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    June 4, 1885

    “Uncertainty of Geological Science (Concluded.)” The Signs of the Times 11, 22, pp. 340, 341.

    IN closing these proofs of the untrustworthiness of fossil evidence, we can do no better than to present the words of Dr. Geikie himself, in Part V., under “Use of Fossils.” He says:—SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.1

    “As fossil evidence furnishes a much more satisfactory and widely applicable means of subdividing the stratified rocks of the earth’s crust than mere lithological characters, it is made the basis of the geological classification of these rocks. Thus we may find a particular stratum marked by the occurrence in it of various fossils, one or more of which may be distinctive, either form occurring in no other bed above or below, or from special abundance in that stratum. These species might therefore be used as a guide to the occurrence of the bed in question, which might be called by the name of the most abundant species.... But before such a generalization can be safely made, we must be sure that the species in question really never does appear on any other platform.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.2

    But by Barrande’s “facts” in regard to Colonies we never can be sure that a certain species “really never does appear on any other platform,” until the whole earth has been explored outside and inside, from center to circumference. This is even admitted in the argument which we read further.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.3

    “This evidently demands wide experience over an extended field of observation. The assertion that a particular species occurs only on the horizon manifestly rests on negative evidence as much as on positive. The paleontologist who makes it cannot mean more than that he knows the fossil to lie on that horizon, and that, so far as his experience and that of others goes, it has never been met with anywhere else. But a single example of the occurrence of the fossil on a different zone would great damage the value of his generalization, and a few such cases would demolish it altogether.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.4

    Now, as we have seen that the undisputed facts, as developed in Barrande’s “doctrine of Colonies,” show that just “such cases,” “have again and again taken place,” therefore it is proven that whatever generalizations have been built up on the evidence of distinctive species of fossils, are, by these facts, “demolished altogether.” So it is said:—SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.5

    “Hence all such statements ought at first to be made tentatively [experimentally]. To establish a geological horizon on limited fossil evidence, and then to assume the identity of all strata containing the same fossils, is to reason in a circle and introduce utter confusion into our interpretation of the geological record.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.6

    If, now, it be true, as the Professor states in his introduction to the subject of fossil science, that without some knowledge of this “progress in modern geology would be impossible;” according to the very knowledge of fossil evidence displayed in these quotations, how much of the progress of modern geology is reliable?SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.7

    After showing so forcibly as he has, the utter unreliability of fossil evidence in giving the succession of strata, he proceeds to the discussion of that very subject—the succession of strata—and shows that it is by such evidence that that is fixed. Of the Upper Silurian group he says:—SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.8

    “The formations which in the British Islands are classed as Upper Silurian, occur in two very distinct types. So great, indeed, is the contrast between these types that it is only by a comparison of organic remains that the whole can be grouped together as the deposits of one great geological period.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.9

    Again, under the “Cambrian,” he says:—SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.10

    “Murchison worked out the stratigraphical order of succession from above, and chiefly by the help of organic remains. He advanced from where the superposition of the rocks is clear and undoubted, and for the first time in the history of geology ascertained that the transition-rocks of the older geologists could be arranged into zones by means of characteristic fossils [the very thing which he has just shown is unreliable] as satisfactorily as the secondary formations had been classified in a similar manner by William Smith. Year by year as he found his Silurian types of life [fossils] descend farther and farther into lower deposits, he pushed backward the limits of his Silurian system.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.11

    The limits of the Silurian system, therefore, are fixed by the evidence of fossils, and by that alone. This too in the face of the statement that until the order of succession of the strata is accurately determined, fossil classification may prove to be “worthless.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.12

    Of the Old Red Sandstone, he says:—SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.13

    “It is important to observe that in no district can these three [lower, middle, and upper] subdivisions be found together, and that the so-called middle formation occurs only in one region—the north of Scotland. The classification, therefore, does not rest upon any actually ascertained stratigraphical sequence, but on an inference from the organic remains” (fossils). And: “This view has been accepted everywhere by geologists.” Until recently, Professor Geikie alone has called in question, “the existence of any middle division.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.14

    The Old Red Sandstone, otherwise called Devonian, is an established group in geology, and has been accepted everywhere by geologists, consequently it forms an important, integral part of the whole geological system, and yet it confessedly rests only upon an “inferencefrom fossils, while the Professor has previously abundantly shown that no reliable, “positive” inference can be drawn from fossils, and that the order in time of fossils themselves must be established “first of all” by the order in position of the stratified rocks.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.15

    This, as well as each of the other divisions of this subject, might be easily carried much beyond its present length; but we do not wish to extend it immoderately. However, this is sufficient to demonstrate from the oldest geological treatise itself, that in this single instance does the science proceed upon any certain data. And even this is plainly stated by Professor Geikie:—SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.16

    “From all these facts it is clear that the geological record, as it now exists, is at the best but an imperfect chronicle of geological history. In no country is it complete. The lacune of one region must be supplied from another. And in proportion to the geographical distance between the localities where the gaps occur and those whence the missing intervals are supplied, the element of uncertainty in our reading of the record is increased.”—See closing portion of Gaps in the Geological Record, in Part V.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.17

    If, then, there be a distance of a foot between the place where a gap occurs and the place where the missing link is found, there is uncertainty to just that extent. And if the distance be a hundred feet, or a thousand feet, or a thousand miles, or ten thousand miles, the “element of uncertainty” is proportionally “increased.” Therefore, is a “gap” be found in Kansas, and the “missing interval” be found in Siam, this being the utmost “geographical distance” that could possibly occur, the “element of uncertainty” would be infinite.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.18

    The one essential element that is lacking in all these productions on geology is demonstration. Assumption upon assumption, and inference upon inference, are proposed upon confessedly uncertain data, and from that, then speculation, to an unlimited degree, is indulged in, and all this is offered to us in the name of science! But we would respectfully enter a demurrer, and ask: Geological gentlemen, give us demonstration, instead of speculation, and then every point so established we will gladly accept.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.19

    But again: Geology is not susceptible of demonstration. Astronomy is. Therefore there is no speculation upon the courses of the planets and stars, and the times of their revolution. When in 1845 and 1846 Adams in England, and Leverrier in France, virtually weighed the solar system, and found that another planet was required to give the true balance, and then each in his place made his calculations upon paper, as to where the then unknown planet should be, and each from his place wrote to an astronomer telling him to direct his telescope to a certain point in the heavens, and find the required planet, and he did so, and found it, that was science. When, from the fall of an apple, Newton reached the law that governs every particle of matter in the universe, that was science. Let geology give us some such instances as these, and we will believe all that is proved by them.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.20

    We have said that geology is not susceptible of demonstration, and for proof of this, quote Hebrews 11:3: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear;” also verse 1, Faith is “the evidence of things not seen.” If the formation, the growth, and the structure of the earth, can be shown by geology, if it can be demonstrated, so that it may be a matter of knowledge, just then it will be removed from the field of faith. As faith is the evidence of things not seen, just so soon as geologists can cause us to see how the worlds were framed, just that soon there is no longer any faith about it. But the God of the universe has placed “the framing of the worlds by his word” at the very head of the list of the objects of faith, and we doubt, exceedingly, whether it shall ever be removed from that chief place, before the dawn of that glorious day when faith itself shall be utterly lost in sight. But—SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.21

    “When that illustrious day shall rise,“SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.22

    And we shall dwell amidst and above those worlds of light, and shall see the face of Him who sits upon the throne, and “know even as we are known,” and “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,” then, we hope to fully know the awful sublimity of the Almighty Fiat.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.23

    Of the evidences of the uncertainty of geological science as deduced in this series of articles, we now, in conclusion, present the followingSITI June 4, 1885, page 340.24


    1. (a) “Only in proportion as we understand the present, can we expect to decipher the past.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.25

    (b) But “we must be on our guard against the danger of assuming that nature’s operations” at present are the same as in the past.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.26

    (c) “We may assume this.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.27

    (d) But “this assumption may be entirely erroneous.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.28

    2. (a) The Geological Record “is at the best but an imperfect chronicle.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.29

    (b) “Enormous gaps occur” wherein there is “no record at all.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.30

    (c) In that which is considered as “the sum of geological evidence there can be found no trace of a beginning.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.31

    (d) Therefore “it cannot begin at the beginning of things.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.32

    3. (a) “The stratified portion of the crust of the earth, must represent a very vast period of time.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.33

    (b) But “no reliable standard seems to be available, whereby these periods are to be measured.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.34

    4. (a) Geological Science “contends that had the globe become solid ten thousand million years ago,” it “must have” had a much greater flattening at the poles than it now has.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.35

    (b) But it “admits” that had the globe become solid then, “nothing we know” would justify us in saying but what it would have been now just as it is.SITI June 4, 1885, page 340.36

    5. (a) “The underlying beds must be older than those which cover them.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.1

    (b) But “huge mountain masses have been so completely overturned that the highest beds” are under those which ought to be under them.SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.2

    (c) And “in such instances the apparent superposition may be deceptive.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.3

    Exactly, it “must be” one way, and it “may be” another, and so.SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.4

    (d) “This simple and obvious truth is termed the law of superposition.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.5

    Oh! ah! yes, very (?) “simple,” exceedingly (?) “obvious,” sublime (?) “truth.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.6

    6. (a) “The true order of superposition is decisive of the relative ages of stratified rocks.” “It is absolutely essential first of all to have the order of superposition of strata rigorously determined.SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.7

    (b) “Unless this is done, the most fatal mistakes may be made in paleontological [fossil] chronology.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.8

    (c) But “it is by their characteristic fossils that the divisions of the stratified rocks can be most satisfactorily made.SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.9

    (d) Yet, “the chronological sequence [succession] of fossils must be determined first of all by the order of superposition [succession] of their enclosing strata.”SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.10

    7. (a) Until the true order of succession of the rocks is accurately determined, the evidence of fossils is worthless.SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.11

    (b) But it is “by fossil evidence and by this alone,” that the true order of succession of the rocks is determined.SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.12

    Such is geological science as it is. Here we close our examination of it for the present. We have endeavored in every instance to get at the real gist of the statements of the science, and to do it fairly. We are satisfied that we have not pressed a single point beyond what it will legitimately bear. Therefore the proposition stands proven to a demonstration that, as for the present state of geological science, the only certain thing about it is its UNCERTAINTY. A. T. J.SITI June 4, 1885, page 341.13

    “Notes on the International Lesson. Hebrews 9:1-12. The Priesthood of Christ” The Signs of the Times 11, 22, pp. 342, 343.
    JUNE—Hebrews 9:1-12

    “A WORLDLY sanctuary.” “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.” Hebrews 9:1-5.SITI June 4, 1885, page 342.1

    THIS is the inspired synopsis of the description of the worldly sanctuary. The complete description is given in Exodus 25-31 and 35-40. When the Lord first gave directions in regard to it, he said: “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:2-8. The sanctuary, therefore, was the dwelling-place of God among the people. It was so in the wilderness; it was so in the time of the judges, of Samuel, of Saul, of David, and until Solomon built the temple after the same pattern that this was built, and which, from the day of its dedication “when the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord,” was the dwelling-place of the Lord, amongst the children of Israel.SITI June 4, 1885, page 342.2

    THE sanctuary was about forty-five feet long and about eighteen feet wide. It was divided into two apartments by a vail, and these two apartments were called “the holy place and the most holy.” Exodus 26:31-33. In the holy place were placed the candlestick (lampstand) on the south side, the table of show bread on the north side, and the altar of incense at the west side, close to the vail. Within the vail, in the most holy place, was placed the ark of the covenant. In the ark were the tables of stone, on which were the ten commandments, and the other things above mentioned by Paul. The top of the ark was the mercy seat, and on each end of it was a cherub, both of them stretching forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings. Exodus 25:18-20. “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 25:22.SITI June 4, 1885, page 342.3

    THIS sanctuary was all arranged for the service of God. “Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.” Hebrews 9:6. This service was altogether for the purpose of taking away the sins of the people. When any one had “done somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord his God,” when the sin which he had sinned came to his knowledge, then he was to bring his sin-offering to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, he was to lay his hand upon the head of his offering and confess his sin, and it was accepted for him. Then the offering was to be killed before the Lord, the blood taken by the priest in a basin and taken into the holy place, some of it sprinkled before the vail, some of it put upon the horns of the altar of incense, some of it on the horns of the altar of burnt-offering that stood before the tabernacle, and all the rest of the blood poured out at the bottom of the altar of burnt-offering. Leviticus 4. Thus, when the blood (which was the life, Leviticus 17:10) of the offering was taken into the sanctuary and placed upon the holy vessels, the sins which by confession had been laid upon the offering, were conveyed into the sanctuary.SITI June 4, 1885, page 342.4

    THIS was done every day throughout the year, morning and evening, for the whole congregation, and at any time for individuals who brought their offerings. But in the end of the year “went the high priest alone” into the most holy place, “not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.” Hebrews 9:7. This day in which the high priest went into the most holy place, was called the day of atonement. And the service which he that day accomplished was called cleansing the sanctuary. That was to remove from the sanctuary all the sins that had been conveyed into it during the year. This was done by the high priest first casting lots upon two goats, one of which was thus chosen for the Lord, and the other left to be the scapegoat. Then the goat upon which the Lord’s lot fell was offered for a sin-offering, and the blood was taken by the high priest into the most holy place, and sprinkled upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat seven times, then he went out into the first apartment to the altar of incense and sprinkled the blood upon it seven times. This was to “make an atonement for the holy place,” and for “the tabernacle of the congregation,” and for the altar, “because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of all their transgressions in all their sins.” This uncleanness was because of sins, because no person ever went into the sanctuary except the priests, and they only in the service of God, and no person ever went into the most holy place except the high priest.SITI June 4, 1885, page 343.1

    AND when the high priest had “made an end of reconciling the holy place and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar,” he took the live goat and laid both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confessed over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and sent him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness; “and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited; and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” See Leviticus 16. This was the completion of the yearly round of the service of God as conducted in the sanctuary according to the ordinances established by the Lord.SITI June 4, 1885, page 343.2

    BUT this sanctuary, with all its services, with all its offerings, with all its priests, and its high priest, was only “a figures for the time then present.” “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” Hebrews 9:8, 9. These things upon the earth were patterns of things in Heaven. Verse 23. These holy places made with hands were the figures of the true holy places in Heaven itself. Verse 24. Christ was not a priest on earth (Hebrews 8:4), therefore he did not enter into these holy places made with hands. But he is a high priest in Heaven, and there he is a minister of the true sanctuary of which the earthly was but a pattern. “We have such a high priest, who is set at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2.SITI June 4, 1885, page 343.3

    THIS sanctuary that was upon the earth, was a figure of the sanctuary that is in Heaven. The offering of beasts that was made and which could not take away sin, was a figure of the offering of “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The blood that was brought into the earthly sanctuary for sin, was a figure of the blood of Christ by which he has entered into the heavenly sanctuary now to appear in the presence of God for us. The high priest on earth was a figure of Christ, our high priest in Heaven. The ministry of the high priest in the sanctuary on earth was a figure of the sanctuary on earth was a figure of the ministry of our high priest, Christ, in the sanctuary in Heaven. The ten commandments which were in the ark of the testimony in the temple on earth, were but a copy of those which are in the ark of his testament in the temple in Heaven. Revelation 11:19. That which was sin then, is sin now. That by which sin was made known then, is that by which sin is made known now. That is, the ten commandments, and they read now exactly as they read then. By the commandment the seventh day was the Sabbath then, by that same commandment the seventh day is the Sabbath now.SITI June 4, 1885, page 343.4

    ALL these priests, services and offerings could not really take away sin, “could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience.” Hebrews 10:4; 9:9. Christ’s service, his offering, his blood alone can take away sin, their as well as ours. “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9:15. Through these offerings, all from Adam onward, looked to Christ for redemption from their transgressions; through his own offering, all from Christ to the end of the world, must likewise look to him for redemption from their transgressions. Thus, he is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. There is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Revelation 13:8; Acts 4:12); there is no other priesthood by which we can be reconciled to God; neither is there any place where real atonement is made for the sins of men, other than in the most holy place of the sanctuary in Heaven.SITI June 4, 1885, page 343.5

    A. T. J.

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