Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“the deep” (binn) is almost a synonyme of the word “waters” (on), with which the verse closes. The only difference seems to be that the latter word is used to designate any waters; the former, that particular mass of waters which God called “ seas.” The earth — the solid was clad in waters. This is not distinctly stated here; but it is by the Psalmist (civ. 5-9) when describing the same event — "the laying of the foundations of the earth” : “ Thou didst cover it (the land] with the deep as with a garment. The waters stood above the mountains.” Thus it was: The carth was mantled with waters; the waters were mantled with darkness. Such was the condition of the earth — the solid — when God took it in hand to “ create it even unto an inhabiting.”

Darkness was upon the surface of the watery mass; and the energizing power of God (Gesenius, pan, No. 4) was hovering over the surface of the waters ; not yet operating upon, but ready to operate. The great dcep — the sea (, Job xxxviii. 8) — “broken forth as if it had issued out of the womb." Then did God make " thick darkness its swaddling-band, the cloud its natal garment.” And now, as he was about to remand it, to enwomb it again, to shut it up once more “a sea with doors,” the Jehovah-presence, silent, invisible, potent, like an eagle poised upon the wing (Deut. xxxii. 11) “was hovering” over this rebellious birth, just ready to bring back all things here to their old relations, to new order and form and beauty.

Let us review the ground over which we have passed, take note of some negative points to be kept in mind, and gather up those which have been textually unlocked. The negativ points are important.

1. The earth does not comprise the world, but only its solid portion. 2. Nor does this signify that all the world was solid, except the waters. 3. Nor does it in the least degree indicate whether this solid, or whether this and the waters and the appertainings of each, had any describable shape - cubic, spherical, or otherwise. 4. Nor does it imply either that the solid had been solid always, or that it had not been solid always.

The points brought out are also important, and are very suggestive :

1. Before the creating” there was a solid. 2. It was this very individual solid on which we live. 3. This solid had been the domicile of living creatures. 4. It had been graced with structural forms of natural symmetry and beauty. 5. It had been desolated; its lives and its forms alike extinct. 6. The mass remained, under deluge and under darkness.

These simple facts, we say, are suggestive. This world and that the same. We are, therefore, justified in reasoning from this to that. The one fact of identity indicates that we may, that we ought, that we are expected to. Indeed, we can hardly avoid it, if we reason at all. The fact is an indexfinger, and we ought to see that to which it points.

1. This our world is not alone; that world, the same, not alone. The inference is indicated; that is all. It is not demonstration, by any means. We get at it, however, by something like a logical, although instinctive, propulsion, but which has an authority sui generis. To us it would seem very odd, very unlike anything we have ever seen; very unlike anything, but the fabled Phenix, of which we have ever heard,-a solitary world. Nature does not teach of such a thing. Reasoning does not. It is clean against all biblical analogies. Therefore we adopt our inference that the old world, like the new (ours), was a world among worlds — a world having its fellows.1

1 We cannot understand why it is so positively asserted by cosmogonic interpreters that the world“ was not astronomically arranged " when in the state described in this second versc. We will state briefly our own views, without assuming to be dogmatical. When the first mass went off from the original incandescent nebula, its centrifugal force must have increased the distance between the two until the projectile had reached a point where the centrifugal and the centripetal exactly balanced cach other. At this point, it seems to us, the separated body must have received orbital motion, and in ordinary cases, axial motion. The same must have been true in regard to other separated bodies; and also when these bodies, in like manner, were further separated. If we are correct in this, there could have been no time after the breaking up of the original nebula, when any one of the primitive photospheres was not " astronomically arranged."

But this throws us plump upon a coexisting cosmos, antedating the creating here described. Be it so. It throws us, too, upon the same cosmos. Be it so, also; we accept the position.

2. This our world peopled, and with structural forms for its people; that world peopled too, and with structural forms for its people. This not an inference only, but also a fact stated in the writing. From this fact we reckon. We cannot look upon it with a dazed and gaping mind; we have no right to.

We do not know, indeed, that those peoples were just like ourselves; nor that those surrounding forms were just like the forms surrounding ourselves. Of course, we do not know that they all had necessities just like ours; so that we cannot reason assuredly from ourselves and ours to them and theirs. Yet, so far as we can judge, in the absence of all evidence to the contrary, both the animal and the vegetable lives then on this same world must have had necessities like ours, in the main, and like surroundings to meet those necessities. They must have had a sun. If so, their sun, ours; as their world, ours. And thus we are thrown again, by another route, but from the same Mosaic premise, upon a coexisting cosmos, antedating this Mosaic “ creating," and identical with our own.

With a double confidence, therefore, we accept the position. And with a double confidence we claim the position as one to which we are rightly led from our premises.

But we claim more. The writer, or rather his Divine Supervisor, tells us, before his history opens, that this world had been peopled — this world, which is in this cosmos, and under this sun. Now, can we possibly and rationally imagine this world in its aforetime, and having, as now, living

1 Without pretentions to cosmic science wc venture to make exception, away from cxegetical ground, to the common assertion that “there was no sun ”beforc the fourth Mosaic day. The remnant, after separations, of the grand original nebula was never extinguished. It has always been a sun. So also have been the remnants of its projected masses after their subdivisions. If so, there has always been one sun, from the first moment of primordial light, and always other suns, even before any worlds had ceased to be self-luminous.

denizens, yet without the same cosmos and the same sun ? If not, then does the writer thrust us upon the position we have accepted ; and he meant to do so. He meant to be understood as he knew that we should perforce understand him. He meant clearly to indicate that this world, when before inhabited, had the same astronomical surroundings and the same astronomical liabitudes as now - the same sun and the same motions. What we claim more is, therefore, “by divine right.” By this right we hold our position, and shall hold it, unless and until we find that our divine right is an illusion.

Pending this catastrophe, we ask: What right has any one to hold and to teach that the world was not astronomically arranged when it was tohu and bohu? What right to hold and to teach that then there was no sun? Again and again and again have we met with these (expository!) assertions ; but we cannot remember that we have ever met with a single reason given.

ARTICLE IV.

IMPLEMENTS OF THE STONE AGE A PRIMITIVE DEMAR

CATION BETWEEN MAN AND OTHER ANIMALS.

BY JOSEPH P. THOMPSON, D.D., LL.D., BERLIN, PRUSSIA.

WHEREVER on the face of the globe there is found an implement of any sort, we say, at once, Man has been here. It may be that, as in the caves in the Dordogne, there are rude sketches of art to associate the flint and bone implements with the handiwork of man; or, as in the lake findings in Switzerland, there may be traces of human liabitations to identify the stone utensils with the building of the pile-dwellings; or, as in the shell-mounds (Kjokkenmöddings) of Denmark, a ruined hearth-stone and the bones of birds and animals of the chase, skilfully opened for their marrow, may point to man as the maker and user of the implements found in these heaps of refuse; and it may even happen that sometimes in the same place of deposit with the primitive implements of stone is found an indubitable relic of man himself, in a small fragment of the human skeleton. Yet in all these cases the implement itself, apart from its accessories, is an argument for the presence of man. The implement certifies the man as really as the man certifies the implement. This no one would think of disputing; but I give emphasis to the unanimity of science on this point, because of its bearing upon the primitive differentia of man as a species. We say, If man was indeed contemporary with these wild denizens of the caves, then these are the weapons with which he slew them, the implements with which he prepared them for his food; and the finding of the implements imbedded with the animal remains is evidence that man was contemporary with such animals.

1 A paper read at the “Congrès International d'Anthropologie et d'Archéologie préhistoriques," at Budapest, Hungary, September 1876.

« AnteriorContinuar »