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inspired record as is at variance with all the laws of sound criticism, and if they showed that they were determined to abide by that which is not only long established, but which all the laws of right interpretation demand.

But it may still be urged, that though geologists cannot pretend to read the geologic record with any distinctness, they can so far read it as to see that it clashes with what has long been understood to be the general import of the statement in Genesis. And we do not deny that it is difficult to believe that had God, at the beginning of time, as to man, brought this earth into being at once out of nothing-he would have created it in the form of an immense burying-ground, exhibiting the forms of countless myriads of creatures, partly facsimiles of those now existing, and partly of forms and species quite different from any now living, but yet bearing all the marks of being the precise images of creatures that once lived, as distinct and vivid in all their parts, whether marine or terrestrial, as any painter could render them. We admit that it is difficult to believe this. No true theist will deny that God could have done this. But reasoning from analogy, in what we know of God and of his doings—we do think that the pre-existence of the earth, in different forms, is all but demonstrated by the science of geology, even in its present confessedly imperfect state; and that it is trifling with the mass of evidence furnished, to try to account for the facts by the effects of the universal deluge, however remarkable these may have been. But what then? Two solutions of the difficulty have been proposed by christian geologists, that harmonise with each other, except in one point. The one is, that the commencing sentence in the book of Genesis is an announcement of the creation of the heavens and earth at first out of nothing—ascribing the being of both to the First Great Cause, in opposition to those who would ascribe eternity to these works of God—and that after making this statement, the inspired historian is directed, without saying anything about the other changes which the earth underwent—to state the miraculous steps by which God brought it into its present state, in six literal days. This is the most commonly received solution by the friends of the Bible. * The other method of solution, and to which we confess we are somewhat partial, is, that the whole of the Mosaic narrative in the first chapter of Genesis has respect to the miraculous process to which the heavens, the ærial heavens, as connected with this earth, and the earth itself, were subjected by the great Former of all things, in reducing them to order from that state of confusion and desolation in which they previously were.t

Thus the words “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,' are interpreted as a concise statement of facts which are immediately after more fully unfolded, or as the title, so to speak, of the chapter'—the subject of which is announced in one brief sentence—and thus it corresponds with the summing up of this part of

See Dr Kitto’s Daily Bible Illustrations, vol. i. Gen. i. 2. † See a beautifully written paper in the Scottish Christian Journal,' No. IX. June, 1849.

the record, evidently referring to the six days' work with which the second chapter commences : The heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them,'—that is, of the heavens and the earth, referring perhaps to their numerous inhabitants. This is the exposition which best accords with the use of language. Thus the unnatural' isolation of the first sentence from all that follows is avoided, and we are not called to believe, that statements placed in the closest juxtaposition refer to works performed at periods immensely remote from each other—without any intimation that such a vast gap in respect of facts left designedly unfilled up, intervenes, thus too the natural meaning of the relative term beginning is preserved, which is surely more properly understood as denoting the commencement of that which follows in the record, than the commencement of an unknown state of matters regarding which that record is wholly silent. Besides, we thus escape the danger of a threatened collision between the theories of philosophers and the first sentence of Genesis, as to the simultaneous original creation of this earth and the other orbs.

In accordance with this view, it is admitted that the term rendered created,' in the first verse, must not necessarily be interpreted as denoting creation out of nothing, and thus as necessarily referring to the primary act of calling things into existence throughout the universe out of nothing—for the word is also employed to express a miraculous or supernatural re-modelling of pre-existing materials. It is so used (Gen. i. 21) when it is said and God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth ;' and that those inbabitants of the sea were formed of pre-existing matter is intimated when it is added, " which the waters brought forth abundantly.' It is also applied to the creation of man (Gen. i. 27) who was formed, as to his body, out of the dust of the ground; and thus also believers are said to be created anew in Christ Jesus'-expressive of the supernatural change wrought on them. Again, the term heaven, in the first verse, does not necessarily signify the whole starry heavens, but is employed in the 8th verse as the name of the airy hearens, the formation of which is described in the 6th and 7th verses. This exposition places the whole field of geological research beyond the sphere of the class of the operations of God in creation which the Bible narrates, and leaves geologists to expatiate throughout its vast range, without trenching on a single line of the page of inspiration ; and farther, it also leaves the astronomer to travel over the countless worlds which the telescope discloses to his view, and form his theories regarding them, without coming into collision with one statement of the sacred oracles.

The two views coincide so far as our argument regarding the days of creation is concerned. The most formidable geological objection to this solution of the difficulty, so far as we know, is the existence of so many fossils in the later tertiary formations of the same species with those now existing, and the countenance which this seems to give to a gradual progression to that state of things which now obtains without such a convulsion as is implied in the extinction of all animal

and vegetable existences over the face of our globe. But this is not an insuperable objection. There is evidence of a geological kind that there was a remarkable change on this earth immediately previous to that state in which it now exists. The last formation, according to geologists, is that of the clay, and the last grinding which the earth underwent is ascribed partly to icebergs rolling over its surface, and partly to tremendous glaciers. Now this supposes a degree of cold that would be extensively destructive of life. Again, in the clay formation no organic remains have been yet found, except comminuted shells, which may be accounted for by the grinding down of the tertiary rocks in which these previously existed in a fossil state. This implies that life was extinct during the time that this formation was accumulating; nor, if geology speaks truth, was this a new state of matters on inis globe. In the old red sandstone, the inhabitants of the lowest formation seem, by some vast convulsion, to have been all destroyed, and the earth seems to have been left for a long period tenantless, for a strata of great thickness above is without fossils, whilst the organic remains found in the superincumbent formation are all of different species from those below, indicating a new creation. There is evidence of a similar revolution at the close of the secondary rocks, for not so much as one of the fossils, even of the newer secondary rocks, not even a plant, is to be found in the lower tertiary.* So that there is in this intimation that all life had somehow become extinct at this period, and the earth re-peopled with new races by creation. The geologic evidence tends also to show that races were multiplied at every new creation: along with representatives of the old, and extinct classes, new species, were added in considerable numbers. We have thus only to ask changes and events on the surface of the earth at the introduction of man, corresponding to what had again and again, according to geologists, taken place in the mysterious dispensations of the Supreme Disposer, to make all correspond with the Mosaic account—the annihilation of the life of all previouslyexisting creatures by such convulsions and changes as rendered all a desolation, and then a re-modelling and replenishing of the earth miraculously, in the manner described in the inspired record. And wbo, in the face of God's own explicit testimony, will question the fact?

But what of light and of the sun? No geologist will say that we make an extravagant demand when we insist that it is no illegitimate analogical argument to suppose that the sun and the other planets underwent processes in their past existence corresponding to those which they say this earth passed through. Nor can it be reasonably questioned that the awful dispensations, whatever they were, that so affected this globe, might also extend to the whole solar system. It will not be denied that God could more easily in a moment extinguish the light of the sun than we can that of a candle, and thus shroud this earth and the other planets in the deepest dark

* Lyell, in his geology, states that no eocene fossils'—that is, fossils of the lowe tertiary strata—are to be found in the newest secondary group, nor even a plant.

ness; and what so likely to extinguish life, and produce the intense cold supposed as this ? And thus all that is wanting to produce the state of things described in Genesis i. 2, is the overflowing of water, as we are assured that it did deluge this globe in the days of Noah. So that there would be need for every step of the process recorded by the Spirit, and among the rest for making two great lights and stars, that is planets; for making them in the same sense as the earth was made at this date, that is, for forming them anew, and rendering them more perfect than they had been at any previous stage of their being. And so convinced are we that the days of creation must be understood as literal days, that we confidently expect that as the science of geology advances, this conclusion will be forced on geologists themselves.

We have no desire, however, to lay any veto on the researches of geologists. Let them prosecute their investigations. The works of God are wonderful, and they are sought out of those who have pleasure in them. There are some ends to answer by them all. Understood aright, the glory of God will be seen shining in them; and we cannot doubt that there are ends to be accomplished by the discoveries and researches of geologists. The Bible has nothing to fear from science, in so far as it answers to its high name. And though we have felt compelled to dissent, for the reasons given, from our author's views as to the days of creation, we have been much pleased with the tone and spirit of his work, which breathes throughout sentiments of friendship to religion and revelation; nor have we any wish to detract from the meed of praise to which he is entitled, as the able and successful champion of truth, in some very important aspects, against the insidious assaults of infidelity and a species of atheism, in their most alluring and dangerous forms. This praise which he is extensively receiving we cordially re-echo. We beg, in conclusion, to take our leave of Mr Miller with feelings of sincere respect, and to express our desire that one whom God has evidently educated for special work, may be long spared in vigour to employ his superior talents and ample acquirements in the promotion of the cause of truth against error, whether in the departments of science or of religion and morality.

THE POETRY OF THE PAST.

ROLL back the mist! that drapery of shades,
From the far landscape !—from the fading hills
That melt into the sky, ungird the cloud
That wreathes in graceful folds their ancient strength!
From long-receding vistas summon forth
The dark recesses of some fane or grove,
And place them, at your bidding, rank and file,
Or, school-boy like, along some chalked line :
But sever not the present from the past ;
Send it not forth, a stripped and shivering child,
In foundling solitude upon the world !
Spare, spare the ancient roof-tree, and the halls
Of hoary Time, with blazonry bedecked

Of olden days, scutcheon, and crest, and helm,
And banner folds with dust of ages dim,
Yet gleaming forth like stars on azure field,
Lit by the torch of truth, and haloed round
With old ancestral glory, not to be
Like a forgotten legend, cast away,
Cut off the waters, Jordan-like, and send
The severed stream in stately flow to seek
Its ocean home, and leave its channel dry !
Part from the parent stock the scion stem,
And bid the sappling brave the coming blast,
Uprooted from the soil wherein it grew!
Launch the frail bark, to breast the rising wave,
With anchor shipped, and cable snapt in twain !
Obliterate the memories of a world,
And deem this orb evoked of yesterday!
But sacreligious! spare that spirit grey,
Holding in mighty pomp his court of shades,
And keeping graved on Scotland's vellum page
Her annals of irrevocable deeds-
Those awful arbiters of mortal fate
And human destinies--proclaimed by such
As read the future in their mystic glass-
Proclaimed at intervals, with clarion blast,
When some lone sleeper from his dream wakes up,
And at the watch tower cries, 'What of the night ?'
What is the present? what the past ? and what
The coming future, but one mighty stream
Swelling from age to age, and rolling on
Its gathering tide towards eternity,
Bearing along, in its unresting flow,
Alike the proudest wreck and lightest leaf
That from the sere branch flutters idly down,
To float upon its bosom, till the boom
Of less, fathomless, eternal sea,
Sound diapason to the knell of time ?

THE CHOICE OF MOSES.

One of the songs of heaven is, 'Great and marvellous are all thy works, Lord God Almighty ;' and the occasion of this song is the wondrous works done by God on earth in the preservation of his church. Marvellous are the ways in which he has appeared for her deliverance. When our eyes are turned towards the firmament, to look out for the signs of approaching help, we always look to the bright spots, and we turn away our eyes from the black clouds that hang upon the brow of Zion hill, as if these were charged only with disaster. But oftentimes it is from these dark points that the light is to issue—they are the clouds which God is to use as the chariot of deliverance.

If the way in which the mercy of God is manifested towards his church be wonderful, not less so is the manner in which he prepares the instruments by which great and good works are to be performed. Were we asked how the man ought to be educated who was to be the instrument of effecting great, and beneficial, and lasting changes in

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