But, it may be asked, why should two such incongruous topics be set down for discussion side by side? To answer this question is to explain the scope and design of the present work. We are not going to write a Manual of Geology; nor yet a Treatise on Revelation. Taken separately, these two subjects have been handled with eminent skill and ability; the one by the votaries of Science, the other by the friends of Theology. It is our purpose to consider them not so much in themselves as in their mutual relations: to compare the conclusions of Geology with the truths of Revelation; and to inquire if it be possible to accept the one and yet not to abandon the other.
An uneasy apprehension has long prevailed among devout Christians, and a declared conviction among a large class of unbelievers, that the discoveries of Geology are at variance with the facts recorded in the Book of Genesis. Now, the historical narrative of Genesis lies at the very foundation of all Revealed Religion. Hence the science of Geology, has come to be looked on with suspicion by the simple-minded faithful, and to be hailed with joy, as a new and powerful auxiliary, by that infidel party which, in these latter days, has assumed a position so bold and defiant. It is now confidently asserted that we cannot uphold the teaching of Revelation, unless we shut our eyes to the evidence of Geology; and that we cannot pursue the study of Geology, if we are not prepared to renounce our belief in the doctrines of Revelation.