An Exposition Of The Original Text Of Genesis I And II -- By: Samuel Hopkins

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 033:131 (Jul 1876)
Article: An Exposition Of The Original Text Of Genesis I And II
Author: Samuel Hopkins

An Exposition Of The Original Text Of Genesis I And II

Rev. Samuel Hopkins

§ 1. Creating

The Genesis of the material universe has long been a sealed book. Modern science has broken its seals, and revealed to us some of its primary lessons, such as these:

The entire matter which constitutes the present cosmos was originally in a gaseous state. By process of natural causes, involving immense time, this primal mass was separated into individual masses; and these masses were gradually consolidated into those worlds and families of worlds which now, without speech or language or voice, declare the glory of God.

These and kindred matters are announced to us, not as the results of profound thinking merely, but as facts; as facts grasped by dint of laborious research and exhaustive calculations; as facts attested by the most eminent masters in the different schools of astronomy, physics, chemistry, and geology. Consequently, the several results, supported by such testimony, are rightly accepted as above controversy and beyond doubt.

There is another book of Genesis, written by the Hebrew prince who delivered his people from bondage; written in his vernacular, now an unspoken language for more than two thousand years. This book also sets forth a history of a creation. The wise and the good of many generations have cherished it with devout reverence; and Christian sages of the present age study it the more eagerly and the more profoundly, because of the new Genesis which science has brought to light.

As these two revelations are continually brought into comparison, it is proper that we distinctly define our own position with reference to each, before entering upon our attempt to expound the venerable document before us. We therefore give the following statements as covering the whole ground from which we make our survey. We do not give them as axioms, or as the results of demonstrations; but as simple points which may fairly be assumed and conceded by all.

Postulate 1. — The cosmogonic doctrine of modern science, as stated above, is true.

Postulate 2. — The Mosaic account of creating is consistent with itself, and with all other statements bearing upon the same theme which occur in the Hebrew scriptures.

Postulate 3. — The language of the Mosaic narrative, whether shaped under divine supervision or not, is to be interpreted according to the known and universal laws of human language. In other words, as a writer, the Hebrew narrator stands on the same level with other writers, and is to be judged by the same rules.

With these simple points con...

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