maintain that inspiration has permitted no sacrifice of moral and religious truth in the completed Scripture, but has woven its historical material together into an organic whole which teaches all the facts essential to the knowledge of Christ and of salvation.
When we come to examine in detail what purport to be historical narratives, we must be neither credulous nor skeptical, but simply candid and open-minded. With regard for example to the great age of the Old Testament patriarchs, we are no more warranted in rejecting the Scripture accounts upon the ground that life in later times is so much shorter, than we are to reject the testimony of botanists as to trees of the Sequoia family between four and five hundred feet high, or the testimony of geologists as to Saurians a hundred feet long, upon the ground that the trees and reptiles with which we are acquainted are so much smaller. Every species at its introduction seems to exhibit the maximum of size and vitality. Weismann, Heredity, 6, 30 ? ?Whales live some hundreds of years; elephants two hundred ? their gestation taking two years. Giants prove that the plan upon which man is constructed can also be carried out on a scale far larger than the normal one.? E. Ray Lankester, Adv. of Science, 205-237 , 286 ? agrees with Weismann in his general theory. Sir George Cornewall Lewis long denied centenarism, but at last had to admit it.
Charles Dudley Warner, in Harper?s Magazine, Jan. 1895, gives instances of men 132; 140, and 192 years old. The German Hailer asserts that ?the ultimate limit of human life does not exceed two centuries: to fix the exact number of years is exceedingly difficult.? J. Norman Lockyer, in Nature, regards the years of the patriarchs as lunar years. In Egypt, the sun being used, the unit of time was a year; but in Chaldea, the unit of time was a month, for the reason that the standard of time was the moon. Divide the numbers by twelve, and the lives of the patriarchs come out very much the same length with lives at the present day. We may ask, however, how this theory would work in shortening the lives between Noah and Moses. On the genealogies in Matthew and Luke, see Lord Harvey, Genealogies of our Lord, and his art. in Smith?s Bible Dictionary; per contra, see Andrews, Life of Christ, 55 sq. On Quirinius and the enrollment for taxation ( <420202>Luke 2:2), see Pres. Woolsey, in New Englander, 1869. On the general subject, see Rawlinson, Historical Evidences, and essay in Modern Skepticism, published by Christian Evidence Society, 1:265; Crooker, New Bible and New Uses, 102-126.
3. Errors in Morality.
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