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under the heavens were gathered together unto one place and the dry land appeared, and that God called the dry land, earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he seas: And further, when it is stated that there were rivers in this primitive world, implying inequality of surface, and also, when the deluge came it is said that all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Yet so far was such a theory from being regarded as opposed to the Scriptures that it was long considered the orthodox view, while those who opposed it were looked upon with suspicion, as being skeptics. Here is, indeed, an instructive lesson, both for those geologists of the present day, who first frame their hypothesis and then endeavor to torture the Bible to support them; and also for those theologists, who denounce geological theories as anti-biblical, while they admit opposing theories that strike at the root of all revealed truth.

Will it be believed that a really able and scientific man, writing by appointment of the president of the Royal Society in England in the year 1835, should have revived and adopted with slight modifications, the essential features of this hypothesis of dissolution and reconsolidation of the earth by the deluge ! Yet Mr. Kirby has done it in his Bridgewater Treatise, already referred to. He does not, indeed, contend for the smooth orbicular crust of Burnet; yet he does undertake to show, both from reason and Scripture, that there is a vast abyss of waters beneath the crust of the globe, or under the earth, distinct from the ocean, though in communication with it;" and he “contends that the principal reservoir from which they (rivers) are supplied, has its station under the earth.Nay, he inquires whether besides the unexplored parts of the surface of the earth, and of the bed of the ocean, we are sure that there is no receptacle for animal life in its womb?" And after a long argument he says, “ all circumstances above stated being duly weighed, and especially the discovery of a species in the depths of the earth, related to one of the fossil ones, I trust that my hypothesis of a subterraneous metropolis for the Saurian, and perhaps other reptiles, will not be deemed so improbable and startling as it may at the first blush appear.” In this metropolis' he imagines those enormous fossil Saurians, hitherto regarded as extinct, may still be living; while our “smaller ones may be regarded as inhabiting the outskirts of the proper station or metropolis of their tribe.” This is certainly one step in absurdity beyond the dreams of a visionary of our own country and our own times, well known for his speculations respecting the interior of the earth.

The exegetical skill by which Mr. Kirby makes the Scriptures teach the doctrine of a subterranean abyss of waters, and a subterranean metropolis of animals, reminds us of that which we have just presented from the treatise of Catcott. Thus, on the passage from the Apocalypse, 5: 13, “ And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them,” etc., he remarks: “Some interpreters understand this passage as relating to those men that were buried under the earth, or in the sea, but admitting they were meant in the spirit, the creatures in general are expressed in the letter, and therefore the outward symbol must have a real existence, as well as what is symbolized."* So on the same principle we suppose “ the great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his head,” mentioned in Rev. xii, and “the beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy," described in Rev. xïï; these being “outward symbols, must have a real existence.”

On the passage in Ps. xlv, “ Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death,” Mr. Kirby remarks: “In these words the place of dragons, and the shadow of death evidently mean the same thing ; and the object of these metaphors is to express the lowest degree of affliction, depression, and degradation, equivalent to being brought down to hell

, or hades, in other passages. The shadow of death, properly speaking, is in the hidden or subterranean world. This appears from the passage of Job before quoted, in which the abyss, the gates of death and the gates of the shadow of death, are used as synonymous expressions, Job 38: 17. The place of dragons, then, according to this exposition, will be subterranean. In another Psalm, David couples dragons and abysses, Ps. 148: 7.”+

Mr. Kirby's exposition of the phrase windows of heaven, which were opened at the time of the deluge, corresponds with that already alluded to as given by Catcott and Hutchinson. He here quotes a criticism from his “ venerated friend, the late Rev.

* Bridgewater Treatise, p. 13.

+ Idem, p. 14.

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Wm. Jones of Nayland, well known for his knowledge of the
Hebrew, and the variety and ability of his researches on every
subject connected with the interpretation of the Scripture.
“We suppose, then,” says Mr. Jones, “ that the air was driven
downwards for this purpose, through those passages which are
called windows of heaven. These may seem very obscure
terms to express such a sense by ; but heaven is the firmament,
or expanded substance of the atmosphere; and windows, as they
are here called, are holes, or channels of any kind. The same
word is used for chimneys through which smoke passes, and for
the holes, probably cliffs of a rock, in which the doves of the
eastern world have their habitation.” Mr. Kirby adds : “It
strikes me as not very improbable that the term I am speaking
of, may allude to volcanoes and their craters, which may be call-
ed the chimneys of this globe, by which its subterranean fires
communicate with the atmosphere, and by which the air rush-
ing into the earth, when circumstances are favorable, may pos-
sibly act the part of the fabled Cyclops, and blow them up pre-
vious to an eruption. Thus they become literally channels, or
chimneys, through which the matter constituting the firmament,
passes, either from heaven, or in an eruption towards heaven."

Through these windows of heaven; that is, cracks and volcanic rents in the earth ; Mr. Kirby supposes the waters within and around the globe, rushed outward and inward, alternately, until they had “subdued and destroyed the primitive earth, till they reduced it to the state, for the most part, in which we now find it.” (B. T. p. 15.) This process, however, is represented by him rather as one of comminution than of dissolution, and he supposes some part of the crust of the globe to have resisted comminution; for he states, “the vestiges of such clefts in the earth's crust, (that is, we suppose, the windows of heaven) are still to be traced in many places.” (B. T. p. 486.) In relation to the extent of the destruction, he says, “ With respect to the earth itself, when we consider the violent action of the ascending and descending waters, and of the firmament rushing downwards ; the disruptions, dislocations, introversions, comminutions, deportations here and there of the original strata of the crust of our globe, can scarcely be conceived, and are still more difficult to calculate and explain exactly.” (B. T.

p. 488.) The formation of the present crust of the globe from the detritus of the old, Mr. Kirby imputes to the descending or subsiding waters; and thus adopts the last item of the old physico

theological reverie on this subject. “ The putting together again, of the dislocated remains of the primeval earth, must have been an important part of the office of the subsiding waters." The object now was, not disruption, and dislocation, and destruction, but to form anew the earth and its heavens, which had been thus destroyed, and by the addition of a vast body of fresh materials not entering into the composition of the old crust of the former, to render it materially different from it.” (B. T. p. 491.)

It is not necessary to go into a formal exhibition of the absurdity of such views as these. For unless a new school of physico-theologists should arise, and geological science as well as biblical criticism, should revert to their condition one hundred years ago, they will not be adopted. To the taste, as well as the science of that age, they are admirably adapted, and the same may be said of nearly all those parts of Mr. Kirby's treatise, that are connected with geology. We do no injustice to that gentleman, by saying this; while justice to the cause of science, as connected with religion, requires us to do it. But it is a painful duty. We have taken a deep interest in the Bridgewater Treatises, and were thankful that we were going at last, to have a series of works by men of the first scientific eminence in Europe, which we could put into the hands of scientific skeptics, while they should not be able to say, that these writers defend religion only because they do not understand philosophy. But so far as the geology of Mr. Kirby's work is concerned, we are entirely disappointed ; and we feel it to be our duty to say that such exhibitions can have no other than a bad effect


the cause evidently so near Mr. Kirby's heart ; the defence of natural and revealed religion. For the inevitable effect upon the skeptical geologist, will be to make him throw aside the work, and we fear the whole series, in disgust. We have before us a letter from one of the ablest living geologists of this description, which well exhibits the effects of such productions. “ It gives me pain,” says he, “to find a man so estimable in every respect

compeiled to cling to theories impossible to defend, from reasons unconnected with science. It has injured his well earned reputation, and I think has injured the great cause he has at heart, the interests of the christian religion; for this must be the effect of connecting it with opinions which are manifestly no more than the best conclusions that wise and good men of former days, were induced to adopt, when they had but few facts, inaccurately observed, to reason from.” These remarks,


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it ought to be stated, were addressed to a believer in revelation.

There is another bad effect resulting from the adoption of such untenable and exploded theories by a standard writer. The greater part even of educated men have not the leisure requisite for pursuing the subjects of natural science so accurately as to be able to form independent opinions upon difficult questions connected with it. Hence when a man like Mr. Kirby, of acknowledged distinction in science, and evidently jealous for the honor of natural and revealed religion, advances opinions on the connections of science with revelation, they will have a wide influence and be extensively adopted. And if they happen to be wrong, they will powerfully arrest the progress of truth. Now Mr. Kirby's reputation as an entomologist, and perhaps we may add also as a helminthologist, is deservedly high. But this does not prove that he is at all qualified to decide difficult geological questions ; especially when he himself testifies that he is not. Yet his opinions on geology will have nearly as much influence, except among geologists, as if he were well acquainted with the science. Nay, with not a few there exists no small jealousy respecting the views of geologists, as if hostile to revelation ; and such will be very glad to range themselves under the banner of a leader in natural history, especially of one whose great object appears to be to bring philosophers back to the word of God, who, he maintains “ with the exception of a single sect,* who perhaps have gone too far in an opposite direction, have made little or no inquiry as to what is delivered in the Scriptures on physical subjects, or with respect to the causes of the various phenomena exhibited in our system, or in the physical universe.” (B. T. Int. p. XL.) So that it would not be very strange if there should be quite a revival in our day of the doctrines of physico-theology; so many germs of which are scattered through Mr. Kirby's work. And if he can speak so mildly and hesitatingly of the extravagancies and dangerous doctrines of Hutchinson, it requires but a slight knowledge of human nature to understand that some of his followers would ere long adopt them.

But we will detain our readers no longer on this subject; for we had no intention of reviewing Mr. Kirby's work. We did intend, however, to express our opinions freely ; and we now

* The Hutchinsonians.

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