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unparalleled abundance. The soft clammy mould, sirable to make special provision for the permacontinually impregnated with the moisture of the nence and stability of a building, recourse was had great rivers, furnished an inexhaustible supply of to kiln-dried bricks. The superior value of these clay admirably adapted for brick-making ; indeed, seems to have been thoroughly appreciated from the whole plain could, if required, have been easily an early period, and may be still seen in the perturned into an immense brick-field, and was per- fect state of preservation in which they have been haps more favourably situated for the prosecution actually found. While the crude bricks have of this particular industry than any other place either crumbled into dust or run together into an in the world. The Valley of the Nile is perhaps unshapely lump, the burnt bricks, even of the the only other district which can be compared earliest buildings, are still as hard and brittle as with it in natural advantages for the rapid and ever. The distinctive colours of the various qualisuccessful development of this branch of manu- ties have been preserved, some being described as

facture. Herodotus, with his keen eye for natural of a yellowish-white tint, others of a blackish· peculiarities, was struck with the extraordinary blue, and others still, the most ancient of all, of a

capacities of the soil, and the skilful way in pale red colour. Owing to the cost of production, which the inhabitants had turned them to ac- they were but sparingly used in building, and were count in building the great walls of Babylon. principally reserved for the more important pur“ And here," says he, “I may not omit to tell the poses of construction. The keystones of arches use to which the mould dug out of the great moat and the corners of walls were formed of kiln-dried was turned, nor the manner wherein the wall was bricks ; but they were chiefly used for facing the wrought. As fast as they dug the moat, the soil heavy masses of crude brick of which the inner which they got from the cutting was made into portions of the great edifices were constructed. bricks, and when a sufficient number was com- By this contrivance the vast amount of labour pleted they baked the bricks in kilns. Then they and expense involved in building wholly of kilnset to building, and began bricking the borders dried brick was saved, and a sufficient degree of of the moat, after which they proceeded to con- permanence obtained for all practical purposes. struct the wall itself, using throughout for their Hence, to build a great edifice exclusively of burnt cement hot bitumen.” The system thus de- brick, as the builders of the Tower of Babel would scribed by the historian was very much the same seem to have proposed, must have necessitated an as that which had been practised from a very expenditure of labour and fuel which forcibly ancient date. It was the method which would illustrates the gigantic proportions of their plan most readily suggest itself to men in the infant of operations, and the mingled energy and daring stage of civilization, whose material and artificial of their enterprise. From the silence of Scripture resources were alike scanty. No great stretch on the use of crude bricks in the erection of the of ingenuity or expenditure of labour was re-Tower, it is impossible to conclude with certainty quired to convert the masses of raw material that they were not used in any part of the buildsupplied by the soil into a substance suitable for ing. It is, of course, quite a possible thing that building. Little more was needed than to fashion they may have been used to some extent; but as the clay into the requisite shape, and let it lie ex- the whole gist of the narrative points in the direcposed for a short time to the burning heat of a tion of something so extraordinary as to border tropical sun, in order to make it fit for use. The on the superhuman, the probabilities of the case crude brick thus obtained was largely used in the seem all to lie in favour of the exclusive use of composition of all the great structures of the burnt brick. country, and though liable to crumble from ex- If further confirmation of the sacred narrative posure to the air, is yet capable of standing for be required, it will be found in connection with ages, when the main body of the brick-work has the cement used by the builders of the Tower. been welded into a tough coherent mass by pres. The slime mentioned in our Authorized Version is sure from above or other causes.

generally believed to refer to the bituminous subBut on all occasions when it was considered de- stance which bubbles up from the ground on the



plains of Babylon. Travellers and scholars of all was bedaubed by the dexterous hands of an affecages and nations have remarked with surprise the tionate mother. In this case, also, there can be inexhaustible abundance of the springs from which no doubt of the real meaning of the word, the old it is obtained. Herodotus was probably the first unchanging customs of the East still remaining to to call attention to the bituminous springs of the testify to the actual use of bituminous substances district, and particularly to those of Is, the modern in the making and repairing of river - boats. Hit, a town not far from Babylon, on a small Secondly, the early translators for the most part stream flowing into the Euphrates from the west. seem to have understood the expression in the Still fuller accounts have been given of this same sense ; the Septuagint, for example, rendersingular spot by later observers. "Having spent ing it asphalt, and the Latin Vulgate bitumen. three days and better,” says an old traveller, Thirdly, the oldest remains bitherto discovered “from the ruins of old Babylon we came unto a prove the substance in question to have been used town called Ait (Hit), inhabited only by Arabians, from the earliest times as a cement in brick-laying, . but very ruinous. Near unto which town is a Not only so, but in every instance in which valley of pitch very marvellous to behold, and a burnt brick is made use of for building purposes, thing almost incredible, wherein are many springs it has been found that such bricks are laid in throwing out abundantly a black substance like bitumen, whilst for cementing layers of crude, or unto tar and pitch, every one of which springs sun-dried brick, a tenacious kind of mud has maketh a noise like a smith's forge in puffing and been regarded as sufficient. Lastly, it is not a

a blowing out the matter, wbich never ceaseth little remarkable that the language even of night nor day; and the noise is heard a mile off, modern travellers, in describing these bituminous swallowing up all mighty things that come upon springs of Mesopotamia, seems almost impercepit. The Moors call it the mouth of hell.” The tibly to slide into the actual expressions of our principal bitumen pit at Hit is described by Mr. English Bible ; as in that notable passage where Rich, Political Resident at Baghdad, as “having Layard describes the firing of the pits at Nim

. two sources, and divided by a wall in the centre, roud. “Tongues of fire,” says that traveller, “and on one side of which the bitumen bubbles up, and jets of gas, driven from the burning pit, shot on the other the oil of naphtha.” It is said that through the murky canopy.

To break the cinwhen the river is flooded by the melting of the dered crust, and to bring fresh slime to the sursnow, the spring overflows in consequence, and face, the Arabs threw large stones into the the bitumen is carried in large masses down the spring. As the fire brightened, a thousand fanstream. In this state the Arabs gather, dry, and tastic forms of light played through the smoke. use it for fuel. In the liquid forin it is commonly In an hour the bitumen was exhausted for the used for building purposes, and for smearing the time, the dense smoke gradually cleared away, wicker-work boats used on the Euphrates, so as and the pale light of the moon gradually shone to make them water-tight. That this bitumen is over the black slime pits.” identical with the slime of Scripture, there seems Here then we have a connected series of facts, to be no reasonable ground for doubting. For, every one of which is brimful of meaning. 1. Stone in the first place, the word used in the original to was not used in the construction of the Tower, bedescribe it is the same as that which is employed cause no such material could be procured. 2. Brick to designate the slime-pits of the Vale of Siddim was used instead, because from the special adapta(Gen. xiv. 10), that celebrated tract of country tions of the soil it could be obtained at once easily presently covered by the Dead Sea, whose other and expeditiously. 3. Throughout the whole subname, the Lake of Asphaltites, indicates with sequent history of the country brick continued to sufficient clearness the bituminous character of be made use of as the staple material in building the springs there referred to. The same term operations, the use of stone being quite excep(chêmâr) is made use of to describe the material tional. 4. The district is famous for the abun. with which the ark of bulrushes, invented for the dance of its supply of the bitumen or slime preservation of the infant Moses on the Nile, referred to in the Scripture statement. 15. The

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remains of the oldest buildings, and particularly quisite precision to the nicest minutiæ of modern those which consist of burnt bricks, are actually discovery ? Are common legends usually recemented with this bitumen. If, finally, we add markable for such exactness of detail ? Quite to this list of coincidences the native custom, the contrary. Indeed, their distinguishing pecualready referred to, of building sacred edifices in liarity would seem to consist in this, that whatthe form of a tower, we possess a small body of ever general foundation in fact they may possess, beautifully compacted circumstantial evidence, they are seldom able to stand the test of a searchwhich it seems very difficult for human ingen- ing cross-examination. But the remarkable thing uity to explain away. For suppose the document in this case is, that the deeper we dig about the we are accustomed to call inspired is nothing roots of the subject, the fuller and clearer is better than a poor old story, which by some the harmony which reigns between the Inspired freak of chance has survived the wreck of ages, Record and the facts on which its statements are how does it happen to fit in with the most ex- founded.


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* Understand, ye brutish among the people : and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? le

that formed the eye, shall he not see ? he that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct ? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?"-Ps. xciv. 8-10.

1.-ETERNITY OF MATTER, AND THE DEVELOPMENT THEORY. AS the Creator of the world common sense ? Profound reasoning! Here is a brick fresh from the

Did he know what he was about in making kiln, which will last for a thousand years to come; thereit? Had he any object in view in forming fore, it has existed for a thousand years past !

it ? Does he know what is going on in it? The foundation of the argument is as rotten as the Does he care whether it answers any purpose or not? superstructure. It is not agreed among all philosophers Strange questions, you will say; yet we need to ask a that matter is, by its own nature, indestructible, for the stranger question : Had the world a creator, or did it very satisfactory reason that none of them can tell what make itself ? There are persons who say it did, and de- matter in its own nature is.* All that they can under: clare that the Bible sets out with a lie when it says take to say is, that they have observed certain properthat "in the beginning God created the heavens and ties of matter, and, among these, that “it is indestructhe earth.” Whereas, say they, “ we know that matter tible by any operations to which it can be subjected in is eternal, and the world is wholly composed of matter; the ordinary course of circumstances observed at the surtherefore, the heavens and the earth are eternal-never face of the globe.”+ The very utmost which any man had a beginning nor a creator."

can assert in this matter is a negative, a want of knowBut, however fully the Atheist and the Pantheist may ledge or a want of power. He can say, “Human power know that matter is eternal, we do not know any such cannot destroy matter ;” and, if he pleases, he may thing, and must be allowed to ask, How do you know? reason thence that human power did not create it. But As you are not eternal, we cannot take it on your word. to assert that matter is eternal because man cannot de

The only reason which anybody ever ventured for stroy it, is as if a child should try to beat the cylinder this amazing assertion is this, that “all philosophers of a steam-engine to pieces, and, failing in the attempt, agree that matter is indestructible by its very nature; that should say, “I am sure this cylinder existed froni it can never cease to exist. You may boil water into eternity, because I am unable to destroy it.” steam, but it is all there in the steam ; or burn coal But we are not done with the absurdities of the into gas, ashes, and tar, but it is all in the gas, ashes, and tar: you may change the outward form as much

* It will be seen that the proof of the being of God here preas you please, but you cannot stroy the substance nted rests upon the impossibility of self-existent design in of anything. Wherefore, as matter is indestructible, it must be eternal.

Reid's Chemistry, Chap. ii., $ 37: Chambers's Educational



eternity of matter. We say to our would-be philoso- of a creator than before ? The atoms must be material, pbers, When you tell us that matter is eternal, how does if a material world is to be made from them; and they that account for the formation of this world? What is must be extended ; each one of them must have length, this matter you speak of? This world consists not of a breadth, and thickness. The Pantheist, then, has only philosophical abstraction called matter, nor yet of one multiplied his difficulties a million times, by pounding substance known by that name, but of a great variety up the world into atoms, which are only little bits of of material substances, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, sul- the paving-stones he intends to make out of them. phur, iron, aluminum, and some fifty-one others already Each bit of the paving-stone, no matter how small you discovered. Now, which of these is the eternal matter break it, remains just as incapable of making itself

, or you speak of? Is it iron, or sulphur, or clay, or oxygen ? moving itself, as was the whole stone composed of all If it is any one of them, where did the others come from? these bits. So we are landed back again at the sublime Did a mass of iron, becoming discontented with its question, Did the paving-stones make themselves ? gravity, suddenly metamorphose itself into a cloud of Others will tell you that millions of years ago the yas or a pail of water ? Or are they all eternal ? Have we world existed as a vast cloud of fire-mist, which, after a fifty-seven eternal beings ? Are they all eternal in their long time, cooled down into granite, and the granite, by present combinations ? or is it only the single elements dint of earthquakes, got broken up on the surface, and that are eternal ? You see that your hypothesis—that washed with rain into clay and soil, whence plants matter is eternal-gives me no light on the formation of sprang up of their own accord, and the plants gradually this world, which is not a shapeless mass of a philoso- grew into animals of various kinds, and some of the phical abstraction called matter, but a regular and animals grew into monkeys, and finally the monkeys into beautiful building, composed of a great variety of matters. men. The fire-mist they stoutly affirm to have existed Was it so from eternity? No man who was ever in a from eternity. They do not allege that they remember quarry or a gravel pit will say so, much less one who that (and yet, as they themselves are, as they say, comhas the least smattering of chemistry or geology. Do posed body and soul of this eternal fire-mist, they ought you assert the eternity of the fifty-seven single sub- to remember), but only that there are certain comets stances, either separate, or combined in some other way which occasionally come within fifty or sixty millions of than we now find them in the rocks and rivers and at- miles of this earth, which they suppose may be composed mosphere of the earth ? Then how came they to get of the fire-mist which they suppose this world is made together at all, and particularly how did they put them- of. A solid basis, truly, on which to build a world! A selves in their present shapes ?

cloud in the sky fifty millions of miles away may posEach of them is a piece of matter of which inertia is sibly be fire-mist, may possibly cool down and condense a primary and inseparable property. “Matter of itself into a solid globe ; therefore, this fire-mist is eternal

, cannot begin to move, or assume a quiescent state after and had no need of a creator: and our world, and all being put in motion.” Will you tell us that the fifty- other worlds, may possibly have been like it ; therefore, seven primary elements danced about till the air and they also never were created by Almighty God. Such sea and earth somehow jumbled themselves together is the Atheists and Pantheist's ground of faith. The into the present shape of this glorious and beautiful thinnest vapour, or the merest supposition, will suffice world, with all its regularity of day and night, and sum- to build his eternal salvation upon ; provided only it mer and winter; with all its beautiful flowers and lofty contradicts the Bible, and gets rid of God. We cannot trees; with all its variety of birds, and beasts, and fishes ? | avoid asking with as much gravity as we can command, To bring the matter down to the level of the intellect of Where did the mist come from? Did the mist make itthe most stupid Pantheist, tell us, in plain English, Did self? Where did the fire come from ? Did it kindle of ilée paving-stones make themselves ?

its own accord ? Who put the fire and the mist together ? Absurd as it seems to every man of common sense, Was it red-hot enough from all eternity to melt granite ? there are persons claiming to be philosophers who not Then why is it any cooler now? How could an eternal only assert that they did, but will tell you how they did red-heat cool down ? If it existed as a red-hot fireit. One class of them think they have found it out by mist from eternity, until our Pantheists began to observe supposing everything in the universe reduced to very fine it beginning to cool, why should it ever begin to cool at wwwder, consisting of very small grains, which they call all, and why begin to cool just then? Fill it as full of atoms ; or, if that is not fine enough, into gas, of which electricity, magnetism, and odyle, as you please ; do it is supposed the particles are too fine to be perceived ; | these afford any reason for its very extraordinary conand then by different arrangements of these atoms, ac- duct ? The utmost they do is to show you how such a cording to the laws of attraction and electricity, the vari- change took place; but they can neither tell

you ous elements of the world were made, and arranged in its the original matter came fron, nor why its form was present form.

changed. Change is an effect, and every effect requires Suppose we grant this uncouth supposition, that the

There could be no cause outside of the fireworld millions of ages ago existed as a cloud of atoms, mist; for they say there was nothing else in the universe. does that bring us any nearer the object of getting rid Then the cause must be in the mist itself. Had it a

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mind, and a will, and a perception of propriety? Did the But the whole theory of development is utterly false mist become sensible of the lightness of its behaviour, in its first principles. From the beginning of the world and the fire resolve to cool off a little, and both consult to the preseift day, no man has ever observed an instance together on the propriety of dropping their erratic blaz- of spontaneous generation. There is no law of nature, ing through infinite space, and resolve to settle down whether electric, magnetic, odylic, or any other, which into orderly, well-behaved suns and planets ? In the can produce a living plant or animal save from the germ division of the property, what became of the mind ? or seed of some previous plantoranimal of the same species. Did it go to the sun, or to the moon, or to the pole star, Nor has a single instance of the transmutation of species or to this earth? Or was it clipped up into little pieces ever been proved. Every beast, bird, fish, insect, and and divided among the stars in proportion to their re- plant brings forth after its kind, and has done so since its spective magnitudes ; so that the sun may have, say the creation. No law of Natural Philosophy is more firmly hundredth part of an idea, and the nioon a faint percep- established than this, That there is no spontaneous tion of it ? Did the fire-mist's mind die under this cruel generation nor transmutation of species. From Cuvier clipping and dissecting process ; or is it of the nature of down, all practical naturalists maintain this law. It is a polypus, each piece alive and grow up to perfection true there is a regular gradation of the various orders in its own way! Has each of the planets and fixed stars of animal and vegetable life, rising like the steps of a a great “soul of the world” as well as this earth, and staircase, one above the other; but gradation is no more are they looking down intelligently and compassionately caused by transmutation than a staircase is made by an on this little globe of ours ? Had we not better build ambitious lower step changing itself into all the upper altars to all the host of heaven, and return to the religion of our acorn-fed ancestors, who burned their chil- To refer the origin of the world to the laws of nature dren alive, in honour of the sun, on Sun-days ?

is no less absurd. Law, as Johnson defines it, is a rule An aqueous solution of the difficulty of getting rid of of action. It necessarily requires an acting agent, an Almighty God is frequently proposed. It is known that object designed in the action, means to attain it, and certain chemical solutions, when mixed together, deposit authoritative prescription of those means by a lawgiver. a sediment, or precipitate, as chemists call it. And it Are the laws of nature laws given by some supposed inis supposed that the universe was all once in a state of telligent being, worshipped by the heathen of old and solution, in primeval oceans, and that the mingling of the Pantheists of modern times under that name? Or the waters of these oceans caused them to deposit the vari- do they signify the orderly and regular sequence of cause ons salts and earths which form the worlds in the form of and effect, which is so manifest in the course of all mud, which afterward bardened into rock, or vegetated events? If, as Pantheists say, the latter, this is the into trees and men. Thus it is clearly demonstrated very thing we want them to account for. Ilow came the that there is no need for the Creator, if-if-if-we only world to be under law without a lawgiver ? Where had somebody to make the primeval oceans--and some- there is law, there must be design. Chance is 'ntterly body to mix them together ! *

inconsistent with the idea of law. Where there is deThe development theory of the production of the sign, there nrust, of necessity, be a designer. Matter in human race from the mud, through the mushroom, the any shape, stones or lightnings, mud or magnets, cannot snail, the tortoise, the greyhound, the monkey, and the think, contrive, design, give law to itself or anything man, which is now such a favourite with Atheists and else, much less bring itself into existence. There is no Pantheists, if it were fully proved to be a fact, would conceivable way of accounting for this orderly world we only increase the difficulty of getting rid of God. For live in but one or other of these two: Either an intellieither the primeval mud had all the germs of the future gent being created the world, or- The paving-stones plants and monkeys, and men's bodies and souls, in it- made themselves. self originally, or it had not. If it had not, where did it get them? If it had all the life and intelligence in the universe in itself, it was a very extraordinary kind of god. We shall call it the mud-god. Our Pantheists,

Leaving these speculations self-condenined, let us then, believe in a god of muddy body and intelligent ascertain what we can know of the great Creator of the mind. But, if they deny intelligence to the mud, then heavens and the earth. God refers the Atheists and we are back to our original difficulty, with a large ap- Pantheists of the Psalmist's days to their own bodies for pendix-namely, The paring-stones made themselves proof of his intelligence, to their own minds for proofs first, and all Pantheists and Atheists afterward. of his personality, and to their own observation of the

judgments of his providence against evil-doers, for proofs * It might be supposed that such a theory is too palpably ab- of his moral government. Our text ascribes to him persurd to be believed by any save the inmates of a lunatic asylum, had not the writer, and hundreds of the citizens of Cincinnati,

ception and intelligence : “He that planted the ear, seen a lecturer perform the ordinary experiment of producing shall he not hear ? he that formed the eye, shall he not coloured precipitates by mixing colourless solutions, as a demonstration of the self-acting powers of matter. Common sense, being

see ?" It does not say, He has an eye, or an ear, but lie a gift of God, is righteously withdrawn from those who deny him.

has that knowledge we acquire by those organs. And



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