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ledge, a something different from what A DISSERTATION ON GEOLOGY. she really afterwards knew, to her
[Continued from col. 857.] greatest sorrow. It is not making an unimplied inference, to conclude, that Objection II.-It is plainly intimated by eating of the fruit she judged she in the Bible, that all animals were should become like the gods, not only made for the use of man; and that the in wisdom, but in greatness.
various animals which were created From the preceding observations, on the fifth and sixth day were alive together with those which naturally when Adam was created. But accordarise from reading the history of our ing to your system, many generations Lord's temptations, we may casily of fishes lived and died before the properceive, that Satan considers well duction of land animals, and many the weak side of man,—the constitu- generations of land animals before the tional inclination,—the besetting sin, formation of man. Nay, this is not or what may probably be so; and thus all. If we are to believe modern makes his attacks on these grounds. Geologists, entire species, and even Is there any criterion, then, whereby entire genera, became extinct, and we may properly distinguish his temp- were succeeded by new ones. The tations in this case, as well as in the first fishes were of the most imperfect preceding? I know of no standard kind, and their genera were wbolly whatever, unless that which may be different from any which now inhabit raised from the following materials: the seas. At length fishes began to In the man who is only awakened to a appear, of which the genera were the sense of his sin and danger, the reason same as those which exist at present, and conscience not only approve of but the species were quite different. God's law, but rejoice in it, see Rom. Lastly, fishes were created of the same vii. The will is also on the same side, kind as those which dwell at present though the corrupt passions violently in our seas. The same thing took oppose. For the good that such a per- place with respect to the land animals. son would do, (or wills to do,) he finds Such is your doctrine. Now, how do no power to perform. The passions, you reconcile this with the Scripture? whether we consider them as simply Answer:-If you find it difficult to good, or in a state of moral disorder, reconcile this theory, or rather this are mere impulses, blind forces, tend- fact, with the scriptural account, it is ing, like instinct in the lower animals, owing to your having fallen into two towards their respective objects, inca- mistakes.—1. You confound together, pable of giving a reason why. As the Bible being silent on a thing, and they are therefore incapable of reason the Bible contradicting it. Moses has ing in any manner whatever, and as certainly not given us the least hint the understanding, conscience, and that any genera or any species of will of the person in question, are fishes died before the creation of really on God's side, it is contrary to beasts; or any genera or species of every perception we have of ourselves, beasts, before the creation of man. to suppose the reasoning power would He has not said, or even hinted, that now rise up against God. When such a single individual perished. But he persons therefore perceive reasonings has not said the contrary. Moses has within, that would drown the voice of not told us that God created the angels. conscience, blind the understanding, Nevertheless, we are not only autholessen the obligation to duty, put a rized, but even bound to believe, that false gloss, and give an innocent ap- he did create them.-You will perpearance to those things which God haps reply, that the formation of anhas prohibited, they may (in my judg- gels was foreign to the subject. I ment) certainly conclude, that such grant it; but I will mention something suggestions are inspired by some which is intimately connected with his agent distinct from themselves, who subject, yea, that forms a part of his can be no other than the Devil. I subject; and yet he has omitted it conclude, by remarking,—that if the altogether. I mean, the creation of person subject to the law of sin and insects. He particularizes the other death, may discriminate in this case; kinds of animals; fishes, birds, beasts, much more may he be able to judge, and reptiles; and yet he says not a who is made free through righteous- single syllable of insects. Towards ness by the Spirit of God.
the end of the chapter he thrice enu913
A Dissertation on Geology.
merates the different kinds of animals, ter, that God at first created a perfect yet not one word do we read of insects. world? or even that he afterwards It were idle to say that insects are brought the various parts to perfection included in the expression,“ every at the same time? We are told just creeping thing wherein is life.” Moses the contrary. After God had made might have comprised all the other the earth, it was a rude, shapeless, kinds in two words, namely, all ani- chaotic mass: from this imperfect mals; and yet he has preferred to state, it was subsequently brought speak of them severally, though he into a state of greater perfection, and had occasion to mention them three adorned with trees and plants. But times. We perceive, then, that we are even then it was in a progressive state. not only permitted, but also required, The sea and the dry land were succesto supply something at which Moses sively stocked with their proper inhahas not even hinted. The sum and bitants, but not with all their proper substance of the whole matter is this: inhabitants. At a still later period, the nature of fishes and the nature of the finishing hand was put to this fair beasts were created for the use of man. and resplendent fabric.
Man was It signifies not how many millions of formed, and the work was perfected. individuals perished; it matters not All this is evident, from the most suhow many species were swept from perficial reading of the chapter; but existence, or how many genera were there are one or two remarkable pasannihilated : the nature pre- sages in it which do not strike the served, and the Almighty's purpose mind at first, but which, during my was accomplished. 2. You commit meditations, have presented theman error of judgment, when you ex- selves. It is stated that God made pect a minute and circumstantial man by his own immediate act; but detail in a general account. If it had that he formed the fishes, birds, and been the will of God the Spirit, that beasts, not by his own immediate his inspired servant should write a acting, but by the agency of secondary large volume on the subject, like that causes. He commanded the sea and of Jameson, we should undoubtedly the dry land to bring forth the various have been informed of all that Jameson kinds of animals. Surely it is remarkhas told us; aye, and of infinitely able, that all the animals which we
But this was not the counsel maintain were improved and perfected of the Holy One. Further, when we by degrees, were brought forth by the consider, or rather when we endeavour operation of nature; but man,
of to conceive what God is, and then whom only one species was created, remember what we are, instead of and who therefore was made perfect expecting that he should tell us every at once, was produced by the immething, we ought to feel astonished that diate actings of the Deity. There is he should have revealed so much. another peculiarity to which I would
You, doubtless, will not fail to ob- direct your attention: after the earth serve, that even granting that I have was covered with verdure, it is said, removed the chief part of the objection, “ and God saw that it was good.” there is one difficulty which lurks be- After the sea had brought forth the hind. You will say, it derogates both fishes and birds, the same thing is from the wisdom and the power of declared. After the dry land had God, to maintain that at first he cre- brought forth the beasts and reptiles, ated animals in an imperfect state; the same thing is again declared. that he next created animals of a more Now, when we are told that God saw perfect kind; and that after two or that it was good, it implies (in accomthree successive formations, he at modation to our feeble faculties) that length brought his works to perfection. God looked upon what was made, to -I reply, that instead of reasoning ascertain whether it was good; and abstractedly on the method in which this again implies, that it might not the Deity ought to act, it would be have been perfectly good. But after wiser humbly to inquire how he has God had created man, it is not said, acted. I think I can shew from the “ and God saw that it was good." first chapter of Genesis, that this mode He made man by his own immediate of operation which you deem imper- acting: and what he made, must of fect is the very mode which the Lord necessity have been good. How coradopted. Do we learn from this chap- rect, how accurate, is this account No. 10.-Vol, I.
Moses! What sublime truths are con- I think we are clearly taught, that all tained in its hidden depths! Could pain and suffering, whether physical such a eomposition have proceeded or moral, are the effects of sin; the from an impostor?
effects of Adam's sin. How comes it I trust I have now shewn that we then, that any part of the creation was are authorized by Scripture to assert, exposed to suffering and death before that the works of God were in general sin was introduced ? On this perbrought to perfection by a long and plexing question I will venture to offer continued process. This may have my ideas. If I should succeed, it been done, because the divine attri- must be attributed to the light which butes would thereby be more emi- I have derived from the sixteenth nently glorified, as I shall endeavour chapter of Dr. Owen, on the person of to evince in the next article. It may Christ; or rather, to that Fountain of also have been done, that the holy light and glory whose refulgent beams angels might take a deeper interest in irradiated the page of Owen. that favoured being for whom such The great end and object of all the great things were doing, for whom divine counsels and proceedings, is those works of nature, which to them the glory of God. Let us then, in the appeared so lovely, were not deemed course of our inquiry, keep in sight of sufficient excellence !
this grand truth. The glorification of Objection III.-It is inti ted in the divine perfections was the primary Scripture, and it has always been object of the Son of God, when, by held by orthodox divines, that all suf- the power of the Father, through the fering is in consequence of sin. If operation of the Spirit, he formed the there had been no sin, there would mundane system. But before the crehave been no suffering, no pain, no ation of Adam, there was no visible death. Adam was constituted the image ; there was no representation of federal head and representative, not the holy attributes of God in this lower only of the human race, but also of world. Some traces, indeed, of his the whole creation. Adam sinned; goodness, his wisdom, and his power, and the brute creation, as well as the were impressed upon the brute crehuman race, participated in the effects ation. But they could not bear the of his disobedience. But according impress of his moral excellencies; to your system, the various kinds of they could exhibit no similitude of his animals were obnoxious to pain and holiness and righteousness, those prodeath before Adam had any existence. perties whereby he is peculiarly gloriThus, there were misery and death in fied, and wherein he is pre-eminently the world before the introduction of sin. known. Thus, at that early period,
Answer:-To the mind of an Unita- there was no established method by rian, this objection would be light as which Jehovah might be magnified; air. An Unitarian, in common with there was no medium by which the infidels, denies in toto the fall of various works of nature might accomman!!! He denies, of course, its im- plish their high destiny, through which puted consequences. But I am not of they might bring in a revenue of glory their party; and I hope, O reader, and honour to the Lord. Now, as the that thou art not among their number. glory of God was the especial object May God preserve both thee and me of the creation, · but the creatures from this last extremity. I say, this could not then subserve that blessed last extremity. I conceive that the purpose, it would not have comported Deist or the Atheist, who openly and with the justice of the Deity to place honestly rejects the Bible, must incur them in a state of perfect happiness
. less of the Divine displeasure, than This would have been to place them the man who professes to believe the on a level with those beings who fulfil Scripture, and yet labours to under the ends of their existence. Neither mine its very foundation.
would it have been suitable unto the But although this objection present Divine wisdom. For it was the plan not aught of difficulty to the Unitarian, of the Deity, that the creation should it has occasioned unto me consider- be in a progressive state, and should able perplexity. I acknowledge that gradually improve unto its very end. it is a difficulty, and I pity those who If therefore the animals had been in a do not perceive it. “ If our gospel state of absolute unmixed happiness, be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” | the order of things would have been
918 violated, and there would have been on the fifth. It is clear, however, from perfection and imperfection at the the system of modern Geologists, that same time. But when man was made, there must have been a new creation the image of the Divinity shone forth of vegetables after the various shelly in cloudless majesty; and when he strata had been deposited. It is also was appointed the head and repre- evident, from the concluding letter in sentative of the whole creation, then Parkinson's third volume, that the formwas creation's end accomplished. It ation of fishes must have been continued then comported with the holy attri- while the beasts were being created, butes of Deity, that the animals should Does this harmonize with the Scripture? be brought into a state of absolute Answer.—The proper answer to this felicity: and more glory redounded to is contained in my answers to your the Creator from this wondrous tran- second objection. sition on the introduction of his image, Objection V.-Moses gives us a parthan could have accrued from the con- ticular account of a great and universal tinuance of these animals in a state deluge, without even hinting that any already perfect.—Reader, have I, in other ever occurred. But according any degree, removed the difficulty ? to the Geologists, various deluges hap
It must not, however, be forgotten, pened even before the creation of that the beneficent Creator so ordered man; and you yourself have intimated things, that all the animals which as much. Is this Scriptural ? existed previous to man, enjoyed a
Answer.-The proper answer to this large portion of felicity. On three also is contained in my answers to accounts, their happiness must have your second objection. been far greater than it is at present: Objection VI.-Moses tells us, that 1. The face of the earth was not over the reptiles were formed together with spread with towns and cities, nor the beasts; but according to Cuvier, fenced in with inclosures, nor deso- crocodiles and some other oviparous lated by wars.
The fruits of the animals were created with the fishes earth were produced for them alone. at a much earlier period. 2. They were free from the dominion Answer.-Moses says, that the earth of man, and therefore were not kept brought forth beasts and reptiles. It in the unnatural state in which many is therefore clear, that he must be of them are now confined. They must, speaking of the land reptiles. Crococonsequently, have had fewer, and per- diles, and some other amphibious anihaps they had no diseases. 3. They mals, are certainly more nearly allied were not exposed to the cruelty of to fishes than to beasts; and therefore man, which is probably the most fer- there can be little doubt that they tile source of their misery. Thus their were produced from water, and not enjoyments greatly outweighed their from the earth. What Moses says sufferings, and existence was to them does not appertain to them. He a considerable blessing.-If then you passes them over in silence, as he did ask me, whether in the present state the insects. But on this point, I said there would have been any suffering, enough in a former place. had there been no sin? I answer, that Objection VII.-Cuvier asserts, that there would have been none.
after the primitive mountains had once again ask me, whether there could emerged from the ocean, their summits have been any? my reply is this: I were never again covered by it. This conceive that there could not have is in direct opposition to Moses, who been any mental suffering, or any cor- states, that the waters rose above the poreal suffering, to rational beings, if highest mountains. there had been no previous sin. I
Answer.-It is evident, from the think, however, that God might justly context, that Cuvier's meaning is this: expose his irrational creatures to phij after the primitive mountains were sical evil, especially if he so ordered once uncovered, the sea never again matters that their happiness would far covered them for a length of time, exceed their misery; and that exist so as to deposit any shelly strata. ence upon such terms would be greatly I conceive, he would not deny that the preferable to non-existence.
waters may have risen above the most Objection IV.-We are informed by elevated mountains, and have conMoses, that the trees and plants were tinued there for a few months. made on the third day, and the fishes (To be concluded in our neat.)
ON THE EARTH'S INCLINATION TO THE grace; and the moment we attempt to PLANE OF ITS ORBIT.
comprehend or encircle the former, we The following remarks, extracted from betray our presumption and folly. It
is here that our most vigorous imagian original and unfinished MS., on the probable cause of the Earth's' In-nation is swallowed up, by the immenclination to the plane or level of its sity of that self-existent, incompreOrbit, and on the polarity of the mag
hensible Being, whose nature is inscrunetic needle, deduced from reflections table, and whose ways are “past findon the primeval and chaotic state of
ng out.” matter, will, I trust, be favoured with
In our evening contemplations, when an insertion in the Imperial Magazine. surveying his works,webehold the moon They are perfectly new to me; and I like an immense crystal lamp; the stars, am unconscious that any similar con
as so many golden tapers, advance in a jectures have ever appeared before the glittering train ; a thousand and a thou
sand luminaries shine forth in succespublic. Their early appearance in your valuable Miscellany, will greatly ob- sive splendour; and pendulous in fluid lige your most obedient servant,
æther, a countless multitude of globes Oct. 21, 1819.
accomplish their rotations in one eternal
harmony. Touched with solemn transPreliminary Sketches.
port at scenes so vast, and yet so uni
form, the intelligent and reflecting There is perhaps no subject with spectator is irresistibly conducted from which we are acquainted, that excites the workmanship to the great Workan equal degree of interest in the mind, man; and his mind is sweetly captior tempts so much the industry of man vated in the contemplation of the stuto study and to explore, as the wisdom pendous attributes of power, mercy, of God displayed in the works of crea- and love, which unite to form that intion. Conscious of its divine origin, describable constellation of beauties and impatient of confinement, the hu- centering in the divine Being. It was man mind, fond of bold adventures, is under the most devout and exalted perpetually on the alert, in the pursuit conception of God, that the mind of of good or ill. As the evanescent crea
our incomparable Milton dictated the tures of a day, we live upon the wing of following pathetic and sublime lines, time, and we exist on the margins which
“These are thy glorious works, Parent of Good; divide a material from a spiritual world; Almighty! thine this universal frame, where the vanishing extremes of both, Thus wondrous fair, Thyself how wondrous then!" mingle themselves in shades and tints The alternate approximation and which are almost imperceptible; and recession of the polar regions of the where the intellectual powers seem Earth to the Sun, during its annual poised, in a condition unable wholly to march round that luminary, giving to quit the one, or successfully to reach the the husbandman his seed-time and harother. Whatever we learn of either, is vest, which clothe the smiling fields with through the convoluted or obstructed “ nutrimental treasure,
are continupaths of organized matter. With this, ally recognized from their beneficial efour boasted intelligence is mysteriously fects; and we know it is to this pecuconnected. It sustains, the mind in liar position of the earth that we are inits most vigorous exertions, and serves debted for our vernal flowers, our sumas a sort of prop or rallying point, mer and autumnal fruits, our healthy whenever we sally forth into those pre- vicissitudes of heat and cold, of frost sumptive regions, where the fertility and snow. Thegales of winter, the sumof our imaginations too often carry us. mer airs, the noontide calms, and evenTired of the flight, like a bird outdone ing zephyrs which fan the heated air, by space at sea, we gladly lay hold of and a numberless train of other blessthe first support. The mind recoils at ings, are alike conducive to the comthe immeasurable distance before it; fort and happiness of man.
We read and, shrinking from the awful scene, is of this inclination; and the periodical reintroverted upon itself, in taking a new turn of the seasons, bringing with them survey of its own powers, which had the blessings I have here enumerated, been lost between the immensity of bear indisputable testimony to the God, and human imbecility.
well-known fact. But why it should be The latter, we have reason to lament, so, and by what peculiar agency, or se because it bears testimony to our dis- / cret cause, a phenomenon so benign in