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also, that in that age of extreme longevity such traditions would probably be preserved in great purity, since the Patriarchs, though descended one from another, were nevertheless contemporaries of each other for centuries, and so could and would correct any deviation from the original Tradition. Remember, also, the thrilling character of these Traditions themselves. What tales more wondrous than those of a lost Paradise, with its innocent, blissful Pair; its Tree of Life, and its Tree of Death; its eloquent, baleful Serpent; its Cherubim and Flaming Sword? How often must Adam, during the nine hundred and thirty years of his life, have conversed with his chil. dren and his children's children, down to the seventh and eighth generations, about those memorable scenes of which he himself had been a witness and a sharer in Paradise ! And after he had died, how often must Shem, Ham, and Japheth-born a century before the Flood, and also contemporary with the great-great-great-grandfather of Moses ---have conversed with Methuselah, who himself had been contemporary with Adam! No wonder, then, that when the three sons of Noah, with their families, went forth from the Tower of Babel to be scattered over all the face of the earth, and to become the founders of all subsequent nationalities, they carried with them, and transmitted to their descendants, traditions of the Creation and Fall : traditions which, though in the first instance full and earnest, became, in process of time, dim and debased with legends of heathen poetry and mythology; their similarities on the one hand, and their divergences on the other, alike testifying to the common origin of Man in Eden, and to the dispersion of Man at Babel. Thus heathenism itself brings tribute to Revelation. All history, sacred and secular, starts in and from Eden.

tion Traditions.

2.-Mosaic Incor

But I was speaking of the authorporation of the Crea- ship of the first two chapters of Gene

sis, or the Creation Record. For aught I know, it was to Adam himself, while yet in Eden, fresh from the hands of his Creator, that God unrolled the panorama of His Creation. And Adam could have talked with Methuselah, and Methuselah with Shem, and Shem with Isaac, and Isaac with the great-grandfather of Moses. As Matthew and Lake incorporated the genealogies of Jesus the Christ, probably taken from the official registries, into their memoirs of Him, and thereby made them a part of their own story, so there is immense reason for believing Moses incorporated into the five books which bear his name the primeval tradition of Creation, and thereby made it his own document: thus literally giving us a magnificent specimen of Mosaic work. As such, the Creation Archives far outrank in venerableness the famous papyrus rolls of Egypt, the Vedic hymns of India, the Zend-avesta of Persia ; being, beyond all comparison, the most ancient specimen of human literature.

This, then, is our first reason for studying the story of the Creative Week: it is the most venerable relic of hu

man time.

But there is a second and stronger II.-Majesty of

reason : it is the Majesty of the Subject the Subject Matter.

Matter
To
go

back to the origin or source Genesis of Things.

of things, tracing the first steps of whatever has issued in greatness, whether material, intellectual, social, or moral, this is one of the instinctive impulses of our nature, especially of all noblest minds. How fascinating to the thoughtful man the problems of the origin of universal, abiding customs; of vast and permanent institu

tions; of great national movements, whether migratory in space, or revolutionary in morals; of political constitutions; of languages; of philosophies, secular and religious; of force, of life, of matter!

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.—(GEORGICA, Liber ii. 490.)

And the first two chapters of Genesis carry us back to the origin of things. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ” (Gen. i. 1). Well may the first book of the Bible be called the Book of Genesis ; that is to say, the book of generations, births, beginnings, origins. Thus the first and second chapters give us the genesis of the universe; the third and fourth chapters the genesis of sin l; the tenth and eleventh chapters the genesis of the nations to this day an authority among ethnologists ; the twelfth chapter the genesis of the Abrahamic people. It is, indeed, the Book of Origins. But we are to confine ourselves to the Genesis of the Universe, as set forth in its first two chapters. And a magnificent theme it is. How grandly grow before us, tier on tier, the outlines of Nature's Cathedral : its colossal foundations of solid matter emerging from the abyss of infinite space; its gathering medley of gigantic blocks quarried from chaos; its grouping materials and rising derricks; its scintillations at the strokes of celestial chisels ; its most excellent canopy” of the “ brave o'erhanging firmament;” its massive buttresses of the lands, and towering arches of the mountains ; its foliated capitals and pendants and mouldings and panels of vegetation; its “ majestical roof fretted with golden fire;” its gargoyles of griffins, and sentinels of cherubim ; its choir of humankind ; its bell-toll of Time's first Sabbath! No wonder that when its corner-stone was laid, the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God

and

Revelation.

shouted for joy (Job xxxviii. 6, 7); or that when its headstone was brought forth, it was with shoutings of Grace-grace unto it (Zech. iv. 7).

This, then, is our second reason for studying the story of the Creative Week—the Majesty of the Theme.

But there is a third reason for this III.—Chief Point of Modern Assault

. study: a reason especially pertinent to

these times, because born of them; this story of the Creative Week is in many respects the chief point of Modern Assault.

And the assault comes in the main 1.- Science from the scientific world.

It is a proper point, then, to arrest our steps for a few moments, and glance at the relations of Nature and Scripture, or rather of Science and Revelation. Of course, I can discuss the matter in only a cursory way, outlining, rather than unfolding,

And, first: Nature, not less than (a.) --Nature and Scripture, is God's Word. In both He Scripture alike God's

reveals Himself, speaking to man

in a Bible of two parts or volumes. “ There are two books," said Sir Thomas Brown, "from which I collect my divinity ; besides that written one of God, another of His servant Nature—that universal and public manuscript that lies expansed unto the eyes of all." I know that there is a sort of secret feeling that to call Nature a Bible savors of irreverence. But let us take care lest our religiosity here be in fact a sort of infidelity under guise of sanctity. Let us beware of Polytheism, worshiping two Gods, the God of Nature and the God of Scripture: the latter being the better God. No; Deity speaks to us alike in His Words and in His Works, in Scripture and in Nature.

as

Bible.

l'or.

Secondly: coming thus equally from (6.)—Nature and His hands, the two Bibles cannot conScripture Mutually

tradict each other. Finite man, capable Complemental.

of mistakes and subject to vacillations, may be and is inconsistent. But Infinite God is not a man that He should lie, nor the Son of man that He should repent (Num. xxiii. 19). He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim. ii. 13). If, then, there be inconsistency between His Words and His Works, the presumption is that the inconsistency is only apparent, and springs from our failure to interpret the two Bibles truly.

Thirdly: this leads to the remark (c.)–Our Interpre- that, while both Bibles are divine, and tations Liable to Er

therefore true, our interpretation of the

Bibles is human, and therefore liable to error. There is such a thing as the unintentional misinterpretation of Scripture, and there is such a thing as the unintentional misinterpretation of Nature. As a matter of fact, the history of the interpretations of these two Bibles, Nature and Scripture, is more or less a history of modifications and recantations. And so it must ever be, so long as man is finite and fallible.

Fourthly: nevertheless, as time ad(d.)-Our Understanding of the Two vances, our understanding of the two

Bibles, Nature and Scripture, grows Bibles Progressive.

larger and clearer.

Take the case of Nature. How is (1.)--True of Na

it that we have in our libraries such

noble volumes as Whewell's “History of the Inductive Sciences," and Whewell's “History of Scientific Ideas ?" Simply because our knowledge of Nature is a growth-advancing from the little to the more, from the obscure to the clearer, from the less true to the

ture:

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