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liever. They had received no revelation on the subject, and it is not probable that they conceived of that grand event as removed tens of centuries from their day. It was a part of the divine plan that they should be left to the common expectations of their day-expectations to be corrected by the course of history. Only when the occasion required, Paul was illuminated to reveal the fact that a great apostasy must first take place. Nineteen centuries have nearly run their course since the time when our Lord was received up into heaven; yet the church still awaits his return in glory, "with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." The grand event is certain. The time is hidden alike from men and angels, and all curious computations for the purpose of determining it are worse than useless. They turn away men's thoughts from the substance of divine revelation to non-essential matters" which minister questions, rather than the edification of God which is in faith." 2
We propose, in a closing Article, to consider the quotations of the New Testament in their relation to the question of inspiration.
We add a few remarks respecting some points on which the Bible has been supposed to be at variance with the results of modern science.
I. THE MOSAIC SIX DAYS OF CREATION. The author's views respecting these are given at large in his two Articles, entitled, The Mosaic Narrative of the Creation, and, The Mosaic Six Days and Geology. He simply calls the reader's attention here to the contrast in the ends proposed by the scriptural narrator and the geologist, and the corresponding contrast
1 2 Thess. ii. 3 seq.
21 Tim. i. 4, according to the common text. The more approved reading: the dispensation (oikovoμíav) of God which is in faith; that is, the gospel dispensation which has faith for its sphere, gives the same truth, so far as our present use of the text is concerned. For whatever ministers to the advancement of the economy of grace ministers also to the edification of the believers included under it.
8 Bibliotheca Sacra for 1856, pp. 743-789.
4 Ibid. for 1857, pp. 61-98.
in the manner of procedure. The end of the scriptural narrator is to exhibit in bold outline the six grand processes of creation ending in the present order of things as a foundation for the divine institution of the Sabbath-six days of labor and one of rest. The geologist's end is to give a history of the successive changes by which the earth has been brought to its present condition, with an account of the vegetable and animal life belonging to each period. In the manner of procedure each conforms himself strictly to his proposed end. The sacred writer gives each of the grand processes, in its idea and once for all, as the effect of divine power. Whether he assigns it to the day on which it was begun, or to that on which it had its culminating development, a question open to scientific inquiry. The geologist, on the other hand, describes each process in its second causes and details, as far as data are furnished him in the silent record of past geological ages. This contrast will appear more clearly if we look at a few particulars. The divine fiat: "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear," gives once for all, in its entireness, the grand principle of a division between the waters and the dry land. It is as if God had said: Let this order of things come into being. It was one of the two grand features of the third day's work, and to that day it is assigned. We are not, however, to infer that no changes in the relative position of land and water took place afterwards. We know that such changes were very numerous; but, being only the continuation of the idea contained in the original fiat, it did not come within the plan of the sacred penman to notice them in detail. The geologist, on the other hand, aims to give, as far as possible, a history of these changes in their regular succession.
Take another example. The introduction of the vegetable world in its three grand divisions belongs to the same third day. It is all given at once, as an organic whole. So far as the truth of the sacred record is concerned, it would be a vain question whether grass, herbs, and fruit-trees came into being simultaneously. All three belong to one idea, that of vegetable life; and all three are given together as the constituent elements of that idea. Just so the sacred writer proceeds in his account of the introduction of the animal kingdom; only that here the marine animals and birds belong to the fifth day, the land animals and man to the sixth. But the geologist, in accordance with his plan, endeavors to give in detail the history of the different orders of plants and animals, as they appeared. one after another, in the successive geologic ages.
We have here a satisfactory answer to the objection sometimes urged against the Mosaic narrative that the writer manifestly refers to the existing orders of plants and animals, and to these alone. That he refers to the existing orders of organic life is evident. And he does so rightfully; for they are, as we have seen, included, as parts of a grand whole, in the Mosaic account of creation. If, as seems probable, he refers to the
existing orders alone, the simple inference is, that he does not know all that was included in the divine idea when God called into being the vegetable and animal kingdoms. This may be freely conceded; for it has its perfect counterpart in prophecy. How little could our first parents know of the deep meaning contained in the original promise: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel"! And how little can we know of the process of the final judgment, when "every one of us shall give account of himself to God!"
II. SCRIPTURAL CHRONOLOGY. The chronology of the Bible involves some very difficult questions. In the genealogical tables contained in the fifth and eleventh chapters of the Book of Genesis the texts of the Masoretic Hebrew (which is, of course, followed in our version), of the Hebrew-Samaritan, and of the Septuagint, differ in a remarkable manner. For the details, the reader must consult the treatises devoted to this subject; we give only the final result. The Septuagint makes the period from the creation of Adam to the deluge, 2262 years (according to the Vatican manuscript, 2242 years); the Masoretic text, 1656 years; the Samaritan-Hebrew, 1307 years. From Noah to Abraham, again, the Septuagint and Samaritan-Hebrew give a much longer period than the Masoretic text the Samaritan-Hebrew 650 years in excess; the Septuagint, 880 years. We dismiss the subject with the general remark that any uncertainty which may rest on the details of numbers in the Pentateuch (and occasionally elsewhere) ought not to affect our confidence in the record as a whole; for here, as is well-known, there is a peculiar liability to variations.
III. THE LONGEVITY OF THE ANTEDILUVIAN PATRIARCHS. This was well nigh tenfold the present term of life for robust and healthful men. The laws of physiology require us to assume that, before the flood, the period of childhood and youth was protracted in a corresponding manner; and that, after this catastrophe, the whole process of human life began to be gradually quickened,— to run its course from infancy to old age in a shorter time, till the age of man was at last reduced to its present measure. This result God accomplished, as he does so many of his other operations within the sphere of nature, in a secret and invisible way; whether by immediately touching man's physical nature in its inmost recesses, or by the influence of natural causes, we cannot say.
IV. THE ANTIQUITY OF MAN. Some modern writers have assigned to the human race a very high antiquity. From what has already been said concerning the uncertainty of the early chronological tables contained in the Book of Genesis, it is plain that we may, if the evidence be furnished, assume that man has been in existence more than six thousand years; perhaps, in accordance with the chronology of the Septuagint, more than seven thousand years. But the arguments adduced to carry his existence
back a hundred thousand years or more rest only on uncertain data. The most that can be made out with probability is that man was coeval with some of the extinct mammals. On this species of evidence, Prestwich, as quoted by Dana,' remarks that, "as it at present stands, it does not seem to me to necessitate the carrying of man back in past time, so much as the bringing forward of the extinct animals towards our own time." As to the argument from the present rate of deposition of geological strata, it is at best uncertain; and it is still further invalidated by the fact, now well established, that various parts of the earth's surface are at present in process of slow elevation or depression. We hold ourselves ready to accept the certain results of scientific investigation, but not the crude inferences of scientific men, whether advanced in the interest of unbelief or of high orthodoxy. It is certain that the scriptural narrative is occupied with an account of the Adamic race, and of God's dealings with it. It will be time enough to assume the existence of a pre-Adamic race, when cogent grounds for so doing shall appear.
V. The UNITY OF THE HUMAN RACE is assumed in scripture. Some modern scientific men have denied this; but their arguments are theoretic, rather than demonstrative, and do not amount to proof. We must remember, moreover, that man lives under a supernatural dispensation. The narrative in the eleventh chapter of Genesis seems to imply that God interposed in a supernatural way to confound human speech. In like manner he may have interposed in a secret way to produce or intensify the diversity of types in the human race. It does not appear, however, on physiological grounds, necessary to assume any such immediate interposition. The question of the origin of varieties in the same species is involved in obscurity. We leave it among the inscrutable things concerning which dogmatism is very inappropriate, certainly at the present stage of scientific investigation.
Respecting the commerce with the spirits of the dead to which modern spiritualists lay claim, a few additional remarks may be in place. It is especially important that the preacher of the gospel plant himself on no lower or narrower platform than that which the scriptures themselves furnish. They do not deny the reality of witchcraft (of which necromancy is a prominent part); but they forbid witchcraft, as they do every form of divination, because its immediate influence is to transfer men's supreme love and trust from the living God to created spirits, whether demons or the souls of the dead: "When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep and mutter; should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?" This is
'Manual of Geology (edition of 1867), p. 582.
2 Isa. viii. 19.
the language of inspiration. The modern "medium" answers to the ancient wizard or witch that had a "familiar spirit." That there are various modifications in the machinery of the system of spiritualism, as compared with ancient necromancy, is freely conceded. But for substance, both are the same; and both are to be rejected with abhorrence, on the same ground, by all who acknowledge God's word as an infallible and sufficient rule of faith and practice. The preacher may believe that spiritualism is all jugglery and legerdemain. But when he condemns it on this ground alone, he relinquishes the high vantage ground on which it is both his privilege and his duty to stand. Let him, as far as he is able, expose the cheats of spiritualist manipulators. But let him also demonstrate to his people that whatsoever reality any one may claim for the system is only claiming reality for witchcraft. If it be impossible to reclaim those who have gone through the gateway of spiritualism into practical infidelity - the rejection of God's word, if not wholly, yet as an infallible and sufficient rule of faith and practice, he may at least hope to save some from entering that gateway.
INFANT BAPTISM AND A REGENERATED CHURCH-
BY REV. W. H. H. MARSH, WILMINGTON, DEL.
Two remarkable Articles on the subject of Infant Churchmembership appeared during the past year-the first, in the "Methodist Quarterly Review" for January, from the pen of the late Rev. B. H. Nadal, D.D., Professor in the Drew Theological Seminary, New Jersey, entitled, "The Logic of Infant Church-membership"; and the second in the Bibliotheca Sacra" for April, written by the Rev. Lewis Grout, formerly missionary of the A. B. C. F. M., entitled, "The Church-membership of Baptized Children." The appearance of these two Articles on the same topic, in two prominent and widely circulated quarterlies, written by men (members of large, influential, and growing denominations) who, in all probability, knew nothing of each other's views on the subject, and who reached their conclusions by indepen
VOL. XXIX. No. 116.