is Mr. Lord—that this is assailing what has, generally, been taken for granted: but taken for granted, we now believe, on very insufficient grounds.  That some of these pebbly deposits are water-worn, may be admitted: but, certainly, not all.  How did the rocks become comminuted?  What force shattered them?  And then, how, as the above quotation asks, can we account, on this theory, for the nucleated centres and the crystallized form of many of them—such as the flint nodules in the chalk strata?

These are some of the difficulties attending the theories of the geologists, and sufficient, we think, to bring us to a pause—to warrant us in demanding further investigations before we receive even the most plausible of their conjectures—enough to satisfy us that many of their assumptions cannot be maintained at all.  But Mr. L. does not stop here, where he might have stopped.  He proceeds to consider the present structure of the earth, in connexion with the admitted fact of the deluge.  His views are given in a condensed form in the following passage:

"The reader will now consider the facts thus briefly glanced at: That all the sedimentary rocks which constitute the field of geologic research and hypothesis, were formed beneath the waters of the ocean; that the fossiliferous groups, to the depth of about seven miles, contain both marine and terrestrial plants and animals; that these and the sedimentary group beneath them were deposited prior to their elevation above the sea level; that the continents previously occupied by vegetable and animal races were removed or depressed at the same time or immediately after the present continents were raised; and in view of these facts, and the inferences which they justify, he will be prepared to decide whether it is possible that the stratified rocks were formed, and their fossils distributed and buried up in them, in the manner represented by the geological theory; or whether a process like that above indicated, by which the whole mass of sedimentary matter was dissolved, intermixed with the existing plants and animals, and held in solution in the waters of the deluge; and under the influence of mechanical, chemical, galvanic, electric, and perhaps other forces, precipitated, distributed into beds of diverse mineral composition, consolidated, and subsequently elevated above the sea level.

"In noting the difficulties of the former supposition, it must be observed, that the present continents occupy the space, which prior to the sedimentary formations, was occupied by the ocean; and the present ocean occupies the field of the former continents.  From those former continents, therefore, the mass of sedimentary matter must have been derived, and likewise the terrestrial plants and animals which are fossilized.  And it is further to be observed that both the marine and terrestrial plants and animals which are imbedded in the sedimentary rocks, are in general very perfectly preserved; a large portion of them in the limestones and other solid strata, exhibiting no marks of abrasion or decay.

"If, then, those former continents consisted of earths and soils adapted to the spontaneous and most exuberant growth of plants, and the support of every species of animals; and in that state were saturated, and with their various vegetable and animal races, diffused in the waters of the deluge, and in that state of mixture transferred to the area of the former seas; the conditions requisite to the sedimentary and fossil formations would be provided for; the pervading presence of water the medium of deposition; the distribution of {103} diverse mineral matter into distinct beds; the mixture of marine and terrestrial plants and animals in the lower as well as the higher groups; and in latitudes and climates to which they were not indigenous; the aggregation of vegetable masses in the coal measures; the subsequent upheaval of the strata thus formed, to constitute the present continents, and the still later intrusion of mineral and metallic dykes and veins; and the formation of a bed for the present oceans.

"Doubtless such a process was possible, and possible without any greater miracle than that of a universal deluge; possible, consistently with the wide dispersion of the fossil relics, and the state of preservation in which they are discovered; possible, with the materials thus indicated, and consistently with the separation of them into strata of different mineral composition; possible, consistently with the moral reasons assigned in Scripture for the deluge itself, and the results consequent upon it, in shortening the period of human life; the necessity of toil and of arts and inventions to render the earth productive; the allowance of animal food for the sustenance of man; the extinction of many species of plants and animals, consequent on the sterility of the new formations; the spontaneous growth of noxious in place of healthful plants; the introduction of diseases, droughts, famines, pestilences, poverty, and oppression; and lastly, possible, consistently with what is prophetically foreshown of the purposes of the Creator, hereafter, not by a protracted, but by a summary process, to renovate, remodel, and re-establish the earth in its primitive paradisiacal condition of fertility, healthfulness, and beauty.  And if with these conditions such a process was possible, the purpose of these observations requires no more."

There is nothing in the Mosaic narrative to contradict these suppositions.  That narrative is very brief, and yet it contains hints of great changes.  "The fountains of the great deep were broken up."  And, why may we not infer, that in such a catastrophe, involving the utter destruction of the human race, with the exception of but one family, the entire earth underwent a complete, or nearly complete renovation? Certainly, to make a flood at all, the bottoms of the oceans would have to be elevated—and what difficulty in supposing that in again preparing the earth for the habitation of man, a large proportion of the former continents were submerged—the bottoms of the former oceans being elevated in part, to the height of the existing mountains? There is nothing violent in such conjectures—nothing more than geologists imagine to have taken place—some five—some twelve times.  We conclude—hoping that our readers who are inquisitive in such matters will get and read the book—with another quotation from the preface:

"Let us then thrust the Mosaic record aside, and what have we gained? Does it relieve our labouring minds to be able to read that, at a period too remote to be measured even by the power of imagination, God created the primordial elements? and that, after an almost boundless interval of time, he undertook what is called, 'the work of the first day,' and which took him a thousand years to finish?  Does the fond notion of myriads of ages having been employed to render this earth a fit habitation for man, relieve us from the necessity of admitting some supernatural agency in the beginning, or render any more comprehensible the time and the mode of creative energy in its material manifestations?  Does it exalt our conceptions of the great God to think, that after experimenting through countless ages, at the expense of successive dynasties of beasts and reptiles, he found himself under the necessity of reducing all his work again to chaos, and of doing it all over to adapt its condition, and attemper its climate to the reasoning brain of the last product of his skill?  Or, are we more deeply impressed with a sense of his greatness and glory, {104} when, by availing ourselves of the kindly proffered aids of geology and chemistry, we have contrived to exclude all moral ends in the work of creation—reducing the intelligent and immaterial Creator into a necessary mechanical principle of motion, groping its way through illimitable space, and at last working itself up, by chemical affinities, into outward shapes and things?  For ourselves, the Chaldean cosmogony, in which the monster Omoroca fell subdued beneath the victorious arm of the god Belus, and the world was formed out of her substance; the Hindoo, in which the Divine idea deposited in the waters, first with a thought created, a productive seed which became an egg, and in which Brahma sat inactive a whole year of the Creator; the Egyptian, which derives the visible universe from an eternal darkness in a boundless abyss; the Epicurean, which ascribes all things to a fortuitous concourse of atoms; or the Cartesian vortical theory, which teaches that a formative circular motion was originally impressed on the elements of matter,—seems to us not more unworthy of him whom we call God than some of the theories of modern geology, and certainly quite as worthy of displacing the Mosaic record in our belief."


Closing Remarks by the Present Editor.

In the introduction above it was hinted that besides the mere fact that respected and educated men have fallen into error on these subjects, there is also to be considered the reality of motive and agenda, both on the part of such men who set aside the authority of Scripture to assert their speculations, as well as their master and father, whom they both serve and imitate by their labours. (2 Cor. 4.4; John 8.44.) Something of both may be considered, and evidence produced to substantiate the claims.

As for Satan, it is undeniable that he is driving on his same design, with the same stale malice with which he has been enslaved some 6000 years. In the Garden, his words to our first mother were these: "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Gen. 3.1); which words exhibit more of craft and design than any ingenuous inquiry. Thus also, that motion in the heart of man, conceived by evil suggestion, and which makes him look upon the creatures of God at the present day, and then proceed to extract from them "evidence" and "data" to bolster theories contrary to divine truth, is never of an honest or indifferent quality, but in every case proceeds from a real intention, and an intention to which a moral quality invariably attaches. The intention is never innocent. It is always evil—sinful—criminal.  Further, as in the words of this subtle deceiver there was so cleverly designed a double-snare, so that, when he should meet with failure in the mere suggestion that men doubt the authority & honesty of God's word, he might have immediately implanted some doubt as to what had really been spoken or intended by the Word of God, so it is also at the present day. Many Christians there are who will not be snared by the pretensions of Scientists with no profession of godliness, to an assured knowledge of the ever-approaching-infinite history of a Universe created merely by chance. But among those who are not so deceived, many may be brought off their foundation, or at least shaken, by a caste of spiritual hirelings who with an appearance of religion and skill to suggest, serve their master like himself, when they make men to wonder whether the first chapter of the Bible is really intended to teach the things which it admittedly says, and not rather something less, or something different from what it appears, if not something entirely different from the truth. But woe be to such as shall so teach men to break the word and commandments of God. (Matt. 5.19.)

As for Men however, it is certain that their design is not so to bury themselves and others in immeasurable wrath, according to the actual tendency of their actions. But a fair survey of the human heart, and the history of infidel science, will invariably expose the fact that there is indeed a desire on the part of men in their private thoughts, as well as societies in their corporate activities, to suppress & detain the truth in unrighteousness, that, with seared consciences and a flattered sense of self-righteousness they may go on with their lives with no regard to the God of Holy Scripture, and his claim to their service. And while there is much in the world whereby men may distract themselves from time to time, and draw their thoughts away from all reasoning about "righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come," (Acts 24.25,); yet there is nothing which will so help them kill the thoughts which haunt their minds, about a righteous and holy God who has sovereign dominion over their persons, as what will tend to effect a permanent erasure of such matters from the mind, and overwrite them with an entirely different way of thinking. And to that end, this is not one of the least effective means: that man may be brought by a succession of lessons and indoctrinations, to believe that his own origin is remote, uncertain, and even unintentional. For as long as there is "meaning" to his life, and an intention for his being, he cannot forget that he is accountable to the one who has purposed his life to some end. And as long as man's origin at a certain time and in a certain context, is known, he may tell well enough that there was a certain intention at hand. So also, as long as his origin is believed to have been but of a mere yesterday, he may see also how surely it may be known, and all the abundant wonders and rapid progress of life in this world, to have taken their rise from a certain origin of masterful design. But if once he doubt the nearness of his origin, then he cannot believe there is anything certain about the time, circumstances, and manner of his generation; and so neither can he believe with persuasion either what the Scripture says concerning the purpose of his life, or by what salvation that purpose may be accomplished to the glory of God, and joy of his soul.

This will, no doubt, be denied by very many to be the occasion of modern scientific theory with respect to the origin of the universe, and development of life on Earth. They are not "Calvinists" and therefore will not believe that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:" so much that the unregenerate sinner cannot know his own heart, nor its conspiracy against himself. (Jer. 17.9.) No, neither will they believe that when by the Son of God, light was "come into the world," then "men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." (John 3.19.) But the facts concerning the heart of man, declared in Scripture, are infallibly true.

It remains therefore, to discover the evidence from history, that the heart of man, wicked and deceitful as it is, has been so operative in the development and progress of "Science" as is suggested above. According to what has been said, the indictment may be framed thus: The Accused have devised a new "way of thinking," or philosophy, for the sake of which they have invented such scientific theories and asserted such claims as abuse God's creatures to a purpose of denying and invalidating that which their nature rather evidences and approves.  Here, what is of significance is the order and priority of the philosophy, and the theories. Were the philosophy a construct built upon the theories, their proponents might at least be said to have played an ingenuous part in the search for knowledge of the things which be. But history shows that the philosophy alone is the mother of these bastard theories; in which case it is evident that men, nurturing their malice at God's truth, devised such theories as served the evil purpose of supporting a worthless and blasphemous philosophy. The evidence of this is not that which can be contained within the bounds of volumes, but it may be produced as a libel full enough to conclude the case, by such examples as follow:

First, we may begin with the present time, and it will be admitted that from the sound and appearance of things, the accusation seems entirely unjust. We are told that science has made all of its advances by the collection of information, from which theories have been formed, and men have sought to arrange these theories in such ways as were most consistent according to their honest judgment. If we propose that Creation by a Creator or so much as Design according to Intelligence should be admitted at least as a theory, it is put back under the name of Religion. To our modern scientists, it is impossible to come to a theory of creation given all the data and facts in the world. Such a proposition is purely religious. But they seem very ignorant of facts of history, and the nature of Science. For whatever might be said in the way of associating Philosophy with Religion, there is as much as may be said in the way of classifying Philosophy as a Science. And it is from a time earlier than Christianity, that Philosophy, as a Science, was active in the discussion of these affairs with as much skill and wisdom as our modern scientists. And while there were Epicures, who were led to develop theories like those of our modern Scientists, yet there were also other philosophers, lacking the benefit of Holy Scripture and revealed religion, who put forth theories dependent upon the Creation and Providence of an almighty God, which to them seemed more in accordance with reason and facts, than the good-luck theories of the Epicureans. By considering of which we may conclude (1) that true scientists are obliged to acknowledge that the things we adhere unto with solemn devotion, may yet also be what they, by their profession, are obliged to regard (for other reasons) as warrantable theories; and (2) that what modern science advances as derived from fact has also been regarded by some as their philosophy and religion, without ceasing to be a science; and (3) that the opposition to theories of Creation observed in modern society is not truly the opposition of fact-based science to faith-based religion, but really the opposition of a favoured philosophy to an unpopular philosophy, or more precisely the opposition of false religion to the true religion. Both may be treated as sciences by the objective thinker. And both may obtain the strongest devotions of exclusive love and faith, by men who expect through them to find truth and obtain blessing. The fact that our modern "scientists" demand exclusive right to explain the observations and data collected, without their explanations being regarded as "religious" is an evident demonstration of their dedication to a philosophy, to which all explanations and theories must be conformed.

Second, For a full century and more one of the primary "sciences" which has been advanced by some in order to the shutting out of the Christian religion from the realm of truth, is that of Evolution. Given the propositions of this, or these theories, it is impossible to establish this science by scientific method within the lifetime of any being now alive. It puts the age of the world to such a length as had not been expected before, because the theory requires this. In other words, the authors of the theory themselves could not believe it without multiplying ages and ages before their own eyes, until very very great unlikelihood would be sufficiently counter-balanced by a sure-enough cheat that neither providence nor luck will be necessary. Now, the question is, when such unlikelihood is so obvious to the authors of the theories themselves, what motivates them to embrace the theories? Is it that the facts lead them to the theories? or that a philosophy leads them to the theories? Did Charles Darwin write to O.C. Marsh in 1880 to tell him that upon review of the fossils discovered by Marsh, Darwin had now developed a theory to explain them? No. Instead he wrote to express his gratitude that the man had succeeded in discovering "the best support of the theory of evolution,"—a theory embraced by Darwin for decades. But what is this "best support," other than fossils of creatures which do not fit into modern zoological categories, presented to the world by the man who invented the Brontosaurus by mixing bones of different creatures found in different locations?   Now, it is not suggested that the theorist had no facts with which to work when developing his theories. Of course he did. But he also had certain philosophical presuppositions, preferred to others, which led him to organize the facts and formulate a hypothesis which would not be suggested by men of equal intelligence and skill, inclined to favour with greater respect other philosophical presuppositions. And, at this day, it is well known that this science in particular has been busy for over two hundred years seeking solutions to the many puzzles and mysteries inherent in theories which are not derived from data, but derived from a philosophy. The puzzles and mysteries are only regarded as reasons to seek more data. They can never be regarded as reasons to discard and replace theories, unless the theories are compatible with—the philosophy.

Third, Prior to the more detailed development of modern evolutionary theory, Geology itself was very actively employed to the purpose of establishing this criminal philosophy. This is largely demonstrated in the articles above. Reasoning from the presuppositions that (1) natural processes, operating according to the same forces and "laws of nature" as are observed at present, were the only source of all that is observed with the eye in this world, and its present arrangement; and that (2) a supply of theoretical ages may always be drawn upon to account for the fact that we do not at the present observe these processes to yield any such effects, or to even tend towards their production; men consequently developed theories as antagonistic to Truth as were the presuppositions. This way of thinking is calculated remarkably well to blind even the scientists themselves, and make them believe that the things which are known to have been the effects of years, are instead the effects of ages. An instance of this is included in a discussion on the age of the earth in Donald Fraser's notes in the back of Witsius' Sacred Dissertations on the Apostles' Creed, which he draws from an article on Mt. Ætna in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia:

[Scepticism] has eagerly resorted also to various phenomena which the earth itself presents in its inferior strata or external productions; and which a vain philosophy readily misunderstands, or daringly perverts.  Who has not heard, for instance, of the cavil of the Canon Recupero, somewhat lightly adverted to in Brydone's "Tour through Sicily and Malta"? When digging a pit in the vicinity of Jaci, the canon informs us, he discovered no less than seven distinct layers of lava, each of which was covered with a bed of rich vegetable earth.  He points out also a bed of lava, which he conceives to have been deposited about the time of the second Punic war, so thinly covered with soil as to be still unfit for producing either corn or vines. If a period of 2000 years, therefore, be required for converting lava into soil, 14,000, he alleges, must have elapsed since the formation of the lowest bed of the pit at Jaci, and consequently the mountain must have existed at a period still more remote.

The weakness of this argument has been clearly shown in a celebrated work.  ". . . Its whole force seems to depend upon two circumstances; upon the accuracy of the fact respecting the bed of lava which is said to have flowed from the mountain about the time of the second Punic war; and upon the correctness of the general assumption that all lavas require the same number of years to fit them for supporting vegetable life. With regard to the first point, we have no means of ascertaining what degree of credit is due to the opinion of Recupero. He indeed speaks of it as a matter clearly made out, but does not inform us from what principle he derived his conclusion.

"But admitting that this particular bed of lava did flow from the mountain about 2,000 years ago, and that it is still scarcely fit for the purposes of vegetable life, does it follow that all lavas are equally refractory? If we were entitled to decide upon the qualities of lava from what happens in the parallel case of iron slag, we might, without hesitation, affirm, that lavas become fertile at very different periods, according to the nature of the substances from which they are derived, the consistency of their parts, the position of the bed, and their degree of exposure to those agents which produce a disintegration of their parts.  But, [conveniently], on this subject we are not under the necessity of having recourse to the doubtful argument of analogy. It is a fact well ascertained, that volcanic ashes and pumice vegetate much sooner than compact solid lava. But even lavas apparently in similar circumstances are covered with vegetable mould at very different periods.  Chevalier Gioeni informs us that he found, in 1787, lavas which had been projected only twenty-one years before that period, in a state of vegetation; while others much more ancient remained barren. - - - - -

"The argument derived from the appearance of the pit at Jaci has no force, unless it can be demonstrated, that the thickness of the beds of vegetable earth corresponds exactly to the period betwixt the eruptions. But it must appear perfectly nugatory, if it can be shown that an appearance exactly similar has been produced within the limits of authentic history.  The ruins of Herculaneum furnish us with a fact of this kind. The eruption which, overwhelmed this once flourishing city is known to have happened in the reign of Titus, little more than 1700 years ago. Upon examining the ruins, it is found, that six different eruptions have occurred since that period, and that each of the strata of lava is separated by beds of rich soil."

Fourth, If we will look back further, into an earlier time, we shall find that this philosophy, identified as such, was active before the more specific theories of modern geology and the origin of species were developed. In this less-developed state, the philosophy anticipated the theories in a general assertion of that which is fundamental to the whole system, and destructive of the fundamental beliefs of the Christian religion.  In the year 1681, prior to most of the modern "scientific theory" as it is now asserted, Herman Witsius outlined this philosophy, and its dangerous nature as subversive of true religion:

We utterly detest that bold tenet of the new Philosophy, by which it is maintained, "That, although God had, from the beginning, given no other form to the world than that of a chaos; yet if, after having established the laws of nature, he had assisted its operations by that concurrence which he usually affords, it may be concluded, without any prejudice to the miracle of the creation, that, by this ordinary concurrence alone, all things purely material would, in course of time, have attained the same state of perfection in which we now see them."  The consequence of such notions is, that the masters of the new Philosophy imagine, that by means of natural generation, according to the rules of motion, all natural things could by degrees have been produced out of chaos, established and adjusted, (one of them even says, supposing the ordinary concurrence of God, must have been produced,) in the same manner as they have now been produced, established, and adjusted by a supernatural creation; and, consequently, that there was no necessity for that miraculous work which is called creation.

XLI. These sentiments have a dangerous tendency. It ought not to pass without severe reprobation as an instance of arrogant temerity, that poor pitiful man should {196} boast that he has discovered a way, by which, under the conduct of motion alone, all whose laws he, no doubt, has been able to ascertain, those wonderful works, which, as now created by the powerful word of God, command the astonishment of all the choirs of angels in common with the holy prophets, could, and even must have come forth from chaos of their own accord.  God spoke, of old, to Job out of the whirlwind, saying, "Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.  Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?" &c. [Job 38.3-5.]  But these audacious men, according to their hypotheses, would find an answer to return to God; to wit, that, in all those works, there is nothing too wonderful, to have risen spontaneously out of chaos agreeably to their own rules of motion.  Without doubt, however, they deserve the same reproof which God administered to Job, "Who is he that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" [verse 2.]

XLII. Whatever may be pretended to the contrary, assertions of this kind are derogatory to the miracle of the creation. The most admirable circumstance in creation is, that, at the mere command of the Deity, all things rose into existence either out of nothing, or out of matter which was altogether inadequate, and bore no proportion to what was to be formed from it.  But this wonder is, in a great measure, if not entirely set aside, when it is affirmed that, supposing the ordinary concurrence of God, all things would have come forth out of chaos in the same manner, of their own accord, or as {197} Gregory of Nyssa speaks, "by a spontaneous concourse," provided it had pleased God, who now accelerated the work, to have indulged motion and chaos with a certain period of time.  According to this account, what is miraculous in creation, this only excepted, that it surpasses the ordinary production of natural things as to the degree of rapidity with which it is accomplished?  The issue to which these notions gradually lead, is to cause the true doctrine of the creation of the world to be at last discarded with ridicule and disgrace. A certain raw disciple of this school, has not been ashamed, to deride that doctrine, in a book in which he makes this newfangled philosophy the interpreter of Scripture.

Whereby again we may see that ours are not the first times in which Bible-believing Christians have been confronted with the arrogant pretensions of men asserting a philosophy or "science" which they tell us is friendly to religion, but renders all belief of a miraculous six-day genesis as, at best, foolishly needless, and at worst, necessarily foolish. Likewise, it appears the more evident that the philosophy itself has all along been at the root of the theories, and that these have not taken their origin primarily from scientific discovery or the advances of technology, but a philosophy which was intent on explaining how all that is observed in the world may be considered the production of chaos and "natural laws."  In the present day therefore, we see that this has led to two deplorable consequences, plainly evident even within "the Church": (1) It is assumed that no man ever need believe in any miracle as an event incapable of natural explanation, and (2) The millions of events and objects in this universe which by their very being testify the existence, wisdom, and power of their Maker, are re-classified as being no evidence in his favour, nor anything for which men have reason to be thankful to him.

Fifth, As we assert that the theories take their rise from the Philosophy, it is fitting therefore that we should also consider the origin of the Philosophy, and so trace the malignant pest of what some insist is "modern science" to its very first original. For we do not pretend that the Philosophy is so the origin of the "science" as if the philosophy itself had no origin. And it is evident that such a philosophy as that above, calculated to make the influences of divine power in the creation of the world unnecessary, and yet to pretend to acknowledge them, must itself be born of some desire or affection, motivating man to entertain a notion itself evidently needless to anyone plain and simple in the matters of religion. And this motive we think was identified before both the "science" and the philosophy were devised, as that raw desire, in the heart of every unregenerate sinner, to forget his Maker, and deny his origin as a thing unknown, so that he may have, in his own blinded conscience, good excuse for both (1) his ignorance of God, and (2) his careless walking without regard to either the commandments (by obedience) or blessings (by thankfulness) of the one who first gave him his being. And it is in consequence of this, that men have been very glad to give countenance to the scientific speculations that cast obscurity on the age of the world, and fanciful historical accounts, that draw the history of the earth to a greater length than what is recorded by Moses. This longing to be confused, which is the real motive of every philosophy which sets aside the religious knowledge conveyed to us in the infallible word of God, is described fitly by John Calvin, in his 27th Sermon on the book of Deuteronomy. His words describe the cause why men incline to believe an Old Earth, and the remedy for these perverse inclinations:

Now Moses saith expressly, since God created man upon the earth, because that that people had been taught concerning the creation of the world. But that was not known everywhere; insomuch that when those which took themselves to be very wise, were demanded how long it was ago since the world was created: some would make it six times as long ago, and othersome thirty times. Wherein it appeareth how God punished their shameful negligence. And whereof came it that men knew not when the world was created: but that they were contented to shut their eyes, and to know nothing that had been done? Wherefore seeing that men do wilfully shun instruction: it is good reason that God should give them over to such beastliness, as they should not know from whence they came, nor what their original was, but be utterly dulled. And for the same cause Moses speaking to the people whom God had reserved to himself, did put them in remembrance of the day wherein man was created upon the earth.

Now he saith, Inquire from the one end of heaven to the other, to wit if ever there were so great a thing, or if ever man heard of the like. After he hath spoken of the time, now he speaketh of the places. As if he should say, If folk will make good inquisition, it is not enough for them to know what things God hath shewed to themselves: but it were meet for them to seek about every where, and to mark well what they find, and to call to mind the things that have been done in far Countries. Therefore consider well (saith he) what hath been done from the one end of the heaven to the other. And this is it that I said afore, namely that we must profit ourselves by all God's works, and although we behold them not with our eyes, yet if we do but hear of them, and tidings is brought us of them from afar, we must honour God in them. Indeed if we be witnesses of them, they ought to touch us so much the more. But yet howsoever the case stand, we ought to do our endeavour to know the things that have been done in strange Countries, according as is said here.  And when {161:B} as Moses saith, so great a thing: thereby he sheweth that the more that God manifesteth his power: the more ought we to be ravished with wonderment. Indeed there is no work of God so small, which ought not to move us to acknowledge some token of his Majesty therein. If we do but look upon a fly, surely we have there whereof to magnify God. If we see but the slip of an herb, or any other thing be it never so little: we have therein whereby we ought to acknowledge the wonderful workmanship of God. But if he do moreover work much more evident miracles, ought not all our wits to be much more occupied or spent about them? When God doth after a sort alter the order of nature, and worketh after a new and unaccustomed manner: is it not all one as if he should rebuke us for our negligence and say unto us: Seeing you knew me not for God by the accustomed order of nature, at leastwise think upon me now when I go to work after another strange fashion, and consider ye whether I be God or no. Thus ye see what Moses meant by saying, There was never yet so great a thing, neither was there ever the like heard of. Let us mark well therefore that to attain to the right knowledge of God, when we have ranged up and down through the whole world, and spent all our wits in looking upon all things whether they be great or small: if God give us any such inklings of his Majesty as may move us more than ordinary, we must be wholly ravished thereat, and yield him the honour that is due unto him. And how that ought to be done, it shall be declared more plainly anon: for as now I do but go through the words of Moses severally as they lie.

Now, although these several observations from history may not provide any direct answer to many of the more recent "discoveries" and arguments of modern science, philosophy, and worldly politics, in their specific citation and application of facts and observations against the Christian view of the origin and purpose of this world, as found in Holy Scripture; yet it is hoped that some will find here what gives a more general answer to all objections, ancient, modern, and those not yet devised, as what are anticipated in the above considerations. If nothing else, they demonstrate that what is now asserted as a "science" built upon nothing but raw facts and observations, is really something else.

The sum of all comes to this:

1. There is no science which can invalidate or disprove the Biblical account of creation as irrational or contradicted by the world we observe around us. To argue as if the world could not have been made by divine power in the space of six days, or as if such a world could not be brought to its present state by divine power and wisdom without the intervention of several millions of years or more, is the height of presumption. To assume that the record of such a creation, as revealed by God himself, could not be faithfully conveyed to the present time, by his providential mercy, is likewise, to disregard the very subject of such considerations, and assume that the God of which Christians are speaking, is not a God of infinite wisdom and almighty power, active in the present affairs of the world.

2. Whereas there is motive for Christians to give peculiar regard to scientific fact and philosophic argumentation in favour of the propositions which they receive and revere by faith; so there is also motive, and not objectivity or indifference, for unbelievers to give peculiar regard to scientific observations and philosophic argumentation in favour of their view of nature and its laws, without the intervening hand of an almighty God and moral authority of the universe. The advocates of one system, as well as of the other, are capable of searching out knowledge, and deducing conclusions from observed facts, in favour of the philosophy which they receive. If either deserve to be scorned as incapable of conducting scientific study, it is not those who are guided by their knowledge of God, but those who either through irresponsibility, or disqualifying incapacity, have been led to deny the knowledge implanted in their hearts by nature, and are thereby deprived of useful and necessary light from the Creator, in their examination of the creature. Romans 1.19-25.

3. While Christians must be very careful to distinguish between faith and knowledge, those who oppose them must be wary that they regard not as knowledge, that which is really only faith in themselves. What Christians may accomplish in refuting worldly philosophy and illegitimate pretensions to "Science" should never be regarded, even in their own minds, as a scientific demonstration of the matters which they receive by Faith. It has been the Lord's will, that we should hold by Faith the most part of what we receive, and walk thereby, as opposed to walking by sight or "Science". 2 Corinthians 5.7. He holds us hanging upon his own Word, as that which must always be the most firm basis to us, of all that we receive. Our Salvation itself we receive no other way. If we go about to make our beliefs concerning the Creation, the Flood, the Origin of Languages, etc., more certain by means foreign to what God himself has revealed in Holy Scripture, we entangle ourselves in that which is the confusion of our unbelieving neighbours, and turn aside from what is the only proper basis of Divine Faith. Of this we must beware, while seeking to help our neighbour see the inconsistence and error inherent in his "scientific" philosophy. Matt. 18.2-4. Luke 18.17. 1 Tim. 6.20,21.  As for those who presume to devise a system of knowledge, independent of that revealed in Holy Scripture, they must consider that such grand designs, as they must seem, cannot fail to become the veritable religion of every man given with dedication to endeavour this end. If the knowledge endeavoured be not reliable, it is not worthy of the name of science. But if it be reliable, it is an oracle which must be sacred to all those who have no other. Further, unless he be personally involved in every experimentation, observation, and computation, he shall be necessitated to rely upon the credit of others involved in these affairs, for all that he professes to know;—that is, he must receive by faith nearly all of his sacred knowledge. He shall never be able to say that other men's beliefs depend on the honesty of reports unverified, while his knowledge is founded upon raw facts and observations. He must know there is a great deal which intervenes between the raw facts and the knowledge received in his scientific system, very often involving the acceptance of one scientific theory as opposed to others which are preferred by his fellows. He gives credit to what seems most likely or most reliable to himself, and his religion is a religion of faith. But his faith is a faith guilty of an intolerable blunder concerning the witness it prefers; for in this it directly contradicts the rule of the Christian's faith, which is unquestionably right:

God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.—Romans 3.4.


Footnotes:

1. As a specimen of the conjectural arrangements of geologists, and to throw light on our examination of their system, we append the following from a late work by Dr. Murphy—"The Bible and Geology Consistent:"

"The scale is divided into epochs and periods.  The epochs are commonly divided into three; but in this scale we have divided it into five.

"Primary Epoch.

"I. Epoch.—1. The first period, The Gaseous state.  2. The second period, The Fluent state.  3. The third period, The Solid state.

"Ancient Epoch.

"II. Epoch.—4. The fourth period, The time of invertebrated animals.  5. The period of fishes.  6. The period of vegetables and reptiles.

"Middle Epoch.

"III. Epoch.—7. The period of frog-like, bird-like, and marine reptiles.  8. The period of gigantic land reptiles, flying reptiles, and crocodiles, and the introduction of mammalian animals.  9. The period of chalk and green sand, during the deposit of which there was probably a deep sea, covering a great part of the earth.

"Modern Epoch.

"IV. Epoch.—10. The period of pachydermata or thick-skinned animals.  11. The period of large animals, such as the mastodon and elephant.  12. The period of caverns, gravel, with carnivorous animals, as the megaceros, and other ruminating animals, and the elephant, in Europe, and gigantic animals in different parts of the world.

"Present Epoch.

"V. Epoch.—13. The period of the Mosaic account of the creation.  14. The period of the flood.  15. The period predicted when the earth shall be consumed by fire."

K1. Such a proposition is indeed a remarkable commentary on the wild and savage minds of those who will not believe it was a beneficent God who created the Ichneumon Wasp. What should we believe about the men who have created the world of Dinosaur rampage? Surely Philippians 4.8 was never the rule of their meditations. It is a wonder that men can presume to sit in judgment of the Creator of Earth and Heaven, who yet devise such imaginations, or, in the present day, even find it entertaining to observe these fantasies in the video productions designed to gratify the desires of those who would like a look into the world of the Dinosaurs.—JTKer.

2. We do not commit ourselves to the exact number, nor is it important.  We have not overrated.

3. We include here the underground currents that run near the surface, furnishing water by digging wells generally of inconsiderable depth.