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those periods of moral darkness. This thick darkness was scattered by the appearance of the luminary whose cheering rays have ever since lighted up the world. The word here applied to the sun is not created but made. It implies the adaptation of a previously existing body to a special service. The entire system of worlds seems to have been called into being by the word of the Almighty, so far as concerns their weight, distances, and velocities. Their special uses, and internal and superficial arrangements, however, seem to be the work of progressive ordinances. This doctrine of the development of the earth and the sun is so far peculiar to the Scriptures. Are there any means of confirming its statements, or any evidence that the sun has been developed by fiats as the earth has been? Spots have been discovered on his disc, which cannot be accounted for on the supposition that the outer surface of the sun is solid. These are sufficiently lasting to be the means of determining the period of his rotation on his axis, but they nevertheless frequently disappear. A changeable surface could not be a solid one. Some experiments, by Arago, have determined that the rays of an incandescent mass may be polarised, whereas the rays of a gaseous body cannot be polarised. When this fact was determined, it was conceived to afford the means of determining the nature of the sun's surface, and it is ascertained to be gaseous. Experiments have also been made by which it seems to be determined that the spots are portions of an inner atmosphere, the design of which has been supposed to be the protection of the body of the sun from the action of the external atmosphere of lighting and heating gas. And thus we never do see the body of the sun, and have clear testimony that he has a composite constitution such as our earth. And we are free to determine by analogy, that his composite constitution must have been a periodic, not an instantaneous or creative effect. Thus, though the sun, moon, and stars were created at the same period as our earth, we believe that these heavenly
bodies got their constitutions by successive adjustment from the hand of their Almighty Creator. And we find this principle was stated and illustrated by Moses thousands of years before science could have determined its accuracy. How true the Scriptures are-that these things are "written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the ages have come;" and the testimony of the prophets, that "not unto themselves but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported.” Thus, through four days out of six we have traced a mechanical succession, during which the existence of races of animals is not denied, leaving this field of testimony open to geology. The main object of the Spirit of God, in the communications of the first chapter of Genesis, being to develop, not an animal, but a mechanical succession. And I apprehend that the animals are like the 1,260 days of Revelation, rather measures of mechanical advancement than tables of animal creation. And with regard to the defect referred to, it seems indicated by the structure of the language employed (Gen. i., 20): "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open firmament, of heaven"-that marine animals did previously exist, because the word "abundantly" is a measure of contrast, and often expresses a state of comparative luxuriance, which would lose much of its significance if a period of less productiveness could not be supposed to have preceded. It is likewise noticeable that this word "abundantly" occurs in connection with no other portion of the work, and seems constructed in this case in anticipation of the geological objection of previous marine productions. I apprehend that the idea of a succession of animals of a class being included in the generic terms of this chapter, is fairly deducible from the mechanical succession to which I have adverted. We have seen how Jehovah utilized the patches of dry land saved from the universal ocean of the day portion of the third day. And, by a careful notice of natural mechanics, you will
be struck very forcibly, that whilst over a whole field of change or improvement there will seem to subsist a general advance, yet you will find here and there portions which, to all appearance, have passed through the entire range of change towards which the entire mass is tending. So it must have been in the organising of the earth, and the utilizing of it by the ever working and watchful Jehovah. Nor do I think that this principle could be more clearly taught in the Scriptures if it had been taught also in this chapter of Genesis. And had you been on some elevated spot, from which you might have looked on the creation scene, you might have observed here and there small oases that looked like future days, and these oases swarm with the forms of life of future times, while over the entire surface there appeared a general status of habitants, distinguished as plants, fishes, reptiles, cattle, the lords of the ascendant of these respective ages. Or it might be that, like the 1,260 days of Revelation, you would find, in addition to this mottled appearance, a peculiar phase of the animals of future days, as you find the witnesses bearing a front or armour suited to the attacks they receive. Here you find them in the burning days, when men are singled out from their fellows and thrown into the fire, strong in faith and the hope of immortal glory, reclining upon flaming brands" as on a bed of roses.' Here you find them met by large combinations of kings and princes of the earth, trammelling their progress by vicious legislation or general coercion; and then you find the witnesses bound together by protests, and solemn leagues and covenants, and leaving the looms and fields to resist in combination the attack of the enemy. Here you see atheism, deism, socinianism, and heresies innumerable, springing up, and the favour of the great endeavouring to accomplish by smiling what frowning could not achieve. And you find the witnesses with the word of God, and the doctrines of the cross, and the principles of civil and religious liberty, stem
ming anew the opposing current. Now such is the precise condition of those animals which preceded their times. They appear of the same genus with their successors; but when we look at those odd specimens which cost geologists so much labour to turn up, and which they render frightful by the names they give them, and which lived in the burning days before it was proper for the common class of creatures to be seen abroad, they were all, as Hugh Miller says, of the Dirk Hatterick, or Balfour of Burley type. He says (page 37 of the Footprints of the Creator), "The specimen of Holoptychius Noblissimus, in the British Museum, could have measured little more than three feet from snout to tail, when most entire, but it must have been nearly a foot in breadth, and a bullet would have rebounded flattened from its scales." Now I maintain that an attentive student of God's works would have formed such an anticipation, besides that it obtains in those prophetic descriptions to which I have referred.
And now another observation on this matter: whilst we find those animals who live too soon protected from violence by an osseous shagreen, or bony scale, we find those who live beyond their day not unfrequently robbed of the properties by which they were known in their better days-like kings turned beggars.
The following extract on this point from Hugh Miller's Footprints of the Creator, which, though introduced for a different object, yet illustrates ours with perfect clearness (page 157):-"Though all animals be fitted by nature for the life which their instincts teach them to pursue, naturalists have learned to recognise among them certain aberrant and mutilated forms in which the type of the special class to which they belong seems distorted and degraded. They exist as the monster families of creation, just as among families there appear from time to time monster individuals,-men, for instance, without feet, or hands, or eyes, or with their feet, hands, or eyes grievously misplaced, sheep with their fore legs growing out of their necks, or ducklings with
their wings attached to their haunches. Among these degraded races the footless serpent, which goeth upon its belly, has been long noted in its condition and nature, of an order of hopelessly degraded. beings." He continues, "So far as the geologist yet knows, the ophidians did not appear during the secondary ages, when the monarchs of creation belonged to the reptilian division, but when the mammalian dynasty. had supplanted that of the Iguanodon and Megalosaurus. The degradation of the ophidians consists in the absence of limbs-total in most-represented in the boas and pythons by mere abortive hinder limbs concealed in the skin."
Now this footless serpent of the 3rd chapter of Genesis, as I have already said, meets the objection of Dr. Hitchcock, of specific defect, in the Mosaic narrative. It is quite obvious that it is brought forward as a degraded race, typical of one cursed. And it is more, it is a specimen by which we may determine the periods. of the days, for there is here a dynasty supplanted, and another substituted in the short space of three days, if the days in the first chapter are of twenty-four hours only. But, if we admit that the days are long periods, that difficulty disappears, and the entire connection of circumstances is brought into exquisite harmony.
These defects in the later species of animals are also of a character such as might have been anticipated from the progress of mechanical order, to which we have so often adverted. Had animals of the species of reptile now subsisted, which obtained during their dominant era, the surface of the earth must have presented a different appearance. Their habits and necessities could not be met in the present condition of the earth, except in very rare cases; while the powers of locomotion and strength of limbs they possessed would have been quite incompatible with the dominancy of man, and his moderate contemporary animals. The Bible, then, by presenting the doctrine of animal degradation by this prominent case, and rendering it typical of a