Let US now
take up the "Ages" and "Dispensations" and study them separately.
THE CREATIVE AGES
The Scriptures begin with the sublime declaration
"In the beginning God 'CREATED' the heaven and the earth." Gen. 1:1.
word "heaven" is in the singular it Will clarify matters to limit this creative
act to our own planet, and the solar system to which it belongs, rather than to
the whole of the starry spaces or universe.
1. THE ORIGINAL OR
This creation was in the dateless past. It was not at
the beginning of the first day as described in Gen. 1: 3-5. The six days' work
as described ifl Gen. 1: 3-31 was the restoration of the earth (not the heavens
or starry space), to its original condition before it was made "formless and
void," and submerged in water and darkness.
Peter speaks of it as the "World
that then was, that being overflowed with water, perished." 2 Pet. 3:
The manner of the "creation" of the Pre-Adamite Earth is not revealed in
the Scriptures. They simply dedare that-"In the BEGINNING GOD CREATED the heaven
and the earth." We have to fall back then upon Science. Among the theories
advanced for the origin of the Solar System of which our Earth is a part is-THE
In the year 1796 the astronomer La Place advanced the
theory that the sun, planets and moons of our Solar System were once one vast
spherical mass of nebulous or gaseous matter, out of which they have developed.
He claimed that this mass of nebulous matter coming in contact with the cold of
space began to contract, and in contracting a rotary motion was set up around
its center, and the more rapidly it cooled the faster it revolved, until it
became flattened at the poles and protruded at the equator, until it more
resembled two watch crystals placed edge to edge than it did a round ball. As
the cooling progressed, and the rapidity of revolution increased, a ring of
matter was detached from the edge of the watch-crystal shaped mass, which still
continued to revolve around the parent mass, which parent mass as it cooled
shrunk away from the ring, and that this process continued until a number of
rings were thrown off, all revolving in the same direction within each other and
around the central mass. These rings of matter as they separately condensed were
broken into fragments, and some of the fragments were retarded and others
accelerated until they coalesced and formed a globe which continued to revolve
in the same direction, the outermost ring forming the planet Neptune and the
innermost Mercury. The central mass of this nebulous matter, after the rings had
been separated from the parent mass, is now our sun.
The moons of the planets
were formed in the same manner, they having been detached rings of matter
circling around their respective planets. As an evidence of this we have the
rings of Saturn, that doubtless in time will break up and form moons for that
Between Mars and Jupiter there seems to be a break in the series,
which can only be accounted for by supposing that the Asteroids, which appear to
be the fragments of a planet, and that all revolve around the sun in the same
direction as the other planets, are the fragments of a nebulous ring that would
have formed a planet if it had not been for the nearness of the immense planet
If the sun and planets of our Solar System sprang from the same
parent mass, they should be composed of the same chemical elements, and this has
been verified by spectroscopic analysis. Naturally we would suppose that the
outermost planets, having been thrown off first, would be in the most advanced
stage, but we must not forget that the larger the mass the slower it cools, and
therefore, if the Nebular Hypothesis is correct, Jupiter and Saturn must still
be very hot, and not as far advanced and fit for habitation as the earth, and
this we know to be the fact.
Objection has been raised to the "Nebular
Hypothesis" Theory on the basis that a "gaseous" nebula could not exist in the
cold of space, and that the nebulous matter of the nebula is not gas, but
meteoric luminous matter, made luminous by the collision of meteoric particies,
and out of the union of these particies the planets were formed. Another theory
is that the planets have been formed by the union of smaller planetary bodies
that were welded together by the immense heat generated by their impact upon
each other. But each theory has its difficulties.
A survey of the heavens
reveals numerous "spiral nebula" that seem to be "Solar Systems" in the process
of formation, but the invention of powerful telescopes has revealed that many of
these nebula are not gaseous but clusters of stars. Nevertheless it has been
shown that many of the nebula are gaseons, but it was not until May, 1914, that
Dr. Slipher, of the Flagstaif Observatory, Arizona, by spectograms proved that
the nebula inl the Constellation of Virgo was revolving, this proving that the
Nebular Hypothesis of La Place is not without foundation.
The proofs of the
Nebular Hypothesis are-
(1) The orbits of the planets are nearly circular.
(2) They revolve almost in the same plane as the sun's equator.
all revolve around the sun in the same direction, which is also the direction of
the sun's rotation.
(4) They rotate on their own axis also, as far as known,
in the same direction.
(5) Their satellites or moons, with the exception of
those of Uranus and Neptune, revolve in the same direction as their
(6) The earth is still cooling, as is proved by its outer crust and
internal fire that finds vefits in volcanoes, for when we examine a hot ball and
find it warmer inside than out we know it is cooling off.
The time was then
when our earth was a globular mass of molten matter surrounded by an atmosphere
of gaseous and metallic vapors. As the globular mass cooled off by radiation, a
thin crust of rocky formation was formed on its outer surface. This increased
slowly in thickness, and as the interior mass shrunk in cooling the onter crust
fell in or wrinkled, and was here and there by earthquake and volcanic action
tilted out of the horizontal, and thus was formed the diverse stratification of
the rocky foundation of the earth's surface. The cooling of the earth's surface
and the formation of its rocky crust permitted its gaseous and metallic vaporous
atmosphere to cool, and the metallic vapors condensed and were precipitated in
the form of metallic rain upon the earth's crust, and, according to their
specific gravity, they collected and distributed themselves in pockets and
recesses of the earth's crust to be later by upheavals and changes in the
earth's crust thrown to the surface for the use of man.
In the course of
time-and the formation of our Solar System took thousands upon thousands of
years-the earth cooled off sufficiently to permit the oxygen and hydrogen in the
atmosphere to form water, that fell in the form of rain on the earth, but like
when water falls upon a red-hot plate it is immediately turned into steam, the
first rain that fell was vaporized by the heat of the earth's crust, but,
continuing to fall, it finally so cooled the earth's surface as to be able to
remain and form seas and oceans. As time passed on the rocky surface of the
earth was disintegrated and formed soil, and when the soil was fit, vegetation
and trees and plant life appeared. Then came the lower orders of marine life,
followed by fish and fowl. Then the land animals, and whatever other orders of
beings that inhabited the original earth.
That we may have a faint idea of
the time it took for the earth to become habitable, we have only to turn to the
Carboniferous Period of its history. Coal is formed from vegetable matter. In
the Carboniferous Period the atmosphere was full of Carbonic Acid Gas, in which
animal life could not exist. The atmosphere was moist and steamy like that of a
hothouse, and vegetation was very rank, and ferns and plant life grew to immense
proportions. By atmospheric and earthquake action the immense forests of the
Carboniferous Period were thrown down and buried under layers of soil and rock,
until their vegetable matter was compressed into coal. This was repeated until
coal bed after coal bed was formed in overlying seams. The time it took to form
these beds of coal is seen when we learn that it would take 1200 ycars for the
most luxuriant vegetation of the present day to form a coal seam 6 inches thick,
or 7200 years to form a seam 3 feet thick, the thinnest that can be worked to
advantage. In the coal measures of Nova Scotia are 76 seams of coal, of which
one is 22 feet thick, and another 37. Thus we see that it took thousands of
years to form the coal beds of the earth alone. How many millenniums of years
must it not have required then for the earth to pass from a molten state to a
But the "Word of God" and the "Works of God" must
harmonize. There can be no conflict between the Bible and Science. Science
demands thousands of years for the formation of the earth and all the time it
demands is given to it in the sublime words of Gen. 1:1, "In the BEGINNING God
created the heaven and the earth." This verse then covers the whole period of
the formation of the earth and its preparation for the habitation of man.
Egyptians, as Plato informs us, taught that the earth and the heavens originated
out of a kind of pulp, and that men were generated from the slime of the river
Nile. Other sages of Egypt held that the world was hatched from a winged egg.
Now as Moses was "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7: 22) how
is it that he did not say that the heavens originated out of a kind of pulp, and
that the world was hatched from a winged egg? Simply because God revealed to
him, probably when he was up on the mount with God, just how the world was
Used with permission of the Rev. Clarence Larkin Estate,
P.O. Box 334, Glenside, PA 19038, U.S.A., 215-576-5590
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