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be admitted, let the consequences follow as they may; and the friends of the sacred Scriptures ought to admit them with as much freedom as the most avowed infidels; nor have they the smallest reason to fear to do so.
2. It is however perfectly fair and highly important, to examine carefully, whether what are serted to be facts are such in reality. Many things which infidel writers have affirmed, and have blazoned abroad as falsifying somewhat contained in the sacred Scriptures, have eventually been found either to have no foundation in truth, or no hostile bearing on divine revelation. Thus the infidel Brydone, in publishing his travels, endeavoured to invalidate the authority of Moses, by endeavouring to show from the time required to convert lava into vegetable mould, that the earth is at least fourteen thousand years old, instead of less than six thousand. The calculation on which he reasoned was, that it required two thousand years at least, to convert a stratum of lava into vegetable mould, and that as seven distinct lavas had been discovered, one under the other, and each covered with a bed of rich earth, the conclusion was irresistible, that the earth must have been formed more than fourteen thousand years ago. This led to inquiry and investigation: when, behold, it was proved beyond controversy, that seven different lavas, with interjacent strata of vegetable mould, had been actually formed in somewhat less than fourteen hundred years; demonstrating that lava may be covered with a productive soil in about two hundred and fifty years, instead of requiring two thousand for the purpose. See the close of Watson's Apology for Christianity, addressed to Gibbon. Another supposed demonstration that the earth is many thousand years older than we believe it to be from the account of Moses, was
taken from certain signs of the Zodiack, figured on the ceiling of an inner apartment of a dilapidated edifice at Dendera, near the banks of the Nile-Egypt being the favourite field of infidel enterprise. Volney, in a note appended to his "RUINS," considers this as settling the point that the world is more than sixteen thousand years old. But alas! it has since been shown, that these signs were not intended to form a zodiack at all, but were probably the Horoscopes of individuals, at a time when astrology was in repute; and that the very edifice in which they are found, cannot be of more ancient date than the time of the Ptolemies. Two or three other infidel objections, founded on alleged facts of somewhat a similar character, have been completely falsified, or shown to have no hostile bearing on the Mosaick records, as may be seen in our number for November last. For ourselves, we have ceased to credit the allegations of infidel writers relative to subjects of antiquity and natural science, till we find them confirmed, or admitted, by other writers. They have been so often detected in making rash assertions and hasty conclusions, that we consider it more than an equal chance, that any new statement that impugns, or seems to impugn, divine revelation, is at least materially incorrect. But what we urge is, that a careful inquiry and examination should always be made, in order to ascertain whether alleged facts are really such-When clearly ascertained, let them, we repeat, be admitted freely.
3. When indisputable facts seem to militate with the truth of sacred Scripture, they ought to give no alarm to the believer in divine revelation. The evidence of the truth of the Bible, which is the evidence of testimony, is as strong and as satisfactory as any testimony we can receive in regard to the existence of facts which have recently
taken place-perhaps it is even stronger. The truth of Holy Scripture, therefore, stands on its own impregnable foundation. What then, although unquestionable facts seem to oppose some biblical truth? We ought to believe that they only seem to do so. The apparently militating truths are unquestionably consistent with each other, although, for the present, we cannot tell how to reconcile them. Let it be remembered, that it is not merely in regard to this subject, that what we here demand is required. It not unfrequently happens, in natural science itself, that phenomena apparently inconsistent and contradictory appear. And what do the teachers of that science say in such cases? They say that there is either a mistake, in taking both these things for facts, or else that the manner of reconciling them is not yet discovered. Accordingly they re-examine the phenomena. Sometimes they discover that one thing which they took for a fact, was not so in reality; and here the embarrassment ends. In other instances, they are obliged to admit, and do admit, that facts really exist, which, although there can be no question that they are reconcileable, yet for the present it is not known how it is to be done. Now, all we ask is exactly this. If some facts in nature seem to contravene those of revelation, admit the facts on both sides. Say you know they are reconcileable, but for the present you cannot tell how. This is strictly philosophical. And in the case we consider there is the more reason to take this course, because in numerous instances facts which appeared to militate with Bible truths, have actually been discovered not to contravene those truths, but to confirm them. A remarkable instance of this is given in our November number, to which we have already referred. From what has actually taken place, therefore, independently of any other consider
ation, the presumption is of the strongest kind, that any thing in natural science, or in historical records, that seems to contradict the Scriptures, will eventually be shown to have no bearing whatsoever of that character. Hence we must, for ourselves, entirely disapprove of such an attempt as that of the justly celebrated Mr. Faber, who endeavours to interpret the Mosaick account of creation, in such manner as to extend the six days, mentioned in the sacred record, to we know not how many ages, in order to gain time enough for the fossil formations of geologists.
4. It should be remembered that the science of geology is yet in its infancy. There has not yet been time sufficient to examine the actual bearing of facts discovered. The depth to which the earth has been, or probably ever will be explored, is less in proportion to its whole diameter, than the thickness of an egg shell to the diameter of the egg. Nor are there yet any sufficient and well ascertained data, on which to form rational analogies, from what is known to what is unknown. In our first volume, we gave a general view of Penn's remarks on the subject of formations, which geologists in general suppose must, in all cases, have taken place gradually. We believe with Mr. Penn, that there is no just foundation for this supposition at all. Because we observe that certain kinds of stone and rock may be formed gradually, and in fact are constantly forming in this manner, is that a proof that all those kinds of stone and rock were formed in this manner? We think not-We think it far more rational to believe, that the Almighty Creator formed some rocks when he created the world; and that then he also formed those several substances which, by union and induration, will still produce rocks. As Mr. Penn remarks, we might as well say that no animals were ereated originally in a perfect
state, because they now always arrive at perfection in a very gradual manner, as that no rocks were created perfect, because they are now gradually formed. These fancies of geologists make us think of the old puzzle, whether the egg was before the bird, or the bird before the egg; since there can be no egg without a bird, and no bird without an egg. Moses assures us, that as to animals and vegetables, they were created in perfection at first, and with the intention that each should afterwards propagate its kind: and to us it seems most rational to believe, that almost every kind of rocks were created at first, as being necessary to the existence of the globe in its succeeding state; and that the after formations afford no evidence whatever that such was not the fact.
5. We now come to the work of Mr. George Bugg. He, it appears, published a book, entitled "Scriptural Geology," in reply to the Geology of Professor Buckland, Mr. Bird Sumner, Mr. Faber, and others whom he names. On this work of Mr. Bugg, two writers in the Christian Observer, the one taking for his signature Cantabrigiensis, and the other Oxoniensis Alter, offered a number of remarks, not favourable to Mr. B.'s theory. To these he replied in the same periodical, in several papers of considerable length. The scope of his essays is to show, that the modern Geology, as taught and defended by the gentlemen named above, and others who adopt their theory, is both unscriptural and unphilosophical-not only inadequate to account for the phenomena, but in some respects selfcontradictory. At the same time, he insists that the general deluge, of which we have an account in the book of Genesis, will far better account for the fossil strata, and other appearances, of which modern geology says so much, than any theory which its favourers have been able to set forth. We acknowledge our
selves fully satisfied that Mr. Bugg has the best of the argument. We did intend to give extracts from several of his papers; but on looking them over with this view, we found that we must either mutilate and do injustice to his arguments by our abridgment, or occupy more of our scanty pages with this subject, than we think would be agreeable or profitable to our readers. We have therefore determined to give no more than his concluding summary. Those who wish to see the detail of his statements and reasoning, must have recourse to the Christian Observer, or to his volume on the same subject-the latter of which we have not seen. Mr. Bugg's last essay concludes in the following manner:
"Without anticipating further objections, I will recapitulate a few matters respecting modern geology, and "scriptural geology." The reader may then be fairly left to his own reflections respecting this discussion.
I. Modern Geology.
In all fairness, I trust, it cannot be denied that I have proved the utter incompetency of the modern geological theory.
1. As to its evidence: That it is wholly assumed; that even the evidence alleged is derived very frequently from imagination, and not from knowledge or information; that the testimony of facts, adduced by themselves, is positively against them.*
In addition to the evidence which is
adduced in my "Scriptural Geology" upon this point, I may be allowed to refer to the testimony of more recent discoveries. In the Christian Observer for March last (p. 201), is the following his torical anecdote:-"Some impressions have been discovered in a red sand stone land thinks are the footsteps of antediquarry in Dumfriesshire, which Dr. Buckluvian quadrupeds, which had traversed the rock while in a soft state." May I express a wish that Dr. Buckland would explain how he supposes such "footsteps” such a fact can consist with the modern could have occurred, and especially how geological theory? When does Professor
4. That there is nothing in nature, known or recorded, which bears the least available analogy to the operations and revolutions comprised in the theory of modern geology.
5. That Dr. Buckland's theory of the caves, and of the denudations, is built upon the same foundation as the general theory of Baron Cuvier, and is as demonstrably erroneous.
II. Scriptural Geology.
1. The Scriptures are positive as
Buckland imagine that the "red sand stone" was found in "a soft state?" Immediately upon its original formation,
or that it became so at some subsequent period? If at a subsequent period, why might it not occur after, as well as before the deluge? Are there any formations 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" deposits 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, imbedded in hard, compact, limestone rock, is a demonstration which never has been, and is never likely to be, got over by mo. dern geologists.
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 now contemplate.
4. That the operations of the deluge had a natural tendency to produce the effects in question, and that they were sufficient for all the effects which geology has developed.
5. That it is the province of Revelation to inform us of the "beginning" of nature; and of the ground, the reason, and the mode of such changes therein as are supernatural.
6. That the scriptural history of the deluge affords a moral and rational cause for that catastrophe, while all the revelations of modern geology find NO CAUSE, either moral or physical, for their production.
7. That the deluge of Noah is therefore rationally conceived to be the only true, sufficient, and sole cause of all the "fossil strata," which so much puzzle and confound
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, 66 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. P. S. Should any persons choose to write any thing in answer to the above remarks, I trust they will not be weak enough to say, as a writer in the Oxford Herald has said, and as I have heard it this day (and frequently repeated)-namely, that I have "mistaken the entire subject, for that Dr. Buckland no more intends to injure the Divine Record than I do." I must request such persons to recollect that I have not so mistaken the subject; nor is there a single argument urged throughout my book, that supposes any such design in Dr. Buckland, or in any other English geologist.
"My God!" the beauty oft exclaim'd,
'Twas not in heavenly strains to raise
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,
r 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,
ɔ, be my sins forgiven!"