Page images

even if produced by it: and second, that among the fossil extant remains, though millions of human . beings perished by the flood, no relic of the fossil husman form is to be found. We then argued, that these animals must have lived upon the surface of the earth, BEFoRE they came to be buried, as they now are, at so great a depth. And hence, that a knowledge of the science of physiology was indispensable to a knowledge of the structure of our earth, and of the successive epochs of its formation. Here, however, arose a difficulty, viz.:- that of harmonizing the Scriptural Cosmogony of Moses with the extant fossil discoveries of the science of physiology, as it relates to the order or arrangement of the respective fossil strata from the primitive rock upward; for, the statements of the one, must correspond with the development of facts of the other, or, the scriptural verity must be called in question. This matter, however, has been fully brought to view, by a comparison of the order of the six days formation of the material heavens and earth as given by Moses, with the order of fossil strata as set down in Cuvier's physiological table, between which, as we have shown, there is an exact correspondence, with the exception, that what Cuvier cannot account for in the intermiatures of fossil strata upon the principle of his diluvian theory, is fully explained by the cosmogony of Moses; which cosmogony, taken in connexion with the developments of the above science, shows most conclusively, that there must of necessity

have been several successive interchanges of land and water BEFoRE the creation of man, producing these stupendous results, of which the universal deluge was wholly inadequate. The conclusions therefore are as follows, 1st. That each day of the six, as mentioned by Moses, must have greatly exceeded the length of a natural or solar day, or a day of twenty-four hours. And, * 2nd. That, if our animadversions on Mr. Faber's theory regarding the length of each of the six days formation of the several parts of the universe be correct, as founded, homogeneously, on the length of the seventh day, (the length of that day, as we shall show in the sequel, being definitely determined,) then each of these six days are of definite and uniform length.


There is, however, an objection still urged that Moses cannot be the author of the books ascribed to him, which objection we should at this time examine in all its bearings, in its direct relation to the Pentateuch, but for the fact that it is directed with equal force against the entire body of Scripture, by such as consider them the invention of a subtle priesthood. A single refutation of the cavil, therefore, as applicable to “all Scripture,” will be deemed the most effectual method of vindication of its several parts.

The maxim of justice is, that fraud is in no case to be presumed, but proved. This charge, however, is preferred by the objector not only, but the burden of evidence which it is his business to adduce in its support, is thrown upon the advocates of Christianity, with a challenge to demonstrate the authenticity of the several parts of Holy Writ, as bearing the names of their respective authors, as also the time when they respectively flourished. To this course, however unreasonable, they submit. This premised, we observe, that the sin of this portentous charge, the charge of fraudulency in the production of the Bible, is peculiar to the reckless hardihood of the last preceding century.

We shall now venture upon a proof of the authenticity of the several books of the Old Testament and of the New, “by the very same evidences that infidelity itself admits as conclusive in every similar inquiry; and we begin by asking the objector whether he has any ancient books, the authors of which are handed down to our time, without any serious dispute or cavil '! and to this inquiry we must be answered yes, several—the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, the poems of Homer, the works of Xenophon, Lucien, Plutarch, Epictetus, and others of the Greeks; Cicero, Caesar, Virgil, Horace, Tacitus, Sallust, Pliny, and others of the Latins; some of them long before, some at the same period, and some a very little after the books of the dates of the New Testament. We now ask how the objector knows that these classic works were written by the authors whose names they bear? The answer is, because they have been handed down to us without any contradiction or dispute, as the works of these men; because they are recognised and appealed to by all the other writers who have lived since their day, and by each other; because a conspiracy so extensive, in favor of a literary fraud, is highly improbable, not to say impossible in its nature; and because, had it been possible, there was no motive of interest to induce any one to attempt it. Now, this is precisely our argument in favor of Moses, as the author of the Pentateuch, and consequently of the Creation of the World, the Origin of Mankind, &c.; and so of ALL the other writers of the inspired volume. - - Thus, then, at this stage of our advance, have we demonstrated, 1st, that the universe, a little speck of which we inhabit, &c., is not eternal. 2nd, that the antiquity of the sacred records is antecedent to all others, whether Hindoo, Egyptian, Chinese, Persian, or Etruscan. 3rd, that the six days of creation and of formation of the material earth and heavens mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis, are not six natural or solar days, but periods of vast and stupendous length; and 4th, that Moses, and the other-writers of the Old and New Testament are the authors of the histories whose names they bear. Our conclusion, therefore, is, that the BIBLE is not only the best, but that it is the only source whence we are to derive information respecting THE CHRONoLogy of THE world; or, in other words, to determine in round numbers, the point of time upon which we now stand, in the successive evolutions of God's dispensations to man. - Thus much have we deemed serviceable, if not, indeed, essential, to a right understanding and apprecia

tion of the subject before us; which, we again repeat, is to determine the age of the world, as educed from the chronological records of Scripture, historic and prophetic, from the creation and fall of man to the final restitution of all things ; to a consideration of which we invite the serious attention of the reader, as set forth in the two following lectures.

« PreviousContinue »