« PreviousContinue »
AUTHOR OF “THE GOODNESS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE,”
7.740 1879, Afrie 9. Phil 2767 paco buruet.
ENTERED AT STATIONERS'-HALL.
The Value of the Mosaic Account ..........
No one will feel disposed to deny, that science has rapidly improved during the last few years; and has made us acquainted with many physical facts and principles of which we were previously ignorant. These facts and principles have generally been tested by an impartial scrutiny or a severe analysis; since learned men have usually been unwilling to admit the truth of any theory which will not bear a strict investigation. It would have been well for the credit of philosophers, had they exhibited a similar spirit of inquiry upon all occasions, and had refused to receive any hypothesis which could not be substantiated by an adequate proof. But the groundless opinions which they have entertained upon some subjects, and the theories which have been illogically raised from a few extravagant notions, are sufficient to throw a degree of suspicion upon all their reasonings : so that both the truth and error of their systems have been quickly discarded by numerous inquirers. It has too often happened, that a scheme founded upon very insufficient data has prepossessed the philosophic mind, the whole of whose subsequent efforts have been directed to establish his favourite hypothesis, without paying much attention to the difficulties with which it has been surrounded. All nature has been ransacked for materials wherewith to uphold the fancied fabric; mere shadows have been adopted for pillars of argument; the most glaring inconsistencies have been overlooked; and bold pretensions or high-sounding names have been used to gain over the unlettered part of the community.
In no science has this been more the case than in Geology; whose devotees have, with an ardour worthy of a better cause, been laboriously constructing some of the wildest schemes that ever entered into the imagination of man. Yet, strange to say, though several systems contradict themselves and one another on a hundred points, a deference has been paid to their