« ZurückWeiter »
" And to every
Essays on Creation and Geology.
70 terrestrial animals is declared; and opposite principles, clearly established though in regard to the individual it by Moses, cannot be correct. The be true, that “one generation passeth consideration of this subject, however, away, and another generation cometh;" we must reserve to the sequel. yet in regard to the species it is equal- To demonstrate at every step that the ly true, that they with the earth abide aions of Mr. Macnab are erroneous and for ever, * or endure as long as it shall absurd; and that no part of the Crearemain.
tion was ever designed to be indepenThe original formation of the dif- dent of another for the immense period ferent tribes of animals; the placing which he has assigned to his aions ; them on the earth after it was furnish- are we not in effect expressly told ed with inexhaustible means of sub-Gen. i. 29, 30, that, in regard to vesistence; and the subsequent preser- getables and animals, the one was vation of a due proportion between the formed purposely for the other?—that sexes; seem clear indications, that vegetables never existed for any length the preservation of the different ge- of time without animals to subsist upnera and species of animals as long as on them? and that animals were not · the earth was to endure, entered as a created till there was provision made principal design with the original con- for their sustenance by the formation stitution of the globe. But the re- of vegetables? When, therefore, first searches of learned men, it would ap- the one was formed and then the other, pear, have demonstrated this not to be we behold God himself uniting them the case. They contend that they have together, by saying to the latter, “ Bediscovered remains of animals of alto- hold, I have given you every herb beargether different species, and even ge- ing seed, which is upon the face of all Dera, from any which now exist. On the earth, and every tree, in the which which account they conceive them- is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to selves justified in concluding that the you it shall be for meat. Which earth must have had some other origin words were addressed to Adam. But than that assigned to it by Moses ; or the passage proceeds, if his account is to be admitted, it beast of the earth, and to every fowl of must be explained in a way to tally the air, and to every thing that creepeth with their conjectures respecting the upon the earth, wherein there is life, I said discoveries.
have given every green herb for meat ; But how plausible soever their and it was so. theories may appear, may not geolo
In all this, there is something ragists after all be mistaken in the con- tional and God-like, something to be clusion, that the bones and other relics admired by intelligent creatures; there of the animals in question, are really is an object worthy of Infinite Intellidifferent from any thing which now gence to pursue. But upon the prinexists? There are at any rate the ciple of these pretended wise men, rastrongest grounds to suspect the ac- tionality and wisdom seem to be out curacy of their conclusion: for it ap- of the question; all their reasoning pears from Buffon and other writers, seems to be entirely in behalf of somethat at times they admit them to be thing they know not what. distinctly of the same species--de- But here comes a knotty question monstrating them to be like the bones to them. To assert, as Moses does, of this and the other animal, only of that all animals were once herbaceous, gigantic size. And even Cuvier ac- or subsisted on vegetable productions, knowledges, by three distinct and as God is said expressly to have given powerful reasons,* afterwards to be them “every green herb for meat;" is considered, the difficulties under which a position which will by no means suit he laboured in determining this point. the naturalists; whose very systems Which difficulty, is a circumstance and arrangements in Zoology are quite sufficient to create the strongest founded very much on the different suspicions, that a theory founded upon kinds of food on which animals are such doubtful principles, especially now observed to subsist. The Chriswhen it has to contend with a set of tian system, however, so far from op
posing this idea of Moses' primitive state of the earth, opens a prospect of a
more perfect state of things yet to take * Cuvier's Theory of the Earth. pp. 111-113. place, when even the “lion shall cat
* Eccl. i. 4.
72 straw like the ox,'
»* Then will be mani-, as that which is done in the present fested the imperfection of all our pre- times respecting brutes. sent systems, which are founded upon Man may be defined, according to such arbitrary distinctions; though the present mode of his instruction, now they are not without their use, but as a being that acquires his knowserve as stepping-stones by which we ledge by the circuitous method of are enabled to cross and recross rivers, written alphabetical language, and the swamps, and marshes, which would be tedious process of experiment and impassable without them. Then, doubt- induction. And as matters now go, less, will men be again restored to such we could as easily conceive“ the lion a perfection of knowledge as Adam to graze with the ox,” as that man possessed, when, like him, they shall no should ever have been capable of longer require systems founded upon being instructed into the minutiæ of the results of reasoning and induction, things by any other method. Yet the and which, through the perversion of fact of the contrary is certain in reour nature, as often lead to error as to gard to the first man; and it prevailed truth; but shall perceive objects by in the antediluvian world, and even intuition, and call things by names ex- later ; till men began to abuse it by pressive of their nature.
multiplying images and representations Much of this seems to have been for the purposes of superstition and the case in primitive times. On which idolatry, when they seem to have been account I conceive it to be owing, that deprived of such powers. those times do not furnish us with such In like manner, the fact is equally satisfactory details of things as the certain in regard to animals, that they present age requires. For in fact, the were once all herbaceous ; though from ancients acquired their knowledge of present appearances we are unable nature, not by studying the systems of to perceive how this could be. But man upon it; but nature herself was our inability to comprehend the suba book open to them all, and read by ject does not destroy a fact which each according to his capacity; and seems to have existed during the whole they appear in general to have been of the antedulivian period ; nor ought too much masters of the systems with it to render the prediction incredible, which they were conversant, to require that such shall be again the state of the committing of them to writing : things with regard both to man and a slow, laborious, and circuitous me- brutes, in the glory of the latter days. thod of instruction, which always im- | Violence or oppression of every kind, plies imperfection! A more figurative whether exercised by man or brutes, and hieroglyphical representation of seems to be a perversion of nature's things, conveyed to them by the glance laws; which God now “winks at,” or of the eye more instruction in a single tolerates, as he did the ignorance of the moment, than men in the present day ancient heathen;* but there is a period are able to carry away from a course of which he has given us to expect, when the most luminous lectures of the most matters shall be again reduced to celebrated professor. Hence, we are their primitive simplicity, innocence, not to look to them for an historical ac- and order; when there shall be nocount of things; perhaps they had no thing to hurt or destroy in all his holy idea that future generations would mountain ; when the ferocious nature ever need to be instructed in a dif- of beasts shall be changed, and the ferent manner from themselves. And leopard shall lie down with the kid; and hence, they seem to have considered a lastly, when men shall again be enmere genealogical and chronological dowed with instinctive powers of actable of some few events, and the line quiring knowledge ; and shall not reof succession of their ancestors, all quire, as they now do, “ the teaching that was necessary in this way.* of every one his neighbour and his
Now, from all this, as false an in- brother; but when all shall know the ference may be drawn respecting man, Lord, and his wonderful works, from
the least even to the greatest.” * Isa. xi. 7. It is admitted this passage is
“ Thus, by connecting the middle, figurative; but it seems to be a figure founded
or present state both of animals and upon a fact, and pointing to the literal as well men, with the two ends of the existas figurative restoration of the fact again.
* Gen. chap. v.
* Acts xvii. 30.
74 ence of their whole species, have we tain, that it either was, or always will removed in a clear and satisfactory be, the same in these respects. Hence, manner, it is presumed, the objection we can draw no correct conclusion which might be brought against the respecting either the past or the fuMosaic account of all animals being ture, from the present state of things. once herbaceous. Ard as things in na- The present is only one part of a ture seem in general to be arranged whole, as are also the past and future in concentric circles, constantly bring- separate parts; but each part, strictly ing us back to the point whence they speaking, answers for itself alone, and began; so this method here, as well as not each for the other. in almost every other thing, seems to A mistake of this nature, of conbid the fairest for the most glorious founding the past and future with the results: and not that, which has been present state of things, was foreseen almost constantly pursued hitherto, by the Spirit of prophecy. The apostle which proceeds upon the straight line, Peter speaks of some scoffers who were and which, so far from leading to right to arise in the last days, speaking conclusions, seems rather to be the great swelling words of vanity. And grand source of all our darkness, the principal objection respecting any stumblings, and errors, in all our future change (particularly of the nasystems of the present day.
ture of the change there described) in Taking present appearances as the the mundane system, was to be groundcriterion by which to illustrate things ed upon its present apparent unchangethat are past or future, is a fallacious able and unalterable condition. That is principle. Every age is distinguished to say, Though it may be demonstrated for something peculiar to itself; and by these scoffers, that the earth has this remark extends not merely to undergone revolutions, yet they are man, but to the earth itself, and every not such revolutions as the apostle thing on it; yea, in some respects to describes; but mere visionary affairs, the whole visiblc universe. Hence, according to a system of their own though there be a general-uniformity framing, which have occupied milin the whole, yet no part will serve lions of ages to effect; and may conexactly by which to represent another tinue performing similar revolutions part. To perceive the whole, we must for so long a period to come ; yea, for take in the whole ; and not from the ever, as their systems seem to admit consideration of any one part, whether neither of bounds nor limits. And it regards time, or space, or any other thus, in effect, they ward off the judgindividual object, class, or classes of ment of the great day, as long as they objects, make a criterion by which please; and sap the foundation of the to explain the whole; for this will in- Scripture account equally of the origin evitably lead to error.*
and end of the world. And “ if the For example, though the present, is foundations be thus destroyed, what the didactic age in reference to man, can the righteous do ?''* and the carnivorous in reference to some But the apostle answers these scofanimals, and the age of rest or absence fers expressly in the same way which of all great or material revolutions in we have done; by referring them to reference to the earth itself; yet it the facts of changes and revolutions would be very incorrect to main- which the globe had undergone in past
This seems to be the superlatively wise ages. Not such revolutions, however, method of M. Cuvier!!!
as they would, by their deep researches, deavour,” says he, “ to estimate the quantity and pretended learning; palm upon an of effects produced in a given time by any ignorant sottish world. But revolucauses still acting, by comparing them with the tions which are recorded in history, effects which these causes have
produced since even in the volume of inspiration itthey began to operate, we may determine self; of which he declares they were nearly the period at which their action commenced,” Cuvier's Theory, 133. Thus, in the willingly ignorant. The revolufirst place, he evidently takes for granted the tions too, of which he speaks, were existence of matter in a certain undefined con- not vague and indeterminate as to the dition when the “action commenced.” And period when they happened, like those secondly, the equal aniformity of the action of our visionary theorists; but they which positions,
as they have no foundation in were those which happened at the defact, so they can never be assumed as first principles on which to build a system of truth.
* Psa, xi. 3. No 23.-VOL. III.
Essays on Creation and Gealogy. luge ; at a determinate epoch fixed in which, happening to come too near the true, recorded, and carefully pre- the earth, was attracted by it, and so served history of the globe. He refers has whirled round it as its humble vasto an event not involved in chimerical sal, ever since; as that your powers conjecture, like that of the whole tribe are infallibly such as, that from a single of enthusiastic system-builders; but bone, or portion, or small fragment of to an event which was certain, and of bone, you are able to construct an aniwhich there were ten thousand wit- mal, and demonstrate to what species,
And, if I mistake not, he does &c. it belongs; and that, not only such as much as say, that that event alone as you have had the vopportunity of was the primary and grand cause of dissecting in the recent state, but such all, or almost all, the revolutionary ap- as you confess you never saw nor pearances of our globe. At all events heard of, till this insolated fragment be assures us, whatever men may urge fell into your hands! How do such to the contrary, that it has never un- vaunting pretensions accord with your dergone another catastrophe similar to own acknowledgment, when you say, the flood ; but that since the deluge, that as for these fossil animals, “ their “the present heavens and earth are races have even become extinct, and treasured up and preserved” from that, have left no memorial of them, except or any other revolution that would some small fragments which the nadestroy them,“ by the same word or turalist can scarcely recognize?”* And power which destroyed the old world,” when you frankly acknowledge refor the purpose of being “ burnt with specting others, that they have treated fire, at the day of judgment and de- this subject in such a manner as to struction of ungodly men.
have caused what you call the “Science This, therefore, being a subject of of Geology, to have become ridiprophecy, of some peculiar characters culous ?"* Now, if such was your which were to arise in the latter days, opinion of pthers, you must pardon little did those philosophers who have us, if, in some of your positions, we been so exceedingly industrious in should have the same opinion of examining the geognostic structure of you; for what can be more the earth, and in comparing the ana- culous” than your theory respecting tomy of the animals which at pre- the fossil remains of animals, and the sent exist upon it, with the petrified visionary conclusions you draw from and metamorphosed fossil remains of them ?t animals which have been dug from it, Thus, when matters are fairly exasometimes at considerable depths ; mined, without doubt it will indeed be and from thence drawing conclusions, found, notwithstanding the assertions which in their nature tend to sap the of some learned men to the contrary, foundation of the Christian system ;- that there is still every reason to conlittle did they imagine, I say, that, by clude, that in regard to the different these very arguments, instead of giving tribes of terrestrial animals, though Christianity its death-blow, as perhaps one generation passeth away, yet ansome of them intended, they have in- other generation cometh; so that the advertently given it the triumph of an species with the earth still abideth. additional argument, arising from this This fact, from the very nature of very conduct of theirs ; namely, that things, we are led strongly to presume. such impious attempts to oppose the It was evidently to preserve the aniAlmighty were predicted of them. mals alive that the earth was provided
Thanks to you then, Messrs. H- with the means of animal subsistence, C-, W- and the whole class ere yet animals were created to subof theoretical philosophers, for what sist upon it. The formation of aniyou have inadvertently done for the mals in pairs, male and female, is an interests of Christianity. And as for argument to the same effect. And it you M. Cuvier, we must single out must ever be maintained, that as there you, as an adventurer, that has even is at the head of the Creation an insurpassed your brethren, and say to finitely wise Intelligence, who works you, that we could as soon believe the nothing in vain ; even so this very fantastic story of the moon's being a thing secures the preservation of his detachment from the tail of a comet,
* Cuvier's Theory of the Earth, p. 17. + Ibid. p. 30.
2 Pet. üi. 7.
BY P. L.
78 works. A demonstrating instance of haranguing the populace. his superintending and preserving peatedly summoned the deceased in care, we clearly have in the provisions the most urgent manner, to arise and wbich he made for the preservation of walk home; but as all he said still prothe animals, where, by the deluge of duced no effect, he at length turned to Noah, at one stroke he cut off all flesh, his auditory, and with the most imboth of man and beast, from the earth. posing impudence exclaimed—“Never
As all the different tribes of land ani- did I see so obstinate a corpse!” mals, from the perfect quadruped to the crawling reptile, were created on this anterior part of the sixth day, we
Sir John Maynard. leave it to the naturalist to make the When Sir J. Maynard, an eminent enumeration of them, and to arrange English lawyer, waited upon the prince them into systematic order.
of Orange, the new monarch, after the If any should be disposed to con. abdication of James II. with an adsider the objections above stated, To dress; William observed to him, that, the idea of the extinction of certain judging from his age, he must have outtribes of animals, to be not sufficiently lived most of the judges and eminent demonstrated; I only beg of such for lawyers of his standing. To this Sir a little to suspend their judgment, till J. replied, “ And I should have outwe come to that part of the subject lived the law too, had it not been for where we shall have occasion to exa- the arrival of your Majesty.” mine the nature of the proof on which
G***** the assertion, That whole species of ani
Fareham, Oct. 6, 1820. mals have become extinct, is founded ; when I hope to make it appear, to the satisfaction of every reasonable mind,
GENUINE Anecdote, COMMUNICATED that the proofs are of such a doubtful, precarious, and uncertain nature, as The Hon. Wm. Gray, of Boston, (New to render the objections here advanced England,) celebrated as “the rich,"and sufficiently conclusive.
respected for his exemplary virtues, some time since, on bis accustomary visit to the market, found a newly-admitted lawyer seeking for a boy to
carry home his meat. Mr. Gray, whose Inserted in No. 20, col. 814, of the Imperial ordinary dress is plain and simple, Magazine.
and whom the lawyer did not know, Query.—What is the reason of es- stepped up, and offered to take it home sential oils becoming milky on the ad- for him, which offer the attorney imdition of alcohol?
mediately accepted ; and on arriving Answer:–Essential oils, on expo- at his house, and laying down the meat sure to air, for some time absorb where he was directed, the attorney oxygen,
and become resinous, by inquired how much he charged for which they lose their volatility, fra- carrying it? Mr. Gray replied, he left grance, and pungency.
it to his“ generosity;" upon which he Query.—What could be done to pre- gave him a shilling, which he acvent it?
cepted with thanks, observing, that Answer:-By keeping them in small if he had at any time any market opaque phials, completely full and well things to carry home, he would readily stopped.
do it for him ; and “if I should not
G***** happen to be there,” said he, “just inPareham, Oct. 5, 1820.
quire for Billy Gray, and I will come immediately.” It is unnecessary to add, the surprise and mortification of
the lawyer, on hearing that a man Impudence of a Venetian Conjurer.
worth a million of dollars, had perA CONJURER of Venice, who boasted formed this menial service for him; but that he was able to perform the greatest it had its effect, for he never afterwards of miracles, that of bringing the dead required the assistance of any one to to life, had the audacity to exercise aid him in performing his marketing, this power on a corpse which was or to carry home his mcat.--Savannah passing at the moment when he was | Republican.
ANSWERS TO QUERY ON ESSENTIAL