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AS SET FORTH IN THE EARLY PORTIONS OF THE
BOOK OF GENESIS.
CRITICALLY EXAMINED AND EXPLAINED.
REV. E. D. RENDELL,
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
Rev. ii. 29.
FROM THE LONDON EDITION.
23 SCHOOL STREET.
A SATISFACTORY explanation of the early chapters of Genesis, has become a desideratum in the church; for there is no fact in its history better established, than that the Mosaic accounts of the creation and the deluge are no longer considered to express those sentiments, which, for many ages, they have been supposed to do. What used to be regarded as “orthodox” upon those subjects, has been compelled to recede before the light of rational investigation and scientific discovery. This is admitted by men with first-class minds, minds stored with erudition and piety,
- persons whose veneration for, and belief in, revelation are far above suspicion; – professors in our national universities, and other institutions for the dissemination of religion and learning. A decree, therefore, has gone forth against the old notions upon these subjects: the old vessels have been effectually broken; and all, who carefully examine the fragments, are convinced that it is impossible to repair them. It is true, that several new ones have been attempted to be made, on some modified ideas of the literal sense of those ancient writings; but an intelligent inspection of them has shown that they also are marred and full of flaws, so that there has ceased to be any authorized interpretation of those extraordinary documents.
In this dilemma, the old opinions continue to be taught to the rising generations, by which their minds must be prejudiced in favor of a mistaken judgment. This, doubtless, produces no little uneasiness and alarm among those, who know them to be untrue. The influences, which have exposed the errors, have not yet become sufficiently powerful to check their progress. This is to be lamented; but it is one of the consequences of not having supplied such new interpretations of the subject, as may be safely adopted in their place. The old errors may as well be taught as any new one, if teachings must be enforced on the subject, before any more satisfactory views can be established. But why the teaching of demonstrated errors should be persisted in, it is difficult to determine. It is admitted, that the work of him who would instruct society, is not completed by pulling down the building,