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part of the system of progress, and afford no objection to the reality of the great Ages.
XVI. Progress by revolutions, and by successive creations in the age of Mammals; but the revolutions diminishing in extent as the age of Man approached. The age of Mammals had its revolutions like the Reptilian age and those preceding; but they become less and less general, and the continents more and more stable, and modern in outline and features. The marine and amphibian eras of the globe had passed; and this was the commencement of the continental
The quadrupeds did not all come forth together. Large and powerful Herbivorous species first take possession of the earth, with only a few small Carnivora. These pass away. Other Herbivora with a larger proportion of Carnivora next appear. These also are exterminated; and so with others. Then the Carnivora appear in vast numbers and power, and the Herbivora also abound. Moreover these races attain a magnitude and number far surpassing all that now exist, as much so indeed, on all the continents, North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, as the old mastodon, twenty feet long and nine feet high, exceeds the modern buffalo. Such, according to geology, was the age of Mammals, when the brute species existed in their greatest magnificence, and brutal ferocity had free play; when dens of bears and hyenas, prowling tigers and lions far larger than any now existing, covered Britain and Europe. Mammoths and Mastodons wandered over the plains of North America, huge sloth-like Megatheria passed their sluggish lives on the pampas of South America, and elephantine Marsupials strolled about Australia.
XVII. A dwindling of the race of Mammals as the age of Man approached. As the Mammalian age draws to a close, the ancient Carnivora and Herbivora of that era all pass away, excepting, it is believed, a few that are useful to man. New creations of smaller size peopled the groves; the vegetation received accessions to its foliage, fruit-trees and flowers, and the seas brighter forms of water-life. This
we know from comparisons with the fossils of the preceding Mammalian age. There was, at this time, no chaotic upturning, but only the opening of creation to its fullest expansions: and so in Genesis, no new day is begun, it is still the sixth day.
The continents long before had had their marked characteristics: the Oriental (including Europe, Asia, and Africa) as the continent of Carnivora, the highest mammals; North America, of Herbivora, a tribe inferior to the Carnivora; South America, of the sloth and armadillo tribes (Edentata) still lower in rank; Australia, of the Kangaroo tribe or Marsupials, the lowest of all quadrupeds; for these were severally the characteristic races of the continents in the Mammalian age. As the age of Man opens, North and South America and Australia were still essentially the same in their tribes of Mammals, though with new and smaller species; there is no sign of progress. The Oriental lands, on the contrary, which had so prominently taken the lead in the age of Mammals, and even through the whole Reptilian age preceding,—since the species of animals in Europe as indicated by the fossils, were ten times more numerous than in North America,may be said to have been marked out for the Eden of the world, ages previous to man's creation.
XVIII. Man, the new creation. In the living beings of former ages, there had been intelligence and a low grade of reason, affections as between the dam and her cub, and the joyousness of life and activity in the sporting tribes of the land. But there had been no living soul that could look beyond time to eternity, from the finite towards the infinite, from the world around to the world within and God above. This was the new creation, as new as when life began; a spiritual element as diverse from the life of the brute as life itself is diverse from inorganic existence.
The first great period of history, was the period of mere material existence and physical progress. Its beginning was far away in the dim indefinite past, when light announced the work of progress begun; and even beyond, in the forceless matter of preceding time; after many changes and
evolutions, it blossomed in the lands and seas and vegetation of the third day. The second great period was the period of life and organic progress. Its germs are traced in the vegetation of the former period; but the light of the sun first gave vigor to the growth, and after various developments progressing through long ages, it finally blossomed in the Mammals and man of the sixth day. The third great period is the more exalted period of spirit and spiritual progress; whose germs are even now expanding in the soul of man; but whose flowers and fruit will appear, only in time to come. The great evolutions of time are thus so closely in accordance with the evolutions in a living being, although all is by the direct power and wisdom of God as before explained, that we comprehend the system best in language recognizing the parallel relations and oneness of principle.
XIX. Man the last creation : The day of rest. Science has no evidence that any living species have been created since the appearance of man on the globe. All facts in nature accord with the Scripture record, that man was the last of the grand series. Ages and ages had rolled by, the world had, step by step, been fitted up, and life had passed through its long succession of forms, ever increasing in rank, until at last man stood up erect, fitted to subjugate the mightiest energies of nature, to read the records of infinite intelligence, to embrace a universe in his sympathies, and reciprocate the love of Heaven. Creation thus ended. God pronounced upon it his benediction and rested from all his work. Analogy with the other days of Genesis, in the light of geology, certainly would lead us to regard that seventh day, not as a simple twenty-four hours, but the period of rest still in progress.
The two records, the earlier revelation and the later, are thus one in their sublime enunciations of the history of creation. There is a like grandeur in the progress of the ages. They both contain conceptions infinitely beyond the reach of the human intellect, and bear equal evidence of their divine origin. The “grand old book of God still stands,” and this
grand old earth, the more its leaves are turned over and pondered, the more will it sustain, enlighten, and illustrate the sacred word. The two are independent inscriptions, written in lines of light by the same Sun of righteousness; and the more deeply they are studied and loved for their truths, the higher may we rise towards the effulgence of their eternal source. The universe and the Bible are consecutive parts of one glorious volume; the former teaching of infinite harmonies, coming up from the deep past, and of man's relation through Nature to God; the latter of man's relation through his own soul to God, and of still loftier harmonies in the eternal future: the first part, telling not only of the wisdom and power of God, but also of man's exaltation, at the head of the kingdoms of life, the being towards whom, with prophetic eye, all nature was looking through the course of ages, preparing his earthly abode, arranging every ridge, and plain, and sea, and living thing, for his moral and intellectual advancement, and with so much beneficence that man, when he came to take possession of the domain, found everywhere lessons of love and adoration, and read in his own exaltation a hope, though a trembling hope, of immortality; the second part, after a chorus epitomizing the former revelation, pursues its closing thought, Man in his relation to his Maker, makes that hope of immortality sure, and points out the way of life, by which he may enter into everlasting communion with God his Creator and Redeemer. If students of nature fail of that way of life, it is not that science is evil, but man fallen.
By Enoch Pond, D. D., Professor in Bangor Theological Seminary.
The word atonement occurs but once in our English New Testament, and is the translation of a Greek word (katalrayńv,) which, in every other instance, is rendered reconciliation. An atonement therefore, in the sense of our translators, is a reconciliation. But the word has undergone a slight change of meaning, within the last two hundred years. As now used, it denotes, not so much a reconciliation, as that which is done to open and prepare the
for a reconciliation. As used by evangelical Christians, .it refers to what has been done by our Lord Jesus Christ, to open a way for the recovery and salvation of sinful men, that so a reconciliation may be effected between them and their Maker.
There were atonements under the former dispensation; but these were merely of a typical character. The blood of beasts was designed to prefigure, to shadow forth, the great atonement which, in the fulness of time, was to be made by the blood of Christ
We shall have no occasion to refer to these typical atonements, except as they serve to throw light upon the important doctrine now before us.
It may be proper to say, in passing, that the word atonement is seldom used by the older Protestant theologians, except in reference to the typical atonements of the Old Testament. It does not occur, we think, in any of the confessions or catechisms of the Reformed churches, and probably not in any of the theological writings of the seventeenth century. Not even President Edwards, or Dr. Hopkins has aught to say of the atonement of Christ, under that specific name. They have much to say of his work of redemption, and what is now called the atonement is merged in that.
The separating of the atonement from the more general doctrine of redemption, has tended much to simplify the sub