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"divided," by " fevered" the light from the darkness. In the work itself fince published, he has altered it to "diftinguished" the light from the darkness. What propriety or use there can be in this alteration, I cannot divine. Light and darkness are neceffarily diftinguished, if I understand that English word; therefore the Hebrew word muft fignify something more.

(d) Page 501.

In this place Dr. Geddes had said, in his Profpectus, "For God made two great luminaries; a greater luminary to regulate the day, and a lefs luminary to regulate the night; and the stars. All thefe God placed in the expanse of the heavens, to illuminate the earth, to regulate the day and night, and to fever the light from the darkness." In the work itself he has thus rendered this paffage:" For God having made the two great luminaries (the greater luminary for the regulation of the day, and the fmaller luminary for the regulation of the night), and the stars; he difplayed them in the expanfe of the heavens to illuminate the earth, to regulate the day and the night, and to distinguish the light from the darknefs."

Not being verfed in the Hebrew language myself; to those who are learned in it I muft refer to decide, whether this new verfion, fo effentially different from his first and front all the tranflations which have hitherto appeared in any language, is more just and correct; or whether it is merely adopted to fupport the private opinion that the fun, moon, and ftars exifted before, and that Mofes only meant to fay that they were now for the first time made apparent to the earth.

(e) Page 508.

In his Profpectus, Dr. Geddes's tranflation runs thus: "And on the feventh day he refted from all his creative operations: therefore God hath bleffed the feventh day, and made it holy, becaufe on it he rested from all his works which he (then) created into existence." Notwithstanding the interpolated palliative ther, nothing could more frongly militate 3 X

against

against the author's declared opinion, in his critical remarks already inferted into that fame profpectus, that Mofes talks not here of an abfolute new creation of the earth, but fimply of a renovation or new conformation of its already long exilling principles. In this idea, he fays, he is confirmed by the opinion of the learned Origen. That Origen, who believed that this earth after its prophefied diffolution by fire would be again renewed, that the faints might reign on it 100 years under a happier form, fhould adopt this opinion of the paft, is not to be wondered at. I prefume the Doctor has fcarcely embraced his opinion of what is to come. At all events, to confirm his fyftem of an anterior earth, he has thus corrected his former tranflation of this paffage: "God completed all the work which he had to do: therefore God hath bleffed the feventh day, becaufe on it he ceased from all his works which he had ordained to do." Whether the new corrections which I have noticed are really more literal and correct translations of the Hebrew, or whether they are interpretations of it, the learned in that language muft decide. If it should prove the latter, it must be owned to be the boldest method of fupporting private opinions ever yet pursued. To give a new interpretation in a note or remark to any paffage may be allowable; but to give a new construction to the text itself is not so fair. In one of the above-mentioned paffages, to fay, "God made the fun, moon, and stars, and fet or placed them in the heavens," is very different from faying, "God having made the fun, moon, and stars, displayed them in the heavens." From the one it may be doubtful whether those orbs were then first created; from the other the question is pofitively decided.

THOUGHTS

THOUGHTS

ON THE

STRUCTURE

OF THIS GLOBE.

LETTER VIII.

State and Afpect of the Antediluvian World, and Changes operated by the Deluge. Curfory Obfervations on Doctor Hutton's New Theory of the Earth.

LET us not judge of this earth, fuch as it came out of the hands of the beneficent Creator, by the wreck permitted to escape from his avenging arm. Scripture informs us, and the account ftands confirmed by the traditions of all nations, that the longevity of our antediluvian ancestors extended to the to us aftonishing term of more than 900 years. Such vigour could only proceed from a more benign temperature of the air, and aliments of a more invigorating nature, lefs apt to create difeafe and jarring humours in the human body. 3 X 2

Thefe

C

These were every where fruits and vegetables; for it was not till after the deluge that animal flesh was permitted, or perhaps thought of. In the prefent variable and often cold climates of the earth, where vegetables are frequently scarce and always flaccid, this food is become neceflary to preferve ftrength and vigour. Some great alteration in the pofition, ftructure, and temperature of the earth, feems the only rational manner of accounting for the present fo marked decay of human nature. Let us then confider what different state of these would conftitute a more perfect equilibrium in the air, a more equal temperature, lefs productive of those sudden viciffitudes which fo ftrongly affect both animal and vegetable powers, and life; let us imagine every circumftance which might contribute to create a more conftant and falubrious climate; and we fhall probably have divined the cause of this stronger conftitution of man in the antediluvian ages.

With Meffrs. Wallerius, de Luc, and Whitehurft, it appears to me, that the axis and poles of the earth must have been before the deluge, perpendicular to the equator. It is not only the moft natural, but, in case the centre of gravity was placed in the centre of the earth, feems alfo the neceffary pofition. Aftronomers have not been able to difcern the smalleft inclination in the axis of any other planet; if there is any, it is at least so small as to have escaped their obfervations. The great inclination of ours is inconteftably the fource of inceffant conflicts in the atmosphere, and of many confequent

2

sequent diforders on the furface of the earth. When the centre of gravity was in the centre of this globe and its axis perpendicular, the attraction of the fun being equal on all its parts would keep its courfe fteady and without deviation in the track of the equator. It would perform the fame journey of one degree exactly in the fame given time of 24 precife hours, and its whole revolution in 360 days. The moon in like manner equally attracted by the earth would perform its rotation round it in 30 days without fraction. Hence, as we before obferved, the most ancient computation of years of 360 days, and of months of 30 days, though totally inapplicable to the prefent months, or to years either folar or lunifolar. It is no fmall prefumption of the once exiftence of fuch a year, preferved by ignorance of the reality and reverence for antiquity, till fuch times as the error was perceived to be too grofs, and was by degrees more or lefs accurately rectified by fucceeding generations. The few who furvived the change, and their immediate progeny, confounded to find their ancient division and duration of the year inadequate, tried, as we find in history, a variety of expedients to conciliate their traditional computation with reality; and the first somewhat fuccessful attempt was the addition of five intercalary days at the expiration of the old year. Precision was certainly become extremely difficult, and has not been ascertained above two centuries. When the centre of gravity was changed, the motions of the earth and of its attendant planet became tremulous and irregular, and no longer kept exactly pace with time. The nuta

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