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more true. And this remark that the knowledge of Nature is progressive is eminently true of that science which, it is alleged, conflicts most directly with the Mosaic narrative, the science of Geology. As Geology is among the youngest of the Physical Sciences, so it is among the most shifting. True, some of its exponents are wont to talk of its certainties, using such strong terms as “incontrovertible," "proof positive," "absolute demonstration," and the like. But it is not the great masters who talk thus-only the sciolists. For the true scientific spirit, like the true theological, is ever cautious and modest. How far Geology is from being a matured or settled science is evident, e. g., from the debates between eminent geologists touching the antiquity of the earth. However strongly the stratified rocks may seem to testify to the extreme antiquity of the globe, geological phenomena occurring in our days, and before our own eyes, such, e. g., as upheavals and subsidences of lands, emergence and disappearance of islands, recession and procession of shores, depositions by equatorial currents, rapid and extensive chemical crystallizations, and the like, as strongly suggest the comparatively recent origin of the earth. Observe, it is not on Scriptural or moral grounds that I object to these geological theories. The question here is simply a question of fact. Hypotheses, however brilliant, are not demonstrations. Geology is a very noble science, but she is still in her teens.

And as the knowledge of Nature is (2.)-And Truc of

progressive, so is the knowledge of ScripScripture

ture. That this is possible and reasonable, is evident from such considerations as the following:

a. Recovery of lost manuscripts.
1. Discovery of archæological facts.
c. Better understanding of the principles of philology.

a. Better methods of interpretation.
e. Lights reflected from newly-discovered facts in Na-


f. Lights reflected from the growing experience of the ages.

The simple circumstance that there is an ever-growing demand for a revision of the received version of the Scriptures, is a striking testimony to the fact that our knowledge of Scripture is advancing. How profound in this connection the words of Bishop Butler !

“As it is owned, the whole scheme of Nature is not yet understood, so, if it ever comes to be understood before the Restitution of all things (Acts iii. 21), and without miraculous interpositions, it must be in the same way as natural knowledge is come at–by the continuance and progress of learning and of liberty, and by particular persons attending to, comparing, and pursuing intimations scattered up and down it, which are overlooked and disregarded by the generality of the world. For this is the way in which all improvements are made: by thoughtful men tracing on obscure hints, as it were, dropped us by Nature accidentally, or which seem to come into our minds by chance. Nor is it at all incredible that a book, which has been so long in the possession of mankind, should contain many truths as yet undiscovered. For all the same phenomena, and the same faculties of investigation, from which such great discoveries in natural knowledge have been made in the present and last age, were equally in the possession of mankind several thousand years before. And possibly it might be intended that events, as they come to pass, should open and ascertain the meaning of several parts of Scripture.” -("ANALOGY OF RELIGION," Part ii., chapter 3.)

Fifthly: what, then, is the infer(e.)-Time the Great Expositor.

ence to be drawn from the foregoing

remarks? Simply this : Since it is true that Nature and Scripture are alike the Word of God; that the two Bibles cannot contradict each other; that the interpretation of both of them is alike human and liable to error; and that our understanding of them is progressive: then it follows that, in any case of apparent conflict between a Scriptural statement and an alleged scientific fact, it is our duty to be cautious in our judgments, reserved in our statements, and patiently await the tuition of future discoveries. Had the Church thus waited, she never would have pronounced Galileo a heretic. Had the Academy thus waited, she never would have pronounced Moses a blunderer. It is pleasant to believe that not one of the thus far demonstrated facts of science is hostile to the Mosaic story fairly interpreted. Lives there the man who knows-demonstrably knows—that Moses has told an untruth? Remember that candor neither affirms nor denies till she knows. Let the Church and the Academy listen to each other respectfully, and treat each other fairly. Let Science help Scripture, and let Scripture help Science. In all cases of apparent conflict between them, the true philosophy and the true bravery, alike for theologian and for scientist, is to await the tuition of events. Time is the great expositor. Let the Church, then, in whose behalf it is my vocation specially to speak, calmly abide her time. The grass withereth ; the flower fadeth ; but the Word of the Lord endureth forever (1 Peter i. 24, 25). And among the many tributes which science shall yet lay at the feet of Immanuel and Immanuel's bride, not the least costly will be that brought by fair Geology herself. Yea, the very stones of the field will be in league with Messiah's Church (Job v. 23).

So much for the mutual relations of Science and Reve lation. 2.-The Language

But there is another point which of the Creation Rec- in this connection demands attention. ord Phenomenal.

How far is this story of the Creative Week to be interpreted science-wise? In other words, is this Creation Record, in all its details, to be taken literally? Remember, then, that the Bible does not profess to be a scientific treatise; it does not profess to be written for a scientific purpose; it does not profess to describe the facts of Nature philosophically—that is to say, with scientific accuracy. Professing to reveal spiritual truths, i. e., truths which could not have been learned without supernatural disclosure, it leaves the discovery of the facts of Nature—a discovery which can be wrought out by man's own powers—to the natural laws of human unfolding. And when it does speak of the facts of Nature, it speaks phenomenally—that is to say, it describes things of this sort, not as they absolutely are, but as they seem to be; not philosophically, but optically; not scientifically, but scenically. God knows that I would not willingly offend the least of His little ones. God knows that I believe that His Scripture is inspired, and that I bow before it as reverently as ever did the devoutest believer. And yet, let me frankly say it, I do not believe that the Creation Record is to be taken literally. If I take one part of it as literal, then I must be consistent, and take the whole as literal : e. g., I must believe that the seven days were literal days of twenty-four hours each ; that God spake in an articulate, audible voice, though there was not an ear to hear.; that there was a first day with morning and evening, though there was no sun to rise and set, and so introduce morn, and bequeath eve; that it was the soil itself that brought forth vegetation and birds and beasts; that God literally spoke to the animals, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth ;” that He actually had lungs, and breathed into the nostrils of the first man; that He actually performed a surgical operation in Eden, and metamorphosed one of Adam's ribs into a woman; that He actually rested on the seventh day because He was really tired out with His creative toils. For myself, most reverently I say it; the God I kneel before is greater than this. Observe: the question before us is not a question of power; of course, God could have done all this; nothing is too hard for Him, except to do wrong; but the question is a question of fact; did He literally do all this? Remember that, in this matter of Creation—this record of making real, ponderable entities out of space or nothing—we are moving in the region of the transcendent, the unspeakable, the absolutely inconceivable. Creation--mark the word transcends all experience, transcends even conception itself. Hence the words describing Creation must, in the very nature of the case, be figurative, or parabolic. And parable is the very highest form of truth. A geometrical axiom is not so true as a Nazarene parable. The one is tethered by material limits; the other is as limitless as God's immensity. Accordingly, I believe, with some of the devoutest scientists of the Church, that the record of the Creative Week is the record of a Divinely inspired vision, wherein the beholder was Divinely vouchsafed a glimpse of the creative process, as though unfolded in a series of unrolling sections of a Divine panorama. And I believe this, not merely because the facts of creation are inherently transcendental and incommunicable, but also because revelation by vision was God's favorite method of instruction in the primitive ages. Listen to Elihu, son of

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