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then appear

that flowing to the right hand being dark and turbid, that, to the left, clear and pure. Should, indeed, the one stream happen in its course to be viewed through some clouded or false medium, it may different from the reality, and hence a semblance of diversity from the other may be presented. Or the other stream, passing over some particular channel, may, thus, take up a peculiar colour or characteristics, —this, also, may lead to a supposition of native difference ; but let the former be viewed by a light freed from ambiguities, and the latter be purified of its accidents, and traced to its pristine source, and their coincidence of origin, their oneness of nature, must be at once manifested. In like manner, let the professed phenomena of Geology be admitted only so far as the facts and inferences have had shed on them the light of clear undoubted testimony, and let the Records of Inspiration be likewise freed from the peculiarities of accidental interpretations, and viewed only in their pristine genuine characters ; and the harmony between what God has done, and what God has said, can then never long be doubtful. Well indeed it has been observed, that, “when we become at once better Geologists, and better Biblical critics, we shall wonder how any considerate man found any thing to perplex him in the matter.”

The grand desiderata towards the happy perception of this innate concordance, will be-to obtain

sible purposes.

trúe facts of Nature to build upon, on the one hand, and on the other, to ascertain the legitimate scope of Scriptural interpretation in reference to such subjects of natural science as the Bible may record. It is to the investigation of this latter point that attention will now, in this present chapter, be primarily directed.

What, then, are the right principles that should govern our interpretations of Scripture in its records of natural facts ?

Although Nature and Scripture have both issued from the same divine source, they have not issued at the same time, nor flowed in the same channel, nor have they borne along on their currents the same osten

These diversities in their circumstances must necessarily, in any endeavour to trace their truthful coincidences, call for the application of certain principles of investigation which may meet the diverse local condition in which we respectively find them. The laws of Nature, which by God's mandate have been from the beginning, affixed upon, and have governed the operations of the material Universe, have flowed from His throne in ages long anterior to the issuing of the streams of His inspired Word. When that Word at successive periods came forth, many of Nature's operations which had all along proceeded on in their ordained course, and some of them even worked out their primeval purposes, were, nevertheless, as to their very existence, as yet unre

vealed to man's knowledge ; some of them indeed would at those periods have been utterly beyond the range of his intelligence, and it was quite out of the ostensible purpose of Holy Writ to convey any such intellectual information. Naturally it would happen therefore that when the sacred Historian would refer to any such facts as Nature in her operations evolved, he would do so only in the language of appearances, according as those facts appeared to the popular mind. This, therefore, is the nature of the phraseology we oftentimes find in Scripture, and hence the necessity for the adoption of the first principle of Scriptural interpretation now to be enforced

That the sacred revelation of natural objects should be read according to the language of appearances.

But the records of Scripture in reference to Nature's operations do not always assume this kind of popular phraseology, especially in their relations of long-transpired natural facts; the language then employed in describing such matters is oftentimes more definite; terms more in accordance with the accurate reality of things are used, though for ages to come the full amplitude of their copious sense may remain undiscovered, biding the time, till God may vouchsafe a fuller disclosure of one particular after another of His long-ago evolved Works. The character of the language employed in Scripture about any such matter is, nevertheless, always such as at every period alike may subserve the grand moral purposes of all Scripture, and on the face of the record itself speak to each successive generation of men alike the Almighty's attributes; but the full nature and exactitude of any particular fact thus predicated, will not have been understood alike by every age ; that entirety of comprehension of the natural fact indicated will be the privilege of those to whom the longevolved, but long-concealed stream of Nature's course may, in relation to that particular operation, be at length unfolded. Then both streams-God's Word and Work-being exhibited and viewed together, under equal lights, their beautiful accordance will come forth to view to the glory of their common Author. This then-the long envelopment, and after disclosure of the full and true operations of Nature-furnishes the necessity for a second principle of Scriptural interpretation to be here enforced.

That the Works of God, in their gradual development, claim from us a modification of our precious interpretations of the records of His Word in reference to natural facts.

The application of these two principles of interpretation which have now been adduced, will, it is conceived, serve to clear away many apparent discrepancies between God's Word and Works. We proceed now to exemplify the first-mentioned rule viz. That the Divine record of natural facts often

times claims to be read according to the language of popular appearances.

It should distinctly be remembered, that nowhere in Scripture is it intimated that there was any intention to convey to us therein, any information on subjects of natural science, or afford, as a primary purpose, an insight into the operations of the material world. The evident object of the written Revelation of God appears to have been altogether different. It was designed to be a communication from the Almighty concerning man's moral nature, and his spiritual destinies ;-to trace man's history up to its original,—unfold the economies of providence under which he has been governed, -shew how he has been preserved in being, since his race was placed on this earth,—and reveal the dispensations of mercy under which his fallen nature may be graciously saved and trained for glory. It would seem quite foreign, to this evidently spiritual scope and object of the written Revelation, to instruct man respecting physical facts, or expressly to furnish us with any insight into the operations of the material universe. True is the remark “ that to seek for an exposition of the phenomena of the natural world among the records of the moral destinies of mankind, would be as unwise as to look for rules of moral government in a treatise on Chymistry.”

Allusions and facts relating to the material world

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