Periodicity A Law Of Nature -- By: G. Frederick Wright

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 073:290 (Apr 1916)
Article: Periodicity A Law Of Nature
Author: G. Frederick Wright


Periodicity A Law Of Nature1

G. Frederick Wright

[This paper and the following by Professor Martin were read at the International Lord’s Day Congress in connection with the Panama-Pacific Exposition, which met in Oakland, California, July 27 to August 1, 1915. A most Important volume of about 600 pages, containing all the papers read on that occasion, with 74 portraits and ten other illustrations, will be issued shortly by the New York Sabbath Committee, who kindly permit the appearance of the present papers in advance of their publication.]

Whatever may be true of doctrines of evolution in general, the theory which represents all variations as infinitesimal, and all progress as uniform, has little foundation in fact. All nature’ is periodicity writ large. And in this respect the physical world is, we may well believe, an analogue of the spiritual. It is well to heed its lessons. For in it there is revealed a plan of the divine mind.

Astronomical Periods.

Astronomy reveals the law in both the major and the minor movements of the heavenly bodies. The succession of day and night, occasioned by the revolution of the earth, is an illustration of the law so familiar that we need but refer to it. The succession of the seasons in the temperate zones is equally familiar, though its advantage is not so evident. But in the temperate zones all nature goes to sleep in winter to awake with accumulated vigor in the spring, and to quicken the

drowsy powers which are to produce the verdure of summer and the fruits of autumn. It is true that the tropics are without a change of seasons. But it is also true that the tropics have never developed a high degree of civilization.

Geological Periods.

Geology reveals to us less known but equally impressive cycles of development. In the majestic rhetoric of the Book of Genesis the creation of the world is represented as accomplished, not instantly, nor by a monotonous, gradual process of evolution, but in six days, each with its evening and morning; and this rhetoric is amply justified by the facts. Geological development has been by periods and epochs and episodes of which the testimony of the rocks bears indubitable evidence. Our ablest geologists find no difficulty in recognizing in the earth itself the seven periods of creation indicated in Genesis.

Entering further into details it is significant to notice, that in giving the history of the coal fields of the eastern part of the United States Dana significantly speaks of the “Appalachian Revolution.” But there were more periods than that marked by the grand revolutio...

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