Geology, the science that treats of the earth's crust, its rocky strata, and the fossil remains found in them. Its interest to the Biblical student chiefly arises from its bearings upon the Mosaic account of the creation. (See M'Caul, Notes on Genesis 1 [London, 1861]; Challis, Creation [Lond. 1861]; Pratt, Genealogy of Creation [Lond. 1861]; Christ. Remembrancer, Apr. 1861; Evang. Review, October 1861; Keerl, Einh. d. bib. Urgesch., etc. [Basle, 1863]; Von Schleiden, Das Alter des Menschen Geschlechts [Lpz. 1863]; Free-will Baptist Quarterly, April 1864; Burton, Creation [Lond. 1836]; Dawson, Archaia [Lond. 1862]; Gloag, Relations of Geology to Theology [Edinb. 1858]; Huxtable, Record of Creation Vindicated [London, 1861]; Hutton, Chronol. of Creation [Lond. 1860]; Lime, Mosaic Record [Edinburgh, 1857]; Anon. Sacred Geology [Lonu. 1847]; Sumner, Records of Creation [6th ed., London, 1850]; Wight, Mosaic Creation (Lond. 1847]; Crofton, Geology and Genesis [London, 1854]; Young, Scriptural Geology [London, 1840]; De Serres, La Cosmogonie de Moise Par. 1840; in Germ., Tub. 1841]; Bosizo, Hexaemeron und Geologie [Mainz, 1865]; Rorison, The Creative Week, art. 5 of Replies to "Essays and Reviews" [Lond. and N.Y. 1862]; Lewis, God's Week of Work [Lond. 1865]; Amer. Presb. Rev. October 1865; Poole, Genesis of Earth and Man [2d ed. Lond. 1860]; Wolf, Die Urgeschichte [Homb. 1860]; Baltzer, Schopfungsgeschichte [Lpz. 1867 sq.]; Brit. and For. Evang. Rev. April 1867: Reusch, Bibel und Natur [Freib. 1866]; Lucas, Biblic. Ant. of Man [Lond. 1866]; Pitcairn, Ages of the Earth [Lond. 1868]; Worgan, The
Divine Week [Manchester, 1864]; Wright, Geology and Antiquity of Earth [Lond. 1864]; Anon. Phys. Theory of the Earth [Lond. 1864]; M'Causland, The Adamite [Lond. 1864]; Gartner, Bibelund Geohlogie [Stuttg. 1868].) SEE CREATION.
1. History of the Inquiry. — (Comp. the treatise of Pattison, The Earth and the World, Lond. 1858, pages 123-139.) The prevalent opinion among the learned for upwards of two centuries after the revival of letters was that organic remains were mere mineral concretions. Hypotheses were invented purporting to account for their production in methods quite worthy of the school of subtle philosophy whence they issued. This was maintained, not by obscure monks, but by) really accomplished persons, the lights of natural history in their day, such as Fallopio, Mercati, and Olivi in Italy, Plot and Lister in England, and Agricola in Germany.
The excavations made for repairing the city of Verona in 1517 brought to light a number of fossil remains, the appearance of which exercised the wits of that time; and, among others, Fracastoro boldly expounded their true meaning and relations. He declared that they had not originated in any such "plastic force" as was pretended, nor could they have been the results of the waters of the deluge. After having been thus rescued from the mineral kingdom, they were, however, universally attributed to the deluge. Fabio Colonna, in 1600, and the whole of the Italian writers of this period, considered that all petrifactions were the remains of the Noachian deluge.
In 1669, Steno, a Dane, attached to the court of Tuscany, expounded the true theory of organic fossils; he labored to harmonize his views with Scripture by selecting strata which appeared to him to be unfossiliferous, and treating them as having been created before the existence of animals and plants. In 1676, Quirini contended that the diluvial waters could not have effected all the operations attributed to them, and maintained that the universality of the Mosaic deluge was not to be insisted on. In 1688, Robert Hook, in his posthumous treatise on earthquakes, assigns to organic remains their true character, and supposes that some species may have been lost. In his diluvial theory he attempts to crowd into the time between the creation and the deluge, and into the latter, all the visible phenomena of upheaval or dislocation.
In 1690, Dr. Thomas Burnet, in his Sacred Theory of the Earth, describes the earth at the beginning as a fluid mass composed of all kinds of materials. The heaviest descended to the bottom and formed a solid kernel, around which the waters, and afterwards the atmosphere, united; but between the water and atmosphere there was formed an oily stratum, which received, little by little, all the earthy constituents with which the air was still charged. On this consolidated bed, marshy, thin, uniform, level, without mountains, without valleys, without either seas or rivers, lived the antediluvian generations. At this epoch the marshy crust, dried up by the heat of the sun, split, and fell down in the great abyss of waters. From thence came the universal deluge, the disarrangement of the axis of the globe, and the changing of climates. The earth, thus drowned, had still some cavities into which the waters entered, little by little, and so returned to their subterranean reservoir. Thus the ocean is a part of the great abyss, the isles are the fragments,, the continents are the great residuary masses of the old world. To the confusion brought about by the breaking up of the waters are owing the mountains and other undulations that we now see, This is a specimen of a large class of writings which passed for the effusions of learning and piety in the Augustan age of English literature.
In 1696, Whiston, the great astronomer, published his new theory of the earth. He conceived of the earth as still having in its midst a solid and burning kernel, retaining the heat which it received from the sun when it was only the nucleus of the comet, and continually spreading it towards its circumference. This nucleus is itself surrounded by a great abyss, which is composed of two rings, of which the lower is a heavy fluid, and the upper water; it is this layer of water which constitutes the foundation of our earth. The deluge was occasioned by another comet striking the earth, and was the parent of all the disturbances now manifest in its crust.
About 1680 the great Leibnitz wrote of the earth as an extinct sun vitrified. According to him, its greater portion was the subject of a violent fire, at the time when Moses tells us that the light was separated from the darkness. The fusion of the globe produced a vitrified crust; when the crust was cold, the humid parts, which had risen in vapor, fell again, and formed the ocean. The sea then deposited calcareous rocks. It at first enveloped all the surface of the globe, and surmounted the higher parts which at present form the continents and isles. Thus the shells and other rubbish of marine animals that one finds everywhere prove that the sea has covered all the land; and the great quantity of fixed salts, of sand, and other matters, fused and calcined in the earth, testify to the universal fire, and that it preceded the existence of the sea.
In 1695, Dr. Woodward, in his Discourse on the Natural History of the Earth, most ably vindicates the proper nature of organic remains, and disposes of the views of those who attribute them to casual inundations, or to the wash of the sea when the land was first made; but he is equally unsuccessful in the formation of a hypothesis with his predecessors. He holds that at the deluge the solid strata of the earth were dissolved in the water; the remains of animals sank down and became imbedded according to their relative gravity.
In Italy, Yallisneri, finding by his own careful observations that the facts were not in accordance with the theories then in vogue, which were affirmed to be founded in the interpretation of Scripture, attacked the interpreters, and demonstrated that they were in error. He wisely contented himself with recording his own observations, and would not attempt the construction of a theory.
In 1740, Moro, on the other hand, with much that is valuable in his onslaught upon other cosmogonists, fell into the error of becoming one of their number. His theory, however, is much more consistent, as well as reverential to the truth, than that of any of his predecessors.
In 1749, Buffon published, like his fellow philosophers, a theory of the earth, which is now found in the first part of his collected works. It is a free and easy way of world-making with the aid of a sun, a comet, volcanic and aqueous forces at pleasure. The Sorbonne required him to recant so much of his work as expressed the sentiment that the waters of the sea had produced the land, and then left it dry, and that the land was again, by wear and tear, gradually merging into the sea. The recantation is published with his works. These gorgeous dreams cost their author forty years' thought, and enjoyed uncommon reputation. Even now their decision of tone and eloquence of statement command an interest.
In 1756, Lehmann, the German mineralogist, confined the action of the flood to the production of a few only of the rocks, and assigned the unfossiliferous strata to the original creation, and the conglomerates to an intermediate revolution.
In 1760, Michell, who held for eight years the Woodwardian professorship at Cambridge, showed himself the true predecessor of modern geology. Neglecting cosmogony altogether, and applying himself to the description of the strata as they appeared under his own observation, he discovered the true sequence of the beds, and indicated a direction in which the geologist might pursue his labors without infringing on theology.
After Michell, the visions of the cosmogonists were again reproduced by various English writers. Sound geology, however, began to take precedence of worldmaking; the actual wonders of the subterranean world were preferred to the gay creations of the world-makers. Hutton, William Smith, and a host of followers, comprising Cuvier and Brogniart, kept the republic of letters well employed in acquiring the grammar of the new science, which was created by physical researches into the strata and their contents. Henceforward cosmogony assumes a second-rate position.
De Luc, in 1799, wrote the chronology of Moses, as only commencing with the creation of man; and of the days of creation as being not natural day's, but indefinite periods. A long line of illustrious men, many of whom are now living, diverted attention from the vain attempts of thee early philosophers, and occupied themselves exclusively emith descriptive geology. A classification of opinions-taking only the views of the leading men-will serve to show, in a general way, 'What has been said and done for the last fifty vears in this department of knowledge. The following are the principal hypotheses:
1. That the days of creation are indefinite periods, during which all the phenomena of geology occurred; that the deluge is now marked by the drift and gravel remains of the post-tertiary age (Cuvier, Parkinson, Jameson, and others).
2. That the first sentence of Genesis has no connection with the subsequent verses. The phenomena of geology have place between the first and second verses. The chaos was universal, and ushered in the present creation (Chalmers, 1804. See also The Earth's Antiquity in harmony with the Mosaic Account of Creation, by James Gray, M.A., 1849).
3. That the earth that now is was the bed of the ante-diluvian sea. That all the phenomena now visible resulted from operations in the interval between the creation and the end of the deluge. That, save this, the rocks were created as they now exist (Granville Penn, Young).
4. That we cannot rely on an interpretation of the Hebrew records, and therefore we may set them aside when apparently at variance with geological facts (Babbage).
5. That the records are poetical representations, and not historical (Baden Powell).
6. That the first verse is a detached account of the original creation. The chaos, the six days' creation, and the flood were local phenomena, and refer to what was transacted in the province occupied by man only (Dr. Pye Smith).
7. That the "days were great natural periods. The Palheozoic system, pre- eminently that of plants, is the work of the third day; the secondary, pre- eminently the epoch of sea-monsters and creeping things, is the work of the fifth day; and the tertiary, the time of mammalian creatures, is the work of the sixth day" (Hugh Miller).
8. That the Mosaic narrative is a revelation made in visions to the mind of the prophet; the days are therefore spoken of not in connection with the events, but the duration of the vision. The events occurred in extremely lengthened periods. The deluge was partial (Limee, Mosaic Record in harmony with Geological, 1854; Poole, Genesis of the Earth and Man, 1856).
9. That all creation took place consecutively, according to the literal reading of Genesis 1. All things, fossil and recent, form part of one whole system of life, and were created at once on the successive dafys of creation. That the fossil species have become gradually extinct, and their remains buried by disturbances occurring from the first (L'abbel Soignet, Cosmogonaie de la Bible, Paris, 1854).
10. P.H. Gosse (Omphalos, Lond. 1857). The theory of this writer is a reproduction of Granville Penn, with a dash of the old, arbitrary, anti- geologic notion of the creation of the rocks, with fossils complete as they are. He affirms a principle which he calls the law of "Prochronism?" in virtue of which the strata of the surface of the earth, with their fossil flora and fauna, may possibly belong to a " priochronic" (i.e., to an unreal and snymbolical or typical) development of the mighty plant of the life history of the world.
The preceding account, though it is only a very general view of the principal hypotheses an this subject, yet sufficiently shows how the minds of the framers have felt the poemer of the sacred writings. They have done homage, unconsciously in many instances, to divine truth, by acknowledging the necessity of accordance with it, however widely they have diverged from its plain teaching. It is a notable instance of the commanding power of the Scriptures that thus, through ages of ignorance and periods of enlightenment, they should still have been the polestar, guiding all voyagers in their pathless track towards the unknown.
11. We have reserved until last, as being, on the whole, the most comprehensive and satisfactory, the conclusions of Mr. Crofton, which have now for some years been before the world (originally sketched in Kitto's Journal, January 1850), and have not been refuted by any philologer. He affirms that, apart from geological considerations, and judging from analogy with Scripture alone, the interpretation of the sacred volume renders the following ten propositions credible.
(1.) That the absolute age of our earth is not defined in the sacred volume.
(2.) That there may have been a long interval in duration between the creation of "the heaven and the earth" mentioned in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis and the continuation of the earth's history in the second verse.
(3.) That the term "the earth" does not apply necessarily, in every instance, to the whole of our planet, but sometimes only to a part of it.
(4.) That the state of the earth, described in the second verse as "without form and void," does not ncessarily mean matter nemaer reduced to form and order, but may signify matter reduced to disorder, after previous organization and arrangement.
(5.) That the "darkness" "upon the face of the deep," also mentioned in the second verse, is not negative of the previous existence of light, but may have been only a temporary one.
(6.) That the commencement of the account of the first six days' creation dates from the beginning of the third verse, "And God said, Let there be light."
(7.) That the act of "the first day" does not necesssarily signify the crealtion of light, but may have been only the calling of irinto operation upon the scene of "darkness" described in the second verse.
(8.) That the calling of "the light Day" and "the darkness Night," with the declaration that " the evening and the morning were the first day," does not necessarily imply that this was the first day, absolutely speaking.
(9.) That the work of "the second day," mentioned in the sixth, seventh, and eighth verses, may have been only an operation performed upon the atmosphere of our earth.
(10.) That the work of "the fourth day," described from the fourteenth to the eighteenth verses, does not necessarily imply that the sun, moon, and stars were then first created or formed, for the first time, from pre- existent matter; but may only have been that they were then, for the first tine in the detail of the history of the present earth, made visible to it, and ordained to their offices with respect to the coming human creation (Genesis and Geology, Lond. 1852; Phila. 1853).
II. Controversy between Geologists and Theologians. — "The kindred sciences of geology and paleontology cannot yet be said to have been in existence more than eighty years. But they had scarcely begun to assume the form and lineanments of sciences when that jealousy, which has never since the days of Galileo ceased to exist to some extent between the religionist and the natural philosopher, began to evince itself. The religionist was alarmed by rumors that the rocks, under the searching eye of the geologist, disclosed a state of facts which was wholly at variance with the Mosaic detail of the manner and order of the creation; and the studies of the geologists were, without much inquiry, condemned and denounced, in no very measured terms, as destructive of the doctrine of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, and as infidel in their inception and tendency. On the other band, the man of science was not slow in retorting that, if the record of Moses was of divine origin, it had nothing to approlend from the development of facts; and that, if it could not bear the test of physical truth, it must give way, even though it stood on the threshold of the treasury of inspiration; for that, is such a crisis, the testimony of the senses with emhich man has been endowed for his guidance must prevail against mere matters of faith. In argument the men of science had the advantage, but in practice he erred by too frequently assuming geological facts and Scripture interpretation without sufficient inquiry, and so contributed, by hastily formed conclusions, to put asunder the cord and the works of God, which, by the decrees of Omniscience, must ever be joined together.
"The contest, in its early stages, was carried on by those religionists who construed the Mosaic days of the creation to have been six successive natural days of twenty-four hours each, measured by the revolution of our globe on its axis; and the objection of the geologist was founded on the obvious impossibility or absurdity that the world could have been stocked with the various animal and vegetable organisms, whose remains have been found in the crust of the earth, in the brief period of the six natural days that. preceded the birth of Adam. The evidence was incontrovertible that for untold ages before that event generation upon generation of extinct animals had lived and died upon the earth.
1. "To meet this difficulty, which threatened to blot out the first page of the Scriptures from inspiled reavelation, and which mas obviously subversive of the authenticity and inspiration of all Scripture, a host of champions arose, who, instead of examining with patience and testing with care the alleged facts of geology, recklessly denied their existence, or sought to explain and account for them on wholly inadequate, and in many instances on false and absurd principles and grounds. Some ascribed the existence of fossil remains to the flood in the days of Noah; others to what was termed a plastic-power that existed as one of the natural laws of matter; and others, again, insisted that the various systems of mocks were created by the fiat of the Almighty with the fossil remains of animals that had never lived, and of plants that had never grown, imbedded in them. These were the reasonings of Granville Penn, Fairholm, Kirby, Sharon Turner, Gisborne, Taylor, dean Cockburn, etc.; and of them it is unnecessary to say more than that the progress of scientific discovery has extinguished their arguments, not only without injury to the cause of Scripture truth, but with the effect of establishing it on a surer basis.
2. "Another class of inquirers sought to solve the difficulty by conceding the well-established facts of geology and the geological explanations of those facts, but suggesting that the imperfection of our knowledge of the original Hebrew at the present day was such as to preclude all certainty of a right interpretation of its meaning. This emas the position of Babbage; while Baden Powell insisted that the narrative of the creation is couched in the language of mythic poetry, and was not intended to be a historical detail of natural occurrences. It is satisfactory to know that the necessity for arguments so injurious in their tendencies to the cause of the truth and integrity of the Bible no longer exists; for the precision of the Mosaic phraseology will be found confirmed by every step that has been taken in the development of the truths of geology.
3. "At an early period of this controversay, Dr. Chalmers, whose sagacious mind and prudent foresight comprehended the importance of this issue between the facts of geology and the language of the Scriptures, propounded the preposition that 'the writings of Moses dos not fix the antiqeuity of the globe' — that after the creation of the heavens and the earth, which may have comprehended any internal of time and any extent of animal and vegetable life, a chaotic period ensued, when death and darkness reigned upon our globe, and the earth became, in Scripture language, 'without form and void,' and all that had previously existed was, by some catastrophe, blotted out, and a new world of light and life produced, by fiats of the Deity, in a period of six natural days, closing with the birth of Adam; and thus the world which now exists was cut off from that which preceded it by a period of black, chaotic disorder. The geologist had thus ample room for the existence of all the organisms whose remains are found in the rocks that compose the crust of the earth, sand he might labor in his investigation of the nature and order of geological events without endangering the truth of the Mosaic record of the creation." Against this view Dr. Conant urges several objections (Revised Version of Genesis, page 20), the force of which, however, may in a great aceasure be readily parried.
1. The sacred writer himself gives no intimation of such an interval. Of course not, since its mention forms no part of his plan. An argumentum a silentio is wholly invalid. It is sufficient if a space can be found in point of fact.
2. It assumes that Moses has given us an account of only a part of the creative work. But no one claims that he has given all the details of creation, or even a complete outline of it. His object was merely to state so much as stands connected with human history; and on the view in question, this is more perfectly done than by any other interpretation, since it was the last creative stage by which the earth was specially fitted for man's abode.
3. Science shows no such convulsion in the period pre. ceding man's introduction on the earth. On the contrary, an innumerable series of such cataclysms are revealed between the various strata of the earth's crust, and there is special evidence of some general ice-wave almost immediately preceding the historic period, in the phenomena of drift, bowfders, and striated rocks, all of which are everywhere strewn upon the present surface of the globe.
4. Six extended creative periods allow time for the operation of second causes, such as were obviously at work for long ages in the formation of the earth, whereas six mere days would be no more called for than a single instant, such as that in which tie Almighty fiat evoked the primitive matter into being. But we are not competent to prescribe what would be a worthy process for the Creator, and this objection overlooks the moral significance of these week-days as compared with the Sabbath. Besides, the theory in question affords equal scope with any other for the cycles of geogony, geology, and geontolocy, while it brings the inspired narrative closer to man's present home, with his animal and vegetable companions. For example, on the opposite view, little propriety could be made out of the historical statement, Ge 2:19-20: "Now Jehovah God had formed from the ground every living [thing] of the field, and every bird of the heavens, and brought [each] to the man to see what he would call it; so [that] whatever the man might call it [as] a living creature, that [was] its name; accordingly, the man called names to all the cattle, and to the bird of the heavens, and to every living [thing] of the field; but for the man [one] did not find a helper as his counterpart [(or mate)]." Surely Adam did not call forth in review the fossil forms of long-extinct species from the bowels of the earth; and yet he must have done so if the animated tribes just spoken of, which are obviously the same with those of the sixth demiurgic day, were those of the geological ages. The advocates of a literal — although not local — creation on the sixth day are at liberty to apply the above-quoted language to an inspection of merely the surrounding creatures, or those inhabiting the garden of Eden along with Adam, as specimens of the various races roaming the earth-as in the case of the animals assembled from his own neighborhood by Noah into the ark SEE DELUGE; for their interpretation gradually narrows down the scope of the Mosaic cosmogony to man's special accommodation; but this symbolical theory, being throughout of cosmopolitan extent, requires all its terms to be taken in their most universal application. Indeed, in order to be consistent, it should not be content with the creation of a single human pair, and their location in a particular spot; but it really favors the modern skeptical demand for an aboriginally widespread humanity in various independent centers of origin. SEE ADAM.
The objections of Kalisch (Commentary on Genesis, page 48 sq.), who concludes that, "with regard to astronomy and geology, the Biblical records are, in many essential points, utterly and irreconcilably at variance with the established results of modern researches" (page 52), are as follows:
1. That the connecting 1, and, of verse 2, "expresses immediate sequence." So little force is there in this as an absolute or universal remark, that the connection in question occasionally appears at the beginning of a book (Ex 1:1; 1Ki 1:1; Ezr 1:1) or even an isolated epistle (2Ki 5:6; 2Ki 10:2). See Gesenins, Thesaurus, page 395, b.
2. Ex 20:11, "For in six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth," etc., so far from being "in direct opposition" to this view, is in exact agreement with it, since that expression, which is a mere repetition of the summary statement in Ge 2:1, contains not one syllable concerning the creation (it is עָשָׂה there, not בָּרָא, as in Ge 1:1) of matter. The formula "heavens and earth" in Ge 1:1 denotes the universe, as its absolute position there shows; whereas in Ex 20:11 it merely designates the sky and the land as subdivisions of our planet, in distinction from the sea, which is immediately added to embrace the whole.
3. "In Mt 19:4 man is said to have been created 'in the beginning;' the work of the sixth day was therefore believed to be coeval with the time specified in the first verse." This is a piece of reasoning which refutes itself.
4. "The earth could not have been termed 'dreary and empty' if it [had] teemed with life and vegetation long before." Certainly it could if this life and vegetation had been destroyed, as we suppose.
5. For the same reason, the argument cited by the same author (p. 45) from Hugh Miller (Testimony of the Rocks, pages 121, 122) is inapposite here, that "for many ages ere man was ushered into being not a few of [the species of] his humble contemporaries of the fields and woods enjoyed life in their present haunts, and that for thousands of years previous to their appearance many of the existing [species of] mollusks were in our seas;" for these species may very readily have been recreated, on the theory we are now advocating, even if they had been exterminated just before the period of man-which, however, does not necessarily follow, for their germs may have survived the cataclysm supposed.
The objections which Dr. Tayler Lewis urges against this "chasm theory," as he styles it, and which he regards as "the most difficult as well as the most unsatisfactory" of all the proposed solutions, are still less forcible (Lange's Commentary on Genesis, page 167):
1. The incongruity between the events spoken of before and after the chasm. But on this theory there is no direct connection.
2. Want of natural or moral reasons for the alleged catastrophe. But no catastrophe is stated in the narrative; it is only an inference of modern times.
3. The theory is evidently brought in as an escape from geological difficulties. That is little against it, for all the modern explanations are but ingenious devices to meet some speculative view, except the bald one that holds to the literal creation of the universe in six periods of twenty-four hours each. On the other hand, the interpretation under consideration simply allows Moses to say nothing about matters with which he had nothing to do. We protest against making him wise in all the modern scientific ratiocinations.
4. It makes the "heavens" of verse 1 different from those of verse 8. This is true only as to the extension of the term, which the different character of the two contexts requires us to vary. Does any reasonable interpreter suppose the mere sky alone to be meant in verse 1, as in verse 8 ? 5. The connecting ו, "and," does not admit "so sharp and remote a severance" in the history. We may reply that there was no wide gap in the imagination of the writer; it exists only in the mind of the modern savant. But, supposing that Moses did know all about the period thus ignored by him, every Bible reader is aware how often such gaps are silently bridged by the conjunction in question, which might almost be described as a "disjunctive" rather than a copulative. The erudite objector himself candidly admits (page 130) that such minute grammatical points as the tense of the verb הָיתָה, "was," instead of וִתּהַי, as well as the question whether the first day is exclusive or inclusive of the "beginning," are inconclusive.
On the other hand, the sacred text itself discloses several positive indications of such a hiatus as we have supposed between verse 1 and 2 of Genesis 1.
(1) The term "beginning" implies a sequel or later stage of creation, especially as it stands in so emphatic a position and absolute a form.
(2) The act here designated by the word " created" is not a general one, of which the details follow, but one totally distinct in kind from them, namely, the aborigination of matter itself: hence it is not used again until the bringing into existence of animal life is specified.
(3) Accordingly, the phrase "heavens and earth," although expressive of the universe, does not mean the celestial and terrestrial worlds as such, or as now extant, but merely their elementary state or materials. This will be disputed by few if any interpreters. But thus, under any theory, a long interval must have elapsed between this primordial state of matter, and its organization or crystallization into the most rudimentary forms to which it is possible to apply the statements of the succeeding verse.
(4) For "the earth" is there spoken of separately as atleast a segregated globe, and special prominence is given to it by its emphatic position in the sentence, as well as by the strong disjunctive accent placed upon it by the Masoretes, whereas the reduction of the heavenly bodies to their present order is not spoken of till a much later point — a fact utterly irreconcilable with the view that makes the latter phenomena coincide with their astronomical production.
(5) The force of the substantive verb ה יהָה, "was," which, was being expressed in verse 2, is not the simple copula, adds intensity to this distinction of the terrene from the aerial sphere, and shows that the writer has descended fmom the universal creation to our own planet as the immediate abode of man. Now although the verb in question ought not perhaps, with some, be rendered became, remained, etc., yet as the equivalent of ὑπάρχω, in distinction from εἰμί, it certainly serves to point out a particular condition of the earth at a definite stage of its history as an actual event in contrast with its later and prior state; q.d. "The earth, however, still existed as," etc.
(6) The peculiar phrase employed to describe the condition in question is even more conclusive of this interpretation; for not only is this not an adjective, which would have expressed simple quality, but the nouns וָבֹהוּ תֹּהוּ, literally wasteness and desolation, or emptiness and vacuity (for both these ideas are implied, and the two words are almost snonymous), used superlatively by way of reiterated asseveration, are both expressive of a positive rather than a negative fact, the result of an active cause, and not a mere continuance of disorder or the absence of organic principles, q.d. "wreck and ruin" (compare Isa 34:11, "He shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion [tôhu], and the stones of emptiness [bohu]," speaking of the complete demolition of a city).
(7) The same picture of devastation is contained in the parallel terms תּהוֹם, abyss, and פּנֵיאּמִּיַם, surface of the water; by which the face of the globe (not its interior) is represented as a vast and billowy sea, just such as an arctic deluge or a suddenly melted mer de glace world exhibit.
(8) Finally, the brooding (מּרִחֶפֶה) of the divine Spirit oaer this dark and turbid nest (not chaotic world-egg) does not exclude all previous creative or reductive energy, but rather implies the already fecundated germ or organized embryo, which only needed incubation to bring it to perfection and manifestation. The semina rerum survived the extinctioan of the parent races, and a fresh brood was to repopulate the globe. Or perhaps the figure may still better be interpreted of the fledgling earth, chilled and stunned by the recent catastrophe, nestling for warmth and protection beneath the genial wings of its Creator, to gather new visor for the final essay at independent life and action.
4. "Dr. Pye Smith, in his Geology and Scripture, suggested that the chaotic period had been confined and limited to one particular portion of the earth's surface, viz. that part which God was adapting for the dwfelling- place of man and the animals connected with him. This section of the earth he designates as 'a part of Asia lying between the Caucasian range, the Caspian Sea, and Tartary on the north, the Persian and Indian seas on the south, and the mountain ridges which run, at considerable distances, on the eastern and western flanks;' and he suggests that this region was brought by atmospheric and geological causes into a condition of superficial ruin, or some kind of general disorder. This theory left to the geologist his unbroken series of plants and animals in all parts of the world, with the exception of this particular locality. But the explanation was never received with favor, and was obviously inconsistent with the language of Scripture, inasmuch as the term 'the earth,' in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis, embraces the whole of the terrestrial globe, and 'the earth' that is, in the next verse, described as 'without form and void,' cannot be morse restricted in its meaning and extent." This theory, however, is maintained lay one of the latest expositors of this portion of Scripture (Murphy, Commentary on Genesis, ad loc.).
5. Another scheme of reconciliation of Scripture and geology has for its foundation the assumption that the Mosaic days designate periods of vast and undefined extent — that the six days of creation portray six long periods of time, which commenced with "the beginning," and have succeeded each other from thence through the various scenes depicted by Moses, up to ans inclusive of the creation of man; and that the seventh day, on which God rested from his work of creation, is still current. Against such a construction of the cord "day" in the Mosaic record, Dr. Buckland, who was one of the advocates for the natural-day interpretation, asserts that "there is no sound critical or theological objection;" an admission, however, which there is abundant reason to dispute. SEE DAY.
"Long before the question had assumed the importance and interest which the discoveries of geology have given to it, many well-informed philologists advocated the opinion that the Mosaic days were periods of long duration. Among the Jews, Josephus and Philo, and of Christians, Whiston, Des Cartes, and De Luc, have so expressed themselves; while of those who have written with full knowledge of geological facts, we havem Cuvier, Parkinson, Jameson, Silliman, and Hugh Miller — all of them holding the opinion that the Mosaic days of creation were successive periods of bong duration." Nevertheless, is a hermeneutical point of view, this theory is open to the gravest objections. SEE COSMOGONY, MOSAIC.
The statement of Prof. Tayler Lewis is perhaps the most finished form of this fashionable theorizing, namely, that, as St. Augustine expresses it, "common solar days are mere vicissitudines caeli, mere changes in the position of the heavenly bodies, and not spatia norarum, or evolutions in nature belonging to a higher chronology, and marking their epochs by a law of inward change instead of incidental outward measurements... This is not a metaphorical, but the real and proper sense of the word 'day' — the most real and proper, the original sense, in fact, inasmuch as it contains the essential idea of cyclicity or rounded periodicity, or self-completed time, without any of the mere accidents that belong to the outwardly measured solar or planetary epochs, be they longer or shorter ... Wonderful things are told out of the common use of language, and therefore common terms are to be taken in their widest compass, and in their essential instead of their accidental idea... . No better term could be used for the creative morae, pauses, or successive naturae, as Augustine styles them; and so no better words than 'evening' and 'morning' could be used for the antithetical vicissitudes through which these successions were introduced" (Lange's Genesis, page 131). This appears to us a gratuitous assumption of the whole question in debate, and that in a form so nearly as into pure transcendentalism as to be beyond the reach of sober criticism. Its acceptance or rejection will depend upon the subjective condition of the inquirer's own mind. But this interpretation, whether true or false, does not, in fact, at all touch the real difficulty betmeen the geologists and Moses; it mather occasions that difficulty, for it essentially identifies the creative aeras of the two schemes. Now the discrepancy in question, as we shall see, relates not so much to the absolute or comparative length of the several creative processes, as to their relative order and character. These are unmistakably fixed in the most marked and indelible characters in the respective records of geology and Genesis, and, unfortunately for the theory in question, they altogether fail totally. However indefinite an extension, therefore, we may give to the word "day" is the sacred narrative, this will avail little so long as the successive events themselves so widely differ from those of the scientific system. Moreover, the creations of the geological world overlap each other, and vary in their relative position in different regions, whereas those of the Biblical cosmogony are strictly consecutive and universal.
Similar objections apply to an ingenious theory of Prof. S.D. Hillman (in the Math. Qudr. Rev. October 1868), who, while admeirably defending the "nebular hypothesis," proposes to identify the days of creation with astronomical aeras. He leaves no room for the alterations of "evening and morning." "The consistency or harmony of these two records of the creation — that of Moses and that of the geologist — has, in conformity with the foregoing interpretation of the word 'day,' been attempted to be traced and vindicated by the late Hugh Miller in a lecture delivered by him to the 'Young Men's Christian Association' in the year 1855, and afterwards republished in The Testimony of the Rocks, and also lay Dr. M'Causland in his Sermons in Stones. The former sought to show the consistency between the facts of geology and the events recorded by Moses as having a occurred on the third, fifth, and sixth days or periods of creation, stating that, as a geologist, he was only called on to account for those three of the six days or periods, inasmuch as geological systems and formations regard the remains of the three great periods of plants, reptiles, and mammals, and those only; and that of the period during which light was created of the period during which a firmament was made to separate the waters from the waters — or of the period during which the two great lights of the earth, with the other heavenly bodies; became visible from the earth's surface, we need expect to find no record in the rocks.' But the author of the latter work (Sermons in Stones) has undertaken further to show that geology confirms and establishes the truth of every statement in the record of Moses, from the beginning down to the creation of man — the original state of the globe 'without form and void' — the first dawn of light — the formation of the firmament, and the separation of the waters below from the waters above it — and the first appearance of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day, intermediate between thee creation of the vegetable world on the third, and the creation of the creeping things and birds on the fifth day." But neither of these writers, however acute and accurate in matters of natural science, was competent to appreciate the philological and exegetical bearings of the subject, and hence both have palpably warped the statements of the sacred text into a forcible conformity to their geological prepossessions. The many and striking discrepancies will appear in the following discussion of the facts of geology in detail. See section 4.
The only objection which even these geologists have deemed sufficient to set aside the above explanation of Dr. Chalmers is that geology (in their view) furnishes no evidence of such a sudden and total break in the order of creation immediately previous to the introduction of man. It is difficult to see how they can maintain this argument in the face of the two well- known facts, that no remains of the present races of animals or vegetables are to be found in the fossiliferous rocks (at least none in those below the "in tertiary"), and that none of the fossil species are now extant upon the globe. The few exceptions claimed to these rules are too trifling and doubtful to affect their validity (these are strongly adduced by Lyell, A ntiq. of Man, Lond. and N.Y. 1863; a careful synopsis may be found in Bruce's Races of the Old World, N.Y. 1863, ch. 32; comp. Brit. and For. Evan. Rev. October 1861; Meth. Quar. Rev. January 1864), and the cases of striking resemblance may be referred to the maintenance of analogous types of being in each fresh creation. Indeed, the universal presence of "drift," and the striae everywhere found upon rocks at the surface, seem to be conclusive evidence of some grand cataclysm closing the pre-Adamite period with universal wreck, which the flippant assertions of some modern writers cannot gainsay. Several of the recently discovered cases of human remains or art, covered by deposits computed to be of immense age, are examined by an expert in the Meth. Quarterly Review for October 1865, and the preposterous conclusions derived from them by Lyell and others fully exploded. The well-known rate of the growth of deltas at the alluvial so-aths of all great rivers proves that they began their course not over six thousand years ago. Prof. Jewell, of Chicago, in the Meth. Quar. Review for January 1869, carefully examines all the most recent discoveries alleged in favor of the antiquity of man tinder the five heads: "1. Lacustrine habitations of Central and Southern Europe; 2. 'Kjocken-middings' or Kitchen refuse-heaps of the coasts of Denmark and Norway, and the Atlantic coast of North America; 3. Deltas, as those of the Nile, Po, Ganges, and Mississippi; 4. Cave deposits, in various parts of Europe; 5. Reanains [of human bones and other objects] found is the peat, clay, and gravel-beds and terrace-formations of various parts of the world." He then sums up the proper scientific conclusions from these geological data thus:
(1.) Man and the mammoth in some parts of the globe were contemporaneous.
(2.) Instead of carrying man back to the period assigned to the mammoth and other great extinct pachyderms, we are acquired rather to bring the mammoth down to the period of man.
(3.) We may safely say that the facts elicited not only show that those deposits in which remains of man have been found may have been formed within the six thousand years of historical chronology, but that in all probability such was the case.
(4.) The knowledge we yet have of the dynamical geology of the various superficial formations from the "pleistocene" upward, is not such as to enable us to reach trustworthy conclusions with regard to past time.
(5.) Geological changes have taken place in the past with a rapidity seldom if ever witnessed at present.
6. In view of all the difficulties, some interpreters in despair abandon all attempt at reconcilement between the Mosaic record and scientific findings, e.g., Kalisch, as above, and in general the whole Rationalistic school. Even Quarry (Genesis and its Authorship, Lond. 1866 chapter 1), while acutely and forcibly showing the untenableness of the adjustments proposed in favor of the geological schemes, is most content with pronouncing the effort premature, in view of the unsettled state of the sciences involved, but proceeds to lay down the axiom that we must give up looking for physical truth where moral truth alone is to be expected." But surely this is not simply a case where the phenomenal theory of interpretation is competent to explain the whole discrepancy — applicable as that principle was seen to be to much of the phraseolegy of the Mosaic account as early as the time of Gregory of Nyssa (Hexaimeaon, in Opp. Greg. Ny's., where the optical explanation is advocated); for as Moses is expressly writing on the subject of creation, a just exegesis demands that his statements — so far as they are parallel — must tally with all later discoveries and conclusions. SEE HERMENEUTICS.
Mr. Quarry (Genesis, page 17 sq.) adduces the following alleged discrepancies as evidence of the non-historical character of the narrative in Ge 1; Ge 2:
(1.) The apparently simultaneous creation of both "the heavens and the earth" in the beginning, whereas the firmament, the celestial bodies at least, are represented as being formed in detail at a later day. But if, as we hold, the first verse merely declares the calling into existence of the primordial matter or elements, not only does all repetition vanish, but the distinction inherent in the nature of the case between creation proper and progressive develaopent is duly observed. Our explanation likewise dissipates his objection to the use of the term "days" before the creation of the sun.
(2.) He alleges that the numeral אֶחָד, one, being here anarthrous, cannot properly be rendered "first" in connection with the opening eve- morn of creation, in the sense of the order of time. But certainly it can have no other meaning when followed in tie same series by the other undoubted ordinals "second," "third," etc. That the sixth day alone has the article is due to its emphasis as the concluding one of the working week.
(3.) The correlation between the two triads of works"the luminaries of the fourth day corresponding to the light of the first, the fishes and birds of the fifth to the waters and the firmament of the second, and the terrestrial animals of the sixth to the dry land of the third" — constitutes no valid argument against the matter-of-fact character of the representation; for these are merely signs of the progress and harmony observable in all God's plans, and a special coincidence arising in this case from the necessarily gradual preparation of the globe for its varied classes of tenants. The assumptions that birds are impliedly represented as being produced from the air, that the creatures were all brought before Adam immediately upon their creation, and that the woman was formed on a different day from the man, are all gratuitous and erroneous, as is likewise the supposition that the absence of vegetation in Ge 2:5 was absolute and universal, instead of referring to a mere spontaneous growth, and that in Eden simply.
III. Geological Formations. — "The crust of the earth is composed of rocks, which have been formed, some by the action of file, such as granite, basalt, porphyry, and greenstone, which are termed igneous rocks, and some by sedimentary deposit at the bottom of water, such as sandstone, limestone, shale, etc., which are known as aqueous or stratified rocks. Igneous rocks were first formed; and on these, from time to time, through the long ages of our planet's existence, were deposited the many successive layers of sedimentary stratified rocks, in which are found the fossil remains of the animals and plants that were in existence during the several periods of deposition. These layers of rocks have been frequently and extensively, throughout these aeras of their formation, broken up and distorted by volcanic action, and the protrusion of igneous rocks from beneath, upwards, and through them; and by these the mountain ranges, in all parts of the earth, have been elevated, and those diversities of land and sea which the face of our planet presents, have been formed." We shall continue, in accordance with the prevalent theory, to characterize the basis rocks, i.e. granite, and its unstratified congeners, as igneous, although recent investigations tend to the conclusion that they, as well as the superincumbent animated series, are the result of the disintegrations, decompositions, and fresh combinations of aqueous agency.
"The first aspect of the globe which the investigations of the cosmogonist have enabled us to realize, present to view a viscid igneous ball revolving on its axis, and wheeling its annual course around the sun its center of attraction. Its present oblate spheroidical form, flattened at the poles and elevated at the equator, is the exact form that a liquid sphere of the size and weight of the earth, revolving on its axis in twenty-four hours, would assume; and the still prevailing central heat, which is indicated by the gradual increase of temperature as we descend in mines from the surface in the direction of the earth's center, reveals the igneous origin of the mass. The gradual cooling down of this fiery sphere, by radiation into space, would result in the formation of a crust of granite or some other igneous rock on the surface; and as the cooling progressed, the gases which are the constituents of water, and which are kept asunder by intense heat, would naturally combine, and thus the crust, in process of time, would be covered with an ocean. Thus we have all the elements requisite for the production of the first series of sedimentary rocks, which were formed out of the disturbed particles or detritus of the igneous crust at the bottom of the waters which encircled the globe. The lowest of our sedimentary rocks, gneiss and mica schist, which rest on the primordial granite, or some other rock of igneous origin, are found, on inspection, to be composed of the debris or broken particles of granite, and so far the foregoing theory of their origin is confirmed. This' series of rocks has been styled 'metamorphic,' from the great change that has been wrought in their structure by the action of the intense heat to which, at the time of their formation, they must have been exposed, and by which they have been partially crystallized, and their lines of stratification obliterated. They form a portion of that vast pile of the bottom rocks which have been termed 'the Cambrian,' and which have been calculated to be 25,000 feet, or nearly five miles, in depth or thickness.
"Throughout the long ages occupied by the deposition of the mass of sediment of which these bottom rocks are composed, the temperature of the globe must have been very high, though gradually becoming more cool; and the traces of animal life in them are extremely rare and difficult to detect and identify. The scanty fossil remains which have been discovered by the industry and research of the geologist, reveal no type of animal life of a higher order than the zoophyte (a creature partly of animal and partly of a vegetable nature), annelids, or sea-worms, and bivalve mollusks all of them marine creatures devoid of the senses of sight and hearing; and with them have been found traces of fucoids or sea-weeds, but no land vegetation. In fact, all that has been discovered of organic matter in these rocks indicates a beginning of life at the time of their formation, and a beginning of life in the lowest and most humble of its forms.
"The long aera of the Cambrian formation was succeeded by another as extensive, during which the rocks which have been denominated 'the Silurian' were formed, by sedimentary deposits, to the depth (as some estimnate) of 30,00 feet. The fossil remains of animals throughout this formation are abundant, and disclose the zoology of the aera to have been confined to submarine invertebrates, zoophytes, mollusks, and crustaceans; and no vertebrate animal appears until the close of the aera, when the remains of fishes are found in the beds which lie immediately at the top of the Silurian formation. Light to some extent must have pervaded the earth during this period; for many of the mollusks, and all of the crustaceans. were furnished with eyes, some of them, as in the instance of the trilobite, of a peculiarly elaborate and perfect structure. It appears to be a law of nature, that animals whose entire existence is passed in darkness are either wholly devoid of the organs of sight, or, if rudimentary eyes are discoverable, they are useless for the purposes of vision, as exemplified in the animals of all orders, from the mollusk to the mammals, which have been discovered in the caverns of Illyria, in the caverns of South America, mentioned by Humboldt, in the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, in deep wells, and in depths of the sea where no ray of light can penetrate.
"The system that succeeded the Silurian was that in which the Devonian or Old-Red-Sandstone rocks were formed; and all geologists concur in stating that the position in which these rocks are found indicates that the aera was ushered in by violent commotions, during which most of the principal mountain ranges in the world were thrown up. The fossil remains of this era, during which sedimentary rocks, calculated to be about 10,000 feet in thickness, were formed, present to our view, in addition to the previous existing orders of animals, vertebrate fish of the Placoid and Ganoid species. These have been graphically described by Hugh Miller, in The Old Red Sandstone, as cartilaginous, and clad in strong integuments of bone composed of enameled plates, instead of the horny scales which form the covering of the fish of the present day; and it has been suggested by Dr. Buckland that this hard coating may have formed a defense against the injurious effects of water of a high temperature. The first traces of land vegetation have been found at the top of the Silurian, where the Old Red Sandstone rests on it." "The fossil remains of a small reptile, which is stated to have been found in a rock at the top of the Old Red Sandstone, have been supposed to be the first traces of terrestrial life upon the globe; but professor Owen is of opinion that the rock in question does not belong to the Old Red Sandstone formation, but to another long subsequent — the Trias.
"The system that succeeded the Devonian is the Carboniferous, which is one of importance and interest to mankind, as having been the period of the formation of coal, iron, and the mountain limestone — a combination of products that have contributed so largely in these latter days to the comfort and convenience of the human race. The coal-measures, it is well ascertained, are the product of profuse and extensive vegetation, and the nature of the plants of which it has been formed is easily discoverable by a close examination of the mineral itself, which, on inspection, discloses them to have been almost entirely of the cryptogamic order, and such as would be produced in abundance in positions of shade, heat, and humidity. Ferns, calamites, and esquisitaceous plants preponderate, and wood of hard and ligneous tissue, which is, in a great measure, dependant on the unshaded light of the sunbeam, is of rare occurrence in this formation, while season rings, which result from the impact of the direct rays of sunlight on the tree, are not found at all in the fossil woods of this or the previous formation, though they appear in those of the succeeding systems." "In confirmation of these views, it is remarkable that other geological phenomena, besides that of the absence of the season rings in the trees, indicate that there was no variation of seasons on our earth before the close of the carboniferous aera. Temperature appears, up to that period, to have been tropical and uniform in all latitudes; for the fossil remains testify that the animals and plants that lived and grew in the carboniferous and preceding aeras at the equator were of the same species as those that lived and grew at the same period in the arctic regions — and the coal-measures are as abundant in the high latitudes as in the temperate and tropical zones. These phenomena can only be accounted for by the continued prevalence of the central heat, and the consequent neutralization of the effect of the sun's rays, the influence of which now operates to produce the variety of seasons. The climatal condition of the earth in those ages must have .been similar to those of a vast humid hot-house shaded from the direct radiance of the sun, and which would be eminently conducive to the production of a prolific vegetation, such as that which has been stored sup in our extensive coal-measures. "The zoology of this aera furnishes us with the first undoubted traces of terrestrial animal life, in the form of insects of the beetle and cockroach tribes, scorpions, and reptiles of the batrachian order- creatures which were adapted by nature to live in the dull, hazy, tepid atmosphere that overspread our planet at this time.
"At the close of the carboniferous aera another commenced, during which the system of rocks, which has been denominated 'the Permian' system, was formed, the fossil remains of which indicate that great changes must have taken place in the physical constitution and aspect of the earth. The exuberant vegetation which had supplied the material of the coal-measures of the preceding formation had died away, and a vegetation of a higher order succeeded." "The animals, too, which inhabited the Permian earth disclose an advance in organic life. The Saurian, or true reptile, here made its first appearance; and the earliest traces of birds present themselves in the New Red Sandstone, a member of this system. The foot-tracks of these birds, of immense magnitude, which stalked on the Permian sands and mud, are found impressed on the now hardened slabs of sandstone and shales of that formation both in Scotland and in America.
"The Permian was succeeded by the systems of the Trias and Oolite, whose fossil remains attest an advance in animal as well as in vegetable organization. Trees of the palm, pine, and cypress species were mingled with the diminished ferns, calamites, and conifers of the coal era; and with this improved vegetation, a higher order of insects appears to have come into existence to feed on and enjoy the increasing bounties of Providence. But the peculiar and most striking feature of the age was the extraordinary increase, in number and magnitude, of the Saurian reptiles which then peopled the earth. The Saurians were dividible into three distinct classes — the terrestrial, or Dinosaurians; the marine, or Elaniosaurians; and the aerial, or Pterosaurians. They were all of them air-breathing creatures-
amphibious, and more or less aquatic in their nature and habits; together with the birds whose tracks have appeared in these same systems." "The fossil remains of the reptilian inhabitants of earth, ocean, and air of the Oolite world, more especially of the Lias member of it, have revealed them to have then swarmed out in such amazing numbers, and of such vast dimensions, that geologists have always dwelt on the scenes which the earth of those days must have presented with astonishment and wonder, and have named that aera 'the age of the reptiles.' " "The Chalk or Cretaceous system succeeded that of the Oolite, and presents little, if any evidence of advance in creation. There is, however, a manifest decrease of the Saurian reptiles, which reigned in such abundance in the preceding formation, and some traces of the true mammals have, it is said, been found in this system. At all events, in the next formation, the Tertiary, we have distinct evidence of the existence of the mammal race of animals, including the quadruped mammifers, resembling those now extant." "No traces of human remains, or of any work of art, have been found below the superficial deposits, or outside coating of the globe; yet there is no evidence of the introduction on the earth of any species of animal whose prototype was not in being before the human race became inhabitants of the earth. Man's pedigree is of less antiquity than that of any other known creature, though, geologically and physically, he is at the top of the ascending orders or scale of created beings; for it is admitted by the most eminent and best-informed geologists that the well-attested facts of their science demonstrate that the plan or law of the creation was progressive, beginning with the zoophyte in the bottom rocks, and ascending through the succeeding formations in the advancing forms of the Mollusk, Crustacean, Fish, Reptile, and Mammal, culminating with Man, since which no new species has been introduced on the scene. SEE SPECIES.
"The length of the time which has elapsed since our planet was a ball of liquid fire, and during which our world of light and life was elaborated in its various stages by the hands of the Almighty, admits of no calculation. It is not to be reckoned by days or years, or any known measure of time. We can only look at the vast piles of the sedimentary rocks which have been, laid down at the bottom of the. waters in that period, to the depth of fifteen miles at the lowest calculation, and ask how long was the space of time occupied in the formation of those masses by the slow process of depositing grain after grain of the particles of the matter of which they have been formed, and yet that is but a brief portion of duration when compared with that which must have been occupied by the cooling down of the globe, so as to admit of the existence of life upon its surface." "The Scriptures do not fix the age of the earth, or supply any means by which we could calculate the length of time that had elapsed between 'the beginning' and the first appearance of the creation, including that of Adam; and the Biblical records have unfolded to us that nearly six thousand years have passed away since he became an inhabitant of the earth. Facts, however, have recently come to light on which it has been argued that, though the extent of the human aera must have been short indeed when compared with the vastness: of the geological ages, yet some of the human race must have tenanted the earth at a time long anterior to that assigned by the Bible records to have been the date of Adam's birth. Mr. Leonard Horner's experimental researches in Egypt, instituted with a view to ascertain the depths of the sedimentary deposits in the valley of the Nile, have brought to light relics of works of art and specimens of man's handiwork, such as pieces of pottery and sculpture, that tend to prove the existence of intelligent manufacturers at a period of time that could not be less than eleven or twelve thousand years; but the premises from which this conclusion has been deduced are too uncertain and fallible to warrant such an extension of the commonly received age of man. The rate of accretion of sedimentary deposits of a river like the Nile is subject to so many varying external influences, that, as a measure of time, it may be most fallacious, and no reliance can be placed upon it as disproving the record of Moses. Still greater importance has been ascribed to the discoveries in the gravel quarries of Abbeville and Amiens, in the north of France, and also in Suffolk in England, of flint implements, such as hatchets, spears, arrow- heads, and wedges of rude manufacture, associated in undisturbed gravel, with the bones of extinct species of the elephant, rhinoceros, and other animals, whose remains are found in the diluvium formed by the last great geological revolution. If these implements are of artificial origin, they afford strong evidence that the races of men by whom they were manufactured were the contemporaries of animals which geologists affirm could not have existed within the Scripture term of human-life. Nevertheless, many of those best acquainted with geological phenomena and the knowledge to be derived from them have not admitted that this association of a mixture of the flint implements with the extinct animal remains is conclusive evidence of the co-existence in life of the manufacturer of the implements with those animals, and affirm that mere juxtaposition is no evidence of contemporaneity, when no rescains of the human frame are to be found in the same place." The few instances in which, such remains have been found together are all resolvable into cases of animals of comparatively recent extinction.(Bibliotheca Sacra, July 1867, page 457 sq.). The age of the diluvium also in which these remains have been discovered, uncertain as it was before, has not been determined by the presence of these human relics in it. So that the Scripture chronology of the human aera has not been displaced.
IV. Proposed Identification of these Geological Periods with the Mesaic "Days." — Most geologists have frankly avowed the utter incompatibility of these rocky relations with that of Genesis, if intended as the records of the same events; while those who have believed these to be reconcilable have usually contented themselves with vaguely referring to the progress and order evinced in both accounts as a proof of their general agreement, without attempting anything like a minute comparison — doubtless for the reason that any distribution of the geological aeras into precise portions, such as those of Moses, whether six or any other number, must be highly arbitrary and fanciful. A few, however, following out the suggestion of Jameson, have of late ventured upon such a collation in detail, e.g. Hugh Miller and Dr. M'Causland (see above).
1. The most ingenious of these schemes makes the first Mosaic "day" correspond to the age of the lower metamorphic, or Cambrian rocks, in which the eyeless zoophytic life is compared with the vivifying influence of the Spirit brooding over the abyss as yet in darknens; the second "day," on which the firmament was formed, would answer to the Silurian series, containing only submarine invertebra, evincing the presence of light; the third "day," when the dry land brought forth the vegetable tribes, would be represented by the Old Red Sandstone period, containing also vertebrated fish and traces of land vegetation; the fourth "day," which witnessed the development of the celestial luminaries, would agree with the Carboniferouns aera which indicates the lifting up of the veil of vapor that had before enshrouded the globe, thus giving rise to a more solid form of woody fiber; the fifth "day," when birds and reptiles were produced, would be denoted by the group of the Permian, New Rede Sandstone, Trias, sand Oolite systems, with their gigantic Saurians and bird-tracks; and finally, the sixth "day," which saw the creation of land animals, would fall in the Cretaceous or rather the Tertiary epoch, which presents the most perfect fossil mammals. Unfortunately, however, there exist several important discrepancies in this effort at identification, which go to show that it is altogether artificial and untrue. In the first place, there are not exactly six of these strata of rocks, but name ten or a dozen; indeed, geologists are not agreed among themselves as to their proper number and classification, some making them out to be a score or more. Each of these is well defined in itself, and most of the contain their own peculiar fossil forms; yet even they are evidently in general but progressive developments of the same organic types, and not totally fresh orders of being, such as the succesnive stages of the Mosaic creation exhibit. Nor are they uniformily distributed over the earth's surface, but some here and others there, although preserving almost invariably the same relative order; so that it is doubtful whether in all cases they mark regularly consecutive aeras in the earth's history as a whole. Neither are they equal in extent or thickness, so as to lead us to conclude that they occupied fixed portions of time, such sas the Mosaic days of coordinate length. In the second place, they do not tally in their productions with the Mosaic series. The account in Genesis does not introduce life at all until the third day, whereas we find the very lowest stratified rocks teeming with certain kinds of animation. Nor is this the vegetable life, which first appears in the record of Moses; on the contrary, it is such as belongs to the animal kingdom, and is precisely of the marine order, which Moses withholds till the fifth day; while geology does not discover vegetation (usless inferentially) till the junction of the Silurian with the Old Red Sandstone, and it does not become characteristic till we reach the Carboniferous aera. In like manner, Moses makes the creation of birds simultaneous with that of fishes, whereas fish appear in the strata of the period prior to that of the bird-tracks — indeed, anterior to plants themselves. Moreover, reptiles, which figure so conspicuosly in the geological annals, are passed over with little, if any distinction in the Mosaic statement. Terrestrial animation, on the other hand, to which Moses does not allude till the next day, begins is the geological series as early as the Carboniferous age. In a word, the animal and vegetable kingdoms, which the sacred narrative places at a decided interval, go on in parallel progression through the rocky cycles; and their relative order of appearance is, if anything, rather the reverse of that given by Moses, while as little coincidence appears in the order of land and water products. In the third place, not only is this theory opposed to the obviously literal meaning of the word "day" in the Mosaic record, and hampered by exegetical difficulties at every point in its details (such as the application of the Spirit's formative "hovering," verse 2, upon the dark chaos, to the evolution of zoophytes; the segregation of the "firmament," to the deposition of the Silusriasn rocks; the emergence of "dry land," to the fossil casts of the Old Red Sandstone; the bursting forth of the heavens by "lights," to the production of the coal-measures; the formation of marine "creatures and fowl," to a motley stratification that chances to contain huge lizards and nondescript roes; and the creation of animated nature, to the piling up of chalky or earthy sediment as a basis for alluvial soil) — aside from these formidable difficulties, the whole interpretation of Moses's simple language as adumbrating the vast and complicated systems of geological changes is preposterous in the highest degree. We conclude, therefore, that a hypothesis, which, while it outrages every just and natural principle of hermeneutics, at the same time so utterly breaks down the moment it is actually brought to the test of scientific comparison, is wholly unworthy our acceptance. Moses is clearly relating a historic creation of the present races of animal and vegetable life, and the analogies between the events and progression of his days and those of the geological cycles are merely such resemblances as the successive restorations from a chaotic state would naturally present, although on a vastly different scale in point of duration.
2. Prof. Dana, in his Manual of Geology (Phila. 1862), gives (page 742), as the latest conclusion of science on the relation between the Mosaic and the geological cosmogonies, the following, which he has condensed from the lectures of Prof. Guyot (see Bibliotheca Sacra, April 1855, page 324 sq.), and which we here place in parallel columns with the statements of the first chapter of Genesis.
Now, however probable these stages of creative progress may be as an exposition of science, yet we find the following (among other) discrepancies in them when compared with the Biblical text, which to our mind show their utter incompatibility, IF INTENDED AS AN ACCOUNT OF THE SAME SERIES OF EVENTS, and which would hopelessly entangle the philologist and expositor in any careful and judicious comparison of the geological details with the language of the sacred writer.
(1.) It is not clear how light would necessarily be the first result of molecular activity in a gaseous fluid; the mass, we should suppose, would have already been in an incandescent state. Nor would such "cosmical light" (whatever that phrase may mean) have been subject to the ebb and flow constituting the alternations of "day and night," or "evening and morning." Indeed, the phraseology of Moses reveals to us at the outset a turbulent surface rather than a homogeneous but quiescent mass of igneous vapor as the primeval chaos.
(2.) "Waters" is certainly a very inappropriate term for a fiery nebular substance in whatever stage of fluidity; and the division of the supra from the infrafirmamental liquid is a strange description of the disintegration of melted spheres from each other, whether still vaporized or cooled to semi- solidity.
(3.) The picture of the chaotic floods retiring to their proper beds bears very little resemblance to the crystallization of the azoic rocks, or the hardening of the metamorphic basis of the earth's crust, and but slightly more to the condensation of steam and other volatilized matter by a radiation of heat. Besides, as geology itself shows, the present configuration of land and water, plain and mountain chain, river and desert, has been the effect of innumerable changes, elevations, and subsidences at vastly different periods scattered throughout the pre-Adamic history of the globe.
(4.) On the third day life was not merely "introduced under its simplest forms," but there were created, besides "grass" and "herb-yielding seed," also the fully developed "fruit-tree, whose seed is in itself;" whereas geology, instead of exhibiting in the lowest stratified rocks any of these higher forms of vegetation, leaves but the bare presumption (for the author is only able to state, page 129, that "'sea-weeds or algae are the earliest of the globe, probably preceding animal life") of the existence of any plants whatever in that age. The fourth day which was devoted to the production or manifestation of the heavenly luminaries, has, it will be observed, nothing corresponding to it in the geological cycles. A notable chasm!
(5.) The "four grand types of the animal kingdom (radiate, mollusk, articulate, and vertebrate)," however, are not to be found in the Mosaic statement, which refers only to marine creatures and (aquatic) birds as belonging to the fifth "phase of progress" (day), for the reason obviously that the soil was still too humid for land animals, such as geology, nevertheless, exhibits in company with the finny and feathered tribes indiscriminately.
(6.) If the rendering "whales" be allowable in verse 21, Moses has already anticipated the lactiferous animals on the preceding " day ;" and, at any rate, some of the lower orders of vertebrates, if not actual reptiles (for the author's gloss of "prowling" for "creeping" things is an unheard-of interpretation), are here first introduced in connection with their terrene associates.
(7.) In the Mosaic account man is not assigned to a separate aera from the quadrupeds, although he is mentioned last. The planting of Eden and the formation of Eve likewise must have taken place on the same sixth day.
In short, striking as are the general features of resemblance between the above geological and Mosaic schemes of creation, especially in the idea of systematic progression manifest in both, yet, when closely examined, in no instance are the epochs found to tally in particulars. It is only by a most violent distortion of facts on the one side, or of language on the other, that the two can be assimilated in detail. We prefer, therefore, to adhere to the older explanation, which finds a silent place for the records of geology in the first and second verses of Genesis, and refers the narrative of Moses to a subsequent creation of the present order of terrestrial things in six literal days. Nor are we deterred by the supposed "belittling conception of a Deity working like a day-laborer by earth-days of twenty-four hours," since the Almighty has grounded upon precisely this fact the institution of the Sabbath for man during all the weeks of time. SEE COSMOGONY.
3. A still more recent and plausible schedule is propounded by Prof. C.H. Hitchcock, in the Bibliotheca Sacra, July 1867; as follows:
The author carries out the parallel between the Mosaic narrative and the geological phenomena at considerable length under each day, and makes a closer approximation to a harmony in the details than any previous writer. He wisely abstains, however, from a minute examination of the sacred text in comparison with the scientific elements; for here, like all his predecessors in this direction, his exegesis would inevitably have broken down. The obvious purport of the account in Genesis is sacrificed to the geological theory, and its phraseology is forced into the geological formulae. There is no natural or critical agreement. Nearly all the above strictures apply with more or less force to this new version: we have space to point out but a few special discrepancies: "day and night" are only provided for at the close of the first "day," and then as an indefinite series of alternations between light and darkness, not as a single νυχθήμερον; each day in the geological order laps over into the other, instead of being sharply defined as in the scriptural statement it is the "plants" of the fourth geological "day," rather than those of the third, that correspond with the vegetable productions of the scriptural progression; the marine creatures of the fifth Scripture day are only to be recognised in the "amphibians" and "fishes" of the fourth geological cycle; indeed, the fourth of the Scripture days, which is occupied only with the appearance of the heavenly luminaries, is the most active of the geological periods in the production of every form of animated existence, beginning with trilobites and running up to complete vegetation.
But, most of all, we object to the general view under which this is set forth as an interpretation of the Biblical passage in question, namely, that it is a "pictorial" description, or "symbol," or "vision," "retrospectively prophetic" whereas it seems to us a plain literal history, utterly destitute of the least semblance of imagery or seer-like import beyond the mere use of a few anthropomorphisms familiar to the Hebrews. If such liberties are allowable in hermeneutics, that is the end of all meaning in words. For instance, when the successive scenes in the Mosaic narrative are compared (Meth. Quart. Rev. April 1868, page 298) with the regularly numbered emblems of the Apocalypse (the seven seals, trumpets, angels, vials, etc.), the very important fact is overlooked that the latter are avowedly set forth as symbolical representations of ecclesiastical import, while the former are unaccompanied by any intimation of an ulterior significance. Indeed, this comparison is suicidal to the interpretation which it is put forth to support; for, as the visions of John in the Revelation could only have authority as premonitions of the future on the concession of their actual occurrence in the manner related by himself, so the description of Moses in the opening chapters of Genesis must be accepted as literal statements of real phenomena, in the most obvious and bona-fide sense, before they can be made the basis of a symbolical application. SEE COSMOLOGY, page 528.
This much only may, however, be granted as true in the hypothesis upon which these and similar explanations are based: that the geological and the Mosaic creations being, like all of God's acts in a given line, mutually typical of each other, inasmuch as they proceed upon a uniformity in the divine plan — the development of an archetypal idea were in their great outlines, of course, similar, and hence may, to a considerable extent, be justly compared together, and even portrayed in the same general terms; but on this very account interpreters of the Bible ought to be the more careful not to confound the two, and especially not to substitute the distant and more dimly shadowed event for the one directly in the mind of the sacred writer. SEE DOUBLE SENSE (of Scripture). In the present instance, moreover, there is eminently a natural ground of necessity for the coincidences above discernible: although no amount of ingenuity has been able to dramatize the facts of geology into precisely six acts, yet the aboriginal creation of matter is of course the first scene in each case; light is a prerequisite of vegetation, and this, again, must be the antecedent food for the animal tribes, while man forms the fit outcome of the entire plot: the incidental details of the two schemes might be expected to vary, as, in fact, they are found to do.
V. Scriptural Allusions to Geological Facts. — (Condensed from Pattison, ut sup. pages 103-108.) The sacred writers make frequent references to the physical phenomena of the earth beneath. Are such references in accordance with the facts established by subsequent researches and the observation of travelers, or do the latter convict the former of ignorance and error? The question is the more important as the materials of the earth are not treated conventionally in the Scriptures, but naturally. In speaking of the sand on the seashore, one writer alludes to it as a barrier placed by God against the encroachments of ocean, another as an illustration of the countless host of the Philistines, a third as representative of the multitude of God's people. Far different and more adapted to universal use is this than the employment of one object always to express one and the same idea, as in the symbolic picture-writing of the Egyptians and Assyrians, and as is the usage in much of the literature of the East. Freedom of language, if not of thought, is unknown where every object is used as a conventional sign, always appropriated to one fixed sentiment. We shall find incidental accordances between the facts and the record in regard to all things capable of such verification. Take, for instance, the references to stone as an illustration.
The patriarchs and Israelites are frequently directed to build an altar; the injunction to form it of unhewn stones will be found given where rocks abound; the permission to make it of earth refers to districts in which we now find that stone cannot readily be procured. The numerous instances given of the setting up of commemorative stones in Palestine by the Israelites could not have occurred in the rockless plains of the Euphrates.
SEE STONE. The geologies traveler can readily understand the perfect congruity of the picture which represents the army of the Philistines encamped on one hill, the bands of Israel on the opposite slope, and a brawling brook in the valley between, to which David descended, and from its waterworn pebbles selected five for his sling, smoothed and sharpened by the stream.
The mention of slime for mortar, and brick for stone, in the Babylonian plains (Ge 11:3), in Egypt (Ex 1:14), and again by the Euphrates during the captivity (Na 3:14); and of bitumen in the vale of Siddim (Ge 14:10), equally corresponds with the present geological character of the regions referred to.
The frequent occurrence of rocks and broken ground in Syria is the groundwork of much of the scenery reflected in the general language of Scripture writers, and of many incidents in the history. This accurately accords with the actual physical character of the land itself.
The representations of scenery are so minute in some cases — for instance, the rocky defile in Gibeah, 1Sa 14:4 — that it becomes quite easy for travelers to test the fidelity of the writer. To this kind of criticism the Bible is more exposed than any other book, owing to its variety in time and place; and it need hardly be said that it has escaped not only unscathed, but illustrious, from the trial. The peninsula of Sinai is nowhere formally geographically described in the Bible; but from the record of events alleged to have taken place there, we infer that it was a mountainous district, full of barren, rugged rocks, towering into peaks, and cleft by deep, dry valleys. Lalorde, and the numerous tribe of Oriental travelers, in describing the surface scenery, bring before us evidence of the peculiarly appropriate terms in which Scripture alludes to this region. One of the latest travelers thus writes: "Soon after this we came to an immense plain of bard rocks. The mountains which bounded it were truly magnificent: their numerous summits seemed not so much peaks as spikes, or tall spires of rocks. The whole scene is one of the most magnificent desolation and unmingled terror" (H. Bonars, Desert of Sinai).
So, in the limestones, there exist now caverns which are the verifications of the cave of Machpelah, of Adullam, and others by showing the occurrence of strata in which the requisite phenomena are found; while the water- supply of the whole country at present is an accurate reflection of the scriptural account of wells and streams. The language of David and of the prophet Isaiah could only have been employed by persons familiar with the need of irrigation, and its modes, peculiar to the countries to which they profess to belong. How vividly were the mountains of the Holy Land impressed upon the minds of the principal writers of the Bible! There are about three hundred distinct references in Scripture to mountains; a glance at a good physical map of the region will show the correspondence between the statements of the record and the facts of the earth's surface is the districts referred to.
Were a student shut up in a cell, without any other channel of knowledge than the Word, he might construct a physical geography of the East which would contain all the leading features of that remarkable portion of the globe. The riven of Egypt, with its fertile plains, the stony desert, the rocky Sinai, the hills of Judaea, the rivers and lakes, the mountain chains, and the Great Sea, would all fall into their proper places on his ideal map.
So the allusions to "the dust of the earth" will carry a fullness of meaning to persons living in a land where, during a large portion of the year, the whole surface is reduced to dust by the influence of heated winds. God's power in creating man out of such incoherent matter, and man's humble bodily origin and end ins this life, are forcibly represented by the frequent employment of this illustration, so familiar to the inhabitant of the East.
In like manner, the references to the inundation of the Nile (Am 9:5; Job 28:11), to earthquakes (Isa 2:19; Job 9:6; Job 34:20), to mines, metals, precious stones, flints, and other mineral substances, are all found to be in accordance with the actual physical phenomena.
The references to clay in the Scriptures are frequent, and accord with its uses and localities at the present day. SEE CLAY.
VI. Geology of Bible Lands. — (Compare Pattison, ut sup. pages 111- 116.) The geology of the countries mentioned is holy Scripture is as yet but imperfectly known to us, but quite sufficient has been ascertained to test the accuracy of the incidental allusions made by the writers of the Bible.
1. The framework of Syria is composed of two mountainous ranges, running in a parallel strike with the coast of the Mediterranean, much broken by transverse clefts, extended by irregular spurs on either side, with detached minor masses, having the same north and south bearing. Between the two ridges runs the valley of the Jordan, occupying a deep depression, terminating in the Dead Sea.
The body of the country is a mass of Jurassic (oolitic) rocks, overlaid unconformably by a spread of cretaceous deposits (chalk and green sandstones), both much disturbed by outbursts of trappean matter (greenstone and basalt), and scooped into valleys along numerous lines of ancient fracture. The oolite was eroded before the deposition of the chalk, and the latter has been washed and worn away prior to the deposition of the third system, namely the eocene tertiary, which is found in patches, and abounds along the lands of medium height on the shores of the Great Sea. There are a few reconsolidated rocks and gravels of a more recent period, but the bulk of the whole region is a highly contorted, inclined, and broken mass of secondary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks.
The Libanus is an axis of Jurassic rock, with some thin beds of oolite coal, surmounted by' chalk, and flanked towards the coast by the great tertiary nummulitic limestone so universal along this parallel of the earth. The chalk contains fossils similar to that of the south of France. The tertiaries are often found isolated after the fashion prevalent in other countries. In some places conglomerates of the later Jurassic age occur, containing pebbles and fossils of the lower oolites.
Towards the sources of the Jordan we find igneous rocks prevailing, with their usual concomitants of metallic minerals highly-colored landscapes, abundant springs, and verdant pastures. Hermon (the highest mountain in Palestine) is formed of limestone, with bursts of trap. In this range occur the strata containing abundant remains of fish and vegetable impressions.
Galilee exposes similar conditions: an underlying oolite rock, an overlying cretaceous, with quartz, much broken up by trap.
The upper portion of the Jordan valley, as far south as the lower shores of the Sea of Tiberias, are much diversified by greenstone, lavas, pumice, and other kinds of igneous rock.
On the east rise the granitic and trappean mountains of Moab, inclosing a limestone country. In the valley itself are tertiary and post-tertiary accumulations, while on the west the tertiary sandstone occupies in force the plateaus of the subjacent limestone. Mount Tabor is a mass of chalk rock, and the cliffs around the Sea of Galilee are much intersected by basalts and lavas.
The Jordan valley itself shows two terraces far above its present waters, both due to its former condition, first as an arm of the Red Sea, and then as a lake.
The Mount of Olives and the other eminences around Jerusalem are composed of chalk with flints; the older limestones appear in the bottom of the deep valleys. This is the substratum of the Holy City and its vicinity. Bethlehem is surrounded by coarse yellow cretaceous limestone.
The Dead Sea is bounded on the west principally by tall cliffs of stratified limestone, with much rubble of an ancient date: towards the south, tertiary marls and clays prevail the whole abounding with traces of volcanic agencies. The upper portion of the long mound at the south of the lake is gypsum, overlying rock salt, which is furrowed into knolls and pillars. The south-eastern shore is colored by the bright red of the sandstone; on the east are heavy limestones and chalk, altered by the igneous masses forming the mountains of Moab. The north-east angle is formed of basaltic rocks, with volcanic slag and pumice.
The whole Jordan valley was undoubtedly a vale in tertiary periods; but the Dead Sea appears to have received the remarkable features which now characterize it subsequently to the deposition of the tertiary beds.
2. Extending our survey eastward from Palestine, we may embrace a wide area, extending from Ararat to the head of the Persian Gulf, the general features of which are now well known. Many of the groups of secondary sedimentary strata familiar to us in Western Europe also occur here, upheaved, together with their overlying tertiary deposits, by igneous rocks, in like manner.
Along the margin of the present river-courses are alluvial deposits now in process of formation. Next, marine alluvium, following the direction of the existing great valleys, opening out into the sea, and still increasing at the outlet. Colonel Rawlinson and Mr. Ainsworth represent the marine alluvium as increasing at the head of the Persian Gulf at the rate of a mile in thirty years (Quarterly Journal, 10:465). There are occasional fresh- water deposits, showing the former existence of small lakes; somewhat of earlier date are extensive formations of gravel, proving the occurrence here, as in the West, of a period of turbulence at the commencement of the post-tertiary epoch.
The highest tertiary deposits form a system of red sandstone and marls underlying the valleys of the Mesopotasmian rivers. This newest red sandstone tertiary is much developed in Asia Minor, and thence eastward. It has subordinate beds of gypsum, with occasional naphtha and bitumen springs. Underneath this the nummulitic series extends for 800 miles with a thickness of 3000 feet. This has been much disturbed by elevation, which has thrown it into domes and waves, constituting much of the peculiar scenery of the Turkish eastern frontier. Below this occurs the cretaceous series in the form of blue marls, white limestone emith flints, and hippurite limestone. A few traces of Palnozoic rocks are broaught to the surface: the whole is sustained by the granitic axis of the Caucasian chain, and occasionally metamorphosed by ancient volcanic contact.
There are no fossils common to the cretaceous series and the beds above, though both are marine deposits, nor are there any common to the two great tertiary divisions, the nummulitic and the red.
3. On turning westward towards the head of the Eed Sea we encounter the remarkable peninsula of SINAI, formed of red sandstone, borne up and rifted by one of the most forcible exhibitions of igneous rocks to be found in the world.
On approaching the spurs of the Sinasitic range, boulders of red granite and metamorphic rock give indications of the disturbed district beyond.
4. The well-known narrow plain of EGYPT is a valley bordered by nummulitic rocks of eocene age, interspersed with sandstones. As the plain narrows, the scenery becomes diversified by frowning precipices of granite, basalt, and porphyry, which confine the foaming river at the cataracts, and expand into the mountains of Nubia. The sands, which stretch away towards the peninsula, cover tertiary strata, with silicified forests of the same age.