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with the miracle; for the supposition of an intervening chaos and reconstruction is as inconsistent with the alleged object, as is the present actual condition of the strata.

Without going into any further detail of Doct. Buckland's explanations, suffice it to say, that if his hypothesis be adopted, the first chapter of Genesis should be read substantially as follows:

In the beginning the heavens and the earth were created, formed, produced or made. The earth was in a state of igneous fluidity. As soon as portions of the surface becaine cool enough to admit of the existence of certain plants and animals, they were created: and at successive periods, during millions of millions of years, others of different species were produced or had their beginning, of which, as they died off, the remains were gradually covered up by the detritus of rocks slowly disengaged by the action of the elements. This process occupied the first or geological period of the earth. At its close, the whole was thrown into confusion, chaos, wreck and ruin, which put an end to

all the forms of life, and caused a temporary darkness. It was now,

in the space of six days, to be reorganised, arranged, and brought into a state fit for the residence of man, and supplied with new tribes of plants and animals. Accordingly, on the first of the six days, by an incipient dispersion of the dense vapours which temporarily hid the sun, a degree of light was called forth. On the second day, the waters under the firmament were separated from those above. On the third day, the waters under the firmament were gathered into seas, and the dry land, called earth, namely the ancient earth which had been temporarily submerged by being thrown into a state of chaos and ruin, re-appeared, and brought forth grass and seed bearing herbs and fruit trees. On the fourth day, owing to a further purification of the atmosphere, the sun, moon, and stars became visible in the firmament and assumed their new relations to the newly modified earth and the human race. On the fifth day, the winged tribes and all creatures living in water were made : and on the sixth, all living crea



tures which occupy the dry land, and last of all man, for whose accommodation the earth was thus reconstructed and furnished, out of the ruins of a former world.'

Doct. J. P. Smith has some peculiar views, though he agrees with others in supposing the date of the earth to be incalculably earlier than that of man's creation. He however believes its origin to have been a creation out of nothing, and that there was a prior eternity. Creation, in the Mosaic record of the “six days,” means, in his opinion, “made, adjusted, arranged, appropriated to new purposes," -and refers only to " the part of our world which God was adapting for the dwelling of man and the animals connected with him.”He is convinced that the narrative of the six days has no wider application than this: description, in expressions adapted to the ideas and capacities of mankind in the earliest ages, of a series of operations, by which the Being of omnipotent wisdom and goodness adjusted and furnished the earth generally, but, as the particular subject under consideration here, a PORTION of its surface, for most gio


rious purposes; in which a newly formed creature should be the object of those manifestations of the authority and grace of the Most High, which shall to eternity show forth His perfections, above all other methods of their display.”

He locates this favoured "portion” in Asia, “ between the Caucasian ridge, the Caspian sea, and Tartary on the norih, the Persian and Indian seas on the south, and the high mountain ridges which run, at considerable distances, on the eastern and western flanks." Having thus selected a site for ihe six days' operations, he has no great difficulty with what he terms the child-like narrative, drawn up for man in his infant state ;—that is about A.M. 2,500.

“This region," he continues, " was first, by atmospheric and geological causes of previous operation under the will of the Almighty, brought into a condition of superficial ruin, or some kind of general disorder. With reverence I propose the supposition, that this stale was produced by the subsidence of the region,-- probably by a vast movement of the igneous mass below. Extremę darkness


has often been known to accompany

such phenomena." Both this darkness, and the deep waters on which it rested were the effect of the extensive subsidence of the land, a deluge naturally flowing in froin a sea or rivers.' “ The Divine power acted through the laws of gravity and molecular attraction; and where requisite in an immediate, extraordinary, or miraculous manner." The atmosphere being so far cleared up as to admit a degree of light, “elevations of land took place by upheaving igneous force; and consequently the waters flowed into the lower parts, producing lakes, and probably the Caspian sea, which manifestly belonged to the very region. The elevated land was now clothed with vegetation, instantly created. By the fourth day, the atmosphere over this district had become pellucid; and had there been a human eye to have beheld, the brightness of the sun would have been seen, and the other heavenly bodies after the sun was set.”—After speaking of the production of animals, he observes that, “ the heavenly bodies are represented, not as being at that time created, but

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