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read: "And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there
went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground." I conceive that, on Dr. Hitchcock's own premise of an internal heat, no water could come near the surface of the earth; and that, as Moses affirms in the 6th verse we have read, the waters must have been mist up till the end of the second day. Nor would this at all interfere with the luminous manifestation of the first day, as any one may verify for himself who on an evening walks upon a mountain's top, so as to be on a level with water held in suspension in the atmosphere, while a great mass of iron furnaces are pouring out their flames underneath. Indeed, the luminous appearance of the atmosphere on such occasions is the most certain precursor of a deluge of rain. If, then, we suppose the earth to have been surrounded on the day portion of the first day with a luminous sphere of mist or steam, not allowed to settle on the surface by the power of the underlying molten mass, and yet not capable of ascent for want of an atmosphere of a density sufficient for its retention or suspension; and if we now imagine we hear the Almighty, in the deep commanding tone which nothing can resist, proclaiming, "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,' immediately a portion of the mist ascends, "bearing its watery treasure to the sky," and a thick blacknesswhich we may conceive but can hardly describe—will settle over the incandescent globe, constituting the evening of the second day. For it is worthy of remark, that evening comes always first-the "evening and the morning," not the "morning and evening." But this thick blackness gradually clears away, and storms and tempests, such as one may conceive in such a sky, drive the clouds in all directions, leaving the bright glow underneath again to appear; but how dim and lurid it looks this second day, with the mist watering
the face of the ground! I apprehend from many passages of the Bible in the Psalms and Propheciescompared together, that electricity was largely employed in the first day's work, and the rocks seem to confirm this testimony. And the atmosphere on this day, "surcharged with wrathful vapour," and agitated by storms and lighted by electric discharges, beating as if to burst the very globe asunder, produces a terrifying manifes tation such as no tropical clime of our own day, with either its thunders or tornadoes, has yet realised. May we not find here the period of the production, and means sufficient for the production of those crystals which the utmost care of art can scarcely produce? But on this I cannot enlarge. Let these hints lead your minds to ponder the subjects of the second day's work, and compare them with this wondrous portion of Scripture, which, however simple in its construction and calm in its diction, I nevertheless believe affords us the mechanical elements of the storms and tempests which must have accompanied the era or age of crystallizations, and which seem to have lent their forces at once to the mechanical arrangements and chemical combinations of the period. At the termination of this day's work we are told (verse 9th): "And God said let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear, and it was so." When the atmosphere had become so far introduced that the waters had begun to ascend and descend alternately, and to hang as a mist, watering the surface of the ground; and the molten mass below had begun to assume new appearances under its influence, and to lose that unique surface which a molten mass presents, and here and there had begun to be covered over with the scales of incipient stratification--a new fiat is issued, and the waters held suspended in the atmosphere are discharged on the underlying mass. And as on the latter part of this day there is a mechanical fitness for the production of plants, it is very probable that the first fiat of the day, by which indeed the evening of the third
day was produced, was accompanied by the impregnation of the atmosphere with carbon, and such elements and materials for the nourishment of plants, &c., as the molten ingredients of the earth but scantily furnish. And now the general murkiness of the entire day becomes increased. The electrical agencies become more settled-the heat beneath becomes more reduced, and little glow is visible except here and there a bright spot of incipient volcanic display, like Virgil's "rari nantes in gurgite vasto."
The position of this era marks it as a dark one-the middle ages of creation-it terminated in vegetable luxuriance. As to the matter of controversy whether these plants could subsist without sunlight, or whether any plants can grow from the mere influence of internal warmth, there seems but little reason to doubt the fact from the fossil remains of Baffin's Bay, in the arctic regions, and of Kerguelen's Land, in the antarctic regions. If in regions where the sun does not make plants grow, plants are found embedded, it seems that the light and influence of the sun can be compensated by the heat of the internal mass, and that regions now barren are left with proofs of bounteous profusion, to show that an age of plants might exist without a sun's warmth.
Why is it that all these stumblings of Moses should prove themselves to be facts scientifically accurate, disguised in the language of appearances? Did Moses conceive the advanced positions of our modern day? It is more likely that, like the other prophets who foretold the glories and sufferings of Messiah, he inquired and searched diligently regarding the matters of which he wrote; and unto whom it was revealed that not unto themselves but unto us they did minister such things. But whatever doubts we rationally and scripturally entertain regarding the ability of Moses scientifically to unriddle his own enigmas, whether of science or of prophetic anticipation, we can entertain no doubt that He for whom Moses acted as amanuensis knew the
utmost intricacies of the science, not alone of our day, but of the brightest day yet to dawn on the intellect of man. I cannot feel the weight of Dr. Hitchcock's objection to the fossil plants of this age discovered in the silurian and old red sandstone period. I apprehend that there is much truth in Hugh Miller's observation, that here and there we find some magnificent tree washed in amongst the algæ, giving evidence of a vegetation, not preserved in abundance, but which may have nevertheless been of a most luxuriant character.("Footprints," pages 201 and 202).
I cannot close my observations upon this day's work without a few remarks upon its weather. Genesis, 2nd chapter, says it began to rain on the day of plants. This day I conceive to have been tremendously wet, dark, and sultry hot. Waters literally pouring from the sky as if discharged from a reservoir, and, falling upon the hissing earth, remounting in steam, to be again poured down as before. The clouds overhead, but little broken, but at intervals presenting the most intense blackness from the thick watery mass enclosed, and which they ever and anon discharged upon the surface beneath, under the impulse of that irresistible fiat, "Let the waters be gathered together." And when this process has proceeded at length for such a period as that the dry land appears here and there like oases in a desert waste, immediately the utilizing influences of Jehovah's mandate take effect, and magnificent vegetation covers it with luxuriance and verdure. And if it be true that the great mass of this has been lost to the geologist— that the seas, but partially formed, were retained with difficulty between walls scarcely hardened into mud under the influences of the now internal heat, let us not, like Dr. Hitchcock, put an "only" either to the fossils of geology or to those of the Bible. This "only" limits divine power and resources, and should never be added but on the authority of Him who cannot lie. And while the Bible does not say that plants only were created, it yet supplies a gap in geologic succes
sion, and assures us of what geology leaves us in doubt to some extent. Let us, then, as lovers of the truth, preserve both fossils-the testimony for both is divine; and let us learn lessons of wisdom not from the unbecoming opposition of science to the Bible, but, from the combination of their just testimonies, construct a science of more perfect details. I call your attention again to the fact, that the chapter chiefly consists of an exposition of mechanical succession; and, while this is detailed with some degree of precision, the geologist is left at perfect liberty to people the seas and lands with the creatures he finds embedded in the earth's crust. The statement of Moses we maintain to be correct, if not full; and, as indicating the steps of the Creator, are not less worthy of scientific notice than His footprints on the rocks.
We come now to the fourth day's work. Gen. i., 14; "And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years." We noticed, in our review of the previous day's work, that the darkness even during the day must have been very great, from the discharge of excessive rains. This would naturally blacken into unrelieved night on the advance towards the evening of the fourth day. We can fancy the hopeless gloom settling over the world, as if all the agencies of order had been lulled to sleep, or neutralised by the progressive results of their own efforts. But the scheme we are considering is not an atheistic one, in which a succession of agencies are jumbled together under the haphazard influences of chance. But the same Providence, whose watchful care ofttimes makes the darkest hour of night usher in the dawn of morning, watched. over this apparently hopeless state of darkness, unrelieved, except here and there by the flaring up of some volcano-of no more power to relieve the gloom of the middle ages of creation than the Popes of the middle ages by personifying apostles to scatter the gloom of