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counts. But with all respect for enthusiastic decipherers, we make bold to believe, with more sober-minded critics, that the first chapter of Genesis owes very little to Babylonian mythology, and very much indeed to Hebrew thought and the revealing Spirit of God. The chapter strikingly lacks the characteristic marks of myth, and is on the face of it a masterpiece of exquisite artistic workmanship and profound religious inspiration. Proof of this has appeared in plenty during our brief study of its structure and contents. Let us proceed to use the results of analysis to determine some more general characteristics of its structure and design.

The process of creation is portrayed in six great steps or stages. Is this order put forward as corresponding with the physical course of events? and, further, does it tally with the order stamped in the record of the rocks? Replying to the second question first, it must be admitted that, prima facie, the Bible sequence does not appear to be in unison with the geological. Of attempted reconciliations there is an almost endless variety, but, unfortunately, among the harmonies themselves there is no harmony. At the present moment there is none that has gained general acceptance: a few possess each the allegiance of a handful of partisans; the greater number command the confidence only of their respective authors, and some not even that. It is needless to discuss these reconciliations, because if geology is trustworthy in its main results, and if our interpretation of the meaning of Genesis is at all correct, correspondence in order and detail is impossible. If the order of Genesis was meant as science, then geology and Genesis are at issue; but, on the other hand, if the sequence in Genesis was never meant to be physical, the wrong lies with ourselves, who have searched for geology where we should have looked for religion, and have, with the best intentions, persisted in trying to turn the Bible bread of life into the arid stone of science. Now, we venture to suggest that in drafting this chapter the ruling formative thought was not chronology. It must be remembered that the narrative was under no obligation to follow the order of actual occurrence, unless that best suited its purpose. Zoology does not group the animals in the order of their emergence into existence, but classifies and discusses them in a very different sequence, adopted to exhibit their structural and functional affinities. If the design of Genesis was not to inform us about historical geology, but reveal and enforce religious truth, it might well be that a literary or a logical, and not a chronological, arrangement might best serve its end. As a matter of fact, the order chosen is not primarily historical. Another quite different and very beautiful idea has fashioned, and is enshrined in, the arrangement.

Looking at our analysis of their contents, we perceive that the six days fall into two parallel sets of three, whose members finely cor

respond. The first set presents us with three vast empty tenements or habitations, and the second set furnishes these with occupants. The first day gives us the sphere of light; the fourth day tenants it with sun, moon, and stars. The second day presents the realm of air and water; the fifth day supplies the inhabitants birds and fishes. The third day produces the habitable dry land; and the sixth day stocks it with the animals and man. The idea of this arrangement is, on the face of it, literary and logical. It is chosen for its comprehensive, all-inclusive completeness. To declare of every part and atom of Nature that is the making of God, the author passes in procession the great elements or spheres which the human mind everywhere conceives as making up our world, and pronounces them one by one God's creation. Then he makes an inventory of their entire furniture and contents, and asserts that all these likewise are the work of God. For his purpose-which is to delare the universal creatorship of God and the uniform creaturehood of all Nature-the order and classification are unsurpassed and unsurpassable. With a masterly survey that marks everything and omits nothing, he sweeps the whole category of created existence, collects the scattered leaves into six congruous groups, encloses each in a compact and uniform binding, and then on the back of the numbered and ordered volumes stamps the great title and declaration that they are, one and all, in every jot, and tittle, and shred, and fragment, the works of their Almighty Author, and of none beside.

With the figment of a supposed physical order vanishes also the difficulty of the days. Their use is not literal, but ideal and pictorial. That the author was not thinking of actual days of twenty-four hours, with a matter-of-fact dawning of morning and darkening of evening, is evident from the fact that he does not bring the sun (the lord of the day) into action till three have already elapsed, and later on he exhibits the sun as itself the product of one of them. Neither is it possible that the days stand for geological epochs, for by no wrenching and racking can they be made to correspond. Morever, it is quite certain that the author would have revolted against the expansion of his timeless acts of creative omnipotence into long ages of slow evolution, since the keynote of the literary significance and sublimity of his delineation is its exhibition of the created result following in instantaneous sequence on the creative fiat. The actual meaning underlying the use of the days is suggested in the rubrical character of the refrain, as it appears rounding off and ending each fresh stage of the narration-"And there was evening, and there was morning-day one, day two, day three," and so on. The great sections of Nature are to be made pass in a panorama of pictures, and to be presented, each for itself, as the distinct act of God. It is desirable to enclose each of these pictures in a frame, clear-cut and complete.

The natural unit and division of human toil is a day. In the words of the poet,

"Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close."

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In Old Testament parlance, any great achievement or outstanding event is spoken of as "a day." A decisive battle is known as "the day of Midian." God's intervention in human history is "the day of the Lord." When the author of the first chapter of Genesis would present the several elements of Nature as one and all the outcome of God's, the successive links of the chain are depicted as days. Where we should say "End of Part I.," he says "And there was evening and there was morning-day one. Moreover, it is needless to point out how finely from this presentation of the timeless fiats of creation in a framework of days emerges the majestic truth that, not in the dead order of nature, nor in the mere movement of the stars, but in the nature and will of God, who made man in His image, must be sought the ultimate origin, sanction, and archetype of that salutary law which divides man's life on earth into fixed periods of toil, rounded and crowned by a Sabbath of repose.

If this understanding of the structural arrangement of the chapter be correct, we have reached an important and significant conclusion regarding the author's method and design. He does not suppose himself to be giving the matter-of-fact sequence of creation's stages. His interest does not lie in that direction. His sole concern is to declare that Nature, in bulk and in detail, is the manufacture of God. His plan does not include, but ipso facto excludes conformity with the material order and process. He writes as a theologian, and not as a scientist or historian. Starting from this fixed point, let us note the outstanding features and engrossing interest of his delineation. We shall find them in the phrases that, like a refrain, run through the narrative and form its keynotes, and finally in the resultant impression left by its general tenor and purport.

The recurrent keynotes of the narrative are three: God's naming His works, His declaration of their goodness, and the swift formula of achievement-" and it was so." The naming is not a childish triviality, nor a mere graphic touch or poetical ornament. It does not mean that God attached to His works the vocables by which in Hebrew they are known. Its significance appears in the definition of function into which in the latter episodes it is expanded. Name in Hebrew speech is equivalent to Nature. When the story pictures God as naming His works, it vividly brings into relief the fixed. law and order that pervade the universe. And by the picturesque-if you will, anthropomorphic-fashion of the statement, it attains an effect beyond science or metaphysics, inasmuch as it irresistibly

portrays this order of Nature as originating in the personal act of God, and directly inspired by and informed with His own effluent love of what is good and true and orderly. Thus the great truth of the fixity of Nature is presented, not as a fact of science or a quality of matter, but as rooted in and reflecting a majestic attribute of the character of God. The interest is not scientific, but religious. In like fashion, the unfailing declaration of goodness, though it might seem a small detail, is replete with practical and religious significance. The pagan doctrines of creation are all more or less contaminated by dualistic or Manichean conceptions. The good Creator is baffled, thwarted, and impeded by a brutish or malignant tendency in matter, which on the one hand mars the perfection of creation, and on the other hand inserts in the physical order of things elements of hostility and malevolence to man. It is a thought that at once degrades the Creator and denudes Nature, as man's abode, of its beauty, comfort and kindliness. How different is it in the Bible picture of creation! This God has outside Himself no rival, experiences no resistance nor contradiction, knows no failure nor imperfection in His handiwork; but what He wishes He wills, and what He commands is done, and the result answers absolutely to the intention of His wisdom, love and power. In its relation to its Maker, the work is free from any flaw. In its relation to man, it contains nothing malevolent or maleficent. It is good. And, once again, mark with what skill in the delineation the light is thrown, not on the work, but on the Worker, and the goodness of creation becomes but a mirror to drink in and flash forth the infinite wisdom, might, and goodness of its Divine Maker. Here also the interest is not metaphysical, but practical and religious.

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A third commanding aim of the narrative appears in the significant and striking use of the formula-" and it was so. With absolute uniformity the Divine fiat is immediately followed by the physical fulfillment. There is no painting of the process, no delineation of slow and gradual operations of material forces. Not once is there any mention of secondary causes, nor the faintest suggestion of intermediate agencies. The Creator wills; the thing is. In this exclusion from the scene of all subordinate studies there is artistic design-profound design. The picture becomes one, not of scenery, but of action. It is not a landscape, but a portrait. The canvas contains but two solitary objects, the Creator and His work. The effect is to throw out of sight methods, materials, processes, and to throw into intense relief the act and the Actor. And the supreme and ultimate result on the beholder's mind is to produce a quite overpowering and majestic impression of the glorious personality of the Creator.

Here we have reached the sovereign theme of the narrative, and

have detected the false note that is struck at the outset of every attempt to interpret it as in any degree or fashion a physical record of creation. In very deed and truth the concern of the chapter is not creation, but the character, being, and glory of the Almighty Maker. If we excerpt God's speeches and the rubrical formulas, the chapter consists of one continuous chain of verbs, instinct with life and motion, linked on in swift succession, and with hardly an exception the subject of every one of them is God. It is one long adoring delineation of God loving, yearning, willing, working in creation. Its interest is not in the work, but the Worker. Its subject is not creation, but the Creator. What it gives is not a world, but a God. It is not geology. It is theology.

Why do we so assert, accentuate, and reiterate this to be the central theme of the chapter? Because through the scientific trend and bias of modern inquiry the essential design of the chapter has got warped, cramped, and twisted till its majestic features have been pushed almost clean out of view, and all attention is concentrated on one trivial, mean, and unreal point in its physiognomy. Its claim to be accounted an integral part of a real revelation is made to hinge on its magical anticipation of, and detailed correspondence with, the changeful theories of modern geology. The idea is, in our humble but decided opinion, dangerous, baseless, and indefensible. The chapter may not forestall one single scientific discovery. It may not tally with one axiom or dogma of geology. Nevertheless, it remains a unique, undeniable, and glorious monument of revelation, second only in worth and splendor to the record of God's incarnation of His whole heart and being in the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer.

Consider what this chapter has actually accomplished in the world, and set that against all theories of what it ought to be doing. For our knowledge of the true God and the realization of mankind's higher life it has done a work beside which any question of correspondence or non-correspondence with science sinks into unmentionable insignificance. Place side by side with it the chiefest and best of the Pagan cosmogonies, and appreciate its sweetness, purity, and elevation over against their grotesqueness, their shallowness, and their degradation alike of the human and the Divine. Realize the world whose darkness they re-echo, the world into which emerged this radiant picture of God's glory and man's dignity, and think what it has done for that poor world. It found heaven filled with a horde of gods-monstrous, impure, and horrible, gigantic embodiments of brute force and lust, or at best cold abstractions of cosmical principles, whom men could fear, but not love, honor, or revere. It found man in a world dark and unhomelike, bowing down in abject worship to beasts and birds, and stocks and stones, trembling with

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