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the physical powers; the Mind which called this matter into existence, and which rules and directs behind the matter, must not only speak to the intellect, but to the heart and to the soul of man; the physical is but the basis for the metaphysical, the natural is but the starting point for the supernatural. Even in the most perverse tendencies of the sciences, the nobility of the human mind still manifests itself; and even through the most fearful aberrations of faith, a ray of divine grandeur still gleams. A higher yearning might cease in many individuals, it will live in the nation; it might become extinct in one nation, it will flourish in another; on the ruins of Greek literature rose that of Rome; the decaying Roman empire was re-animated by the influence of the Biblical truths and the vitality of the Teutonic race; and the darkness of succeeding barbarous ages was dispersed by the dawn of a brighter civilisation: truth and idealism, if driven from pole to pole, will never fail to find a refuge in mankind. Wherever they lose their power the social ties are severed, the national prosperity declines, and the political structure totters. One religious system may be overthrown by another, but religion is indestructible; one philosophical theory may be refuted by a later reasoner, but philosophy is an inherent part in human nature; and even poetry, that aërial daughter of fancy, frail and unsubstantial as it may appear, will last beyond the eternal rocks and the unfathomable oceans- it will survive all the capricious fluctuations of taste and fashion, and with the last man will be buried the last lover of poetry and art.
VII.--CONCLUSIONS AND INFERENCES. We have seen that the results of the natural sciences are at variance with the Biblical narrative, especially with regard to the Age of the World, the Creation in Six Days, and the Formation of the Solar System and the Universe.
In the exposition of that Book, the mission of which is the diffusion of truth on earth, candour and unreserved truthfulness are primary duties. Truth can never be aided by falsehood, nor does it require its questionable assistance; zeal preserves, but blind zeal destroys. Firmness is one thing, and obstinacy another; the one may be coupled with the calmest prudence, the other wilfully shuts the ears to arguments and to experience; the one yields when it is convinced, the other is determined to be never convinced; the one proceeds from strength of mind, the other from weakness of intellect. We dcem it as impossible as it would be degrading, to conceal or to gloss over the difficulties to which we have alluded. The Book of Nature is no longer a sealed secret; it is no longer the exclusive privilege of the initiated; it has become the common property of nations; every man who has passed beyond the first elements of education hastens to study the Creator in His works, there to adore His wisdom, to prostrate himself before His grandeur; in fact, the time is approaching when the study of Nature will belong to the very elements of education. Are the expositors of Scripture prepared to stem this torrent? Will they oppose this universal movement towards the knowledge of the physical sciences? Will they once more proclaim open war against academies and observatories? Will they brand with the odious names of heretic, infidel, and atheist, those whom God has graciously gifted with the subtle intellect to penetrate into the abstrusest laws of nature, to search the depths of the ocean and the earth, and to watch the marvellous orbits of unnumbered stars? * Shall man curse where God has blessed?” Fatal error! demented fanaticism!
The natural sciences have a right to ascend to the first causes of creation. This is no arrogance, no ungodly assumption on their part. It is no rebellion of the human intellect to exert itself in comprehending the wonders of the Deity; it would, on the contrary, be despotism and short-sighted tyranny on the part of the theological sciences, if they dictated to physical researches arbitrary limits - if they permitted to the latter the analysis of that which exists, but decried the enquiry into its origin and its probable future development. If the human mind can, in the world of thought, penetrate through endless regions of time and space, why should it, in the material world, be fettered to actual appearances? Why should it not, in the realm of the sciences, also be able to ascend from effects to causes, or to descend from means to ends? It is, on the other hand, no derogation to the natural sciences that they have often been convicted of fallacies and erroneous conclusions; or that one hypothesis is frequently opposed by another perfectly contrary theory.
We are here reminded of the beautiful words of Socrates, who, in Plato's Phaeddon, when new and apparently unanswerable objections were raised against his proofs of the immortality of the soul, said: “First of all, we must beware, lest we meet with that great mischance to become haters of reasoning as some become haters of men (misanthropes); for no greater evil can happen to any one than to hate reasoning. But hatred of reasoning and hatred of mankind both spring from the same source. For the latter is produced in us, from having placed too great reliance on some one without sufficient knowledge of him, and from having considered him to be a man altogether true, sincere, and faithful; and then, after a little while, finding him deprared and unfaithful, and after him another; and when a man has often experienced this, he at last hates all men, and thinks that there is no excellence at all in mankind. And yet he attempts to deal with men without sufficient knowledge of human nature, since he is unable to discern between the good and the bad. Just so a man who has discovered the fallacy of one argument after another, after having some time relied on their soundness, at last distrusts all argument, and becomes a hater of reasoning though he ought to accuse his own shortsightedness, or unskilfulness.” It seems to be the task and mission of the intellect to advance by labour and exertion, and often to arrive at truth only by the long and wearisome circuits of error. But though the natural sciences may have occasion to retract many of the theories at present prevailing, they have succeeded in establishing so many fundamental truths, that their organic development towards the highest aim is for ever secured; and as we have, in the preceding remarks, based our arguments on those incontroverted facts only, we consider the results which we have derived from them, on the whole, beyond dispute, although we shall always be willing to modify some of the details whenever their inaccuracy may be demonstrated. We, for our own part, have the unshaken, deeply. rooted conviction, that every earnest exertion of the human mind necessarily leads to an increased and purer fear of God; and even if the abundance of light which science suddenly pours forth, should at first dazzle the eye -eren if reason, surprised and amazed at its own power and glory, should for a time walk its own path, apparently independent and free from the control of the Universal Mind, the excess of light will gradually subside into a serene brightness, and reason will, in more perfect harmony, ally itself to Him, of whom it is a part. Only let the research be calm and unprejudiced, humble and modest-only let “ the axe not boast itself against Him who works with it."
The Pentateuch has a three-fold end; it is intended to show, first, God as the Creator and Ruler of the World; secondly, to define the position of Israel among the nations of the earth; and, thirdly, to explain the organization of the Hebrews as a theocratical monarchy after their conquest of Palestine. Such is the aim; such are the leading ideas of the Books of Moses. These principles they unfold and carry out with minute consistency, whilst all other portions are only introduced to throw light upon them. They constitute the essence of the Mosaic dispensation; they are its exclusive characteristics, which are found in no other work which man possesses. The Scriptures proclaimed those spiritual and moral truths, which will be acknowledged in all ages; and they proclaimed them at a time when the whole carth was shrouded in mental darkness. But it is quite different with the scientific trutlis. The people of Israel, although favoured as the medium of higher religious enlightenment, remained, in all respects, a common member in the family of nations, subject to the same laws of progress, left to the same exertions, adhering to their former notions and habits of thought, rectified by their faith only in so far as to harmonise with the pare doctrine of monotheism and the absolute rule of a just Providence. Hence, for instance, Moses did not abolish the “avenge of blood,” although he materially modified it; nor did he command monogamy, although he evidently encouraged it; he retained the phylacteries, which he, however, divested of all superstitious elements; and he ordained, in common with almost all heathen legislators, the sanctification of all first-born of men and animals, and all first-fruits, although he made this law subservient to the purposes of his theocracy. But the law is inexorable in punishing witchcraft, necromancy, divination, enchantment, or any other appeal to the power of spirits, because this would have endangered the principal idea of the legislation; it would have defiled the purity of monotheism.
The Bible was not even intended to supersede science, but only to control it; faith should not awe reason, but guide it, and protect its daring flight from degrading aberrations. The Israelites were to enter the lists with all other nations in every worldly progress, in ściences and discoveries; they were to exert their intellects; they were “to study day and night": far from imagining that they had, by an act of grace and without their co-operation, received all the treasures of thought from God, they were to strive and “to dig for wisdom and knowledge more than for riches.” If the minds were to be shielded against stagnation, new channels of mental activity were to be opened to them after they had been set at rest about the great and mysterious problems of the creating and ruling power of the Universe. Therefore we constantly find, both in the Old and the New Testament, in worldly and scientific matters, a very close analogy to the ideas of the respective times and nations; the Biblical writers adopt, in these respects, not only the ordinary phraseology, but they can express but the general notions, of those whose religious conduct they intended to regulate or to correct. The Hebrews had, indeed, no predilection for positive sciences; they were of a reflective, intuitive nature; they delighted in religious speculation; external observation and scientific combination were not in their mental disposition. At no period, therefore, did the natural sciences flourish among them; and though they excelled all nations in sublimity of thought, they were inferior to all in practical studies; their life was too much directed to the higher aims of truth, to leave much leisure for curiosity or expediency; and if they obtained some scanty scientific results, they soon forced them under the dominion of religion, and made them assume an unsecular character. The account of the Creation is not introduced in order to afford information on physical problems, but to form a basis for the institution of the Sabbath; and as the Sabbath is a chief foundation for the whole Law, so the Creation is the basis of the whole system of Biblical history. This constitutes one of the most essential differences between the Hebrew and other cosmogonies. The Scriptures have, from their beginning, a fixed spiritual end; the narrative has an ideal tendency; it is not inserted for its own sake, but to prove a great truth, and to support a sublime precept; it is represented as historical, but it has a philosophical back-ground; its interpretation must be literal, but it yet borrows some celestial light from the great source of eternal truth.
If the Scriptures imply, that they contain the complete system of theology necessary to the soul of man, they never intimate, that they embrace all the sciences accessible to his mind; they leave to the latter an infinite extent and surface beyond their pages; they allow to the intellect endless scope for labour, and research, and progress, - but they have, in some measure, reserved to themselves the test of truth and error, and have assigned to the human understanding the boundary, beyond which it is not permitted to travel.
Now, the results of the physical sciences regarding the Creation have not to fear that . test; they have not trespassed that boundary. They do not in the least contradict the three chief principles of the Pentateuch; they have, in fact, only reference to the first of them, to God as Creator and Ruler of the World. But they are so far from weakening this truth, that they have, indeed, become one of its most powerful and most substantial supports. Every inch which the geologist descends into the depth of the earth, proclaims to the astonished eye the secret working of an omnipotent Creator; every star which the magic power of the telescope reveals to the astronomer in the realms of space, preaches with overwhelming eloquence the unspeakable glory of an all-wise Governor. Does it derogate from the grandeur of the Eternal, if He has watched over the progress of our planet for millions of years instead of a few millenniums? or, if our earth is only as a sand-corn among the numberless worlds which His power has created ? The oldest and the youngest of the natural sciences, astronomy and geology, so far from being dangerous to the notion of a Universal Mind, are peculiarly calculated to lead back the wandering intellect to religious emotions; they spontaneously assume the dignity of sacred sciences; the student rises from them hallowed and elevated; they seem, indeed, providentially destined to engage the present century so powerfully, that the ideal majesty of infinite time and endless space might counteract that low and narrow materialism which threatens to bury all the sublimest aspirations of our divine nature in the common gulph of selfishness and worldliness, and which prompts man, “ the feeble tenant of an hour,” to regard himself, in the pride of his property or the vanity of his knowledge, as the master of creation; though
“ Man's noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal silence." I And it is the duty of Biblical interpretation, with a vigilant and prospective eye, “ Heart within, and God o'erhead,” to watch over those precious boons, and, for their defence, to borrow weapons from every accessible store-house.
We have thus shown, by positive argument, that a conciliation between the Bible and the natural sciences is impossible: but, in order to give another proof that we are perfectly impartial, that we have no other end but the truth; and that we have considered this important subjectin all its bearings, we deem it necessary to conclude with a review of the chief attempts which have been made to effect that harmony, and to show that all these efforts have signally failed. This negative part will complete our task, and will, we trust, remove every uncertainty which might still linger in the reader's mind, and might cause him to hesitate as to his final judgment. For we shall prove, that some of those attempts are specious, others futile, but all utterly untenable.
VIII.-REVIEW OF CONCILIATIONS HITHERTO ATTEMPTED. We may be permitted to pass over the strangely sceptical, but perfectly ungrounded, opinions, that our present knowledge of the Hebrew language is insufficient for an accurate understanding of the Biblical narrative;? or that the Hebrew text is grossly corrupted by several erroneous and absurd glosses, which by mistake have, in the course of transcription, been inserted in the Biblical narrative by ancient copyists. These opinions evade the question rather than solve it; and we proceed to mention the following more positive interpretations:
1. The world was really and literally created in six days. This opinion is, we believe, sufficiently refuted by the preceding remarks; * it is made absolutely impossible by the indisputable results of all the combined natural scicuces. The attempt to raise that opinion to a dogma would totally estrange all reflective minds and the men of
3 Granville Penn and others.
science from the Biblical records; it would compel them to a decision by no means favourable to the authority of the Scriptures; and would for ever destroy that moral influence which they are so eminently calculated to exercise. It is, therefore, unnecessary to urge minor difficulties; for instance, how vegetation could thrive before the existence of the sun;s how we can reconcile the established fact, that both plants, and fishes, and other animals are, in consequence of their peculiar structure and entire anatomy, confined within precise geographical boundaries, beyond which they cannot live, with the statement that all trees and all animals were combined in Paradise; 6 and how these beings could afterwards find their way to the different, and often very distant, zones and climes adapted to their various organisms. These and many other difficulties, to which we have already alluded, prove undeniably that the literal acceptation of the text is incompatible with the fundamental results of the natural sciences.
2. In order to gain scope for the geological cpochs, many critics have proposed to interpret the term "day" as a period, or an indefinite epoch. But this is equally inadmissible. In our plain, purely historical, and calm narrative, this metaphorical use of the word is rendered impossible by the repeated phrase —“And evening was, and morning was,” both forming one natural day. Nor can the circumstance, that on the fourth day only the sun was created to divide the day from the night, prove that the word “day” denotes, in the preceding verses at least, an unlimited time; if it means day in one verse, it has the same signification throughout the whole narrative, or we should be obliged to take the day of Sabbatho likewise as “a period of rest." This has, indeed, sometimes been done, even in recent works. It is maintained that the work of Redemption is the work of God's Sabbath-day, and that the Sabbath of man is a miniature imitation of this seventh period, just as a map may be a faithful, though small copy of the countries represented. But if the “rest” of God is intended as the type of the human Sabbath, it must in every way be adapted to man's capability and condition; it is a mere fiction, to say, that“ the work of Redemption" is, in the Old Testament, represented as “the work of God's Sabbath"; and what, we ask, will become of Biblical interpretation, if such rules are unhesitatingly applied, which, in the exposition of any other book, would be denounced as preposterous, or dismissed with a smile - if the word “day” is interpreted to mean four-and-twenty hours, and in the very same verse is made to signify a hundred thousand years? The poetical sentence, “ A thousand years are, in the eyes of God, as one day,”9 describes simply the eternity of God, which knows no time and has no limit; and its metaphorical character is unmistakeably expressed in the parallel passage One day is with the Lord as a thousand years."19 We speak, indeed, of the “morning" or "evening” of life, but such figurative expressions prove as little for the ordinary usage of the word “day," as those Biblical metaphors, “the day of perdition,”\\ " of darkness,'
“of distress;' the “ day of revenge," or “of Divine wrath;"15 the “ day of war," of help and rescue;" !7 or the frequent phrase, “in that day." All these terms occur only in poetical or prophetic portions, where a misconception is entirely impossible. The “day of the departure from Egypt,” 19 or “ the day of Egypt,” 20 means strictly the day of the exodus itself, which was the time of Israel's greatest glory, or the time when God
vers, 11, 12, 16.
6 ii. 9, 19, 0. 1 ver. 14.
& ii. 2, 3. 9 Ps. xc. 4.
10 2 Pet. iii. 8. 11 Deut. xxxii. 35; Jer. xlvi. 21; comp. Ps. cxxxvii. 7.
12 Job xv. 23; Ps. xxvii. 5. 13 Gen. xxxv. 3; Ps. xx. 3.
" Isa. xxxiv. 8. lxii. 4; Jer. xvii. 18; Joel i. 15, ii. 1.
15 Lament, ii, 1, 21, 22; Zeph. i. 18, ii. 3.
16 Hos. x. 14; Amos i. 14; Zech. xiv. 3; Job xxxviii. 23.
17 Isa. xlix. 8.
18 Isa. xxiii. 15; xxvii. 12, 13; Jer. iv. 9, etc.
19 Deut. xvi. 3. Comp. Exod. xii. 51, xii. 4; Jer. vii. 2.2.
20 Ezek. XXX. 9