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days of creation, as recorded by Moses, has only arisen from this is a part of our earth to which the principles of crystallithe necessity of a longer period than 24 hours for the com- zation will not apply, and which the chaotic philosophy has pletion of so great a chemical process as the supposed produc- not yet accounted for by secondary causes. It may be permittion of the earth from chaos. But if first formations were ted to us, however, to form some idea of the state of the new not the consequence of a chemical process, which Newton earth at the termination of the “ first day,” and of the effects considered most unphilosophical, and which our reason, and produced by the fiat of the second. We have already arrived common sense most decidedly condemns, then the extension at the conclusion, that as the “evening and the morning" had of the period demanded for their production becomes unneces- formed the “first day,” the sun was already created, although sary.
nothing more than its effects of light had yet appeared. The It may here be objected, that if an Almighty power were power of the sun must now, however, have begun to act by able to create the universe in a perfect state, why should the those laws, by which it has ever since been regulated; and work have occupied a period of six days ? Why should not this power, acting upon the earth, with its watery envelope, all things have started into being, as light is described to have must have prodnced the effect of a thick fog, which was now done, instantaneously?. The only answer that can be made to be evaporated, and raised high into the new atmosphere, to such objections, is simply, that it was the will of God, who, thus dividing “ the waters which were under the firmament” in his wisdom, appears to have had, in this, an ulterior moral from the aqueous vapours, which were, from hence forward, view for the good of mankind, and for the commemoration of to be suspended "åbove,” (or in the higher parts of) “ the his own power and glory by his creatures. Time has accord- firmament." ingly been, by his express command, subdivided into six days Although the consideration of the atmosphere does not, of labour, and one of rest: and so much of the divine wisdom strictly speaking, come within the scope of a geological inmay be traced in this arrangement, that it has been generally quiry, yet it may not be altogether irrelevant to our subject admitted by the wisest men who have considered the subject, to make a few observations, in this place, upon this highly that no human ingenuity could improve upon it.
important portion of creation, by the action of which the deThere is also a strong argument to be found in the divine composition of a portion of the earth is continually proceedcommand which establishes the hebdomadal division of time, ing, and, consequently, the materials for secondary formations against the theories which demand an extension for the days are as constantly being produced. of the creation :-"Six days shalt thou labour, and do all The atmosphere, or firmament, is that elastic fluid which that thou hast to do; but in the seventh day thou shall do no surrounds the earth, and encloses it on all sides. This fluid, work; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, so little understood by the ancients, has occupied much of the and all that therein is, and rested the seventh day; therefore attention of modern philosophers, and has given birth to some remember this seventh day, to keep it holy.” In this com- of the most remarkable discoveries of modern science. Its mandment the days of creation, and working days of twenty- weight was first ascertained by Galileo, and applied by Torrifour hours, are so completely identified in the sense and con- celli to explain the rise of water in pumps, and of mercury in struction, that nothing but that species of force, so often resort- the barometer. Its elasticity was accurately determined by ed to by philosophy, in support of a week, but favourite theory, Boyle; and the effects produced upon it, by heat and moisture, can separate them.
have been explained by Halley and Newton. That atmoNow, a creation by an Almighty power may as easily be spheric air is a heavy, compressible, and elastic substance, has the work of one moment, as of a thousand years; and though been proved by many simple and direct experiments; and, in the laws of chemistry are now found to produce crystals, un- consequence of its weight, the portion of it nearest the earth der the hands of the chemist, the great mind, even of a Davy, is compressed by the whole of the superincumbent mass, and has never yet produced either a vegetable or an animal forma- it is thus much more dense in the lower, than in the upper tion; and there is, consequently, no ground for this demand regions. for time, with respect to any of the Mosaic days on which The air, in the higher regions, therefore, must be extremely these creations were first called into being. But we have no rare, from its elastic nature not being opposed by any presreason to suppose that there was any variation in the length sure from above; and, in this state, it becomes gradually unof the Mosaical days, which are each defined in a manner so fitted for the support of animal life, as has been painfully similar and distinct. We can, therefore, come to no other experienced by those adventurous travellers who have asconclusion, than that the Mosaical days were such periods of cended the highest mountains. Some attempts have been 24 hours, as have ever since continued in succession, and will made to calculate the height above the earth to which the atcontinue till “time shall be no more."
mosphere extends. If the density of air were uniform, it would be easy to ascertain this point, by means of the data placed within our reach, by the discovery of the barometer; and, upon this supposition, the height of the atmosphere would be
found to be a little more than five miles. But as this is not CHAPTER II.
the case, and as the air gradually diminishes in density, its
utmost height must be much greater. From observations The Second Day of the Creation.—The Firmament, or Atmo- which have been made on the duration of the twilight, or re
sphere.-Atmospheric Phenomena.-Magnetism, and Electri- flected light which we enjoy from the sun, after that luminary city.
has itself disappeared, and before he again rises, the atmo
sphere has been calculated to extend to about thirty-six miles We now come to the consideration of the second day of above the surface of the earth ; and it is even probable that the creation, in which it pleased the Almighty to create, and it exceeds that elevation, which, though it appears great to set in order, the firmament, or atmosphere, by which the whole us, is, in fact, not so, when compared with the diameter of the globe was to be surrounded.
whole globe; and not more in proportion, than a few coats of “ And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of varnish on a common artificial globe. the waters; and let it divide the waters from the waters : and The atmosphere, then, is like a thin transparent veil around God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were the earth, which multiplies and propagates the light of the under the firmament,” (or upon the earth,) “ from the waters sun, by an infinity of reflections, and it is by means of these which were above the firmament,” (or in the clouds,)“ and that we enjoy day-light before the sun has risen, and after he it was so.”
has set. If the atmosphere did not exist, each point upon the It were as vain to inquire into the mode of the creation of earth's surface would only receive the light from the rays the atmospheric firmament, or firm support, by which the which fell upon it, direct from the sun. Wherever the sun whole globe is embraced, and, in a manner, hermetically did not actually shine, complete darkness would reign. On sealed, as into that of granite, or of water. We have, there- the tops of the highest mountains, it has been observed, that fore, nothing left us, but to receive the fact as recorded, as the sun's rays are so little reflected, that, when placed in the
shade, one can see the stars at noon-day; and what appears that darkness preceded light. In Otaheite, the natives consider blue sky, in the lower regions, seems there almost black. that darkness was the origin of all things.
It is upon the same principle of reflection of the rays of the darkness : philosophers say that all things were mingled together.” temperate and high latitudes, enjoy more of twilight, both in
Aristotle says, “ the theologians argue that all things sprung from sun, in our atmosphere, that we, and other inhabitants of the Metaph. l. 14. c. 6. “As darkness preceded light, so the night of the Hebrew compu
the evening and morning, than the inhabitants of tropical tation always preceded the day ; thus in a manner perpetuating a countries, where, as soon as the sun has set, and until he commemoration of the transactions of the first day of the creation." again rises, there is almost total darkness, except from the - Comparative Estimate.
light of the moon and stars. Our longer twilight arises from the inclined position of the earth's axis, from which tions, were from this time forth to come into action, it will position the sun's rays not falling so vertically, as in tropical be necessary for us to give our utmost attention to the conregions, pass through the atmosphere in a slanting direction, sideration of this great change upon the surface of the earth. and, consequently, through a longer extent of air, and with a We have before remarked, that, during the first and second greater variety of reflections, thus producing light long after days of the creation, the earth must have presented to the the sun has set, and before he has risen.
view (had any human eye existed to look upon it,) a solid It is within the range of this firmament, that all the meteoric globe of spheroidal form, covered with a thin coat of aqueous phenomena, in constant action around us, are generated. Rain, fluid, and already revolving on its axis as a inember of the dew, hail, and snow, are all occasioned by moisture imbibed solar system. We are fully authorized in coming to this by the atmosphere, from the evaporation of the liquid portions latter conclusion, from the distinct mention made in the of the earth's surface, and acted upon by various degrees of record, of the days, comprising, like our present days, the heat from the sun.
evening and the morning, with the darkness and the light The winds, in all their various degrees, from the gentle following each other in regular succession. The sun, it is zephyr to the raging storm, are all produced by the action of true, had not yet been made visibly to appear, or to shine heat upon this elastic fluid : and when we consider that the through the, as yet, cloudy atmosphere; nor had the moon mineral surface of the earth is constantly and violently acted yet become visible, from an additional, and yet more interestupon by the circulation thus kept up, by means of the at- ing and remarkable reason, which of itself, ought to be looked mosphere, we can have no difficulty in understanding how upon as confirmative of this view; and that is, that supposing materially it must effect geological secondary formations. her to have been placed on the first day of the creation, (when
Amongst the latest discoveries of science connected with we are to conclude that the whole solar system started into the phenomena of this vital element, is the very intimate con- being,) in the relative situation as to the sun and the earth, nexion now found to exist between magnetism and electricity, which she has ever since held at that period of her course There is, perhaps, nothing in the whole range of natural when we give her the title of a new moon, it was not possible phenomena which has excited more the admiration of man- she could have been seen from the earth “until the third kind, and, at the same time, been obscured with more com- evening of her revolution, according to our computation, which plete darkness than the principle of magnetism; and it may exactly answers to the fourth evening of the Mosaical days; be considered as a distinct proof of the difficulty of the our computation connecting the evening with the preceding subject, to observe, that few have even been the theories day-light, but the Mosaical computation with the succeeding produced in order to account for it. A ray of light has now, day-light:"* and on this very day, accordingly, and not till however, been shed upon the subject, by the discovery of a then, she was made to appear at sun-set, to rule, or lead on few remarkable facts; and it is probable that in a few years the night, as the sun was ordained to rule and conduct the more the active mind of man may overcome this hitherto day. insuperable problem.*
It was now the will of the Creator that the earth should no On the second day, then, of the creation, this most vital longer be " invisible” under its watery covering; and, acpart of the earth's system was ordained, and submitted to cordingly, the command was given, that " the waters should ihose laws which have ever since continued in action. The be gathered together unto one place,” that the dry land” moisture exhaled from the newly created waters, by the newly might appear. In considering this great event, it becomes a created sun, was elevated from the surface of the globe, still natural and fair question, as it has been left open to us by hid under its watery covering, and was suspended in the the record, as to the mode or means by which it must have higher regions of the firmament, to descend upon the future taken place. The well-poised earth had already begun to dry land in fruitful showers.
revolve upon its axis; and the laws of gravitation and of The sun itself, however, was not yet made to appear through Auids had consequently began to act in our system. By these the clouds, although its light again produced a second morning, laws, it was impossible that the waters could have been which, with its preceding evening, formed “ the second day." gathered together by accumulation, or above the general level,
as the solids of the earth might have been. We can, therefore, come to no other conclusion than that to which we are also led by various parts of the inspired writings, viz. that God did " rend the depths by his intelligence,” and formed
a depression, or hollow, on a part of the solid globe, within CHAPTER III.
which, by the appointed laws of fluids, the “ depths” were
gathered together. The gathering together of the Waters.— The Sublimity of this And here we should naturally feel disposed, if the inquiry
Fiat of the Creator not sufficiently understood.— Thc Transi- could be expected to lead to any satisfactory result, to inquire tion Rocks.
how a hollow could be formed in so solid a mass as we must
conceive the primitive earth to have been. But, in this inWe now come to the consideration of the events which quiry, we should be adopting that very hypothetical reasoning took place on the third day of the creation, viz. " the gather- which has so often led to error, and which we have already ing together of the waters unto one place,” and the consequent found such reason to condemn. The record is distinct; the appearance of the “dry land.”
fact of water requiring a hollow bed is undeniable. The means * And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered of forming that bed, we may safely refer to the hands of him together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it who could create the ocean himself which it was to contain.t
It were equally vain and futile to enter here upon the disputed And this great fiat of the Almighty was to produce the points respecting the solidity or the hollow nature of the globe; first great geological secondary formations which we find because, when we apply to this bed of the ocean the true and upon the earth's surface; and as the laws which were, in the proper scale by which we have already examined other parts course of time, to give rise to all the other secondary forma of the earth's surface, we shall find the depression necessary
for containing the whole waters of the earth, so very trifling * A most remarkable accident, which occurred on the 13th of compared with the globe itself, as not in any way to be af. April, 1832, has served to throw some light on the intimate con- fected by either side of such arguments; for we have found nexion between electricity and magnetism. A gentleman and lady, reason to concludeţ that the very deepest abysses of the ocean whilst travelling in Worcestershire, on the hind box of their own are not more than from four to five miles below the level of its carriage, were overtaken by a violent thunder-storm, and both were surface; and that the mean depth over the whole sea cannot struck
by the electric fluid so violently, that their lives were in great be considered more than from a few hundred feet to half a mile. danger for some weeks afterwards. A minute and most interesting account of this accident and its effects, is given in the “ London and
In considering, then, such comparatively diminutive deEdinburgh Philosophical Magazine,” for September, 1832: It is pressions upon the earth's surface, it is by no means necesonly necessary here to allude to these effects on the steel and iron sary either to imagine the vast disruption and depression work through which the electric fuid had passed in its course. It of the solid frame-work of the globe;" or to enter upon the was found to have communicated a highly magnetic power to all question as to the solid or cavous state of the 7990 miles of these articles. The balance-wheel of the gentleman's watch was, amongst others, so highly magnetized, that it has since been mounted as a compass.
Comp. Estim. vol. i. In further illustation of this most interesting subject, it has lately + "He spake the word, and they were made: He commanded, been discovered that a vivid spark of fire is produced on the sudden and they were created. removal of a steel point from a powerful magnet. This effect is “He hath made them fast for ever and ever : He hath given them now exhibited in London, in the National Gallery of Science in the a law which shall not be broken.”—Psalm cxlviii, Strand.
# See chap. i. p. 56.
its diameter, which must for ever remain concealed froin our granitic surface of the sea's bed, would naturally be formed view.
of such substances, and without any vestige of animal bodies The following beautiful reflections on this part of our sub- which had not then been created ; and which, though soon ject are from the enlightened mind of Mr. Granville Penn, afterwards “ brought forth abundantly,” could not, for a long who may, indeed, be called the first great advocate for the time, have left their shelly remains in the abundance we have Mosaic Geology, amongst the men of science of our day. reason to know they subsequently did. * * The briefness of this clause (Genesis i. 9,) and the nature If an opportunity, therefore, were given us for the examinaof the subject, have caused it to be little contemplated in pro- tion, we should expect to find various strata composed of portion to its importance, and to the-fulness of the instruction broken masses of primitive rocks, reposing upon these same which it conveys; and, therefore, it has not been observed rocks in their solid and unbroken condition. The opportunithat the same sublimity which is universally perceived in ty has been placed within our reach, and we do find such strata the clause, . Let there be light, and there was light, subsists as were to be anticipated, and to which, ever the chaotic geeqally in this clause; • Let the waters be gathered together ology has given the name of transition or fragmentary formaunto one place, and let the dry land be seen, and it was so.' tions; a name evidently suggested by their appearance and The sentiment of sublimity in the former clause, results from composition. the contemplation of an instantaneous transition of the uni- It is not my intention, in this place, to proceed with the verse from the profoundest darkŋess to the most splendid consideration of the three last days of the creation, as recordlight, at the command of God. All men familiarly apprehended in the Mosaic history, because they do not present the same the sadness of the former, and the delight of the lattcr; and grounds for geological inquiry which are to be found in the they are, therefore, instantly sensible of the glorious nature operations of the first three days, which we have now been of the change which was then so suddenly produced. But considering. We have seen that the creation of the primitive the nature of the change which must necessarily have taken portions of the earth, that is, of rock, of water, and of the acrial place, in suddenly rendering visible a part of a solid gloeb. atmosphere surrounding both, could have been effected only by the universal surface of which had been overflowed and con- the fiat of the Almighty architect of the universe. We have cealed by a flood of waters, is not so familiarly or so in- found no reason to cast a shadow of doubt upon the Mosaic stantly apprehended; the mind, therefore, does not care to record, where it informs us that the various parts of creation dwell upon it, but is contented with receiving the general were produced in six separate and distinct days, which, from information that the sea was formed. Hence, both commenta-their evenings, and their mornings, must have each comprised tors and geologists have equally failed to draw the immediate one revolution of the globe upon its axis. On the contrary, and necessary inference from the revelation of that great and we have seen, that the very remarkable coincidence of the first undeniable geological fact."
visible appearance of the moon, at the very time alone when There is, besides, this further reason for our regarding the she could have been first seen from the earth, (viz. on the third * creation of light with more wonder and admiration than that evening of her revolution,) affords us the strongest corroboraof the gathering together of the waters;” that howevertive evidence of the truth of that part of the record. Since great and stupendous the latter operation must have been, it we have found reason to conclude, that, at the end of the third comes more easily within the scope of our intelligence than day, all those laws by which the earth was afterwards to be the former. We can imagine to ourselves secondary causes governed (excepting those of animated beings which had not which could produce hollows in the surface of the earth, but yet been created,) had begun to act; that the various influences the creation of light is far beyond the reach of our finite un- of the sun, and of the moon, were from this time forth to be in derstandings. Although we can study its effects, and al-force; it now remains for us to proceed to the consideration though science has made many brilliant discoveries with of these laws, and of these influential causes; and to endeavour regard to these effects, yet we can in no way comprehend its to discover whether they are not sufficient to produce many of origin. Its nature is beyond our reach : its crcation, there the secondary appearances, so general over the whole surface fore, excites our admiration, in proportion to the difficulty we of the earth. feel in comprehending it; but we are not, on this account, to form an erroneous estimate of the great operation which we are now to consider; for the formation of a bed for the ocean could be the work of that intelligence alone, which was able, at the first, to create that ocean.
CHAPTER IV. This depression, small as it proves to be, compared with the diameter of the whole earth, was sufficiently deep and Constant Changes in Nature.- Origin of Secondary Formaextensive to cause vast changes in the structure of a great
tions.—Primitive Soils, for the Nourishment of a Primitive part of the surface of the globe. In whatever mode the bed Vegetation.-Constant Circulation in the Fluids of the of the ocean was sunk, it is quite certain that the shores of
Earth. ---Springs, Brooks, and Rivers.— The Tides.— Their the newly gathered waters must have been left in a rough, Cause Explained.-- The Currents of the Ocean, and their broken, and precipitous state. The descending portion of the
present existing System.--Effects naturally arising from these solid earth, which was to form the bottom of the new sea, powerful Causes. must have been subjected to extensive fractůre and derangement, and must instantly have been acted upon by that continual movement, and circulation, which were then decreed, liken our earth, surrounded with its atmosphere, to the vari
Taken in a general sense, we may, perhaps not unaptly, and have ever since been kept up, in the great body of the
ous contents of a vessel hermetically sealed up, and kept in waters. The tides, and the currents, these unceasing agents, constant agitation. This continued movement would cause a would then commence their unwearied labours; and the immense debris of primitive rocks, would, by constant move contents. But the exact number, or quantity, would for ever
constant change in the relative situation of every part of its ment and friction, be reduced to the various stages in which
remain the same. No extraneous substance could find adthey are now often found. From that day forth, the vapours mittance ; no particle from within, could escape. Thus every exhaled from the waters by the heat of the sun, were to be created atom now contained within our atmosphere must have converted into the various meteoric phenomena with which been so, under some form or other, “in the beginning.” the firmament is charged. The clouds were to descend upon the now “dry land;" the rills, the brooks, the rivers, were
* “No fossil remains have ever been found in what are termed the now to begin their never ending courses, each charged with oldest formations. In the transition rocks,” (the formation of some its load of moveable particles, destined to be deposited in the of which we are above considering,)“ where they first occur, they bed of the new sea. 'The sands, and gravels of the new shores, are but very rare ; yet in the newer” (or upper) “ transition rook's would then be unmixed with those various secondary, or shelly they increase considerably in quantity. In the flatz formations they substances, we now find amongst them in such abundance. continue increasing in quantity to the newer formations.”—Edin. Their appearance would then be altogether crystalline and Encyclop: /Minertilogy, p. 409.
In considering the fossil remains of shell fish, which are by far the primitive ; and the first strata arranged by the ocean on the most abundant of all fossils, we must remember that the accumula
tion of their shelly remains would be progressive. Those of the first Comp. Estim., vol. I. p. 212.
generation, for instance, would exist through many generations of + The transition rocks include a considerable variety of earthy living fish and at the end of a hundred generations, we should find substances ; but they are generally composed of the primitive rocks, nearly all the shells of these generations, though the numbers of livreduced to a state of disintegration, apparently by a mechanical ing creatures were not increased from the first year. · We can thus cause, and afterwards re-united into conglomerate masses, by some easily and naturally account for the scarcity of fossil shells in the kind of cement, of an argillaceous or calcareous nature.” –Edir. earlier formations, and for their progressive abundance in the subseEncyclop. Physical Geography, p. 488.
It requires but a slight glance around us to perceive, that The question then occurs, what were the primitive crea
to the Almighty, (to which we generally give the unmeaning name now considered as such by geologists? We feel quite satisof the laws of nature,) matter is constantly assuming a differ-fied that all the calcareous and secondary formations now ent form. The stately oak moulders into dust, and becomes known as such, did not exist in their present form in the befood for other plants. The ox changes grass into flesh; his ginning; because they contain the fossil remains of animals flesh passes at his death into other beings, who, in their turn, or vegetables which are often preserved in their most delicate undergo the same metamorphosis. All created beings move, parts, and which, consequently, must have been embedded at without ceasing, from one form to another. Man himself, be- a period when these hard rocks were in the state of soft mud. ing laid in the earth, fertilizes the soil : his flesh becomes But as the materials for the formation of these soft beds, must food for plants, which are eaten by animals, which man, in havę originally been furnished from some primitive creation; his turn, devours. His Creator has announced to him this and as a minute examination of them does not generally exgreat truth, “For dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt re- hibit a crystalline appearance such as is supposed to charac
Even the most solid portions of the mineral world terize primitive rocks, it becomes a highly important conare not exempted from the influence of these laws. The primi- sideration whether our present ideas of primitive creations tive and solid granite, when acted upon by cold,t by heat, or are sufficiently extended. For example, what conclusion do by moisture, becomes slowly, but gradually decomposed. Its we come to from a minute examination of the composition of minute parts become detached, and are removed far from their chalk, which forms so extensive a portion of secondary formaparent rock, by the action of the running waters. Frequent tions ? Its particles are of the finest earthy nature, and no apmovement rubs off their angles; they assume a new form ; pearance can be detected of any of the constituent parts of they are known by a new name; they become sand or gravel. what are considered primitive rocks. In the finer sorts of clay In either of these new forms, they are hurried to the great we find the same smooth earthy character; and all limestone deep, and add their mite to that immense treasury. The same formations may perhaps be included in this remark. Some currents in the ocean bring the same materials, until either geologists have supposed that all limestone is as much an the one becomes expended, or the other differently directed. animal formation as coral.* This idea is probably unfounded; A bed, or stratum, is formed, which, under certain circum- for if we can trace the formation of this extensive class of stances, becomes hardened into stone. It again assumes a secondary rocks to the bed of the antediluvian ocean, we new form, and is again known by yet another name; it be- shall find reason to conclude that all these earthy formations, comes the free stone, or conglomerate of geologists. Thus we containing sea shells, must have been gradually formed by may trace the materials of secondary formations to the de- the accumulation of the finer particles of primitive decompo composition of the primitive creations.
sition. “The primitive rocks of Werner are the following, amount- Are we to suppose, then, at the end of the six days of the ing to fourteen : granite, gneiss, micaceous schistus or mica creation, when the new earth had been brought forth, adorned slate, argillaceous schistus or clay slate, primitive limestone, with “grass, and the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-treo primitive trap, including hornblend and greenstone, serpen- yielding fruit after his kind,” that all this vegetable world was tine, porphyry, sienite, topaz rock, quartz rock, primitive nourished upon the solid primitive rocks, which in the present flinty slate, white stone, and primitive gypsum.
day are found to be utterly unfitted for vegetation? Are we " Some geologists consider this catalogue as too limited, to conclude that the same Almighty Power, which could cre. and include jasper, hornstone, pitchstone, and puddingstone, ate solid granite, together with all the varieties of the vegetain the number of primitive rocks. All these rocks, though ble world, could not also provide the proper soils in which some of them be occasionally found mingled or alternated in vegetables were to be nourished ? No.-The idea would be strata with each other, are crystalline deposits, and are abso- worthy of that philosophy which imagines all things to have lutely without any trace of organic remains, either of plants been at first in an imperfect state, and that their present order or animals. All rocks not included in the foregoing catalogue and beauty have gradually arisen by the mere laws of nature. (except those called álluvial) are termed secondary, because It is more consistent with reason, as well as with the historithey are found to contain more or less of organic remains : cal Record, to conclude, that as vegetables of every descripbut it has been observed that the four rocks found in imme-tion were created perfect, there must have been a soil also diate succession to the preceding fourteen do not contain or- created at the first, and suited to the nourishment of this new ganic remains of the same characters as the rest. For al- vegetable creation. though they contain some shells common to those in immedi- The consideration of the component parts of the loose alluate succession to them, they alone are found to contain zoo- vial soils, and of their origin, has, in general, been set aside, phytes, a species of animal which is considered as forming the or overlooked by geologists; and our present soils are so first link in the chuin of animated beings, none of which are mixed up with decomposed animal and vegetable matter, that found in any of the succeeding rocks. Werner has called we cannot, from them, form a distinct idea of what they origithese four, transition rocks, as connecting the primitive with nally must have been. But if we deny that a pure soil must the newer or flætz (flat) rocks, containing abundant fossil re- have existed from the very first, we adopt the doctrine of mains, but by others they are included in secondary forma-secondary causes. We must, in that case, suppose that vegetations."Phillips's Geology.
tion began, and gradually proceeded in much the same manWe have, in a former part of this treatise, considered the ner as is observed on the lava thrown out by volcanoes; which, question of zoophytes being, as Mr. Phillips here states, for many years after it has cooled, remains solid and totally « the first link in the chain of animated beings. It may now barren, and which first admits of only the most minute spe be sufficient in this place to point out, that as it is one part of cies of mosses; but by the gradual decomposition and renewal the nature of zoophytes to inhabit the depths of the ocean, of these, and by the atmospheric action upon the lava itself, a and there to become fixed, as plants are by the roots, without soil is gradually formed, which proves in the end extremely having it in their power, like the other inhabitants of the fertile. deep, to clear themselves from the sediments that are constantly being deposited, their remains are found in a fossil
* It is not a little remarkable, that in all the secondary rocks of state, as we should naturally have anticipated, amongst the Europe, although we have many, consisting of almost one mass of very earliest of these secondary strata, and before the re- shells, we find none which we could suppose were formed by insects, mains of the testaceous animals could have accumulated in in the same manner as the coral reefs are in the present seas of southany great numbers.
ern latitudes. The extent of the coral formation is truly remarkable. The great coral reef, on the east coast of New Holland, extends
unbroken for $50 miles, forming, with others, more or less connect*" To say with Pythagoras, that the soul of a man can pass into the ed with it, a reef upwards of 1,000 miles in length, and varying from body of a bird, is to extend to a moral sense, this great truth in natural 20 to 50 in breadth. As these reefs are known to be always founded history. Nothing can be more contrary to reason or revelation than in very deep water, they would form, if laid dry, a calcareous formathis idea ; but, on the other hand, nothing is more certain, than that tion, before which many of our considerable mountain ridges would the alimentary matter of which a body is composed, is transformed shrink in the comparison. We cannot, perhaps, find a more convincinto the flesh of the vulture that devours it.
ing argument in favour of the unchanged position of the axis and the + Mr. Scoresby, in his account of Spitzbergen, says, “the invari- poles of the earth since the creation, than in the total absence of ably broken state of the rocks,” (upon a high mountain, the ascent of coral reefs in the secondary formations of northern and temperate which he was attempting,) “ appeared to be the effect of frost. No latitudes. Had the present poles of the earth been in the situation solid rock was met with, and no carth or soil. On calcareous rocks of the present equatorial regions, before the deluge, which is one of not impervious to moisture, the effect is such as might be expected, the prevailing arguments and sources of error and confusion in but how frost can operate on quartz, is not so easily understood. - modern geology, we should certainly have found, in our secondary Arctic Regions, vol. i. p. 122.
quarries, the petrified remains of former coral reefs.
We have before found reason, however, to come to a differ-mosphere. But even in the finest and clearest weather, these ent conclusion. We have found, with Newton, " that it watery vapours hover around us, in an invisible shape, and became Him who created all things, to set them in order; become condensed in the form of dew on the surface of rocks, and if He did so, it is unphilosophical to seek for any other or of plants, during the absence of the sun, and thus afford origin of things, or to pretend that they might have arisen, nourishment to vegetation even during the hottest weather. by the mere laws of nature.”
But in the hilly and mountainous districts, these vapours We, therefore, conclude, that there must have been a pri- are constantly, more or less, condensed upon the surface of mitive soil for the support of a primitive vegetation ; that that the rocks or of the ground; and trickling down the sides and soil must have been loose and friable, as at present, and sub- fissures, guided by the direction of the strata, they occasionject, like the present soils, to continual movements by cur-ally meet with obstructions through which they cannot pass, rents; and that it would, consequently, afford the materials for and are thus forced upwards to the surface, and break forth in many of the secondary rocks, which geologists cannot other- the form of springs, which never cease to flow, because the wise account for.
source from which they are supplied can never cease to act. I do not here propose entering into the mazes of hypothesis, Every one is familiar with the effects of rain. A heavy " by attempting to define what were the actual primitive crea- fall upon the tops of the mountains detaches the various sized tions in the mineral world; but as secondary formations must particles already loosened by the action of the atmosphere. always have been in progress, (as they, even now, are going They are hurried along by the little rills into the brooks, by on) occasioned by the combined action of the atmosphere and the brooks into the rivers, and finally by the rivers into the the currents, their materials, however earthy, must have sea, the waters of which are partially tinged with these turoriginally been primitive; and if a primitive vegetable crea- bid streams. Every river, in the whole earth, is more or tion required support from a primitive soil, we shall find, in less heavily charged with earthy matter, on its reaching the the varieties to be naturally expected in such soils, a source parent ocean. The nature and colour of this muddy mixture for the variety we observe in the colour and grain of second- must depend upon those of the countries through which the ary rocks.
rivers flow. 'It may be demanded, what cause can be assigned for the Having now traced the course of this earthy matter to variety in the colours of the different secondary formations ? the sea, it becomes necessary to observe in what way it is As well might a cause be sought for the varied colours of the disposed of, in the bosom of the depths; and, for this purprimitive rocks, or the varied tints of the animal or vegetable pose, we must consider the nature and action of this great world. When the colours of the tiger, the zebra, or the but-body of waters. The continual influence of the moon, aided terfly, are accounted for, we may hope for information as to the in a less powerful degree by the attraction also of the sun, is cause of chalk or Carrara marble being white, and other calca- known to be the occasion of the tides which assist in keeping reous formations being of such variety of shades, down to the up the circulation of the waters.f But a much more powerblackest marble. There can be no other reason given for such fúl agent is continually at work in producing this effect; and endless variety, but the will of a Beneficent Creator, who hast as this agent, and its effects, do not come so familiarly withthought fit thus to adorn his incomprehensible creation with in- in our view, its power is not so generally understood or acnumerable objects, well fitted to convince the most sceptical knowledged. This agent is the general system of the currents mortal who will be at the pains to study them, that neither ac- in the ocean. cident, nor the laws of chemistry alone, could have produced such admirable variety. It has already been observed, that the currents in the wa- contact with a lower temperature than its own, that we can often
* It is to this particular action of the atmosphere, when coming in ters of the earth are the great agents by which almost all se-trace the cause of that dampness in our houses, which nothing can condary formations have been, and still are, carried on. In ever entirely obviate. Granite, whinstone, and some other rocks, are order to render this more plain to the intelligence, it will be highly objectionable, as building materials, on account of their great necessary, in this place, to enter somewhat at large into the coldness; and in houses built of such materials, one may always obsubject, and to trace the operations of nature now going on standing thick upon the surface, and, in the end, running down in under our eyes.
copious streams, Iike a violent perspiration. The common objection It is certain, then, that there is a continual circulation kept made to such stones, is, that they retain moisture, and perspire at ap in the waters of the earth. The heat of the sun causes certain times; this, however, is a vulgar error. an immense evaporation from both sea and land. The va- If a house be built upon a clay soil, the dampness, which is a usual pours thus raised, become either visible or invisible, according consequence, does not arise so much from the
clay being wet in itself
, to the degree of heat in the atmosphere; and thus, when mosphere, and thus forms a constant moisture. It is obvious, then, cooled either by their contact with mountains, or by currents that sand stone, or brick, as a material, and a light sandy soil, as a of cold air from the poles, they become condensed into drops, foundation, must produce the most dry and healthy dwelling. and fall upon the earth by their own weight, in the form of + The following clear description of the tides is given by Sir Da. rain or snow. But although the supplies of rivers are very vid Brewster, in his “Life of Sir Isaac Newton.” materially influenced by the moisture derived from the atmo
“ One of the great subjects to which Newton applied the princi
Philososphere, in the form of rain or snow, we must be convinced that ples of attraction and gravity, was, the tides of the ocean.
phers of all ages had recognized the connection between the phenoma more steady and constant supply must be obtained from ena of the tides, and the position of the moon. That the moon is the some other source; otherwise many rivers would become com- principle cause of the tides is obvious, from the well known fact, pletely dried up during the summer months, when they are that it is high water at any given place about the time when she is in most wanted for the support of both animal and vegetable life. the meridian of that place ; and that the sun performs a secondary
This steady supply may be traced, in all hilly or mountainous part in their production, is proved by the circumstance, that the highcountries, from whence streams generally flow, to the never est
, or spring tides, take place when the sun, the moon, and the carth,
are all in a straight line ; that is, when the force of the attraction of failing springs invariably found, more or less, in such situa- the sun conspires with that of the moon; and that the lowest, or neap ations, and which have given rise to much discussion tides, take place when lines drawn from the sun and moon to the amongst philosophers, to account for such pure and copious earth, are at right angles to each other ; that is, when the force of the steams, which are but little affected by the changes of wet or attraction of the sun acts in opposition to that of the moon. But the dry seasons of the year. It is to the action of the atmo- most perplexing phenomenon in the tides, and one which is still a sphere alone that we must look for a solution of this problem. traction, is the existence of high water on the side furthest from the The day is gone by, when it was supposed that there was moon, at the same time as on the side next the moon. To maintain some internal communication between the sea, and the springs that the attraction of the moon at the same time draws the waters of in the mountains, by means of which those pure and cooling the earth towards herself, and also draws them from the earth in an fountains were kept in continual action. The whole process opposite direction, seems, at first sight, paradoxical. But the diffiis now familiarly exhibited to our view in our every dining- culty vanishes, when we consider the earth, (or rather the centre of rooms, by observing the effects of heated air on the surface the earth,) and the waters on each side of it, as three distinct bodies,
placed at different distances from the moon, and, consequently, atof the cold caraffes upon our tables. It has been before ex-tracted with forces inversely proportioned to the squares of their displained, that a great quantity of moisture is absorbed by the tances. The waters nearest the moon will be much more poweratmosphere, from the surface of the waters of the earth, oc- fully attracted than the centre of the earth, and the centre of casioned by the heat of the sun: this moisture is generally the earth more than the waters furthest from the moon. The conevaporated in an invisible form; but it nevertheless pervades, sequence of this must be, that the waters nearest the moon will
be in a greater or less degree, every part of the atmosphere, and drawn away from the centre of the earth, and will, consequently, becomes visible in the form of clouds, when cooled by cold water's opposite the moon, which will, as it were, be left behind, and currents of air, or by contact with mountains, the surface of be in the same situation as if raised from the earth in a direction opwhich is colder than the temperature of the surrounding at-posite to that in which they are attracted by the moon.”