Images de page
PDF
ePub

51h. From the foundation of the Temple to the Babylonish captivity, 424 years, A. M. 3416,

6th. Thence to the birth of Christ, 584 years, 4000.

Olympas. We must reserve something on chronology for another lesson. Meanwhile, as time had a beginning it must have an end; and that is infinitely more interesting to us than its commencement.

A.C.

MORAL BEARINGS OF GEOLOGY-No. II. Brother Stevenson,

Having in my last number glanced at the argument from analogy touching the antiquity of Mother Earth, and given some reasons pre. judicial, in my opinion, to the validity of such reasonings, especially when relied on as impinging on the credibility of Moses. I hasten 10 append to them a few remarks on the preamble to the details of creation as found in the first chapter of Genesis.

Moses, in a style as simple and sublime as mortal speech affords, appoaches the marvellous developments of six successive epocha of creation, in the most perfect good taste, solemnly indicating that "'IN SIX DAYS GOD CRĻATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH." Here is no effort at style. Thoughtless of beauty, it is beautiful in perfection. It is comely, apposite, and most solemnly expressive of the grand conception. Time was not before. Creation and the first moment were the twin offspring of the first fiat. Matter without motion is of the essence of eternity. Malter in motion is time. If matter existed first quiescent, motion is not necessary to its being.

But this is a general introduction. The heavens are postponed for further consideration, and the history of the earth engages the thonghts of the divine historian of Nature. And what says he of the infant Earth? "]t was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God (incubated or] moved upon the bosom of the waters." This is its antecedent state-mits state pre. vious to the work of the week. Whether this antecedent state continued for a moment, for a million of years, we are not informed; and hence no fact can be elicited out of any thing said about it, dissuasive of its claiins on human acquiescence.

How long the Earth was without form, and empty, within and without any of its present, inhabitants, we have no means of ascertaining, One thing is obvious, that it was so in the beginning, and that it was no part of the work of six days to ri ake the Earth. Its creation is

common sense.

not found in the details of the six days. How long the Spirit of God moved upon the face of its waters, and what new seeds of life and forms of being were sown into its bosom and educed into life, Moses saith not.

Nor does Moses say what intervals separated the days of creation. For my part, I believe that the days that made the first week were days-that it is diurnal revolutions of the planet. These diurnal revolutions are not now performed in equal times, and were then doubtless performed in times much more unequal than at present. Still they were days, and neither weeks, months, nor centuries. There may, however, have been immense intervals between them, or there may not, for any thing found in Genesis. Nothing would have suffered if there had been a duration equal to a myriad years between them. Nothing created on the first day needed that which was created on the second, and nothing created on the second day needed that which was created the third day; and had creation stopped on any day for a mil. Jion of years, nothing created before that time would have been injured in any respect known to mortals. I ask no other guide to my thoughts on this subject than Moses and

Cuvier, Buckland, Sullivan, and other geologists of real merit, have accredited Moses without me, and I can fully believe in Moses without them. And of this I am confident, no geologist, living or dead, can even stuliify or falsify the records of this greatest of historians, lawgivers, and philosophers. He narrates creation's order and progress with the cast of conscious truth, and with the dig. niiy, majesty, and unaffected loftiness of elevated intelligence, alike indifferent as to the cavils of arrogant scepticism, or the blundering impertinence of indomitable ignorance. He offers no curious specula. tion on the ways of Eternal Wisdom-no demonstration of the perfect adequacy of Omnipotent Energy-10 justification of the arrangements and developments of Infinite Benevolence. The work spoke for itself, and the effects of the Creative Voice that echoed through the universe, indubitably laught the “Cause Uncaused, sole Root of Nature, and Fountain of Universal Being.” To the eye of Moses it would not have seemed more incongruous or oblique to have said one word in proof of the inspiration that guided his details, than to the mental vision of the immortal Newton to have written a demonstration that the sun was not fashioned and located in the heavens by the skill and energy of Nimrod the prince of tyrants and first free-booter of human rights and privileges.

But a word is yet wanting as to the first appearance of that ghastly king of terrors whose awful name is Death. If geology be true, King Death is older than Moses by some ihreescore and ten myriads of years forsooth! Suppose this were a fact already obvious to every mortal eye-what then! Certain it is, that man did not die before he was made, nor for a thousand years before he sinned. That animals and plants were once immortal, or that they were doomed to die in conse. quence of man's follies, is carrying the doctrine of imputation a thousand ages beyond any thing of which my fancy has yet dreamed of the wild excursions of man's erratic reason. The fact that a TREE OF LIFE was necessary to man's immortality while yet he breathed the fragrant and life-inspiring breath of Eden, and sipped the sweetest nec'ar of divine beneficence in the rich ambrosial repasis of Paradise, is demonstration strong as any proof from holy writ, that man in his primeval health and innocence was then exempt from the laws of terrestrial decay only by a special law made and provided for his case: Animated nature lives by death! Amongst the airy and phantastic flights of the most poetic imagination, in its aspirations after the beau ideal of some Eden of enchantments, I have not yet found an effort to populate the earth, or even the environs of Paradise, with innumerablo races of immortal insects and animals made to generate and increase in ratios for which the most speculative mathematician has not found a habitation or a name.

'The Tree of Life was Heaven's own charter of immortality to man. He never had life in himself. His being was derived and his life subjected to conditions involving decay and dissolution but for some life-restoring and youth-preserving specific. This he had in the Tree of Life. When Paul says, “And by sin death entered into the world," he does not add, .And into the earth.' The world subjected to death by sin is the human race, and nothing else. The birds, and insects, and animalcules of our air, earth, and sea, with all the more gigantic earthborns, inherited elements of death in their very nature and composirion. A tree could noi fall, nor a drop of water—a rock could not roll, nor a human foot impress the soil without inflicting death on mul. titudes. And yet some Dr. Doubty, who has read some sheets of geology, gravely asks, as if penetrated with profound reverence for th3 fame of Moses and of Paul, “How can we reconcile Moses and Paul with the fact that the fossil remains of by-gone worlds have inscribed upon their ten thousand pages the momentous truth that worlds after worlds lived and died, and were transformed into coral reefs, islands, hills, and mountains, ages before sin was born or Adam made?' Were it all true, there is not a word in the Bible contradicted or falsified by the facta

Brother Stevenson, the multitude, and some geologists too, are

about as ignorant of the Bible as the Long Parliament and the Westminster Divines were of the uses of steam, galvanism, and the science of Cuvier, Lyell, and Buckland on the stratas of the ancient Earth.And, generally, the man who asserts most positively and affirms most stouily his opinions, is more likely to proselyte the weak and credulous sceptics, than he that can render a hundred good reasons for his faith and hope in God."

There is another assumption or two amongst geologists, so called, to which I may invite your attention in my next. Sincerely and affectionately yours,

A.C.

News from the Churches.

Gosport, Indiana, March 20, 1842. Last week I visited Cloverdale, a small village in Puinam county, Indiana, the place wbure we bad such great success in proclaiming the old gospel last summer The church in this place numbers about 150, and are walking in peace and loro

1 delivercil five discourses, and added li to their number-seven by immersioni-uneliom the 'Two Seed Baptiste-one from the Tunkers-and three hy leiter.'

Among the hapiized was oncold lady, 70 years of age, by the name of Nichison, who was a member of that branch of the Presbyterian community called Secoders. This dear old mother being convinced that baby sprinkling was a buman tradition, and that the law of Christ required lier to be buried with her Lord in baptism, came out and boldly confessed her faith in the Lord; and with strong confidence in the promise of God, she went down into the water and was planted in the likeness of Ure death of ler Lord, in the presencc of her children, friends, and a crowd of weeping sportators.

J. M. MATIES.

Gasconade City, Missouri, April 1, 1842. I have just closed a two day's meeling, and have received six confessions- one from a young man trained in the Ronian Catholic religion, a very in sent youth. I am going to ima:erse them to day. Jam evangelizing in Hie counides of Franklin, W'arrra, Mont. gomery, and Gasconade. This is seed-time, and I expect an ample liarvost before winter under the blessing of God.

S. ROGERS.

Madison, Iridiana, April 4, 1842. Brother Hall was with us during the last week. Four were addeda We are trying to get along as well as possible, and liope that our dear brethren will remeniber us.

L, 11. JAMESON.

Irish Ripple, Pennsylvania, April 22, 1842, It is with pleasure I am enabled to announce 10 you the progress of the reformarinn in this neigliborhood. Through the labors of brother Applegate the number of Disciples here have iucreased in about six months from 12 or 1310 21 or 25. The organization of a church were took piace one werk since, and our prospecis are solerally good,

MILO M. POLLOCK,

Nero Ark, Ohio, April 23, 1842. We lately held a meeting in Licking county with the congregation opine Brushy Fork of Licking creek, al which 14 obeyed the gospel; at another, 7; and 3 elsewhere-24 in all.

W M. HAYES.

Nurval, Esquising, Upper Canada, April 23, 1842. We had a visit from Z F. Guinn in February, and during his stay in Eramota urre were 12 put on the Lord Jesus loy being baprized into his name, and one in the city of Toronto,

There were 4 added to the church in this place liy laptism latrly. 1: powrumbers $2. members. We meet together every first day to keep the ordinances delivered ly the Apostles.

JAMES MITCHELL,

Augusta, Georgia, April 26, 1842. I seize my pen in haste to inform you that we still have good news here. Last week I informed you that Mr. Hibber and his wife were immersed. On last Lord's day a Mrs. Cocke, sister of sister Thomas, was to he tinmersed-when, lo! Mrs. Hook presented herself. I had the pleasure of going down into the water with them. She has been a staunch Presbyterian of long standing, was sprinkled at the age of 14, when she joined. She made a bold confession, declaring with her own lips the faith in all points.

E. A. SMITH.

Wadsworth, Ohio, May 17, 1842. I only have time to say the gospel is triumphing gloriously in this region. Sinee I wrote you last many have obeyed. 'In the village of Youngstown, Trumbull county, 33 were juaniersed. In Minerva, Stark county, 30 immersions and 10 additions from the sects-making 40. Now I am at home, and have lieen for five days, 11 immersions and 5 ad litions-16. Bless the goud Lord! I have spoken from two to three times every day for a month, and stand it well. The Lord has wonderfully sustained me in my labors or love.

Since I arrived at home in March the 12th day, a little over two months, 110 have been immersed, and sonie 27 from other quarters.

J. H. JONES.

Franklin county, Missouri, May 12, 1842. I have organized three churches this Spring. They contain about 100 members. They meel weekly to keep the ordinances. I have immersed 21 this spring

S. ROGERS.

Georgetoion, Kentucky, May 2", 1842. The second l.ord's day instant I spent at Lawrenceburg, Ky, in company with R. C. Rice, our Evangelist We had a pleasant meeting

A pain in iny feeils and a swollen jaw compelled ine to leave on Wednesday morning early Up to that time we had gained 13 additions

Brother Rice remained iil Saturday morning following, and gained 17 more, diaking 30 in all. He repaired 10 Nrw Castle, where brother C. J. Smith and others were lahoring. He reached liome this evening, and informs me that 21 additions were the result of their labors. Brother A. Kendrick was with them a few days. He had been at Louisville, where he gained about 40 additions. Brollier C. Kendrick has had a most glorious meeting near Siauford, having received upwards of 100, as I learn, within a few days past.

I repaired to Antioch after my return home, and commenced laboring hard with bro. ther Gano. In a few days we received 16 additions. We were compelled to leave fur other engagements

I rejoice to know that we have such young Evangelists engaged in the cause as R. C. Rice, A. Kendrick, and C. Kendrick. Their Tabors have been greally blessed. My prayer is, that they may be humble, and that the Lord may bless them with health and strength to advocate this good cause for many years!

J, T. JOHNSON.

Poplar Hill, Kentucky, Febrnary 24, 1842. In the milst-of our sorrows we have been made to rejoice in the submission of our second daughter, about Margaret's auc, to the king of terrors. You will be happy, like. wise, to learn that my sister in law Mrs. Be, and several other members of our large family, have obeyed the truth. Already five of our pupils have been immersed, and livo others will follow on Lord's day next. Twenty members of our family will then le professors of the 'faith. No excitement whalever exists amongst them, nor has the slightest effort been made to produce one; on the contrary, all is done that may prevent this

We know that nothing is more easy than to get up, what would be called "a revi. val,” amongst a collection of young people; aud that we cou'd very readily induce a great many to join the church;" but as we lahor not for •effect,''we are careful to encourage none but those who, we think, know what they do; and especially such as have friends who will not undo, a ferihey leave here, all that has been done. An early confession of the faith is of vo value, hy itself If the seed sown be not afterwards cultivated;- if all counteracting influences le not withdrawnfor guarded agains!-letter, a thousand times, is it, that young persons should be kept from confessing their iaith, until they can aci in obedience ihereto, a way even from parental influence. It is a sad niistake to sup. pose that the "joining of the church" is the ultimalum of the religious confrssion.Whether this be at all beneficial, depends jentirely upon the character of the church, as, unless we can be educated for eternity therein, we inight as well be out of it Hence it would seenialısoluteiy essential to the callse we plead, that not the increase, hut the cha. racler of the churches, should be the prime object of our public men

If the churches he first what they should be, then increase will follow as a natural and necessary effect, and then the danger of apostacy is diminished: in the same ratio asks he certainly of suc. cess is increased; but the collecting together of a large number, renders it difficult in the same proportion, to regulate idem properly, and the difficulty is increaseil ly the length of time they remain in disorder. We may therefore very justly ask ourselves whether our whole lives are not spent ix vain, if we have been 'wholly enoployed in increasing churches that are not what they should be. 'Hare we turned many, or any, to righte. ousness?

P. S. FALL.

« PrécédentContinuer »