« PreviousContinue »
over the philosophers of paganism, and to make an euology on Christianity. Thales, the Chief of the wise men of Greece; Thales, who hath added the erudition of Egypt to the wisdom of Greece; Thales cannot inform the king what God is The meanest Christian” says he, “knows more than this.” “The things of God knoweth no man,” only as revealed by “the Spirit of God.”"
Nor can I illustrate this point more pertinently and forcibly, than by calling in the aid of the following incident. “Collins, the Free-thinker, met a plain countryman going to church. He asked him, ‘where are you going?’ ‘To chureh Sir.’ ‘What to do there?’ “To worship God.” ‘Pray, whether is your God a great or a little God?’ ‘He is both, Sir.’ ‘How can he be both 2' ‘He is so great, Sir, that the heaven of heavens cannot contain him; and so little, that he can dwell in my heart.”
In conclusion, therefore, on this part of our subject, we deny the eternity as claimed by atheists, either for the universe, as a whole, or for our globe, in particular. And that intelligent being, who will withold the honor and glory due to the Eternal God, by a denial that HE created all, and that He preserves and governs all, and that He will continue so to do, to the times of the Restitution of all things,” ”
“— is mad,
Insane most greviously, And most insane because he knows it not.” - Pollok.
1. Corinthian iii. 11. 2. Acts iii. 21.
And, to all, we say, in the language of God to Job, “Where was thou, when I laid the foundation of the earth 2 Who hath laid the measures thereof, or who hath streched the lines upon it 2 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened, or who laid the corner stone thereof 2 When all the morning stars sang together, aud all the sons of God shouted for joy 2 *
Thus much for Atheism, whether Christianized, or undisguised. Turn we now to another class of Theorists, who, though they admit both the ETERNAL ExisTANCE of the Great-first-cause which we call God, and the work of creating this stupendous universe which we ascribe to him, yet demur, as to the period of time which we claim to have elapsed since the creation of man, according to the Cosmogony of Moses; and this, in two ways,
I. By claiming, THAT REMOTE AUTHENTIC ANTIQUITY ASCRIBES A VASTLY GREATER AGE TO THIS GLOBE, THAN THAT SET FORTH BY THE INSPIRED writings. Here, it would, at first view, seem most befitting that we determine, in round numbers, what is the present age of the world, as given in the sacred writings. But, it will equally serve our purpose in this part of the discussion, to assume any period this side of eight thousand years. This premised, we proceed to observe, that the ancient Cabalas of the Hindoos, Egyptians, Chinese, Persians, Etruscans, &c. the last of whom, according to Herodotus,' colonized Asia minor from Lydia, assigned to the created universe, both prior and subsequent to the existance of the human species, periods of stupendous length. Of the extant records of antiquity, those of the sacred law of the Hindoos are the oldest; and, whether authentic or fabulous, it serves to furnish us with a nucleus to the notions prevalent among them in regard to the periods of time, both of energy and repose of the Great Creator, in giving existance to this universe. These they divide into a day and a night, both of which are of such vast duration as almost to defy the power of numbers. * Hn Syncellus' account of an old Egyptian Chronographeon, (which by the way is very imperfect,”) after assigning an eternity of Existance to Vulcan, it claims a period of time for the reign of the kings of Egypt from Sol the son of Wulcan, to the thirtieth Tanite dynasty, of about forty thousand years. “ Similar remote antiquity has been ascribed to the Chinese records, but without foundation. " The Persian accounts of their antiquity and learning would carry us back to a period many thousands of years anterior to the date above assumed." Similar to the above are the accounts of the Etrus
cans. ' And, according to Sir Isaac Newton, Diodorus Siculus relates,” “that when Alexander the great was in Asia, the Chaldeans reckoned four hundred and seventy three thousand years, since they first began to observe the stars.” Now, says the antiquarian, (not all antiquarians.—
for many, in their researches into the regions of remote antiquity, have come to a directly contrary conclusion,)
the above accounts, Hindoo, Egyptian, Chinese, Persian, and Etruscan, founded, as they doubtless are, on
AUTHENTIC data, and claiming, as they do, such a vastly greater antiquity to the origin of the world than . that claimed by Moses and the rest of the saered writers; and, as it is impossible to harmonize the latter with the former, it follows that the Chronology of the Bible must be, FABULous.
Now, in meeting this difficulty, (to many minds, in
superable,) we observe, first, that we admit the above accounts, as matters of historical record. With the antiquarian however, we claim the right to demur. To his inference, as predicated of the above accounts as matters of historical record, we do demur; yea, more : We DENY, that it is founded in truth. And, as a test to the merits of our denial of the above inferance,
we shall at once proceed to a refutation of all claims to a greater antiquity for the origin and duration of this earth, whether Hindoo, Egyptian, Chinese, or other, than that given in the inspired volume, by estabfishing an ANTECEDENT ANTIQUITY in behalf of the Sacred writings.
1. Suid. Lex. 2. Lib. ii., p. 83. Newton's Chron, p. 265.
That such a result is attainable, will appear from a comparison of the antiquity of PROFANE, with the antiquity of the sacred writings, as based upon their INTERNAL evidence.
To proceed. Besides the sources of remote profane history, denominated Post-diluvian, there are some scanty fragments which bear a date anterior to the flood: of which, the records of the Egyptian Thyoth and Sanchoniathon of Berytus, form exclusively the basis." The most rigid perspicuity originally formed the principal characteristic in their style of writing. Philo Biblius furnishes us with the following as a specimen. “When Saturnus went to the South, he made Taautus king of all Egypt, and the Cabiri made memoirs of these transactions.””
Now, of these, and the like records of ante-diluvian antiquity, we remark, first, that, in their uncorrupted state, they “left accounts very agreeable to that of Moses;” furnishing collateral evidence at least, that the facts of their history were based upon the oral traditions of the ante-diluvian patriarchs, with which the history of Moses abounds. To illustrate this point, take the above passage of Philo Biblius, and see how naturally it may be interwoven with that of the Sacred writings. “When Saturnus” (who was probably the Mizraim of the Scriptures) “went to the South,” (or removed from the lower Egypt into Thebais,) “he made Taautus king of all Egypt; and the Cabiri" (who were the sons of Mizraim,) “made memoirs of these transactions.” “
1. Shuck convol. i. p. 13. 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid, p. 15. 4. Shuck, con. vol. i. p. 13.