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creation supposes an unwonted energy in those causes. What if it be so, that no small portions of large continents are covered with rocks of many milesin depth, all exhibiting a stratified formation, and arranged in the order of a mineralogical cabinet; where is the evidence that they were not formed by the operation of causes acting with a rapidity and force unknown to modern geology? What if it be so, that these strata contain “pebbles rounded and smoothed as if they had been rolled in water;” can it be shown that God Almighty could not, even by the action of water, have created a round and smooth pebble in six days? And what if it is ascertained, that these strata are fossiliferous and contain the bones of animals; or are carbonic, and contain beds of coal; or are formed of salt and limestone; can it be shown that no organic remains of animals were deposited between the creation and the flood, or that races of animals that are now extinct, were not deposited in mountain and valley by the waters of the deluge 2 Geologists assume that the operation of natural causes is at all times equal, which they have not demonstrated. The remark was made on a preceding page, that natural science is concerned with the changes that have taken place in the material world; while upon the doctrine of creation, she has no claim to be heard. No man supposes that the earth, as it
now is, is the same earth that was originally created. It was greatly changed by the Deluge; was no doubt gradually changing between the deluge and the creation; it has been subjected to change ever since, sometimes by the laws of a universal providence, sometimes by a providence that is special. Where is the geographer who can now tell us where the rivers are that once bounded the original Paradise ? We have abundant proof that what are now large and extensive lakes, were once solid land; and that what is now solid land, was once covered with water. We see for ourselves large tracts of alluvial soil, formed by the accumulation of matter washed down from mountains, and formed by the action of rivers which have changed their beds. Rocks, too, are wearing away by the action of the ocean; while what is now solid land, may in past ages have formed the bed of the ocean itself. Decayed forests are forming new soil beneath. But it does not follow, because the earth has been gradually moulded by the operation of second causes, or changed in many of its aspects by violent concussions and eruptions, that it did not originally possess the great and distinctive features of land and water, and in their marked varieties. Geologists tell us that very large portions of the earth were formed gradually and in the progress of indefinite ages; that granite rocks could not have been formed except by the action of subterranean fire; and that the metallic substances which are found in the earth, are all to be traced to the action of natural causes since the creation. But how do they know this 2 This one thing is obvious from the Mosaic narrative, that on the third day of the creation, God said, “Let the dry land appear.” Will geologists inform us what were the component elements of the dry land? Were there no mountain ranges 2 no granite hills; no metallic substances; no sand; no gravel; no loam ; no clay ? Where were Sinai, and Horeb, and Hor, and Gilead, and Paran, and Carmel? Where were the “high hills” that were covered by the flood; and the “everlasting hills” that are spoken of in the book of Gen. esis; and the “precious things of the everlasting hills;” and the land “whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass?” Whence were the idols of silver and gold in kingdoms far more ancient than the Hebrew state % Whence was it that Tubal Cain, the fourth in descent from Adam, was “an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron " Did not the “dry land” and the “high hills” which God formed at the creation, contain these metallic substances at that dawn of the world, as truly as they now contain them, and were they not produced by God's creative power ? Were there no continents at the original creation; or were they all originally loose and incoherent masses in “the dry land,” and formed by “a sediment deposited in the waters,” or by “accumulations of transposed matter,” and not a few of them by “the melting of other rocks, and cooled down” into their present solidity ? I confess I am no professed geologist, while I have taken some pains to acquaint myself with the best treatises on this interesting department of natural science. And in doing this, I have become satisfied that their theories are far from being satisfactory to the authors themselves. The most candid writers acknowledge that there are difficulties in their system, and phenomena which they cannot account for. It would be no difficult matter to expose the fallacy of their reasoning in its application to the Mosaic narrative of the creation. Take, for example, the following facts. It was asserted not many years since, that a stratum of lava flowed from mount Etna, in the time of the second Punic war, which is about two thousand years ago, which is not sufficiently covered with soil, to produce either corn or vines. The conclusion was hence drawn, that it requires two thousand years to change the surface of lava into fertile soil. Seven distinct lavas, one under the other, have been discovered in digging a pit near Jaci, in the neighborhood of mount Etna, most of them covered with a thick stratum of rich soil. And the conclusion was that the lowest of these lavas flowed from the mountain fourteen thousand years ago, and that the earth, which, according to the Mosaic narrative, is six thousand years old, is actually more than fourteen thousand. But it has been since ascertained, that the mass which covers Herculaneum and Pompeii, consists also of seven distinct lavas, with veins of good soil between them; while it is well known that the lowest of these lavas flowed from Vesuvius in the year 79 of the Christian era, a little more than eighteen hundred years ago; and that, instead of taking two thousand years to be covered with soil, lava is thus covered in a little more than two hundred. Within the memory even of the young among us, it was also the received doctrine of physical science, that there are substances in nature so hard that it is impossible to form them except by the slow process of centuries; yet it has since been ascertained by the French chemists, that those very substances, by the force of electricity acting upon water, can be manufactured in a week. When the Scriptures teach us, therefore, that the work of creation was completed in six days, we have no questions to ask of geologists.