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Notes on the History of Suchow.
Rev. A. P. Parker. 277, 384, 452
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THE MOSAIC ACCOUNT OF THE CREATION GEOLOGICALLY
By Rev. G. OWEN.
teach us anything positive as to the original condition of things.
But what science cannot do, or at least has not yet done, the
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." By heavens we must here understand the whole ethereal expanse with its countless worlds, and by the earth, this globe on which we stand.
Of this first act of creation science of course knows nothing. It can neither prove nor disprove it, for it lies beyond the region of observation and experiment, nor indeed does it come within the limits of legitimate scientific conjecture.
But this first act of creation was only the initial act of a long series yet to follow. The materials were produced and the forces set in operation, out of which our earth was to grow. It was far from being perfect then. In the second verse we are told : “And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the abyss. And the Spirit of God moved (or brooded] upon the face of the waters.” It was "without form and void ;" a shapeless, desolate mass as unlike what our beautiful earth is now as a lump of protoplasm is unlike yon strong man or that fair girl.
This description of the early condition of our earth is in striking accord with the nebular theory of La Place which is now generally held by scientific men. That great thinker supposed that the sun and all its attendant planets were originally one huge vaporous body, occupying the whole, or more than the whole, of the space now occupied by the solar system. This nebulous mass by virtue of the rapid motion of its constituent particles and of the mass itself, flashed and glowed like a seven-times heated furnace. In process of time the outskirts of this vaporous mass cooled and as it cooled threw off ring after ring, which, contracting, formed the planets and our earth. In the sun we see what was the centre of that great vaporous body, its original fires still burning.
The earth after its separation from the central body still continued to cool, and, cooling, contracted and solidified. From glowing gas it became a globe of liquid fire. The outer portions further cooling by radiation hardened into a solid crust. From this cooling, but still hot, mass rose continually great clouds of black, seething vapour and enveloped our incipient earth in blackness, or in the language of Scripture “Darkness covered the face of the abyss.” The glow of its own internal fires was shut in by its outer crust, while the dense vapour which hung over it effectually excluded any light from luminous bodies around.