From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

the science that treats of the earth's crust, its rocky strata, and the fossil remains found in them. Its interest to the Biblical student chiefly arises from its bearings upon the Mosaic account of the creation. (See M'Caul, Notes on Genesis 1 [London, 1861]; Challis, Creation [Lond. 1861]; Pratt, Genealogy of Creation [Lond. 1861]; Christ. Remembrancer, Apr. 1861; Evang. Review, October 1861; Keerl, Einh. d. bib. Urgesch., etc. [Basle, 1863]; Von Schleiden, Das Alter des Menschen Geschlechts [Lpz. 1863]; Free-will Baptist Quarterly, April 1864; Burton, Creation [Lond. 1836]; Dawson, Archaia [Lond. 1862]; Gloag, Relations of Geology to Theology [Edinb. 1858]; Huxtable, Record of Creation Vindicated [London, 1861]; Hutton, Chronol. of Creation [Lond. 1860]; Lime, Mosaic Record [Edinburgh, 1857]; Anon. Sacred Geology [Lonu. 1847]; Sumner, Records of Creation [6th ed., London, 1850]; Wight, Mosaic Creation (Lond. 1847]; Crofton, Geology and Genesis [London, 1854]; Young, Scriptural Geology [London, 1840]; De Serres, La Cosmogonie de Moise Par. 1840; in Germ., Tub. 1841]; Bosizo, Hexaemeron und Geologie [Mainz, 1865]; Rorison, The Creative Week, art. 5 of Replies to "Essays and Reviews" [Lond. and N.Y. 1862]; Lewis, God's Week of Work [Lond. 1865]; Amer. Presb. Rev. October 1865; Poole, Genesis of Earth and Man [2d ed. Lond. 1860]; Wolf, Die Urgeschichte [Homb. 1860]; Baltzer, Schopfungsgeschichte [Lpz. 1867 sq.]; Brit. and For. Evang. Rev. April 1867: Reusch, Bibel und Natur [Freib. 1866]; Lucas, Biblic. Ant. of Man [Lond. 1866]; Pitcairn, Ages of the Earth [Lond. 1868]; Worgan, The Divine Week [Manchester, 1864]; Wright, Geology and Antiquity of Earth [Lond. 1864]; Anon. Phys. Theory of the Earth [Lond. 1864]; M'Causland, The Adamite [Lond. 1864]; Gartner, Bibelund Geohlogie [Stuttg. 1868].) (See Creation).

1. History Of The Inquiry. (Comp. the treatise of Pattison, The Earth and the World, Lond. 1858, pages 123-139.) The prevalent opinion among the learned for upwards of two centuries after the revival of letters was that organic remains were mere mineral concretions. Hypotheses were invented purporting to account for their production in methods quite worthy of the school of subtle philosophy whence they issued. This was maintained, not by obscure monks, but by) really accomplished persons, the lights of natural history in their day, such as Fallopio, Mercati, and Olivi in Italy, Plot and Lister in England, and Agricola in Germany.

The excavations made for repairing the city of Verona in 1517 brought to light a number of fossil remains, the appearance of which exercised the wits of that time; and, among others, Fracastoro boldly expounded their true meaning and relations. He declared that they had not originated in any such "plastic force" as was pretended, nor could they have been the results of the waters of the deluge. After having been thus rescued from the mineral kingdom, they were, however, universally attributed to the deluge. Fabio Colonna, in 1600, and the whole of the Italian writers of this period, considered that all petrifactions were the remains of the Noachian deluge.

In 1669, Steno, a Dane, attached to the court of Tuscany, expounded the true theory of organic fossils; he labored to harmonize his views with Scripture by selecting strata which appeared to him to be unfossiliferous, and treating them as having been created before the existence of animals and plants. In 1676, Quirini contended that the diluvial waters could not have effected all the operations attributed to them, and maintained that the universality of the Mosaic deluge was not to be insisted on. In 1688, Robert Hook, in his posthumous treatise on earthquakes, assigns to organic remains their true character, and supposes that some species may have been lost. In his diluvial theory he attempts to crowd into the time between the creation and the deluge, and into the latter, all the visible phenomena of upheaval or dislocation.

In 1690, Dr. Thomas Burnet, in his Sacred Theory of the Earth, describes the earth at the beginning as a fluid mass composed of all kinds of materials. The heaviest descended to the bottom and formed a solid kernel, around which the waters, and afterwards the atmosphere, united; but between the water and atmosphere there was formed an oily stratum, which received, little by little, all the earthy constituents with which the air was still charged. On this consolidated bed, marshy, thin, uniform, level, without mountains, without valleys, without either seas or rivers, lived the antediluvian generations. At this epoch the marshy crust, dried up by the heat of the sun, split, and fell down in the great abyss of waters. From thence came the universal deluge, the disarrangement of the axis of the globe, and the changing of climates. The earth, thus drowned, had still some cavities into which the waters entered, little by little, and so returned to their subterranean reservoir. Thus the ocean is a part of the great abyss, the isles are the fragments,, the continents are the great residuary masses of the old world. To the confusion brought about by the breaking up of the waters are owing the mountains and other undulations that we now see, This is a specimen of a large class of writings which passed for the effusions of learning and piety in the Augustan age of English literature.

In 1696, Whiston, the great astronomer, published his new theory of the earth. He conceived of the earth as still having in its midst a solid and burning kernel, retaining the heat which it received from the sun when it was only the nucleus of the comet, and continually spreading it towards its circumference. This nucleus is itself surrounded by a great abyss, which is composed of two rings, of which the lower is a heavy fluid, and the upper water; it is this layer of water which constitutes the foundation of our earth. The deluge was occasioned by another comet striking the earth, and was the parent of all the disturbances now manifest in its crust.

About 1680 the great Leibnitz wrote of the earth as an extinct sun vitrified. According to him, its greater portion was the subject of a violent fire, at the time when Moses tells us that the light was separated from the darkness. The fusion of the globe produced a vitrified crust; when the crust was cold, the humid parts, which had risen in vapor, fell again, and formed the ocean. The sea then deposited calcareous rocks. It at first enveloped all the surface of the globe, and surmounted the higher parts which at present form the continents and isles. Thus the shells and other rubbish of marine animals that one finds everywhere prove that the sea has covered all the land; and the great quantity of fixed salts, of sand, and other matters, fused and calcined in the earth, testify to the universal fire, and that it preceded the existence of the sea. In 1695, Dr. Woodward, in his Discourse on the Natural History of the Earth, most ably vindicates the proper nature of organic remains, and disposes of the views of those who attribute them to casual inundations, or to the wash of the sea when the land was first made; but he is equally unsuccessful in the formation of a hypothesis with his predecessors. He holds that at the deluge the solid strata of the earth were dissolved in the water; the remains of animals sank down and became imbedded according to their relative gravity.

In Italy, Yallisneri, finding by his own careful observations that the facts were not in accordance with the theories then in vogue, which were affirmed to be founded in the interpretation of Scripture, attacked the interpreters, and demonstrated that they were in error. He wisely contented himself with recording his own observations, and would not attempt the construction of a theory.

In 1740, Moro, on the other hand, with much that is valuable in his onslaught upon other cosmogonists, fell into the error of becoming one of their number. His theory, however, is much more consistent, as well as reverential to the truth, than that of any of his predecessors.

In 1749, Buffon published, like his fellow philosophers, a theory of the earth, which is now found in the first part of his collected works. It is a free and easy way of world-making with the aid of a sun, a comet, volcanic and aqueous forces at pleasure. The Sorbonne required him to recant so much of his work as expressed the sentiment that the waters of the sea had produced the land, and then left it dry, and that the land was again, by wear and tear, gradually merging into the sea. The recantation is published with his works. These gorgeous dreams cost their author forty years' thought, and enjoyed uncommon reputation. Even now their decision of tone and eloquence of statement command an interest.

In 1756, Lehmann, the German mineralogist, confined the action of the flood to the production of a few only of the rocks, and assigned the unfossiliferous strata to the original creation, and the conglomerates to an intermediate revolution.

In 1760, Michell, who held for eight years the Woodwardian professorship at Cambridge, showed himself the true predecessor of modern geology. Neglecting cosmogony altogether, and applying himself to the description of the strata as they appeared under his own observation, he discovered the true sequence of the beds, and indicated a direction in which the geologist might pursue his labors without infringing on theology.

After Michell, the visions of the cosmogonists were again reproduced by various English writers. Sound geology, however, began to take precedence of worldmaking; the actual wonders of the subterranean world were preferred to the gay creations of the world-makers. Hutton, William Smith, and a host of followers, comprising Cuvier and Brogniart, kept the republic of letters well employed in acquiring the grammar of the new science, which was created by physical researches into the strata and their contents. Henceforward cosmogony assumes a second-rate position.

De Luc, in 1799, wrote the chronology of Moses, as only commencing with the creation of man; and of the days of creation as being not natural day's, but indefinite periods. A long line of illustrious men, many of whom are now living, diverted attention from the vain attempts of thee early philosophers, and occupied themselves exclusively emith descriptive geology. A classification of opinions-taking only the views of the leading men-will serve to show, in a general way, 'What has been said and done for the last fifty vears in this department of knowledge. The following are the principal hypotheses:

1. That the days of creation are indefinite periods, during which all the phenomena of geology occurred; that the deluge is now marked by the drift and gravel remains of the post-tertiary age (Cuvier, Parkinson, Jameson, and others).

2. That the first sentence of Genesis has no connection with the subsequent verses. The phenomena of geology have place between the first and second verses. The chaos was universal, and ushered in the present creation (Chalmers, 1804. See also The Earth's Antiquity in harmony with the Mosaic Account of Creation, by James Gray, M.A., 1849).

3. That the earth that now is was the bed of the ante-diluvian sea. That all the phenomena now visible resulted from operations in the interval between the creation and the end of the deluge. That, save this, the rocks were created as they now exist (Granville Penn, Young).

4. That we cannot rely on an interpretation of the Hebrew records, and therefore we may set them aside when apparently at variance with geological facts (Babbage).

5. That the records are poetical representations, and not historical (Baden Powell).

6. That the first verse is a detached account of the original creation. The chaos, the six days' creation, and the flood were local phenomena, and refer to what was transacted in the province occupied by man only (Dr. Pye Smith).

7. That the "days were great natural periods. The Palheozoic system, pre- eminently that of plants, is the work of the third day; the secondary, pre- eminently the epoch of sea-monsters and creeping things, is the work of the fifth day; and the tertiary, the time of mammalian creatures, is the work of the sixth day" (Hugh Miller).

8. That the Mosaic narrative is a revelation made in visions to the mind of the prophet; the days are therefore spoken of not in connection with the events, but the duration of the vision. The events occurred in extremely lengthened periods. The deluge was partial (Limee, Mosaic Record In Harmony With Geological, 1854; Poole, Genesis Of The Earth And Man , 1856).

9. That all creation took place consecutively, according to the literal reading of Genesis 1. All things, fossil and recent, form part of one whole system of life, and were created at once on the successive dafys of creation. That the fossil species have become gradually extinct, and their remains buried by disturbances occurring from the first (L'abbel Soignet, Cosmogonaie De La Bible, Paris, 1854).

10. P.H. Gosse (Omphalos, Lond. 1857). The theory of this writer is a reproduction of Granville Penn, with a dash of the old, arbitrary, anti- geologic notion of the creation of the rocks, with fossils complete as they are. He affirms a principle which he calls the law of "Prochronism?" in virtue of which the strata of the surface of the earth, with their fossil flora and fauna, may possibly belong to a " priochronic" (i.e., to an unreal and snymbolical or typical) development of the mighty plant of the life history of the world.

The preceding account, though it is only a very general view of the principal hypotheses an this subject, yet sufficiently shows how the minds of the framers have felt the poemer of the sacred writings. They have done homage, unconsciously in many instances, to divine truth, by acknowledging the necessity of accordance with it, however widely they have diverged from its plain teaching. It is a notable instance of the commanding power of the Scriptures that thus, through ages of ignorance and periods of enlightenment, they should still have been the polestar, guiding all voyagers in their pathless track towards the unknown.

11. We have reserved until last, as being, on the whole, the most comprehensive and satisfactory, the conclusions of Mr. Crofton, which have now for some years been before the world (originally sketched in Kitto's Journal, January 1850), and have not been refuted by any philologer. He affirms that, apart from geological considerations, and judging from analogy with Scripture alone, the interpretation of the sacred volume renders the following ten propositions credible.

(1.) That the absolute age of our earth is not defined in the sacred volume.

(2.) That there may have been a long interval in duration between the creation of "the heaven and the earth" mentioned in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis and the continuation of the earth's history in the second verse.

(3.) That the term "the earth" does not apply necessarily, in every instance, to the whole of our planet, but sometimes only to a part of it.

(4.) That the state of the earth, described in the second verse as "without form and void," does not ncessarily mean matter nemaer reduced to form and order, but may signify matter reduced to disorder, after previous organization and arrangement.

(5.) That the "darkness" "upon the face of the deep," also mentioned in the second verse, is not negative of the previous existence of light, but may have been only a temporary one.

(6.) That the commencement of the account of the first six days' creation dates from the beginning of the third verse, "And God said, Let there be light."

(7.) That the act of "the first day" does not necesssarily signify the crealtion of light, but may have been only the calling of irinto operation upon the scene of "darkness" described in the second verse.

(8.) That the calling of "the light Day" and "the darkness Night," with the declaration that " the evening and the morning were the first day," does not necessarily imply that this was the first day, absolutely speaking.

(9.) That the work of "the second day," mentioned in the sixth, seventh, and eighth verses, may have been only an operation performed upon the atmosphere of our earth.

(10.) That the work of "the fourth day," described from the fourteenth to the eighteenth verses, does not necessarily imply that the sun, moon, and stars were then first created or formed, for the first time, from pre- existent matter; but may only have been that they were then, for the first tine in the detail of the history of the present earth, made visible to it, and ordained to their offices with respect to the coming human creation (Genesis and Geology, Lond. 1852; Phila. 1853).

II. Controversy Between Geologists And Theologians . "The kindred sciences of geology and paleontology cannot yet be said to have been in existence more than eighty years. But they had scarcely begun to assume the form and lineanments of sciences when that jealousy, which has never since the days of Galileo ceased to exist to some extent between the religionist and the natural philosopher, began to evince itself. The religionist was alarmed by rumors that the rocks, under the searching eye of the geologist, disclosed a state of facts which was wholly at variance with the Mosaic detail of the manner and order of the creation; and the studies of the geologists were, without much inquiry, condemned and denounced, in no very measured terms, as destructive of the doctrine of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and as infidel in their inception and tendency. On the other band, the man of science was not slow in retorting that, if the record of Moses was of divine origin, it had nothing to approlend from the development of facts; and that, if it could not bear the test of physical truth, it must give way, even though it stood on the threshold of the treasury of inspiration; for that, is such a crisis, the testimony of the senses with emhich man has been endowed for his guidance must prevail against mere matters of faith. In argument the men of science had the advantage, but in practice he erred by too frequently assuming geological facts and Scripture interpretation without sufficient inquiry, and so contributed, by hastily formed conclusions, to put asunder the cord and the works of God, which, by the decrees of Omniscience, must ever be joined together.

"The contest, in its early stages, was carried on by those religionists who construed the Mosaic days of the creation to have been six successive natural days of twenty-four hours each, measured by the revolution of our globe on its axis; and the objection of the geologist was founded on the obvious impossibility or absurdity that the world could have been stocked with the various animal and vegetable organisms, whose remains have been found in the crust of the earth, in the brief period of the six natural days that. preceded the birth of Adam. The evidence was incontrovertible that for untold ages before that event generation upon generation of extinct animals had lived and died upon the earth.

1. "To meet this difficulty, which threatened to blot out the first page of the Scriptures from inspiled reavelation, and which mas obviously subversive of the authenticity and inspiration of all Scripture, a host of champions arose, who, instead of examining with patience and testing with care the alleged facts of geology, recklessly denied their existence, or sought to explain and account for them on wholly inadequate, and in many instances on false and absurd principles and grounds. Some ascribed the existence of fossil remains to the flood in the days of Noah; others to what was termed a plastic-power that existed as one of the natural laws of matter; and others, again, insisted that the various systems of mocks were created by the fiat of the Almighty with the fossil remains of animals that had never lived, and of plants that had never grown, imbedded in them. These were the reasonings of Granville Penn, Fairholm, Kirby, Sharon Turner, Gisborne, Taylor, dean Cockburn, etc.; and of them it is unnecessary to say more than that the progress of scientific discovery has extinguished their arguments, not only without injury to the cause of Scripture truth, but with the effect of establishing it on a surer basis.

2. "Another class of inquirers sought to solve the difficulty by conceding the well-established facts of geology and the geological explanations of those facts, but suggesting that the imperfection of our knowledge of the original Hebrew at the present day was such as to preclude all certainty of a right interpretation of its meaning. This emas the position of Babbage; while Baden Powell insisted that the narrative of the creation is couched in the language of mythic poetry, and was not intended to be a historical detail of natural occurrences. It is satisfactory to know that the necessity for arguments so injurious in their tendencies to the cause of the truth and integrity of the Bible no longer exists; for the precision of the Mosaic phraseology will be found confirmed by every step that has been taken in the development of the truths of geology.

3. "At an early period of this controversay, Dr. Chalmers, whose sagacious mind and prudent foresight comprehended the importance of this issue between the facts of geology and the language of the Scriptures, propounded the preposition that 'the writings of Moses dos not fix the antiqeuity of the globe' that after the creation of the heavens and the earth, which may have comprehended any internal of time and any extent of animal and vegetable life, a chaotic period ensued, when death and darkness reigned upon our globe, and the earth became, in Scripture language, 'without form and void,' and all that had previously existed was, by some catastrophe, blotted out, and a new world of light and life produced, by fiats of the Deity, in a period of six natural days, closing with the birth of Adam; and thus the world which now exists was cut off from that which preceded it by a period of black, chaotic disorder. The geologist had thus ample room for the existence of all the organisms whose remains are found in the rocks that compose the crust of the earth, sand he might labor in his investigation of the nature and order of geological events without endangering the truth of the Mosaic record of the creation."

Against this view Dr. Conant urges several objections (Revised Version of Genesis, page 20), the force of which, however, may in a great aceasure be readily parried.

1. The sacred writer himself gives no intimation of such an interval. Of course not, since its mention forms no part of his plan. An Argumentum A Silentio is wholly invalid. It is sufficient if a space can be found in point of fact.

2. It assumes that Moses has given us an account of only a part of the creative work. But no one claims that he has given all the details of creation, or even a complete outline of it. His object was merely to state so much as stands connected with human history; and on the view in question, this is more perfectly done than by any other interpretation, since it was the last creative stage by which the earth was specially fitted for man's abode. 3. Science shows no such convulsion in the period pre. ceding man's introduction on the earth. On the contrary, an innumerable series of such cataclysms are revealed between the various strata of the earth's crust, and there is special evidence of some general ice-wave almost immediately preceding the historic period, in the phenomena of drift, bowfders, and striated rocks, all of which are everywhere strewn upon the present surface of the globe.

4. Six extended creative periods allow time for the operation of second causes, such as were obviously at work for long ages in the formation of the earth, whereas six mere days would be no more called for than a single instant, such as that in which tie Almighty fiat evoked the primitive matter into being. But we are not competent to prescribe what would be a worthy process for the Creator, and this objection overlooks the moral significance of these week-days as compared with the Sabbath. Besides, the theory in question affords equal scope with any other for the cycles of geogony, geology, and geontolocy, while it brings the inspired narrative closer to man's present home, with his animal and vegetable companions. For example, on the opposite view, little propriety could be made out of the historical statement,  Genesis 2:19-20 : "Now Jehovah God had formed from the ground every living [thing] of the field, and every bird of the heavens, and brought [each] to the man to see what he would call it; so [that] whatever the man might call it [as] a living creature, that [was] its name; accordingly, the man called names to all the cattle, and to the bird of the heavens, and to every living [thing] of the field; but for the man [one] did not find a helper as his counterpart [(or mate)]." Surely Adam did not call forth in review the fossil forms of long-extinct species from the bowels of the earth; and yet he must have done so if the animated tribes just spoken of, which are obviously the same with those of the sixth demiurgic day, were those of the geological ages. The advocates of a literal although not local creation on the sixth day are at liberty to apply the above-quoted language to an inspection of merely the surrounding creatures, or those inhabiting the garden of Eden along with Adam, as specimens of the various races roaming the earth-as in the case of the animals assembled from his own neighborhood by Noah into the ark (See Deluge); for their interpretation gradually narrows down the scope of the Mosaic cosmogony to man's special accommodation; but this symbolical theory, being throughout of cosmopolitan extent, requires all its terms to be taken in their most universal application. Indeed, in order to be consistent, it should not be content with the creation of a single human pair, and their location in a particular spot; but it really favors the modern skeptical demand for an aboriginally widespread humanity in various independent centers of origin. (See Adam).

The objections of Kalisch (Commentary on Genesis, page 48 sq.), who concludes that, "with regard to astronomy and geology, the Biblical records are, in many essential points, utterly and irreconcilably at variance with the established results of modern researches" (page 52), are as follows:

1. That the connecting 1, And, of  Genesis 2:2, "expresses immediate sequence." So little force is there in this as an absolute or universal remark, that the connection in question occasionally appears at the beginning of a book ( Exodus 1:1;  1 Kings 1:1;  Ezra 1:1) or even an isolated epistle ( 2 Kings 5:6;  2 Kings 10:2). See Gesenins, Thesaurus, page 395, b.

2.  Exodus 20:11, "For in Six Days the Lord made the heaven and the earth," etc., so far from being "in direct opposition" to this view, is in exact agreement with it, since that expression, which is a mere repetition of the summary statement in  Genesis 2:1, contains not one syllable concerning the Creation (it is עָשָׂה there, not בָּרָא , as in  Genesis 1:1) of matter. The formula "heavens and earth" in  Genesis 1:1 denotes the Universe, as its absolute position there shows; whereas in  Exodus 20:11 it merely designates the sky and the land as subdivisions of our planet, in distinction from the sea, which is immediately added to embrace the whole.

3. "In  Matthew 19:4 man is said to have been created 'in the beginning;' the work of the sixth day was therefore believed to be coeval with the time specified in the first verse." This is a piece of reasoning which refutes itself.

4. "The earth could not have been termed 'dreary and empty' if it [had] teemed with life and vegetation long before." Certainly it could if this life and vegetation had been destroyed, as we suppose.

5. For the same reason, the argument cited by the same author (p. 45) from Hugh Miller (Testimony Of The Rocks, pages 121, 122) is inapposite here, that "for many ages ere man was ushered into being not a few of [the species of] his humble contemporaries of the fields and woods enjoyed life in their present haunts, and that for thousands of years previous to Their appearance many of the existing [species of] mollusks were in our seas;" for these species may very readily have been Recreated, on the theory we are now advocating, even if they had been exterminated just before the period of man-which, however, does not necessarily follow, for their germs may have survived the cataclysm supposed.

The objections which Dr. Tayler Lewis urges against this "chasm theory," as he styles it, and which he regards as "the most difficult as well as the most unsatisfactory" of all the proposed solutions, are still less forcible (Lange's Commentary on Genesis, page 167):

1. The incongruity between the events spoken of before and after the chasm. But on this theory there is No direct connection.

2. Want of natural or moral reasons for the alleged catastrophe. But no catastrophe is Stated in the narrative; it is only an inference of modern times.

3. The theory is evidently brought in as an escape from geological difficulties. That is little against it, for all the modern explanations are but ingenious devices to meet some speculative view, except the bald one that holds to the literal creation of the universe in six periods of twenty-four hours each. On the other hand, the interpretation under consideration simply allows Moses to say nothing about matters with which he had nothing to do. We protest against making him wise in all the modern scientific ratiocinations.

4. It makes the "heavens" of  Matthew 19:1 different from those of  Matthew 19:8. This is true only as to the Extension of the term, which the different character of the two contexts requires us to vary. Does any reasonable interpreter suppose the mere Sky alone to be meant in  Matthew 19:1, as in  Matthew 19:8.

5. The connecting ו , "and," does not admit "so sharp and remote a severance" in the history. We may reply that there was no wide gap in the imagination of the writer; it exists only in the mind of the modern savant. But, supposing that Moses did know all about the period thus ignored by him, every Bible reader is aware how often such gaps are silently bridged by the conjunction in question, which might almost be described as a "disjunctive" rather than a copulative. The erudite objector himself candidly admits (page 130) that such minute grammatical points as the tense of the verb הָיְתָה , "was," instead of וִתְּהַי , as well as the question whether the first day is exclusive or inclusive of the "beginning," are inconclusive.

On the other hand, the sacred text itself discloses several positive indications of such a hiatus as we have supposed between  Matthew 19:1-2 of Genesis 1.

(1) The term "beginning" implies a sequel or later stage of creation, especially as it stands in so emphatic a position and absolute a form.

(2) The act here designated by the word " created" is not a general one, of which the details follow, but one totally distinct in kind from them, namely, the Aborigination of matter itself: hence it is not used again until the bringing into existence of animal life is specified.

(3) Accordingly, the phrase "heavens and earth," although expressive of the universe, does not mean the celestial and terrestrial worlds as such, or as now extant, but merely their elementary state or materials. This will be disputed by few if any interpreters. But thus, under any theory, a long interval must have elapsed between this primordial state of matter, and its organization or crystallization into the most rudimentary forms to which it is possible to apply the statements of the succeeding verse.

(4) For "the earth" is there spoken of separately as atleast a segregated globe, and special prominence is given to it by its emphatic position in the sentence, as well as by the strong disjunctive accent placed upon it by the Masoretes, whereas the reduction of the heavenly bodies to their present order is not spoken of till a much later point a fact utterly irreconcilable with the view that makes the latter phenomena coincide with their astronomical production.

(5) The force of the substantive verb ה יְהָה , "was," which, was being Expressed in  Genesis 1:2, is not the simple copula, adds intensity to this distinction of the terrene from the aerial sphere, and shows that the writer has descended fmom the universal creation to our own planet as the immediate abode of man. Now although the verb in question ought not perhaps, with some, be rendered became, remained, etc., yet as the equivalent of Ὑπάρχω , in distinction from Εἰμί , it certainly serves to point out a particular condition of the earth at a definite stage of its history as an actual event in contrast with its later and prior state; q.d. "The earth, however, still existed as," etc.

(6) The peculiar phrase employed to describe the condition in question is even more conclusive of this interpretation; for not only is this not an adjective, which would have expressed simple quality, but the nouns וָבֹהוּ תֹּהוּ , literally wasteness And desolation, or emptiness And vacuity (for both these ideas are implied, and the two words are almost snonymous), used superlatively by way of reiterated asseveration, are both expressive of a positive rather than a negative fact, the result of an active cause, and not a mere continuance of disorder or the absence of organic principles, q.d. "wreck and ruin" (compare  Isaiah 34:11, "He shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion [t Ô hu], and the stones of emptiness [bohu]," speaking of the complete demolition of a city).

(7) The same picture of devastation is contained in the parallel terms תְּהוֹם , abyss, and פְּנֵיאּמִּיַם , Surface Of The Water; by which the face of the globe (not its interior) is represented as a vast and billowy sea, just such as an arctic deluge or a suddenly melted mer De glace world exhibit.

(8) Finally, the brooding ( מְּרִחֶפֶה ) of the divine Spirit oaer this dark and turbid nest (not chaotic world-egg) does not exclude all previous creative or reductive energy, but rather implies the already fecundated germ or organized embryo, which only needed incubation to bring it to perfection and manifestation. The semina rerum survived the extinctioan of the parent races, and a fresh brood was to repopulate the globe. Or perhaps the figure may still better be interpreted of the fledgling earth, chilled and stunned by the recent catastrophe, nestling for warmth and protection beneath the genial wings of its Creator, to gather new visor for the final essay at independent life and action.

4. "Dr. Pye Smith, in his Geology And Scripture, suggested that the chaotic period had been confined and limited to one particular portion of the earth's surface, viz. that part which God was adapting for the dwfelling- place of man and the animals connected with him. This section of the earth he designates as a part of Asia lying between the Caucasian range, the Caspian Sea, and Tartary on the north, the Persian and Indian seas on the south, and the mountain ridges which run, at considerable distances, on the eastern and western flanks;' and he suggests that this region was brought by atmospheric and geological causes into a condition of superficial ruin, or some kind of general disorder. This theory left to the geologist his unbroken series of plants and animals in all parts of the world, with the exception of this particular locality. But the explanation was never received with favor, and was obviously inconsistent with the language of Scripture, inasmuch as the term 'the earth,' in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis, embraces the whole of the terrestrial globe, and 'the earth' that is, in the next verse, described as 'without form and void,' cannot be morse restricted in its meaning and extent." This theory, however, is maintained lay one of the latest expositors of this portion of Scripture (Murphy, Commentary on Genesis, ad loc.).

5. Another scheme of reconciliation of Scripture and geology has for its foundation the assumption that the Mosaic days designate periods of vast and undefined extent that the six days of creation portray six long periods of time, which commenced with "the beginning," and have succeeded each other from thence through the various scenes depicted by Moses, up to ans inclusive of the creation of man; and that the seventh day, on which God rested from his work of creation, is still current. Against such a construction of the cord "day" in the Mosaic record, Dr. Buckland, who was one of the advocates for the natural-day interpretation, asserts that "there is no sound critical or theological objection;" an admission, however, which there is abundant reason to dispute. (See Day).

"Long before the question had assumed the importance and interest which the discoveries of geology have given to it, many well-informed philologists advocated the opinion that the Mosaic days were periods of long duration. Among the Jews, Josephus and Philo, and of Christians, Whiston, Des Cartes, and De Luc, have so expressed themselves; while of those who have written with full knowledge of geological facts, we havem Cuvier, Parkinson, Jameson, Silliman, and Hugh Miller all of them holding the opinion that the Mosaic days of creation were successive periods of bong duration." Nevertheless, is a hermeneutical point of view, this theory is open to the gravest objections. (See Mosaic Cosmogony).

The statement of Prof. Tayler Lewis is perhaps the most finished form of this fashionable theorizing, namely, that, as St. Augustine expresses it, "common solar days are mere vicissitudines caeli, mere changes in the position of the heavenly bodies, and not spatia norarum, or evolutions in nature belonging to a higher chronology, and marking their epochs by a law of inward change instead of incidental outward measurements... This is not a metaphorical, but the real and proper sense of the word 'day' the most real and proper, the original sense, in fact, inasmuch as it contains the essential idea of cyclicity or rounded periodicity, or self-completed time, without any of the mere accidents that belong to the outwardly measured solar or planetary epochs, be they longer or shorter ... Wonderful things are told out of the common use of language, and therefore common terms are to be taken in their widest compass, and in their essential instead of their accidental idea... . No better term could be used for the creative morae, pauses, or successive naturae, as Augustine styles them; and so no better words than 'evening' and 'morning' could be used for the antithetical vicissitudes through which these successions were introduced" (Lange's Genesis, page 131). This appears to us a gratuitous assumption of the whole question in debate, and that in a form so nearly as into pure transcendentalism as to be beyond the reach of sober criticism. Its acceptance or rejection will depend upon the subjective condition of the inquirer's own mind. But this interpretation, whether true or false, does not, in fact, at all touch the real difficulty betmeen the geologists and Moses; it mather occasions that difficulty, for it essentially identifies the creative aeras of the two schemes. Now the discrepancy in question, as we shall see, relates not so much to the absolute or comparative length of the several creative processes, as to their relative order and character. These are unmistakably fixed in the most marked and indelible characters in the respective records of geology and Genesis, and, unfortunately for the theory in question, they altogether fail totally. However indefinite an extension, therefore, we may give to the word "day" is the sacred narrative, this will avail little so long as the successive events themselves so widely differ from those of the scientific system. Moreover, the creations of the geological world overlap each other, and vary in their relative position in different regions, whereas those of the Biblical cosmogony are strictly consecutive and universal.

Similar objections apply to an ingenious theory of Prof. S.D. Hillman (in the Math. Qudr. Rev. October 1868), who, while admeirably defending the "nebular hypothesis," proposes to identify the days of creation with astronomical aeras. He leaves no room for the alterations of "evening and morning."

"The consistency or harmony of these two records of the creation that of Moses and that of the geologist has, in conformity with the foregoing interpretation of the word 'day,' been attempted to be traced and vindicated by the late Hugh Miller in a lecture delivered by him to the 'Young Men's Christian Association' in the year 1855, and afterwards republished in The Testimony of the Rocks, and also lay Dr. M'Causland in his Sermons in Stones. The former sought to show the consistency between the facts of geology and the events recorded by Moses as having a occurred on the third, fifth, and sixth days or periods of creation, stating that, as a geologist, he was only called on to account for those three of the six days or periods, inasmuch as geological systems and formations regard the remains of the three great periods of plants, reptiles, and mammals, and those only; and that of the period during which light was created of the period during which a firmament was made to separate the waters from the waters or of the period during which the two great lights of the earth, with the other heavenly bodies; became visible from the earth's surface, we need expect to find no record in the rocks.' But the author of the latter work (Sermons in Stones) has undertaken further to show that geology confirms and establishes the truth of every statement in the record of Moses, from the beginning down to the creation of man the original state of the globe 'without form and void' the first dawn of light the formation of the firmament, and the separation of the waters below from the waters above it and the first appearance of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day, intermediate between thee creation of the vegetable world on the third, and the creation of the creeping things and birds on the fifth day." But neither of these writers, however acute and accurate in matters of natural science, was competent to appreciate the philological and exegetical bearings of the subject, and hence both have palpably warped the statements of the sacred text into a forcible conformity to their geological prepossessions. The many and striking discrepancies will appear in the following discussion of the facts of geology in detail. See section 4.

The only objection which even these geologists have deemed sufficient to set aside the above explanation of Dr. Chalmers is that geology (in their view) furnishes no evidence of such a sudden and total break in the order of creation immediately previous to the introduction of man. It is difficult to see how they can maintain this argument in the face of the two well- known facts, that no remains of the present races of animals or vegetables are to be found in the fossiliferous rocks (at least none in those below the "in tertiary"), and that none of the fossil species are now extant upon the globe. The few exceptions claimed to these rules are too trifling and doubtful to affect their validity (these are strongly adduced by Lyell, A ntiq. of Man, Lond. and N.Y. 1863; a careful synopsis may be found in Bruce's Races of the Old World, N.Y. 1863, ch. 32; comp. Brit. and For. Evan. Rev. October 1861; Meth. Quar. Rev. January 1864), and the cases of striking resemblance may be referred to the maintenance of analogous types of being in each fresh creation. Indeed, the universal presence of "drift," and the striae everywhere found upon rocks at the surface, seem to be conclusive evidence of some grand cataclysm closing the pre-Adamite period with universal wreck, which the flippant assertions of some modern writers cannot gainsay. Several of the recently discovered cases of human remains or art, covered by deposits computed to be of immense age, are examined by an expert in the Meth. Quarterly Review for October 1865, and the preposterous conclusions derived from them by Lyell and others fully exploded. The well-known rate of the growth of deltas at the alluvial so-aths of all great rivers proves that they began their course not over six thousand years ago. Prof. Jewell, of Chicago, in the Meth. Quar. Review for January 1869, carefully examines all the most recent discoveries alleged in favor of the antiquity of man tinder the five heads: "1. Lacustrine habitations of Central and Southern Europe; 2. 'Kjocken-middings' or Kitchen refuse-heaps of the coasts of Denmark and Norway, and the Atlantic coast of North America; 3. Deltas, as those of the Nile, Po, Ganges, and Mississippi; 4. Cave deposits, in various parts of Europe; 5. Reanains [of human bones and other objects] found is the peat, clay, and gravel-beds and terrace-formations of various parts of the world." He then sums up the proper scientific conclusions from these geological data thus:

(1.) Man and the mammoth in some parts of the globe were contemporaneous.

(2.) Instead of carrying man back to the period assigned to the mammoth and other great extinct pachyderms, we are acquired rather to bring the mammoth down to the period of man.

(3.) We may safely say that the facts elicited not only show that those deposits in which remains of man have been found may have been formed within the six thousand years of historical chronology, but that in all probability such was the case.

(4.) The knowledge we yet have of the dynamical geology of the various superficial formations from the "pleistocene" upward, is not such as to enable us to reach trustworthy conclusions with regard to past time.

(5.) Geological changes have taken place in the past with a rapidity seldom if ever witnessed at present.

6. In view of all the difficulties, some interpreters in despair abandon all attempt at reconcilement between the Mosaic record and scientific findings, e.g., Kalisch, as above, and in general the whole Rationalistic school. Even Quarry (Genesis And Its Authorship, Lond. 1866 chapter 1), while acutely and forcibly showing the untenableness of the adjustments proposed in favor of the geological schemes, is most content with pronouncing the effort premature, in view of the unsettled state of the sciences involved, but proceeds to lay down the axiom that we must give up looking for physical truth where moral truth alone is to be expected." But surely this is not simply a case where the phenomenal theory of interpretation is competent to explain the whole discrepancy applicable as that principle was seen to be to much of the phraseolegy of the Mosaic account as early as the time of Gregory of Nyssa (Hexaimeaon, in Opp. Greg. Ny's., where the optical explanation is advocated); for as Moses is expressly writing on the subject of creation, a just exegesis demands that his statements so far as they are parallel must tally with all later discoveries and conclusions. (See Hermeneutics).

Mr. Quarry (Genesis, page 17 sq.) adduces the following alleged discrepancies as evidence of the non-historical character of the narrative in Genesis 1, 2 :

(1.) The apparently simultaneous creation of both "the heavens and the earth" in the beginning, whereas the firmament, the celestial bodies at least, are represented as being formed in detail at a later day. But if, as we hold, the first verse merely declares the calling into existence of the primordial matter or elements, not only does all repetition vanish, but the distinction inherent in the nature of the case between creation proper and progressive develaopent is duly observed. Our explanation likewise dissipates his objection to the use of the term "days" before the creation of the sun.

(2.) He alleges that the numeral אֶחָד , One, being here anarthrous, cannot properly be rendered "first" in connection with the opening eve- morn of creation, in the sense of the order of time. But certainly it can have no other meaning when followed in tie same series by the other undoubted ordinals "second," "third," etc. That the Sixth day alone has the article is due to its emphasis as the concluding one of the working week.

(3.) The correlation between the two triads of works"the luminaries of the fourth day corresponding to the light of the first, the fishes and birds of the fifth to the waters and the firmament of the second, and the terrestrial animals of the sixth to the dry land of the third" constitutes no valid argument against the matter-of-fact character of the representation; for these are merely signs of the progress and harmony observable in all God's plans, and a special coincidence arising in this case from the necessarily gradual preparation of the globe for its varied classes of tenants. The assumptions that birds are impliedly represented as being produced from the air, that the creatures were all brought before Adam immediately upon their creation, and that the woman was formed on a different day from the man, are all gratuitous and erroneous, as is likewise the supposition that the absence of vegetation in  Genesis 2:5 was absolute and universal, instead of referring to a mere spontaneous Growth, and that in Eden simply.

III. Geological Formations. "The crust of the earth is composed of rocks, which have been formed, some by the action of file, such as granite, basalt, porphyry, and greenstone, which are termed igneous rocks, and some by sedimentary deposit at the bottom of water, such as sandstone, limestone, shale, etc., which are known as aqueous or stratified rocks. Igneous rocks were first formed; and on these, from time to time, through the long ages of our planet's existence, were deposited the many successive layers of sedimentary stratified rocks, in which are found the fossil remains of the animals and plants that were in existence during the several periods of deposition. These layers of rocks have been frequently and extensively, throughout these aeras of their formation, broken up and distorted by volcanic action, and the protrusion of igneous rocks from beneath, upwards, and through them; and by these the mountain ranges, in all parts of the earth, have been elevated, and those diversities of land and sea which the face of our planet presents, have been formed." We shall continue, in accordance with the prevalent theory, to characterize the basis rocks, i.e. granite, and its unstratified congeners, as igneous, although recent investigations tend to the conclusion that they, as well as the superincumbent animated series, are the result of the disintegrations, decompositions, and fresh combinations of aqueous agency.

"The first aspect of the globe which the investigations of the cosmogonist have enabled us to realize, present to view a viscid igneous ball revolving on its axis, and wheeling its annual course around the sun its center of attraction. Its present oblate spheroidical form, flattened at the poles and elevated at the equator, is the exact form that a liquid sphere of the size and weight of the earth, revolving on its axis in twenty-four hours, would assume; and the still prevailing central heat, which is indicated by the gradual increase of temperature as we descend in mines from the surface in the direction of the earth's center, reveals the igneous origin of the mass. The gradual cooling down of this fiery sphere, by radiation into space, would result in the formation of a crust of granite or some other igneous rock on the surface; and as the cooling progressed, the gases which are the constituents of water, and which are kept asunder by intense heat, would naturally combine, and thus the crust, in process of time, would be covered with an ocean. Thus we have all the elements requisite for the production of the first series of sedimentary rocks, which were formed out of the disturbed particles or detritus of the igneous crust at the bottom of the waters which encircled the globe. The lowest of our sedimentary rocks, gneiss and mica schist, which rest on the primordial granite, or some other rock of igneous origin, are found, on inspection, to be composed of the debris or broken particles of granite, and so far the foregoing theory of their origin is confirmed. This' series of rocks has been styled 'metamorphic,' from the great change that has been wrought in their structure by the action of the intense heat to which, at the time of their formation, they must have been exposed, and by which they have been partially crystallized, and their lines of stratification obliterated. They form a portion of that vast pile of the bottom rocks which have been termed 'the Cambrian,' and which have been calculated to be 25,000 feet, or nearly five miles, in depth or thickness. "Throughout the long ages occupied by the deposition of the mass of sediment of which these bottom rocks are composed, the temperature of the globe must have been very high, though gradually becoming more cool; and the traces of animal life in them are extremely rare and difficult to detect and identify. The scanty fossil remains which have been discovered by the industry and research of the geologist, reveal no type of animal life of a higher order than the zoophyte (a creature partly of animal and partly of a vegetable nature), annelids, or sea-worms, and bivalve mollusks all of them marine creatures devoid of the senses of sight and hearing; and with them have been found traces of fucoids or sea-weeds, but no land vegetation. In fact, all that has been discovered of organic matter in these rocks indicates a beginning of life at the time of their formation, and a beginning of life in the lowest and most humble of its forms.

"The long aera of the Cambrian formation was succeeded by another as extensive, during which the rocks which have been denominated 'the Silurian' were formed, by sedimentary deposits, to the depth (as some estimnate) of 30,00 feet. The fossil remains of animals throughout this formation are abundant, and disclose the zoology of the aera to have been confined to submarine invertebrates, zoophytes, mollusks, and crustaceans; and no vertebrate animal appears until the close of the aera, when the remains of fishes are found in the beds which lie immediately at the top of the Silurian formation. Light to some extent must have pervaded the earth during this period; for many of the mollusks, and all of the crustaceans. were furnished with eyes, some of them, as in the instance of the trilobite, of a peculiarly elaborate and perfect structure. It appears to be a law of nature, that animals whose entire existence is passed in darkness are either wholly devoid of the organs of sight, or, if rudimentary eyes are discoverable, they are useless for the purposes of vision, as exemplified in the animals of all orders, from the mollusk to the mammals, which have been discovered in the caverns of Illyria, in the caverns of South America, mentioned by Humboldt, in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, in deep wells, and in depths of the sea where no ray of light can penetrate.

"The system that succeeded the Silurian was that in which the Devonian or Old-Red-Sandstone rocks were formed; and all geologists concur in stating that the position in which these rocks are found indicates that the aera was ushered in by violent commotions, during which most of the principal mountain ranges in the world were thrown up. The fossil remains of this era, during which sedimentary rocks, calculated to be about 10,000 feet in thickness, were formed, present to our view, in addition to the previous existing orders of animals, vertebrate fish of the Placoid and Ganoid species. These have been graphically described by Hugh Miller, in The Old Red Sandstone, as cartilaginous, and clad in strong integuments of bone composed of enameled plates, instead of the horny scales which form the covering of the fish of the present day; and it has been suggested by Dr. Buckland that this hard coating may have formed a defense against the injurious effects of water of a high temperature. The first traces of land vegetation have been found at the top of the Silurian, where the Old Red Sandstone rests on it." "The fossil remains of a small reptile, which is stated to have been found in a rock at the top of the Old Red Sandstone, have been supposed to be the first traces of terrestrial life upon the globe; but professor Owen is of opinion that the rock in question does not belong to the Old Red Sandstone formation, but to another long subsequent the Trias.

"The system that succeeded the Devonian is the Carboniferous, which is one of importance and interest to mankind, as having been the period of the formation of coal, iron, and the mountain limestone a combination of products that have contributed so largely in these latter days to the comfort and convenience of the human race. The coal-measures, it is well ascertained, are the product of profuse and extensive vegetation, and the nature of the plants of which it has been formed is easily discoverable by a close examination of the mineral itself, which, on inspection, discloses them to have been almost entirely of the cryptogamic order, and such as would be produced in abundance in positions of shade, heat, and humidity. Ferns, calamites, and esquisitaceous plants preponderate, and wood of hard and ligneous tissue, which is, in a great measure, dependant on the unshaded light of the sunbeam, is of rare occurrence in this formation, while season rings, which result from the impact of the direct rays of sunlight on the tree, are not found at all