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the above method of reconciliation with the hypothesis that the term earth in Genesis did not signify the whole globe, but “the part of our globe which God was adapting for the dwelling-place of man and animals connected with him,” that is, “ a large part of Asia, lying between the Caucasian Ridge, the Caspian Sea, and Tartary on the north, the Persian and Indian Seas on the south, and the high mountain ridges which run at a considerable distance on their eastern and western flanks.”
3d. Many have argued that the days spoken of in this passage in Genesis were not natural days of twenty-four hours, “but periods of great, though indefinite length, during which all the changes exhibited by the strata of rocks took place," and in which the several orders of organized vegetable and animal beings were successively created, man being brought into existence at the end of the closing day of creation, and the Sabbath day of God's rest from his creation work continuing ever since. This view has been eloquently argued and illustrated in a comparison of the Mosaic text with the facts developed by geology, by the late Hugh Miller, in his last work, “The testimony of the Rocks."
” After all, however, theologians and geologists agree in regarding this method of reconciliation as doing equal violence to the language of the record and to the facts of the science.- President Hitchcock's “Religion of Geology.”
9. What principles ought to be borne in mind by Christians in view of apparent discrepancies between the interpretation of nature by science, and the interpretation of the Scriptures by theologians ?
1st. All truth must be consistent. God's works and God's word are alike absolute truth ; whatever discrepancies appear, the difficulty must wholly exist in man's imperfect interpretation, either of the works upon the one hand, or of the word upon the other,
2d. Revelation was not designed to anticipate the natural progress of science, consequently the Scriptures teach us nothing concerning the interpretation of the phenomenal world of nature, but uniformly speak of phenomena as they appear, and in the common language of the age and people among whom they were written, and never of physical causes or laws as they are in fact.
Thus they speak of the sun “rising," "setting," " going back," “standing still," etc., etc.
3d. From the commencement of modern science apparent inconsistencies between nature and revelation have been constantly emerging, which, for the time, have occasioned great offense to zealous believers, but in every instance, without exception, the error has been found to exist either in the too hasty generalizations of science from imperfect knowledge of the facts, or from a prejudiced interpretation of the Scriptures, and invariably matured science has been found not only to harmonize perfectly with the letter of the word naturally interpreted, but, moreover, gloriously to illustrate the grand moral principles and doctrines therein revealed.
4th. There is no difficulty experienced in the attempt to reconcile Moses' account of the “genesis of the heavens and earth” with the science of geology, which is different either in kind or degree from those experienced in every attempt to reconcile prophecy with the facts of history. History and geological science are both in transitu ; when they are finished the perfect harmony of both with revelation will be apparent to all.
5th. Christians should always rejoice in every advance of science, being assured that thereby the truth of their religion and the glory of their God must be confirmed and manifested. They should equally avoid all premature adjustments of the interpretation of Scripture to imperfect science in process of development, and all injurious and impotent jealousies of scientific discoveries or speculations, when apparently hostile to their traditional interpretation of Scripture. PERFECT FAITH CASTETH OUT ALL FEAR.
1. What are the different senses in which the word ayyeros, angel, or messenger, is used in Scripture ?
“Ordinary messengers, Job i., 14; Luke vii., 24 ; ix., 52 ; prophets, Isa. xlii., 19; Mal. iii., 1; priests, Mal. ii., 7; ministers of the New Testament, Rev. i., 20; also impersonal agents, as pillar of cloud, Ex. xiv., 19; pestilence, 2 Sam. xxiv., 16, 17; winds, Ps. civ., 4; plagues, called evil angels,' lxxviii., 49 ; Paul's thorn in the flesh, "angel of Satan,' 2 Cor. xii., 7." Also the second person of the Trinity, “ Angel of his presence ;" “Angel of the Covenant,” Isa. Ixiii., 9; Mal. iii., 1. But the term is chiefly applied to the heavenly intelligences, Matt. xxv., 31.-See Kitto's Bib. Ency.
2. What are the scriptural designations of angels, and how far are those designations expressive of their nature and offices ?
Good angels (for evil spirits, see question 13) are designated in Scripture as to their nature, dignity and power, as “spirits," Heb. i., 14; “thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, mights," Eph. i., 21, and Col. i., 16; “sons of God,” Luke xx., 36; Job i., 6; "mighty angels," and "powerful in strength,” 2 Thes. i., 7; Ps. ciïi., 20; "holy angels,” “elect angels,” Luke ix., 26 ; 1 Tim. v., 21; and as to the offices they sustain in relation to God and man, they are designated as “angels or messengers," and as “ministering spirits,” Heb. i., 13, 14.
3. What were the cherubim ?
• They were ideal creatures, compounded of four parts, thosa namely, of a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle.”
- The predomi
nant appearance was that of a man, but the number of faces, feet, and hands differed according to circumstances.”—Ezek. i., 6, compare with Ezek. xli., 18, 19, and Ex. xxv., 20.
To the same ideal beings is applied the designation “living creatures,” (Ezek. i., 5-22; x., 15, 17 ; Rev. iv., 6–9; v., 6-14; vi., 1-7; vii., 11 ; xiv., 3 ; xv. 7; xix., 4,) rendered in our version “ beasts."
“They were symbolical of the highest properties of creature life, and of these as the outgoings and manifestation of the divine life; but they were typical of redeemed and glorified manhood, or prophetical representations of it, as that in which these properties were to be combined and exhibited.
“They were appointed immediately after the fall to man's original place in the garden, and to his office in connection with the tree of life.”—Gen. iii., 24.
“ The other and more common connection in which the cherub appears is with the throne or peculiar dwelling-place of God. In the holy of holies of the tabernacle, Ex. xxv., 22. he was called the God who dwelleth between and sitteth upon the cherubim, 1 Sam. iv., 4; Ps. lxxx., 1; Ezek. i., 26, 28; wbose glory is above the cherubim. In Rev. iv., 6, we read of the living crea
. tures who were in the midst of the throne and around about it.”
“What does this bespeak but the wonderful fact brought out in the history of redemption, that man's nature is to be exalted to the dwelling-place of the Godhead ? In Christ it is taken, so to speak, into the very bosom of the Deity; and because it is so highly honored in him, it shall attain to more than angelic glory in his members.”—Fairbairn’s Typology, Pt. II., Chapter I., Section 3.
4. What is the etymology of the word seraphim, and what is taught in Scripture concerning them?
The word signifies burning, bright, dazzling. It occurs in the Bible only once.—Isa. vi., 2, 6. It probably presents, under a different aspect, the ideal beings commonly designated cherubim and living creatures.
5. Is there any evidence that angels are of various orders and ranks ?
That such distinctions certainly exist appears evident, 1st. From the language of Scripture, Gabriel is distiguished as one that stands in the presence of God, (Luke i., 19,) evidently in some preëminent sense ; and Michael as one of the chief princes, Dan. X., 13. Observe also the epithets archangel, thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, Jude 9; Eph. i., 21. 22. From the analogy of the fallen angels, see Eph. ii., 2; Matt. ix., 34. 3d. From the analogy of human society and of the universal creation. Throughout all God's works gradation of rank prevails.
6. Do the Scriptures speak of more than one archangel, and is he to be considered a creature ?
This term occurs but twice in the New Testament, and in both instances it is used in the singular number, and preceded by the definite article 6, 1 Thes. iv., 16; Jude 9. Thus the term is
ő evidently restricted to one person, called, Jude 9, Michael, who, in Dan, X., 13, and xii., 1, is called “one of the chief princes," and “the great prince,” and in Rev. xii., 7, is said to have fought with his angels against the dragon and his angels.
Many suppose that the archangel is the Son of God. Others suppose that he is one of the highest class of creatures, since he is called “one of the chief princes,” Dan. x., 13; and since divine attributes are never ascribed to him.
7. What do the Scriptures teach concerning the number and power of angels?
1st. Concerning their number, revelation determines only that it is very great. “ Thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand,” Dan. vii., 10. "More than twelve legions of angels,” Matt. xxvi., 53. “Multitude of the heavenly host," Luke ii., 13. “Myriads of angels,” Heb. xii., 22.
2d. Concerning their power, the Scriptures teach that it is very great when exercised both in the material and in the spiritual worlds. They are called "mighty angels,” and are said to "excel in strength,” 2 Thess. i., 7; Ps. ciii., 20; 2 Kings xix., 35. Their power, however, is not creative, but, like that of
it can be exercised only coördinately with the general laws of nature, in the absolute sense of that word.