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power. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.
While the preceding chapter was going through the press, the author has fallen in with some observations, to which he may be allowed to refer “To any one who has watched the progress of theoretical geology for the last few years, where opinion has so often vacillated and changed on the subject, and where so many hasty conclusions have been formed, that scarcely an author has his speculations half through the press, when the last É. must accumulate as much on the one side as they hitherto appear to ave done on the other.”—The Age of the Earth considered Geologically and Historically, by William Rhind, of Edinburgh. “While so large a portion of the globe is geologically unexplored; while all the general views which are to extend our classifications satisfactorily, from one hemisphere to another, from one zone to another, are still unformed; while the organic fossils of the tropics are almost unknown, and their general relations to the existing state of things has not even been conjectured, how can we expect to speculate rightly and securely respecting the history of the whole of our globe Geologists have only just thrown open the door of a vast labyrinth, which it may employ many generations to traverse, but which they must needs explore before they can go to the oracular chamber of truth.”—Whewell's History of Inductive C26?? C6S. Let any one examine the history of geology from the days of Platt, Lester, Leibnitz, Hooke, Woodward, Whiston, and Burnet, to the later theroies by Gesner, Warner, Hutton, Smith, Buckland, Sedgwick, Lyell, and Silliman, and he will see cause to suspend his judgment in all the questions which put any other construction than that which a sound philology puts upon the Mosaic narrative. “We hold then that the idea of the Adamite strata containing organic remains, in whatever condition these strata are seen, or may be discovered, whether arranged in the order of a first creation, or seen in the position of secondary deposits from this, is at total variance with the narrative of Moses, and was never meant to be implied in his words, or dreamt of by his predecessors or contemporaries. There are also geological objections to this theory of a previous world. If it was entirely distinct from the present earth in point of the period of its existence, and if it was completely overthrown at the time of the second creation, how does it happen that existing species are found in contemporary strata with extinct ones?”—Rhind's Age of the Earth. “If the geological creeds of Baron, Cuvier, and Professor Buckland be established as true in science, then must the Book of Genesis be blotted out from the records of inspiration.”—Edinburgh Philosoph. Journ. vol. xiv. We are not confident that the mine in Bohemia referred to is the deepest excavation. There are at Schemnitz, on the southern slope of the Carpathian mountains, two silver mines, which are no longer worked on account of their depth; but they do materially differ from 3000 feet.
CHAPTER III. to first #11.
A GLANCE at the works of God shows that there is progress in them all, and that in them all the Creator has an end in view, which is worthy of himself. Hitherto, the creation which he had so miraculously called into existence, was unintelligent. There was to be a higher and nobler order of beings, transcending the mere material and animal as far as the spiritual and immortal transcends the natural and the mortal, and making new and ever-progressive disclosures of the unsearchable Deity. . Questions there are of deep interest both in theological science and in casuistry, depending upon the views that are entertained of the nature of man. What am I? To what order of creatures do I belong ' What are the peculiarities of my nature and relations & What are my responsibilities 2 Whence am I, and what is my destiny? I am the progeny of my parents ; they of theirs; and theirs of an ancestry which eatends to a still more remote period of time. Who can tell but men thus exist always and in an eternal series of generations Ž To all these inquiries, the word of God gives a definite answer. It teaches us that man, though among the first things, began to be ; and that there was a time when he did not exist. The atheist himself cannot deny this. If men exist in an eternal series of generations, then infinite generations are already past and gone. If infinite generations are already past and gone, the time was when each in the series was actually present; for if never actually present, it never existed. If each in the series was actually present, then the time was when all except one were future. The hypothesis contradicts itself. It supposes one generation to have been infinite, or the finite beginning of infinity. The absurdity is too palpable to require more than this passing remark. The human race had a beginning. Like the original chaos, and the light and the firmament, man was created by the great Author of all things. There is a marked peculiarity in the Mosaic narrative of the creation of the first man. “Let w8 make man in our image, after our likeness; so God created man in his own image, in the image of God made he him.” God himself was the
model, after which he was formed. He was created miraculously. He did not grow up from infancy to youth, and from youth to riper years; but like the plants and trees, like the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of heaven, and the animal creation, and the earth, he was created in full bloom and maturity, the perfection of humanity, and the model of all that is noble in the successive generations of men. When he was first conscious of his own existence, he was conscious of this maturity both of body and of mind. It was not by any agency of his own that he came into being, nor by any consent of his own; nor was he conscious of his dependence on any other being, nor of his obligations to any other but his Almighty Parent. Reason taught him, and his Maker taught him that “he was the son of God,” and came into existence by the will and power of Him for whose pleasure he was created. * The sacred writers most certainly do not use flattering words when they speak of men. They call things by their right names, and set before us the human character in its true deformity; while at the same time they speak of man as the honored race, and as entitled to regard from the race to which he belongs. When we are told that God created man in his own image, we are made the depositaries of a truth from which we may learn something of God from what we know of man, and something of man from what the Scriptures reveal concerning God. . It was not in his corporeal organization that the first man resembled his Creator; for “God is a Spirit,” not to be inspected, not to be analyzed, not even to be fully comprehended. There are visible exhibitions of the Deity; but his essential glory, the pure spirituality of his nature, lies far out of sight. All we know of it is that it is pure, and unmingled, and infinite. His understanding is infinite, his will omnipotent, and his moral dispositions are not only free from all imperfection, but constitute a fountain, an ocean of purity and loveliness that cannot be measured by finite minds. In the different gradations and orders of being, there is first mere inanimate matter; at One remove from this is the exquisite and curious machinery of art; still higher are the beauty, instinct, and consciousness of the animal creation; above this, is the wonderful structure of the human mind; in advance of this, is the angelic creation; while beyond, there is no intermediate existence till we arrive at the infinite God. There is a mighty chasm between the finite and the infinite; we cannot dart our thoughts across it. “Lord, what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visitest him " There are views of his nature which render him abject; yet are there views of him which we cannot help