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meet the argument of our author in a sober, matter-of-fact style of reasoning.
And first as to his astronomical argument. The substance of the argument is this : On account of “the deviation of the earth's axis,” the northern and southern hemispheres enjoy unequal degrees of heat and cold. When this difference is at the extreme, the seasons of " spring and summer are eight days longer than autumn and winter.” But “ the history of progressive human civilization with which we are acquainted is comprised within one hemisphere, and under climacteric accidents the most favorable to advancement.” These “favorable climacteric accidents” are the seasons of spring and summer being longer than autumn and winter. Therefore, as man has mostly lived in the northern hemisphere, his creation must have taken place when the heat was greatest in this hemisphere, i. e., about 20,000 B. C., and the flood must have taken place about 10,000 B. C., when the cold was at its maximum. . In regard to this argument, we remark: First, we neither admit the premises nor the conclusion. Having passed some fifteen years in the southern part of that belt which has been most densely peopled by the race, we have a little experience that bears directly on the point. We thought and felt decidedly, that the cool season was more favorable to physical and mental vigor, to physical and mental development, than the hot season. And, if we mistake not, such were decidedly the thoughts and feelings of all in that land who had much to do in the various spheres of bodily and mental activity. So that if
we were to use Bunsen's premises, we should draw the conclusion the opposite to that which he has drawn. We confess we should never advance this argument to prove that man was created about 10,000 B. C.; but we think it worth as much in support of such an epoch of the creation as that of our author in favor of the higher one of ten thousand years earlier.
Again, in point of fact, in what climate has the race of man attained to the highest degree of development in both body and mind? If we look at the present generation, we certainly cannot point to the mildest parts of the temperate zone as furnishing the best specimens of intellectual and physical vigor. Edinburgh and Glasgow are almost 56° N. Lat.; London is almost 52°; Berlin is farther north, and Paris is about 49° N. It is true that, as we go back into the early historic times, we find the region of human superiority a little further south. Greece is between 37. and 45° N., and Italy between 40° and 46° N.; and Palestine, and Egypt, and Chaldea were still further south. But the ancients were not equal to the moderns. The reason was, they, through love of ease, delighted in the softness of tropical climates, where a little effort suffices to meet the wants of a degenerate physical nature. They settled along the banks of such streams as the Nile, the Euphrates and Tigris, the Indus and Ganges. It was when they settled in the more northern and cooler climates that the greater strength of body and mind was developed in the race. Where, we would ask, was the garden of Eden? Mount Ararat is in about 40° N. Lat. ; and since geologists tell us that the mighty currents which have swept over the earth, the marks of which are now seen on the solid rocks, were from north to south, and that which caused the deluge of Noah was probably in the same direction, the ark floated south during that one hundred and fifty days; hence the garden of Eden was north of the mountain where it rested, and was therefore about in the middle of the temperate zone; whereas, according to our author's theory and argument, it should have been further south. We beg our readers not to spend time to criticise this argument, for in itself considered it will not bear criticism. We only put it forth to meet the reasoning of our author. In fact, the line of argumentation is about parallel to his, and equally conclusive. If we placed any value on the argument from heat and cold as aiding to fix the epoch of the creation of man, we should be inclined to place the epoch at the time when the heat and cold of our hemisphere were in equilibrio, which would be for the last time (according to our author) about 4002 B. C. This differs only two years from the commonly received chronology. But we do not believe in this heat-and-cold argument. Even if we should admit the premises, that the time when spring and summer are eight days longer in our hemisphere than autumn and winter, is most favorable to human development, it would by no means follow that the creation of man took place at that time.
We must devote a little space to our author's chronology of the patriarchs, especially to his era of Abraham. We have here some rich specimens of
“philosophy.” We need do little more than exhibit the philosopher's theory in his own words:
“We will now take a glance at dates. Here the first step undoubtedly must be to abandon the views and system adopted by the narrator, from the impossibility of an historian dealing with men who beget children like other people at the age of thirty, and live more than four hundred years afterwards. Those upon whom this consideration fails to make an impression may still be staggered by the fact, that upon this calculation the patriarci Noah lived down to the time of Abraham,* without troubling himself about the history of the world. Neither can we venture, like the authors of the Septuagint, to falsify the text, t and, in order to get rid of the disproportion, add one hundred years to the ages of these geographical patriarchal monsters at the time of their marriage. We have, therefore, but one alternative — to ascertain which of the two is the really traditional date, that of the ages after the birth of the first son, or that of the whole date; to ascertain, in other words, whether the nar. rator had the authority of tradition for the former date, and, in order to assist his chronology, added, at random, thirty or forty years to their ages when the first son was born; or whether he found the whole sum total recorded, and deducted from it whatever suited his purpose. The fact of his not stating the sum total would incline us to adopt the former view. But in the immediately preceding entries about Noah and Shem, we can prove that the complete sum total is the actual traditional date.
* This is a real objection or difficulty if we adopt the Hebrew chronology, but it entirely vanishes if we adopt that of the Septuagint.
+ This is amusing, standing, as it does, in connection with the author's radical alteration of the text of Scripture.
I On such suppositions, what becomes of the inspiration of the Scriptures, or even of their authenticity? Yet our author professes great reverence and regard for the Bible. He would not alter a date.
In each case it is six hundred years, which was shown to be the original Chaldaic equation between lunar and solar years. We must, therefore, assume that it is so here also.” ** * The postdiluvian times to Abraham are thus disposed of (the tabular form being somewhat abridged for the sake of space) :
“There are three periods or divisions : –
“A. Sem (Arapakithis), i. e., the primeval land of the Kasdim (Chaldees), the frontier mountains of Armenia toward Assyria, four hundred and thirty-eight years.
B. Selah, The Mission,' four hundred and thirty-three years; Heber, the settler over the river (Tigris), four hundred and sixty-four years; Peleg, derivation, partition, four hundred and thirty-nine years; Yohtan (father of thirteen South Arabian races).
“ C. RéHu, district of the shepherd country of Edessa (Rohi), two hundred and thirty-nine years; Serug (in Osroëne, Sarug, west of Edessa), two hundred and thirty years.
“D. Nahor goes to Ur of the Kasdim (Chaldees), one hundred and forty-eight years.
“Terah leaves Ur of the Chaldees, and goes to Haran (Karra), a day's journey south of Edessa, two hundred and seventy-five years (70+ 205).
“ Nahor sets out from Sarug to Ur of the Chaldees, one hundred and forty-eight years (29 + 119).
" Terah sets out froin Ur to Haran, that is, back toward Osroëne, on the way to Canaan. He lives two hundred and five years. At the age of seventy he begets three sons in Ur.
" There is a remarkable closeness between the first three
* Our eyes have not fallen on this proof. We know that Josephus (Antiq. i. iii. 9) speaks of a “great year” of six hundred common years; but what has that to do with the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, as the date of the flood, and the duration of Shem's life? It is all assumption.