Imágenes de páginas

be admitted, let the consequences taken from certain signs of the Zofollow as they may; and the friends diack, figured on the ceiling of an of the sacred Scriptures ought to inner apartment of a dilapidated admit them with as much freedom edifice at Dendera, near the banks as the most avowed infidels; nor of the Nile-Egypt being the fahave they the smallest reason to vourite field of infidel enterprise. fear to do so.

Volney, in a note appended to his 2. It is however perfectly fair “Ruins," considers this as settling and highly important, to examine the point that the world is more carefully, whether what are as- than sixteen thousand years old. serted to be facts are such in rea- But alas! it has since been shown, lity. Many things which infidel that these signs were not intended writers have affirmed, and have to form a zodiack at all, but were blazoned abroad as falsifying some. probably the Horoscopes of indiviwhat contained in the sacred Scrip- duals, at a time when astrology was tures, have eventually been found in repute; and that the very edifice either to have no foundation in in which they are found, cannot be truth, or no hostile bearing on di- of more ancient date than the time vine revelation. Thus the infidel of the Ptolemies. Two or three Brydone, in publishing his travels, other infidel objections, founded on endeavoured to invalidate the au- alleged facts of somewhat a similar thority of Moses, by endeavouring character, have been completely

, to show from the time required to falsified, or shown to have no hos. convert lava into vegetable mould, tile bearing on the Mosaick records, that the earth is at least fourteen as may be seen in our number for thousand years old, instead of less November last. For ourselves, we than six thousand. The calcula. have ceased to credit the allegation on which he reasoned was, that tions of infidel writers relative to it required two thousand years at subjects of antiquity and natural least, to convert a stratum of lava science, till we find them confirm. into vegetable mould, and that as ed, or admitted, by other writers. seven distinct lavas had been dis. They have been so often detected covered, one under the other, and in making rash assertions and hasty each covered with a bed of rich conclusions, that we consider it earth, the conclusion was irresisti. more than an equal chance, that ble, that the earth must have been any new statement that impugns, formed more than fourteen thou- or seems to impugn, divine revelasand years ago. This led to in- tion, is at least materially incorquiry and investigation: when, be- rect. But what we urge is, that a hold, it was proved beyond contro. careful inquiry and examination versy, that seven different lavas, should always be made, in order to with interjacent strata of vegetable ascertain whether alleged facts are mould, had been actually formed in really such-When clearly ascersomewhat less than fourteen hun- tained, let them, we repeat, be addred years; demonstrating that lava mitted freely. may be covered with a productive 3. When indisputable facts seem soil in about two hundred and fifty to militate with the truth of sacred years, instead of requiring two Scripture, they ought to give no thousand for the purpose. See the alarm to the believer in divine reclose of Watson's Apology for velation. The evidence of the Christianity, addressed to Gibbon. truth of the Bible, which is the eviAnother supposed demonstration dence of testimony, is as strong and that the earth is many thousand as satisfactory as any testimony we years older than we believe it to be can receive in regard to the existfrom the account of Moses, was ence of facts which have recently taken place-perhaps it is even ation, the presumption is of the stronger. The truth of Holy strongest kind, that any thing in Scripture, therefore, stands on its natural science, or in historical reown impregnable foundation. What cords, that seems to contradict the then, although unquestionable facts Scriptures, will eventually be shown seem to oppose some biblical truth? to have no bearing whatsoever of We ought to believe that they only that character. Hence we must, seem to do so. The apparently mi- for ourselves, entirely disapprove of litating truths are unquestionably such an attempt as that of the justly consistent with each other, although, celebrated Mr. Faber, who endeafor the present, we cannot tell how vours to interpret the Mosaick acto reconcile them. Let it be re- count of creation, in such manner as membered, that it is not merely in to extend the six days, mentioned in regard to this subject, that what we the sacred record, to we know not here demand is required. It not how many ages, in order to gain time unfrequently happens, in natural enough for the fossil formations of science itself, that phenomena ap- geologists. parently inconsistent and contra- 4. It should be remembered that dictory appear. And what do the the science of geology is yet in its teachers of that science say in such infancy. There has not yet been cases? They say that there is either time sufficient to examine the aca mistake, in taking both these tual bearing of facts discovered. things for facts, or else that the man- The depth to which the earth has Ber of reconciling them is not yet dis- been, or probably ever will be excovered. Accordingly they re-ex. plored, is less in proportion to its amine the phenomena. Soinetimes whole diameter, than the thickness they discover that one thing which of an egg shell to the diameter of they took for a fact, was not so in the egg. Nor are there yet any reality; and here the embarrass- sufficient and well ascertained data, ment ends. In other instances, on which to form rational analogies, they are obliged to admit, and do from what is known to what is unadmit, that facts really exist, which, known. In our first volume, we although there can be no question gave a general view of Penn's rethat they are reconcileable, yet for marks on the subject of formations, the present it is not known how it which geologists in general suppose is to be done. Now, all we ask is must, in all cases, have taken place exactly this. If some facts in na- gradually. We believe with Mr. ture seem to contravene those of Penn, that there is no just foundarevelation, admit the facts on both tion for this supposition at all. Be. sides. Say you know they are re- cause we observe that certain kinds concileable, but for the present you of stone and rock may be formed cannot tell how. This is strictly gradually, and in fact are constantly philosophical. And in the case we forming in this manner, is that a consider there is the more reason proof that all those kinds of stone to take this course, because in nu- and rock were formed in this manmerous instances facts which ap- ner? We think not-We think it peared to militate with Bible truths, far more rational to believe, that have actually been discovered not the Almighty Creator formed some to contravene those truths, but to rocks when he created the world ; confirm them. A remarkable in- and that then he also formed those stance of this is given in our No- several substances which, by union vember number, to which we have and induration, will still produce already referred. From what has rocks. As Mr. Penn remarks, we actually taken place, therefore, in- might as well say that no animals dependently of any other consider- were ereated originally in a perfect


state, because they now always ar- selves fully satisfied that Mr. Bugg rive at perfection in a very gradual has the best of the argument. We manner, as that no rocks were cre- did intend to give extracts from seated perfect, because they are now veral of his papers; but on looking gradually formed. These fancies them over with this view, we found of geologists make us think of the that we must either mutilate and do old puzzle, whether the egg was be. injustice to his arguments by our fore the bird, or the bird before the abridgment, or occupy more of our egg; since there can be no egg scanty pages with this subject, than without a bird, and no bird without we think would be agreeable or proan egg. Moses assures us, that as fitable to our readers. We have to animals and vegetables, they therefore determined to give no were created in perfection at first, more than his concluding summary: and with the intention that each Those who wish to see the detail of should afterwards propagate its his statements and reasoning, must kind: and to us it seems most ra- have recourse to the Christian Obtional to believe, that almost every server, or to his volume on the same kind of rocks were created at first, subject—the latter of which we have as being necessary to the existence not seen. Mr. Bugg's last essay conof the globe in its succeeding state; cludes in the following manner: and that the after formations afford “Without anticipating further obno evidence whatever that such was jections, I will recapitulate a few not the fact.

matters respecting modern geology, 5. We now come to the work of and "scriptural geology.” The Mr. George Bugg. He, it appears, reader may then be fairly left to published a book, entitled Scrip- his own reflections respecting this tural Geology,” in reply to the Geudiscussion. logy of Professor Buckland, Mr. I. Modern Geology. Bird Sumner, Mr. Faber, and others In all fairness, I trust, it cannot whom he names. On this work of be denied that I have proved the utMr. Bugg, two writers in the Chris- ter incompetency of the modern tian Observer, the one taking for his geological theory. signature Cantabrigiensis, and the 1. As to its evidence: That it is other Oxoniensis Alter, offered a wholly assumed; that even the evinumber of remar's, not favourable dence alleged is derived very freto Mr. B.'s theory. To these he re- quently from imagination, and not plied in the same periodical, in se- from knowledge or information; that veral papers of considerable length. the testimony of facts, adduced The scope of his essays is to show, by themselves, is positively against that the modern Geology, as taught them.* and defended by the gentlemen named above, and others who adopt In addition to the evidence which is their theory, is both unscriptural adduced in my "Scriptural Geology" and unphilosophical-not only ina- upon this point, I may be allowed to re

fer to the testimony of more recent disdequate to account for the pheno- coveries. In the Christian Observer for mena, but in some respects self- March last (p. 201), is the following his. contradictory At the same time, torical anecdote :-“Some impressions he insists that the general deluge, have been discovered in a red sand stone of which we have an account in the land thinks are the footsteps of antedi,

in Dumfriesshire, which Dr. Buckbook of Genesis, will far better ac- luvian quadrupeds, which had traversed count for the fossil strata, and other the rock while in a soft state.” May I appearances, of which modern geo- express a wish that Dr. Buckland would logy says so much, than any theory could have occurred, and especially how

explain how he supposes such “footsteps" which its favourers have been able such a fact can consist with the modern to set forth. We acknowledge our geological theory? When does Professor

to the earth's surface being broken up" at the deluge.

2. It is obvious that such an eruption must have caused immense masses of debris, (rubbish,) and might produce all sorts of mixtures, such as we find in the strata, both of the vegetable and animal creation.

3. That such debris and such mixtures might be subsequently hardened into strata, comprising all

the variety of formations which we volves the most wanncon uuvusio- now contemplate. tencies, absurdities, and repeated 4. That the operations of the de. miracles, as well as numerous new luge had a natural tendency to procreations.

duce the effects in question, and 4. That there is nothing in na- that they were sufficient for all the ture, known or recorded, which effects which geology has developed. bears the least available analogy 5. That it is the province of Reto the operations and revolutions velation to inform us of the “be. comprised in the theory of modern ginning” of nature; and of the geology,

ground, the reason, and the mode of 5. That Dr. Buckland's theory of such changes therein as are superthe caves, and of the denudations, natural. is built upon the same foundation as 6. That the scriptural history of the general theory of Baron Cuvier, the deluge affords a moral and ra. and is as demonstrably erroneous. tional cause for that catastrophe, II. Scriptural Geology.

while all the revelations of modern 1. The Scriptures are positive as geology find NO CAUSE, either moral

or physical, for their production. Buckland imagine that the “red sand 7. That the deluge of Noah is stone" was found in a soft state?" therefore rationally conceived to be Immediately upon its original formation, or that it became so at some subsequent the only true, sufficient, and sole period? If at a subsequent period, why

cause of all the “ fossil strata,” might it not occur afier, as well as bé. which so much puzzle and confound fore the deluge? Are there any forma

Inng moolecists. tions lying above this sand stone in the quarry, which forbid the supposition? Then how will such fact consist with the modern theory? What (in geological language), what red sand stone is this? The "old red sand stone?” Then, according to Baron Cuvier's scale, it is twelve for. mations, (and, if it be the “new red sand stone," it is, according to the same authority, six formations,) beneath the “Paris formation,” in which the “earliest” de. posits of " quadrupeds," agreeably to the modern theory, are ever found! But if the “ footsteps" be found there, why might not the foot which made those steps have been there! With such facts this geological theory cannot stand. The "human skeleton" of Guadaloupe, im. bedded in hard, compact, limestone rock, is a demonstration which never has been, and is never likely to be, got over by mo. dern geologists.


at the root” of their whole system Let them pursue the same equitabl and necessary mode, if they choos to answer “Scriptural Geology, and the result will show who i right. Every writer on such a sub ject, ought to be able to say, in th words of a great man, “I have a instinctive abhorrence to spen time and argument upon non-essen tial and trivial points; I love t grapple with the nucleus” of subject. It is certainly unworth: the conduct of philosophers and di vines to do otherwise.

GEORGE BUGG. From Littel's < Remember Me.” P. S. Should any persons choose

IDLE WORDS. to write any thing in answer to the

I have a high sense of the virtue and above remarks, I trust they will not dignity of the female character; and would be weak enough to say, as a writer not, by any means, be thought to attribute in the Oxford Herald has said, and

to the ladies emphatically, the fault here as I have heard it this day (and fre- spoken of. But I have remarked it in

some of my friends, who, in all but this, quently repeated)-namely, that I were among the loveliest of their sex. In have " mistaken the entire subject, such the blemish is more distinct and strikfor that Dr. Buckland no more in: ing, because so strongly contrasted with

the superior delicacy and loveliness of their tends to injure the Divine Record

natures. than I do." I must request such persons to recollect that I have not

" My God!" the beauty oft exclaim'd, so mistaken the subject; nor is With deep impassioned tonethere a single argument urged But not in humble prayer she named throughout my book, that supposes

The High and Holy One !
any such design in Dr. Buckland, or 'Twas not upon the bended knee,
in any other English geologist.

With soul uprais'd to Heaven,
Pleading, with heartfelt agony,

That she might be forgiven.
'Twas not in heavenly strains to raise

To the great Source of good,
Her daily offering of praise,

Her song of gratitude.
But in the gay and thoughtless crowd,

And in the festive hall,
Mid scenes of mirth and mockery proud,

She named the Lord of all!
he called upon that awful name,

When laughter loudest rang-
is when the flush of triumph came,
Or disappointment's pang!
he idlest thing that flattery knew,
The most unmeaning jest,
om those sweet lips profanely drew
Names of the Holiest!
hought-how sweet that voice would be,
Breathing this prayer to heaven-
My God! I worship only thee,
, be my sins forgiven!"


« AnteriorContinuar »