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University of California.
FROM rH!C I.liiKAKV OF
DR. P^RANCIS LIEBKR,
Profe.-ij^or of History and Law in Columbia College, New Yi.rk.
THK GITT OF
Of San Francisco.
1 B 7 LK
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEOLOGICAL SCIENCE
BY JOHN HARRIS, D. D.
I. THE PRE-ADAMITE EARTH.
KOTICES OF THE PRESS.
" As we have examined every page of this work, and put forth our best efiforts to un-
derstand the full import of its varied and rich details, the resistless impression has come
over our spirits, that the respected author has been assisted from on high in his labo-
rious, but successful undertaking. May it please God yet to aid and uphold him, to
complete his whole design ; for we can now see, if we mistake not, that there is great
unity as well as originality and beauty in the object which he is aiming to accomplish.
If we do not greatly mistake, this long looked for volume, will create and sustain a
deep impression in the more intellectual circles of the religious world." â€” London Evan-
" The man who finds his element among great thoughts, and is not afraid to push
into the remoter i-egions of abstract truth, be he philosopher or theologian, or both,
will i-ead it over and over, and will find his intellect quickened, as if from being in con-
tact with a new and glorious creation." â€” Albany Argus.
" Dr. Harris states in a lucid, succinct, and often highly eloquent manner, all the
leading facts of geology, and their beautiful harmony with the teachings of Scrip-
ture. As a work of paleontology in its relation to Scripture, it will be one of the most
complete and popular extant It evinces great research, clear and rigid reasoning, and
a style more condensed and beautiful than is usually found in a work so profound.
It will be an invaluable contribution to Biblical Science." â€” New York Evangelist.
" He is a sound logician and lucid reasoner, getting nearer to the groundwork of a
Bubject generally supposed to have very uncertain data, than any other writer within
our knowledge." â€” Neio York Com. Advertiser.
" The elements of things, the laws of organic nature, and those especially that lie at
the foundation of the divine relations to man, are here dwelt upon in a masterly man-
ner." â€” Christian Reflector, Boston.
II. MAN PRIMEVAL;
OR THE CONSTITUTION AND PRIMITIVE CONDITION OF THE HUMAN BBINQ.
WITH A PINE PORTRAIT OP THE AUTHOR.
NOTICES OF THE PRESS.
"It surpajsses in interest its predecessor. It is an able attempt to carry out the
author's grand conception. His purpose is to unfold, as far as possible, the successive
Bteps by which God is accomplishing his purpose to manifest His AU-suflBciency. * * *
The reader is led along a pathway, abounding with rich and valuable thought, going
on from the author's opening propositions to their complete demonstration. To stu-
dents of mental and moral science, it will be a valuable contribution, and will assuredly
secure their attention." â€” Christian Chronicle, Philadelphia.
" It is eminently philosophical, and at the same time glowing and eloquent. It can-
not fail to have a wide circle of readers, or to repay richly the hours which are given
to its pages."â€” iVfiiÂ« York Recorder.
'' The reputation of the author of this volume is co-extensive with the English lan-
guage. The work before us manifests much learning and metaphysical acumen. Its
great recommendation is, its power to cause the reader to think and reflect." â€” Boston
" Reverently recognizing the Bible as the fountain and exponent of truth, he is as in-
dependent and fearless as he is original and forcible ; and he adds to these quaUties
consummate skill in argument and elegance of diction." â€” N. Y. Com. Advertiser.
'' His copious and beautiful illustrations of the successive laws of the Divine Mani-
festation, have yielded us inexpressible delight.'- â€” London Eclectic Revieiv.
" The distribution and arrangement of thought in this volume, are such as to afford
ample scope for the author's remarkable powers of analysis and illustration. In look-
ing with a keen and searching eye at the principles which regulate the conduct of God
towards man, as the intelligent inhabitant of this lower world. Dr. Harris has laid down
for himself three distinct, but connected views of the Divine procedure : First, The End
aimed at by God ; Second, the Reasons for the employment of it. In a very masterly
way does our author grapple with almost every difficulty, and perplexing subject which
comes within the range of his proposed inquiry into the constitution and condition
of Man Primeval." â€” London Evangelical History.
III. THE FAMILY;
ITS CONSTITUTION, PROBATION AND HISTORY.
ooui.d. kknoai.i, axo i.ixcota'. im" r>!.isn kus, nostov.
JOHN HARRIS, D. D.
UTHOR OP "the great TEACHER,' ETC.
EEVISED AND ENLARGED.
GOULD, KENDALL AND LINCOLN.
59 Washington Street.
ANDOTER: JOHN D. FLAQO,
8IEBK0TIPSR AND PEIKTER.
Pkimakt Truths 13
Principles deducible from the preceding Truths . 50
Inorganic Nature 64
Organic Life 129
Sentient Existence 176
to in page
*i^* It may save the reader some trouble to be apprised, that the
order in which the Principles are stated in the Second Part is not
the order in which they are subsequently illustrated. The order in
which they are illustrated in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Parts, is
The present volume is intended to be the first of a short
series of Treatises â€” each complete in itself â€” in which the
principles or laws hereafter deduced, and applied to the succes-
sive stages of the pre-Adamite earth, will be seen in their his-
torical development as applied to individual man ; to the family ;
to the nation ; to the Son of God as " the second Adam, the
Lord from heaven ;" to the church which he has founded ; to
the revelation which he has completed ; and to the future pros-
pects of humanity. It would not be difficult to state the rea-
sons which have induced me to adopt this particular method
of exhibiting theological science ; to specify the points in which
it differs from those methods which may be considered most
nearly to resemble it ; and to enlarge on the advantages, di-
rect and indirect, which it is proposed to secure by it. But,
besides that such topics, if introduced at all, would require to
be treated at considerable length, I would rather that the
method adopted should, as it is gradually unfolded in the suc-
cessive Treatises, be allowed to speak for itself. If any ex-
planatory remarks respecting it are deemed necessary, they
will, it appears to me, be more in place at the close of the Se-
ries than at the commencement.
This first volume consists of five parts. Of these, the first
part contains those Primary Truths which Divine Revelation
appears to place at the foundation of all the objective manifes-
tations of the Deity ; the second, presents the Laws or Gene-
ral Principles, which are regarded as logically resulting from
the preceding Truths ; and the third, fourth, and fifth parts,
are occupied with the Exemplification and Verification of these
Laws in the inorganic, the vegetable, and the animal kingdoms
of the pre- Adamite earth, respectively. From this statement
it will be seen that the first two parts are here as introductory,
not to the present volume merely, but to the entire series ; and
that, as exhibiting the process by which the method has been
arrived at, they will not require, except in substance, to be
As Revealed Theology is here seen in organic connection
with natural science, a few remarks explanatory of that con-
nection will not be deemed irrelevant. Of the theology itself,
I will only say, at present, that it is that which I believe ; but,
inasmuch, as it is exhibited in mere human forms of thought
and language, I can, of course, expect that others will accede
to it only as far as they believe it to be in harmony with " the
true sayings of God." Nor can I be insensible that the laws
deduced from it will be prejudiced in some minds, by the no-
tion that the adoption of them involves the reception of the
theology. But as views deducible from the highest grounds
are generally found to be inferrible also from lower and ana-
logical premises, it should be considered, in the present in-
stance, whether these laws might not be accepted on such in-
ferior grounds without committing the recipient to any ulterior
views. Even less than this, however, is necessary. For, if
the reader should demur to adopt the Laws as they are de-
duced from the Primary Truths of the first Part, he has to
consider whether he is not called on to admit them, as they are
sustained and inductively verified by the facts adduced in the
three concluding Parts. These facts, I may remark in pass-
ing, admit of almost indefinite multiplication, but it has been
my aim to adduce only such and so many as appeared essen-
tial to the verification of the laws.
Of the connection between theology and natural science
generally, it may be assumed that every one who admits that
there is a true theology and a true science of nature, will ad-
mit also that there is a sense, whatever it may be, in which the
two are related. The mind which elicits and embraces both,
is one ; so that, however distinct the process by which it ar-
rives at the knowledge of each, and however different the
sources and kinds of evidence on which that knowledge rests,
both branches evince their inherent unison, in the unity of the
knowing mind itself On this conviction it is that men no
sooner begin to think, than they next proceed to examine the
laws of thought ; if they collect facts, they next inquire for
the causes of those facts ; and when they have succeeded in
developing any of the sciences, they then look for the internal
bond of union which makes them all one. And for such a
nexus they seek under the unquestioned conviction that it
exists; for the conviction simply implies that, as reasoning
concerning each separate science is possible, so reasoning con-
cerning collective science must be possible.
Well had it been for theology and philosophy if the bond
which unites them had been clearly ascertained, and never dis-
severed. But the erroneous views which some have enter-
tained respecting the relation of the two, have originated evils
only less than those flowing from their unnatural separation.
The error of Descartes and his followers consisted, not in mak-
ing theology the point of their philosophy, but in regarding
their metaphysical deductions as adequate to explain all physi-
cal phenomena. By reasoning only, a priori, or proceeding
continually downwards from cause to effect, they were, not
questioning Nature, but answering for her ; legislating, in
effect, where God had legislated already ; and so " building a
world upon hypothesis." i There is, however, a wide inter-
val between the extreme which makes everything of a prin-
^ Introduction to Butler's Analogy, &c.
ciple, and that which seeks security from it, by abandoning
the principle altogether.
As surely as the mind is one, the truth to which the mind
is preconfigured is one. On this ground it is that we argue
from the known to the unknown ; approach a subject of inquiry
under the guidance of an antecedent probability as to what we
shall find in it ; and employ analogy and hypothesis as instru-
ments of scientific discovery. " How," inquires Plato, " can
you expect to find unless you have a general idea of what you
seek ?" " The mind," says Lord Bacon, " must bring to every
experiment a ' precogitation,' or antecedent idea, as the ground
of that ' prudens quaestio,' " which he pronounces to be the prior
half of the knowledge sought â€” " dimidium scientise." Indeed, is
not the Novum Organum itself of hypothetical origin? "When
Newton said, * Hypotheses non fingo,' he did not mean that he
deprived himself of the facilities of investigation afforded by
assuming, in the first instance, what he hoped ultimately to be
able to prove. Without such assumptions, science could never
have attained its present state ; they are necessary steps in the
progress to something more certain; and nearly everything
which is now theory was once hypothesis. Even in purely
experimental science, some inducement is necessary for trying
one experiment rather than another." ^ These hypotheses, as
the language implies, are only provisional. They must be of
a nature to admit of verification ; and be actually subjected to
a test which shall confirm or explode them.
In the same provisional manner might principles derived
from the domain of revealed theology be advantageously carried
into the province of nature. There is a true deductive method
in science as well as a false ; and there is a right method of
employing theological principles in philosophy, as well as a
wrong. Everything depends on the manner in which they are
employed. The inductive conclusion must be kept distinct
from the speculative assumption. However fruitful the de-
' Mill's System of Logic, vol. ii. p. 18.
ductive principle may be, it can be used only for suggestion,
not for demnostration ; the proof of the view suggested must
be of the samenature with that of the subject investigated or
In the following pages, the principles introduced are to be
regarded as employed only in this conditional manner. The
reader is to view them, as far as their application to nature
is concerned, as entirely tentative or provisional, until their
applicabiUty has been tested. If on a comparison of the in-
ductive truth adduced, with these deductive principles, their
applicability is apparent, let the obvious inference be accepted,
that there is a theology in nature which is ultimately one with
the theology of the Bible â€” that there are principles of varied
but universal application.
The attempt which is here made to deduce such principles,
and to apply them to the successive stages of creation, proceeds
on the assumption that the whole process of Divine Manifesta-
tion, including nature, is to be viewed in the light of a sublime
argument in which God is deductively reasoning from princi-
ples to facts, from generals to particulars. With the great
synthetic Whole ever present to His mind. He is seen unfold-
ing the parts of which it consists. In order that man may feel
the force of this reasoning, his mind, equally with the Divine
Mind, must pre-suppose, or be prepared to admit, the primary
truths on which the reasoning depends. But besides these,
the Great Argument implies (as in every case of ordinary rea-
soning) that there are certain ideas or truths in the mind of
God, which are not yet in the mind of man, and which it is the
design of the argument to^ convey. For example â€” whatever
exhibits marks of design must have had an intelligent author ;
the world exhibits marks of design, therefore the world must
have had an intelligent Author. Here, the major is assumed
alike by God and man ; the conclusion is, at first, in the mind
of God alone, and the design of the great argument is to con-
vey it into the mind of man also ; but the attainment of this
end depends on the truth of the minor â€” that the world does
exhibit marks of design ; and how is this proposition to be
established except by induction? To the infinitely blessed
God, then, the entire process of Divine Manifestation is, in its
reference to man, a sublime syllogism, of which the last object
and the remotest event are already included potentially in the
major ; the unfolding of which is destined to occupy the coming
eternity. While man, appointed to find the sphere of his activ-
ity and improvement in the intermediate space between the
Necessary and the Contingent, and unable to rest but in the felt
junction of the two, shall derive perpetual accessions of enjoy-
ment as he ascends from the Particular to the Infinite with
whom it has originated, and in whom is it contained.
The Great Reason; or, why God is, and must he His
own end from everlasting to everlasting.
God is not nature ; nor is nature God. Before nature,
before any part or being of the objective universe existed,
the God of the Bible had existed from eternity in his own
self-sufficience. And the absolute perfection which that self-
sufficience implies, determines that it shall be, in some sense,
the chief reason and last end of everything created ; so that
He will continue to inhabit his self-sufRcience through the
eternity to come. We believe, indeed, that, while He su-
premely regards His own glory, He really regards the well-
being of the created universe for its own sake; that this
well-being is regarded by God as an end â€” in the sense of
being an object desirable on its own account ; and that He
delights in it as such ; but that the ultimate, chief, and all-
comprehending end is His own glory.'
1. Had there ever been a period when nothing was,
nothing would still have been. Then the Creator of all
things is himself uncreated, unoriginated, eternal. "He is
from everlasting." Far back, in thought, and beyond the
' See Note A.
14 THE PRE-ADAMITK EARTH.
limits of time, as we may be able occasionally, and for a single
moment, to go, we are ever accompanied by the humbling
conviction that we have made no approach whatever to the
understanding of His eternity. The discoveries of science
lead back our imagination to a period incalculably remote ;
but even if each of the countless stars had been formed in
succession, and if the time which elapsed between the forma-
tion of each had equalled that entire period, the mind which
could span the whole â€” which could dart back a thought to
the moment in which the first star beamed on the regions of
space, would feel that it had only reached the starting point
for the preceding eternity. For if then it should ask, " Where
dwelt the Deity before that?" â€” the answer of the Oracle is,
" He inhabited eternity ; " and that star of which it had
caught a glimpse, could only be regarded as the first lamp
that was lighted up to guide the way back to His dread
2. Then must His mysterious existence be necessary and
independent ; i for as there has never been anything, ab extra,
to necessitate it, had it not been necessary of and from itself
only, it could neither have been, nor have continued to be.
The great parent truth, therefore, which He may be regarded
as silently repeating, through all the solitudes of space, and
through every point of duration, is the sublime affirmation,
" I AM â€” underived, self-existent, absolute Being ; in which
sense there never has been, never will be, never can be, any
Being besides." All other being can only be derived and
3. In harmony with the dictates of enlightened reason, the
Bible authenticates the deduction that the Being whose exist-
ence is eternal and independent, is also absolutely perfect. The
power of God must be omnipotence ; His knowledge, omni-
science ; His holy benevolence, unlimited by anything incom-
patible with perfection. No one kind of excellence can be
unlimited unless it be associated with every other kind of
excellence ; so that the possession of any one unlimited excel-
lence implies the existence, and involves the necessity, ot
4. But if the infinite nature of the Divine Being precludes
the existence of another independent and unlimited Being,
the existence of a second would necessarily involve mutual
' See Gillespie's Necessary Existence of God.
THE GREAT REASON. 15
limitation; which would amount to a self-contradiction. In
every sense, therefore, consistent with 'perfection. He has ever
existed alone. Were He to break the silence of eternity. He
might demand, " Is there a God besides me ? yea, there is
none; /A:/iMy not any.i I, who know all the possibilities of
being, know not of such a being ; I, who at this moment am
everywhere present throughout illimitable space, find such a
being nowhere ; I, who have thus inhabited immensity from
eternity, have never, in any point of past duration, beheld the
least manifestation of such a being ; I, who am unlimited
Being, exclude, by that very necessity of my mature, the pos-
sibility of another unlimited being."
o. But what finite mind can conceive the conditions in-
cluded in Absolute Perfection ! To evolve these will require
eternity ; for could they be evolved in less they would not be
unlimited. All that we can say, therefore, or shall ever be
able to say, is, that whatever the amount of mystery included
in the objective universe may ever be, the probability is, that
the proportion which it bears to the mystery of the Divine
nature will be that of the limited to the unlimited ; that if
infinite perfection implies infinite mysteriousness, which it cer-
tainly does, then infinite mysteriousness must ever form one
of the distinctive excellences of that perfection ; that if the
operation of infinite activity (either of love, of power, or of
any other excellence) be essential to infinite perfection, and if
such activity could not be agent and object at the same time,
and in the same act, and yet no object, ad extra, existed from
eternity, then must it have existed in the Divine nature itself;
in other words, the Divine nature must include a plurality of
Jdistinctions, and include it as one of its necessary conditions,
or essential perfections ; 2 that if no exercise of the Divine effi-
ciency, ad extra, can ever be adequate to its infinite perfection,
and yet such adequate exercise, in some way, must always be
necessary to infinite perfection, then must it be one of the ex-
cellences of the Divine nature, not only that it should include
a plurality of distinctions, but that the adequate sphere of its
infinite activity should be its own infinite perfections ; that if a
* Isaiah, xliv. 6, 8.
' See Howe's Calm Enquiry concerning the Possibility of a Trinity
in the Godhead. Professor Kidd on the Trinity. Storr and Flatt, B. ii.
Â§ 46. Â§ 44. 111. 8. Dr. J. P. Smith's Testimony of the Messiah, (Second
Edition,) v. i. c. iv, Â§ 35, v. iii. app, iv.
16 Tllli niL-ADA^illTi: EAUTII.
Grod in unity, without internal distinctions, or diversity of
modes, be incapal?)le of moral affection, because having had
nothing, ad extra, from eternity to love, then such internal dis-
tinctions must ever have existed as elements of reciprocal,
social, self-sufficient perfection ; and that if such plurality be
an excellence, and if unity be an excellence also ; and if there
be any respect in which this plurality of one kind can consist
as an excellence with this unity of another, then it will cer-
tainly be included in absolute perfection. And further, this
perfection implies not only that all the excellence which it
includes is simple, uncompounded, one, but that God and it
are identical : that it is not an adjunct of His being, but His
being itself. ^
6. But for the same reason that His perfection of being and
character is unlimited, it must ever have been unchangeable
also. Besides which, it must be of the essence of Absolute
Perfection that in everything belonging to that perfection, it
can neither require nor admit of a change. Though an eter-
nity has passed, the Deity is now what He ever Avas ; " without