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It will probably be at once admitted that the coincidence, both of topics and of phraseology, displayed in these passages, is too extensive and specific to be ascribed to chance, to similarity of circumstance and occasion, or, indeed, to any other cause than the identity of the author, and of the subject. They contain numerous allusions to spiritual matters of great importance, generally expressed in figurative language; such as light and darkness, truth and falsehood, life and death, faith and love, communion with God and with the saints, &c. They treat largely of the attributes and relations of the Father, Son, and Spirit, the Word and Antichrist, the church and the world; and describe the Saviour in his various characters and offices; as the shepherd of his flock, the advocate of his people, the bridegroom of the church, the light of the earth, the true temple, the bread from heaven, the fountain of living waters, and, more especially, as the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. Several of these representations are so singular in their nature, and so peculiar, at least in form and manner, to this portion of the New Testament, that, unless a charge of deliberate imitation, which for obvious reasons is inadmissible, could be successfully applied to them, they must necessarily be regarded as implying a common origin.
W. S. London, Sept. 1837.
THE SCRIPTURE COSMOGONY, ILLUSTRATED AND CON
FIRMED BY THE DISCOVERIES AND CONCLUSIONS OF GEOLOGY.
(Continued from page 573.) The account of the fifth day informs us of the creation of “ moving creatures having life," “ fowl," "great whales,” and “living creatures that move," produced, all of them, it is said, by the waters, and, excepting the fowl, all living and multiplying there. As the designation of the different classes of animals here mentioned is, in the common version, rather vague, and, perhaps, not always quite correct, it may be well to endeavour to ascertain to what the different terms do, in reality, refer.
The word, which is translated “moving creatures,” signifies, more strictly, creatures that are abundantly produced or multiplied, and was very aptly applied by the Hebrews to designate those smaller species of animals, both marine and terrestrial, which were then, as now, known to multiply their kind more rapidly than the larger creatures. In Genesis vii. 21, it is used to designate small land animals generally; in Leviticus xi. 29, it includes small terrestrial mammalia and a molluscous animal; and in the 10th verse of the same chapter, it distinguishes all the other tenants of the deep from fish, properly so called. As the term is made use of in the text now under consideration, in connection with the waters, it is probable that this last sense is the one here intended And observations made in modern as well as in ancient times, strikingly illustrate
the propriety of the application of the term. “ The number of small medusæ, in some parts of the Greenland seas, is so great, that in a cubic inch, taken up at random, there were no less than 64. In a cubic foot, this will amount to 110,592; and in a cubic mile, (and there can be no doubt of the water being charged with them to that extent,) the number is such, that allowing one person to count a million in a week, it would have required 80,000 persons, from the creation of the world, to complete the enumeration.” Jameson's Journal, vol. ii. p. 12. And these animals are the first of whose existence any evidence is afforded by geology. Their shells and other exuviæ are found in the very lowest transition strata, and are the first vestiges of animal organization. Dr. Buckland informs us, that fossil polyparies extend from the earliest transition rocks to the present seas, (See Bridgewater Treatise, vol. i. p. 447.) among which are animals called Trilobites, whose eyes, which are still in a state of preservation, are exactly analogous to those of the present existing species of crustacea, and thus prove a state of the globe, with regard to light, similar to that of subsequent periods; thus confirming the narration of the pre-existence of light, perhaps also that of the sun. (Ibid. 401.) De la Beche, in his Geological Manual, p. 424, says, that out of 547 species of animals found in one of the earliest divisions of the transition series, 545 are Zoophites, radiated animals, shell-fish, and molluscs, the remaining two are fish, properly so called. And he observes that, " it will be obvious that fleshy and gelatinous creatures, such as medusæ, and other animals of the like kind, might have abounded, as far as regards a scarcity of this substance. (He was speaking of carbonate of lime, of which the shells of crustaceons and testaceous animals are composed.] Hence it would be possible to have the seas swarming with these and similar animals, while testaceous creatures and others were comparatively rare. These remarks are merely intended to show that the scarcity of organic remains observed in the lowest part of the grauwacké, by no means proves a scarcity of animal life at the same period. Mere fleshy creatures may have existed in myriads, without a trace of them having been transmitted to us. Dr. Turner has suggested to me, that under this supposition of an abundance of medusæ, or of analagous animals among the early inhabitants of our globe, we may, perhaps, account for the bituminous nature of the earlier lime-stones, more particularly of the carboniferous strata, in which not a trace of solid organic remains can be observed; for the decomposition of a mass of such creatures would produce much bituminous matter, which may have entered largely into the composition of lime-stones then forming." p. 429. “Let the waters produce abundantly the abundantly produced creatures.”
With regard to the “fowl which fly over the earth in the face of the heavens,” it may be well to quote an observation of Professor Lyall's. “We might have anticipated,” he says, “ that the imbedding of the remains of birds in the new strata would be of very rare occurrence, for their powers of flight ensure them against perishing by numerous casualties to which quadrupeds are exposed during floods; and if they chance to be drowned, or to die when swimming on the water, it will scarcely ever happen that they will be submerged so as to become preserved in sedimentary deposits. For in consequence of the hollow, tubular structure of their bones, and the quantity of their feathers, they are extremely light in proportion to their volume, so that when first killed they do not sink to the bottom like quadrupeds, but float on the surface until the carcase either rots away, or is devoured by predaceous animals.”—Principles of Geology, Book iii. chap. 15. And accordingly there have been found throughout the whole series of strata, the bones of only about ten species of birds, one in the secondary, the rest in the tertiary division. But what would thus seem, by the very nature of the cir. cumstances, necessarily defective, has been to a certain extent supplied in a novel and unlooked-for manner. “A discovery has recently been made in America, by Professor Hitchcock, of the footsteps of birds in the new red sand-stone of the valley of Connecticut, which he refers to at least seven species, all apparently waders, having very long legs, and of various dimensions, from the size of a snipe to twice the size of an ostrich.” Buckland, Vol. i. p. 86. This sand-stone is one of the more recent strata in the transition series; and thus evidence is afforded which is already decisive, and which will, it is probable, be augmented by further investigation, of the existence of birds at, or immediately subsequent to, the era of the existence of marine animals.
The term “great whales" is introduced into our version from the Septuagint; and in order to ascertain how far this term is correct, we may refer to its derivation and to its use in other passages. Its literal signification is a large animals, having a doleful cry," and is by most Hebrew scholars understood of animals resembling the “ crocodile,” this word having a similar signification in the Greek language, and, as is well known to naturalists, the term is exceedingly descriptive of the voice and habits of such of these creatures as at the present time come under their notice. The word occurs in Exodus vii. 9, where it is translated “a serpent,” without any apparent reason, as it might with greater probability be supposed to designate the crocodile; in Deut. xxxii. 33; Psalms lxxiv. 13, xci. 13, and cxlviii. 7; Isaiah xxvii. l; and Jeremiah li. 34, in all which passages it is rendered “ dragons,” (a term which may be said, in the present state of our language, to be entirely without meaning,) and in all of which it is probable the crocodile, or some similar animal, was intended. In Ezekiel xxix. 3, the “ dragon” is evidently the crocodile of the Nile, made use of as an appropriate emblem of the king of Egypt. In Job vii. 12, it is in the common version “a whale,” but Parkhurst applies it to the crocodile, which, he says, was watched that it might not do mischief. But though this appears to be the ordinary signification, yet, in the undefined way of speaking of parts of natural history common, it is probable, among the Hebrews, as well as among other ancient nations, its import was doubtless of a more extended character, comprehending all the vast, and to them, perhaps, partly unknown, monsters of the deep; and this view of it is confirmed by Lamentations iv. 3, where it is evidently applied to the marine and amphibious mammalia.
Returning again to the physical records of past times, left imprinted by the hand of the Creator in the solid globe itself, we find, that " the peculiar feature in the population of the whole series of secondary strata, was the prevalence of numerous and gigantic forms of Saurian reptiles. Many of these were exclusively marine, others amphibious, others were terrestrial, ranging in savannahs and jungles clothed with a tropical vegetation, or basking on the margins of estuaries, lakes, and rivers. Even the air was tenanted by flying lizards under the dragon form of pterodactyles.”—Buckland, Vol. i. p. 74. The remains of many of these singular animals are still in such excellent preservation as to afford the most unscientific observer palpable indications of their forms and babits; and in the ichthyosauri, plesiosauri, megalosauri, enaliosauri, and others, found in our own national and other collections, there may without difficulty be recognised beings analagous to the “ Thanninim" of the Hebrews. Associated with these, “in the midway regions of the secondary strata, are the carliest remains yet discovered of cetacea.”—Buckland, Vol. i. p. 115; so that it would appear that all the monsters of the deep were really intended.
The term “ creeping things” often included small terrestrial animals, (Lev. xi. 46,) and was also applied to the whole of the marine animal creation, "both small and great;” (Psalm civ. 25.) and as the passage now under consideration relates to the waters, the latter is probably the import of the term. This and the following particular, “the fowl,” seem to be a recapitulation of what was before recorded, and includes every form of aquatic and aerial life generally, including of course the fishes, properly so called. Dr. Buckland informs us, that fish proper are found in the transition strata, (Vol. i. p. 115;) but the remains in the earlier formations “ in general, have not been attempted to be classified.”—Thomson's Outlines of Geology, &c. Vol. ii. p. 189.
The creations on the sixth day included the 6 living creature," 6 cattle,” and “creeping thing of the earth.” The “living creature" appears to point out the wild and ferocious class of animals, the carnivorous order of quadrupeds, as in Psalm 1. 10, Genesis vii. 21, Leviticus xxv. 7, where they stand in antithesis to the “cattle,” or tame herbiverous species, and they appear to enjoy a greater degree of life and activity. This last word included not merely domestic animals, as with us, but all the large, dull, and inoffensive beasts who live on vegetable food. (See Psalm cxlviii. 10.) The “creeping thing of the earth" designates not only insects, land crustacea, and reptiles, but also the smaller sorts of mammalia, as the mouse, weasel, ferret, and mole. (Leviticus xi. 21, 29, &c.)
(To be continued.)
THE REV. JOHN CLAYTON'S ANSWER TO THE EDITOR OF
THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER. The Christian Observer for April last contained one of its Reverend Editor's excursive and characteristic notes about the Evangelical Dissenters, “ who have united with Romanists, infidels, Socinians, and radicals, to raze the foundations of the Church of England.” To illustrate the extent to which this alliance has gone, he adduces some facts to show that even one of “the Claytons," "wbo, it was understood, kept aloof from the disgraceful coalitions of Hume-andO'Connellite political dissenterism ;" and who, it was supposed, “ had refused to connect themselves with the ungodly conspiracy which has been set on foot for the demolition, by every species of agitation, fraudful artifice, and political terrorism, of the established churches of these realms ;" that one of this family, “ men of sincere piety, sound sense, and christian moderation"-even the Rer. John Clayton, Jun., had engaged in certain transactions, about a certain candidate for a classical mastership in the City of London School, which proves that he too “can throw all his weight into the scale of Socinianism." On this affair Mr. Clayton wrote a brief letter, of little more than two pages, which was inserted in The Christian Observer for July, (pp. 429-431,) but to which the learned Editor added fourteen pages of notes, crowded as closely as brevier type will stand.
This specimen of literary mosaic is curious enough, set as it is with names and authorities of almost every hue! The laborious Editor could not expect to disburden his common-place-book of such a quantity of heavy matter, without supplying Mr. Clayton with some subjects for a rejoinder. Such was the case, and his answer was sent. Instead, however, of inserting it in The Christian Observer for August, there appeared a paragraph in Answer to conrespondents, from which it is enough for us to extract the following sentences. “ In reply to the Rev. John Clayton, we should be very willing to insert 3 rectification and an apology, if we had made any false statement respecting him: but in matters of opinion, he has his and we have ours.” Many of Mr. Clay, ton's friends and brethren, feeling that his rejoinder ought not to be so disposed of, requested that it might appear in our pages. An expression of that wisa brought the article into our hands, with the following note from that gentleman :
To the Editor of the Congregational Magazine. SIR,—I should not have even dreamed of attempting to obtrude on your pages my second letter to the Editor of the Christian Observer, if you had not kindly offered to give it a place in the Congregational Magazine. I hoped that, as the Rev. S. C. Wilks had invited and urged me to the controversy, he would have had the equity and candour, after having attacked me in fourteen pages of closely printed matter, to have published my definitive reply; but as he has declined to do so, I think it due to the cause of catholic Congregational Dissent, and also to myself, to give the following communication 10 the public. I send the document, which contains one or two paragraphs wh I had suppressed when I transcribed it for the Christian Observer, but which! shall not now withhold. If you disapprove of its contents, will you do me le favour to return it, at your early convenience, by post, to Hackney.
I remain, Sir,
John CLAYTON, Jun. Hackney, August 21, 1837.