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received, and so to be deprived of their character as simple history. Although there is a continuity of narrative,' says Sir G. C. Lewis, ' running through the story of Romulus ; though the successive events stand to one another in an intelligible relation of cause and effect, yet we can trace the deliberate invention of the ætiologist. The story is formed by an aggregation of parts: there is no uninterrupted poetical flow, or epic unity. Instead of resembling a statue cast in one piece in a foundry, it is like a tessellated pavement, formed into a pattern by stones of different colours.'* Nothing of artifice of this kind can be traced in the earlier chapters of Genesis. After the narrative of the Creation and Fall of Man in the first three chapters, there are only two-the fourth and fifth-before the narrative of the flood begins. This brings us down to the tenth, which describes the nations as divided in the earth after the flood,' and then the eleventh, relating to the confusion of tongues, and ending with a genealogy from Noah to Abram. From that point the history of the chosen race begins, and runs through the whole of Scripture to the end of the Old Testament, with the single exception of the Book of Job. The fourth and fifth chapters, which I have passed over, give a variety of isolated facts regarding certain individuals, from Cain and Abel down to Lamech, and the birth of his son Noah and his grandsons Shem, Ham, and Japheth, together with the intervening genealogy. Now, all this, no doubt, may be compared, in one sense,
* An Inquiry into the Credibility of the Early Roman History, vol. i.
to a tessellated pavement. But there is no attempt at moulding the parts into one another. The whole
appears to be a series of matter-of-fact statements, without any decoration. No ulterior end appears to have been in view, such as in the Roman story, to give a plausible account of the origin of institutions and customs which had subsequently grown up in the national history. The formal incorporation of the Sabbath in the moral law, delivered on Mount Sinai, is the only apparent instance of this, as the argument for it is based upon the six days of creation and the seventh of cessation from work. But the Sabbath had existed before the giving of the law on Mount Sinai, as is evident from the regulations regarding the gathering of the manna (Exod. xvi. 22, 23) and from other reasons. None of the Jewish institutions, in fact, are to be traced to the events narrated in these first eleven chapters of Genesis. Indeed, more allusions to these events occur in the New Testament than in the Old. There appears, then, to be no valid reason for the application of the new principle of historical criticism to the early history of the Book of Genesis.
The inference, that because it is found in various instances that the dawn of genuine history in civilized nations is preceded by a series of myths and legends, therefore the same must be the case with the Hebrew nation and the documents they have handed down to us, is a gratuitous assumption and an unphilosophical begging of the whole question. It would be as fair to infer that if ten counterfeit coins were thrown into circulation together with the genuine coin of the realm, and by our sagacity the counterfeit coins were detected by us, one by one, the pure coin must be declared to be counterfeit also. Each case must stand upon its own merits. Indeed, the earliest records of other nations, as is acknowledged by those critics, are uniformly devoted to the suspicious task of tracing their own origin and exalting their own early glories. But the earliest of the documents the Hebrews have handed down to us in the sacred Scriptures betray nothing of this kind : they make no peculiar reference to the Jewish nation, but appertain solely to the human race at large. Nor in those subsequent parts of these documents, which relate the rise of their own nation in the call and history of Abram, is there any undue glorification of their great progenitor; but the blemishes of his character are unsparingly recorded in a manner in which no feigned historian would ever venture to indulge.
In these remarks I have, of course, been regarding Scripture as I would any other book, the historical credibility of which was under trial. The testimony of contemporary history utterly fails in this case, as no history and no monuments can pretend to compete with the Book of Genesis in point of antiquity. Such arguments of a secular character as were available, in the absence of this testimony, I have endeavoured to bring to bear upon the subject. But while I altogether concur in the propriety of keeping the scientific and the religious sides of the question entirely apart during the discussion, I think that for any one, in the pursuit of truth, altogether to ignore in such a case the religious argument, is as preposterous as if he were to agree to argue regarding the doctrines of Christianity upon the hypothesis that Christ was a mere man and not the Son of God. The witness which Christ gives to the historical character of Genesis, I reserve to the next Part. His witness is true; and, in the absence of collateral testimony, is invaluable.
I have been arguing on these questions as if they were quite isolated, and were to be tested by the bare probabilities of abstract reasoning, without regard to that later revelation, under which Science has grown to be what it is. But it is clearly unreasonable to isolate the argument thus. The Gospel throws rays of glory backward as well as forward. The Book of Genesis partakes of the radiance. The first eleven chapters of the book, even as a fragment, are of the deepest value, as I shall presently show; but their full grandeur is apparent only when viewed as a part of the unique volume at the head of which they stand.
THE HISTORICAL CHARACTER, PLENARY INSPIRATION,
AND SURPASSING IMPORTANCE OF THE FIRST ELEVEN
CHAPTERS OF GENESIS.
In the First Part the argument has been rather of the negative description. The high improbability of Scripture being at variance with Science has been established ; and that, not so much from a consideration of the character of Scripture itself, as from the experience of the past; which shows so many instances of imaginary discrepancies becoming in the end witnesses on the other side, and illustrating with such force the harmony between the Word and Works of God, that any man who ventures to set aside this experience justly forfeits the title of Philosopher.
In the present part of my treatise I propose to make some remarks on the character and contents of the earlier portion of the sacred volume, selecting for this purpose
the First Eleven Chapters of Genesis, as it is here that Scripture and Science have been supposed more particularly to come into collision. On the historical character of Scripture some remarks have already been made in the last few pages. I hope now to establish the historical character and plenary inspiration of this portion of the Sacred Volume by a reference