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THE TESTIMONY OF FACTS.
At the outset it will be seen to be foreign to our purpose to introduce here any evidence in proof of the reality of the process of Evolution. But the existing evidence that things have been brought to their present condition by a slow process of succession, in which the more simple forms preceded the more complex, is unanimously conceded by all who have investigated any branch of natural science, and effectually contradicts the sudden and separate origin of things deducible from the account in Genesis. With this, it will be sufficient, if we point out in a brief way the facts discovered by science which contradict the account of creation in Genesis, whether we accept the sequence of plants and animals revealed by a study of fossils and living kinds, as indicating a genetic connection, or as being insufficient grounds for such a conception.
From internal evidence, Genesis is not homogeneous in its composition, as we have already seen.
An origi- counts of Genenally detached portion having a different immediate sis and their source, terminates with the third verse of the second as to the Crea
tion of Man. chapter, and it is quite evident that, in dividing the
The two ac
text into chapters, a mistake has been committed in this instance; the second chapter should begin, if an arbitrary division into chapters is intended to help the comprehension of the text, at its fourth verse. That these two accounts contradict each other is plain. The first account affirms that when God created man, “male and female created he them." The second account as positively declares that man was created in the person of Adam as one sex and solitary. Finding that such a creation was incomplete and useless, the Deity made woman not out of the ground or dust, but of a bone of man himself. At one time one can readily conceive that such a belief could be seriously entertained when we read the accounts given by existing savages of their own origin. But it never, for one moment, occurs to us to credit such conceptions. The idealists have been busy with this account of the origin of woman. It is taken as symbolical of the marriage state, of the dependence of woman upon man, "bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh.” But to the uncultured races their fairystories are real, they believe them as Roman Catholics. believe modern miracles, and Protestants, ancient miracles. Among the people who originated this fairytale of the origin of the first pair, the story passed for circumstantial fact. It satisfied their natural enquiry as to the origin of things, and it arose out of their mental status. But to ask us, who have gone beyond their mental condition, to still accept it as true, is unreasonable, and it is quite impossible that we should comply with such a request.
In the second account the events of creation are given in a different order from the first, and this account is. throughout more circumstantial. The garden of Eden.
count with the
is described, and this has been lately identified with
Comparison be now compared with the facts ascertained by science. of the first acWe must believe that the text should be understood facts
. literally when it speaks of “ day” and “night,” because with this reading it agrees with the context. From the alternation of light and darkness sprang “day" and “night,” and “the evening and the morning were one day.” To take these days as indefinite periods is a proof of a want of exact thought; it is an effort to reconcile an exploded statement with the new facts, rather than cut loose at once from demonstrated error. The He Argument as
to the meaning, brew word Yom not only means a day of twenty-four of the word
Day." hours, but it expressly means day in this connection.
It is something also that the translators of the Bible give us the word “ day," and the onus is entirely on the opponents of this reading to show that these translators were not justified in translating “ Yom” by the English word “ day.” It is clear also that it is only at the newer demands of science for more time in the creation of the world, that the “ Harmonists” have been tampering with the word “ Yom," and displaying an ingenuity and wisdom in their conjectures before which inspiration itself must“ pale its ineffectual fires." The charge of blasphemy recoils on the heads of those
who unintelligently handle things, they themselvesd eclare in advance to be sacred. We read in the fifth verse of Genesis I. that God called the darkness “night," which cannot refer to “cosmical” darkness, since the Hebrew word for night, “ La-y'lah,” is derived from a root “la-ah," to cease, to rest; and “La-y'lah
La-y'lah” means rest-time, bed-time, hence our day and night are meant on the very first day. Moreover, the Hebrew term for day, “ Yom,” means “day,” and nothing else in the ordinary ,acceptance of the word. And though, like the English word “day," it may have a figurative value, yet in an historical narrative, as Genesis is assumed to be, the word has its natural, literal meaning, and all attempts to interpret it differently do violence to the spirit of the original Hebrew text and language. Both the Talmud and the Christian Fathers (notably St. Augustine) insist that the natural meaning of words in the Scriptures shall not be dropped to give them a fanciful and doubtful interpretation.
But even granted that we take the less natural meaning of the word “day" as the proper rendering, and that by this word “day" any conceivable measurement of time is intended, it is only on the fourth of these days that the sun appears. Astronomy, if it shows anything, proves that the satellites of a central orb, as separate masses of matter, must have been projected from it and at one time formed a part of such a body.
The relation between the earth and the sun, as we Relation" be- gather it from astronomical sources, is a different one tween the Earth from that intended by the account in Genesis. We
cannot conceive that the sun or the moon were created for the benefit of the earth or its inhabitants. Night and day are not necessities in the sense that we could