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of empirical and speculative research, and, as an act of the Omnipotent God, belongs rather to the sphere of miracles and mysteries, which can only be received by faith, (Heb. xi. 3.) And untimely, because natural science has supplied no certain conclusions as to the origin of the earth, and geology especially, even at the present time, is in a chaotic state of fermentation, the issue of which it is impossible to foresee.”p. 52, note. It is enough for all lovers of the Scriptures that what is fixed in science-science truly so-calledagrees with what is found in this written revelation.

This volume is given to the public as containing the chapters upon which sceptical interpretation has most largely and perversely written. Another volume will cover the remaining chapters, and will be issued soon, if God will. And, should they receive the same public approval as the author's volumes on the Historical Books of the New Testament, these will be followed by a further series on the Old or on the New, as God shall give opportunity.

INTRODUCTION.

GENESIS.

This opening Book of the Holy Scriptures is called Genesis, which is the title given to it in the Septuagint (Greek) version, B, C. 285. The term is a Greek one, signifying a birth, a generation, or origin. The book is properly so called because it gives an inspired account of the origin of all things—especially of mankind and of all earthly things. It is here declared that the material universe was created by God that the earth is not Eternal, nor of chance origin, as some heathen philosophers have held, nor self-created, (as others maintain), but that it had a beginning at the command of God, the only Creator. So all the Books of the Pentateuch, or Five Books of Moses—are entitled according to the main subject of each. The Hebrews call the Book“ Bereshith,according to their custom of naming the several Books of Scripture by the first word in the book. This first word “ Bereshithmeans “In (the) beginning.” In the Alexandrino Codex the title is reveoks koguov. And the Rabbins entitle it the Book of the beginning, or of the Genesis. Beginning with the creation of the heavens and the earth, and ending with the death of the patriarchs Jacob and Joseph, this book records for us not only the beginning of the world and of ma kind, but also of the redeeming preparation for establishing the Kingdom of God.

GENESIS HISTORICAL.

The effort of the modern skepticism has been to throw doubt upon the origin of Revealed Religion. Historical criticism has subjected both Testaments to the most severe ordeal, to find, if possible, some lack of evidence in the records, whereby they may be set aside as unhistorical.

The chief assaults have been made upon the Pentateuch and the Gospels, as lying at the basis, respectively, of the Old and New Testaments.

Both Genesis and the Gospel by John treat of “ the beginning.Both commence with the phrase " In (the) beginning.Both treat of the Creation and the Creator. Both have been very specially assailed of late. In both cases the aim has been to deny their authorship and their antiquity-and to prove them to have been the product of another hand, at a later period.

In both cases, the object has been the same-to throw obscurity upon the first things of Revelation and Religion, and to unsettle the popular faith in the Bible as the very word of God.

It is plain that the Scriptures, in both Testaments, rest upon the historical truth of the Pentateuch. Just as Genesis is presupposed by the other four books, or parts of the Pentateuch, so all the five books of the Pentateuch, as we shall show, are presupposed by the remainder of the Scriptures. Hence the strenuous effort to impugn the substantial verity of these original records, and to resolve them into mere myth, legend, or story founded on fact. The zeal in this destructive criticism can be accounted for, only on the ground of man's natural aversion from the foundation truths of Scripture. It is an opposition to any Divine, written rule of faith and practice. It is a deep seated alienation from a personal God.

It will be observed that these critics start out with a denial of any plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures. They assume that all miracle and prophecy is impossible—that is—any thing of the supernatural, in power, or in knowledge. But the foundation fact of the Old Testament is the Miracle of the Creation; and the foundation fact of the New Testament is the Miracle of the Incarnation, in the work of New Creation. And this written Revelation itself is a Miracle.

But how have they ascertained that a Miracle is impossible with God ? A Miracle is only His extraordinary working, according to a higher law of His operation. And to say that He cannot transcend natural law, is to say, that He cannot work out of His ordinary mode, and that He is limited to natural law, and Himself inferior to nature, instead of superior to it. The result of such a doctrine must be to deify nature and to undeify God.

The object of this destructive criticism is not merely to set aside the supernatural from the Scriptures, but to deny what is supernatural in all the universe—under the guise of science to install natural law in the place of a personal living Jehovah. So it is alleged, by the same critics, that all human history is only the development of natural law in human affairs—and that every thing in the world's annals proceeds according to such a law as admits no Divine intervention in history.

But there is an historical basis of this Divine Religion apart from any questions as to the possibility of Inspiration or Miracle. For the main facts are interwoven with the world's history, and the miraculous facts have come down to us equally attested with any others. That there has been a creation and a deluge is indisputable. The proofs are every where found. These documents of Hebrew Scripture are also the annals of Jewish History-and no history has such ample evidences. And the miracles of Moses are as much part of the history as anything that is recorded. To deny them, is to destroy the foundations of all history. So, in the New Testament, the Apostles appeal to the most enlightened cities for the mi. raculous facts of their mission. And what is supernatural, in the record, comes to us on the same historical basis as any thing that is recorded. (See Restoration of Belief.) So also the Jews, in our Lord's time, appealed to the writings of Moses, and the New Testament accredits them as his, and cites the contents as inspired.

Hengstenberg has well said that the denial of the Pentateuch has its origin in the proneness of the age to Naturalism, which has its root in estrangement from God!

If objectors can so far impugn the Divine authority of these Mosaic records as to hold them to be unhistorical,this will fully answer their purpose. If they can make men believe that this is any thing less than veritable history, then no matter for them, nor for us, what it is, or whose it is. But this is not by any means so easily done. They have the advantage of the remote antiquity of these writings for starting their skeptical conjectures. But (1st) the whole presumption is, that what has come down to us through long ages as history is really so, unless the contrary can be established. (2nd) They have to account for these records if they be not historical. They have to show us how they could have originated -and how they could have obtained such universal currency and credence, and how such a people, so jealous of these sacred records, as comprising the institutions of their religion, and the annals of their nation, and as being the basis of their legislation, and as containing the registers of their family descent, and the title deeds of their property, could have been so utterly deceived for long ages. They have, also, (3d) to account for it that it should be reserved for this late day, and for them, to make such a discovery as that these primitive histories of the world are fable. Besides (4th) they must show in themselves some spirit of true historical investigation, apart from irreligious prejudice,—and some superior learning, apart from empty speculation and fancy, before they can make the world believe that these ancient and consistent records are not true. It is not enough to carp and cavil at alleged discrepancies and impossibilities in the narrative, for still the great, chief impossibility remains for them to dispose of—the “impossibility” of the whole Jewish history-and of the world's history-if this be not history-the impossibility of any satisfactory account of these records, if they be any thing less than real historical truth.

I. The Mythic theory, which, at most, admits only a certain substratum of history, refers the leading narratives, especially such as involve any thing miraculous, to myth. Or, these critics allege that the origin of these records is something purely legendary, such as belongs to many of the earliest heathen annals. But these critics have opposed each other in regard to any theory of the origin of such myths which would be at all in keeping with the plain facts of the case, or furnish any probable solution. This theory, therefore, is even more difficult than that which it opposes. And, only when the whole Scripture is taken as historical truth, is it found to be simple, clear, consistent, and in keeping with all the known facts, and with the long established belief, and with the universal testimony, Especially the first chapters in Genesis are alleged to be mythical—as the Creation and Fall, etc. But the impossibility of these narratives being mythical, appears hence:

11.) That instead of being diffuse and imaginative, these records are the most sub ely brief, concise, compact statements; farthest removed from idle stories or legends, such as are found in heathen annals.

(2.) These accounts are found in the midst of plain, geographical statements, and they bear every mark of genuine history.

(3.) If these records be myth, it is impossible for any one to tell us how they originated, and when; and when and how they took documentary form, and received their present shapes; and how far they are founded on fact, or what basis they could have had, which would properly account for them.

(4.) On all these points the mythical critics dispute with each other as earnestly as they dispute with us.

(5.) These narratives were committed to writing nearly a thousand years before the myths of the most ancient nations.

(6.) These records are connected—not disjointed and fragmentary as myths are.

(7.) These narratives have nothing of the fictitious and fabulous air which mythical legends have, but they refer to the only living and true God, as Creator and Redeemer—and give a simple and intelligible account of the great first facts of human history. And all history may as well be resolved into myths as this.

II. Some hold the narratives of the creation and fall of man, etc., to be allegorical ; setting forth these ideas of man's natural and moral relations, in the garb of history, as a kind of parable. This stands on no better ground than the former. Others admit the historical basis, and allegorize -finding another sense, besides the historical, underlying the history. Doubtless the narratives have pregnant import. But the allegorical sense” is often made to be anything but the simple, plain, substantial sense of the history.

III. Akin to the mythical and allegorical theories is that of those who hold that these records have originated in the “floating tradition," or popular story, which came afterwards to be put into this form by one or another hand.

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