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heat; the effect of this heat was to produce evaporation, and the vapours so raised being suspended in the air (with which it appears our author supposes the " aqueous spheroid" to have been surrounded, although he does not state whether it was so surrounded from the beginning or not) formed the atmosphere, capable of diffusing by refraction and reflection the light, which, as we have seen, reached it at this precise point of time, and so produced the effect of day-light.
The work of the second day was the making of the firmament, that is, the heating by the continued action of the sun's rays, and consequent expansion, of the aqueous vapours, so as to cause them to rise up to a distance above the earth, where they are sustained in the shape of clouds. "The operations of the second day (says our author) are not to be attributed to any especial or supernatural exertion of Almighty power in that period, but to the fact of the sun's having been made the source of light and heat on the preceding day." Thus the second command-" Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters" appears to have been as nugatory as the former. In fact, from the time when the material elements of the earth and the heavens were called into being, down to the close of the second day, we have no forth-putting of Divine power, except in the conservation of those laws that were impressed on all the matter of the universe at the beginning.
Our author's account of the former part of the third day's work, the separation of the dry land from the seas, is, to our thinking, one of the best parts of the work before us. Although we cannot agree with our author as to the time when the hills were elevated above the surface of the original earth, we have little doubt that the process itself of the elevation was substantially that which he describes. It is due to our author to let him describe this operation in his own words :
It has been suggested that during the long period which elapsed, while the mineral globe was in course of precipitation and deposition in the bosom of the deep, a chemical heat must have been engendered in the central heavy mass of metallic oxides, which, in all probability, formed the nucleus of the planet, and that, through the agency of this heat, the lower strata became gradually more and more compact and indurated, while cracks and fissures were the natural consequences of the expansion of the internal heated matters. The germs of volcanic action were thus engendered and kept alive in the interior of the earth, although its violence had not yet arrived at that degree of force which afterwards enabled it to disrupt and upbear the strata. In this state of progressively increasing power, it must have continued through the long period of years known as "the beginning," but no sooner was the effect of heat felt upon the surface of the planet, through the active operation of the solar ray, causing the expansion of the newly-formed atmosphere, than the great weight of atmospheric pressure, superadded to that of the mineral strata, and of the
superincumbent ocean, which already pressed enormously upon the central mass, increased the power of the internal heat by condensation, to such a degree of intensity, that the expansion of the nucleus, causing the strata to split and swell up, gave passage to the waters of the ocean, which percolating to the incandescent centre, and acting upon the metallic bases, or intensely heated lava within, suddenly produced by their decomposition a vast amount of hydrogen; and the hitherto smouldering volcanic forces, now roused into terrific action, suddenly burst forth with irresistible vigour towards the surface, rending and upbearing in their progress the superior strata of the earth, whose surface from thenceforward became varied with hill and dale.
We have no doubt, as we have already intimated, that this was substantially the process by which the mountains were elevated, nor as to the fact that our author insists upon elsewhere, that the protrusion of a hill must have been accompanied with a corresponding "staving in," if we may use a familiar expression, of a corresponding portion of the earth's crust, so as to keep up the solidity of the spheroid,-although we do not quite see the necessity of the depression being always antipodal to the elevation. A vacuum being produced by the withdrawal of a certain amount of matter from the central regions of the earth, and the atmosphere and ocean pressing with mighty force all around the spheroid, the break would take place at the weakest part of the surface, and a depression would be formed, into which the waters would be collected. But it will scarcely escape the notice of our readers, that the time allowed for the process is far too small. Whatever may have been the state of the primitive strata, it is a matter of impossibility, we hesitate not to say, that the percolatory process should have taken place, as our author would represent it as having taken place, in the course of a single day.
As it is one of the best ascertained of all geological facts that the primitive rocks composing the present mountain chains broke through fossiliferous strata, and disrupted and displaced them, this fact would be fatal to our author's whole theory, were it admitted that the actually existing lands and mountains are those that were formed at this period; but the theory is saved by the partial adoption of the supposition to which we have already referred as that of Granville Penn, that the lands and mountains then upraised are now submerged under the bottom of the ocean. Captain Hutton does not at all agree with Mr. Penn as to the mode in which the deluge was effected; but he does agree with him in holding that many of the present hills are of post-diluvian formation. We shall have occasion to advert to this when we come to speak of the deluge; meanwhile we call attention to the fact that the theory is entirely dependent for its establishment upon the proof of the supposition of an in
terchange (at least to a great extent) between the oceanbed and the dry land of the ante-diluvian and post-diluvian worlds. If it cannot be proved that the mountains upheaved on the third day of creation are not the mountains that we now behold, then the whole theory will fall to the ground; for it is very certain that these mountains were formed after the deposit of the fossiliferous strata. We shall therefore have occasion to recur to this part of the subject at a later period of our discussion.
Here again, therefore, according to our author, there was no forth-putting of creative power in the proper sense; all was done in accordance with those laws which were impressed upon matter at the beginning, and to which it continues to be subject to this hour. It was in the latter portion of this third day, that creation, by a special out-putting of the Divine power, may properly be said to have begun. Our author's account of the production of the vegetable kingdom might agree sufficiently well with the very brief account contained in the first chapter of Genesis, but we do not think that it harmonizes with the somewhat more detailed account in the second chapter. We freely admit that it militates sadly against the poetry of the subject, to suppose that the vegetable kingdom was produced in the form of a packet of ungerminated seeds, and, it may be, a heap of unsprung roots; but such really seems to us to be the intimation given in the second chapter by the inspired historian, when he tells us that "God made every herb of the field before it was in the earth, and every plant of the field before it grew." We should imagine that an "herb of the field before it is in the earth" is a seed ; and that a "plant of the field before it grows" is a root. We know quite as well as we can be told, that God could as easily have made the vegetable world in a state of full development; but the sole question here is, whether it pleased him to do so:-" what says the scripture?"
The explanation that our author gives of the work of the fourth day, is essentially the same with that given by those who adopt the supposition of a long interval between the period when the creation of the matter of the earth was effected, and the period when the present arrangement of the cosmical elements was en
We candidly acknowledge that we do not regard this as necessarily fatal to our author's theory. We are so little capable of understanding the nature of the Divine operations, that throughout the Bible, and especially in the Old Testament, these operations are described to us in the only language that we can understand-language borrowed from analogous operations performed by ourselves. We are not therefore prepared positively to deny that the work which is represented as having been done by a positive fiat issued at a particular instant, may have been in reality effected by the operation of laws impressed upon matter long before. This observation is equally applicable to the remarks we have already made respecting the two first commands "Let there be light," and "Let there be a firmament."
tered upon. Both they and our author admit that the sun, moon and stars were in existence long before the period in question, and they agree in thinking that they were actually giving light to the earth on the first, second and third of the Mosaic days; they therefore agree that the special work performed respecting them on the fourth day was the "appointment" of the sun and the moon to rule the day and the night respectively, and to be "for signs and for seasons, for days and for years." Nor has our author any special quarrel with the supposition that it was only on the fourth day that the sun became distinctly visible to the earth, by the further elevation of the clouds through the encreased temperature of the atmosphere, occasioned by the radiation of heat from the dry land. He is moreover greatly captivated by an ingenious conceit of Mr. Granville Penn's, that it was only on the fourth day, or, as we would say, the evening of the third day, that the moon would become visible, it being assumed that she was, at the commencement of the first day, in a state of conjunction. In other words it is supposed that it was new moon at that instant, and that it was only three days afterwards that the moon emerged from the sun's rays, and became visible as a delicate crescent. He argues
at considerable length that it was only then, when the moon first became visible, that these luminaries could be properly said to be appointed to their functions. Be this so or not, we can hardly persuade ourselves that this view of the matter exhausts the meaning of the sacred text.
The work of the fifth day was the creation of the" feathered and aquatic tribes," and also, as we believe, the innumerable races of insects and reptiles; and that of the sixth, the creation of the mammalia, including man. In connexion with this the author introduces a discussion, evidently suggested by the perusal of the Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, of the question whether plants and animals were brought into existence by the operation of natural laws, or by the immediate forth-putting of Divine power. He evidently leans to the former supposition in respect of plants and the lower animals, while he strongly asserts the latter with respect to man. While we do not agree with him in the former supposition, we must distinctly acknowledge that he leans to it in a form wholly, or in great measure, divested of its hurtful qualities. He desires it not to derogate in the slightest degree from the honor of God as the actual creator of all things; nor do we disagree with him in the position that God is equally the creator of the organized beings of our earth, whether they came into existence in consequence of certain laws which he had impressed upon the material elements of which they are composed, or whether he formed them out
of those elements by a special flat of Divine power. admits that, if there were laws impressed upon matter, which led on the third day to the formation of vegetables, and on the fifth and sixth days to the formation of animals, these laws are not in operation now; the same God who originally impressed them having suspended their operation when they had fulfilled their purpose; but he seems to consider that they are in such a state of dormant vitality, that, for example, if a new continent were now formed by volcanic action, it would be clothed with vegetation produced by the action of these laws. Now we may say that it is well ascertained that this is not the fact; that the islands and continents that have been formed, whether by volcanic agency or by the process of coralline formations, instead of being furnished with vegetable life in the space of a single day by the simple operation of the laws of nature, have remained barren until seeds have been carried by birds, and winds and waves, and the hand of man. Thus, while our author steers clear of the dangerous and most unphilosophical doctrine of spontaneous generation, and while therefore we admit that his views are theologically harmless, we do not think that they are philosophically or historically sound. In fact it scarcely accords with our notion of a law, to speak of a creating law. However, this is, to a considerable extent, a mere matter of definition. Respecting the creation of animals, our author throws out one idea which seems to us to be valuable, and which we do not remember to have met with before. It is as to the number of individuals of each species that were originally created. The common idea is that every species of animals is sprung from a single pair of that species; and some, from the analogy of the re-peopling of the world after the deluge, have inferred that the clean beasts were created by sevens and the unclean by twos. But this is not said in the scriptures; and it seems very probable that the fact was otherwise. "The waters brought forth abundantly the living creature that had life"-abundantly, we think it not improbable, not only in respect of a multitude of species, but in respect also of a multitude of individuals belonging to each species. Our author indeed limits the former, and expands the latter. He believes that the whole world at this time enjoyed a high temperature, and that only those animals that were fitted to live in such a temperature were at this time created; and moreover that the predaceous animals were not created till a subsequent period. As this question will fall under our notice while examining our author's view of the deluge, we shall not at present say more about it.