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DIRECTIONS TO THE BINDER.
PLATE OF DEAD SEA,
. TO FACE TITLE.
PAGE PLATE I., . . . . . . . . . . . TO FACE 13
II., . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
MAP OF THE STARS, . . . . . . . . 65 " III., . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
MAP OF ASIA MINOR, SHOWING THE LAND AND RIVERS
OF EDEN, &c. . .
V. . . . . . . .
. . . 299 VII., . . . . . . .
. . . 851
. . . . . .
. . .
. . .
THEORIES OF CREATION.
"IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH.
HE Creation of the World and the Inspiration of "the Word” are to be equally regarded as the sovereign work of God. The Book of Nature and the Book of God have
the same infallible author. Thus they cannot contradict * each other. The highest purpose to which man can devote the powers of his mind, is to acquaint himself with God-to
examine the twofold revelation, humbly but thankfully, with the view of ascertaining what it makes known of the person and works of its divine author. The earth, the ocean, and the starry sky tell us something about God. The Bible tells us all that he wishes us to know of Himself. Each testifies of the same One. There is no variance between them. Whence then the different utterances held to be given by these witnesses of God? The Divine Record found in the material world has been often regarded as in direct conflict with the Divine Record in the Bible. The only answer which can be given, by those who hold both records to be divine, is, that the student has mistaken the meaning of one or of both of them. The human interpreter has been forward to cast the shadows of his own prejudices on the fair form of truth, and to forget that if"God spake by Moses,” he is not at liberty to alter God's words from the meaning which, as words, they naturally bear, in order to bring them into harmony with his views of the discoveries of science. They cannot be in anything but direct agreement with these, at every point at which they may lawfully be brought together. If they are associated at points at which they never were designed to meet, the fault lies with man. All who hold by the Scriptures as inspired by the Spirit of God, have really nothing to fear from the progress of the sciences. Without doubt, however, many, even of intelligent believers in the inspiration of the Scriptures, have had their faith shaken by repeated statements, that in one branch and another of
natural science discoveries have been made which flatly contradict the words of the Bible; and, as they looked out on the conflicts waged in the wide field of learned controversy, like old Eli they have trembled in heart for the “Ark of God.” The result has been an impression, either that science is an enemy to revelation, or that the first chapter of Genesis, in connection with which most of the warfare has been carried on, is not to be regarded as resting on the same secure and infallible basis as other portions of the Word of God. In either case the result is dangerous. Such an attitude to science is both unworthy of our love to the Creator, whose mind in his works science seeks to discover, and of the intellectual nature of man also. Anything like doubt as to the reliable character of one part of the Scriptures, will soon lead to the same state of mind as to the whole. Impressions of distrust thus stand on the threshold of positive unbelief. The most effectual way of being freed from both states of mind is, on the one hand, to bear in mind the lawful sphere of science, and, on the other hand, to have a thorough and well-defined knowledge of the foundations and causes of the various controversies which have clustered around the introductory portion of the Word of God. It is hoped that the remarks which follow will be helpful to this.
The expression, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” was, up to a comparatively recent date, held to include the creation of the orbs of the sky, and of all the living things formed during the six days' work, and to imply that these latter were the only living forms that ever had an existence in relation to the earth. In a word, it was almost universally believed that the body of the earththat every beast, and bird, and reptile, every tree, and bush, and herb ever on its surface—and that the sea and “all that ever passed through its paths," were created during the six days. It is true that in conducting mining operations, and in breaking up the stratified rocks for industrial purposes, men had been more or less aware of the impressions of plants and shells on the rocks; but these for generations scarcely excited curiosity. If at any time a little attention was given to them, and the question put, “What are they, and whence came they?” the answer was ever ready. It was either said, “Certain rocks and waters have the power of petrifying the plants and shells laid down in them,” or, “ They were buried therein by the Flood.” The deluge, indeed, came in to explain every difficulty. Some, who saw farther than the crowd, felt dissatisfied with such explanations, but were only led to get rid of the question in a more summary way, by answering, “They were