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9. Geology teaches that the deluge, of which we speak, must have come over the earth suddenly, by some violent interruption of the regular course of nature. The waters seem to have rushed with great violence from the north to the south, overtopping the bighest mountains, and carrying along with them prodigious quantities of stones and earth. As to the extent and suddenness of the deluve, the Bible teaches the same doctrine. We are told expressly, that the waters covered the highest mountains. We are told too, that the guilty inhabitants of the earth “ were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and knew not”-so sudden was the event to
. them—they “knew not, till the food came, and swallowed them all up." Matt. 24: 37–39. The fountains of the great deep were suddenly broken up, and the waters seem to have rolled over them in one wide wave of instant desolation.*
10. Geology informs us that the same species of animals existed before the deluge, which exist now. Consequently, they must have been, in some way, preserved through the deluge, or (contrary to previous analogy) the same races which had been destroyed must have been re-produced afterwards. The Scriptures inform us that the different kinds of ante-diluvian animals were preserved through the deluge, and how they were preserved. They were safely lodged with Noah in the ark.
11. Geology indicates that there have been violent volcanic eruptions, near the site of the ancient Sodom and Gomorrah; and that what is now the Dead Sea was, in all probability, sunk in one of these eruptions. The account given in the Scriptures of the destruction of Sodom and the cities of the plain, is altogether coincident with these indications.
12. Geology teaches that, as the earth we inhabit has undergone already repeated revolutions, in which it has been rent from its deep foundations, and the races of creatures existing on it have been destroyed, to give place to others of a more perfect organization ; so, in all probability, another terrible revolution awaits our globe. It is to be destroyed (so to speak) again ; and fitted up again, to be the habitation of nobler races of beings than those which now dwell upon it. Such, reason
* Without doubt, there wns great and incessant rain, at the time of the coming in of the deluge; but that the event was not caused by mere rain, is evident from the nature of the case, as well as froin the express language of Scripture, Gen. 7: JI.
ing from analogy, are the deductions of geology, in regard to this momentous subject. And these deductions are in perfect accordance with the teachings of revelation. The present earth is to be destroyed-at least, the present organization of it; after which we look for a new heavens, and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness." 2 Pet. 3: 13.
13. Geology renders it altogether probable, that the next overwhelming destruction of this world will be by fire. The earth is full of the most combustible materials; and it is on fire even now. The smoke of its burning is ascending up from a thousand furnaces. Its molten lavas are belching forth from its heaving bosom, and pouring down the sides of its mountains, and scorching its plains. We have about as much evidence geologically that this earth is one day to be destroyed by fire, as we should have that a house would be destroyed by fire, when we saw the smoke and flame issuing from its roof, and bursting forth from its opened windows. Now the Scriptures expressly assure us that this earth is one day to be destroyed
“ The heavens and the earth which are now are kept in store, reserved unto fire, against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men.” The day of the Lord will come, as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up." 2 Pet. 3: 7, 10.
14. I shall notice but another of the coincidences between the teachings of geology, and those of revelation. It appears from both these sources of evidence, that we are living, every day, on the sovereign forbearance and mercy of the Supreme Being. Nothing can be more critical, startling and (were it not for the Divine forbearance) alarming, than is our situation, and that of every other human being, viewed geologically. It is known that the heat of the earth increases, in regular proportion, the deeper we penetrate into its bosom. Should 'this proportion of increase continue, as we descend into the earth, (and no reason can be assigned why it should not) at the depth of a few miles only we should reach a temperature which would instantly melt the solid rocks. The probability therefore is, that the unknown interior of the earth is one vast sea of liquid fire; or at least, that it consists of materials which would instantly take fire, and rage with resistless desolation, the moment they should come in contact with the waters of the ocean which roll above them. It is these pent-up fires which have already upheaved the mountains, and shaken whole continents in a single earthquake.* It is these which have rived the solid rocks in sunder, and streained up lavas through them, in the form of trap dykes, for many thousands of feet. It is these which are smoking in the craters of volcanoes, and boiling in their bosoms, in every part of the earth. Here then we live, on a thin and already broken crust, which is extended over a vast ocean of liquid fire. And why do we live here at all ? Why do not the smothered flames burst out and consume us? It is only because of the Divine forbearance and mercy. It is only because, as the Scriptures express it (speaking in reference to this very subject), “God is long-suffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Pet. 3: 9. It is God, in his mercy, who holds
" these awful fires in check. It is God who puts his great hand, so to speak, upon the smoking crevices of the heaving earth, and bridles in the smothered flames—till all the purposes of
— his grace are accomplished—till the great moral crisis of the world has come,—and then its physical crisis will come in a twinkling. Then the impatient fires will be let loose, and the whole frame of nature will be speedily dissolved.
In view of the interesting and important coincidences here noticed between geology and revelation, it surely is not enough to say of the former science, that it is not inconsistent with revealed religion. It is the handmaid of revealed religion. Its voice, on a great many points, is but the echo of that louder and more intelligible word, which proceeded from ancient men of God, who "spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The inquisition which has been made in modern times into the interior structure and past history of the earth demonstrates that the God of nature is the God of the Bible, and that this holy book may be depended on, as a faithful exposition of his truth and will.
The time is within the recollection of many now living, when infidel writers were confident in their anticipations that the discoveries of the geologist would overthrow utterly the system of revealed truth. Brydone, Voltaire, and the French
* The earthquake which destroyed Lisbon, in 1755, was felt in Iceland, and in other places in the north of Europe ;-an indication that its cause must have reached nearly to the centre of the earth.
infidels generally exulted in the belief, that a light was beaming from the bowels of the earth, which would confound the advocates of Scripture, and explode utterly the christian revelation. The issue of these high and boastful expectations is now before
The investigations of geologists have been prosecuted (as they should have been) with the utmost ardor. Every accessible point, whether of mountain height or of ocean depth-of mine or cavern-of island, shore, or volcanic steep, has been explored ; and the conclusions of all respectable geologists are now decidedly in favor of Christianity. The more distinguished geologists, both of our own country and of Europe, are professed Christians. Several of them are christian ministers. Instances might be mentioned, in which geological investigations have served to remove doubts in regard to the Divine authority of our sacred books, and confirm the unsettled faith of the skeptical inquirer. And why should they not? The coincidences which we have traced between the teachings of geology and those of revelation are sufficient to convince any one, that the consistent geologist must be a Christian ;—that the unbelieving and undevout geologist is mad.
The disappointment of infidels in regard to the results of geological inquiry is not a solitary one. A great inany of like nature have been inflicted on them, in the progress of investigation on other subjects. A few of these it may not be inappropriate very cursorily to notice.
Within less than a century it has been confidently pretended, that human beings are of different races. They are not all the descendants of a common father. God hath not " made of one blood all the nations of men, that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” The representations of the Bible on this subject are false. “None but a blind man,” says Voltaire, “ can doubt that the whites, the negroes, the Hottentots, Laplanders, Chinese, and American Indians, are distinct races."
This assertion of the sage of Ferney, like most of his other impious assertions, was echoed and reëchoed by his numerous satellites, But in the present stage of scientific inquiry in regard to the natural history of our race, the man who should utter such a sentiment would be scouted. It has been satisfactorily ascertained, after the most careful metaphysical and anatomical research, that the human family are unquestionably a single family, and that the declarations of Scripture on this subject are true.
It has been pretended, within the last century, that the different languages spoken on the earth are so immensely numerous, and so widely distinct, as to give the lie to the account in Genesis, as to the confusion of tongues. This subject has been investigated anew, and investigated with great care and labor. The result will be presented in the language of a learned archaeologist of the present day. After having expressed the opinion that the radically distinct languages spoken on the face of the earth are few, Dr. Wiseman adds, “We are driven to the conclusion that, on the one hand, these languages must have been primarily united in one, whence they drew the common elements essential to them all; and on the other, that the separation between them, which destroyed no less important resemblances, could not have been caused by any gradual departure, or individual development, but must have been occasioned by some violent, unusual, and active force, sufficient alone to reconcile these conflicting appearances, and to account both for the resemblances and the differences.'* Such is the conclusion of mere scientific research, in regard to the different languages of men. It must be evident, at a glance, how exactly it accords with the representation given in the Bible.
Within the last two hundred years, the friends of revelation have been often assailed with the pretensions of some of the nations of the East_to a prodigious antiquity. The Chinese and Japanese, the Egyptians and Hindoos, we have been told, possess unquestionable historical records, and astronomical observations which carry back their origin to thousands and perhaps millions of years previous to the Mosaic account of the creation of man. The taunts and sneers, the boastings and exultations of infidel writers and talkers on this subject, have been loud, and confident, and long. But with persons of information, of whatever religious sentiments, they have come to a final end now. The whole matter has been investigated; and the result is, that after every allowance which can reasonably be made, the Chinese, Japanese, and Hindoos have no claims to an antiquity higher than the days of Abraham. Egypt was settled at a very early period; but there are no traces of Egyptian history until about iwo centuries after the deluge. It would be impossible here to go into particulars on the interesting subject of antiquities; and yet there are a few incidents too amusing and instructive to be altogether passed over.
Lectures, etc. p. 67.