Page images
PDF
EPUB

millions of years hence, sincerely wish that I had never investigated the subject, but had been content to take the ideas of the dead. I do not believe that any Deity works in that way. So far as my experience goes, there is an unbroken procession of cause and effect. Each thing is a necessary link in an infinite chain; and I cannot conceive of this chain being broken even for one instant. Back of the simplest moner there is a cause, and back of that another, and so on, it seems to me, forever. In my philosophy I postulate neither beginning nor ending.

If the Mosaic account is true, we know how long man has been upon this earth. If that account can be relied on, the first man was made about five thousand eight hundred and eighty-three years ago. Sixteen hundred and fifty-six years after the making of the first man, the inhabitants of the world, with the exception of eight people, were destroyed by a flood. This flood occurred only about four thousand two hundred and twenty-seven years ago. If this account is correct, at that time, only one kind of men existed. Noah and his family were certainly of the same blood. It therefore follows that all the differences we see between the various races of men have been caused in about four thousand years. If the

account of the deluge is true, then since that event all the ancient kingdoms of the earth were founded, and their inhabitants passed through all the stages of savage, nomadic, barbaric and semi-civilized life; through the epochs of Stone, Bronze and Iron ; established commerce, cultivated the arts, built cities, filled them with palaces and temples, invented writing, produced a literature and slowly fell to shapeless ruin. We must believe that all this has happened within a period of four thousand years.

[ocr errors]

From representations found upon Egyptian granite made more than three thousand years ago, we know that the negro was as black, his lips as full, and his hair as closely curled then as now, If we know anything, we know that there was at that time substantially the same difference between the Egyptian and the Negro as now. If we know anything, we know that magnificent statues were made in Egypt four thousand years before our era-that is to say, about six thousand years ago. There was at the World's Exposition, in the Egyptian department, a statue of king Cephren, known to have been chiseled more than six thousand years ago. In other words, if the Mosaic account must be believed, this statue was made before the world. We also

know, if we know anything, that men lived in Europe with the hairy mammoth, the cave bear, the rhinoceros, and the hyena. Among the bones of these animals have been found the stone hatchets and flint arrows of our ancestors. In the caves where they lived have been discovered the remains of these animals that had been conquered, killed and devoured as food, hundreds of thousands of years ago.

If these facts are true, Moses was mistaken. For my part, I have infinitely more confidence in the discoveries of to-day, than in the records of a barbarous people. It will not now do to say that man has existed upon this earth for only about six thousand years. One can hardly compute in his imagination the time necessary for man to emerge from the barbarous state, naked and helpless, surrounded by animals far more powerful than he, to progress and finally create the civilizations of India, Egypt and Athens. The distance from savagery to Shakespeare must be measured not by hundreds, but by millions of years.

XIV.

SUNDAY.

"A"

ND on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."

The great work had been accomplished, the world, the sun, and moon, and all the hosts of heaven were finished; the earth was clothed in green, the seas were filled with life, the cattle wandered by the brooks—insects with painted wings were in the happy air, Adam and Eve were making each other's acquaintance, and God was resting from his work. He was contemplating the accomplishments of a week.

Because he rested on that day he sanctified it, and for that reason and for that alone, it was by the Jews considered a holy day. If he only rested on

that day, there ought to be some account of what he did the following Monday. Did he rest on that day? What did he do after he got rested? Has he done anything in the way of creation since Saturday evening of the first week?

It is now claimed by the "scientific" christians that the "days" of creation were not ordinary days of twenty-four hours each, but immensely long periods of time. If they are right, then how long was the seventh day? Was that, too, a geologic period covering thousands of ages? That cannot be, because Adam and Eve were created the Saturday evening before, and according to the bible that was about five thousand eight hundred and eighty-three years ago. I cannot state the time exactly, because there have been as many as one hundred and forty different opinions given by learned biblical students as to the time between the creation of the world and the birth of Christ. We are quite certain, however, that, according to the bible, it is not more than six thousand years since the creation of Adam. From this it would appear that the seventh day was not a geologic epoch, but was in fact a period of less than six thousand years, and probably of only twenty-four hours.

A

« FyrriHalda áfram »