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the reviewer's argument more than to my own, unless the extent of Aram be first determined ;-that is to say, until it be decided whether or not Mesopotamia be correctly comprised within that designation.
Upon this subject, I have not formed the opinion expressed by me merely from the consideration of the single text which Dr. Paulus has so rationally expounded. In my arguments in pp. 124, 125, I have mentioned that the several cities enumerated in 2 Sam. x. 6, as belonging to Aram,-of which “ Damascus was the head" (Isa. vii. 8), -were all, like that city itself, situate at a short distance only from the north-eastern extremity of the land of Canaan :-see for Bethrehob, Judg. xviii. 28; Zobah, 2 Chr. viii. 3; Maacah, Josh, xüi. 13; and Ish-tob (Tob), Judg. xi. 3. Why, then, is the plain country of Aram,- Padan-Aram, or Sedeh-Aram-alone to be placed at so great à distance from the other portions of Aram? I have also remarked (p. 132,) that the kingdom of Cushan-rishathaim (Judg. ii. 8,) is, with far more reason, to be regarded as a country in the vicinity of Canaan, (like those of Moab, Ammon, and Amalek, mentioned at the same time with it in the text,) than as the distant land of Mesopotamia, beyond the Euphrates. And, lastly, I have referred (also p. 132,) to the fact that “ Pethor of Aram-Naharaim" was the residence of Balaam (Deut. xxiii. 4 ;) “ which is by the river of the land of the children of his people” hayo? (Numb. xxii. 5)—or more correctly “ of the children of Ammon" nay, as the Samaritan and Syriac versions, and many Hebrew MSS. have it. Should, however, this text be not considered sufficient in itself, I may farther refer to Numb. xxiv. 25, in which it is said, that “ Balaam rose up, and went, and returned to his pluce;” and to Numb. xxxi. 7, 8, from which we find that when the detachment under Phinehas went and“ warred against the Midianites," they not only “ slew the five kings of Midian," but " Balaam also, the son of Beor, they slew with the sword.” How, then, could « his place” have been beyond the Euphrates, or anywhere, indeed, except close to Midian ?
In spite, then, of the opinion of the Jewish Rabbis of Alexandria, however long those opinions may have been allowed to remain unquestioned, and notwithstanding, also, the arguments of their proselyte and champion, my rationalist reviewer, I have in conclusion to repeat, that the position attributed by me to Padan Aram or Aram Naharaim -a country in the neighbourhood (to the south) of Damascus, and at no great distance from the other cities of Aram above enumerated -in which country was Haran, the residence of Laban, situate seven days' journey (about 100 English miles) from Gilead — in which also was Pethor, the residence of Balaam, situate by the river of the land of the children of Ammon, and close adjoining to the territories of the Midianites and which, at a later period, formed the neighbouring kingdom of Cushan-rishathaim, the oppressor of the Israelites -is, in every respect, more in accordance with the whole tenour of the scriptural history, unbiassed by tradition, than is any portion of the distant country of Mesopotamia, beyond the Euphrates.
C. T. BEKE.
ON THE DAYS OF CREATION. Sir,--I have read, with some attention, the observations of the Rev. W.B. Winning on the Days of Creation, and will confess that, so far as they go, they offer the most plausible explanation I have seen of the subject. But there are several difficulties connected with his views, which must not be lost sight of. As truth, and the elucidation of Scripture, is the only object which Christian men and ministers can have before them, Mr. Winning will pardon a few remarks upon his paper in the two last Numbers of this Magazine, where those difficulties appear. I shall reserve any further remarks upon the subject, and confine myself, at present, to those difficulties.
Mr. Winning concedes at once to those who conceive that, by “ days," indefinite periods of time are meant, one of the great arguments of the mere geologist. But, at the same time, he reverts (page 166) to the usual interpretation of the word day, where he confines the day to a revolution of the earth upon its axis, but extends the terms "evening” and “morning" to many regular alternations of day and night. It is clear, however, that though such a use of these terms may be consistent with themselves, the objectors to geology will not be satisfied with such a phraseology. My own opinion is, that, before this interpretation can be firmly established, the facts relating to the creation in the Ist chapter of Genesis, (from 3rd to 25th verse) must be shewn to be in unity with themselves, as to the propriety of the order pursued. This is easy; but there will still be the necessity of shewing why the word day can be employed in two such differing modes without doing violence to the unity of language.
Mr. Winning observes, on the third day, that the earth brought forth a vegetation totally different from that which it produced on the sixth : and he introduces the coal measures as illustrating the fact Geologists, as he observes, have certainly believed that the vegetation of the ancient earth was solely confined to what we now call tropical vegetation; and that “the gigantic rushes, ferns, palms, bamboos, &c., indicate, not only a tropical, but an insular climate." Will Mr. Winning pardon me remarking, that, if the ancient earth was subject to convulsions of such a nature as we may suppose, under the idea of days implying periods of a kind totally distinct from anything we know now, that we have nothing better than conjecture to go upon when we assume, that the “first vegetation of the earth must bave grown on islands in a very moist atmosphere, and in a heat as great, or even greater, than that of the West Indies" ? (page 167.) The Mosaic account distinctly states, that (to use Mr. W.'s own version) this occurred when the Lord God rained not on the earth ; but there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground." I may hereafter attempt an explanation of this phenomena upon natural principles, but I now merely point Mr. Winning's attention to it. It is evident, that if the vegetation of the ancient earth was simply such as we have traces of in the coal measures, and if it did not rain when that vegetation grew upon the earth, the climate in which it grew was not exactly a tropical climate ; for rain is one of the most usual of
tropical phenomena, such rain as is not known in more temperate regions : nay, it can be proved from observation of what goes on in the West Indies to this day, that, if such vegetation as is supposed existed solely upon the ancient earth, it must have rained, unless the ancient atmosphere, or the ancient vegetation, had properties totally different from what is supposed when a West India climate is alluded to. I have in my possession several private memoranda of the Rev. Lansdown Guilding, late of St. Vincent's, (and one of them I have published in the Magazine of Natural History for 1st Sept. 1835,)
that one of the causes of the great rains in the tropics is the gigantic vegetation. Now this certainly throws a difficulty in the way of Mr. Winning. The coal measures do not contain indications of such vegetation as is pointed out in the 11th and 12th verses of Genesis i. If, then, there were no ruminantia before Adam, why was there grass, or green herb ? We may be certain that they were not created without a use; and I believe that Moses has stated nothing respecting the Creation which is not strictly and scientifically true. It has been much insisted on, that, if these grasses existed, their traces are now not to be found. Is Mr. Winning aware that Professor Lindley has recently demonstrated that the conclusions usually arrived at from an investigation of the coal strata are not justified by experiment upon vegetable matter immersed in water ? the very condition of the geological and theological theories. “ La Géologie et la botanique,' (says M. Adolphe Brongnient, “ Prodrome d'une Histoire des Végétaux fossiles," p. 183,) « nous paroissent donc s'accorder pour annoncer qu'd cette époque la surface sèche de la terre étoit bornée à des iles peu étendues, disposées par archipels au sein des vastes mers, et sur lesquelles croissoient les végétaur, dont nous trouvons les restes dans la formation houillère." Such was, till seven years since, the opinion of most geologists, and such is the opinion of many still. But, as Mr. Lindley has observed, in a note to his “ Fossil Flora," it was always doubtful “ whether such data as we possessed concerning the flora of the coal measures could be considered of a nature sufficiently precise to justify geologists in entering into such calculations.” “ It was, moreover, perfectly clear that the numerical proportion borne by ferns to other plants was rapidly diminishing as the examination of the vegetable remains of the coal measures became more carefully conducted. The very remarkable fact, that ferns are scarcely ever met with in fructification in a fossil state was also a circumstance upon which no light was thrown by the theory of a high temperature and damp insular atmosphere. Taking all these into consideration, along with the constant state of disintegration of vegetable remains, –a disintegration unquestionably not the result of drifting,- I was led to suspect that, possibly, the total absence of certain kinds of plants, the as constant presence of others, and several other points of a like nature, might be accounted for by a difference in the capability of one plant beyond another of resisting the action of water. Accordingly on the 2 ist of March, 1833, I filled a large iron tank with water, and immersed in it 177 specimens of various plants, belonging to all the more remarkable natural orders, taking care in particular to include representatives of all those which
Vol. VIII.- Dec. 1835.
are either constantly present in the coal measures, or as universally absent. The vessel was placed in the open air, left uncovered, and untouched, with the exception of filling up the water as it evapo rated, till the 22nd of April, 1835—that is, for rather more than two years. At the end of that time, what remained was examined, with the results stated in the following list somitted here for want of space]: in which it is to be observed, that where no observation is added to the name of a plant, no trace whatever of that species could be found." Of the 177 species, 121 were not to be traced. “This experiment," continues the Professor, “ appears to me to lead to most important conclusions. These things seem clear: Firstly, that Dicotyledonous plants, in general, are unable to remain for two years in water without being totally decomposed ; and that the principal part of those which do possess the power are Conifera and Cycadea, which are exactly what we find in a fossil state. Secondly, that Monocotyledones are more capable of resisting the action of water; in particular, palms and seitamineous plants, which are what we principally find as fossils, but that grasses and sedges perish; so that we have no right to say that the earth was not originally clothed with grasses because we no longer find their remains. Thirdly, that fungi, mosses, and all the lowest forms of vegetation disappear, and that even equisetum leaves no trace behind, which seems to settle the question of calamites being an extinct form of that genus. And, finally, that ferns have a great power of resisting water if gathered in a green state, not one of them having disappeared during the experiment; but that the effect of immersion in water is to cause their fructification to rot away.
“Hence the numerical proportion of different families of plants found in a fossil state throws no light whatever upon the ancient climate of the earth, but depends entirely upon the power which particular families may possess, by virtue of the organization of their cuticle, of resisting the action of the water wherein they floated previously to their being finally fixed in the rocks in which they now are found."
We have, then, no right to assume that the vegetation of the preAdamitic earth* was at all different from what it was afterwards; and, therefore, there is no scientific argument to justify Mr. Winning's notion respecting the creation of fresh vegetable substances in the sixth day. Indeed the very mention of grasses, and herbs, and fruit trees, in the 1st chapter of Genesis, strikes at the conclusion he deduces from the mention of plants, herbs, and trees, in the 2nd chapter, I do not say that his conclusions are incorrect; but I am anxious to have all difficulties canvassed, that Mr. Winning's labours may be more satisfactorily recompensed. In the Twelfth Essay on the Antediluvian Age, Mr. Winning has given several reasons why he does not think that there was rain before the flood. Now, if so, the new vegetation, which he sees in the 2nd chapter of Genesis, was fed by the dew.- Why, then, could not that new vegetation have thriven as well before Adam's existence as after ? But it was necessary, he will say, for the new creatures, and for Adam himself. And here lies the
By this term, I mean the earth as it was on the fifth day.
difficulty of reconciling the use of the grass, &c., in the 1st chapter. It is true that the production of thorns and thistles, after the fall, (Genesis, iii. 18.) seems to favour the idea of new creations in succession ; but, nevertheless, the words used do not imply more than a curse upon the soil, which was so altered by some, probably, chemical or mineral change, as to produce an excess of vegetation of that sort; such, indeed, as there are many examples of in countries visited by terrestrial convulsions in the present age. As to the dew, upon which so much depends, the country at the foot of the Andes, in Peru, offers the spectacle of a prolific vegetation supported by dew, I may say, alone : for when it rains at Lima, the rain is almost invariably the result of some visible terrestrial and consequent atmospherical convulsion. Feuillée informs us, that on 7th Sept., 1709, the fall of a shower of rain was an event that had not taken place for twenty previous years; and it is certain that this rain was the result of some convulsion produced by a terrestrial commotion. But, be this as it may, will the productions of the neighbourhoods of Lima, so nourished by dew, justify the inference, that the fossil plants of the coal measures might be fed by dew alone, or the greater inference, that, if so, (i. e. if they are actually the remains of the vegetation of Gen, i. 11 and 12,) the plants contemporaneous with Adam were different in nature or constitution ? It is evident that these questions affect the assertion of a new creation of animals, as well as plants, at the first coming into existence of Adam, for the vegetation, we are told, was for the use of the animals.
Now, as to the second creation of animals, Mr. Lyell (« Principles of Geology," vol. ii., page 124) has already supposed, that “species may have been created in succession at such times and in such places as to enable them to multiply and endure for an appointed period, and occupy an appointed space on the globe." I do not intend to quote the deductions by which this idea is enforced ; but must take one remark applicable to the present purpose.
“ The above-mentioned herbiverous animals, in their turn, (viz., sheep, deer, goat, &c.) must be permitted to make considerable progress before the entrance of the first pair of wolves or lions," (page 125.) Now, if wolves and lions &c. were not created before the epoch mentioned in Gen. ii. 19, they were created afterwards, or at that time. If at that time, or before, were they compatible with each other? I presume that there is no supposition of their being created immediately afterwards. These ideas raise a great difficulty for Mr. Winning; and I think “A Plain Reader” (vol. viii., p. 45,) has the advantage of him in what he says respecting the animals before the flood. But, allowing that all the ferocious animals were destroyed by the flood of Noah, and that none but harmless and domestic creatures entered the ark, do not the facts furnished by naturalists respecting the fossil remains of hyænas, bears, &c., which are proved to have been of the same habits with those now living, upset, at once, the notion of a re-creation of hurtful animals after the flood, of which there is not a word in the Bible, and prove that that re-creation was not a new creation ? Cuvier, quoted by Mr. Winning, (vol. vii., p. 414,) says: “ the species of antediluvian animals were