themselves, yet the joints constitute a highest degree ; for large statements in figframework as it were for each, and the ures are well known to be utierly beyond idea of each is made more distinct and comprehension for man at an early intellively than it would have been if without lectual stage ; and I have inyself, I think, any note of division they had run into one shown* that, even among the Achaian or another.

Homeric Greeks, the limits of numerical In order, then, to approach any attempt comprehension were extremely narrow, at comparison between the record of Scrip- and all large numbers were used, so to ture and the record of Natural Science, we speak, at a venture. It seems to me that must consider first, as far as reasonable the days of the Mosaist are more properly presumption carries us, what is the object to be described as CHAPTERS IN THE HISof the scientist, and what was the object TORY OF THE CREATION.

That is to say, of the Mosaist or Mosaic writer in the first the purpose of the writer in speaking of the chapter of Genesis.

days was the same as the purpose of the The object of the scientist is simply to historian is when he divides bis work into state the facts of nature in the cosmogony chapters. His object is to give clear and as he finds them. The object of the Mo. sound instruction. So that he can do saic writer is broadly distinct ; it is, sure- this, and in order that he may do it, the ly, to convey moral and spiritual training. periods of time assigned to each chapter This training was to be conveyed to hu- are longer or shorter according as the one man beings of childlike temperament and or the other may minister to better comof unproved understanding. It was his prehension of his subject by his readers. business to use those words which would Further, in point of chronology, his chapbest

convey the lessons he had to teach ; ters often overlap. He finds it needful, which would carry most truth into the always keeping his end in view, to pursue minds of those taught. In speaking of some narrative to its close, and then, stepthe Mosaic writer, I would, without pre- ping backward, to take up some other sumption, seek to include any divine im- series of facts, although their exordium pulse which may have prompted him, or dated at a period of time which he has almay have dictated any communication ready traversed. The resources of the from Gud to man, in whatever form it may literary art, aided for the last four cenhave been conveyed. With this aim in turies by printing, enable the modern view, words of figure, though literally un- writer to confront more easily these diffitrue, might carry more truth home than culties of arrangement, and so to present words of fact ; and words less exact will the material to his reader's eye, in text or even now often carry more truth than margin, as to place the texture of his words more exact. The truth to be con- chronology in harmony with the texture veyed was, indeed, in its basis physical, of the action he has to relate. The Mobut it was to serve moral and spiritual saist, in bis endeavor to expound the orends, and accordingly by these ends the derly development of the visible world, had method of its conveyance behooved to be no such resources. His expedient was to shaped and pictured.

lay hold on that which to the mind of his I submit, then, that the days of crea- time was the best example of complete and tion are neither the solar days of twenty. orderly division. This was the day, an four hours, nor are they the geological pe. idea at once simple, definite, and familiar. riods which the geologist himself is com- As one day is divided from another not pelled popularly, and in a manner utterly by any change visible to the eye at a given remote from precision, to describe as mil. moment, yet etfectually by the broad lions upon millions of

To use such chasm of the intervening night, so were Janguage as this is siinply to tell us that the stages of the creative work several and we have no means of forming a determi- distinct, even if, like the lapse of time, nate idea upon the subject of the geologic they were without breach of continuity. periods. I set aside both these interpre- Each had its work, each bad the begintations, as I do not think the Mosaist in- ning and the completion of that work, even tended to convey an idea like the first, as the day is begun by its morning, and which was false, or like the second, which would have been barren and unmeaning. * “ Studies on Homer and the Homerio Unmeaning, and even confusing in the Age,” vol. iii., Section on Number.


completed and concluded by its even- lowed to the unproved assumptions of the ing

Theologian. Now it is evident that the And now to sum up.

In order that the proper ground of the Scientist and of the narrative might be intelligible, it was use. Hebraist respectively is unassailable as ful to subdivide the work. This could against those who are neither Scientists most effectively be done by subdividing it nor Hebraists. On the ineaning of the into periods of time. And further, it was words used in the Creation Story I, as an well to choose that circumscription or ignoramus, have only to accept the stateperiod of time which is the most detinite. ments of Hebrew scholars, with gratitude Of these the day is clearly the best, as com- for the aid received, and in like manner pared with the month or the year—first, those of men skilled in natural science on because of its small and familiar compass ; the nature and succession of the orders of and, secondly, because of the strong and being, and the transitions from one to the marked division which separates one day other. Not that their statements are infrom another.

errable ; but they constitute the best workHence, we may reasonably argue, it is ing material in our possession. Still they that not here only, but throughout the are the statements of men whose title to Scripture, and even down to the present speak with authority is confined to their time iu familiar hunian speech, the day is special province ; and if we allow them figuratively used to describe periods of without protest to go beyond it, and still time, perfectly undefined as such, but de- to claim that authority beyond their own fined, for practical purposes, by the lives borders, we are much to blame, and may or events to which reference is made. suffer for our carelessness. And if it be said there was a danger of its I will now endeavor to illustrate and apbeing misunderstood in this particular ply what has been said. The Hebraist case, the answer is that such danger of says, I will conduct you safely (as far as misapprehension attaches in various de- the case allows) to the meaning of the grees to all use of figurative language ; but Hebrew words. And the Scientist makes figurative language is still used. And the same promise in regard to the facts of with reason, because the mischiefs arising the created orders, so far as they are exfrom such danger are rare and trivial, in hibited by geological investigations into the comparison with the force and clearness crust of the earth.

At first sight it may which it lends to truth on its passage seem as if these two authoritative witnessthrough a clouded atmosphere of folly, es must cover the whole ground, each setindifference, and prejudice, into the mind ting out from his own point of departure, of man.

In this particular case the dan- the two then meeting in the midst, and ger and inconvenience are at their mini- leaving no unoccupied space between mum, the benefit at its zenith ; for no them. But my contention that there is moral mischief ensues because some have a ground which neither of them is entitled supposed the days of the creation to be to occupy in his character as a specialist, pure solar days of twenty-four hours, while and on which he has no warrant for enthe benefit has been that the grand con- tering, except in so far as he is a just obception of orderly development, and ascent server and reasoner in a much wider field. from chaos to man, became among the And what is the subject-matter still to be Hebrew people an universal and familiar disposed of ? Not the meaning of the Hetruth, of wbich other races appear to have brew words. The Hebraist bas already lost sight.

given us their true equivalents in English. I may now part from the important and We know, for example, that the whales'' long-vexed discussion on the Mosaic days. of Gen. i. 21 are not whales at all, but But I shall further examine the general that they are aquatic monsters or great question, what is the true method, what creatures ; while we learn from the biolthe reasonable spirit, of interpretation to ogist that the whale is a late mammal. be applied to the words of the Creation So geology las acquainted us what are the Story? I will state frankly my opinion relative dates of the water and of the land that in this important matter too much populations, and has supplied much infor. has sometimes been conceded in modern mation as to reptiles, birds, and beasts. days to the Scientist and to the Hebraist, But there remains a great uncovered just as in former days too much was al. ground and a great unsolved question. It


is this. Given the facts as the geologist " earth” by the Mosaic writer? Is it not
is led to state them, given the Hebrew thus ? He is dealing with an Adam, or
tongue as the instrument through which with a primitive race of men, who have
the relator has to work, what are the terms, the earth under their eyes. He wants to
and what is the order and adjustment of give them an idea of its coming into exist-
terms, through which he can convey most And he says what we may fairly
of truth and force, with least of incum. paraphrase in this way : that which has
brance and of impediment, to the mind of now become earth, and was then becom-
man in the condition in wbich he had to ing earth, the solid well-defined form you
deal with it ? Let me be permitted to see, was as yet without form and void ;
say that the only specialism that can be epithets which I am told might be im-
of the smallest value here is that of the proved upon, but this is a matter by the
close observer of human nature ; of the way.
student of human action, and of the meth- So again with respect to water. The
ods which Divine Providence employs in men for whom the relator wrote knew,
the circuit of its dealings with men. Cer. perhaps, of no fuid except water, at any
tainly I can lay no claim to be heard bere rate of none vast and practically measure-
more than


Yet will I less in volume. What was the idea he had say, that any man whose labor and duty to convey ? It was not the special and for several scores of years has included as distinctive character of the liquid called their central point the study of the means water ; it was the broad separation beof making himself intelligible to the mass tween solid as such, familiar, firm, imof men, is in a far better position to judge movable under bis feet, and fluid as such, what would be the forms and methods of movable and fluctuating at large in space. speech proper for the Mosaic writer to No doubt the idea conveyed by the word adopt, than the most perfect Hebraist as waters is an imperfect idea, although such, or the most consummate votary of waters are still waters at times when they natural sciences as such.

may be holding vast quantities of solid in I will now endeavor to try some portions solution. But it was an idea easy, clear, of the case which turn upon verbal diffi- and familiar up to the point of expressing culty. At the outset of The pariative the forcibly the contrast between the ancient relator says, that “the earth was without state of things, with its weltering waste, form and void” (Gen. i. 2) and that “the and the recent and defined conditions of spirit of God moved upon the face of the the habitable earth. Could we ask of the waters.". But how is this, says the He- relator more than that he should enploy, braist? The Hebrew word for earth among the words at his disposal, that means eartb, and the word used for water wbich would best convey a true idea ? never means anything except water. But And bad he any word so good as water for according to the beautiful theory, which his purpose, thongh it was but an approxhas of late won so largely the adhesion of imation to the actual fact? Dr. Driver the scientific world, and wbich seems to describes the scene as that of a surging be mainly called the nebular theory, at the chaos." An admirable phrase, I make no commencement of the process which doubt, for our modern and cultivated Genesis describes, and in its early stages, minds ; but a phrase wbich, in my judgthere was

no earth, and there were ment, would have left the pupils of the waters. Is the relator here really at fault ? Mosaic writer exactly in the condition out It seems to me that it might be as easy to of which it was his purpose to bring them ; cavil at the phrase nebular theory, though namely, a state of utter ignorance and toit be one in use among scientific men, as tal darkness, with possibly a little ruffle of it is to find fault with these words of Gen. bewilderment to boot. Another descripesis. For we seem to bave for our point tion claiming high authority is, an of departure a time when all the elements compounded, homogeneous, gaseous, conand all the forces of the visible universe dition" of matter ; to which the same obwere in chaotic mixture, whereas there servation will apply. Even now, it is only could hardly be a nebula, or vaporous by rude and bald approximations that the cloud, until they had begun to be disen- practised intellects of our scientists can gaged from one another.

How then are convey a conception of the actual process we to judge of the use of the word by which chaos passed into kosmos, or, in



other words, confusion became order, The first triad of days, says Professor medley became sequence, seeming anarchy Dana,* sets forth the events connected became majestic law, and horror softened with the inorganic history of the earth. into beauty. Before censuring the Mo- The second triad, from the fourth day to saist, who had to deal with grown chil- the sixth, is occupied with the events of dren, let the adverse critic try his hand the organic history, from the creation of upon a little child. I believe he will find the first animal to man. He finds in the that the method and language of this re- general structure of the narrative a considlator are not only good, but superlatively erable degree of elaboration, an arrangegood, for the aim he had in view, if once ment full of art. The passage from ver. for all we get rid of standards of interpre- 14 to ver. 19 is in one sense a qualification tation other than the genuine and just one, of the order he thinks to have been laid which tests the means employed by their down, inasmuch as the heavenly bodies relation to the end contemplated.

belong to the inorganic division of the I now approach a larger head of objec- history. From another point of view, tion, which is tisually handled by the Con- however, this arrangement contributes in tradictionists in a tone of contidence rising a marked manner to the symmetry of the into the pæan of triumph. But let me, narrative. The first triad of days begins before presuming to touch on objections with the first and gradual detachment of to particulars of the Creation Story, guard light from the“ surging chaos ;” the secmyself against being supposed to put for- ond, at the stage in which light had reachward any portion of what follows as un- ed its final distribution. The central mass conditional assertion, or final comment on had assumed with regularity its spherical the text. The general situation is this. and luminous figure, after shedding off Objectors do not hesitate to declare dog- from itself the minor masses, each to find matically that the Great Chapter is in con- for itself its own orbit of rotation. Or, tradiction with the laws and facts of pa- if we are to assume that the photosphere ture, and that attempts to reconcile them or light envelope of the earth itself had are futile and irrational. It is thus sought obstructed the vision of the sun, we have, to close the question. My aim is to show further, to assumet that this obstacle had that the question is not closed, and that now disappeared, and the visibility of the the condemnation pronounced upon the sun was established. So that light, or the Mosaist is premature. For this purpose I light-power, while diffused, ushers in the offer conjecturally, and in absolute sub- first division of the mighty process; the mission to all that biology and geology, or same light power, concentrated by the other forms of science, have established, operation of the rotatory principle, and for replies which are strictly provisional; but practical purposes become such as we now replies which I consider that the Contra- know it, is placed at the head of the secdictionist ought, together with other and ond division, the division that deals with weightier replies, to confute or legitimately organic life. to consider before he can be warranted in as- It is remarkable, that tbe subject of serting the contradiction. But I proceed. light is the only one which is dealt with

How hopeless, is the cry, to reconcile in two separate sections of the narrative. Genesis with fact, when, as a fact, the The gradual severance, or disengagement, sun is the source of light, and yet in Gen- of the earth from its vesture, the atmosesis, light is the work of the first day, and phere, and of the solid land from the vegetation of the third, while sun, inoon, ocean, are continuously handled in verses and stars appear only on the fourth ! 6–10. Each of the processes is summed Nay, worse still. Whereas the morning up into its grand result, as if it had been and the evening depend wholly on the mo- a violent, convulsive, instantaneous act. tion of the earth round the sun, the Mo- The avoidance of all attempt to explain saist is so ignorant that he gives us not the process seems to me only a proof of days only, but the morning and the even- the wisdom which guided the formation ing of days before the sun is created. of the tale. To the primitive map it would And so his narration explodes, not by blows have become a barren puzzle ; the wood aimed at it from without, but by its own internal self-contradictions, It is hissed, *“ Creation," by Professor Dana, p. 207. like a blundering witness, out of court. | Guyot, “ Creation,” xi. p. 92.


must have been lost in the trees. As it ent orders, for we know not how much now stands, mental confusion is avoided, longer ; while the sun, though gradually and definite ideas are conveyed.

losing some part of his stock of caloric, There seems, however, to be a special still remains at a temperature inordinately reason for the introduction of the heavenly high. bodies at this particular place. It was Considering, then, what are the relaevidently needful at some place or other tions between the conditions of heat and to give a specific account of the day, or those of moisture, and how the coatings compartment of time, which is employed of vapor—"the swaddling-band of cloud” to mark the severance of the different stages —might affect the visibility of bodies, of creation from each other. At what may it not be rash to affirm that the sun point of the narrative could this account is, as a definite and compact body, older be most properly and most accurately in- than the earth ? or that the Mosaist might troduced ? in order to answer this ques- not properly treat the visibility of the sun, tion let us consider the situation rather in its present form, as best marking for more at large.

man the practical inception of his existThe supposition is, that we set out with ence? or that, with heat, light, soil, and a seething mass that contains all the ele- moisture ready to its service, primordial ments which are to become the solids and vegetation might not exist on the surface liquids, the moist and dry, the heat and of a planet like the earth, before the sun the non-beat or cold, the light and the had fully reached bis matured condition non ligbt or darkness, that so largely de- of compact, material, well-defined figure, termine the external conditions of our and of visibility to the eye ? May not, in present existence. By degrees, as, ac- short, the establishment of the relation of cording to the rarity or density of parts, visibility between earth and sun be the the centripetal or the centrifugal force pre- most suitable point for the relator in Genvails, the huge bulk of the sun consoli- esis to bring the two into connection ? dates itself in the centre, and aggregations And here again I would remind the reader of matter (rings, according to Guyot,* that the Mosaic days may be chapters in which afterward become spheres), are de- a history ; and that, not in despite of the tached from it to form the planets, under law of series, but with a view to its best the

agency of the same mechanical forces ; practical application, the chapters of a all or some of them, in their turn, dismiss- history may overlap. ing from their as yet ill-compacted sur- The priority of Earth to Sun, as given faces other subaltern masses to revolve in the narrative, carries us as far as this, around them as satellites, or otherwise to that vegetative work (of what kind I shall take their course in space. Meantime, the presently inquire) was proceeding on the great cooling process, which is still in surface of the earth before any relation of progress at this day, has begun, and pro- earth with sun is declared. It is then deceeds at a rate determined for it by its clared in the terins, and God made two particular conditions, among which mass great lights” (ver. 16). Now the making and motion are of essential consequence ; of earth is nowhere declared, but only imfor, other things being equal, a small body plied. And who shall say that there is will cool faster and a large body will cool some one exact point of time in the conslower ; and a body moving more rapidly tinuous process wbich (according to the through space of a lower teinperature than nebular theory) reaches from the first beits own will cool more rapidly ; while one ginning of rotation down to the present which is stationary, or which diffuses heat condition of the solar system, to which less rapidly from its surface into the colder point, and to which alone, the term makspace, will retain

a high temperature ing must belong? But, unless there be longer. Owing to these or other causes, such a point, it seems very difficult to conthe temperature of the earth-surface has vict the Mosaic writer of error in the choice been adapted to the conditions of human he has made of an opportunity for introlife, and of the more recent animal life, ducing the heavenly bodies into his narrafor a very long time ; to those of the ear- tive. lier animals, and of vegetation in its differ- I suppose that no apology is needed for

*“ Creation," pp. 67, 73.


Dana, p. 210.

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