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special revelation has been made to geologists, or that they have discovered some chronometer of the age of the world from which all the rest of mankind has been excluded. But unless they can not merely boast of these possessions, but shew to us that they possess them, we shall hold fast by what the volume of nature teaches, and not venture one step beyond what she expressly propounds and we are authorized to believe. The second reason assigned for the belief, is a very remarkable one: for if the high antiquity of the globe is proclaimed by nature as a physical truth, our consent is claimed and must be surrendered, whatever be the amount of our ulterior ideas, and whether the announced truth happens to chime with our imagined à priori sentiments, touching the Supreme Being, or not. On this principle, if the higher antiquity of the world synchronizes best with our conceptions of the Supreme Being, the more extended the date of its commencement the better: and would not a change, rung on its elernity, be to such a mind a loftier and more welcome note ? The mere subsequent allusion to astronomy proves nothing. Unless the eternity of the world is advocated, there must have been a period when it began to revolve in the regions of space; and, this being granted, it amounts to the same thing, whether it began yesterday, or a million of years ago.
“ A thousand years are in the sight of God as one day;” and the converse of this is equally true: one day is as a thousand years." Retrograding into the back ground of the lapse of time, and causing the first point of motion, in the revolution of the globe to recede, cannot enhance the sublimity of our conceptions. On such a supposition, every succeeding age, that rises in the vista of futurity, should ascend in the scale of grandeur, in reference to their ideas of the infinite CREATOR; for the farther removed from the point of creation, the more just and noble would become their conceptions of the “I AM, who inhabiteth Eternity." We do not profess to understand these novelties in the process of reasoning. In our astronomical pursuits and telescopic survey of the
heavens, we are free to confess, that we have been oíten overpowered by their wondrous majesty; and, lost in the vastness of the spectacle, have worshipped “in the temple not made with hands:” but we cannot see what all this has to do with a simple geological question, which must be decided by fact, not fiction-by truth, not romance-which, though the novelty and wildness may make us wonder, may, after all, fail to convince. To conceive of a world in a wilderness for ages before man, “homo sapiens, the most elaborate prodigy of this world's wonders, was created, and for whose use every thing concurs to prove it was destined, is a proposition too monstrous to be believed. So beautiful a mansion so long untenanted by its lord! We are not now considering other worlds and other forms of existence, but simply the question of this "great globe and all that it inherit.” To such an extent have some geologists gone, that they have even made it a question, seriatim, whether a fossil shell has ever yet been found having a living analogue in any existing species ! Either fashionable geological theories, or Revelation must be abandoned as untenable. Geological facts and Revelation perfectly harmonize. If man did not exist along with extinct species of other animals found in diluvium, and admitted on all sides to correspond with the Mosaic deluge, then must the Volume which teaches the reverse statement, be false; and on the former view of it, man may have sprung from the waves of the deluge as Brahma did from Vishnu while he reposed in the flower of the Lotus which floated on the waters: or did man emerge from its mud ;-like a phænix, from the organic ruin of a world destroyed? We have considered it more honest and manly to meet the question fully. We frankly confess our utter inability to reconcile geological reveries with the plain and simple facts propounded in Scripture. Let our readers make their election, and determine for themselves, which is most agreeable to the spirit of inductive science.
Had geology any pretensions to maturity, we should not wonder ; but it is only a bantling of some quarter
of a century old. Let us pursue the concessions of the writer we have just quoted, and see whether there be in geology any ground for such crude assertions. “Twenty years are not yet passed away since M. M. Cuvier and Brongniart first published their researches on the geological structure of the Paris Basin. The innumerable details exhibited in their various essays, the beautiful conclusions drawn from unexpected facts, the happy combination of mineralogical and zoological evidence; the proofs of successive revolutions, till then unheard of in the physical history of the earth ; all these things combined, not merely threw new light on a subject before involved in compe ative darkness, but
gave new powers and new names f induction to those who should, in after times, attempt any similar investigations.” Again,
“ much remains to be done, before the structure of the various formations of the British Isles can safely be appealed to, as one of those complete middle terms of comparison, by help of which the disjointed fragments of a former world may, in imagination, be reunited. Respecting the perplexing phenomena of the crag-beds, on the coast of Suffolk, we are greatly deficient in information. The accounts of all our tertiary strata, however excellent at the time they were written, must be entirely remodelled.
Even the history of the oolitic series, (the boast of English geology, and the type, to which foreign naturalists are attempting to conform some of their own secondary rocks,) is defective. The history of our coal formations is not yet perfect. The association of the coal and mountain limestone of Northumberland has not been well explained. The great corresponding deposits of Cumberland are undescribed.” Can it be believed, that these are the sentiments of one of the very first of modern geologists ? and, if such be his confession, is it too much to be cautious in accepting the propositions of “geological logic?" or can it be said, that our remarks are more severe than just? We by no means complain of the contributions made by modern geologists to science; they have been industrious and indefatigable; but we protest against their
bringing forward unsupported speculations, which directly contradict the records of Scripture. When geo
logists present for our belief their propositions, we had to better put the simple question which one of the Sçavans 107 of the Royal Society at length bethought himself of, in
reference to the witty monarch's problem of the weight of the tub and the fish : “Is it so?” This is a very reasonable demand; and a denial of the request would be suspicious. We are not, we believe, what is called a Hutchinsonian,” and scarcely know what the term
Truth is alone the object of our diligent pursuit ; and our opinion may be received with less suspicion, when it is remembered, that the result of our present inquiry forms no tecessary or essential part of our avocations, excepting so far as every one is deeply interested in this paramount of all possible questions.
The geologist requires us to surrender the first links of the chain of Revelation. “ Be it known, however, that we are not careful to answer him in this matter;" “ neither will we fall down nor worship the image which he hath set up.” Surely it is not too much, that we first require from the geologist a test by which we may be able to discriminate between literal facts and metaphorical tropes, that we may be enabled to examine and estimate the pretensions of his dicta.
Mr. Lyell talks about geologists “who desire to pursue the science according to the rules of inductive philosophy.” Such an one we fear may indeed be accounted a rara avis. By some of our readers it may be supposed, that we have devoted too large a portion of our volume to the evidence derived from geology; but, alas ! we know full well, that among geologists there is a sad preponderance of scepticism, which we can only account for by their having got entangled in the meshes of a net of their own device; and we, therefore, have felt anxious to place the simple facts of geology before our readers, as far as our limits permitted; which, after all, however, must necessarily be considered a mere outline.
THE DISPERSION-THE TOWER OF BABEL.
SOON after the diluvial waters had subsided, the Sacred Narrative informs us, that Noah became a husbandman and planted a vineyard. Having indulged to excess, the patriarch, it is recorded, became insensible. We have alluded to this event because Sir Wm. Jones succeeded in discovering the fact here mentioned in the Padma-puran of Hindustan, of which he has given a translation: nor can the identity of Satyavarman and Noah be doubted. This circumstance, therefore, is thus singularly accredited by testimony as independent as it is unsuspicious, and the lapse of time was not so considerable as to render doubtful its being secured by tradition. It is as follows: “Satyavarman, being continually delighted with devout meditation, and seeing his sons fit for dominion, laid upon them the burden of government, whilst he remained honouring and satisfying the gods, and priests, and kine. One day, by the act of destiny, the king, having drunk mead, became senseless and lay asleep naked: then was he seen by C'harma, and by him were his two brothers called, to whom he said, what now has befallen? In what state is this our sire? By those two was he hidden with clothes, and called to his senses again. Having recovered his intellect, and perfectly knowing what had passed, he cursed C’harma, saying, Thou shalt be the servant of servants ; and since thou wast a laughter in their presence, from laughter shalt thou acquire a name.