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1878, in one of the halls of Philadelphia. The writer has given this explanation in order to account for the oratorical freedom of the style, which, inexcusable in an elaborate monograph, may be pardoned in an oral lecture.
And now the author, in sending forth this little work, which he does most diffidently, ventures to adopt as his own, non passibus æquis,“ The Writer's Prayer," as framed by Francis Bacon :
“Thou, O Father! Who gavest the Visible Light as the first-born of Thy creatures, and didst pour into Man the Intellectual Light as the top and consummation of Thy workmanship, be pleased to protect and govern this work, which, coming from Thy Goodness, returneth to Thy Glory. Thou, after Thou hadst reviewed the works which Thy hands had made, beheldest that everything was good : and
Thou didst rest with complacency in them. But Man, refleeting on the works which he had made, saw that all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and could by no means acquiesce in them. Wherefore, if we labor in Thy works with the sweat of our brows, Thou wilt make us partakers of Thy Vision and Thy Sabbath. We humbly beg that this mind may be steadfastly in us, and that Thou, by our hands and also by the hands of others on whom Thou shalt bestow the same spirit, wilt please to convey a largeness of new alms to Thy family of Mankind. These things we commend to Thy everlasting love, by our Jesus, Thy Christ: God with us. Amen."
G. D. B.
PHILADELPALI, April 20, 1878.
STUDIES IN THE CREATIVE WEEK.
INTRODUCTORY-REASONS FOR THESE STUDIES.
INAUGURATING, as we now do, a series of Studies in the Creative Week, it is proper, first of all, to show cause for such a procedure.
Our first reason is this : the AntiI.-Antiquity of
quity of the Creation Record. Observe: the Creation Ar
although called the “Mosaic Record,” chives.
I do not affirm that Moses was the author of it. There are strong reasons for believing that it is far older than the Lawgiver himself, having been bequeathed to him as one of the sacred, already hoary, Traditions of the Past.
And here let me turn aside for a mo1.–Origin of the
Tradi- ment to speak of the possible origin of
the wide-spread traditions touching the early history of the world. For it is an unquestioned fact, as remarkable as unquestioned, that, from time immemorial, and among many and widely-scattered nations-e.g., the Chaldeans, the Phænicians, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Indians, the Chinese, the Karens, the Greeks, the Romans,
the Celts, the Scandinavians, the Finlanders, the Peruvians, the Aztecs, the Algonquins, etc. there were traditions of a Primitive Chaos, an Original Pair, a Paradisal Age, a Tree of Life, a Serpent, a Fall, an Expulsion, a Deluge, a Dispersion. Where did these traditions, so singular in themselves, and yet so common to so many and so widelyscattered peoples, have their origin? No one but a visionary would venture to affirm that they were the result of accident. Whence, then, did these remarkable traditions rise ? Let us take a single chronological datum, viz., the Dispersion of the Nations, and see if it does not suggest the answer. Assuming that the ages given us in the fifth chapter of Genesis are the ages of individuals and not of dynasties, Methuselah was, according to the chronology of the Hebrew text, contemporary with Adam some two hundred and forty-three years, and also with Shem some ninety-eight years; so that Adam could have told the story of Eden to Methuselah, and Methuselah to Shem. Again : according to the Scriptural account (Gen. 1., xi.)—and this account is strikingly confirmed by the researches of ethnologists Shem and his two brothers were the progenitors of the three great Races into which Noah's family was divided at the time of the Confusion of Tongues in the Plain of Shinar, and the consequent Dispersion of the Nations; and Shem himself survived the Dispersion some two hundred and eighty years. Moreover, Shem was contemporary with Isaac, and Isaac with Judah, and Judah with Ezrom, and Ezrom with Moses. Recall now the exceeding value which must have been ascribed to tradition in that primeval age, when there was neither printing-press nor alphabet, and when the only knowledge of the past possible was that which was transmitted from sire to son by word of mouth. Remember,