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CHAPTER

VI

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THE 1D0 CTRINAL , VALUE
0 F THE FIRST CHAPTERS OF GENESIS
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M. A.,

BY THE RE.V. DYSON HAGUE,


VICAR OF THE

CHURCH

OF .THE

EPIPHANY;

PROFESSOR OF LIT

COLLEGE, TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA

URGICS, WYCLIFFE

The Boo k of Genesis is. in many res pects the most important book in the Bible. It is of the first importance be-
cause it answers ., .not exha .ustively, but sufficiently, the fundamen .tal qu,estio.ns o, th e human mi11d. It contains the first
authoritative information given to the race concerning thes~
questions of everlasting interest : the Bein.g of God ; th<!
origin of the universe; the creation of man ; the origin of
the souI ; the fact of revelation ; the introduction of sin; the
p1omise of salvation; .the pri1nitive division of the hum,an
race; the purpose of the elected people; the pre liminary part
in the program of Christianity.
In one word, in this inspired
volume of beginnings, we have the satisfactory explanation of
all .the sin and misery and.. contradiction
now in this world, _and
.
the reason of the scheme of redemption.
.
Or;, to put it in. an other way. Tl1e Boo k of Gene,sis is
the seed in which the plant of God's W ord is enfolded.
It
is the starting point of God's gradually-unfolded
plan of
the ages. Genesis is the .Plinth of 'the pillar of the Divine
revelation. It is the root of the tree of the inspired Scriptures. It is the source of the stream of the holy writings
of the Bible. If the base of the pillar is removed, the pillar
falls. If th,e root of the tr ee is cut out, the tree will wit.her
and die. If the fountain head of the stream is cut off, the
stream will <;lry ttp. The Bible asl a wh,ol,e is lil<e a chain
l1anging upon two staples. The Book of ,Genesis is the one
staple; the Book of Revelation is the other. Take away
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Doct1'i1zalValue of First Chapters of Genesis

75

either staple, the chain falls in confusion. If the first cl1apters of Genesis are unr ,eliable,, t~1erevelation o,f the beginni11g,
of the universe, the 0 rigin of the race, and tl1e reason of its
redemption are gone. , If the last cl1apters of Revela .tion are
displaced the consummation of all thi.ngs is unknown.
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you take away Genesis ., you have lost the explanation of
the first heaven, the first earth, the first Adam, and the fall.
If you take away Revelation you have lost the completed trutl1
of the new heaven, and the new earth, man redeemed, and the
se,con d Adam , i.n P 'aradise regai11ed.
Further: in the first chapters of the Book of Genesis,
you h,ave the strong and sufficient foundation of the Sltb sequent developments of tl1e kingdom of God; the root-germ
,of all Anthropology, . SoterioJogy, Christology, Satanology, to
say nothing of the ancient and -modern prob ,lems of the mystery and culpability of sin, tl1e Divine ordinance of the
Lord's Day, the unity of the race, and God's establishment
of matrimony and the family life.
We assume from the start the I1istoricity of Genesis and
its Mosaic authorship.
It was evidently accept .ed. by Ch.rist
the Infallible, our Lord and God, as historical, as one single
Cromposition, and as the work . of Moses. It wa ,s (accepted by
Paul the inspired. It was accepted universally by the divinely
inspired leaders of God's chosen people.
( S ee Green'
''Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch.'')
It has validated itself
to the universal Cl1t1rchth1...ougl1out the ages by its realism and
consistency, and by wh,at ha s bee11finely termed its st1bjective
trutl1f ttlness. We , postt1late especi .al1y tI1e historicity of the
first chapters.
These are not only valuable, they are vital.
They a1e the essence of G,en esis. The Bo,ol< of Genesis is
neither the work of a theori t or a tribal annalist. It is still
~ess the product of some anonymous compiler or co~pilers
in some unknowable era, of a serie s of myths, historic in form
httt. unhistoric in fact. Its op~ning is an apocalypse, a direct
revelation fro1n the God of al.I truth. Whether it was gi.ven
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The Fundamentals

76

in a vision or otherwise, it would be impossible to say. But


it' is possible, ,if not pro,bable, that the sam,e Lord God, who
revealed to His serv ,ant as he was, in the Spirit on th.e Lord 's
Day, tl1e apoc,alypse ,of tl1e l1u1na11lyunknown and unknowable
events , of n1an's history which will transpire wl1en this heaven
and this earth have pas sed away, would also have r1evealed
to His servant, b,eing in the Spirit, the apocalypse of the
hu1nanly unknowable and unkn,own events which transpired
bef ore this ea,rth' s histo ,ry b,egan. It has b,een ass erted that
. the beginning ,and the en1d of things a1e both absolute]y hid 1den
from science. Sc,i'ence has to do with phenomena.
It is
whe .re science must . conf es,s its impoten ,ce that revelation steps
in, and, , with the auth .ority of God, reveals those tl1ings that
are above it. 'The begin11.ing of G,enes,is, theref ,ore, is a,
diVinely inspired narrative of the evenis deemed necessary
by God to establish the f'oundatio ,ns for tl1e Divine . Law in
the spl1ere of human life, a11
,d to set forth the relation between the, o,mn.ipotent Creator and the man . who fell, and the
race that was to be redeemed by t'he incarnat ,ion of I-Iis Son.,
The Gern1an ra ,tionalistic idea, whJr-~ has passed over into
thousands of more or , less orthodox Lhris tian tn'inds, is that
these earliest chapters embody ancient traditions of the Se1nitic-orlental mind. Others go farther, and not only deny thern
io be the product of the i-evereqt and religious mind of the
Hebrew, but assert they were .imply oriental legend s not
born from abov,e and of God but born in the East, and probab1y in p,agan Babyloni ,a.
We would therefore postulate tl1e following propo sitions :
l. The Book of Genesis has no doctrinal
value if it' is
.
n ot authoritativ ,e.
2., The Book of Gen,esis is not authoritative if it is not
true. For if it is not histo ,ry, it is not reliable; and if it is
not revelation, it i,s, not authorit ,ative.
.
3,. The Boole 0 f Genesis is not true if it. is no,t f rotn
God. For if it. is n,ot from God, it is not i,nspired; and if it
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is not ins,pired, i't .Possess,es to 1:1sno do ctrinal value whatever .


4.. The . B ook of Ge11esis is not dire ,ct from God if it is
a l1etero1g ene,ous con1pilation of myt h ol0,gical folkl or,e by 'ttn1

kno\\ 'able writers .


.5. If the Book of Genesi s is a legendary narr ,ative,
a11onymous, indefinitely erroneotts, and the persons it described the mere mythical personifications of tribal genitts,
it is of .course not only non -authentic, because non -authenticate 1d, but an insufficient basi s for doctrine. The resid11111n
of dubious truth, whicl1 might with varying degrees of consent
be extracted therefrom, could 11ever be accepted as a foundation for the superstructure o,f eternally trustwortl1y doctri ,ne,
fo r it is an axiom 'that tl1at onl,y is of doctrin ,al value which
is God's W ,ord. Myt l1ical and legen ,dary fi ction, and Still
l11ore, err on eous and 1nisleading t1adition, are incompa,tible
not only with the character of the God of all truth, but with
th e trt1tl1fulness, tr u .stwort hinesls, and ,absolute auth 0 rity of
th.e Wo 1d of G,od. We l1a.v,e 11ot ta'lcen for our credentials
cleverly invented myt hs . The prin1a:ry documents,. if there
W1
e1esuch , were C1
ollated and revise 1d and re-written by Moses
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by inspiratio11 of ' God.


A sentence in Ma1goli,outh' s ''Lines of Defence'' deserves
an atte11tive cons,ideration today. We should have some op portunity, said the Oxford profe ssor, of gauging the skill of
tho se 011 whose faith the old-fashioned . belief in the auth enticity of Scripture has been abandoned . (p. 293.) One wou ld
perhaps prefet to put the idea in thi s way. Our modern
Chri stians ,should have 1no1e oppo1tunity not only of appraising the skill, but of gauging also the spiritual qua lifi~ations 0 a critical school that has been characterized notoriously by an enthusiasm against the miraculous, ~nd a precip ~
itate adoption of any conclusion from a rationalistic sottrce
which 1nilit,ates, against the hi storicity of Genesis.
Christians are con ceding too n1uch nowadays to the agnostic
scientist, and the rationalistic Hebraist, and are of ten to bla.me
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The .Fiindamentals

if they a11ow them to ,go out 0 tl1eir specific provinces without


protest. Their assumptions ought to be watc.hed ,vith the utmost vigilance and ,jealousy.
(See Gladston ,e, ''Th e Impreg
nable Rock of Holy Scriptur e,'' pp. 62-83.)
But to resu1ne. The Book of Genesis is the foundation
on which the superstructure of the Scriptures rests. The
foundation of the f oun dation is the firs,t tl11e
e chap ters, which
form in themselves a co:mp,let e monograph af revelation. And
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of this final substru cture the first three verses of the first
chapter are the foundation.
.
In th ,e first verse of Genesis in words of superna tural gran
deur, we have a revelation of God as the first C'S.Use,the Crea
tor of the universe , the world and man. The glorious Be:ing
of God comes forth , without ,explanation, and without apol 1ogy1,
It is a I'evelation of the one, personal, living, God. There
is in the ancient p l1ilosop hic cosmogony no trace of the
idea of su ch a Being, still less of such a Creator, for all ot 'her
systems began and ended with pantheis tic, materialist .ic, 1
or
hyloz oistic c,0nceptions. TI1e Divine W:ord stands u11ique. in
declaring the absolut,e idea of the J,iving God, witho ,ut att 'etnpt
at de1nonstration. The spirituality, infinity, omnipotence, sanctity of the Divine Being, all ,i ,germ lie here. Nay mote.
The later an d more fully 1evealed d.octrine of the unity of
God in the Trinity may be s,ai d to lie here in g erm also, and
the last and deepest revelation to 'be involv,ed in first and
foremost. The fact of God in the first o,f Genesis is 11otgiven'
as a dedu ,ction of reason or a philos ,ophic ,g eneralization . . It
is a revelation. It is a revelation of that primary truth which
is received 'by the universal human mind as a truth that needs
no proof, and is incapable of i't, but which being receiv,ed, is
ve1ified to the int,e11igent mi11d by an irr esis,tible f orc e not
only with ontological and cosmological, 'but with teleological
Here ,ve have in this first verse of
and moral arguments.
Genesis,, not only a postul,ate apart from Rev elatio ,n, but tl1ree
great truths which hav e ,c.onstitu ted the glory of our religion .
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( 1) The Unity of God ; in contradictio ,n to all the polytheisms and dualisms of ancient and modern pagan philosopl1y.
(2) The Personality of God; in contradiction to that
Pantheism whether materialistic or idealistic, which recognizes
God's imn1anence in the world, but denies His . transcendence.
For in all its multitudi11ous developments, pantheism. has this
peculiarity, that it denies the personality of God, and excludes
from the realm of lif-e 'the need of a Mediator, a Sin-Bearer,
and a personal Saviour.
( 3) The Omnipotence of God ; in contradiction, not
only to those debasing conceptions of the anthropomorphic deities of the ancient world, but to all those man-made idols which
the millions of heathenism today adore. God made these starS .
and suns, wl1ich man in his infatuation fain would wor ,ship.
'fh~s in contradiction to all human conceptiOns and hu1nan evoluti-ons, there stands forth no mere deistic abstraction, but the one, true, living and only God. He is named by
the name Elohim, the name of Divine Maj esty, the Adorable
One, our Creator and Governor; t11esame God who in a few
Verses tater is revealed as Jehovah-Elol1im, Jehovah being the
Covenant name, . the God of revelation and grac e, the Ev ,er ..
Existent Lord, the God and Fathe1 of us all. (Green, ''Unity
'' pp. 3 1 32 ''F ausset ' s B.b
. .)
o f G enes1s,
1. E
_ ncy.,,,, p. 258
,Qn ,e 0 the theories of modernism is that the law o,f evolution can be traced through tl1e ible in the development of
the i dea of God. The develo pn1ent of tl1e idea of Go d? Is there
in the Scriptures any real trace of the development of the idea
of God? There is .an expansive, and richer, and fuller revelation of the attributes and dealings and ways an,d workings of
God; but not of the idea of God. The God of Gen. 1 :1 is
. the God of Psa. 90; of Isa. 40 :28; of Heb. 1 :1 ; and Rev. 4 :11.
HJn the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.''
Here in a sublime revelation is the doctrinal foundation of
the creation of the universe, and the co,ntradiction of the an ..
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cient and n1odern conceptions of the eternity of matter. God


only is eternal.
~
One can well be]ieve the s,t ,o.ry of a Japanese thin ,ke.r who
took up a strange book, and with wonderment read the first
senten~e: ''In the begin11in.g God created the heaven and tbe'
e,arth.'' It struck him that there was mor.e pl1ilosophy of a
theological character, and satisfying to the mind and sqt.11., in
tl1at .one s,ente .nce than in .all the sacred books of t'he orient.
Th ,at single sentence sep,arates th,e Scriptures , from th e
rest of human pro ,ductions. The wis,est philosophy of the anci1ents, Platonic-Aristote~ian or G11ostic,nev,er reached the point
that the wor ,Jd was created by Go1d. in tl1e s ense of abs,ol1Jte
creation. In no cos,mogo,ny outside of the Bible is there a
record of the , idea tl1at God created the heaven arid the earth,
as .. an effort of His will , and the fiat o,f His eter .nal, self-existent Personality. , Ex niliilo nihi,l fit. The highest point
reached by their philosop 'hical specul .ations wa.s a kind of
at:omi c theory ; of cosmic atom s and germs , an,d eggs po s,se,ssed
of some inexplicable forces of develo.pm,ent; out of which
t'he pr ,esent cosm,os was throttgh long ages evolved~ Matter
was al1no,st. universally b elieved to h.ave, exist ,ed from eternity.
The Bib l.e teaches that the universe was not causa sui or a
mere passive evolutio11 a His nature, , nor a mere transition
from one forn1 of' being to, another, f'ro,m rton-being to being.
but that it was a, direct Ct"'eationof the pe,rsonal, living, wo1king God, who c1Aeatedall things out of nothing,. but the fiat
of His will, and the in:strttmentality of the eter,nal Logos. In
glori .ous contrast t,o a,gi1o_st,ic science with i.ts lamentable creed,
''I believe that behin ,d and above and around the phenomena
of matter and force remain .s the unsolved mystery of the uni -verse,'' the Chris ,tian holds forth .hi,s triump hant solution,, ''I
believe that iii the beginning God created the h.eaven and tl1e
earth.'' ,(John 1; 1-3; Heb. 1 :1; C'ol. 1 :16,.) The first verse
,of t'he Bib,Je is a proof tl1a,t the Bo,ok is of God.

And so with regard to the subsequent verses. Gene,sis is


. admittedly . not a scientific history. It is a narrative for manlcind to show that th.is world was made by God for the habitation of man, and was gradually being fitted for God's children. So in a series of successive creativ e developments
from the formless chaos, containing in en1bryonic conditi@n
all el emental constituents, chemical and 1nechanical, air, earth,
fire, and water, the sublime process is recorded, according to
the Genesis narrative in tl1e fallowing order:
1. Th ,e creation by direct Divine act of matter in its gaseous, aqueous, terrestrial and mineral condition successively.
.
( Gen. 1 :1-10,; cf. Col. 1 :16; Heb. 11 :3.)
2. The emergence by Divine. creative power of the lowest
forms of sea and land life,. (Gen. 1:11-13.)
3. The creation by dir ,ect Divin e act of ta,rger forms of
life, aq1:1aticand terrestrial; the great sea monsters and gigan~
tic rep,tiles (the sheretjim and tanninim) . . (Dawson, ''Origin
of the World,'' . p~ 213; Gen. 1 :20-21.) .
.
4. The emergence by Divine creative power of land animals of higher organization, herbivora and smaller mammals
and carnivora.
(_Gen. 1 :24-25.)
5. And finally the creation by direct Divine act 0f .man.
( Gen. 1 :26, 27.) Not first but last. The last for which the
first wa~ made, as Browning so finely puts it. Herein is the
compatability of Genesis a11d science, for this sublime order
is just the order that sotne of the f oremOst of the nineteenth
and twentieth century scientists have proclaimed. It is reinarkable, too, that the word for absolutely new creation is
only used in connection with the introduction of life. ( Gen.
1 :1, 2, 27.) These three points where the idea of absolute
creati on is introdu ced are t'he three n1ain points at which modern champions of evolution find it impossible to make their

connection.
Next we have in thi,s sub.lime revelation the doctrinal
foundation ,or the beginning of mankind.,

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The Fundamen.ials

Man was creat ed., not evolved. That is, .he ,did not come
fr,om p rotoplasmic .mud-mass, or sea. ooze bath.yb.ian, or by
. descent from fish or frog, or horse, or a.pe ;. but at once, d.irect,
full made, did. man come forth from God. When you read
what som.e wr.iters, prof ess.e,dly r,eligio,us, say about :man and
his be.s,tial origin you.r shoul,de,r .s, uncons,ciously droo1p ; yo.ur
head han,gs down; yoitr heart feels, sick, Your seJf..resp,ect
bas rec eived a blow, When y,ou r,ead Gene:si.s, your s,hot11ders
strai .ghten, your chest emerges. You feel p r0,ud to be that
thing that is called . man. .up goes ,. your hear t, and. up goes
your head. The Bible stands openly against tl1!e evolutioll'ary developme11t ,of man, and h .i:s gradual a,sc:eint thr,o,u,gh in#
,detin.ite aeons from the anima .l. Not a.gainst the id,ea of . the
development of the, p'l.ans of the Creator in nature, or a varia~
ti on of species by means of enviro,111nentand p1rocesses of
time. T'hat is seen in Gene.sis, an.d throughout the B ibl e., and
in this world. Bt1t th.e Bible ,d,oes. stand plai .nly ag,ainst that:
gari.s,h th ,eory that all .species, veg,eta'ble an d animal, have o.riginated thr ,ough e:volutio,n f 'roin lower farms t11rough long nat,
ural processes. T :he mater ialistic f,orm of thi s the:ory to the
Christian is mo .st offensive. It p,ractically S'Ubstitutes an att-en-
g,end~ring pr.otop,la.smic call for th e only and tr ,e God. But
. even the theis,tic-supernat ur .alisi'tic t.heory is opp 0,sed to the
Bible a11dto .Scienc e for these r,easo11s.

1. There i,s no such uni v,ersal law ,0 f- development. 0lf


t'h e contrary, scientifi.c eviCtl
,ence is now standing for deteriora
tion. The fl.ora and the fauna 0 tt1e 1ate,st p eriod show no
. trace of improvement, .and ,ev,en man, proud man, from t_be
biological ,and physi,ological standpo int has gained nothing
t:o speak of from the dawn of ' histoi'ry. The earliest .ar chreol,ogical remains of Egyp,t, As,syria, Bab,yl.onia, show no trac,e of
slow emergence from barbarism . That sp ecies can b1
e artificially improv ,ed is true , but that is not transmutati :on of spe~
\ cies. (.Dawson, ''Ori .git;! 0 f the Worl ,d ,'' pp . 22'7-2'77.)
~ 2. N,o n.ew t,ype has ever been di.scovered. Sc~ence is
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unive,rsally proclaiming the truth af Gen,., l :11,, 12, 21, 24, 2,5
''after his kind,'' ~'after their kind'' ; that is, species by species.
Geology with its five hundred or so species of ganoids pro ..
claims the fact of the non-trans1nt1tation of species. If, as
they say, the strata tell the story of countless aeons, , it i:s
strange that during those countles,s aeons the trilobite never
Produced anythin ,g but a trilobi 'te, no1 has the amn1onite ever

produced anything but an an1monite. The elaborat ely a.rtificial exception 1S o,f n10,dern ,s,cience o,nly confirm the rule. ( See ,
Townsend,. ''Collapse of Evolution.'')
, 3. Nor is the~e any trace of transmutation of species..
Man develops ram a single cell, and the cell of a monkey
is said to be indistinguishable from that of a man. But the
fact that a man cell d.evelops into a man and the monkey cell .
develops into a monkey, show s there is. an im,1n.easurable difference b1etween them. And t.he developmen .t . from a cell into
la man has nothing whatever to do with the evolution of one
species into another. ''To science, species are practically unchangeable units'' ( '' 0rigin of the World,'' p 227). Man is
the so1e ,s1pecies of his genus ., and the sole representative of 'his
species. The abandonment of any original type is said to be
soon followed by the complete extinctio n 0 f the family.
4. Nor has th e. missing link been found. The lat.e Robert Etheridge of the British Mttseum, head of the geologicaJ
department, and one of the ablest of British paleontologists,
has said: ''In all that great museum there is not a particle of
evidence of tran smutation of species . Ni.ne-tenths of the talk
of evolutionists is not founded on observation, and is whol ly
Unsupported by facts.'' And Profe ,ssor Virchow is said to have
declared with vehemence .rega!di ng evolution: . ~'It's all non -
sense. Y ou are as far as ever you, we.re from establishing any
connection between man and the ,ape,.'' A great gt1lf is fixed
between the theory of evolution and the sublime statement of
Gen. 1 :26, 27. These verses give man his true place in the
Universe as the consummatio .n of creation. Made out of the
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dust of the ground, and created on the same day with the
highe st group of animals, man has physiological affinities with
the animal creation. But he was made in the image of God,
and therefore transcendently superior to any animal. "Man
is a walker, the monkey is a climber," said the great French
scientist, De Quatrefage s, years ago. A man does a thou~
sand things every day that a monkey could not do if he
tried ten thousand year s. Man has the designing, controlling,
order ing, constructive, and governing faculties. Man has personality, under standing , will, conscience." Man is fitted for
apprehending God, and for worshipping God. The Genesis
account of man is the only possible basis of revelation. The
revelation of fatherhood; of the beautiful, the true, the good;
of purity, of peace; is unthinkable to a horse, a dog, or a
monkey. The most civilized simian could have no affinity
with such ideas. There is no possibility of his conceiving
such conceptions, or of receiving them if revealed. It is,
moreover, the only rational basis for the doctrine of regeneration in opposition to the idea of the evolution of the human character, and of the great doctrine of the incarnation.
Man once made in the image of God, by the regenerating
power of the Holy Gho st is born again and made in the image
of God the Son.
Further, we have in thi s sublime revelation of Genesis
the doctrinal
foundation of,
1. The unity of the hutnan race.
2. The fall of man.
-3. The plan of redemption .
1. With regard to the first, Sir William Dawson has said
that the Bible knows but one Adam. Adam was not a myth,
or an ethnic name. He wa s a veritabie man, made by God;
not an evolutionary developn1ent from some hairy anthropoid
in some imaginary continent of Lemuria. The Bible knows
but one species of man, one primitive pair. This is confitmed
by the Lord Je sus Chri st in Matt. 19 :4. It is re-affirmed

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DOctrinal Value of First Chapters of Genesis

8,5
.

by Paul in Acts 17 :26, whichever reading may be take11,


and in Rom. 5 :12; 1 Cor. 15 :21, 47, 49. Nor is there any
ground for supposing that the wo,rd Adam is used in a colleCtive sense, and thu s leave room for the hypotheses of the
evolutionary development of a large number of human pairs.
All things in both physiology and ethnology, as well as in the
sciences, which bear on . the subject, confirm the idea of the

unity of the human race. ( Saph:ir, p. 206.)


2. With regard to the f a11of man. The foundation of all
Han1artology and Anthropology lies in the first three chapter s of .
,Ge11esis_It te,aches us that 1nan was originally created for communio ,o with God, and that whether hi s personality was dichotomistic or trichotomi stic, he was entirely fitted for personal, in- .
telligent .fellowship with .his Maker, and was united with I-Iim
in the bonds of lo,ve and kno,wledge. Eve.ry element of the Bible
story recommends itself as a l1istoric narrative.
Placed in
Eden by his God., with a work to do, and a trial-command,
tnan was potentially perfect, but with the possibility of fall,
Man fell, thot1gh it was God's will that man should rise fro1n '
that human posse non peccari as a free agent into the Divine
non posse peccarf. (Augustine, ''De Civitate Dei",, Book 22,
Chap. 30.) Man fell by disobedience, and through the power
of a supernatural deceiver called that old serpent, the devil
and Satan, who from Gen. 3 to Rev. 19 appears as the implacable enemy of the hun1an race, and the head of tl1at fallen
angel-band which abandon ,ed through the sin of pride tl1eir
first principality.

This story is incomprehensible if only a myth. The great


Dutch theologian, Van Oosterzee says , ''The narrative pre sents itself plainly as history.
Such an historico-fantastic
clothing of a pure philosophic idea accords little with the
genuine spirit of Jewish antiquity."
(Dog. ii, p. 403.)
Still more incomprehen sible is it, if it is merely an allegor y
wl1i.ch refers fruit, serpent, woman, tree, eating, etc., to entirely different things from those mentioned in the Bible. It

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Tlie Fundamentals

is history. It~ is treated as such h,y our Lord Jesus Christ,


who surely would not 1nistak-e a myth for history, and by St.
Paul, who hardly built Rom. 5, and 1 Cor. 15,, on cleverly coin
po,sed fables. It is the o,nly sati.sfactory expl.a.11ation of the
. corruption of the race. From Adam's time death has reigned.
This story of the fall stands, moreover, as a barrier against
all Manicheism, and ag.ainst that Pelagianism which declares
that man is not so bad after all, and d erides the ,doct rine of
original sin which in all our Church confessions disti11ctly de ..
c1ares the possession by every one from birth of this sinfttl
nature. (See, e.g., Art. IX of .''Anglican Church.'') The penalty and horror of sin, the corr11ption of our human nature,
and the hopelessness of our sinful estate ar~ things definitely
set forth in the Holy Scripture, and are St. Paul's divinelyp
inspired deductions from this fact of the incoming of sin and
death thrott.gh the disobedience and fall of Adam, the original
he ad of the l1uman race. Tl1e race is. in a sinf'ul condition .
(Roni, 5 :12.) Manki .nd is a solidarity. As tl1e root of a tree
lives in st em, branch, leaf and fruit; .s.o in Adam, as Anselm
says, a person made nature sin ul, in his post ,erity nature
made persons sinful.
Or, as Pascal finely puts it, origina1
sin is folly in the sight of man, but this folly is wiser than all
the wisdom of man. Fo1 without it, who could have said
His whole condition depends upon this imper, what man is.
ceptible point. ( ''Thoughts,'' ch. xiii-11.) This Genesis story
further is the f oundation 0 f the Scriptur e doctrine of all httman resp,onsiblity, and accountability to God. A lowered
anthropology always means a ~owered theology, for if man
was not a direct creatio :n of God, if he was a inere i11direct
devel,opment, through .slow and painful pro,cess., of no one
knows what, or l1ow, or wl1y, or when, or wl1ere, the main
!spring of moral .ac,countability is gone. The f at ,alistic conception
of
man's
personal
and
moral
life
is
the
deadly
gift
of

naturalistic evolution to our age, said Prof, D. A. Curtis recentJy.


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I,

87

Doctrinal Value of First Chapters of Genesis

'

3. With regard to our redemption, the third chapter of


G,enesis is the basis of all Sot,eriology ~ .If there Y{as no ,all,
there wasl no conde1nnation, no separa .tion and no ne,ed 10
reconciliation. If there was. n 0 need o,f reconciliation, there
was no need of redemptio11; and . if there was no nee~ of redemption, the Incarnation ,vas a superfluity, and the crucifixion
folly. ( Gal. 3 :21.) So closely does the apostle link the fall
of Adam and the deat h of Christ, that " 'ithout Adam's fall
the science of theology is evacuated of its most salient feature,
tl1e atonement. If the first Adam was. not ma ,de a livin,g 'Soul
and fell,. there was no rea son for the work of the Second
Man, the Lord from heaven. The rejection of the Genesis
story as a myth, tends to the reje .ction of the Gospel of salvation. One of the chief Corner stones of the Christian doctr ,i11eis removed, if th e historical re,a1ity of Adam and Eve is
abandoned, for the fall will ever remain as tl1e starting point
of special revelation, of salvatio11 by grace, and of the need of
personal regeneration.
In it lies the germ of the entire apostol.ic Gospel.

Finally, we have in Gen. 2 the doctrinal foundation of


those great fundamentals, the necessity of labor, the Lord' s .
Day of rest, the Divine ordinance of matrimony, and the
home life of mankind. The weekly day of rest was .provided
for man by his God, and is planted in the very forefront of
revelation as a Divine ordinance, and so also is marriage an d
the l10,n1e. ,Our Lord J~st1s Christ en dorses the Mosaic s,tory
of tl1e creation of Adam and Eve, refers to it as the explanation of the Divine will 1egar,ding divorce, and san ctions by His
inf a]lible imprim atur that most mo111entous of ethical questions, monogamy. . Thus the great elem-ents of life as God
intended it, the thr ,ee itniv ersal f actor .s of happy, healthy,
..helpful life, la.w, labor, love, are laid down in the beginning
of God' s Book.

Three other remarkable . features in. the first cl1apters


oi

Gene,sis deserve a brief reference .

,,

88

The Funda1nentals

The first is the assertion of the original unity of the language of the human race. (Gen. 11:1.) Max Muller, a foremost ethnologist and philoiogist, declares that all our language s,
in spite of their diversities, must have originated in one con11non source. ( See Saphir, "Divine Unity," p. 206; Daw son,
"Origin of the World," p. 286; Guinness, "Divine Programme," p. 75.)
The second is that miracle of ethnological prophecy by Noah
in Gen. 9 :26, 27, in which we have foretold in a sublime epitome the three great divisions of the human race, and their
ultimate historic destinie s. The three great divisions, Hamitic, Shemitic, arid Japhetic, are the three ethnic group s into
which modern science has divided the human race. The fact s
of history have fulfilled what was fo~etold in Genesis four
thou sand years ago. The Hamitic nations, including . 'the
Chaldean, Babylonic, and Egyptian, have been degraded, pro1
fane, and sensual. The Shemitic have been the religious with
the line of the coming Me ssiah. The Japhetic have been the
enlarging, and the dominant race s, including all the great
world monarchie s, both of the ancient and modern times, the
Grecian, Roman, Gothic, Celtic, Teutonic , British and Ameri can, and by recent investigation and discovery , th~ race s of
India, China, and Japan. Thu s Ham lost all empire centurie s
ago; Shem and his rac e acquir ed it ethically and spirituaPy
through the Prophet , Prie st and King , the Messiah; while
Japheth, in world-embrac ing enlargement and imperial supremacy, has stood for industrial ., commercial, and politi cal
dominion.
The third is the gloriou s promi se given to Abraham, the
man to whom the God of glory appeared and in whose seed,
personal and incarnate, the whole world was to be blessed.
Abraham' s per sonality is the explanation of the monothei sm
of the three greate st religion s in the world. He stands out in
majestic proportion, as Max 1'1uller says, as a figure, second
only to One in the whole world' s. history. Apart from that

D'octrinal Value of F'irst Chapters ,of Gene,sis

89

p,1ornise the m,iracu1ous history of the Hebr ew ,race is inexp1licab1le. In him c,enter ,s, and on him hangs, the c,entra1 fact
of the who,Je of the Old Te stament, the pr ,omise of t'he S,aviour and His glorious salvation.
( Gen. 11 :3; 22 :18; Gal.
3:8-16.)

In an age, th ere,for e, when the critics are waxing bo1d in


claiming settledness fo.r .the assured results of their hypothetic
eccentricities, Christian s should wax bolder in contending
earnestly for the as sured results of the revelation in the opening chapters of Genesis.

The attempt o:f modernism to save the supernatural in


the second part of the Bible by mythicalizing the supernatural in the first p,art, is a.s unwise a,s it is fatal. Ins ,tead
of lowering tl1e dominant of faith amidst the choru s of doubt,
and admitting that a chapter is doubtful because some doctr1inaire has questioned it, ,or a do,ct1ine is les.s authentic because s.omebody has flo,ated an unve1ifi.able h.ypothesi .s, it
would be better to take our sta nd with such men as Romanes,
Lord Kelvin, Vire .how, and Liebig, in the ir ideas of a Creative
Power, and to side with Cuvier, the eminent French scientist,
who said that Mo ,ses, while brought up in all the science
1

'

of Egypt,

was superio :r to h.is .age, and has l,ef t us a cosmogony, the exactitude of which verifies itself every day in
a reasonable nianner; with Sir William Dawson, the eminent
Canadian scientist, who declared that Scripture in all its details contradicts no received result of science, but anticipates
ma.ny of its discove1ies.;. with Prof ess or D,ana, , the e1ninent
American scientist, who said, after examining the first chapters .
of Genesis as a geologist, ''I find it to be in perfect accord with
known science''; or, best of all, with Him who said, ''Had ybu
believed Moses, you would have believed Me, or he wrote of
Me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you be

1ieve My words?~' (John S :45, 46j)

...