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earth since the history of man, thus species of animals and trees have become extinct.
6. The immense beds of coal, which lie many hundred feet beneath the surface of the earth, were once vegetable matter. In these beds, trees are sometimes found with the bark all on. Numerous palm trees have been found in England, that bear so close resemblance to the palms of tropical regions, that their vegetable origin cannot be doubted. Now it is not probable that the earth could have produced vegetation enough to form these beds of coal short of millions of
years. 7. According to the deposites that have been made on the land and in the sea, since we find any of the remains of man, millions of years must have been requisite for these deposites that have covered beasts, reptiles and fishes six miles beneath the surface of the earth. If six thousand years were requisite for a few feet of deposites, what an immense period must have been requisite for six miles of deposites !
II. Such are some of the leading facts of geology, which are denied by no man of intelligence, who has ever examined the subject; and now the question is, how is such a revelation of the earth's history and which is written on its leaves of stone, that form a volume of miles in thickness, how are such facts to be reconciled with the volume of in-spiration ?
1. Formerly, it was supposed that the Deluge of Noah: occasioned all these changes in the earth.
But a large proportion of these rocks and remains of animals were
deposited in quiet waters. The animals are frequently deposited in groups, and in great order, besides which, the Deluge was too short to deposite sediment six miles in thickness, and furthermore the deposites of animals and plants do not correspond with the animals and plants which are now on earth.
2. Some have supposed that these changes took place in the sixteen hundred years between the creation and the flood, but to this, Professor Hitchcock replies, that the time “since the deluge has been twice as long as sixteen hundred years, but the amount of alluvium deposited, has not been one thousandth part as great as the whole fossilifferous rocks.” Then according to this theory, the animals found in these deposites ought to be like existing animals, whereas they are very different, and not a single man or implement used by a man is found amongst them.
3. Some have regarded the six days of creation as long periods of time, but this creates many new difficulties and removes none.
There is the same evidence that the six days of creation were literal, as there is that the seventh—the day of rest was literal. There can be no rational doubt that the six days of labor mentioned in the fourth commandment, were the same kind of days as the seventh day.-(Exodus 20 : 9, 10, 11.) We see by comparing Genesis 2: 5, with 1 : 11, 12, that it did not rain till the third day, which would be very improbable if the days were long periods.
It will also be recollected that Moses describes vegetables to have been created the third day, and animals not till the fifth, hence, on the principle that these days were epochs,
we should find vegetable substances lower than animal remains, whereas the reverse is true. Animals have been found lower than vegetables.
4. Another theory asserts that God formed these fossil remains, just as they are. But such an idea is contrary to all analogy, and if admitted, then farewell to the hope of learning any thing from the study of God's works. When we see a shell, we are confident that it once contained a living creature, and if we pick up a single bone we know that it belonged to some kind of animal, and so when a shell and a bone are exhumed five or six miles from beneath the earth's surface, we must conclude that they once belonged to living creatures.
A far better method of reconciling these facts with the account of the creation as given in the first of Genesis, is to admit that the popular comments put upon that account are incorrect. There is no clashing between geology and Moses, when Moses is rightly understood.
Several explanations of that account have been given of which we have no time to speak, but that which appears the most reasonable, and upon which the most intelligent Christians seem disposed to settle down is as follows
The first verse, it is supposed, gives an account of the original creation, in short, stating that it was in the beginning, without fixing the date of that beginning. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The second verse, it is believed, expresses the confused and chaotic state in which the world was found, after some dire convulsion, when God commenced its present arrangement. "For the earth had become empty and desolate,
and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
With the third verse, begins the work of the first day. “ And God said let there be light.” It is evident that the first day's work begins with the third verse, from the fact that this form of expression begins each day's work. At the opening of the second day's work, it is said: “ And God said, let there be a firmament,” &c. (6) At the third day, it is said : " And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together," and so throughout, at the commencement of each day, this form of words is used.
But it may be asked, would such a construction ever have been put upon Moses' words, had it not been for geological discovery? To this, we reply, that such a view, in substance, was adopted by many, long before geology existed as a science; amongst whom were Augustine, Theodoret, Rosinmuler and Bishop Patrick. It is also said that astronomy shows that other world's are now undergoing similar changes to what our world must have undergone before the present Mosaic creation.
Thus taking this view of the language of the Bible, and certainly it is a fair view,) there is nothing in geology that contradicts the record of Moses.
We will attempt to point out some things in which geology manifestly agrees with the Bible.
1. Geology accords with the Bible in the idea of one Almighty, wise, and benevolent God, who was before all, and who in infinite wisdom presides over all. Who but a God, who is from everlasting to everlasting, could have
created and presided over this wonderful planet on which we dwell!
2. Geology further accords with the Bible in strongly suggesting the immortality of the soul. Numerous races of animals have succeeded each other, each race superior to its predecessor. The reptile succeeds the fish, and the animal, superior to both, succeeds the reptile. There has been progress in the races of animals that have succeeded each other, though there has been none in the individuals or generation of a class. The race of monkeys are now no wiser than they were a thousand years ago, and there is but little variety in the sagacity of individuals belonging to this class. But when man came upon the stage, he possessed not only the most perfect animal powers, but the capacity of improvement with in himself. It was needful that races of animals that could not improve should perish, and give way to those of a higher order ; but when we come to man that necessity does not exist, since he has within himself the desire and capacity for endless improvement. All that would prevent this capability, is the feebleness and the mortality of his animal nature. Unless, therefore, man's very nature and the nature of the whole past animal race be a lie, man may be permitted, in some other sphere, to act out his nature and gratify his desires, as effectually, as each past race of animals have fulfilled the object of their being. This cannot be, unless man be immortal, since he has a nature, evidently adapted to immortality.
3. Geology accords with the Bible in teaching the necessity of a Saviour. There is a principle of degradation and decay in the animal kingdom, as well as of progress. If a