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course of things, while it would comport with the historical and the moral inculcations of the Bible, and perhaps may claim to be required by them, would provide for the exigencies of the case. It would provide for the animals whose relics are inhumed, and for the extirpation of those not needful to man. It would provide for the vegetable growths which furnished materials for the fossil flora and for the coal formation. It would provide for those consequences of the apostacy of man, which, conformably to the intimations of the inspired record, are actually realized in his temporal condition, his shortened life, his subjection to toil and privation.

What, in such a course of things, might have been the progress of change during the fifteen hundred years which preceded the deluge, need not be guessed. That catastrophe is set forth in Scripture in such terms as to allow the supposition of its having had much to do with the process; and the fact that the life of man was not shortened till the era of its occurrence, may be considered as strongly indicating that the same was the

principal era of the physical changes which have taken place.

Now whether such a course of things does not better comport with the theology and history vouchsafed to us in the Bible, with the great object of the creation, and the nature and penal consequences of the fall, as there set forth, and with the predicted renovation of the earth when those consequences shall have been superseded, than any theory which antedates the creation by incalculable periods, and accounts for the changes in question by natural causes, without reference to man or to the consequences of his apostacy, the reader must judge.

It cannot be said that there is any thing extravagant or improbable in supposing such a course of things. For it is in harmony with what the Scriptures teach, to affirm that the earth as originally created was as perfect in its kind, as man or any of the creatures formed to occupy it in a state of innocence and enjoyment; perfect for the perennial and happy abode of man in his original character; perfect in the nature and combination of

the materials of its surface, for the spontaneous and boundless production and support of plants and animals ; perfect in all its conditions and adaptations, its temperature, its climates, its atmosphere, its freedom from every thing noxious, every thing tending to disease and dissolution,

It surely will not be denied that the character of man in his primeval state, his relations to the lower animals, his physical circumstances, the career assigned to him in case of his obedience, the completeness, the harmony, the bliss of the entire scene, required a far different state of the earth, of the materials which compose its surface, of its climates, its atmosphere, and its products as to their quality, spontaniety and abundance, from that which now exists ; far different, indeed, from the conditions and adaptations, which it is in the nature of geological changes, however long continued, to produce ; far different from any thing indicated in that reconstruction and fitting up, and subjection to a continued and ceaseless process of change, which the geologists inform us of. That

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primeval epoch and condition of man assuredly implies a state of the earth which needed no improvement, no progressive course of physical changes, no geological processes to perfect its adaptations. Can any one bring himself to think that if man had not sinned and brought upon himself misery and death ; that if he had continued holy and had consequently been exempted from all evil and confirmed in a life of perpetual innocence and blessedness, the physical conditions of the earth would be such as we find them? That any such changes, catastrophes, cataclysms, derangements, eruptions, transitions of climate, as have taken place, would have been consistent with what his well-being required? That it was at first and prior to his apostacy, more imperfect than it has been since, and therefore required to be improved by a perpetual course of geological changes ?

In short, is it not reasonable and safe to conclude, that if the Scripture account of the creation and fall of man is to be believed ; if man originally was holy and happy; if he fell from that estate, and by his fall brought

death and wo into the world; the theory of the geologists as to the causes and manner of the changes which have occurred, cannot be correct.

CHAPTER VII.

The geologist beholding with the wonder and awe of a devotee, the huge masses of stratified matter, thinks only of natural causes and duration. He reasons upon these, and decides on an immeasureable antiquity, which precludes all reference to the apostacy of man as a ground or reason of the changes ; and by assigning to them a prior date and accounting for them, leaves little to be accomplished by the Noachic deluge, which he therefore regards as a very gradual and harmless rising and subsidence of a greater or less quantity of water. It is after he has decided these great questions, if at all, that he inquires whether the Scripture record can be reconciled to his conclusions, or whether it must be given up, or taken as a poetical flour

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