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lar finale, which brought us to the gate at Puckshenubbie, I lifted my cap with a low salaam, and turned my course homeward.
VII. “I have seen her, Floralie," said I, a day or two after, as we sat together in the little trellised portico that opened on the garden at Reedyrill. I had just returned from a set call at Black Oak, where I had been “worshipping," in due form, at the shrine of my new divinity, Laurine Iveson.
“Well ?" “I have found her even more higher, greater than I anticipated. None of that icy formality and selfish hauteur was manifested—to me at least. Dignity, grace, beauty, majesty, these blended will present the best idea. None of your wild, gay, romping, volatile creatures; doing brilliant things, saying brilliant things, uttering crystal-rayed fancies, all glitter and gilt, like sunlight glances on the snowy foam of a water-fall-heliochromatical humbuggery-tintinnabulations of empty glass bells—meaning nothing. Here was the calm serenity, the logic-linked unity and correlation of the beauty of pure reason. It was the life-coloring and animate formation of flower-work compared with dead geometry of crystal work.
“Yes; there was none of the fantastic apery of shallow minds—here was the deep grand beauty of an infinite sea of intelligence in those dark eyes. I could almost fancy I was talking to one of the antiæval angels who were behind the scenes when the world's constituent elements were eliminated into accord by the fiat of Deity.
“And yet when she smiled, there was a gay, glowing beauty, never equalled by your butterfly-tinted minds. In conversing with her for more than an hour, I was almost blinded and bewildered in following the eaglesoarings of her intellect. There was none of the 'blue' about her; indeed, rather did she go too far to the opposite extreme; there was an utter abhorrence of bluism, not expressed, but manifested in her tone and train of thought. She seemed almost to affect the common-place in the garbing of her ideas. Her language was the strong nervous Saxon of common collo. quial intercourse: but selected, deep, rich and melodious. It seemed so to me; but her intoning was so full of music, that I may have been estrayed with that. There was a current of glowing, original and poetical fancy escaping out through her seemingly barren and flowerless language, rare as it was beautiful, and either so natural or so artful, that with closest study I could not detect the art.
“I apply the term of eagle-soaring to her converse, because there was a masterly nervous perception, appreciation of the poetry of common life, which would gleam out in glimpses now and then along the quiet current of a conversation which, to an inattentive or unapprehensive listener, would have appeared almost dull—that none but a master-mind could manifest Laurine Iveson is a woman of genius of the highest stamp.”
“You are a favored youth,” replied Floralie, with a sort of half smile, that I verily believe was cancelled by a sigh. " Laurine is a woman of genius, as I told you at first : but I really believe she is too proud to let the commonalty, who could not appreciate her, have any suspicion that such is the fact."
“ I hardly know but that I ought to condemn that pride in her you speak
of, in that it is a degree of selfishness. But all are selfish, in some way or other;
and hers is, I must say, the highest and most refined manifestation of it I ever saw. You have none of it, dear Floralie—none of any kind and insomuch I must declare you are greater, and of a nobler nature, than she.”
“Oh! I? No, I am not selfish–I may flatter myself so far; but that is a sort of negative quality, the only kind I possess I wish I was a woman of genius, like your Laurine."
My Laurine? She's none of mine. I have told you over and over that I love her not. That she is not the kind of woman I could love."
“Well, you are a queer, paradoxical fellow, and say things, I believe, just for the purpose of puzzling people. But if I am any judge of such matters, I would say that you love her pretty extensively."
“ Come, now, you are a lover; give me some tokens by which I may know if I be in love or no.”
“ I a lover ?" and she blushed crimson.
“ Pshaw! now don't go to blushing about it, or I shall believe my jest was a true word spoken. In love? Why, yes, and I always thought you ought to make me your confidant."
“ You my confidant ?" asked she with an air of perplexity and embarrassment that I could not understand.
“Why yes, you know I made you mine when I used to be enamored with Bessy Raymond."
“What do you mean? You know I-I-am not in love with any body.”
“No? You would'nt tell Ike Montmery so, you sly rogue.” “Ike Montmery!" and she burst into a hearty laugh; "I never dreamed of such a thing. But now I think of it, Ike is a mighty nice fellow, and I believe I will fall in love with him right away."
“Ah! I admire your tact. But here comes Thealan, and with what a rueful face! Hallo, Chunk, lad, what's wrong with you?"
“ Everything," said he, making a ludicrous contortion of countenance as he approached with a huge frown on his brow. “ Here is my little King Charles Poodle, that I was raising for Anne Macoun, drowned himself in a basin of milk, and Murro, the rascal, has broke the lock of my new gun. And, confound it, there is Uncle Sebastian going to take Molly and Flower, and Anne Macoun, to Columbia to school to-morrow, and the Lord only knows when I shall get to see 'em again.”
“What a concatenation of calamities !"
SCRIPTURE GEOLOGY AND SCRIPTURE ASTRONOMY.*
AFTER the palpably futile attempts of Buckland, Pye Smith, Miller, Anderson, Hitchcock and others, to reconcile the letter of Scripture with geology, it is refreshing to see a book like this, which candidly impales itself on the Biblical horn of the dilemma, and ignores geology altogether. The author denies that the world is more than six thousand years old, or that the universe was made other than in six literal days, and thinks the deluge “ a far more credible and satisfactory” mode of accounting for the changes which the phenomena of the earth exhibit, than the theory of geology. He admits there are difficulties in the way, and says :
“Let us meet all objections fairly put, whenever an answer is practicable, but when it is not, it is legitimate to fall back on the authority of the Bible. Here is our vantage ground.
A firm, cordial belief in God's revelation to man limits while it awakens the spirit of philosophic inquiry; and had its study been pursued in connection with physical researches, its advocates would have been spared the pains of combating many a theory which leads, by necessary inference, to its rejection. We are not exciting groundless apprehension ; much less do we betray a state of mind in unison with such prejudices as were arrayed against Galileo. To confound the advocates of the Mosaic record with the ignorant, bigoted, persecuting priests of a dark age, is, to say the least, not very consistent with well-grounded claims to superior acumen. The discoveries of that much injured astronomer did not conflict with revelation ; but some of our modern geological theories clash directly with the teachings of Moses. Even to refer the period designated by the beginning to millions of ages back, in order to account for certain stratified formations and fossil remains, is to contradict the record which refers the creation of those vegetable substances of which beds of coal are composed, and of those animals of which fossils are discovered, to the third, fifth and sixth days; or that the lights of heaven existed long before the Mosaic era, and that they then, owing to a further purification of the atmosphere, on the fourth day became visible in the firmament, and assumed new relations to the newly modified earth, is a supposition which cannot be reconciled with the declaration that God made two great lights, and then set them in the firmament. Hence, among the supporters of such theories may be found those who assume the ground that their faith in revelation has no connection with their views of the work of creation; who abandon not only the Mosaic account of the creation, but the unity of the race, the universality of the Deluge, and the reason for the institution of the Sabbath. Among this class
, too, may be found those who discard the Scriptural belief that death was the consequence of sin, and that animal sacrifices were of divine appointment; and who are wont to disparage the credibility of the miraculous portions of the Old Testament, on the ground that all the early nations were extremely prone to hyperbolize!' Through the tendency of neological views on the one hand, and of geological speculations on the other, it has become not uncommon to represent the Pentateuch as a collection of popular traditions, having scarcely any more foundation, in fact, than the legends of classical antiquity; and, with the writings of Herodotus, or the poems of Homer, to
* The Epoch of Creation. The Scripture doctrine contrasted with the Geological Theory. By Eleazar Lord. With an Introduction by Richard W. Dickinson, D.D. : New-York, 1851. VOL. XXIX-NO. IV.
be philosophically referred to an age of fabulous uncertainty. Sometimes ridicule is employed; then difficulties are insinuated under the mask of philosophy, or of science; and then, again, we are gravely told that the Bible is not a revelation of science, or that it can readily be explained, in accordance with geological deductions, by putting a different construction on this or that part, or by resolving the particulars of the Mosaic account into general terms or figurative language.
What do the Scriptures teach respecting the work of creation? is the one great question considered in this treatise. It brings to the support of the Mosaic record, arguments drawn from the laws of Biblical interpretation in relation to the use of the term beginning ; from the positive statement of the sacred historian, that, in the space of six days, the generations of the heaven and earth were completed; from the fact that, throughout the Scriptures, the formation of man is referred to the same period, or included in the six days' work of creation; from the reason assigned for the institution of the Sabbath, and for the stress afterwards laid on this fact, growing out of the antagonism of all idolatrous systems of religion to the acknowledgment of God's rights as the Creator; from the fact that the delegated work of Christ is referred to the same period with the creation, and from the glory and honor due and ascribed to Him, and without whom was not anything made that was made."--Introduction.
This long quotation enables the author to “define his position” without much ambiguity, and he has unquestionably taken the only honest ground on which to fight his battle. He thinks there is no use in mincing the matter any longer-that Scripture and Geology cannot be made to agree any more than oil and water, and forthwith he must needs blurt out the fact. Others, to whom the interests of the Church were dear, have done their best to cover up, and get round, and explain away the truth; they were unwilling, doubtless, to admit it even to themselves. As Messrs. Lord & D son have thought proper to throw off all reserve, it becomes necessary to point out the conclusions to which their premises infallibly tend. In point of fact, the literal interpretation of the Bible is as opposed to Astronomy as it is to Geology. In hope, therefore, of inducing the learned and pious authors to modify in their next edition the quotation given above, so as to include Galileo and Lyell, as it were, in the same boat, we proceed to gather the astronomical teachings of holy writ, in the same spirit of verbal criticism with which Mr. Lord proves his point.
And, first, what do the Scriptures teach in regard to the earth? It is evident that it is the centre of the universe, the sun, moon and stars being mere adjuncts “set in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth."* It is an extended plain, so that from a high mountain all the kingdoms of the earth might be seen at once. It has breadth, ends, and four corners.
The earth is immovably fixed upon foundations, corner-stones and pillars, underneath which is water. « Ile hath established the earth on its foundations so that it shall not be moved forever and ever.- Where wast thou at my laying the foundations of the earth? Narrate, since thou possesseth full understanding, who applied measuring rods to it? Since thou knowest, upon what were its bases let in? or who laid a stone for its corner? He shaketh the earth out of its place, and the pillars thereof tremble.—The pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved ; I bear up the pillars of it. Hear ye, 0 mountains, the Lord's controversy, and ye strong foundations of the earth. For upon the seas he hath founded
* Gen. i. 17.
+ Luke iv. 5. # Job xxxviii. 18; Isa. xl. 28 ; Rev. vii. 1; Isa. xlv, 22 ; xi, 12.
it, and upon the streams he hath fixed it. O give thanks to Him who hath spread out the earth upon the waters. Thou shalt not make a graven image of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; generation cometh and generation goeth, but the earth forever standeth."*
But these, our author may reply, are figurative expressions, and must be interpreted by the light of modern science. Let him take care lest, by so doing, we be setting to the infidel geologists an example of wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction. The next thing some “ hammerbearing philosopher” will say, the six days of Creation are figurative, and “then the Sabbath can no longer be regarded as the divine memorial of God's six days' work of creation.” Consistency is a jewel. It is a bad rule that will not work both ways.
Next let us inquire what the Scriptures teach in regard to the sky or heaven. And here two good old English expressions will help those who have been led away by the new-fangled Copernican philosophy to realize the truth. It is a proverb, “if the sky falls, we shall catch larks ;" again : we say of a multitude, " a shout went up that made the welkin ring.
“ Now my task is smoothly done,
I can walk, or I can run,
Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend." - Milton.
"It is said, Gen. i. 7," says Cruden, " that God made the firmament in the midst of the waters, in order to separate the inferior from the superior waters. The word there used is rakiah, which is translated expansion, something expanded, or firmament, something firm and solid. The verb rakah from whence rakiah is derived, signifies to spread metal with the hammer, to make flat, to crush to pieces, to beat. Moses uses this word to describe the gold which was beaten in order to cover the ark and the tables of the holy with it; Exod. xxxix. 3, Num. xvi. 38, 39. Isaiah, to denote the plates of gold wherewith the idols were covered, Isa. xl. 19, and the same prophet and the psalmist to express the spreading forth of the earth and its floating on the waters, for this was the conception which the Hebrews had of it. Isa. xlii. 5; Psal. cxxxvi. 6.”+
As this is rather an important point, it may be well to strengthen it by a quotation from the Rev. J. Pye Smith, D.D., LL.D. It will be found in his work entitled, Relation between the Holy Scriptures and Geology, pp. 180-181, Phila. ed. Of this book, Dr. S. G. Morton says, “ I regard this among the most instructive volumes that has issued from the
press since the revival of letters, and for this reason,—that it constitutes a link between religion and natural science--studies which have hitherto been as isolated as if they were incompatible with each other.”
“ The Hebrew word (rakia) is commonly translated firmament, after the example of the Septuagint (stepówna) but many modern critics have sought to mollify the unphilosophical idea of a solid concave shell over our heads, by using the word expanse. No doubt they felt their minds acquiescing in this term, as expressing very well the diffused fluid which surrounds the earth; and so leaving us at liberty to conceive of its increasing tenuity, till it is lost in the planetary
* Ps. civ. 5; Job xxxviii. 4, 5, 6; ix. 6 ; 1 Sam ii. 8; Ps, lxxv. 3 ; Mic. vi. 2 ; Ps. xxiv. 2 ; Ps. cxxxvi. 6 ; Ex. xx. 4 ; Eccles. i. 4.
t Cruden's Concordance, article Firmament.