Page images

circles they attain to their fullest development and their maximum num. ber; and these foci he regards as the original centres of creation, whence, in each instance, in the process of increase and multiplication, the plant or creature propagated itself outwards in circular wavelets of life, that sapk at each stage as they widened, till at length, at the circumference of the area, they wholly ceased. Now we find it argued by Professor Edward Forbes, that “since man's appearance, certain geological areas, both of land and water, have been formed, presenting such physical conditions as to entitle us to expect within their bounds, one, or in some instances, more than one, centre of creation, or, point of maximum of a zoological or botanical province. But a critical examination renders evident that, instead of showing distinct foci of creation, they have been, in all instances, peopled by colonization, i. e. by migration of species from pre-existing, and in every case pre-Adamic, provinces."

That this is only a negative argument we admit; yet it at least destroys the integrity of Captain Hutton's theory. It does not prove that there was no case, in which a post-Adamic formation of land was peopled by a post-Adamic creation of animals and vegetables; but it proves that this was not the case in all the instances, in which Captain Hutton would have it that it was. It proves that it was not so in some of the instances in which it might most of all bave been expected; and thereby renders it in a high degree likely that it was not so in any instance. Now with this baseless hypothesis Captain Hutton's whole system stands or falls. If the animals, that now exist on the earth, have existed ever since the creation of Adam, then it is certain that the strata, which Captain Hutton supposes to have been deposited since that creation, must have contained the traces of their remains. But they do not contain such traces ; therefore either the animals in question were created after Adam was created, or the strata in question were deposited before the creation of Adam. Now, the former branch of the alternative contradicts the plain language of scripture, and is at the very least wholly unsupported by any evidence from natural history; therefore the strata in question were deposited before the creation of Adam ; and Captain Hutton's theory is refuted.

Captain Hutton cannot refuse the perilling of his case upon the stability of this hypothesis of post-Adamic creation; nor does he, we ought distinctly to say, refuse it. Witb an hoe nesty worthy of all commendation, which, almost constantly displayed throughout his book, has won for him our sincere regard, he manfully sets himself to the establishment of it. We must say that there is not one of the arguments, that he adduces, that seems to us fit “to hold water.” We cannot do more than simply particularise them, and indicate the mode in which, if we had space, we would deal with them. First-The change of temperature that is said to have taken place since the creation of man must have destroyed those animals that lived in the polar regions, when these enjoyed a tropical tempera.

[ocr errors]

ture, and have rendered necessary the creation of a set of animals suited to the habitation of these regions with their present temperature. To this it might be answered, that, granting the change of temperature, and granting also that it may have destroyed some of the races that then inhabited the polar regions, it cannot be proved that those, which now inhabit these regions, might not, for a little time, (and it is only for & very little time, namely, the period of man's continuance in a state of innocence, that it is necessary to account) have lived in a tropical temperature. Second-The fishes were not included in the ark; but the fresh-water fishes could not have existed during the flood, when salt or brackish water overspread all the earth; consequently they must have been created after the flood. Answer. -Supposing this to be true, their spawn might bave been preserved. Third_"It would appear that if, according to the popular belief, some of every species had been taken into the ark, the recent (present ?) and fossil races ought to be identical ; whereas we find them to be in most cases totally distinct." Answer-- This is mere reasoning in a circle. It is only Captain Hutton's and similar theories that require the identity of the present with the fossil species. According to our belief the fossil species had been wholly destroyed before the existing species were called into being. Fourth-The command to Noah to gather to him of all food that was eaten, could not include food for the predatory animals. Answer-(1) Required the proof. The scripture tells us that the animals to be preserved were brought by seven's and twos, because it was necessary that a certain specified number of them should be preserved ; but there is no thing to prevent the supposition that a miscellaneous multitude might be 'trapped for the purpose of being preserved as live-stock, to afford food during the voyage, if we may 50 call it, to the carnivorous animals; (2) Noah might catch & daily supply of fish as he floated on the waters.' FifthAs the quantity of the land has encreased since the first creation, the animals must have been created, as the climates and countries which they now inhabit were from time to time produced. Answer-See answer to first argument, and the quotation given above from Professor Forbes. Sixth-This we must give in Captain Hutton's own words :- .“ We find this in. terpretation confirmed by that passage of Genesis, which declares that after the subsidence of the deluge, 'God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, and I, behold, I establish my covenant with you and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you; from all that go out of the ark to every beast of the earth ! Is it not evident from this declaration that å marked distinction is made between the beasts that went out of the ark, and some other beasts of the earth? And to what others can we refer, save to those which God had seen fitting to create, in order that the new climates which the late revolution had produced, and would still thereafter produce, might be stocked and replenished, in common with all other quarters and portions of the globe ?" Answer-The other beasts of the earth were not any beasts then upon

thé earth, but the future progeny of the beasts that went out of the ark. Our author's reasoning, if applied to the former clause of the verse in precisely the same way that he applies it to the latter, would prove that Noah and his sons had certain seed then alive upon the earth. Seventh-" The text does not necessarily imply that Noah took with him into the ark two of every living species, but only two of every kind that the Almighty foresaw would be able to live and thrive, when the waters should have again subsided from off the earth.” Answer, -The text not only necessarily implies, but expressly states, that pairs were preserved of all wherein was the breath of life. Eighth-We have examples that must be admitted of fresh creations, as in the Pediculus Nigritarum, or louse that infests the negro race," which is specifically distinct from that which infests the white man; hence, as it is peculiar to the descendants of Ham, who are a post-diluvian race, so it is evident that their peculiar parasite is a post-diluvian creation.” Answer-If it infests the descendants of Ham, it may have infested Ham him: self, or his wife. Ninth-Those multitudes of creatures, such as the worms in the intestines, &c., that torment and prey upon man, could not exist before the fall, when it is admitted that man was free from suffering. Answer-It is not denied that the origin of these creatures is involved in great obscurity ; but it is not unlikely that they are the infusoria contained in all the food that we eat, modified and changed by the circumstances in which they are placed, after they come to be swallowed. Tenth-If all the races of animals sprang from those that were preserved in the ark, how were they diffused over the world, and especially how would the savage races and vermin, whom man would never take along with him, reach their abodes ? Answer-There is no part of the land in the world that is very far distant from some other land ; so that it might be possible for animals to cross by swimming, or walking on ice, or floating on wreck, from the cen. tral spot where the ark rested, in the course of some centuries, to every place. Besides, it is very probable that countries, that are now separated by seas of great breadth, might formerly be joined by narrow isthmuses, tbat were soon washed away by the action of the waves; and we think it not improbable that this is the division of the earth that the scripture represents as hav; ing taken place in the days of Peleg. Gen. x. 25. EleventhThe olive-tree, from which the dove plucked off the leaf, must have been a new creation. Answer—Much more likely it was a seedling, sprung from an ante-diluvian olive. The smaller the tree was, the better evidence it would be to Noah of the complete subsidence of the waters.

At length we draw to a close. We have great confidence that, if our article should fall into Captain Hutton's hands, he will take our strictures in good part, and re-consider the wholes ubject. His work almost throughout bears the stamp of ingenuousness; and when he does use an argument which seems to us weak, we soon remember the influence of a favourite system in reconciling a man to that against which he would otherwise at once exclaim. We like the attitude which, in general, he maintains towards the scriptures. Fully persuaded ourselves that these scriptures are "given by inspiration of God, and are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness," we cannot deem it of little moment to attain to a correct understanding of the bearing of every passage that they contain We believe that Captain Hutton is sincerely desirous to attain to such an understanding ; and, although we think he has failed, yet he has shewn powers of research, which may hereafter, under the Divine blessing, enable him to do good service both in the vindication and the elucidation of the records of our holy faith. As to the particular department of work that he has undertaken, he labors under a disadvantage that attaches, unfortunately, to all of us in Bengal. He has looked upon the geological phenomena rather with the eyes of others than with his own. We do not find in his whole book a single geological fact, that seems to be ascertained by his own observation. We doubt not that he has profited, to the full extent of its capability, by a geological library; but this never yet has made, and never in time coming will make, a first-rate Geologist. Very far are we from wishing that he should relinquish his geological studies, or cease to make the best use he can of the observations of others; but we may hint to him,—what we have often felt with respect to ourselves during our residence in Bengal—that there are, in the lower provinces at least, insuperable difficulties in the way of an efficient study of this important branch of science. We are not aware where Captain Hutton is stationed; but, if he be any where in the Upper Provinces, we cannot too strongly urge upon him the importance of his setting himself to the task of diligently exploring the phenomenaexhibited in these provinces. With his talents and acuteness, he would not fail to render a valuable service to his favourite science, while he would as little fail to attain far clearer and, as we believe, more correct views, than he now possesses.

Note by the Editor.- We may perhaps return to the consideration of Captain Hutton's theory from an altogether different point of view.



Art. 1.-1. Yad Namuh ; a Chapter of Oriental Life. Lon

don. 1850. 2. Ten Years in India ; or, the Life of a Young Officer ; by

Captain Albert Hervey, 40th Regiment, Madras Native Infan

try. 3 vols. London. 1850. 3. Sketches of Naval and Military Adventure; by one in the

Service, Bath and London. No date. 4. Sir Charles Napier's Indian Baggage Corps ; reply to

Lieutenant-Colonel Burlton's attack; by Major Montagu McMurdo, late head of the Quarter Master General's Department in Scinde. London. 1850.

EVER and anon a complaint reaches us to the effect, that in the general constitution of this Review there is discernible a want of light and amusing matter. There is really some justice in the charge ; but we must plead “extenuating circumstances." It is, certainly, our first object to instruct the reader ; but we rejoice greatly in an opportunity of amusing him. The opportunity, however, is just what we want. The table of the European reviewer is ever covered with light literature. He has only to take his choice. He may be as dainty as he likes; something is sure to please his taste.

No possible subject is prohibited; no description of literature is tabooed. Poems, plays, novels, travels, essays, written in any language and published in any part of the world, come within his jurisdiction. It is very different with us. Our range of subjects is limited. Our opportunities are few. All we can say is, that if people will write amusing books about India, we will undertake to review them. As it is, we are often compelled to review books, which are not amusing. A batch of " light literature” does not always afford materials for a light article. A large number of the lighter works relating to India, which find their way into print, are neither good enough, nor bad enough, to suit the purpose of the reviewer. They are of a kind to forbid all emotion. They do not fill him with delight; they do not inspire him with anger. He cannot work himself into anything like an enthusiasm over them. The most that


« PreviousContinue »