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the solid crust of the earth, so far as it has been it tells us, also, that the luminous matter thus penetrated into, it is evident that the rudimental evolved produced light, without the assistance of materials of the globe existed at its earliest period, the sun or moon, which were not set in the sky in one confused and liquid mass; that they were or firmament, and had no rule, till the fourth day; afterwards separated and arranged by a progressive that the light thus produced flowed by tides, and series of operations, and a uniform system of laws, alternately intermitted, thus constituting a single the more obvious of which appear to be, those of day and a single night, whatever their length gravity and crystallization ; and that they have might be. It tells us that, during the second day, since been convulsed and dislocated by some uprose, progressively, the fine fluids, or waters, as dreadful commotion and inundation, that have ex- they are poetically and beautifully denominated, tended to every region, and again thrown a great of the firmament, and filled the blue ethereal void part of the organic and inorganic creation into a with a vital atmosphere; that, during the third day, promiscuous jumble. Hence have originated the the waters, more properly so called, or the grosser Plutonic and Neptunian hypotheses; the former, and more compact fluids of the general mass, were ascribing the origin of the world, in its present strained off and gathered together into the vast state, to igneous fusion ; the latter to aqueous so- bed of the ocean, and the dry land began to make lution, resolving the genuine origin of things into its appearance, by disclosing the peaks or highest the operation of water. The Neptunian or aqueous points of the primitive mountains ; in consequence theory is recommended by its general coincidence of which a progress instantly commenced, from inwith the geology of the Scriptures, and its adapta- organic matter to vegetable organization, the surtion to several phenomena in the present structure face of the earth, as well above as under the of the earth. The Mosaic narrative opens with a waters, being covered with plants and herbs bearstatement of three distinct facts, each following the ing seeds after their respective kinds; thus laying other in a regular series, in the origin of the visible a basis for those carbonaceous materials, the reworld. First, an absolute creation, as opposed to mains of vegetable matter, which are occasionally a mere remodification of the heavens and the earth, to be traced in some of the layers or formations of which constituted the earliest step in the creative the class of primitive rocks (the lowest of the process. Secondly, the condition of the earth whole), without a single particle of animal relics when it was thus primarily brought into being, intermixed with them. It tells us that, during which was that of an amorphous or shapeless waste. the fourth day, the sun and moon, now completed, And, thirdly, a commencing effort to reduce the were set in the firmament, the solar system was unfashioned mass into a condition of order and finished, its laws were established, and the celesharmony. “In the beginning," says the sacred tial orrery was put into play; in consequence of historian, “God created the heavens and the earth. which the harmonious revolutions of signs and of And the earth reas reithout form and void ; and seasons, of days and of years, struck up for the darkness was upon the face of the deep (or abyss). first time their mighty symphony. That the fifth And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the period was allotted exclusively to the formation of raters," Gen. i. 1, 2. We are hence necessarily water-fowl, and the countless tribes of aquatic led to infer, that the first change of the formless creatures ; and, consequently, to that of those chaos, after its existence, was into a state of uni- lowest ranks of animal life, testaceous worms, versal aqueous solution ; for it was upon the surface corals, and other zoophytes, whose relics are alone of the waters that the Divine Spirit commenced to be traced in the second class of rocks or tranhis operative power. We are next informed, that sition formations, and still more freely in the third this chaotic mass acquired shape, not instanta- or horizontal formations; these being the only dieously, but by a series of six distinct days or animals as yet created, since the air, and the water, epochs, and apparently through the agency of the and the utmost peaks of the loftiest mountains, established laws of gravity and crystallization, were the only parts as yet inhabitable. It tells which regulate it at the present moment. It tells us us, still continuing the same grand and exquisite that during the first of these days was evolved— climax, that towards the close of this period, the what, indeed, agreeably to the laws of gravity, mass of waters having sufficiently retired into the must have been evolved first of all—the matter of deep bed appointed for them, the sixth and conlight and heat ; of all material substances the most cluding period was devoted to the formation of subtle and attenuate ; those by which alone the terrestrial animals; and, last of all, as the master sun operates, and has ever operated, upon the earth piece of the whole, to that of man himself. Thus, and the other planets, and which may be the iden- in progressive order, uprose the stupendous system tical substances that constitute its essence. And of the world ; the bright host of morning stars shouted together on its birth-day; and the eternal agreed, that in every continent and island, the Creator looked down with complacency on the mountains, the hills, and the declivities, are, in finished fabric, and “saw that it was good. places without number, left desolated of earth,

4. But the sacred historian further assures us craggy and bare; and many of the rocks, and that the wickedness of man subjected the earth to bolder hills, and salient promontories, appear to desolations, changes, and new formations, in its have been detached to a considerable distance surface and upper strata. Of the universal deluge, from the elevated summits to which they once by which this was effected, he gives us a particular belonged. Whatever earths the impetuous tides account, in Gen. vi., vii., viii. ; and his narrative of the deluge washed from one place, they must of the fact is authenticated and confirmed both of necessity have deposited in another. Hence, by profane historians and by natural phenomena. one tide would bring gravel and marine exuviæ, Plutarch, in his book on the industry of animals, already worn by the action of the billows rolling mentions both the ark and the dove. The account on the shore; another would bring sand; and a Ovid has given of the flood, in the reign of a third, clay. But though all alluvial strata were surnamed Deucalion, which drowned all Thes- formed of the detritus of the old earths, they salia, and from which the king and his wife were would repeat the first formation by combination. saved on Mount Parnassus, seems clearly to be a They would change into a variety of silica, rocks, confused tradition between the deluge of Noah marls, and minerals ; while others, falling on more and a partial inundation. The etymology of the neutral earths, would remain in their primitive name Deucalion, from deuteros, the second, and state. Thus, also, the deeper strata of the earth kaleo, to call, imports the recalling of society a would be laid on while the waters were rising; second time into existence under the patriarch and all the more loamy earths by the gradual Noah. It was usual with ancient nations to give new retreat and subsiding of the waters. These longnames to princes, expressive of auspicious events; continued actions and deposits of the water are a a custom not yet wholly discontinued. The landing sure guide, in accounting for all the conformations of Deucalion with his wife on Mount Parnassus, and heterogeneous masses found in most parts of is but a confusion of the tradition concerning the the alluvial earth. I resting of the ark on Mount Ararat. The deluge 5. But the researches of geologists have given not only covered both these mountains, but has confirmation to sacred history, not only as to the left stratifications on all the higher mountains, as origin of the earth and the universal deluge, but far as the snow will allow us to ascend. The moral also as to the age of the earth. Early in the last cause of this unexampled catastrophe is wholly century, and even more recently, several geological attributed by the Hebrew historian to the great phenomena were considered as indicative of the and incorrigible wickedness of the antediluvians. fact, that the creation of the globe was an event And what could be more assortable to the divine much more remote than the sacred history repreperfections, when the apostasy was total—when sents it to be. But the investigations of the latest all flesh had corrupted its way-when the sons of and most sober philosophers have furnished proof, the great seized the daughters of the poor—when little short of demonstration, that the earth, in its the earth was filled with violence—when the pro- present form,|| cannot have existed from a more phesying and translation of Enoch had no effectwhen the preaching of Noah and the building of During the fall of the rain, it is thought that the atmosphere the ark excited scoffing, rather than reformation, was much darkened, because it was afterwards promised that

day and night should no more cease, Gen. viii. 22. The waters what could be more assortable to the perfections or tides continued to increase for one hundred and fifty days. of God, than to save the one righteous family, The decrease commenced on the 1st day of Sivan, and contiand wash

away the filthy inhabitants of the earth ? nued one hundred and twenty days. The changes and ravages of nature correspond

# This idea, that the deeper alluvial strata were laid on by with the impetuous force of the flood, as described confessedly a vegetable fossil, that once floated upon the sea.

the increasing tides, assists us to account for the deposit of cual, by Moses.t Travellers and geologists are all When analyzed, charcoal constitutes the principal part of its

base. Acidulous waters, bitumen, and hydrogen, it contains in

various proportions. Its combustible qualities and its ashes * Good's Book of Nature, series 1, sect. 6.

may also be retraced to vegetable origin. + The Mosaic history of the deluge has been carefully exa- || Mr. Faber, in order to meet the objections of some of our mined by Lightfoot, who equalled the rabbins in Hebrew litera- geologists, founded on the fossil phenomena occurring in the ture. The whole period, according to him, comprised a solar strata of the earth, maintains, that the sis demiurgic days were year. Forty-six days of this period were spent in conveying periods of vast but uncertain length, during which some mighty stores and provisions for the ark; and seven in receiving the revolution occurred, to which the origin of these strata are to be beasts and cattle. The rain began to fall on the 18th day of attributed, rather than to the deluge of Noah).- Treat.se on the the Hebrew mooth of Marchesvan, and continued forty days. Three Dispensations, b. i., chap. iii.

remote period than that assigned to it in the 6. The various geological terms employed by Mosaic narrative. * The absolute falsehood of the sacred writers have been investigated and jumany hardy assertions and specious inferences, diciously arranged by a learned and indefatigable hostile to the Scripture chronology, has been fully student of the Bible, in the “Scripture Encycloevinced; and thence has arisen a new presumptive pædia," published in the CRITICA BIBLICA.I argument in support of the authenticity of that Amongst them are noticed, pox aretz, by which volume which contains the most ancient and the the Hebrews commonly expressed the idea of most precious of all records.+

earthy or solid substances in general : S'p imim, seas, and 7 ar, fluidity in general, or a river in

particular (Amos viii. 8): napi 138 aben ikre, a * Kirwan's Geological Essays, and Miller's Retrospect, cited stone of value, or a precious stone (1 Sam. xii. 32; by Shaw, “ Panorama of Nature," p. 14. Mr. Townsend, in 1 Kings x. 2; Ezek. xxvii. 22; Dan. xi. 38), and his 'Geological and Mineralogical Researches,' has presented us with some excellent GEOLOGICAL CHRONOMETERS, as Deltas, a1005 Till105, in 1 Cor. iïi. 12; and Rev. xviii. 12. A Lakes, Estuaries, Drift Sands, and Mouldering Cliffs. From rock is called sho salo, from its cragginess. Copper all these chronometers, consisting in effects which result from and iron (nuru nuckshith and 5993 berzal) are known causes, operating since the existence of our continents, mentioned, as being in use among the antediluvians, and of which the progress within known times is indicated by monuments, he justly draws this conclusion, that our continents in Gen. iv. 22; and silver (903 kasaph) as an article are not of a more remote antiquity than bas been assigned to of barter, or most likely a species of money, in the them by the sacred historian, in the beginning of his Penta- time of Abraham, Gen. xiii. 2. Gold is called teach.-P. 403.

271 zeb, to denote the purity of its nature; 19 phez, + Carpenter's Scripture Natural History, Introd. to Geology, from its solidity; mon cherutz, because of its The valley of the Nile, it is well known, is covered with a bed or stratum of alluvial mud deposited by the river during its being dug out or found in small pieces; and 7.518 periodical overflowings; and this bed or stratum is superimposed auphir, from the place where it was found in large on sand, in all respects resembling the sand of the adjoining quantities. Tin (509an cbedil) is mentioned in desert. During the period of the French expedition, a great Numb. xxxi. 22, as part of the spoils of the variety of experiments were made by the savans who accompanied it, upon the thickness of this alluvial bed; and some Midianites, who had been principal carriers of curious and interesting results were obtained. In the transverse oriental merchandise, Gen. xxxvii. 25—28. Salt section of the valley of Syout, and other places where the de- is called obna melech, from its property of melting; posits could be made without obstacle, and without being in any and a stone 138 aben, from its appearance of being material degree augmented or diminished by local causes, the mean of all the measurements gave for the average thickness of built up or constructed of a large number of

sepathe mud stratum rather more than twenty feet. Having ascer- rate and divisible particles of matter.|| tained this point, M. Girard next applied himself to determine the quantity by which the soil is raised or thickened in the course of a century, from the depositions of the river; and the The coincidence between the sacred chronologist and the depits of the pilometers furnished him with the basis of an approx- duction of science strikes us as very remarkable ; nay, as imate calculation, which gave the centenary elevation of the affording one more proof how nature and revelation harmonize, soil, from the cause already mentioned, at less than four and a when the truth is songht in the love of it. We may add, that half inches. Dividing, then, the whole thickness or depth of the French savant has carefully avoided drawing the inference this stratum by the quantity added to it in the course of a cen- to which his own premises necessarily lead ; an avoidance tory, the quotient is 5,650 ; from which it follows that the origin which is only the more absurd from the obvious nature of the of this superimposed soil, must have preceded 1809, the date of conclusion obtruded-upon the mind of the reader. the experiments, by 5,650 years, being only 154 less than the

# Vol. iii., p. 19, &c. Mosaic chronology gives as the age of the world at that time.

|| See Parkhurst's Heb. Lex. sub voce.

CHAPTER III.

BOTANY.

Scientific arrangements in the Scriptures ; Herbaceous produc- in his treatises on natural history, mentioned in

tions-Corn, its uses and preparation Fruitfulness of Pales 1 Kings iv. 33, advancing from the lesser to the tine-Sacred groves.

larger : from grass, including the minutest species 1. We have already adverted to the scientific of whatever is green, to shrubs, or trees of the order in which the Hebrew legislator enumerates smaller kind; and from these, again, to trees, the several classes of the vegetable world, in his which differ, not only in their enlarged dimensions, narrative of the creation, in Gen. i. 11, 12. Solo- but in their permanency

also. mon also exhibits the same adherence to system, 2. The common term for herbaceous produc

tions, in the Hebrew writings, is desha, althoughthus distinguished from herbage or plants, which it is also specifically applied to grass. The He- are more soft and loose. brews, as Wetstein remarks, divided all kinds of 3. It is evident from Ruth ii. 14, 2 Sam. vegetables into trees and herbs ; the former of xvii. 28, 29, and other passages in the Old Testawhich the Hellenists call gunov, the latter, zogsos, ment, that parched corn constituted part of the under which they also comprehended all sorts of ordinary food of the Hebrews, as it still does of grass, corn, and flowers. See Matt. vi. 30; Luke the Arabs. Corn was also used for bread; and xii. 28, &c. There is great impropriety, as the the method of preparing it for the oven demands late editor of Calmet has shown, in our version some notice here. The threshing was done either of Prov. xxvii. 25, “The hay appeareth, and the by the staff or the flail (Isai. xxviii. 27, 28); by tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the the feet of cattle (Deut. xxv. 4); or by “a sharp mountains are gathered.” If the tender grass is threshing instrument having teeth” (Isai. xli. 15), but just beginning to show itself, the hay, which which was something resembling a cart, and was is grass cut and dried, after it has arrived at ma- drawn over the corn by means of horses or oxen. turity, ought by no means to be associated with When the com was threshed, it was separated it, still less to precede it. Mr. Taylor takes the from the chaff and dust by throwing it forward word, here rendered hay, to mean the first-shoots, across the wind by means of a winnowing-fan, or the rising, just budding spires of grass. So the shovel (Matt. iii. 12); after which the grain was wise man says:

“ The tender risings of the grass sifted to separate all impurities from it (Amos ix. are in motion, and the buddings of the grass 9; Luke xxii. 31). Hence the threshing-floors ' [grass in its early state] appear; and the tufts of were in the open air (Judg. vi. 11; 2 Sam. xxiv. grass, proceeding from the same root, collect 18). The grain thus obtained was commonly rethemselves together, and by their union, begin to duced to meal by the hand-mill, which consisted clothe the mountain tops with a pleasing verdure." of a lower millstone, the upper side of which Surely the beautiful progress of vegetation, as was concave, and an upper millstone, the lower described in this passage, must appear to every surface of which was convex. The hole for rereader of taste as too poetical to be lost ; but ceiving the corn was in the centre of the upper what must it be to an eastern beholder-to one millstone; and in the operation of grinding, the whose imagination is exalted by a poetic spirit- lower was fixed, and the upper made to move one who has lately witnessed an all-surrounding round upon it with considerable velocity, by sterility—a grassless waste ! The same impro- means of a handle. These mills are still in use priety, but in a contrary order, and where, perhaps, in the East, and in some parts of Scotland, where the English reader would be less likely to detect they are called querns. The employment of it, occurs in the English version of Isai. xv. 6: grinding with these mills is confined solely to “For the waters of Nimrim (water is a principal females; and the practice illustrates the prophetic source of vegetation) shall be desolate, departed, observation of our Saviour, concerning the day of DEAD; so that (the hay, in our translation, but as Jerusalem's destruction : “Two women shall be it should be] the tender, just sprouting risings of grinding at the mill; one shall be taken, and the the grass are withered, dried up; the buddings of other shall be left,” Matt. xxiv. 41. Mr. Pennant, the grass are entirely ruined” [“ there is no green who has given a particular account of these handthing," in our version]. The following verse may mills, as used in Scotland, observes, that the be thus translated : “ Insomuch that the reserve women always accompany the grating noise of the he had made, and the deposit he had placed with stones with their voices; and that when ten or a great care in supposed security, shall all be driven dozen are thus employed, the fury of the song to the brook of the willows.” A similar gradation rises to such a pitch, that you would, without of poetical imagery is used in 2 Kings xix. 26 : breach of charity, imagine a troop of female de“ Their inhabitants were of shortened hand, dis-moniacs to be assembled. As the operation of mayed, ashamed; they were as grass of the field grinding was usually performed in the morning at [vegetables in general]; as the green buddings of day-break, the sound of the females at the handgrass ; as the tender risings on the house-tops ; mill was heard all over the city, which often and those, too, struck by the wind, before it is awoke their more indolent masters. The Scripadvanced in growth to a rising up.” What a tures mention the want of this noise as a mark climax of imbecility !* A tree is, in the Hebrew of desolation, in Jer. xxv. 10, and Rev. xviii. 22. Scriptures, called ro otz, from a verb which sig- There was a humanc law, that “no man shall nifies “to make firm,” or “steady;" and it is take the nether or upper millstone in pledge, for

he taketh a man's life in pledge,” Deut. xxiv. 6. See Expository Index, in loc.

He could not grind his daily bread without it.

4. It is demonstrable, from numerous and both the climate and soil of Judea to those of authentic sources, that those writers who have de- Italy; and particularly specifies the palm-tree and scribed Palestine as a barren and unfruitful place, balsam-tree, as productions which gave the country have formed their notions upon a very partial sur- an advantage over his own.t Amongst other invey of the land; or else that they have, from un- digenous productions may be enumerated the worthy motives, grossly misrepresented the fact. cedar, and other varieties of the pine, the cypress, Abulfeda describes this country as the most fruit- the oak, the sycamore, the mulberry-tree, the figful part of Syria ; and the neighbourhood of Jeru- tree, the willow, the turpentine-trec, the acacia, salem, as one of the most fruitful parts of Palestine. the aspen, the arnutus, the almond-tree, the Malte Brun has remarked, that if the advantages tamarisk, the ollander, the peach-tree, the chasteof nature were seconded by the efforts of human tree, the carob or locust-tree, the oskar, the doom,

skill, we might, in the space of twenty leagues, the mustard-plant, the aloe, the citron, the apple, ... bring together in Syria the vegetable riches of the the pomegranate; and many flowering shrubs, as

most distant countries. Besides wheat, rye, barley, the rose, the myrtle, &c. The country about beans, and the cotton-plant, which are cultivated Jericho was celebrated for its balsam, as well as for every where, there are several objects of utility its palm-trees; but Gilead appears to have been or pleasure, peculiar to different localities. Pales- the country in which it abounded. Hence the tine, for example, abounds in sesamum, which name, “the balm of Gilead." Since the country affords oil, and in dhoura, similar to that of Egypt. has fallen under the dominion of the Turks, the Maize thrives in the light soil of Baalbec, and balsam has ceased to be cultivated ; but it is still rice is cultivated with success along the marsh found in Arabia. I of Haoule. Within these twenty-five years sugar-5. It will not be out of place to notice here, canes have been introduced into the gardens of ; the consecration of groves to idols, a circumstance Saida and Beirout, which are not inferior to those that is frequently referred to in the Old Testament of the Delta. Indigo grows without culture on the Scriptures. The custom is so ancient, that it is banks of the Jordan, and only requires a little care thought to have been antecedent to the consecrato secure a good quantity. The hills of Latakie pro- tion of temples and altars. But this is very quesduce tobacco, which creates a commercialintercourse tionable, for the ashel of Abraham, rendered with Damietta and Cairo. This crop is at present “grove" in the English Bible, being differently cultivated in all the mountains. The white mul- expressed from the consecrated groves elsewhere in berry forms the riches of the Druses, by the beau- the same writings spoken of, is rather to be undertiful silks that are obtained from it; and the vine, stood of a single tree, the oak or the tamarisk. raised on poles or creeping along the ground, Be this as it may, however, it is certain that the furnishes red and white wines' equal to those of use of sacred groves for the celebration of mysBordeaux. Jaffa boasts of her lemons and water- teries, is of very high antiquity, and perhaps of melons; Gaza possesses both the dates of Mecca and all others the most universal. the pomegranates of Algiers. Tripoli has oranges (1) At first there were in these groves neither which might vie with those of Malta. Beirout has temple nor altar : they were simple retreats, to figs like Marseilles, and bananas like St. Domingo. which there was no access for the profane, or such Aleppo is unequalled for pistachio-nuts; and as were not devoted to the service of the gods. Damascus possesses all the fruits of Europe ; in- Afterwards temples were built in them, and to asmuch as apples, plumbs, and peaches grow with preserve so ancient a custom, they took care, whenequal facility on her rocky soil. Niebuhr is of ever they had it in their power, to plant groves opinion that the Arabian coffee-shrub might be round the temples and altars, which groves were cultivated in Palestine.* The land of Canaan not only consecrated to the gods in honour of was characterized by Moses as a land flowing whom the temples had been built, but were themwith milk and honey," and it still answers to this selves a place of sanctuary, or an asylumn for description ; for it contains extensive pasture lands criminals, who fled thither for refuge. of the richest quality, and the rocky country is (2) This very prevalent custom seems to have covered with aromatic plants, yielding to the wild originated in the conception, that shade and solibees which hive in the hollow of the rocks, such tude gave an air of mystery and devotion to reabundance of honey, as to supply the poorer ligious services, and were adapted to inspire the classes with an article of food. See Matt. ii. 4; worshippers with a solemn and superstitious dread Sam. xiv. 25; Ps. Ixxxi. 16. Tacitus compares

+ Hist. lib. v., chap. 6. The palm-tree was the symbol of

Palestine. * Malte Brun, vol. ii., p. 130.

+ Modern Traveller, Palestine, p. 10, &c.

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