"IN THE BEGINNING"
Various Beginnings--The Earth Was--A Creative Week For Its Ordering-- The Length of the Epoch-Days--Prof. Dana's Admission of Unwarranted Speculations by Scientists--Persistency of Species Refutes Evolution Theory--Mr. Darwin's Pigeons--A Theory of Cosmogony-- Loyal Testimonies of Profs. Silliman and Dana--The First Creative Epoch-Day--The Second Ditto--The Third Ditto--The Fourth Ditto-- The Fifth Ditto--The Sixth Ditto--Man, The Lord of Earth, Created in the Dawning of the Seventh Epoch--Summary of "Meeting Place of Geology and History," By Sir J. W. Dawson, LL.D., F.R.S.--The Seventh Epoch-Day of the Creative Week--Its Length--Its Rest--Its Object and Result--The Grand Jubilee, Celestial and Terrestrial, Due at Its Close.
MANY are Jehovah's agents, and innumerable his agencies, connected with one and another feature of his creation; but back of them all is his own creative wisdom and power. He alone is the Creator, and, as the Scriptures affirm, "All his work is perfect." He may permit evil angels and evil men to pervert and misuse his perfect work; but he assures us that evil shall not for long be permitted to work blight and injury; and that eventually, when he shall restrain and destroy evil, we shall discern that he permitted it only to test, to prove, to refine, to polish and to make his own holiness, gracious character and plan the more resplendent in the sight of all his intelligent creatures.
When in Genesis we read, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," we are to remember that this beginning relates not to the universe, but merely to our planet. Then it was that "the morning stars sang together" and all the angelic sons of God "shouted for joy"--when the [F18] Lord laid the foundations of the earth and "made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness its swaddling band." (Job 38:4-11) But a still earlier beginning is mentioned in the Bible; a beginning before the creation of those angelic sons of God; as we read: "In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Logos was with the God and the Logos was a God: the same was in the beginning with the God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made." (John 1:1-3) (See Series V, Chap. 3.) Since Jehovah himself is from everlasting to everlasting, he had no beginning: the "Only Begotten" has the high distinction above all others of being "The beginning of the creation of God"--"first-born of every creature." (Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15) Other beginnings came in turn as the various angelic orders were one by one created; and these beginnings were in the past, so that their hosts could shout for joy when our earth's creations, related in Genesis, had their beginning.
Examining the Genesis expressions critically, we discern that a distinction is made between the creation of the heaven and the earth (verse 1) and the subsequent regulations, or ordering of these, and the further creations of vegetable and animal life. It is these subsequent operations that are described as the divine work of six epochal days. Verse 2 tells us that in the very beginning of the first day of that creative week the earth was--though without form (order), and void (empty)--waste, empty and dark. This important item should be distinctly noted. If recognized, it at once corroborates the testimony of geology thus far; and, as we shall be obliged to dispute the deductions of geologists on some points, it is well that we promptly acknowledge and dismiss whatever does not need to be contended for in defense of the Bible. The Bible does not say how long a period elapsed between the beginning when God created the heaven and the earth, and the beginning of the creative week used in perfecting it for man: nor do geologists agree [F19] amongst themselves as to the period of this interval--a few extremists indulge in wild speculations of millions of years.
Coming, then, to the creative period--the ordering of affairs in our heaven and earth in preparation of the Paradise of God for man's everlasting home--we note that these "days" are nowhere declared to be twenty-four-hour days; and, hence, we are not obliged thus to limit them. We find in the Bible that the word day stands for epoch, or period. The fact that it is most frequently used in reference to a twenty-four-hour period matters nothing, so long as we have the record of "the day of temptation in the wilderness ...forty years" (Psa. 95:8-10), and sometimes a "day" or "time" representing a year period (Num. 14:33,34; Ezek. 4:1-8), and also the Apostle's statement--"A day with the Lord is as a thousand years." (2 Pet. 3:8) Most assuredly these epoch-days were not sun days; for the record is that the sun was not visible until the fourth day--the fourth epoch.
We believe our readers will agree that although the length of these epoch-days is not indicated, we will be justified in assuming that they were uniform periods, because of their close identity as members of the one creative week. Hence, if we can gain reasonable proof of the length of one of these days, we will be fully justified in assuming that the others were of the same duration. We do, then, find satisfactory evidence that one of these creative "days" was a period of seven thousand years and, hence, that the entire creative week would be 7,000 x 7 equals 49,000 years. And although this period is infinitesimal when compared with some geological guesses, it is, we believe, quite reasonably ample for the work represented as being accomplished therein--the ordering and filling of the earth, which already "was" in existence, but "without form [order], and void [empty]."
Prof. Dana, commenting on the data from which scientists draw their conjectures, and the method of reckoning employed by them says:
"In calculations of elapsed time from the thickness of formations there is always great uncertainty, arising from the dependence of this thickness on a progressing subsidence [regular sinking of the land]. In estimates made from alluvial deposits [soil deposited from water], when the data are based on the thickness of the accumulations in a given number of years--say the last 2,000 years--this source of doubt affects the whole calculation from its foundation and renders it almost, if not quite, worthless....When the estimate...is based on the amount of detritus [fine scourings] discharged by a stream it is of more value; but even here there is a source of great doubt."
Let us examine the matter from the standpoint of the Bible, as believing it to be the divine revelation, and fully persuaded that whatever discrepancies may be found between the Bible testimony and the guesses of geologists are the errors of the latter, whose philosophies have not yet reached a thoroughly scientific basis or development.
Nor is it necessary to suppose that the writer of Genesis knew all about the matter he records--the length of these days and their precise results. We accept the Genesis account as a part of the great divine revelation--the Bible-- and find its sublime statement in few sentences most remarkably corroborated by most critical scientific researches. On the contrary, none of the "religious books" of the heathen contain anything but absurd statements on this subject.
There is a grandeur of simplicity in that opening statement of revelation--"In the beginning God created." It answers the first inquiry of reason--Whence came I, and to whom am I responsible? It is unfortunate indeed that some of the brightest minds of our bright day have been turned from this thought of an intelligent Creator to the recognition of a blind force operating under a law of evolution and survival of the fittest. And, alas! this theory has not only found general acceptance in the highest institutions of learning, but is gradually being incorporated into the textbooks of our common schools.
True, only a few are yet so bold as totally to deny a Creator; [F21] but even the devout, under this theory, undermine the fabric of their own faith, as well as that of others, when they claim that creation is merely the reign of Natural Law. Not to go further back, they surmise that our sun ejected immense volumes of gases which finally became consolidated, forming our earth; that by and by protoplasm formed, a small maggot, a microbe, got a start, they know not how. They must concede a divine power necessary to give even this small start of life--but they are industriously looking for some Natural Law on this also, so as to have no need at all for a God-Creator. It is claimed that this discovery is now almost accomplished. These "savants" think and talk about Nature as instead of God--her works, her laws, her retributions, etc.--a blind and deaf God indeed!
They claim that under Nature's regulations protoplasm evolved microbe, or maggot, which squirmed and twisted and reproduced its own species, and then finding use for a tail, developed one. Later on, one of its still more intelligent offspring concluded that oars, or fins, would be useful, and developed them. Another, later on, got chased by a hungry brother and, jumping clear out of the water, got the idea that the fins further developed would be wings, and liked the new style, so that he stayed out of the water, and then decided that legs and toes would be a convenience and developed them. Others of the family followed other "notions," of which they seemingly had an inexhaustible supply, as evidenced by the great variety of animals we see about us. However, in due time one of these descendants of the first maggot which had reached the monkey degree of development, got a noble ideal before his mind--he said to himself, I will discard my tail, and cease using my hands as feet, and will shed my coat of hair, and will develop a nose and a forehead and a brain with moral and reflective organs. I will wear tailor-made clothing and a high silk hat, and call myself Darwin, LL.D., and write a record of my evolution.
That Mr. Darwin was an able man is evidenced by his success in foisting his theory upon his fellowmen. Nevertheless, the devout child of God, who has confidence in a personal Creator, and who is not ready hastily to discard the Bible as his revelation, will soon be able to see the sophistry of Mr. Darwin's theory. It is not sufficient that Mr. Darwin should note that amongst his pigeons he was able to develop certain breeds with peculiar features -- feathers on their legs, crowns on their heads, pouting throats, etc.; others had done the same with poultry, dogs, horses, etc., and florists had experimented upon flowers and shrubs, etc., with similar results. The new thing with Mr. Darwin was the theory--that all forms of life were evolved from a common beginning.
But Mr. Darwin's experiences with his pigeons, like those of every other fancy-breeder, must only have corroborated the Bible statement, that God created every creature after its kind. There are wonderful possibilities of variety in each kind; but kinds cannot be mixed nor new kinds formed. The nearest approach is called "mule-ing"--and all know that new species thus formed lack ability to perpetuate their kind. Moreover, Mr. Darwin must have noted, as others have done, that his "fancy" pigeons needed to be kept carefully separate from others of their kind, else they would speedily deteriorate to the common level. But in nature we see the various species, "each after its kind," entirely separate from each other, and kept so without any artificial fencing, etc.--kept so by the law of their Creator. As believers in the personal Creator, we may rest assured that human speculation has missed the truth to the extent that it has ignored our God, his wisdom and his power, as outlined in Genesis.
Nothing, perhaps, has done more to becloud and undermine faith in God as the Creator, and in the Genesis account as his revelation, than has the error of understanding the epoch-days of Genesis to be twenty-four-hour days. The various stratifications of rocks and clays prove beyond all [F23] controversy that long periods were consumed in the mighty changes they represent. And when we find that the Bible teaches an epoch-day we are prepared to hear the rocks giving testimony in exact accord with the Bible record, and our faith in the latter is greatly strengthened; we feel that we are not trusting to our own or other men's guesses, but to the Word of the Creator, abundantly attested by the facts of nature.
A Theory of Cosmogony
For the benefit of some of our readers, we will briefly state one of the views of the creative period, known as "The Vailian Theory," or "Canopy Theory," which specially appeals to the author: subsequently we will endeavor to trace a harmony between this view and the narrative of Genesis 1:1-2:3.
Starting with the condition mentioned in Gen. 1:2, "Now the earth was," waste and empty and dark, the wise will not attempt to guess that which God has not revealed respecting how he previously gathered together earth's atoms. Things unrevealed belong to God, and we do well to wait patiently for his further revelations in due time. Taking pick and shovel and a critical eye, man has found that the earth's crust is composed of various layers, or strata, one over the other, all of which give evidence of having once been soft and moist--except the basic rocks upon which these layers, or strata, are, with more or less regularity, built. These basic rocks indicate clearly that they were once soft and fluid from intense heat; and scientists generally agree that not a great way below the "crust" the earth is still hot and molten.
Since these basic, igneous rocks--granite, basalt, etc.-- must at one time have been so hot as to drive out of them all combustible elements, and since they are the bottom rocks, we are safe in concluding that there was a period when the whole earth was at a white heat. At that time, it is reasoned, water and minerals (now found in the upper layers, or [F24] strata, laid down in water) must have been driven off as gases; and must have constituted an impenetrable canopy extending for miles around the earth in every direction. The motion of the earth upon its axis would extend to these gases surrounding it, and the effect would be to concentrate them, more particularly over the earth's equator. As the earth cooled these would cool, and thus be resolved from gases into solids and liquids, the weightier minerals gravitating in strata toward the bottom. The earth at that period probably resembled the present appearance of Saturn with his "rings."
As the cooling process advanced, these detached and distant rings would gradually acquire a different rotative motion from that of the earth, and thus gravitate closer and closer to her. One after another these were precipitated upon the earth's surface. After the formation of the "firmament," or "expanse," or "atmosphere," these deluges from descending "rings" would naturally reach the earth from the direction of the two poles, where there would be least resistance, because farthest from the equator, the center of the centrifugal force of the earth's motion. The breaking down of these "rings," long periods apart, furnished numerous deluges, and piled strata upon strata over the earth's surface. The rush of waters from the poles toward the equator would distribute variously the sand and mud and minerals, the water strongly mineralized thus covering the entire surface of the earth, just as described at the beginning of the narrative of Genesis.
During each of these long "days," of seven thousand years each, a certain work progressed, as told in Genesis; each possibly ending with a deluge which worked radical changes and prepared the way for still further steps of creation and preparation for man. This Vailian theory assumes that the last of these "rings" was freest from minerals and all impurities--pure water; that it had not yet broken and come down in the day of Adam's creation, but that it completely overspread the earth as a translucent veil above the atmosphere. It served, as does the whitened glass of a hot-house, [F25] to equalize the temperature--so that the climate at the poles would be little, if any, different from that at the equator. Under such equable conditions, tropical plants would grow everywhere, as geology shows that they did; and storms which result from rapid changes of temperature must then have been unknown; and for similar reasons there could then have been no rain.
The Scriptural account agrees with this; declaring that there was no rain on the earth until the deluge; that vegetation was watered by a mist rising from the earth--a moist, or humid, hot-house-like condition. (Gen. 2:5,6) Following the deluge in Noah's day came great changes, accompanied by a great shortening of the span of human life. With the breaking of the watery veil the hot-house condition ceased: the equatorial path of the sun became hotter, while at the poles the change must have been terrific--an almost instantaneous transition from a hot-house temperature to arctic coldness.
Corroborations of this sudden change of temperature have been found in the arctic region: Two complete mastodons have been found embedded in clear, solid ice which evidently froze them in quickly. Tons of elephant tusks have been found in the same frozen Siberia, too inhospitably cold, within the range of history, for elephants, mastodons, etc. An antelope was found similarly embedded in a huge block of ice in that arctic region. That it was suddenly overwhelmed is clearly demonstrated by the fact that grass was found in its stomach undigested, indicating that the animal had eaten it only a few minutes before being frozen to death--and that in a location where no grass could now grow.
This sudden downpour of water--this sudden breaking of the envelope which held the warmth of the earth and sun equably--produced the great ice-fields and ice-mountains of the arctic regions, from which every year hundreds of icebergs break loose and float southward toward the equator. So far as we can judge, this has been the procedure for centuries, but is continually growing less. Here we see the Ice [F26] Age, or Glacial Period, of the geologists, when great icebergs, borne by swift currents, cut deep crevasses throughout North America, distinctly traceable in the hills; northwestern Europe, too, bears the same testimony in its hills. But not so southeastern Europe, Armenia and vicinity -- the cradle of our race, where also the ark was built, and near which, on Mount Ararat, it finally rested. The testimony of Prof. Wright and Sir T.W. Dawson, LL.D., F.R.S., is that in the vicinity of Arabia a general sinking of the earth and a subsequent rise occurred. The testimony in general would seem to imply that the ark floated in a comparatively quiet eddy, aside from the general rush of the waters. This is indicated by the exceedingly heavy alluvial deposit declared to be present in all that region. Evidently the whole earth was deluged by waters from the North and South Poles, while the cradle of the race was specially dealt with by first depressing, and then at the proper time elevating it. On this, note the words of the celebrated geologist, Prof. G.F. Wright, of Oberlin, O., College, as reported in the New York Journal, March 30, 1901, as follows:
The Flood Corroborated
"Prof. George Frederick Wright, of Oberlin College, a distinguished geologist, has returned from Europe. He wrote 'The Ice of North America' and other geological works, studying and describing the glacial period. He has been on a scientific tour around the globe. He passed most of his time studying the geological formations and signs in Siberia, although his explorations took him to other parts of Asia and to Africa.
"Prof. Wright's main object was to answer, if possible, a long-disputed question among geologists: namely, whether Siberia had ever been covered with ice, as North America and parts of Europe had been, during the glacial period.
"A great many geologists, including many eminent Russian savants, believe Siberia was covered with ice.
"As the result of his present studies, Prof. Wright firmly believes that, at the remote time that North America was covered with ice, Siberia was covered with water.
"And the water and the ice were practically phases of the Biblical flood.
"First read a description of the flood in Genesis, much abbreviated:
"'And the flood was forty days upon the earth and the waters increased and bore up the ark and it was lifted up above the earth.
"'And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth: and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered.
"'Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail and the mountains were covered.
"'All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land died....And Noah only remained alive and those that were with him in the ark.
"'And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.' Gen. 7:17-24
"Now hear what Prof. Wright is quoted as saying:
"'I found no signs of glacial phenomena south of the 56th degree. North of that I did not go, but from other things I am convinced that the land was covered with ice, as was our own, where signs of it are now found as far south as New York.
"'We did not find indications of an extensive subsidence of all that region, which puts a new light on everything here.
"'At Trebizond, on the shore of the Black Sea, there was evidence of a depression of 700 feet. This was shown by gravel deposits on the hills.
"'In the center of Turkestan the waters reached their greatest height, for there we found these deposits over 2,000 feet above the sea level.
"'Southern Russia is covered with the same black earth deposit that we found in Turkestan.
"'There were still other evidences of the waters having covered this portion of the globe. One of these is the presence yet of seals in Lake Baikal, in Siberia, 1,600 feet above sea level. The seals which we found are of the Arctic species, and are the same species as those found in the Caspian Sea.
"'The only theory, therefore, is that they were caught there when the waters receded. Perhaps the most wonderful discovery of all was at the town of Kief, on the Nippur river, where stone implements were found fifty-three feet below the black earth deposit, showing that the water came there after the age of man.
"'This enabled us, therefore, to determine the age of this depression. It shows that since man came there, there has been a depression of 750 feet at Trebizond, and in Southern Turkestan the waters were over 2,000 feet deep. The implements found were such as those made in North America before the glacial period, which gives good ground for believing that the depression was made there when the glacial avalanche occurred here.
"'In fact it was, practically, the flood.'"
Knowing the end from the beginning, Jehovah so timed the introduction of man upon the earth that the last of the rings came down in a deluge just at the proper time to destroy the corrupted race in Noah's day, and thus to introduce the present dispensation, known in the Scriptures as "this present evil world." The removal of the watery envelope not only gave changing seasons of summer and winter, and opened the way for violent storms, but it also made possible the rainbow, which was first seen after the flood, because previously the direct rays of the sun could not so penetrate the watery canopy as to give the rainbow effect. Gen. 9:12-17
Since writing the foregoing, we clip from the Scientific American the following succinct statement from Prof. Vail's own pen:
"That Frozen Mammoth
"To the Editor of the Scientific American:
"I have read with great interest in your issue of April 12 the note on the recent discovery of the body of a mammoth, in cold storage, by Dr. Herz, in the ice-bound region of Eastern Siberia. This, it seems to me, is more than a 'Rosetta Stone' in the path of the geologist. It offers the strongest testimony in support of the claim that all the glacial epochs and all the deluges the earth ever saw, were caused by the progressive and successive decline of primitive earth vapors, lingering about our planet as the cloud vapors of the planets Jupiter and Saturn linger about those bodies today.
"Allow me to suggest to my brother geologists that remnants of the terrestrial watery vapors may have revolved about the earth as a Jupiter-like canopy, even down to very recent geologic times. Such vapors must fall chiefly in polar lands, through the channel of least resistance and greatest attraction, and certainly as vast avalanches of tellurio-cosmic snows. Then, too, such a canopy, or world-roof, must have tempered the climate up to the poles, and thus afforded pasturage to the mammoth and his congeners of the Arctic world--making a greenhouse earth under a greenhouse roof. If this be admitted, we can place no limits to the magnitude and efficiency of canopy avalanches to desolate a world of exuberant life. It seems that Dr. Herz's mammoth, like many others found buried in glacier ice, with their food undigested in their stomachs, proves that it was suddenly overtaken [F29] with a crushing fall of snow. In this case, with grass in its mouth unmasticated, it tells an unerring tale of death in a snowy grave. If this be conceded, we have what may have been an all-competent source of glacial snows, and we may gladly escape the unphilosophic alternative that the earth grew cold in order to get its casement of snow, while, as I see it, it got its snows and grew cold.
"During the igneous age the oceans went to the skies, along with a measureless fund of mineral and metallic sublimations; and if we concede these vapors formed into an annular system, and returned during the ages in grand installments, some of them lingering even down to the age of man, we may explain many things that are dark and perplexing today.
"As far back as 1874 I published some of these thoughts in pamphlet form, and it is with the hope that the thinkers of this twentieth century will look after them that I again call up the 'Canopy Theory.'
Isaac N. Vail."
The Creative Week
With this general view of creation before our minds, let us now turn to the Genesis account, and endeavor to harmonize these conjectures with its statements. First of all we notice that the Creative Week is divided into four parts: (1) Two days, or epochs (in our reckoning 2 x 7,000 equals 14,000 years), were devoted to the ordering of the earth preparatory for animal life. (2) The next two days, or epochs (in our reckoning another 2 x 7,000 equals 14,000 years additional), were devoted to bringing forward vegetation and the lowest forms of life--shell-fish, etc.--and laying down limestone, coal and other minerals. (3) The next two epoch-days (in our reckoning 2 x 7,000 equals 14,000 years) brought forward living creatures that move--in the sea and on the land--vegetation, etc., still progressing, and all preparing for the introduction of man, the earthly image of his Creator, "crowned with glory and honor," to be the king of earth. (4) Man's creation, the final work, came in the close of the sixth day, or epoch, and the beginning of the seventh: as it is written--"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he made, and he rested."
Two Loyal Testimonies
Professor Silliman declares:
"Every great feature in the structure of the planet corresponds with the order of events narrated in the sacred history....This history [the Bible] furnishes a record important alike to philosophy and religion; and we find in the planet itself the proof that the [Bible] record is true."
Referring to the account of creation in Genesis, Prof. Dana declares:
"In this succession we observe not merely an order of events, like that deduced from science; but there is a system in the arrangement and a far-reaching prophecy to which philosophy could not have attained, however instructed."
He adds further:
"No human mind was witness of the events; and no such mind in the early age of the world, unless gifted with superhuman intelligence, could have contrived such a scheme, or would have placed the creation of the sun, the source of light to the earth, so long after the creation of light, even on the fourth day; and what is equally singular, between the creation of plants and that of animals, when so important to both; and none could have reached into the depths of philosophy exhibited in the whole plan."
The First Creative Epoch-Day
And the spirit of God was brooding over the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light. And there was light.
The nature and physical cause of light is as yet but imperfectly comprehended--no satisfactory solution of the query, What is light? has yet appeared. We do know, however, that it is a prime essential throughout nature; and we are not surprised to find it first in the divine order when the time came for divine energy to operate upon the waste and empty earth to prepare it for man. The nature of the divine energy represented by "brooding" would seem to be vitalizing, possibly electrical energies and lights such as the aurora borealis, or northern lights. Or, possibly, the energy brought down some of the heavy rings of aqueous and mineral matter, [F31] and thus the light and darkness, day and night, became distinguishable, though neither stars nor moon nor sun were in the slightest degree discernible through the heavy rings, or swaddling bands, which still enveloped the earth.
"Evening and morning--Day One." As with the Hebrew solar days, so also with these epoch-days, the evening came first, gradually accomplishing the divine purpose to its completion, when another 7,000-year day, apportioned to another work, would begin darkly, and progress to perfection. This period, or "day," is scientifically described as Azoic, or lifeless.
The Second Creative Epoch-Day
And God said, Let there be an "expanse" [firmament, atmosphere] in the midst [between] the waters; and let it divide waters from waters. Thus God divided the waters under the atmosphere from the waters above the atmosphere. And God called the firmament [expanse, or atmosphere] heaven.
This second epoch-day of 7,000 years was wholly devoted to the production of an atmosphere. It was probably developed in a perfectly natural way, as are most of God's wonderful works, though none the less of his devising, ordering, creating. The fall of the "ring" of water and minerals, which enabled light to penetrate through to the earth during the first epoch-day, reaching the still heated earth and its boiling and steaming surface waters, would produce various gases which, rising, would constitute a cushion, or firmament, or atmosphere, all around the earth, and tend to hold up the remaining waters of the "rings" off from the earth. This "day," so far as Scriptures show, would also belong to the Azoic, or lifeless, period; but geology objects to this, claiming that the rocks appropriate to this time show worm-trails and immense quantities of tiny shellfish, the remains of which are evidenced in the great beds of limestone. They denominate this the Paleozoic age of first life--the Silurian period. This is not at variance with the Biblical account, which merely ignores these lowest forms of life.
Evening and morning--Day Two--ended with the full accomplishment of the divine intention respecting it; the separation of the clouds and vapors, etc., from the surface waters by an atmosphere.
The Third Creative Epoch-Day
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place, and let dry land appear. And it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas. And this being accomplished and approved of God, he said, Let the earth bring forth tender grass, and herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, in which is its seed, upon the earth: and it was so.
Geology fully corroborates this record. It points out to us that, as the earth's crust cooled, the weight of the waters would tend to make it kink and buckle--some parts being depressed became the depths of the seas, other portions forced up constituted mountain ranges--not suddenly, but gradually, one range following another. We are not to suppose that all these changes took place even in the seven thousand years of this third epoch-day; but, rather, that it merely witnessed the beginning of the work necessary as preparatory to the beginning of vegetation; for evidently geology is correct in claiming that some great changes of this nature are of comparatively recent date. Even within a century we have had small examples of this power: and we shall not be surprised if the next few years shall give us further paroxysms of nature; for we are in another transition period--the opening of the Millennial age, for which changed conditions are requisite.
As the waters drained off into the seas, vegetation sprang forth--each after its own class or kind, with seed in itself to reproduce its own kind only. This matter is so fixed by the laws of the Creator that although horticulture can and does do much to give variety in perfection, yet it cannot change the kind. The different families of vegetables will no more unite and blend than will the various animal families. This shows design--not a Creator only, but an intelligent one.
Geology agrees that vegetation preceded the higher forms of animal life. It agrees, too, that in this early period vegetation was extremely rank--that mosses and ferns and vines grew immensely larger and more rapidly then than now, because the atmosphere was extremely full of carbonic and nitrogenous gases--so full of them that breathing animals could not then have flourished. Plants, which now grow only a few inches or a few feet high even at the equator, then attained a growth of forty to eighty feet, and sometimes two or three feet in diameter, as is demonstrated by fossil remains. Under the conditions known to have then obtained, their growth would not only be immense, but must also have been very rapid.
At this period, geologists claim, our coal beds were formed: plants and mosses, having a great affinity for carbonic acid gas, stored up within themselves the carbon, forming coal, preparing thus our present coal deposits while purifying the atmosphere for the animal life of the later epoch-days. These vast peat-bogs and moss-beds, in turn, were covered over by sand, clay, etc., washed over them by further upheavals and depressions of the earth's surface, by tidal waves and by other descending "rings" of the waters above the firmament. Practically the same procedure must have been oft repeated, too; for we find coal-beds one above another with various strata of clay, sand, limestone, etc., between.
Evening and morning, the third 7,000-year epoch-day, accomplished its part in preparing the world, according to the divine design. In geology it is styled the Carboniferous era, because of its deposits of coal, oil, etc.
The Fourth Creative Epoch-Day
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament [expanse, atmosphere] of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and for years: and let them be for lights in the expanse [atmosphere] to give light upon the earth; and it was so. God made [or caused to shine--a different verb not meaning created] two great lights; [F34] the greater light for the rule of the day [to indicate the time of day] and the lesser light, the night; the stars also.
The achievements of one epoch-day were carried over into the next, and we are justified in supposing that the light of the first day became more and more distinct during the next two, as ring after ring came down from the waters above the firmament to the waters below it, until by the fourth epoch-day the sun and moon and stars could be seen; not so clearly as now on a bright day, until after Noah's flood--the last of the "rings"; but clearly discernible, nevertheless, through the translucent veil of waters --as now on a misty day or night. Sun, moon and stars had long been shining on the outer veil of the earth, but now the time came to let these lights in the firmament be seen; to let the days--previously marked by a dull, grayish light, such as we see some rainy mornings when the sun, moon and stars are invisible for clouds--become more distinct, so that the orb of day might by its course mark time for man and beast when created, and meantime begin to oxygenize the air, thus to prepare it for breathing animals. Later on in the same 7,000-year day, the moon and stars also appeared--to influence the tides and to be ready to mark time in the night for man's convenience.
We are not to suppose that the development of plant life ceased during the fourth day, but rather that it progressed --the increased influence of sun and moon serving to bring forward still other varieties of grass and shrubs and trees. Geology shows advances, too, at this period--insects, snails, crabs, etc. Fish-bones and scales are found in coal seams, too; but this does not disturb the order; for the formation of coal-beds evidently continued after the third day--thus running into the Reptilian period. This "day" corresponds most closely with what geology designates the "Trias" period. Evening and morning--Day Four of seven thousand years, or 28,000 years from the starting of this work--closed, witnessing great progress in the earth's preparation for man.
The Fifth Creative Epoch-Day
And God said, Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let fowl fly above the earth in the open atmosphere of heaven. And God created great whales and every living creature that moveth, with which the waters swarm, after their KIND, and every winged fowl after its KIND. And it was as God designed.
How the warm oceans of the earth swarmed with living creatures, from the jellyfish to the whale, may be judged by the profusion of life in the warm southern seas at the present time. Reptiles, living partly in the water and partly on the land (amphibious) belong also to this period, during which present continents and islands were gradually rising and again subsiding, at one time deluged by larger or smaller rings coming down, and at another washed by tidal waves. No wonder the remains of shellfish, etc., are found in the highest mountains. And no wonder the immense beds of limestone in all parts of the world are sometimes called "shellfish cemeteries," because composed almost exclusively of conglomerate shells. What a swarming there must have been when those untellable trillions of little creatures were born, and, dying dropped one by one their little shells! We read that--God blessed them in multiplying. Yes, even so lowly an existence and for so brief a time is a favor, a blessing.
Let us not contend for more than the Scripture record demands. The Bible does not assert that God created separately and individually the myriad kinds of fish and reptiles; but merely that divine influence, or spirit, brooded, and by divine purpose the sea brought forth its creatures of various kinds. The processes are not declared--one species may, under different conditions, have developed into another; or from the same original protoplasm different orders of creatures may have developed under differing conditions. No man knoweth, and it is unwise to be dogmatic. It is not for us to dispute that even the protoplasm of the paleozoic slime may not have come into existence through chemical action of the highly mineralized waters [F36] of those seas. What we do claim is, that all came about as results of divine intention and arrangement, and, hence, were divine creations, whatever were the channels and agencies. And we claim that this is shown by the facts of nature no less than by the words of Genesis; that however the creatures of the sea were produced, they were brought to the condition in which each is, of its own kind--where the lines of species cannot be overridden. This is God's work, by whatever means brought about.
This day, or epoch, corresponds very well to the Reptilian age of the scientist. Evening and morning--Day Five-- 35,000 years from the commencement of the work of ordering the earth as man's home and kingdom.
The Sixth Creative Epoch-Day
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind --cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after its kind. And it was so; God made the beast of the earth after its kind and cattle after their kind and earth-reptiles after their kind. And God saw it was so done and approved.
By this time matters on this earth were becoming more settled; the crust was thicker by hundreds of feet of sand and clays and shells and coal, and various other minerals gathered, some from crumbling rocks thrown up by earthquakes, some from the "rings" once surrounding the earth, and some from animal and vegetable deposits; besides, the earth itself must have cooled considerably during those 35,000 years. A sufficiency of earth's surface was now above the sea, and well drained by mountain ranges and valleys to be ready for the lower animals, which are here divided into three kinds: (1) earth-reptiles, cold-blooded, breathing creatures--lizards, snakes, etc.; (2) beasts of the earth, or wild beasts, as differentiated from domestic animals, specially suited to be companions for man, and here referred to as (3) cattle. The air also by this time would be purified of elements unsuited to breathing animals, absorbed from it by the rank vegetation of the carboniferous period, as the excessive hydro-carbons had been absorbed from the [F37] oceans by the minute shellfish, preparatory to the swarming of sea creatures which breathe.
Here, again, we need not quarrel needlessly with Evolutionists. We will concede that, if God chose, he could have brought all the different species of animal life into being by a development of one from the other, or he could have developed each species separately from the original protozoan slime. We know not what method he adopted, for it is revealed neither in the Bible nor in the rocks. It is, however, clearly revealed that in whatever way God chose to accomplish it, he has fixed animal species, each "after his kind" in such a manner that they do not change; in such a manner that the ingenuity of the human mind has not succeeded in assisting them to change. Here is the stamp of the intelligent Creator upon his handiwork; for had "Nature" or "blind force" been the creator, we would still see it plodding blindly on, at times evoluting and at times retrograding; we would see no such fixity of species as we behold all about us in nature.
We may reasonably assume that it was just at the close of the sixth epoch-day that God created man; because his creation was the last, and it is distinctly stated that God finished his creative work, not on the sixth, but "on the seventh day"--the division of the man into two persons, two sexes, being, evidently, the final act.
And God said, We will make man in our image, and after our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every reptile that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them, and God blessed them and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue and control it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the heavens and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
In view of our remarks, foregoing, that the Scripture language does not forbid the possibility of the plants, water-creatures and land-creatures being more or less developed, or evolved, in their various kinds, it may be well for us to [F38] note the wide difference in the language used when referring to man's creation. The latter is a specific declaration of the direct exercise of divine creative power, while the others are not, but rather imply a development:
"And the earth brought forth grass," etc.
"Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature," etc.
"Let the earth bring forth living creature after his kind, cattle," etc.
There are two accounts of the creation--the one we have just been considering, which treats the matter briefly and in its epochal order, and another which follows it in Genesis 2:4-25. In other words, the division of the chapters was at a wrong place--the two accounts should each constitute a chapter. The second one is a commentary on the first, explanatory of details. "These are the generations," or developments, of the heavens and the earth and their creatures, from a time before there was any plant or herb. The first and principal account gives the word "God" when speaking of the Creator; and the second, or commentary account, points out that it was Jehovah God who did the entire work--"in the day" that he made the heavens and the earth--thus grasping the whole as one still larger epoch-day, including the work of the six already enumerated.
The word God in the first chapter is from the common Hebrew word Elohim, a plural word which might be translated Gods, and which, as we have already seen, signifies "mighty ones."* The "Only Begotten" of the Father was surely his active agent in this creative work, and he may have had associated with him in the execution of its details a host of angels to whom also the word elohim would be applicable here as elsewhere in the Scriptures.+ It is appropriate, therefore, that the second, or commentary, account should call our attention to the fact that Jehovah the Father [F39] of all was the Creator, whoever may have been used as his honored representatives and instruments. The added particulars of the second account respecting man's creation may properly be considered here. It declares:
*See Volume V, pp. 72,73.
Jehovah God formed man of dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and the man became a living being.
God was glorified in all his previous works and in every creature, however insignificant, even though none of them could properly render him thanks or appreciate him or even know him. The divine purpose had foreseen all this from the beginning, and was preparing for man, who was intended to be the masterpiece of the earthly, or animal, creation. It is not said of man as of the sea creatures, "Let the seas swarm," nor as with the lower earthly animals, "Let the earth bring forth"; but it is recorded, on the contrary, that he was a special creation by his Maker, "made in his own image." It matters not whether the image of the Elohim be understood or the image of Jehovah, for were not the Elohim "sons of God," and in his likeness in respect to reasoning power and moral intelligence?
We are not to understand this "image" to be one of physical shape; but, rather, a moral and intellectual image of the great Spirit, fashioned appropriately to his earthly conditions and nature. And as for the "likeness," it doubtless relates to man's dominion--he was to be king of earth and its teeming creatures, like as God is the King of the entire universe. Here is the battlefield between God's Word and so-called Modern Science, to which the whole world, especially the learned--including the leaders of thought in all theological seminaries, and the ministers in all the prominent pulpits, are bowing down--worshiping the scientific God called "Evolution." The two theories are squarely at issue: if the Evolution theory be true, the Bible is false from Genesis to Revelation. If the Bible be true, as we hold, the Evolution theory is utterly false in all its deductions as respects man.
It is not alone the Genesis account of man's creation in the divine image that must determine the matter, strong as are the declarations of the Word: the entire theory of the Bible supports the Genesis record, and stands or falls with it. For, if man was created otherwise than pure and perfect and mentally well endowed, he could not, truthfully, have been called an "image of" God; nor could his Creator have placed him on trial in Eden to test his fitness for everlasting life; nor could his disobedience in the eating of the forbidden fruit have been accounted sin and punishable, as it was, by a death sentence; nor would it have been necessary to have redeemed him from that sentence.
Moreover, "the man Christ Jesus" is declared to have been the "anti-lutron," the ransom-price (or corresponding price) for this first man's guilt, and he must, therefore, be considered a sample, or illustration, of what the first man was, before he sinned and passed under the divine condemnation of death.
We know, too, that there are today, as there have been in the past, many noble natural men, all of whom God declares are sinners, and, as such, unrecognizable by Jehovah, except as they penitently approach him in the merit of Christ's sacrifice and obtain his forgiveness. The standing of all who thus come unto God is declared to be only of his grace, under the robe of Christ's righteousness. And the outcome, we are informed, must be a resurrection, or restitution, to perfection ere any can be personally and entirely satisfactory to the Creator. And yet it was this same Creator who communed with Adam before his transgression and called him his son, and who declares that Adam and we, his children, became "children of wrath" and passed under condemnation because of sin, which Adam did not have when created a "son of God." Luke 3:38
So surely as "all the holy prophets since the world began" have declared the coming Millennium to be "times of restitution of all things spoken," so surely the Evolution theory is in violent antagonism to the utterances of God through all [F41] the holy prophets. For restitution, so far from being a blessing to the race, would be a crime against it if the Evolution theory be correct. If by blind force or other evolutionary processes, man has been climbing up by tedious endeavors and laborious efforts, from protoplasm to oyster, and from oyster to fish, and from fish to reptile, and from reptile to monkey, and from monkey to lowest man, and from lowest man to what we are--then it would be a fearful injury to the race for God to restore it to what Adam was, or possibly to force the restitution further--back to protoplasm. There is no middle ground on this question; and the sooner God's people decide positively in accord with his Word the better it will be for them, and the more sure they will be of not falling into some of the no-ransom and evolutionary theories now afloat and seeking to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect. Let God be true, though it prove every Evolutionist a liar. Romans 3:4
We cannot here go into the details of Adam's creation, to discuss his organism, or body, his spirit, or breath of life, and how these united constituted him a living being, or soul. This has already been presented in a different connection.*
*Volume V, Chap. xii.
Their fruitfulness in posterity was evidently in no manner connected with the transgression, as some have assumed, but was a part of the divine blessing. The only relationship of the fall and its curse, or penalty, in this respect was, as stated, an increase of the mother's conceptions and sorrows, corresponding to the man's labor and sweat of face. These have borne the more heavily in proportion as the race has become degenerate and weak, mentally and physically. The object of the fruitfulness will have been attained when a sufficient progeny has been born to ultimately fill (not replenish) the earth. True, an immense number have already been born--possibly fifty thousand millions--and are now asleep in the great prison-house of death; but these are none too many; for the present land [F42] surface of earth if all made fit for man, as it ultimately will be, would hold two or three times this number--without taking into consideration the possibility of other continents being raised from the depths of the seas as the present ones were in the past.
Scientists of a skeptical turn of mind have for a long time been seeking to prove that man was on the earth long before the period assigned in Genesis, and every bone found in the lower clays or gravels is scrutinized with a view to making the scientist a world-wide reputation as the man who has given the lie to the Word of God. We have already referred to the unreliability of such evidences,* as the finding of arrow-heads amongst the gravel of an early period. In some cases at least these have been proven to have been the work of modern Indians, who had shaped them near the spot where they found the suitable flint-stones.+
*We are not ignorant of the theory of a pre-Adamite man and the attempt
thus to account for the different races of the human family. But we stick
to the Bible as God's revelation and, hence, superior to all human conjectures.
It declares the solidarity of the human family in no uncertain
terms, saying: "God made of one blood all nations of men."
And again that Adam was "the first man." (1 Cor. 15:45,47) Again the
story of the deluge is most explicit to the effect that only eight human
beings were saved in the ark, and they all children of Noah--descended
from Adam. The variety of human types, or races, must be accounted for
along the lines of climate, customs, food, etc., and especially along the
lines of the seclusion of the various peoples in various quarters from each
other, by which peculiarities became fixed. This is illustrated by the fact
that Europeans living for a long time amongst the people of India or
China gain a measure of resemblance to their neighbors, while their children,
born in those lands, bear a still stronger resemblance in skin and
features--affected no doubt by the mother's surroundings during the period
of gestation. An illustration of such assimilation is furnished by the
Chinese of one district, who identify themselves with the Israelites scattered
by the troubles which closed the Jewish age--about A.D. 70. These
Jews have become so thoroughly Chinese as to be undistinguishable as
Jews--the hardiest of races.
+Volume II, pp. 34,35.
At a meeting of the Victoria Philosophical Institute not very long ago it was stated that "a careful analysis had been undertaken by Professor Stokes, F.R.S., Sir J. R. Bennett, Vice-Pres. R.S., Professor Beale, F.R.S., and others, of the various theories of Evolution, and it was reported that, as yet, no scientific evidence had been met with giving countenance to the theory that man had been evolved from a lower order of animals; and Professor Virchow had declared that there was a complete absence of any fossil type of a lower stage in the development of man; and that any positive advance in the province of prehistoric anthropology has actually removed us further from proofs of such connection--namely, with the rest of the animal kingdom. In this, Professor Barraude, the great paleontologist, had concurred, declaring that in none of his investigations had he found any one fossil species develop into another. In fact, it would seem that no scientific man had yet discovered a link between man and the ape, between fish and frog, or between the vertebrate and the invertebrate animals; further, there was no evidence of any one species, fossil or other, losing its peculiar characteristics to acquire new ones belonging to other species; for instance, however similar the dog to the wolf, there was no connecting link, and among extinct species the same was the case; there was no gradual passage from one to another. Moreover, the first animals that existed on the earth were by no means to be considered as inferior or degraded."
We quote briefly from Sir J. W. Dawson, LL.D., F.R.S., from his summary of his recent findings respecting "The Meeting Place of Geology and History." He says:
"We have found no link of derivation connecting man with the lower animals which preceded him. He appears before us as a new departure in creation, without any direct relation to the instinctive life of the lower animals. The earliest men are no less men than their descendants, and up to the extent of their means, inventors, innovators, and introducers of new modes of life, just as much as they. We have not even been able as yet to trace man back to the harmless [F44] golden age [of Paradise]. As we find him in the caves and gravels he is already a fallen man, out of harmony with his environment and the foe of his fellow creatures, contriving against them instruments of destruction more fatal than those furnished by nature to the carnivorous wild beasts....Man, as to his body, is confessedly an animal, of the earth earthy. He is also a member of the province vertebrata, and the class mammalia; but in that class he constitutes not only a direct species and genus, but even a distinct family, or order. In other words, he is the sole species of his genus, and of his family, or order. He is thus separated by a great gap from all the animals nearest to him; and even if we admit the doctrine, as yet unproved, of the derivation of one species from another in the case of lower animals, we are unable to supply the 'missing links' which would be required to connect man with any group of inferior animals....No fact of science is more certainly established than the recency of man in geological time. Not only do we find no trace of his remains in the older geological formations, but we find no remains of the animals nearest to him; and the conditions of the world in those periods seem to unfit it for the residence of man. If, following the usual geological system, we divide the whole history of the earth into four great periods, extending from the oldest rocks known to us, the eozoic, or archaean, up to the modern, we find remains of man, or of his works, only in the latest of the four, and in the latter part of this. In point of fact, there is no indisputable proof of the presence of man until we reach the early modern period. ...There is but one species of man, though many races and varieties; and these races, or varieties, seem to have developed themselves at a very early time, and have shown a remarkable fixity in their later discovery. ...The history in Genesis has anticipated modern history. This ancient book is in every way trustworthy, and as remote as possible from the myths and legends of ancient heathenism."
Prof. Pasteur, the great bacteriologist, was an outspoken opponent of Darwinism; and expressed himself as follows:
"Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of the modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the works of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged in my work in the laboratory."
Virchow, the Russian savant, though not a professed Christian, was similarly opposed to the Darwinian theory of the development of organic beings from inorganic, and [F45] declared: "Any attempt to find the transition from animal to man has ended in a total failure. The middle link has not been found and will not be found. Man is not descended from the ape. It has been proved beyond a doubt that during the past five thousand years there has been no noticeable change in mankind."
Other naturalists have also raised their voices against the Darwinian views.
In view of these facts how foolish appear the occasional essays of "Doctors" or "Professors" who feign learning by discussing "missing links" or suggesting that the little toes of human feet are becoming useless and will soon be "dropped by nature" as "monkey tails have already been dropped." Have we not mummies well preserved nearly four thousand years old? Have we not life-sized, nude statuary nearly as old? Are tails shown on any of these? Are their little toes anywise different from ours of today? Is not the whole tendency of all nature downward? With plants and the lower animals is not man's wisdom and aid necessary to the maintenance of highest types? And with men is not the grace of God necessary to his uplift, and to hinder gross degeneracy such as we see in "Darkest Africa"? And is not this in accord with Scripture? Rom. 1:21,24,28
It is appropriate that the Lord's people keep well in mind the caution bestowed on Timothy by the Apostle Paul: "O Timothy,...avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so-called." (1 Tim. 6:20) To see any truth clearly we must look from the standpoint of the divine revelation. We must "See light in His light." Then looking abroad through nature under the guidance of nature's God, the effect will be to expand both heart and intellect, and to fill us with admiration and adoration as we catch panoramic glimpses of the glory, majesty and power of our Almighty Creator.
Evening and morning, Day Six, at its close, 42,000 years after "work" began, found the earth ready for man to subdue [F46] it--yet still, as a whole, unfit for him. Knowing in advance of his creature's disobedience (and of his entire plan connected with his sentence of death, his redemption and the ultimate recovery from sin and death of all rightly exercised by their experiences), God did not wait the creation of man until the earth would all be ready for him, but merely prepared a Paradise, a garden in Eden--perfecting it in every way for the brief trial of the perfect pair--leaving to mankind, as convict laborers, the work of "subduing" the earth and at the same time gaining thereby valuable lessons and experiences.
The Seventh Epoch-Day of the Creative Week
And on the Seventh day God ended the work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Noting the upward, progressional sequence of the six days, and keeping in memory the fact that the number seven of itself implies completion and perfection, we naturally would expect the Seventh Epoch-Day to be more marvelous than its predecessors. And so we find it: only that its important part is for a time--until the "due time"--shut to our mental eyes of understanding by the general statement that God rested on the seventh day from all his work. How strange that he should rest the creative work at a point where it seemed just ready for completion, as though a workman should prepare all the materials for a structure and then desist from further activities without accomplishing his original intentions!
But the whole matter opens grandly before us when we perceive that Jehovah God rested his work of creation, ceased to prosecute it, because in his wisdom he foresaw that his designs could best be executed by another means. God saw best to permit his creature Adam to exercise his free will and fall under temptation into sin and its legitimate penalty, death--including a long period, 6,000 years of dying and battling, as a convict, with evil environment. [F47] God saw best to permit him thus as a convict to do a part of the subduing of the earth; that to bring it as a whole toward its foretold Paradisaic condition would be profitable to man under the circumstances; that it would be expedient that man realize the principles underlying divine righteousness and the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and be thus prepared for the grace to be brought to the world in due time.
However, one of the chief reasons for Jehovah's cessation of the creative work undoubtedly was that it might be accomplished by another--by his Only Begotten--in a manner that would not only glorify the Son, but glorify the Father also, by displaying the perfections of the Divine attributes as no other course could do. This was by the giving of his Son to be man's redeemer--an exhibition not only of Divine Justice, which could by no means violate the decree that "the wages of sin is death," but which simultaneously illustrated Divine Love--compassion for his fallen creatures to the extent of the death of his Son on man's behalf. Divine Wisdom and Power will also ultimately be exhibited in every feature of the arrangement when completed.
It may be suggested that for the Father to desist from the perfecting of the creative plan in order that the Son might do this work during the Millennium, by processes of restitution, would be no different from the previous creative operations, all of which were of the Father and by the Son -- without whom was not anything made that was made. But we answer, No. The relationship of the Son to the work of restitution with which this Seventh Epoch-Day will close and bring terrestrial perfection, will be wholly different from any of his previous works. In all the previous creations the Son simply acted for Jehovah, using powers and energies not in any sense his own; but in this grand work to come he will be using a power and authority that are his own--which cost him 34 years of humiliation, culminating in his crucifixion. By that transaction, which the Father's wisdom and love planned for him, he "bought" the world, [F48] bought Father Adam and all his progeny, and his estate-- the earth--with all his title to it as its monarch "in the likeness of God." The Father delighted to honor the "First Begotten," and therefore planned it thus, and rested, or ceased from creative processes, that the Son might thus honor him and be honored by him.
God rested, not in the sense of recuperating from weariness, but in the sense of ceasing to create. He beheld the ruin and fall of his noblest earthly creation through sin, yet put forth no power to stay the course of the death sentence and started no restitutional procedures. Indeed, by the law which he imposed, he precluded any opportunity for his exercise of mercy and clemency toward Adam and his race, except through a ransomer. The penalty being death, and that without limit--everlasting death, "everlasting destruction" --and it being impossible for God to lie, impossible for the Supreme Judge of the universe to reverse his own righteous decree, it was thus rendered impossible for the Creator to become directly the restorer of the race, or in any sense or degree to continue his creative work in the condemned man or in his estate, the earth.
Thus did Jehovah God manifest his confidence in his own great plan of the ages, and in his Only Begotten Son to whom he has committed its full execution. This confidence of the Father in the Son is used by the Apostle as an illustration of how our faith should so grasp the Anointed One that we also can trust every interest and concern to him, as respects ourselves and our dear friends and the world of mankind in general: the Apostle's declaration is--"We who have believed do enter into rest....He that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his." Believers, like God, have perfect confidence in Christ's ability and willingness to carry out all of Jehovah's great projects in respect to our race, and therefore rest, not from physical weariness, but from concern, from anxiety, from any desire to take the matter out of Christ's charge, or to attempt to secure the result by any other means.
If our Creator's resting, or desisting from coming promptly to the relief of his fallen creatures, has in any degree the appearance of indifference or neglect, it was not really so, but merely the outworking of the wisest and best means for man's assistance--through a Mediator. If it is suggested that the restitution work should have commenced sooner, we reply that the period of the reign of Sin and Death, 6,000 years, has been none too long for the bringing forth by births of a race sufficient in number to "fill the earth"; none too long to give all a lesson in the "exceeding sinfulness of sin" and the severe wages it pays; none too long to let men try their own devices for their own uplift and note their futility. The coming of our Lord at his first advent to redeem (purchase) the world so that he would have a just, equitable right to come again to bless, uplift and restore all who will accept his grace, although it was more than 4,000 years after the blight of sin and death entered, is, nevertheless, declared in Scripture to have been in God's due time: "In due time God sent forth his Son." Indeed, we see that it would not even then have been due time, except for the divine purpose to call and gather and polish and make ready the elect Church to share with the Redeemer in the great Millennial work of blessing the world--God foreseeing that it would require this entire Gospel age for this election, sent his Son for the redemptive work just long enough in advance to accomplish it.
The Period of Divine Cessation, or Rest,
from Creative and Energizing Activity in
Connection with the Earth
How long is it since Jehovah ceased, or rested in, his creative work? We reply that it is now a little more than six thousand years. How long will his rest, or cessation, continue? We answer that it will continue throughout the Millennium--the thousand years of the reign of the great Mediator, effecting "the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the [F50] world began." (Acts 3:21) Will the confidence of Jehovah in the outworking of his plan, which led him thus to rest it all in the care of Jesus prove to have been fully justified? will the conclusion be satisfactory? Jehovah God, who knows the end from the beginning, assures us that it will, and that the Son, at whose cost the plan is being executed, "shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied." (Isa. 53:11) Yea, all believers who are resting by faith in their Redeemer's work--past and to come--may have full assurance of faith that "eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath in reservation for those who love him," specially for the Church; but also the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of love and mercy and restitutional blessings, for all those of the non-elect world, who in their Millennial day of grace shall heartily accept the wonderful divine provisions on the divine terms.
Six thousand years past and one thousand years future, seven thousand years of Jehovah's "rest," will carry us to the time when the Son's Millennial reign shall cease because of having accomplished its design--the restitution of the willing and obedient of mankind to the divine image, and the subjugation of the earth under man, as his estate, his kingdom. Then the Mediatorial throne and reign having served their purpose, and all corrupters of the earth having been destroyed, "the Son shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father"--by delivering it to mankind for whom it was originally designed, as it is written.* (1 Cor. 15:24-28) "Then shall the King say unto them,...Come, ye blessed [approved] of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"--mundane creation. Matt. 25:31-34
*See Vol. I, p. 305; Vol. V, p. 469; Vol. IV, pp. 617, 644, 645.
It is the length of this Seventh Epoch-Day, so distinctly marked by history and prophecy, that furnishes us the clue to the length of all the other epoch-days of the creative [F51] Week. And the whole period of seven times seven thousand years, or forty-nine thousand years, when complete, will lead up to and introduce the great Fiftieth, which we have already noted* as prominent in the Scriptures, as marking grand climaxes in the divine plan; Israel's day Sabbaths culminating in 7 x 7 equals 49, leading to and introducing the fiftieth, or Pentecost, with its rest of faith; their year Sabbaths 7 x 7 equals 49, introducing the fiftieth, or Jubilee, year; the still larger cycle of 50 x 50, marking the Millennium as Earth's great Jubilee. And now, finally, we find the Sabbath, or seven-day system, on a still larger scale measuring earth's creation, from its inception to its perfection, to be 7 times 7,000 years equals 49,000 years, ushering in the grand epoch when there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more pain and no more dying, because God's work of creation shall then have been completed so far as this earth is concerned. No wonder that that date should be marked as a Jubilee date!
*See Volume II, Chap. vi.
The angelic sons of God "shouted for joy" (Job 38:7) in the dawn of earth's creative week, and after witnessing step after step in the development, finally saw man, its king, made in the divine image. Then came the fall by disobedience into sin and death, and the frightful experiences of fallen angels who kept not their primary estate, and man's selfish and bloody history under the reign of Sin and Death. Then successively follow the redemption, the selection of the Anointed One (head and body) through sacrifice, and the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom with its wonderful restitution of all things spoken by God through the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. No wonder indeed that there should be a Jubilation in heaven and in earth when all of Jehovah's intelligent creatures shall thus behold the lengths, heights and breadths and depths, not only of God's Love, but also of his Justice and Wisdom and Power.
Surely the New Song can then be sung by all of God's creatures, both in heaven and in earth, saying:
"Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God, Almighty!
Just and true are thy ways, thou King of the ages!
Who shall not reverence thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?
For thou only art bountiful.
For all peoples shall come and worship before thee,
Because thy righteous doings are made manifest."
"Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens: God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it. He created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited." Isa. 45:18
"And every creature which is in heaven and on earth...and such as are in the sea...heard I saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb, forever and forever." Rev. 5:13
Since writing the foregoing we find the following on the subject from the pen of Prof. G. Frederick Wright, D.D., LL.D., under date Nov. 19th, 1902, on the Genesis account of creation.
The Genesis Record
"The first chapter of Genesis, which treats of the creation of the world, is a most remarkable document. It is remarkable as much for the skill with which it avoids possible conflict with scientific discovery as for its effectiveness from a literary point of view. Measured by the influence it has had, there is scarcely any other piece of literature that can be compared with it. Its evident object is to discredit polytheism and to emphasize the unity of the Godhead. This it does by denying a plurality of gods, both in general and in detail, and by affirming that it is the one eternal God of Israel who has made the heavens and the earth and all the objects in it which idolators are in the habit of worshiping.
"The sublimity of this chapter is seen in the fact that everywhere apart from the influence of it polytheism and idolatry prevail. The unity of God and his worship as the sole Creator of all things are maintained only by those nations which have accepted this chapter as a true and divine revelation.
Compatible with Science
"At the same time the advancement of science has served rather to enhance than to detract from our admiration of this remarkable portion of the grand book of divine revelation. Within its ample folds [F53] there is opportunity for every real discovery of science to find shelter. With such remarkable wisdom has the language of this chapter been chosen to avoid conflict with modern science that so great a geologist as Prof. J. D. Dana of Yale College asserted with great emphasis that it was impossible to account for it except on the theory of divine inspiration.
"In the opening verse it shuts off controversy concerning the age of the earth, and indeed of the solar system, by the simple statement that the heaven and the earth were created in the 'beginning,' without any assertion how long ago that beginning was. But that the solar system had a beginning is proved by modern science with such clearness that the boldest evolutionist cannot gainsay it. The modern doctrine of the conservation of energy proves that the present order of things has not always existed. The sun is cooling off. Its heat is rapidly radiating and wasting itself in empty space. In short, the solar system is running down, and it is as clear as noonday that the process cannot have been going on forever. Even the nebular hypothesis implies a beginning, and no wit of man ever devised a better statement of that fact than is found in the opening verse of the Bible.
Creation Was Gradual
"This whole first chapter of Genesis is based upon the principle of progress in this method of creation. The universe was not brought into existence instantaneously. It was not complete at the outset. In the beginning we have merely the physical forces out of which the grand structure is to be made by a gradually unfolding, or if one prefers to say so, an 'evolutionary' process.* This is equally true whatever view one may take of the word 'day' (Hebrew 'yom'). Why should an Almighty Creator need six days, even if only twenty-four hours long, to create the world in? The answer is that the Creator not only possesses almighty power, but has infinite wisdom, and has seen fit to choose a method of creation which involves 'first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear.'
"That there is a divine plan of evolution,* appears on the face of this whole chapter. The creation is begun by bringing into existence the simplest forms of matter, and continued by imposing upon them those activities of force and energy which produce light. This is followed by the segregation of the matter which forms the earth, and the separation of land from water, and of the water upon the earth from that which is held in suspension in the air. If anyone wishes to [F54] carp over the word 'firmament,' and insists upon its bald literal meaning, he is forbidden to do so by the subsequent statement (Gen. 1:20) that the birds are made to fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. The medium which held up the water in the clouds was one through which the birds could fly.
*As already indicated, it is only in respect to man's creation that the Evolution theory conflicts with the Bible--and only to attack this point does that theory exist or find advocates.
Creation of Vegetation
"At the third stage the land was covered with vegetation, which is the simplest form of life, but which, when once introduced, carries with it the whole developing series of vegetable products. So comprehensive is the language in which the creation of plants is announced that it leaves ample room for the theory of spontaneous generation, which is yet one of the mooted questions in biology. In the light of this how remarkable are the words 'and God said, Let the earth bring forth grass;...and the earth brought forth grass.'
"The same remarkable form of expression occurs in introducing the fifth day of progress, where we read (Gen. 1:20): 'And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life.'...And again, introducing the sixth day's work the same phrase is used (Gen. 1:24) 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind.'...If one should insist on interpreting this language according to the mere letter he would have what neither science nor theology would accept.
A Special Creator
"When it comes to the creation of man a very different expression is used. It is said that God made man in his own image and breathed into him the breath of life. How much this may signify with reference to the mode of man's creation it is not necessary to consider at this point. But the expression fitly corresponds to the exalted dignity which belongs to man when compared to the rest of the animal creation. The most noteworthy characteristics of man are brought to light both in this and in the subsequent account of the beginning of his career. Not only is man said to be made in the image of God, but he is fitted to rule over the beasts of the field and has the gift of language, through which he can bestow names upon them. Furthermore, he is a being free of will, who knows the difference between right and wrong--in short, is in possession of a moral nature which places him in a class by himself.
"That so many things should have been told us about the creation, with nothing which is absurd and fantastic, and so little which creates any difficulty in harmonizing it with modern science, is the clearest evidence which we can have that it was given by divine inspiration. Not even Milton, with all his learning and with the advantage [F55] of this account before him, could curb his imagination sufficiently to keep from making a travesty of his whole conception of the creation of the animal kingdom. What but the hand of inspiration could have so curbed and guided the writer of the first chapter of Genesis?
Man Created, Not Evoluted
"There is a vast difference between the size and development in the brain in man and that in the lower members of the order 'primates.'
"Physiologically and psychologically man differs even more widely from the lower members of his order. He has the power of grammatical speech. He can arrange his thoughts in sentences, which can be represented by arbitrary marks on paper or some other substance. Man has an ear for harmony in music, which no animal has. This involves a delicacy of structure in the organs of hearing of a most marvelous character. Among his mental qualities, that of scientific or inductive reasoning is most remarkable when contrasted with the mental capacities of the animal creation.
"In his great work on 'Mental Evolution,' Romanes thinks he finds in the lower animals all the rudiments of man's mental capacity, but they are so clearly rudimental that they leave the gap between man and the animal nearly as great as ever. By collecting all the manifestations of intelligence in animals he finds that they all together manifest as much intelligence as a child does when it is 15 months old. But this intelligence is not in any single species, one species being advanced to that degree in one line, and another, in another....
Reason Versus Instinct
"Keen as the dog's sense of smell may be, it is of no help in teaching him geology. Nor is the eagle's acuteness of vision of any assistance to him in studying astronomy. In vain would one conduct a dog over the world to learn the extent of the ice cap during the glacial period, for he has no powers of thought through which he could connect the boulders in the United States with their parent ledges in Canada, or the scratched stones on the plains of Russia with the Scandinavian mountains from whose ledges they were wrenched by the moving ice. Such inferences are entirely beyond canine capacity....
Capacity for Religion
"In nothing does this superiority of the human mind appear more striking than in its capacity to gain religious ideas through literature. There are, indeed, wonderful exhibitions of learned pigs, which, by some process, can be taught to select a few letters on blocks so as to [F56] spell out some simple words. But no animal can be taught to talk intelligibly. To this statement the parrot even is not an exception, since its words are merely a repetition of sounds unintelligible even to himself. Much less can an animal be taught to read or to listen intelligently to an oration or a sermon.
"On the other hand, the Bible, which is a book of the most varied literature, containing the highest flights of poetry and eloquence ever written, and presenting the sublimest conceptions of God and the future life that have ever been entertained, has been translated into almost every language under heaven, and has found in those languages the appropriate figures of speech through which effectively to present its ideas....
"It is thus, when viewed from the highest intellectual point of view, that man's uniqueness in the animal creation is best seen. Intellectually, he stands by himself. The scientific name for the genus to which man belongs is 'homo,' but the species is 'homo sapiens,' that is, a human frame with human wisdom attached....
"Alfred Russell Wallace, who independently discovered the principle of natural selection and published it at the same time with Darwin, instanced various physical peculiarities in man which could not have originated by natural selection alone, but which irresistibly pointed to the agency of a superior directing power.
Clothes and Tools
"Among these he cites the absence in man of any natural protective covering. Man alone of all animals wears clothes. He weaves the fibers of plants into a blanket or deprives other animals of their skins, and uses them to throw over his own naked back as a shelter from the inclemency of the weather. The birds have feathers, sheep have a fleece, other animals have fur admirably adapted for their protection. Man alone is without such protection, except as he obtains it by the use of his own intelligence. Until we pause to think of it, we scarcely realize how much intelligence is involved in man's efforts to secure clothing. Even in so simple a matter as that of securing the skin of another animal for a robe, he is compelled as a preliminary to be the inventor of tools. No animal was ever yet skinned without the use of some sort of a knife.
"This brings us to another good definition of man, as a tool-using animal. The nearest approach to the use of tools by animals is found in the elephant and the monkey. An elephant has been known to seize a brush with his trunk and by thus lengthening it enabling himself to brush objects off from otherwise inaccessible portions of his body. A monkey has been known to use a stick in prying open a door. But no animal has ever been known to fashion a tool; whereas there is [F57] no tribe of men so low in intelligence that it does not fashion most curious and complicated tools.
"The canoes of the lowest races are most ingeniously formed, and most perfectly adapted to their needs. The chipped flint implement involves the cherishing of a farsighted design and the exercise of great skill in carving it out. The ingenious methods by which savage nations secure fire at will, by friction, would do credit to civilized man; while the use of the bow and sling and of the boomerang shows inventive capacity of a very high order with which the animal creation has nothing to compare.
Capacity for Music
"Wallace furthermore adduces the human voice as a development far in excess of anything that can be produced by natural selection. Monkeys have no music in their souls and no capacity for music in their vocal organs; whereas even the lowest races of man have both. The 'folk songs' are the great source to which our leading musical composers go for their themes. The late Theodore F. Seward, in commenting upon the Negro plantation songs which he transcribed, says that in their harmony and progression they all conform to the scientific rules of musical composition. However much of advantage this musical capacity may be to fully developed man, we cannot conceive of its having been any advantage to an animal in the low stage of development in which we find the ape. The musical voice that attracts the ape has only the faintest resemblance to that which is attractive to either man or woman.
"Again, the size of the human brain is out of all proportion to the mental needs of the highest animal creation below man, and without man's intelligence would be an incumbrance rather than a help. The two, therefore, must have sprung into existence simultaneously in order to have presented an advantage which natural selection could seize hold of and preserve and develop....
"It is difficult to see how it could have been an advantage to an ape to have the thumb of his hind limb turn into a big toe which can no longer be used for grasping things, but is useful only as he walks in an upright position. It is difficult to see what advantage could come to an ape in having his forelimbs shortened, as they would have to be if they were transformed into the arms of a man. It is difficult also to see how it should have been of any advantage to an ape to experience those changes in the adjustment of the hip bone and of the neck which would prevent his walking at all on all fours, and limit him to walking on two legs and in an upright position.
"In all these respects the difficulty in our understanding the origin of man from natural selection is increased if we are compelled to suppose [F58] that it was a very gradual process, and that these changes leading on to the perfection of the human organization began in an imperceptible, or almost imperceptible, degree; for such incipient changes could have been of no advantage. To be of advantage they must have been considerable, and the mental and physical changes must have been correlated in accordance with some law of pre-established harmony.
"The mystery of the origin of man has not been in the least degree diminished by the Darwinian hypothesis, or by any light which evolutionary theories have thrown upon it. It is acknowledged by all that geologically, he is the most recent of the species which have been added to the population of the earth; while mentally, he towers so far above the lower animals that he is for that very reason, if for no other, classified by himself. The mystery is how he came into possession of this high degree of mental power with a bodily frame and a physiological constitution so completely adapted to its exercise. Those who say that it was exhaled in some way from the lower orders of intellectual beings, will encounter philosophical difficulties tenfold greater than do those who accept the simple statement of the Bible, that his soul is the divine inbreathing--the very image of God."
"Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.
"His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour.
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
"Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain.
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain."