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phecies, which are declared to have attended the communication of commands, and to have shown that they were from him, can yield them any corroboration. Indeed, it would be absolutely incredible that the whole was not in an equal measure a fabrication.
But the rejection of the Pentateuch as false in its claims to a divine origin and authority, would necessarily draw after it the rejection also of all the other books of the Old Testament; for they all recognize the truth of the Pentateuch, and proceed on its histories, enactments, and institutions, as verities. They exhibit the Israelitish nation as sustaining that relation to God which the Pentateuch represents; and the priesthood, the sacrifices, the covenants, the promises, and the whole system of laws, as instituted by God, as that record relates. If they are not his work, it is impossible that the other should be. But their rejection draws after it also as necessarily the rejection of the New Testament; for the latter ratifies, in the fullest manner, all the great historical statements, enactments, and religious institutions of the former, and it is on them that the work of redemption which it reveals is founded. If the Mosaic history of the creation and fall, the destruction of the ancient world, the adoption of the Israelites as a peculiar people, their deliverance from Egypt, the proclamation of the law at Sinai, the institution of the priesthood sacrifices and rites of worship, and the interpositions,
commands, and revelations that are recorded by the prophets that followed, are not from God, it is impossible that the New Testament can be, which everywhere recognizes them as realities, and is dependent on them for its truth and propriety.
The whole Bible, as a revelation, thus stands or falls with the first chapter of Genesis. This intimate connexion with other parts of the word of God, is, in a great degree, peculiar to that record of the creation. The histories, narratives, and even the enactments of many other chapters might be supposed to be supposititious, without necessarily destroying the credibility of the inspiration of the remainder. But the subversion of this, from its incorporation in the law of Sinai, necessarily carries with it the subversion of all that follows.
These considerations sufficiently show, that the contradiction which the modern theory of geology presents to the record of the creation by Moses, naturally leads those who assent to it, to regard that record as erroneous, and prepares the way for a distrust and rejection of the whole Bible. The scepticism which it is known to excite and foster, is not gratuitous and causeless, but the logical result of such an impeachment of that part of the word of God, which is the foundation of all the rest. The question, therefore, between the Bible and that theory, is one of the utmost interest. It is the question whether Christianity is credible and true, or whether it is contradicted and convicted of falsehood by the material works of the Creator. If it cannot be vindicated from the impeachment offered by the geological theory, it cannot be vindicated at all; but scepticism is unavoidable, and nothing is left for those who would be consistent, but to adopt and propagate it. The subject is entitled, therefore, to the most serious consideration of all believers in revelation, and especially of the ministers of the gospel, whose office it is to teach and enforce the doctrines, laws, promises, and predictions of the Scriptures as communications from God. They cannot, rationally, satisfy themselves with mere presumptions, vague hopes, or undefined impressions, that the Bible is God's word, although it may be contradicted by his works. They cannot consistently act as his ministers, unless they can defend it from this imputation, and show that it is entitled to be received as a divine revelation. They cannot fulfill their duty to those of their people who have been betrayed into scepticism, or are in danger of becoming its victims, unless able to point out the fallacies and errors of the system which impeaches it, and show that the works of God, instead of confuting or contravening it, are both in perfect harmony with it, and offer it the most clear and ample corroboration.
Is it admitted by many geologists of intelligence and reputation, that the theory of the great age of the world, is irreconcilable with the history of the creation in Genesis ? Is that admitted, even by some who still regard the Scriptures as the word of God? How does the Literary Gazette account for the admission of what it believes to be a false history of the creation, into the Pentateuch, while it still holds the Bible to be in the main, an inspired book ? What is Professor Sedgwick's method of accounting for what he regards as the errors of Genesis, i. ii, while he receives the Scriptures in the main, as the word of God ? Are there other geologists who maintain, that though the theory they hold of the great age of the world, is apparently at variance with the Mosaic history of the creation, it is not in fact irreconcilable with it? What is the first hypothesis by which they attempt to prove them to be consistent with each other? What is the other expedient by which they endeavor to bring them into harmony? How will you prove that the word day in Genesis i. is not used to denote an indefinitely long period ? How will you show from the narrative, Genesis, i. 1-5, that a vast period cannot, according to their second hypothesis, have intervened between the creation announced Genesis, i. 1, and that which is detailed, vs. 3, 4, and 5? If such a space had intervened between the creation of the heaven and earth recorded, v. 1, and the creation of light recorded, v. 3–5, is it credible that it would not have been mentioned by the sacred writer? Do these attempts then, fail to reconcile the sacred text with the geological theory, and leave the conclusion unavoidable, that if the theory is correct, the narrative of the sacred writer is not? But if geology proves that narrative to be false, does it not make it impossible to believe that the remainder of the book is inspired ? Show how the truth of the narrative, of the six days creation, is recognized and ratified in the institution of the sabbath? But if the inspiration of Genesis is given up, must not that of the whole Pentateuch be likewise rejected ? Show how the disbelief of the one must necessarily lead to the disbelief of the other? But if the Pentateuch is proved to be uninspired, must not the claim of every other part of the sacred volume to a divine origin be rejected ? Does the geological theory then naturally lead those who assent to it, to doubt the inspiration of the Bible? Is the question whether the theory is true, equivalent to the question, whether the Bible is not a fiction? Is not the inquiry then one of the greatest moment?