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not; but, on the contrary, deem them views supported in their general features by the literalities of the record, and all fairly deducible from a narrative which is so confessedly elliptical. The primeval creation to which no era is fixed- the subsequent desolation after an interval of undetermined time-the deep-the darkness-the recession of the waters—the emergence of the land—are matters plainly expressed in the inspired document; and he knows little of physical phenomena of recent date, though of immeasurably inferior power, who thinks the production of an intensely dark and turbid atmosphere, by changes on the surface, an improbable event. We are aware of the philological objections which may be made to some of the positions advanced in the extract; in our own minds they have been anticipated; we have endeavoured to give them an unprejudiced consideration, and we have not seen occasion to admit their validity. Let us not, however, be understood as pledging ourselves to all Dr. Smith's details; we feel at liberty to regard his fixing the geographical locale of the six days' work a harmless reverie; but his interpretation in outline we adopt, as consonant with the spirit and letter of the sacred word, and as freeing us from the insuperable difficulties with which the common exposition is attended.
Philology will chiefly assail Dr. Smith upon the two following points. 1st. His taking the word earth in a limited sense in the second verse of the Mosaic narrative, and in a universal sense in the first; but let us calmly look at instances of usus loquendi with reference to the word when it occurs detached, as in the verse in question; and philology must be compelled to allow, that it is repeatedly used in such a form, with a restricted meaning. 2nd. His opinion that the heavenly bodies were simply caused to shine upon the new creation on the fourth day, and not then in substance created themselves. Now we are not disposed with Dr. Macculloch to build any thing upon the word x create, being used in the first verse of Genesis with reference to the “heavens and the earth," and the word 'wy, made, being applied to the luminaries spoken of in the sixteenth ; but we wish the philologist to consider, that to form or fashion is the exact sense of wyn; and that if he interprets it of a literal creation, as applied to the luminaries on the fourth day, we are utterly at a loss to know what is meant by the “heavens” created “ in the beginning.”. Considering the great primitive act of the divine power by which the “heavens and the earth” were brought into being; the subsequent darkness described as brooding upon the waters gathered over the latter; and the words of the narrative referring to the operations of the fourth day in their natural connection; it is our sober conviction that they ought not to be regarded as importing any thing further than the determination of the heavenly bodies to the uses that are specified. We cannot refrain here from expressing our approbation of the principle which Dr. Smith has adopted in interpreting this earliest written divine communication, that as the Most High ? humbleth himself to behold the things that are in the earth,” it was worthy of his wisdom and grace to adapt the revelation to the popular comprehension of its inhabitants. If physics compels us to adopt the principle, and to have recourse to the optical sense, when we read that Joshua said before the Israelitish army, “Sun, stand thou still upon Gideon, and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon,” it being added that the “ sun stood still, and the moon stayed,” and there was no day like that before it, or after it,” we conceive that we are fully justified in applying the principle to the exposition of the Mosaic statement of the physical occurrence, “ And God made two great lights !"
DEATH BEFORE THE FALL. That our planet was the seat of animal and vegetable life, through a countless series of ages, before its occupation by the human species-that successive races flourished, decayed, and altogether disappeared, long anterior to the appearance of man upon the stage of his present sin, suffering, and death—is a conclusion of which irrefragable evidence is afforded in the myriad forms of once animated existences, whose remains have been disinterred from their graves in the lias, gypsum quarries, and chalk, and which enter almost exclusively into the composition of vast masses of mountain limestone. The earth is in truth a charnel-house, full of bones, sinews, shells, leaves, and prostrate trunks; and with consummate skill the botanist and comparative anatomist have traced the vegetable and animal forms, indicated by the fragments gathered from the wreck of life. From the engraving of Martin's splendid picture, prefixed to Mantel's Geology, our readers may acquire an idea of one of the ancient conditions of the earth—when stately pines and graceful palms threw their shadows on its surface, and herbivorous and carnivorous life roamed in its forests—when animate objects of uncouth shape swarmed in its rivers, and sported on its plains—all, however, swept away by desolating catastrophes antecedent to the human creation, whose skeletons, after being washed in the ocean, and purified by fire, have been laid up in the solid masonry of the globe's present superstructure. The current of popular opinion runs violently against statements of this kind, for there is no sentiment that has stronger hold upon the common mind, than that all the alarming phenomena of nature, thunder, lightning, and tempest, with the existence of death in the animal and vegetable kingdoms, are the penal consequences of human transgression Poetry has helped to extend and perpetuate this delusion, for such we believe it to be, both on scriptural and philosophical grounds, apart from the sensible evidence against it which geology bears. Milton speaks of the effects of the fall,
“ Thus began
It may be well, however, to glance for a moment at the difficulties which stand necessarily connected with the hypothesis, that the subjection of the animal creation to the law of death is an accident which has befallen it in consequence of the sin of man, and formed no part of the Creator's original design. Examining the anatomical construction of the carnivorous races, the demonstration is complete, that they are organically adapted to prey upon each other, and subsist upon animal food. The lion, for instance, has his canine teeth, claws, and juices for digesting the fleshy material upon which he feeds, with instincts to direct him to it. Are we to suppose then that this apparatus was given him after the fall? or that he possessed it before without design or use ? in fact, that he never became in reality a lion until some time after his formation? The microscope has enabled us to detect animalcules, invisible to the naked eye, existing in myriad swarms upon leaves, grasses, and in drops of water. Were these then created after the fall, or before it? The supposition that death came into the animal kingdom at that era, necessarily involves in it the idea, that the numerous families of minute and invisible animalcules were then brought into being, for beforehand the herbivorous animals must have destroyed them by wholesale, in walking the earth, and feeding on its plants. But it would be easy to show that the law of death, in the animal creation, is necessary as an adjunct to that other law of reproduction to which it is subject, for without the regular removal of one generation of the species after another, the universal ruin of the whole, through failing nutrition, would ensue. Some may, perhaps, feel it a difficulty to conceive of pain and death being inflicted upon animals irrespective of moral evil; but there is a difficulty equally as great connected with the supposition, that pain and death are inflicted in consequence of a moral evil of which they are independent; and in either case it becomes us to say of the Almighty's dealings, “ Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Widely as the notion has prevailed, and long as it has been entertained, there is no passage in the Scriptures to warrant us in assigning the death of animals to the fall of man. Some have thought the mortality of the inferior creatures to be included in the words spoken to apostate Adam by his Judge, “ Cursed is the ground for thy sake;" but the words clearly leave animated beings out of the question, and probably point only to the speedy reduction of the particular spot which constituted the Paradise of man, to the same state as the rest of the superficies of the globe. The statement that “in Adam all die” cannot be understood as extending to the animal tribes, or else we must conclude them to be embraced in the residue of the sentence, “ so in Christ shall all be made alive,” which is absurd. The assertion that " by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin," is proved only to apply to the human race by the final clause, “so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.” Much stress has also been laid upon that remarkable and difficult passage in the Romans, “the creature was made subject to vanity"_" the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now”-upon which we may observe, N. S. VOL. IV.
that nãoa ý vrlois, which we render the whole creation, ocears under limitations in other places referring exclusively to the human race; that uaraiórnti, vanity, does not allude to any sentence of death passed upon man, but rather to the frustration of wise and important purposes by him, in consequence of corruption, (Maratórns sonat frustratio. Eras.)—and that, supposing the animal races to be included in rãoa ktions, it will necessarily follow that to them the phrase in part belongs, thy átolúrpwolv tom obuaros tipôv, “the redemption of our body." We can find no part of divine revelation inculcating the doctrine, that the mortality of the brute races is the infliction of a penalty upon them for man's transgression ; the way is, therefore, open for us to admit the geological conclusion, so strongly attested by those who have penetrated into the mausoleum of nature, that animals lived and died anterior to the existence of the human species; and it is an important remark of Dr. Smith, that man being threatened with death as the penalty of his disobedience, seems very clearly to imply either a knowledge on his part of what death was, or the means of acquiring it by observation.
The BEGINNING. It is an inquiry fraught with much interest, and not improper when made with reverence, what was the original condition of our globe ? and by what processes has it been advanced to its present state ? topics upon which we shall not gain full information in this life, but upon which valuable light may be thrown. Let us observe the phenomena daily around us. Let us contemplate man-fullgrown, active, intellectual man-as he appears in the maturity of his mental and physical structure. Not always had he his vigour of frame, fluency of speech, agility of movement, and furniture of mind. There was an era when the ripe philosopher “thought as a child, spake as a child," and was pleased and amused with childish things." Practising an unerring geometry, he can measure the space between the poles, the centre and circumference of the globe-he can calculate the extent of the planetary system, of which the globe is but one of the " many mansions”-but time was in his history when the compass of a mile was a formidable adventure, and the crossing of a pathway an impossible achievement. The man who discovered the wonderful law of matter gravitating to matter, with a force directly proportioned to the mass of the attracting body, and inversely to the square of its distance from the body which it attracts—he who seized upon the sunbeam, and disclosed the constituent rays of light, detecting the origin of its various hues, and building up the details of optical science-was once a stranger to the lowest elements of knowledge, unable to express his wants, and incapable of moving a yard from his mother's knee by his own independent energy! Thus, in the physical and mental constitution of our nature, we have an example of a law of progress in operation; we grow up to be what we are by slow and imperceptible degrees; from the moment when existence commences, the years that roll over our heads carry us onward from a crude and imperfect condition of being, through stages of awakening thought, expanding
intellect, and improving energy, until the full stature of the man is gained.
The same law obtains with reference to the inferior animals. Both the tenants of the air, the inhabitants of the waters, and the occupants of the soil, the feeble and the powerful, the tractable and the untamed, the companions of civilized man and the denizens of nature's wilds, develop in their history the principle of progress, advancing the functions of their being from an inferior to a more perfect condition. Whether we look to the cattle upon a thousand hills, or to the monarch of the jungle, or to the thousand existences that swarm in the ocean, from the smallest muscle upon its sands to the leviathan in its depths, we see their most perfect state of organization arrived at by a process of gradual growth. So it is with respect to the almost infinitely diversified vegetable substances that adorn the surface of the globe. Whether the productions of the garden, the field, or the forest--whether flourishing on the mountains, or in the valleys, whether left to nature's training, or tended by the hand of human cultivation—all are marked in the early stages of their being by a progress similar to that which is described in the parable, “ first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” The like phenomena meet us upon a statelier scale, in those isles of the Pacific, which the polypi and other marine animals are busily forming. The crests perhaps of submarine mountains are the basis upon which their beautiful erections rest-gradually the reef rises to the surface, and is laid bare to the light and air of heaven-soil is formed upon it by accretions of sand deposited by the ocean-seeds are wafted to it by the winds, or borne by the waves, or brought by the sea-birds-plants spring up, and herbage blooms-and, finally, man comes to give a name to the territory, to connect it with the occupations of life, and to make it in revolving years the cradle and the grave of his race !
Philosophy, then, may be acquitted of indulging an idle speculation, or a vain conceit, in inferring that an analagous law of gradual formation may have been in operation in the past with reference to the globe itself; and we have made the preceding remarks in order to introduce the following passage from Dr. Smith :
“What was the condition or constitution of the first created matter? Certainly it falls within the province of general physics to examine this question ; and if the investigation be conducted in the true spirit of philosophy, which is modest, reverential, and cautious—in a word, the spirit of genuine religionthough it may not be demonstratively answered in the present life, yet valuable approximations may be made to it. The nebular hypothesis, ridiculed as it has been by persons whose ignorance cannot excuse their presumption, is regarded as in a very high degree probable by some of the finest and most christian minds. If I may venture to utter
my own impressions, I must profess it as the most reasonable supposition, and the correlate to the nebular theory, that God originally gave being to the primordial elements of things, the very small number of simple bodies, endowing each with its own wondrous properties. Then, that the action of those properties, in the ways which his wisdom ordained, and which we call laws, produced, and is still producing, all the forms and changes of organic and inorganic natures; and that the series is by Him destined to proceed, in combinations and multiplications ever new, without limit of space, or end of duration, to the unutterable admiration and joy of all holy creatures, and to the eternal display of his glory who' fixed the wondrous frame.'”—pp. 281, 282.