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craven cowardice before the elements and forces of Nature, enslaved in a degrading bondage of physical superstition, fetishism, and polytheism. With one sweep of inspired might the truth enshrined in this chapter has changed all that, wherever it has come. It has cleansed the heaven of those foul gods and monstrous worships, and leaves men on bended knees in the presence of the one true God, their Father in heaven, who made the world for their use, and then for Himself, and whose tender mercies are over all His works. From moral and mental slavery it has emancipated man, for it has taken the physical objects of his fear and worship, and, dashing them down from their usurped pre-eminence, has put them all under his feet, to be his ministers and servants in working out on earth his eternal destiny. These conceptions of God, Man, and Nature have been the regeneration of humanity; the springs of progress in science, invention, and civilization; the charter of the dignity of human life, and the foundation of liberty, virtue, and religion. The man who in view of such a record can ask with anxious concern whether a revelation, carrying in its bosom such a wealth of heavenly truth, does not also have concealed in its shoe a bird's-eye view of geology, must surely be a man blind to all literary likelihood, destitute of any sense of congruity and the general fitness of things, and cannot but seem to us as one that mocks. The chapter's title to be reckoned a revelation rests on no such magical and recondite quality, but is stamped foursquare on the face of its essential character and contents. Whence

could this absolutely unique conception of God, in His relation to the world and man, have been derived except from God Himself? Whence into a world so dark, and void, and formless, did it emerge fair and radiant? There is no answer but one. God said, "Let there be light; and there was light."

The specific revelation of the first chapter of Genesis must be sought in its moral and spiritual contents. But may there not be, in addition, worked into its material framework, some anticipation of scientific truths that have since come to light? What were the good of it, when the Divine message could be wholly and better expressed by the sole use of popular language, intelligible in every age and by all classes? It is dignified to depict the spirit of inspiration standing on tiptoe, and straining to speak, across the long millenniums and over the head of the world's childhood, to the wise and learned scientists of the nineteeth century? It is never the manner of Scripture to anticipate natural research, or to forestall human industry. God means men to discover physical truth from the great book of Nature. What truth of science, what mechanical invention, what beneficent discovery in medicine, agriculture, navigation, or any other art or industry, has ever been gleaned from study of the Bible? Not one. These things lie outside the scope of

revelation, and God is the God of order. Moreover, in Scripture itself the framework of the chapter is not counted dogmatic nor uniformly adhered to. In the second chapter of Genesis, in Job, in the Psalms, and in Proverbs there are manifold deviations and variations. The material setting is handled with the freedom applicable to the pictorial dress of a parable, wherein things transcendental are depicted in earthly symbols. In truth, this is essentially the character of the composition.

We have seen that the delineation, classification, and arrangement are not scientific and not philosophical, but popular, practical, and religious. It is everywhere manifest that the interest is not in the process of creation, but in the fact of its origination in God. While science lingers on the physical operation, Genesis designedly overleaps it, for the same reason that the Gospels do not deign to suggest the material substratum of Christ's miracles. Creation is a composite process. It begins in the spiritual world and terminates in the material. It is in its first stage supernatural; in its second, natural. It originates in God desiring, decreeing, issuing formative force; it proceeds in matter, moving, cohering, moulding, and shaping. Revelation and science regard it from opposite ends. The one looks at it from its beginning, the other from its termination. The Bible shows us God creating; geology shows us the world being created. Scripture deals solely with the first stage, science solely with the second. Where Scripture stops there science first begins. Contradiction, conflict, collision are impossible. In the words of the Duke of Argyll:

"The first chapter of Genesis stands alone among the traditions of mankind in the wonderful simplícity and grandeur of its words. Specially remarkable—miraculous, it really seems to me-is that character of reserve which leaves open to reason all that reason may be able to attain. The meaning of these words seems always to be a meaning ahead of science, not because it anticipates the results of science, but because it is independent of them, and runs, as it were, round the outer margin of all possible discovery."

May we not safely extend this finding to the entire Bible, and on these lines define its relation to modern thought? Its supernatural revelation is purely and absolutely ethical and spiritual. In questions physical and metaphysical it has no concern and utters no voice. With the achievements of science it never competes, nor can it be contradicted by them. It encourages its researches, ennobles its aspirations, crowns and completes its discoveries. Into the dead body of physical truth it puts the living soul of faith in the Divine Author. Like the blue heaven surrounding and spanning over the green earth, revelation over-arches and encircles science. Within that infinite embrace, beneath that spacious dome, drawing from its azure depths light and life and fructifying warmth, science, unhampered and unhindered, works out its majestic mission of blessing to

men and glory to God. Collision there can be none till the earth strike the sky. The messsage of the Bible is a message from God's heart to ours. It cannot be proved by reason nor can it be disproved. It appears, not to sight, but to faith, and belongs to the realm of spirit, and not to that of sense. Science may have much to alter in our notions of its earthly embodiment, but its essential contents it cannot touch. That is not theory, but reality. It is not philosophy, but life; not flesh, but spirit. It is the living, breathing, feeling love of God become articulate. It needs no evidence of sense. In the immutable instincts of the human heart it has its attestation, and in a life of responsive love it finds an unfailing verification. It rests on a basis no sane criticism can undermine nor solid science shake. Happy the man whose faith has found this fixed foundation, and whose heart possesses this adamantine certainty: "He shall be likened unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And he rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." PROF. W. GRAY ELMSLIE, in The Contemporary Review.

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HISTORY tells us that there are almost as many ways of marrying a wife as there are roads to Rome. When the world was young, capture was the form which commended itself to young men in the older continents, just as at the present day Australian youths depend on the strength of their right arm for their supply of consorts. But the advance of civilization has changed all that, and by a constant succession of progressive stages, the rite has reached the highest pitch of development, in which the liberty of choice is allowed its fullest latitude. But there is yet some old leaven remaining; and as traces of ancient sun-worship are still unconsciously preserved in ecclesiastical architecture, so in the most complex marriage rite of modern days, a survival of the primitive practice of capture is plainly observable. The bridegroom takes his "best man"-that is to say, the strongest and most daring among his associates-and goes to carry off his bride in defiance of her protecting bridesmaids, who, in these degenerate days, exhaust their energies by hurling satin shoes at the retreating but triumphant bridegroom.

"Lo, how the woman once was wooed!
Forth leapt the savage from his lair,

He felled her, and to nuptials rude

He dragged her, bleeding, by the hair,
From that to Chloe's dainty wiles,
And Portia's dignified consent,
What distance?"

Ay, so great a distance, that we Westerns can scarcely recognize in the modern rite of holy Mother Church the root from which it sprang; but in the East, that treasury of antiquities, we find the stages in the long road which separates the two extremes clearly marked out and still serving as halting-places for the people who are perpetually marching onward to a higher goal. The Kirghis, for instance, are still at the end only of the first lap in the race. The wild savagery of the primitive assault has disappeared, and a preliminary understanding between the friends of the bride and her suitors has been arrived at, but still the prize has to be won by capture; and so on the wedding day the bride mounts a swift horse and starts from the door of her father's tent, pursued by all the young men who make pretensions to her hand. The one who catches her claims her as his own; and as, in addition to the protecting fleetness of her horse, she has the right of defending herself with her whip against unwelcome suitors, the invariable result follows that the favored lover is the successful one.

On a par with these dwellers in the desert are certain tribes of Lolos of Western China, among whom it is customary for the bride on the wedding morning, to perch herself on the highest branch of a large tree, while the elder female members of her family cluster on the lower limbs, armed with sticks. When all are duly stationed, the bridegroom clambers up the tree, assailed on all sides by blows, pushes, and pinches from the dowagers; and it is not until he has broken through their fence and captured the bride, that he is allowed to carry her off. Similar difficulties assail the bridegroom among the Mongolian Koraks, who are in the habit of celebrating their marriages in large tents, divided into numerous separate but communicating compartments. At a given signal, so soon as the guests are assembled, the bride starts off through the compartments, followed by her wooer, while the women of the encampment throw every possible impediment in his way, "tripping up his unwary feet, holding down the curtains to prevent his passage, and applying willow and alder switches unmercifully as he stoops to raise them." As with the maiden on the horse, and the virgin on the tree-top, the Korak bride is invariably captured, however much the possibilities of escape may be in her favor.

The capture assumes another and a commoner form among other Lolo tribes of China, by whom the rite is ordinarily spread over several days. During the long-drawn-out function, alternate feasting and lamentation are the order of the day-a kind of antiphonal chant being kept up at intervals between the parents and their daughter. Mr. E. C. Baber, in his Travels and Researches in the Interior of China, says;

"A crisis of tearfulness ensues, when suddenly the brothers, cousins, and friends of the husband burst upon the scene with tumult and loud shouting, seize the almost distraught maid, place her pick-a-back on the shoulders of the 'best man,' carry her hurriedly and violently away, and mount her on a horse, which gallops off to her new home. Violence is rather more than simulated; for though the male friends of the bride only repel the attacking party with showers of flour and wood-ashes, the attendants are armed with sticks, which they have the fullest liberty to wield."

Traces of the same primitivie custom are observable in the marriages of the Miao tribes in south-western China. The women of one tribe, without waiting for the attack, simulated or otherwise, of their wooers, go through the wedding ceremonies, such as they are, with disheveled hair and naked feet. Other branches of the same people dispense with every form of marriage rite. With the return of each spring the marriageable lads and lasses erect a "devil's staff," or May-pole, decked with ribbons and flowers, and dance round it to the tune of the men's castanets. Choice is made by the young men of the particular maids who take their fancy, and if these reciprocate the admiration of their wooers, the pairs stray off to the neighboring hills and valleys for the enjoyment of a short honey-moon, after which the husbands seek out their brides' parents, and agree as to the amount in kind which they shall pay them as compensation for the loss of their daughters. Among other clans the young people repair to the hillsides in the "leaping month," and play at catch with colored balls adorned with long strings. The act of tying two balls together, with the consent of the owners of both, is considered a sufficient preliminary for the same kind of al fresco marriage as that just described. In the province of Kwang-se a kind of official sanction is given these spontaneous alliances. The young men and women of the neighboring aboriginal tribes assemble on a given day in the courtyards of the prefects' yamuns, and seat themselves on the ground, the men on one side of the yards and the women on the other. As his inclination suggests, each young man crosses over and seats himself by the lady of his choice. He then, in the words of the Chinese historian, "breathes into her mouth;" and if this attention. is accepted in good part, the couple pair off without more ado. The act thus described is probably that of kissing; but as that form of salutation is entirely unknown among the Chinese, the historian is driven to describe it by a circumlocution.

In the province of Yunnan the native tribes have adopted much of the Chinese ceremonial, though they still preserve some of their peculiar customs. By these people much virtue is held to be in the bath taken by the bride on her wedding morning, and in the unctu ous anointment of her whole body with rose-maloes which succeeds the ablution. But among the Kakhyens on the Burmese frontier, the relics of capture become again conspicuous. When the day which

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