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sleep and continue in sin, as the seem to trespass on decorum. The wicked doth."-First Part of the peculiar character of the whole Mo
Homily entitled “ An Information saic economy, and the intention of for them which take Offence at separating the Jewish nation efcertain Places of the Holy Scrip- fectually from every other people of tures."
the world, in order to preserve
the These brief remarks, I trust, will knowledge of the one true God be sufficient to satisfy those, if such among them, will furnish another there are, who may have felt really important key to various Old-Tesconscientious difficulties on the point: tament difficulties. The comparacaptious and wilful objectors neither tive obscurity of that dispensation wish for nor will admit a solution. on some elevated points of ChrisThe subject, however, is of import- tian obligation, so clearly unfolded ance, and might be profitably dis- and strongly enjoined in the New cussed more at large by some of Testament, will account for many your more able correspondents. It words and actions which naturally would perhaps be adviseable to in- appear to us as wearing an air of clude in the consideration not only severity. But I forbear to enlarge ; the narratives to which I more par- though I shall not be displeased ticularly refer, but some other parts to see these hints taken up more also of Scripture, which are apt to fully in some subsequent Numbers excite a degree of pain in reading, of your work, for the satisfaction especially in public. A few com- and confirmation of many sincere prehensive canons of interpretation and ingenuous inquirers, who are would furnish a key to the whole apt, for want of an enlarged knowof these passages, without any par- lege of the whole scheme and purticular specification. The mere port of the sacred writings, to find change of ages and circumstances, a stumbling block in some of the with the want of virtuous simplicity in captious objections which are in the modern times, are of themselves suf- present age busily thrown in the ficient to vindicate the plainness of way of the young and unlettered Scripture language in some passages Christian. which, in a vernacular version, might
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. in his new and highly interesting
publication, on “the Genius and The succinct account given by Object of the Patriarchal, the LeviMoses of the creation of the world tical, and the Christian Dispensaand its inhabitants, has furnished tions.” Divines in general have at occasion for almost innumerable once repelled the objections of scepcomments and explications; and tical geologists by counter-proofs passing strange have been some and arguments;
Mr. Faber, on of the conjectures, both of believers the contrary, admits some of their and of sceptics, upon the subject. strongest premises, but denies their Amongst the theories to which the conclusion, that the narration and Mosaic relation has given birth, a dates of Scripture are incorrect. somewhat novel, and certainly a The opinion of the wisest Christian very ingenious one, has just been philosophers on the whole of this promulged by the Rev. G. S. Faber, subject seems to be, that, on the one hand, the sacred Scriptures inference in geology. Allowing the were never intended to inculcate word “day" to be used in a large points of science with technical pre- sense in the Mosaic account, the cision; but, on the other, that no geologist may find ample time for one physical fact, destructive of all his operations without invalitheir testimony, has ever been sub- dating a single verse or line of the stantiated. The mass of evidence sacred Scriptures; which, it must be on which the Divine Revelation of admitted by every candid inquirer, the Scriptures reposes, is so vast have given us the only rational or and overwhelming, that the Chris- satisfactory intelligence respecting tian needs be in no jeopardy re- the formation of the universe and specting the validity of his faith the early history of the human race. from such vague discoveries of the But I will not detain your readers world's age, as are to be obtained longer from the remarks of the pious “ by peeping into an old well.” and learned author, whose hypotheMr. Faber, however, has considered ses are always accompanied with some of the infidel geological objec- a mass of evidence and incidental tions as worthy of a careful answer ; information, which cannot fail to and has in consequence devoted to repay the reader even though the the subject an elaborate and very in- conclusion should not be finally teresting chapter, which I beg per- adopted by him.
P. mission to transcribe, for the information of your readers. I will not FABER ON THE MOSAIC COSMOGONY. anticipate their judgment on the “ The second argument of Bishop discussion, but will just venture Warburton, by which he would briefly to express my own; which prove the subjection of our first is, that Mr. Faber's theory, like parents to natural religion in an every other on the same subject, anteparadisiacal state, rested upon does, and must of necessity, rest upon the gratuitous assumption, that the mere conjecture, except so far as its six days, in the course of which leading facts are built upon the God is said to have fashioned the plain text of Holy Writ; but that, material world out of chaos, were at the same time, his fundamental șix natural days, or six of those position-namely, that the word brief periods which are measured «c day,” in the Mosaic account of by the revolution of our planet the creation, does not literally mean round its axis. twenty-four hours-may very pos- “ Now, so far from allowing the sibly be correct, as many other propriety of this assumption, I will divines and commentators have venture altogether to deny it: for, strongly alleged; and this being that the six demiurgic days, instead admitted, there is nothing either of being nothing more than six naimpossible in itself or inconsistent tural solar days, were each a period with the sacred narrative, in his ge- of very considerable length, may be neral theory ; though many indivi- proved, partly by analogy of landual parts of it (such as attempting guage, partly by the very necessity to determine what precise portion of the narrative, partly by ancient of time the day of creation actually tradition, and partly (and that most was, and making it equivalent to decisively) by the discoveries or posthe world's supposed intended dura- sibly the re-discoveries of modern tion) are much too fanciful. Still, physiologists. the whole argument, founded or un- “ I. With respect to the analogy founded, is so far valuable that it of language, we are told, that the clearly shews that the inspired nar- Lord fashioned the world in six days, rative cannot be proved to be at and that he rested on the seventh day. yariance with any certain factor “Here the analogy of language requires us to understand these days a single revolution of our planet homogeneously : that is to say, if round its axis ; or are we to deem one of the seven mundane days be it a period of very considerable a natural day, they must all be na- length ? tural days; and conversely, if one
« On the mind of: a cursory of the seven mundane days be a reader, the first impression, I have period of great length, they must all no doubt, would be, that the Divine be periods of great length.
Sabbath was a single natural day; "Perhaps I need scarcely remark, yet, if we dwell upon the subject a that in Scripture nothing can well little more attentively, we shall find be more indefinite than the term, it no easy matter to establish the which we translate by the English consistency of such an opinion. word day. Sometimes it denotes “ If God laboured six natural a single revolution of the earth round days and rested on the seventh nails axis : sometimes it denotes a re- tural day, the very turn of the statevolution of the earth round the sun, ment will unavoidably imply, that or what we call a natural year he resumed his labours on the eighth (Numb. xiv. 34; Ezek. iv. 6; Dan. natural day, or on the first day of xii. 11, 12; Rev. xi. 3, 9, xii. 6.): the following natural week : just as sometimes it denotes a whole mille- in the case of the human commenary (Psalm xc. 4; 2 Peter iii. 8.): morative Sabbath, when man is sometimes it denotes a period of commanded to labour six natural probably great, but of wholly unde- days, and to rest on the seventh termined length (Isaiah ii. 12; xiii. natural day, the very turn of the 6; Joel i. 15; Zeph. i. 7, 8, 18; command implies, that his rest is to Mal. iv. 5; 1 Thess. v. 2; 2 Peter terminate with the seventh day, and iii. 10.): and sometimes it denotes that his labour is to recommence all the six demiurgic days collectively; with the eighth. that is to say, all the siz demiurgic “But was this the plan adopted days viewed as jointly forming a by the Supreme Being ? Did he single demiurgic day or period. (Gen. resume his labours on the eighth ii. 4.) Thus, in truth, the term natural morning? Most certainly abstractedly would be more accu- he did not: for we are assured, that rately expressed by the English the heavens and the earth, and all word period, than by the English the host of them (a comprehensive word day; for the context alone phrase plainly expressive of the can determine, what specific period whole material world), were finishit may describe in any particular ed at the close of the sixth day; passage ; though doubtless, in com- that on the seventh day God ended mon speech, it is ordinarily employ- his work which he had made ; and ed to set forth a natural day or a that from all his work which he had revolution of the earth round its axis. made he rested on the seventh day.'
“ The question therefore is, what “ If then God did not resume his specific period it describes in the creative labours on the eighth naMosaical history of the creation. tural morning, his Sabbath or rest
“ Now this question, as I have certainly extended beyond the limits already observed, will be determined, of the seventh natural day: and, if according to the analogy of lan- it extended beyond the limits of the guage, if we can in some degree seventh natural day, a single natural ascertain the length of any one of day most undoubtedly could not be the seven demiurgic days; for, just the measure of the Divine Sabbath. as we understand one of these days, “But at what time did the Divine so must we understand them all. Sabbath, thus plainly extending
“ Let us take then, as our test or beyond the limits of the seventh gage, the seventh day, or the Divine natural day, terminate? In good Sabbath. Was this sabbatical day truth, its termination has not even
yet arrived; for the creative labours Divine Sabbath terminate; then, in of God have never been resumed. the phraseology of the Brahminical The vast machine of the universe sages, will he, whose powers are was completed at the close of the incomprehensible, change the time sixth day: and, since that time of repose for the time of energy.' the distinctive character of the Al- 6 Thus it appears, that the Divine mighty has been, not to create, but Sabbath, instead of being limited to govern and to preserve. As the to a single natural day, is in truth ancient pbilosophers of Hindostan a period commensurate with the have rightly understoud, and have duration of the created universe. well expressed, the matter ; · He, What that duration will be, no one whose powers are incomprehensible, knows save the Father only (Matt. having created the universe, was xxiv. 36.); but this we know, that again absorbed in the Supreme Spi- according to the Hebrew chronology rit, changing the time of energy for the world has already existed nearly the time of repose*.' The time of six thousand years, and that accord. God's energy was doubtless the ing to the Samaritan chronology it period of the creation : the time of has existed longer than six thousand his repose is doubtless the period years. The Divine Sabbath thereduring which he has ceased from fore is a period of not less duration his creative labours. But the time than six millenaries. But the anaof his repose from the work of crea- logy of language requires us to intion has not yet expired. Therefore terpret homogeneously the seven the Divine Sabbath has not yet ter- days, which constitute the great minated. Its termination, in fact, week of God. Hence, as the seso far from having arrived at the venth day is a period of not less duclose of the seventh natural day, ration than six millenaries, each of will not arrive until the predicted the six days must similarly and prodissolution of the present order of portionately have been equivalent things. The day of the Lord, to a period equalling or exceeding says the Apostle St. Peter, 'will six thousand years. come as a thief in the night ; in the “ Of this great week our minor which the heavens shall pass away week is a commemorative epitome. with a great-noise, and the elements Our six days of labour correspond shall melt with fervent heat: the to the six periods of God's labour : earth also and the works that are and our sabbatical day shadows out therein shall be burned up. Never- the sabbatical period, during which theless, we, according to his pro- the Almighty has ‘rested from all mise, look for new heavens and a his work which he had made.' new earth, wherein dwelleth righ- “II. We shall be brought to a teousness.'
When the world which parallel result by the very necessity we now behold shall have passed of the Mosaical narrative ; a point away; and when God shall create in some measure touched upon althe promised new heavens and new ready. earth in whatever precise sense “ We are told, that God created these remarkable expressions ought every plant of the field before it was to be understood), as he formerly in the earth, and every herb of the created the present heavens and the field before it grew :' whence, as present earth (compare Gen. ii. 1, Bishop Warburton justly observes, 4. with 2 Peter iii. 13.) then will the we are obliged to conclude, that Lord resume his long-intermitted God created the whole vegetable demiurgic labours ; then will the family, not in a state of maturity,
"** Instit. of Menu. chap. 1.651."-Que- but in the condition of seed previous ry, Has Mr. Faber been altogether judi- to germination. Now the whole cious in bringing citations of this character vegetable family was created on the só bear on sueh a question ?
third day; birds of every description were created on the fifth day; to such a length as almost to baffle and beasts, and reptiles, and man computation: and, with this stuwere created on the sixth day. pendous length, we further find, Such being the case, it is clear, on that his demiurgic labour and rethe supposition of the six demiurgic pose are immediately connected. days being six natural days, that, During his day of energy he creates without a miracle, all graminivorous the world : his night' of repose and seminivorous and fructivorous - endures as long as his day :' and, animals must have perished through at the close of his night, having hunger ; because on such a suppo- long reposed, he awakes; and, sition, the vegetable seeds, which awaking, exerts intellect, whose were created and committed to the property it is to exist unperceived earth on the third day, could not, by sense. Intellect, called into in the ordinary course of germina- action by his will to create worlds, tion, have produced a sufficiency of performs again the work of creafood for non-carnivorous animals tion ; for numberless are the creacreated on the fifth and sixth days tions and destructions of worlds. in time to save them from destruc- The Being supremely exalted pertion by famine.
forms all this, as if in sport, again “To solve this difficulty, we have and again.' our choice of two expedients. Ei- “ 2. Similar in principle was the ther a miracle of germination must doctrine of the ancient Persians and have been wrought; through which Etruscans ; the latter of whom, acthe vegetable seeds sprang up al- cording to Herodotus, were a Lymost instantaneously and quite out dian colony from Asia Minor. of the common course of nature, to “ Moses tells us, that God formed complete and productive maturity: the world in six days, or rather in or the six days of creation must six periods of whatever length ; for each have been a period greatly our definite English word day but exceeding the length of a single re- imperfectly expresses the sense of volution of the earth round its axis. the indefinite original Hebrew word.
“ Here then we must make our Such was the primevalacchoice : for, in no way, save by the count: and it had evidently been one or the other of these two ex- received by those two ancient napedients, can the non-carnivorous tions, though they modified it on animals be preserved from certain the very same principle of extension destruction. Now we know, that for which I am contending. AcGod works not superfluous miracles. cording to the Persians, the world Therefore, agreeably to the esta- was formed in the course of six blished principles both of his moral different periods ; each period comand his physical government, we prehending a considerable number are bound, I think, to conclude, of days, and the sum total of the that each demiurgic day was a pe- six amounting to a year: but wheriod greatly exceeding the length of ther a literal or a mystical year it a natural day.
is left undetermined. In a similar “ III. With this conclusion, the manner, according to the Etruscans, tenor of ancient tradition exactly the world was formed in the course corresponds.
of six periods ; each period compre“1. In the sacred volume of hending a millenary: while six Hindoo law which, from evidence thousand years are allotted for a partly extrinsic and partly intrinsic, seventh period, namely, that of its its eminently learned translator pro- duration. nounces to be one of the oldest “ These ancient cabalas are adcompositions existing, we find a day and a night of the Creator extended “+ Instit. of Menu, chap. i. & 64-80.”