2 PETER 2
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4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
The duration of the earth's revolutions round the sun previous to the work of the first day is not revealed; but the evidences produced by the strata of our globe show that the period was long continued. There are indeed hints, casually dropped in the Scriptures, which would seem to indicate, that our planet was inhabited by a race of beings anterior to the formation of man.
The apostle Peter, speaking of the "false teachers" that would arise among Christians "by reason of whom the way of truth would be evil spoken of," illustrates the certainty of their "damnation" by citing three cases in point; namely, that of certain angels; that of the antediluvian world; and that of Sodom and Gomorrha. Now the earth, we know, was the place of judgment to the contemporaries of Noah and Lot, and seeing that these three are warnings to inhabitants of earth, it is probable, that they are all related to things pertaining to our globe in the order of their enumeration -- first, judgment upon its pre-Adameral inhabitants; secondly, upon the antediluvian world, which succeeded them; and thirdly, upon Sodom after the flood.
Peter says, that "the Angels," or pre-Adameral inhabitants of the Earth, "sinned;" and Jude, in speaking of the same subject, reveals to us the nature of their transgression. He says, verse 6, "the angels maintained not their original state, but forsook their own habitation." From which it would appear, that they had the ability to leave their dwelling if they pleased; secondly, that they were sometimes employed as messengers to other parts of the universe; this their name (aggeloV, aggelos, one sent) implies: thirdly, that they were forbidden to leave their habitation without special command to do so; and fourthly, that they violated this injunction and left it.
Having transgressed the divine law, God would not forgive them; "but casting them down," or driving them back, "He committed them to everlasting chains of intense darkness to be reserved for judgment" (2 Peter 2:4). Hence, it is clear, when they were driven back to their habitation, some further catastrophy befel them by which their committal to darkness was effected. This probably consisted in the total wreck of their abode, and their entire submergence, with all the mammoths of their estate, under the waters of an overwhelming flood, reduced to this extremity, the earth became "without form and empty; and darkness overspread the deep waters" (Genesis 1:1).
Its mountains, hills, valleys, plains, seas, rivers, and fountains of waters, which gave diversity of "form" to the surface of our globe, all disappeared; and it became "void," or empty, no living creatures, angels, quadrupeds, birds, or fishes, being found any more upon it.
Fragments, however, of the wreck of this pre-Adameral world have been brought to light by geological research, to the records of which we refer the reader, for a detailed account of its discoveries, with this remark, that its organic remains, coal fields, and strata, belong to the ages before the formation of man, rather than to the era of the creation, or the Noachic flood. This view of the matter will remove a host of difficulties, which have hitherto disturbed the harmony between the conclusions of geologists and the Mosaic account of the physical constitution of our globe.
Elpis Israel 1.2.