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AGREEMENT OF GEOLOGY WITH THE BIBLE.
TRUTH SHALL SPRING OUT OF THE EARTH; AND RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL LOOK DOWN FROM HEAVEN.-Psalms 85:11.
The truths of science bear an important testimony to the truths of revelation.
It is, however, a fact, that about every science, when in its incipient state, has been arrayed against revelation. Astronomy, chemistry, natural history, the study of language, mental and moral science, history, and, last of all, geology, have all been thought to conflict with the accounts given in Scripture; thus setting the God of nature, and the author of the Bible, at variance. But in
But in process of time, it has been seen and acknowledged, that the clashing was not between nature and the Bible, but between the interpretations, the philosopher gives of nature's language, and the interpretations given by the Divine, of the language of the Scriptures. Just so far as nature and the Bible are understood, they must speak the same language.
It is our object, in this lecture, to show that the facts, recently discovered in geological science, so far from invalidating the truth of the Bible, go to substantiate its teachings.
In discussing a subject like this, I labor under two serious difficulties. FirstIt is extremely difficult to bring enough of the subject into one lecture to make it clear and comprehensible. You will, therefore, be under the necessity of taking many principles for granted, in regard to which all respectable geologists are agreed; not because their proof might not be easily given, but because our limits will not admit of entering into the argument. Second
-It is difficult to treat a subject like this, without using technical terms, and nothing is worse persecution to plain common-sense people, than the unintelligible language of aqueous and igneous rocks, fossils and strata. We shall therefore, use the plainest language possible, at the risk of being thought awkwardly prolix, by the learned. The ob jection that such preaching is not Gospel, we regard as altogether beneath our notice or scorn.
I. We shall notice some of the principal facts of Geology.
THE ORDER OF THE STRATA WHICH FORM THE CRUST OF
THE EARTH, TILTED UP AS IN A MOUNTAIN.
1 2 3 4
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
1. Without animal remains,-2. Slate.-3. Old Red Sand Stone. 4. Mountain Lime Stone.-5. Coal Beds.— 6. Lime Stone.—7. New Red Sand Stone.-8. Oolite Rocks.—9. Chalk Beds.—10. Blue Plastic Clay.--11. Gypsum.–12. Sand Stone.—13. Dilluvium.-14. Alluvium.-15. Vegetable Soil.
1. The earth has been examined to the depth of six or eight miles. The examination has been made from mountains, which have been thrown up from the earth by the action of heat. Mountains have been found to contain
specimens of the same kind of rock, arranged with great regularity which is found, when men dig into the earth; and hence is the conclusion that they have been thrown up from the earth.
2. The sea and earth have changed places a number of times. Take a glass vessel, and fill it with equal parts of earth and water-mix them and when it settles, you will see the sediment at the bottom. Suppose, now, you continue to drop in earth, the vessel will eventually become full of earth, and the water will run over and seek another abode. Suppose further that as the sediment begins to descend to the bottom, you should drop in a very small fish, and when that is completely covered with sediment, you drop in a little reptile, when that is covered, a small animal, and last of all, you drop in something that represents a small man. All through the process you have, we will suppose, dropped in small trees that have sunk with the sediment to the bottom. Let this vessel of sediment stand for a while, and it will become hard ; and in process of time, it would become rock. This, though by no means a complete representation of our earth, in its undisturbed state, as it has been acted upon by quiet waters, yet, will serve as a very good illustration, to show how the different fossils are disposed above each other in the crust of the earth.
Now, in examining this sediment, the fish would be found at the bottom, the reptile next, the animal next to that, and the man above all, with the vegetable matter interspersed all the way along. Geologists, therefore, reckon four ages, the reign of fishes, the reign of reptiles, the reign of animals, and the reign of man.
3. Geology also teaches that the massive rock, which lie underneath all this sediment, and many of which have been thrown up to the surface of the earth by the action of heat, have been melted, and hence we cannot tell whether they ever contained organic remains or not.
4. Geology teaches that the climates of this earth have undergone material changes. Tropical animals and vegetation have been found in Northern latitudes. Carcasses of the elephant with flesh and skin preserved by the ice have been found in Siberia.
Animals and bones are often found whole, and present no marks of having been rolled up and down, hence it is evident that they must have lived in the countries where their remains are found.
In certain caves in Germany, England and France, great quantities of bones have been found, in such circumstances, as to show that the animals were destroyed by some sudden catastrophe. A great majority of these bones are those of the hyena. Other bones are also found in these caves which bear marks of having been gnawed by hyenas. Now, if hyenas once inhabited these regions, it is certain that the temperature of these countries must have been higher than it has been since the history of man.
The quantity of nourishment, also, required by these immensely large herbivorous animals, whose remains are found in these Northern regions, must have required a much warmer climate, and one more favorable to vegetation than we have at present.
5. Many fossil remains of animals, shells, and vegetables are the remains of species, which have not existed on