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ish, an apologue, or a dramatic sketch. 'In this way it is that the volume which claims to be a revelation from the Creator and Ruler of the world, is cast aside as unintelligible or erroneous, while in place of it the theories and conclusions of man are set up.

Now, let any one whose regard for the divine oracles impels him to an opposite course, and who considers the fall of man, in itself, and in its consequences, and its connections with the mediatorial system, as an event of more importance beyond comparison, than any other which ever affected this world; of more importance probably than any other which ever affected the universe ; an event in comparison with which, the stratifications of the earth, though they had been a thousand miles in thickness, would be but as the dust of the balance; an event with which the creation and continuance in being of the material universe can be compared only as the incidents of a scene can be compared with the realities and wonders of the scene itself; and he will read and construe the petrifactions of geology in a quite different manner, a


manner which will require no rejection or suppression of any part of the sacred writings, nor any apology for them.

Let such an one take his stand by the side of the geological devotee, in view of the whole series of stratified formations, there to question the results which to the creature of a day, seeing only by the light of nature and through her inverted medium, seem materially great, stupendous, overwhelming; but which as compared with the system connected with them, the wide field of Divine operations, the works, purposes, manifestations and administration of Jehovah, are but as a mote in the sunbeam. Let him survey these form ations in connection with the state of things around him, and the experience and history of his race, and will he not discern a thousand evidences, not of an improvement and fitting up, but of a degradation of the earth for fallen, guilty man, under sentence of death and condemnation, subjected to restraints, to privations, to painful discipline, to toil, disappointment, sorrow, temptation, malign influence, fear, oppression, torment?

Again, if he closely inspects these stratified masses will he not find that, for the most part, they were, when deposited, in a finely comminuted state, a state in which, when duly mixed with each other, they would constitute the most prolific soil, though utterly barren when separated as in the existing strata ? Will he not perceive in the accumulation of homogeneous matter in the respective strata, distinguished as they are from each other by the condition or the nature of their materials, a necessity of supposing the separation and deposit of those diverse materials to have been rapidly effected? Will it occur to him as a likely thing that there were rocks of a character to furnish only the peculiar materials of each stratum, successively and exclusively exposed to the agents of decay during the long periods required for each formation? Will he not rather conclude that the various strata were composed of materials which previously existed not in crystalline rocks, but in such a state, whatever it may have been, as to be easily moved, and readily diffused in

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the waters and acted on by chemical agencies?

Let him take a portion of a single stratum, covering an area a thousand miles square to the depth of three or four thousand feet. Let him consider it as having been formed simultaneously over the whole of that area, whatever length of time the process may have occupied. Let him consider the homogeneousness of its materials, and the necessity of supposing the co-existence of exposed primitive rocks beyond its bounds, to such an extent and of such a character as to furnish, in sufficient abundance, the required description of materials, and so situated and subjected to disintegration as to admit of the detached particles being removed to their ultimate places of deposit at about the same rate in different directions from masses not less extensive in the aggregate than this stratum. Let him suppose this process to be going on during many ages, whether co-extensively with this and other portions of the same stratum at the same time, or forming the several portions successively, would


make no difference, since the same quantity of primitive materials in the aggregate, would be required for the entire formation, and since, wherever found, it maintains its due position in relation to the other strata of the series, so that wherever portions of this occur, no other process could go on till this stratum was completed. Let him then consider how small a part of the known surface of the earth is now, and therefore was during those supposed ages, exempted from the deposit of this stratum, and what immense districts in different countries where this formation prevails, are wholly destitute of any description of unstratified rocks rising above its surface, to furnish materials for this or any of the strata above it, which required materials from such rocks more abundant in the aggregate by many times than were required for this stratum. Let him consider that while this process was going on during the formation of the successive strata in the different regions of the earth, excepting where the naked primitive rocks rose above the general level, and offered their barren

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