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Strauss objects that, according to Genesis, the alternation of day and night took place before the creation of the sun, or, more correctly, before the present relation of the earth to the sun was established; but this rests on a pure misconception. God created the sun and moon on the fourth day only, to rule the day and the night, and to be signs of the days and years; that is, translated into our plainer language, on the fourth day began the regular apparent rising and setting of the sun, or the regular rotation of the earth round its own axis and round the sun, by which the days and years are measured. Genesis does not know of this before the fourth day. The first three days of creation are either to be understood figuratively with the three others as long periods of time, or at least all that they have in common with our days is, that they are caused by one alternation of light and darkness. And when we find in the account of the first day, in vers. 4, 5, the words: "And God divided the light from the dark
hardly necessary to remind those who take offence at the existence of light before the creation of the sun, the source of light, that the sunlight does not come from the sun itself, but from a shell which surrounds the body of the sun, and that from the occasional tearing of this shell we sometimes obtain a glimpse of the darkness underneath." Cf. Madler in the Oes. Naturw. iii. 563 : "A shining gaseous envelope is spread round the sun, which is itself a dark body, and this has been called the photosphere (the surrounding light), in contradistinction to our atmosphere." This seemed to be a fact which would justify the expressions of the French savants detailed on p. 2. The theory (which I have adopted in the two previous editions) that the sun's body is dark in itself, and that a photosphere surrounding it is the source of light on the earth, is now contested on the ground of the investigations conducted by means of the spectrum analysis; and it is supposed that the sun consists of a solid or fluid nucleus, which is in a state of white heat, and of a gaseous and glowing envelope, the photosphere, which has a rather lower temperature than the nucleus. See Secchi, p. 396. Pfaff, SchSp/imgsgeschichte, 2d ed. pp. 122-127. Cornelius, EnUtehung der Welt, p. 2a
ness; and God called the light day, and the darkness called He night," they only mean, as I have shown in the exegetical discussions on these verses, that after God had created light He established the relation of light and darkness; and this relation established by God is the regular sequence and alternation of light and darkness, which we call day and night. Again, Genesis does not say that this alternation of day and night immediately took place regularly once every twenty-four hours; it rather seems to wish to point out that this only began with the fourth so-called day of creation.
The difficulty that the plants were brought forth on the third day, that is, before the sun gave light and warmth on the earth, is not insuperable. No doubt the light and warmth of the sun are now necessary in order that the plants should flourish. But if before the fourth day light and warmth were not, for the earth, connected with the sun in the same way as at present, vegetation was not dependent on the sun in the same way as at present.1 Further, the establishment of the sun's relation to the earth follows, in the Hexaemeron, immediately on the bringing forth of the plants, so that we need only assume that their first origin took place without the light and warmth of the sun, and not that they existed a long time without them.
In this way the supporters of the literal and concordistic theories of the six days may combine the results of astronomical inquiry with the Biblical narrative. I must postpone a further explanation to another lecture. But I may just point out here that the objec
1 Pfaff, SchSpfungsgeschichte, 2d ed. p. 747.
tion which is based on the separation of light from the sun in the Mosaic record entirely falls to the ground if, according to the theory discussed fourthly in my last lecture, the six days are considered not as six successive chronological periods, but as six chief moments of the creative activity of God. In this case the establishment of the regular alternation of day and night— according to the Biblical expression, the separation of light from darkness—would be represented as one moment of the divine creative activity, the establishment of the earth's present relation to the sun and the other heavenly bodies as a second; and no one would be justified in concluding from the fact that these two moments are distinguished, and that the one is represented as the first and the other as the fourth among the six, that these two divine works took place chronologically one after the other, and were separated from each other by several other intermediate divine works. On the contrary, it is according to this theory possible that events which Genesis logically distinguishes were chronologically simultaneous; therefore the fact that the alternation of day and night and other phenomena are placed by Genesis in the first half of its narrative, and the connection of the earth with the sun and star system on which those phenomena depend is placed in the second half, need not hinder astronomers and geologists from investigating these things by their own methods, for the account in Genesis is unchronological.
The explanations 1 have given to-day will, I think, warrant my drawing the following conclusion. There can only, at any rate, be a question of an irreconcilable contradiction between the assured results of astronomical inquiry and the statements in the Mosaic record, if we hold fast to the literal interpretation of the six days. But I have already proved that this interpretation is not the only one which can be justified exegetically; and my next lectures will show that it cannot be brought into harmony with other results of scientific inquiry. No doubt, even if we adopt the other explanations of the Hexaemeron, it cannot be proved that they agree with the results of astronomical inquiry, in the sense that the Bible teaches the same as does astronomy. But there could be no greater mistake than to require such a thing of the Bible. Here, as elsewhere, its task is to teach only that which is of importance to its religious object. By restricting itself to this, it does not forbid man to find out by his own investigations more about the creation than the Bible tells him; and the theologian should recognise with thankful admiration all that astronomy has discovered with respect to the extent of the star system in space and in time, and not criticize these discoveries in a narrow-minded spirit.
Hundreds of years ago, God may have caused the splendid primaeval forests to grow, which in our day have been seen with reverential surprise for the first time by the eye of the bold traveller, or the scientific man thirsting for knowledge; what then if it were true, as astronomers say, that many thousand years ago God sent forth the rays from the farthest stars,— those rays which now meet our eye when we look up to heaven, indifferently, inquiringly, or devoutly. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love," saith the Lord.1
1 Jer. xxxi. 3.
GEOLOGY. NEPTUNISM AND PLUTONISM.
Geology is the science which investigates the inner structure of the earth. It endeavours to discover the phenomena which occur in consequence of this structure; and from these it deduces the laws according to which these phenomena themselves must occur, either in historical sequence, or in their connection with one another. The groundwork of this science is the investigation of the earth's structure as it at present exists; as it were, the anatomy of the earth, or, rather, of the crust of the earth which is alone accessible to us. Having ascertained these facts, it then endeavours to derive from them a knowledge of the entire earth; to draw conclusions about the condition of its interior, and about its earlier stages up to the time of its first existence. The purely empirical part of the science, which is concerned with the composition and the present condition of the earth, is also called geognosy; and by geology or geogony is thus meant the inferential part of the science which is concerned with the origin and development of our planet. But, practically, these two branches of the science can hardly be distinguished from one another; and accordingly they are now-a-days usually united in the term geology. Mineralogy is distinguished from geology in so far as it is concerned