TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE DOCTRINAL VALUE OF THE FIRST CHAPTERS OF
BY REV. DYSON HAGUE,
VICAR OF THE CHURCH OF THE EPIPHANY; PROFESSOR OF LITURGICS, WYCLIFFE COLLEGE,
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
The Book of Genesis is in many respects the most important
book in the Bible. It is of the first importance because it answers, not
exhaustively, but sufficiently, the fundamental questions of the human mind. It
contains the first authoritative information given to the race concerning these
questions of everlasting interest: the Being of God; the origin of the universe;
the creation of man; the origin of the soul; the fact of revelation; the
introduction of sin; the promise of salvation; the primitive division of the
human race; the purpose of the elected people; the preliminary part in the
program of Christianity. In one word, in this inspired volume of beginnings, we
have the satisfactory explanation of all the sin and misery and contradiction
now in this world, and the reason of the scheme of redemption.
Or, to put it in another way. The Book of Genesis is the seed in which the plant
of God’s Word is enfolded. It is the starting point of God’s gradually unfolded
plan of the ages. Genesis is the plinth of the pillar of the Divine revelation.
It is the root of the tree of the inspired Scriptures. It is the source of the
stream of the holy writings of the Bible. If the base of the pillar is removed,
the pillar falls. If the root of the tree is cut out, the tree will wither and
die. If the fountain head of the stream is cut off, the stream will dry up. The
Bible as a whole is like a chain hanging upon two staples. The Book of Genesis
is the one staple; the Book of Revelation is the other. Take away either staple,
the chain falls in confusion. If the first chapters of Genesis are unreliable,
the revelation of the beginning of the universe, the origin of the race, and the
reason of its redemption are gone. If the last chapters of Revelation are
displaced the consummation of all things is unknown. If you take away Genesis,
you have lost the explanation of the first heaven, the first earth, the first
Adam, and the fall. If you take away Revelation you have lost the completed
truth of the new heaven, and the new earth, man redeemed, and the second Adam in
Further: in the first chapters of the Book of Genesis. you
have the strong and sufficient foundation of the subsequent developments of the
kingdom of God; the root-germ of all Anthropology, Soteriology, Christology,
Satanology, to say nothing of the ancient and modern problems of the mystery and
culpability of sin, the Divine ordinance of the Lord’s Day, the unity of the
race, and God’s establishment of matrimony and the family life.
We assume from the start the historicity of Genesis and its Mosaic authorship.
It was evidently accepted by Christ the Infallible, our Lord and God, as
historical, as one single composition, and as the work of Moses. It was accepted
by Paul the inspired. It was accepted universally by the divinely inspired
leaders of God’s chosen people. (See Green’s “Higher Criticism of the
Pentateuch.”) It has validated itself to the universal Church throughout the
ages by its realism and consistency, and by what has been finely termed its
subjective truthfulness. We postulate especially the historicity of the first
chapters. These are not only valuable, they are vital.
They are the essence of Genesis. The Book of Genesis is neither the work of a
theorist or a tribal annalist. It is still less the product of some anonymous
compiler or compilers in some unknowable era, of a series of myths, historic in
form but unhistoric in fact. Its opening is an apocalypse, a direct revelation
from the God of all truth. Whether it was given in a vision or otherwise, it
would be impossible to say. But it is possible, if not probable, that the same
Lord God, who revealed to His servant as he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day
the apocalypse of the humanly unknown and unknowable events of man’s history
which will transpire when this
heaven and this earth have passed away, would also have revealed to His servant,
being in the Spirit, the apocalypse of the humanly unknowable and unknown events
which transpired before this earth’s history began. It has been asserted that
the beginning and the end of things are both absolutely hidden from science.
Science has to do with phenomena. It is where science must confess its impotence
that revelation steps in, and, with the authority of God, reveals those things
that are above it, The beginning of Genesis, therefore, is a divinely inspired
narrative of the events deemed necessary by God to establish the foundations for
the Divine Law in the sphere of human life, and to set forth the relation
between the omnipotent Creator and the man who fell, and the race that was to be
redeemed by the
incarnation of His Son.
The German rationalistic idea, which has passed over into thousands of more or
less orthodox Christian minds, is that these earliest chapters embody ancient
traditions of the Semitic-oriental mind. Others go farther, and not only deny
them to be the product of the reverent and religious mind of the Hebrew, but
assert they were simply oriental legends, not born from above and of God, but
born in the East, and probably in pagan Babylonia.
We would therefore postulate
the following propositions:
The Book of Genesis has no doctrinal value if it is not authoritative.
The Book of Genesis is not authoritative if it is not true. For if it is not
history, it is not reliable; and if it is not revelation, it is not
The Book of Genesis is not true if it is not from God. For if it is not from
God, it is not inspired; and if it is not inspired, it possesses to us no
doctrinal value whatever.
The Book of Genesis is not direct from God if it is a heterogeneous compilation
of mythological folklore by unknowable writers.
If the Book of Genesis is a legendary narrative, anonymous, indefinitely
erroneous, and the persons it described the mere mythical personifications of
tribal genius, it is of course not only non-authentic, because nonauthenticated,
but an insufficient basis for doctrine.
The residuum of dubious truth, which might with varying degrees of consent be
extracted therefrom, could never be accepted as a foundation for the
superstructure of eternally trustworthy doctrine, for it is an axiom that that
only is of doctrinal value which is God’s Word. Mythical and legendary fiction,
and still more, erroneous and misleading tradition, are incompatible not only
with the character of the God of all truth, but with the truthfulness,
trustworthiness, and absolute authority of the Word of God. We have not taken
for our credentials cleverly invented myths. The primary documents, if there
were such, were collated and revised and re-written by Moses by inspiration of
A sentence in Margoliouth’s “Lines of Defence” deserves an attentive
consideration today. We should have some opportunity, said the Oxford professor,
of gauging the skill of those on whose faith the old-fashioned belief in the
authenticity of Scripture has been abandoned. (p. 293.) One would perhaps prefer
to put the idea in this way. Our modern Christians should have more opportunity
not only of appraising the skill, but of gauging also the spiritual
qualifications of a critical school that has been characterized notoriously by
an enthusiasm against the miraculous, and a precipitate adoption o which
militates against the historicity of Genesis.
Christians are conceding too much nowadays to the agnostic scientist, and the
rationalistic Hebraist, and are often to blame if they allow them to go out of
their specific provinces without protest. Their assumptions ought to be watched
with the utmost vigilance and jealousy. (See Gladstone, “The Impregnable Rock of
Holy Scripture,” pp. 62-83).
But to resume. The Book of Genesis is the foundation on which the superstructure
of the Scriptures rests. The foundation of the foundation is the first three
chapters, which form in themselves a complete monograph of revelation. And of
this final substructure the first three verses of the first chapter are the
In the first verse of Genesis in words of supernatural grandeur, we have a
revelation of God as the first cause, the Creator of the universe, the world and
man. The glorious Being of God comes forth without explanation, and without
apology. It is a revelation of the one, personal, living, God. There is in the
ancient philosophic cosmogony no trace of the idea of such a Being, still less
of such a Creator, for all other systems began and ended with pantheistic,
materialistic, or hylozoistic conceptions. The Divine Word stands unique in
declaring the absolute idea of the living God, without attempt at demonstration.
The spirituality, infinity, omnipotence, sanctity of the Divine Being, all in
germ lie here. Nay more. The later and more fully revealed doctrine of the unity
of God in the Trinity may be said to lie here in germ also, and the last and
deepest revelation to be involved in first and foremost. The fact of God in the
first of Genesis is not given as a deduction of reason or a philosophic
generalization. It is a revelation. It is a revelation of that primary truth
which is received by the universal human mind as a truth that needs no proof,
and is incapable of it, but which being received, is verified to the intelligent
mind by an irresistible force not only with ontological and cosmological, but
with teleological and moral arguments. Here we have in this first verse of
Genesis, not only a postulate apart from Revelation, but three great truths
which have constituted the glory of our religion.
The Unity of God; in contradiction to all the polytheisms and dualisms of
ancient and modern pagan philosophy.
The Personality of God; in contradiction to that pantheism whether
materialistic or idealistic, which recognizes God’s immanence in the world, but
denies His transcendence. For in all its multitudinous developments, pantheism
has this peculiarity, that it denies the personality of God, and excludes from
the realm of life the need of a Mediator, a Sin-Bearer, and a personal Saviour.
The Omnipotence of God; in contradiction, not only to those debasing
conceptions of the anthropomorphic deities of the ancient world, but to all
those man-made idols which the millions of heathenism today adore. God made
these stars and suns, which man in his infatuation fain would worship. Thus in
contradiction to all human conceptions and human evolutions, there stands forth
no mere deistic abstraction, but the one, true, living and only God. He is named
by the name Elohim, the name of Divine Majesty, the Adorable One, our Creator
and Governor; the same God who in a few verses later is revealed as
Jehovah-Elohim, Jehovah being the Covenant name, the God of revelation and
grace, the Ever-Existent Lord, the God and Father of us all. (Green, “Unity of
Genesis,” pp. 31,32; “Fausset’s Bib. Ency.,” p. 258).
One of the theories of modernism is that the law of evolution can be traced
through the Bible in the development of the idea of God. The development of the
idea of God? Is there in the Scriptures any real trace of the development of the
idea of God? There is an expansive, and richer, and fuller revelation of the
attributes and dealings and ways and workings of God; but not of the idea of
God. The God of Genesis 1:1 is the God of Psalm 90; of Isaiah 40:28; of Hebrews
1:1; and Revelation 4:11.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Here in a sublime
revelation is the doctrinal foundation of the creation of the universe, and the
contradiction of the ancient and modern conceptions of the eternity of matter.
God only is eternal.
One can well believe the story of a Japanese thinker who
took up a strange book, and with wonderment read the first sentence: “In the
beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” It struck him that there was
more philosophy of a theological character, and satisfying to the mind and soul,
in that one sentence than in all the sacred books of the orient.
sentence separates the Scriptures from the rest of human productions. The wisest
philosophy of the ancients, Platonic-Aristotelian or Gnostic, never reached the
point that the world was created by God in the sense of absolute creation. In no
cosmogony outside of the Bible is there a record of the idea that God created
the heaven and the earth, as an effort of
His will, and the fiat of His eternal, self-existent Personality. Ex nihilo
nihil fit. The highest point reached by their philosophical speculations was a
kind of atomic theory; of cosmic atoms and germs and eggs possessed of some
inexplicable forces of development, out of which the present cosmos was through
long ages evolved. Matter was almost universally believed to have existed from
eternity. The Bible teaches that the universe was not causa sui or a mere
passive evolution of His nature, nor a mere transition from one form of being to
another, from non-being to being, but that it was a direct creation of the
personal, living, working God, who created all things out of nothing, but the
fiat of His will, and the instrumentality of the eternal Logos. In glorious
contrast to agnostic science with its lamentable creed, “I believe that behind
and above and around the phenomena of matter and force remains the unsolved
mystery of the universe,” the Christian holds forth his triumphant solution, “I
believe that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (John
1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1; Colossians 1:16). The first verse of the Bible is a proof
that the Book is of God.
And so with regard to the subsequent verses. Genesis is admittedly not a
scientific history. It is a narrative for mankind to show that this world was
made by God for the habitation of man, and was gradually being fitted for God’s
children. So in a series of successive creative developments from the formless
chaos, containing in embryonic condition all elemental constituents, chemical
and mechanical, air, earth, fire, and water, the sublime process is recorded,
according to the Genesis narrative in the following order:
The creation by direct Divine act of matter in its gaseous, aqueous, terrestrial
and mineral condition successively. (Genesis 1:1-10; cf. Colossians 1:16;
The emergence by Divine creative power of the lowest forms of sea and land life,
The creation by direct Divine act of larger forms of life, aquatic and
terrestrial; the great sea monsters and gigantic reptiles (the sheretjim and
tanninim). (Dawson, “Origin of the World,” p. 213; Genesis 1:20-21).
emergence by Divine creative power of land animals of higher organization, herbivora and smaller mammals and carnivora. (Genesis 1:24-25).
And finally the
creation by direct Divine act of man. (Genesis 1:26,27). Not first but last. The
last for which the first was made, as Browning so finely puts it. Herein is the
compatibility of Genesis and science, for this sublime order is just the order
that some of the foremost of the nineteenth and twentieth century scientists
have proclaimed. It is remarkable, too, that the word for absolutely new
creation is only used in connection with the introduction of life. (Genesis
These three points where the idea of absolute creation is introduced are the
three main points at which modern champions of evolution find it impossible to
Next we have in this sublime revelation the doctrinal foundation for the
beginning of mankind. Man was created, not evolved. That is, he did not come
from protoplasmic mud-mass, or sea ooze bathybian, or by descent from fish or
frog, or horse, or ape; but at once, direct, full made, did man come forth from
God. When you read what some writers, professedly religious, say about man and
his bestial origin your shoulders unconsciously droop; your head hangs down;
your heart feels sick. Your self-respect has received a blow. When you read
Genesis, your shoulders straighten, your chest emerges. You feel proud to be
that thing that is called man. Up goes your heart, and up goes your head. The
Bible stands openly against the evolutionary development of man, and his gradual
ascent through indefinite aeons from the animal.
Not against the idea of the development of the plans of the Creator in nature,
or a variation of species by means of environment and processes of time. That is
seen in Genesis, and throughout the Bible, and in this world. But the Bible does
stand plainly against that garish theory that all species, vegetable and animal,
have originated through evolution from lower forms through long natural
processes. The materialistic form of this theory to the Christian is most
offensive. It practically substitutes an all-engendering protoplasmic call for
the only and true God. But even the theistic supernaturalistic theory is opposed
to the Bible and to Science for these reasons.
There is no such universal law of development. On the contrary, scientific
evidence is now standing for deterioration. The flora and the fauna of the
latest period show no trace of improvement, and even man, proud man, from the
biological and physiological standpoint has gained nothing to speak of from the
dawn of history. The earliest archaeological remains of Egypt, Assyria,
Babylonia, show no trace of slow emergence from barbarism. That species can be
artificially improved is true, but that is not transmutation of species.
(Dawson, “Origin of the World,” pp. 227- 277).
No new type has ever been discovered. Science is universally proclaiming the
truth of Genesis 1:11,12,21,24,25 “after his kind,” “after their kind”; that is,
species by species. Geology with its five hundred or so species of ganoids
proclaims the fact of the non-transmutation of species. If, as they say, the
strata tell the story of countless aeons, it is strange that during those
countless aeons the trilobite never produced anything but a trilobite, nor has
the ammonite ever produced anything but an ammonite. The elaborately artificial
exceptions of modern science only confirm the rule. (See Townsend, “Collapse of
Nor is there any trace of transmutation of species. Man develops from a single
cell, and the cell of a monkey is said to be indistinguishable from that of a
man. But the fact that a man cell develops into a man and the monkey cell
develops into a monkey, shows there is an immeasurable difference between them.
And the development from a cell into a man has nothing whatever to do with the
evolution of one species into another. “To science, species are practically
unchangeable units” (“Origin of the World,” p. 227). Man is the sole species of
his genus, and the sole representative of his species. The abandonment of any
original type is said to be soon followed by the complete extinction of the
Nor has the missing link been found. The late Robert Etheridge of the British
Museum, head of the geological department, and one of the ablest of British
paleontologists; has said: “In all that great museum there is not a particle of
evidence of transmutation of species. Nine-tenths of the talk of evolutionists
is not founded on observation, and is wholly unsupported by facts.” And
Professor Virchow is said to have declared with vehemence regarding evolution:
“It’s all nonsense. You are as far as ever you were from establishing any
connection between man and the ape.” A great gulf is fixed between the theory of
evolution and the sublime statement of Gen.
1:26,27. These verses give man his true place in the universe as the
consummation of creation. Made out of the dust of the ground, and created on the
same day with the highest group of animals, man has physiological affinities
with the animal creation. But he was made in the image of God, and therefore
transcendently superior to any animal. “Man is a walker, the monkey is a
climber,” said the great French scientist, De Quatrefages, years ago. A man does
a thousand things every day that a monkey could not do if he tried ten thousand
years. Man has the designing, controlling, ordering, constructive, and governing
faculties. Man has personality, understanding, will, conscience. Man is fitted
for apprehending God, and for worshipping God. The Genesis account of man is the
only possible basis of revelation. The revelation of fatherhood; of the
beautiful, the true, the good; of purity, of peace; is unthinkable to a horse, a
dog, or a monkey. The most civilized simian could have no affinity with such
ideas. There is no possibility of his conceiving such conceptions, or of
receiving them if revealed. It is, moreover, the only rational basis for the
doctrine of regeneration in opposition to the idea of the evolution of the human
character, and of the great doctrine of the incarnation. Man once made in the
image of God, by the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost is born again and made
in the image of God the Son.
Further, we have in this sublime revelation of Genesis the
doctrinal foundation of –
The unity of the human race.
The fall of man.
The plan of redemption.
With regard to the first, Sir William Dawson has said that the Bible knows
but one Adam. Adam was not a myth, or an ethnic name. He was a veritable man,
made by God; not an evolutionary development from some hairy anthropoid in some
imaginary continent of Lemuria. ... The Bible knows but one species of man, one
primitive pair. ... This is confirmed by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:4.
... It is re-affirmed by Paul in Acts 17:26, whichever reading may be taken, and
in Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21,47,49. Nor is there any ground for supposing
that the word Adam is used in a collective sense, and thus leave room for the
hypotheses of the evolutionary development of a large number of human pairs. All
things in both physiology and ethnology, as well as in the sciences, which bear
on the subject, confirm the idea of the unity of the human race. (Saphir, p.
With regard to the fall of man. The foundation of all Harmartology and
Anthropology lies in the first three chapters of Genesis. It teaches us that man
was originally created for communion with God, and that whether his personality
was dichotomistic or trichotomistic, he was entirely fitted for personal,
intelligent fellowship with his Maker, and was united with Him in the bonds of
love and knowledge. Every element of the Bible story recommends itself as a
historic narrative. Placed in Eden by his God, with a work to do, and a
trial-command, man was potentially perfect, but with the possibility of fall.
Man fell, though it was God’s will that man should rise from that human posse
non peccari as a free agent into the Divine non posse peccari. (Augustine, “De
Civitate Dei”, Book 22, Chap. 30). Man fell by disobedience, and through the
power of a supernatural deceiver called that old serpent, the devil and Satan,
who from Genesis 3 to Revelation 19 appears as the implacable enemy of the human
race, and the head of that fallen angel-band which abandoned through the sin of
pride their first principality.
This story is incomprehensible if only a myth. The great Dutch theologian, Van
Oosterzee says, “The narrative presents itself plainly as history. Such an
historic fantastic clothing of a pure philosophic idea accords little with the
genuine spirit of Jewish antiquity.” (Dog. ii, p. 403).
Still more incomprehensible is it, if it is merely an allegory which refers
fruit, serpent, woman, tree, eating, etc., to entirely different things from
those mentioned in the Bible. It is history. It is treated as such by our Lord
Jesus Christ, who surely would not mistake a myth for history, and by St. Paul,
who hardly built Romans 5, and 1 Corinthians 15, on cleverly composed fables. It
is the only satisfactory explanation of the corruption of the race. From Adam’s
time death has reigned.
This story of the fall stands, moreover, as a barrier against all Manicheanism,
and against that Palagianism which declares that man is not so bad after all,
and derides the doctrine of original sin which in all our Church confessions
distinctly declares the possession by every one from birth of this sinful
nature. (See, e.g., Art. IX of “Anglican Church.”) The penalty and horror of
sin, the corruption of our human nature, and the hopelessness of our sinful
estate are things definitely set forth in the Holy Scripture, and are St. Paul’s
divinely-inspired deductions from this fact of the incoming of sin and death
through the disobedience and fall of Adam, the original head of the human race.
The race is in a sinful condition. (Romans 5:12). Mankind is a solidarity. As
the root of a tree lives in stem, branch, leaf and fruit; so in Adam, as Anselm
says, a person made nature sinful, in his posterity nature made persons sinful.
Or, as Pascal finely puts it, original sin is folly in the sight of man, but
this folly is wiser than all the wisdom of man. For without it, who could have
said what man is. His whole condition depends upon this imperceptible point.
(“Thoughts,” ch. xiii-11). This Genesis story further is the foundation of the
Scripture doctrine of all human responsibility, and accountability to God. A
lowered anthropology always means a lowered theology, for if man was not a
direct creation of God, if he was a mere indirect development, through slow and
painful process, of no one knows what, or how, or why, or when, or where, the
main spring of moral accountability is gone. The fatalistic conception of man’s
and moral life is the deadly gift of naturalistic evolution to our age, said
Prof. D. A. Curtis recently.
With regard to our redemption, the third chapter of Genesis is the basis of
all Soteriology. If there was no fall, there was no condemnation, no separation
and no need of reconciliation. If there was no need of reconciliation, there was
no need of redemption; and if there was no need of redemption, the Incarnation
was a superfluity, and the crucifixion folly. (Galatians 3:21). So closely does
the apostle link the fall of Adam and the death of Christ, that without Adam’s
fall the science of theology is evacuated of its most salient feature, the
atonement. If the first Adam was not made a living soul and fell, there was no
reason for the work of the Second Man, the Lord from heaven. The rejection of
the Genesis story as a myth, tends to the rejection of the Gospel of salvation.
One of the chief corner stones of the Christian doctrine is removed, if the
historical reality of Adam and Eve is abandoned, for the fall will ever remain
as the starting point of special revelation, of salvation by grace, and of the
need of personal regeneration. In it lies the germ of the entire apostolic
Finally, we have in Genesis 2 the doctrinal foundation of those great
fundamentals, the necessity of labor, the Lord’s Day of rest, the Divine
ordinance of matrimony, and the home life of mankind. The weekly day of rest was
provided for man by his God, and is planted in the very forefront of revelation
as a Divine ordinance, and so also is marriage and the home. Our Lord Jesus
Christ endorses the Mosaic story of the creation of Adam and Eve, refers to it
as the explanation of the Divine will regarding divorce, and sanctions by His
infallible imprimatur that most momentous of ethical questions, monogamy. Thus
the great elements of life as God intended it, the three universal factors of
happy, healthy, helpful life, law, labor, love, are laid down in the beginning
of God’s Book.
Three other remarkable features in the first chapters of Genesis deserve a brief
The first is the assertion of the original unity of the language of the human
race. (Genesis 11:1). Max Muller, a foremost ethnologist and philologist,
declares that all our languages, in spite of their diversities, must have
originated in one common source. (See Saphir, “Divine Unity,” p. 206; Dawson,
“Origin of the World,” p. 286; Guinness, “Divine Programme,” p. 75).
The second is that miracle of ethnological prophecy by Noah in Genesis 9:26,27,
in which we have foretold in a sublime epitome the three great divisions of the
human race, and their ultimate historic destinies. The three great divisions,
Hamitic, Shemitic, and Japhetic, are the three ethnic groups into which modern
science has divided the human race. The facts of history have fulfilled what was
foretold in Genesis four thousand years ago. The Hamitic nations, including the
Chaidean, Babylonic, and Egyptian, have been degraded, profane, and sensual. The
Shemitic have been the religious with the line of the coming Messiah. The
Japhetic have been the enlarging, and the dominant races, including all the
great world monarchies, both of the ancient and modern times, the Grecian,
Roman, Gothic, Celtic,
Teutonic, British and American, and by recent investigation and discovery, the
races of India, China, and Japan. Thus Ham lost all empire centuries ago; Shem
and his race acquired it ethically and spiritually through the Prophet, Priest
and King, the Messiah; while Japheth, in world-embracing enlargement and
imperial supremacy, has stood for industrial, commercial, and political
The third is the glorious promise given to Abraham, the man to whom the God of
glory appeared and in whose seed, personal and incarnate, the whole world was to
be blessed. Abraham’s personality is the explanation of the monotheism of the
three greatest religions in the world. He stands out in majestic proportion, as
Max Muller says, as a figure, second only to One in the whole world’s history.
Apart from that promise the miraculous history of the Hebrew race is
inexplicable. In him centers, and on him hangs, the central fact of the whole of
the Old Testament, the promise of the Saviour and His glorious salvation.
(Genesis 11:3; 22:18; Galatians 3:8-16).
In an age, therefore, when the critics are waxing bold in claiming settledness
for the assured results of their hypothetic eccentricities, Christians should
wax bolder in contending earnestly for the assured results of the revelation in
the opening chapters of Genesis.
The attempt of modernism to save the
supernatural in the second part of the Bible by mythicalizing the supernatural
in the first part, is as unwise as it is fatal. Instead of lowering the dominant
of faith amidst the chorus of doubt, and admitting that a chapter is doubtful
because some doctrinaire has questioned it, or a doctrine is less authentic
because somebody has floated an unverifiable hypothesis, it would be better to
take our stand with such men as Romanes, Lord Kelvin, Virchow, and Liebig, in
their ideas of a Creative Power, and to side with Cuvier, the eminent French
scientist, who said that Moses, while brought up in all the science of Egypt,
was superior to his age, and has left us a cosmogony, the exactitude of which
verifies itself every day in a reasonable manner; with Sir William Dawson, the
eminent Canadian scientist, who declared that Scripture in all its details
contradicts no received result of science, but anticipates many of its
discoveries; with Professor Dana, the eminent American scientist, who said,
after examining the first chapters of Genesis as a geologist, “I find it to be
in perfect accord with known science”; or, best of all, with Him who said, “Had
you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me. But if you
believe not his writings, how shall you believe My words?” (John 5:45,46).
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