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These currents have long been remarked by voyagers in Horn, where it meets the south polar currents. The other every part of the sea; and they have been found so powerful part of this great Atlantic stream proceeds in a northerly dithat vessels are constantly borne out of their course, unless rection through the gulf of Glandin, along the shores of the due allowance be made for their influence. It was long sup- United States, where it is called the Gulf Stream, to Newposed that these rivers in the ocean were occasioned by the foundland; and here it is backed by the north polar currents; action of the tides: but modern science and observation has takes an easterly course across the Atlantic, coming over to the proved this idea to have been unfounded ; and has discovered coast of Norway and the British Isles, and tnrning thence to that there is as regular a circulation in the great deep as in the south, through the bay of Biscay, and along the coasts the veins of the human body. These currents chiefly arise of Spain and Africa, meets the great southern current in the from the following causes. In consequence of the powerful latitude of three degrees north. The breadth of the African action of the sun in tropical climates, the loss by evapora-branch of this magnificent ocean river is supposed to be from tion from the sea, is much greater than can be supplied by 150 to 1000 miles. At the Cape of Good Hope it runs at the the quantity of rain which falls in these latitudes. The rate of about two miles an hour; at the equator three and a moisture thus imbibed by the atmosphere, passes into the half; and in the Gulf Stream four miles an hour. regular circulation of the air; and when carried into the tem- It may easily be supposed what changes must be conperate or polar regions of the earth, it becomes condensed, stantly taking place in the bed of the ocean, and on the shores and falls there in much greater quantity than these regions of the dry land, by the never-ceasing action of these currents, lose by evaporation. This superabundant supply of water the force of which is too powerful to be more than slightly. cannot, from the figure and motion of the earth, remain where affected by the action of the tides or the winds. There is, it falls, but rushes back towards the equator in currents, the probably, a very great re-action also below the surface, and directions of which must depend, in a great measure, on the at greater depths than our very limited observations can forms of the coasts they may meet with in their course: and penetrate. as no strong current can take place either in the air or in the It such is the power and action of the currents and the waters, without a variety of eddies, or counter currents, as tides in the earth, as it now is, we may safely conclude that we familiarly know, on a small scale, by observing a strong they were not less active in the Antediluvian seas, the beds stream in any river, or by the draughts of air in our houses, of which we now inhabit; having it thus in our power to such are abundantly to be found in the ocean, and sometimes examine the various strata of earthly debris, which, in the on so large a scale, and in such a direction, as might appear course of more than sixteen centuries, were deposited in vain opposition to the system above explained, unless the whole rious directions, according to the partial changes that must be viewed upon an enlarged scale. It has been supposed by be constantly taking place in the direction of the currents, as some, that the winds, and especially the regular trade winds, the opposing points by which they are in a great degree have a great influence on the currents of the ocean, and may guided, are worn away. even be regarded as the cause of this constant motion in the Having thus found one agent of sufficient power to remove waters. But this is taking too superficial a view of the subject. vast quantities of mineral matter from the land into the ocean, It is known that the currents of the air affect the surface of and another, the effect of which is, gradually to arrange this the waters, merely by contact and friction in the same manner matter in strata more or less horizontal, according to the form as in the friction of any other two substances; and however or slope of the primitive bed on which they are deposited, the surface of the ocean may be agitated by this contact, and we can have little difficulty in accounting for most of the pheraised into waves by its force, we cannot suppose it capable nomena now discovered in the lower secondary formations of of acting to any considerable depth, or of displacing large our earth. For the upper secondary formations and alluvial bodies of water. It is, indeed, understood, that though the soils, we shall find a full and sufficient cause when we come swell of a wave advances on the surface, the water over which to the consideration of the Mosaic deluge. it moves remains nearly stationary; so that, although the We must now resume the consideration of the primitive winds may, in some small degree, aid or impede the tides or ocean from its first being “ gathered together" until the Mothe currents, they cannot be considered the cause of the move-saic deluge, a period amounting to about 1656 years; and which ment, any more in the one case than in the other. There will be found fully sufficient to account for many of the appears to be a close resemblance between this circulation kept geological phenomena exposed to our view. For when we up in the waters, and that known to exist in the atmosphere. apply to the utmost depths of secondary formations, the scale In the latter we have winds of various power and continu- on which we are now considering the whole earth, and also ance, and also whirlwinds, occasioned, like the whirlpools in when we think of the great extent of decomposition and refluids, by the action of two contrary streams, or by the dis- formation incessantly proceeding in our own times, we shall turbance occasioned by an opposing object. There are also feel satisfied that the indefinite periods assumed by the chaotic such decided counter-currents in the air, from the effort to philosophy, are infinitely greater than the existing phenomena preserve a just balance in that element, that it is a common demand ;f and we shall
, consequently, have a more confirmed practice with æronauts to send up a small balloon before confidence in the truth of the inspired record. launching their larger one, in order to discover in what direction the upper currents of the wind may be setting.
The whole system of the currents in the ocean can probably never be distinctly defined, on account of its great extent, and the very partial observations of voyagers. Besides, there
CHAPTER V. must be a constant though slow alteration in the directions of their smaller divisions, according as the opposing objects General Nature of the Formations on the Earth.-Origin and are gradually worn away. But the general outline of the
Progress of Secondary Formations.-Causes of Stratification larger branches may be traced with tolerable distinctness,
in Secondary Rocks.—Such Deposits become gradually Mineand may be here explained as they now exist in our own calized.-Calcareous Formutions.—Salt Deposits.-Proof of times. The present great system of currents, then, may be traced from the western coast of America across the Pacific
Granite not being an Aqueous Deposit.-Secondary Forma
tions now in Progress in the Bed of the Ocean. ocean ; of this current we as yet know little, but that it exists. But one branch of it strikes on the south of New Holland, running through Bass's Straits, round South Cape;
The active researches of geologists into the existing pheand another branch runs amongst the islands of the Archipe
nomena on the surface of the earth, have led to the following lago, on the north of New Holland. On entering the Indian conclusions with respect to mineral bodies. ocean, and meeting the south polar current, it runs through the gulf of Bengal, round cape Comorin, and over to Africa,
“Primitive Rocks acquiring great velocity in its passage. From the straits “ Consist only of crystalline formations; of Babelmandel, it keeps always a south-west direction, till! They contain no organic remains; it doubles the Cape of Good Hope, when it turns to the They are found below all other rocks ; north-west, following the line of the coast. On approaching And they rise from the base, through all other rocks, forming the the equator it sets nearly west. When in the latitude of three
summits of the most lofty mountains. degrees north it meets with another current, which has run southerly along the west coast of Africa, with which it unites,
We may look for much interesting and useful information reand crosses the Atlantic, nearly W. S.W. On reaching the publication, and written by the late Major Renne!!. It is under
specting the currents of the ocean, in a work now in course of Brazils, it diverges åt cape St. Augustine into two streams; stood to apply, more particularly, to the currents of the Atlantic. one going S, W. parallel with the coast till it doubles Cape See page 55, and note, page 65.
“ TRANSITION AND FLOetz, (or Secondary Rocks,) These three laws, which have been in constant action since “Consist partly of crystalline, partly of mechanical deposits ; the first creation of the seas, the rivers, and the atmosphere, They contain organic remains of sea shells;
which events, history informs us, took place about 6000 years And are never found under primitive rocks.
ago, are fully sufficient to account for a prodigious accumula“ ALLUVIAL DEPOSITS
tion of decomposed mineral matter in the bed of the ocean.*
Should any event, then, take place to enable us to examine « Consist of mechanical deposits ;
that bed in a dry state, we could feel no surprise if we should They result from the ruin of rocks;
discover the original crystallized surface of the earth, loaded They contain abundance of shells, together with the bones of with various accumulations, resulting evidently from such de
quadrupeds,” and of the human race; “And they are found above all the other rocks."*
composition of rocks as the atmosphere every where occa
sions, as the rivers every where become charged with, and as Thus far the chaotic and the Mosaic geologies coincide ; As it is one part of the laws of gravity, that deposits in fluids
the currents of the ocean must, at all times, be depositing. the facts are self-evident, and within the reach of every one who will take the trouble to examine them. But when the which these fluids themselves are retained by attraction, we
shall fall to the bottom, in the same horizontal position in causes by which these facts have been produced, come under consideration, the two geologies separate; the one following
should expect to find these deposits in this particular posithe path which history has marked out, and which reason
tion; unless the irregular form of that part of the primitive can comprehend, leading at every step towards the light of earth on which they happened to be laid, occasioned an irtruth; the other, under a variety of leaders, plunges into the siderable elevation or irregularity have existed on the primi
Should any very condark and devious mazes of hypothesis, rejects the guidance tive surface of the earth, such as we now denominate an Al; of history, and is led more and more into obscurity and error. There is no possible way of clearing this labyrinth and of pine height, but at the bottom of the primitive sea, we should gaining the desired end, but by retracing our steps and tak- expect to discover the various horizontal deposits of various ing advantage of the clue which history affords us.
But in changing currents laid one above another, towards its top. If doing this, we must keep constantly in mind the difficulties face of the waters in the form of an island, we should not look
this top had been of sufficient elevation to be above the surfrom which we have escaped ; and the impossibility we
have for any such deposits above the level which the waters had experienced of tracing primitive effects to secondary causes. Truth and reason acknowledge but one primitive cause ; and bare primitive rock
free from all secondary formation.
reached; but, on the contrary, we should expect to find the that is, an Almighty, though to us, incomprehensible Creator. Having found the arguments in favour of secondary causes,
After taking this general view of the bed of a former ocean, or the mere laws of nature, as they are called, totally insuffi- supposing it to be within our power to do so, we should cient to account satisfactorily to our reason, for the first naturally
enter upon a more minute examination of the variformation of crystallized mineral bodies, any more than forous mineral masses of which these deposits were formed. I the first formation of animal or vegetable bodies, we come to to the situation in which they oecur, and according to the presence the unavoidable conclusion that they were all the creative or absence of land streams, by the agency of which the deposits work of an Almighty hand. But as it is evident that this might have been made. The well known fossil elks of Ireland, and creation, as soon as completed, was submitted to certain laws, of the Isle of Man, may probably be regarded as truly antediluvian ; by some of which a constant succession of decay and re-for-though geologists have often considered them as much more modern. mation was to be kept up in the mineral world, at least as In a late publication by Mr. Lyell, which has come under my far as regards the mere surface of the earth, it may be con- formation of the most important kind, with regard to natural
notice since the above was written, and which is a work full of insidered quite within the scope of our reason to examine these secondary causes, which he considers sufficient to account for all laws, and to account for these secondary effects by secondary the appearances on the surface of the earth, we find a calculation causes.
with respect to the quantity of mud lodged in the sea by the Ganges, We find, then, that it is one constant law of the Creator which appears, as it is well calculated to do, to shake to its foundathat the action of the atmosphere shall decompose or break tion the theory of the author
; for it is obvious, that it proves too up the mineral bodies exposed to its influence. We find much to suit his idea of millions of years, as the age of the world. another called the law of gravity, by which the waters of the with respect to the waters of the Ganges, which are calculated to
After stating the calculations of Rennell, and of Major Colebrooke, earth, in seeking their own level, are hurried from the highest contain one part, in four, of mud, Mr. Lyell continues : “But, almountains to the sea; carrying along with them abundance though we can readily believe the proportion of sediment in the of mineral matter in the shape of sand, mud and gravel. We waters of the Ganges to exceed that of any river in northern latifind a third law by which the waters of the ocean are kept in tudes, we are somewhat staggered by the results to which we must constant agitation; and the mineral matter imported by the arrive, if we compare the proportion of mud, as given by Rennell, rivers, is arranged in classes, according to the weight and latter is probably very correct. If it be true that the Ganges, in the volume of its parts, and distributed over the sea bed in va- flood-season, contains one part, in four, of mud, we shall then be rious directions, and in various quantities, according to the obliged to suppose that there passes down, every four days, a quannature of the currents which remove it.
tity of mud, equal in volume to the water which is discharged in the course of twenty-four hours. If the mud be assumed to be
equal to one half the specific gravity of granite, (it would, however, * Phillips's Geology.
be more,) the weight of matter daily carried down in the flood sea+ This law of arrangement, which is founded on the law of gravity, son, would be about equal to 74 times the weight of the Great Pyramay be looked upon as the great agent in distinct stratification. And mid of Egypt. Even if it could be proved that the turbid waters of as this law could not be in force without the lateral movement kept the Ganges contain one part in a hundred of mud, which is possiup by the currents of the ocean, we cannot look for its effects in ble, and which is affirmed to be the case in regard to the Rhine, we situations where such constant action and re-action of currents do should be brought to the extraordinary conclusion, that there passes not exist. Thus we never can expect to find the secondary forma- down, every day, into the Bay of Bengal, a mass more than equal in tions of fresh water lakes, however extensive, in the same stratified weight and bulk to the Great Pyramid.”-Principles of Geology, arrangement as in the bed of the sea. Whatever sand, mud, gravel vol. i. page 284. or roek is lodged in a lake by rivers, must, therefore, remain Let the candour of this very able author calculate this effect over exactly in the same irregular mass as when first imported and de- the whole earth for 2000 years, and then consider it as having acted posited; and, accordingly, we never find the shores of lakes, or the for one or two millions of years ; and let him say which result banks of rivers, presenting the same distinct classification as is al- bears the most just proportion to the secondary formations actually ways found, more or less, on the sea shores. For the same reason, found to load the primitive surface of the earth. we may be assured that in draining marshes or lakes, when we cut + “Of the nature of the bed of the ocean we know but little. through distinct strata of sand, marl, gravel, or fine clay, which the portions of it which have been explored by soundings, are are all generally found in strata in such situations, we are to attri- found, in one place, to contain immense collections of the wreck of bute such deposits, as well as their fossil contents, to a period when testaceous animals, intermixed with sand or gravel ; and in another, the action of the sea was in force; and that the hollow basin-like to consist of soft alluvial mud, several feet in depth. Donati found form which now causes a marsh or a lake, must have been at least the bottom of the Adriatic to be composed of a compact bed of shells, partially coated with marine strata at the period of the deluge. We not less than a hundred feet in thickness.”—Edin. Encyclop. Physimust, however, be guided by circumstances, in forming a judgment cal Geography, p. 518. in such cases, as there can be no doubt that many places which were It was likewise discovered, in the researches of Donati, that, at a formerly shallow lakes or marshes, are now nearly dry, from the very few feet below the surface of the bed of the Adriatic, the degrowth of peat, or the accumulation of the debris of land streams ; posits were converted, by pressure, and by the actions of the chemiand we must, consequently, judge of the nature of the soils, and of cal laws of nature, into solid marble, and the shells completely the period of the fossil deposits, according to their degree of strati- petrified. fication, and the nature of the embedding soils.
“Various marine substances are to be found almost in every The remains of deer and other animals often found in peat mosses, part of the extensive province of Chili, and even on the tops of some must, therefore, be considered antediluvian, or, otherwise, according of its lofty mountains. In the main ridge of the Andes, the internal
And here we should soon find that the laws by which the marine deposits; and they would afterwards be found gradaworld is governed, are not confined to those three, by the ac-ally more abundant, as the bed of the sea became more loadtion of which these deposits have been formed. We should ed with the remains of past generations. We could have have to consult the voluminous code of chemical laws, the little expectation of discovering the remains of fish, and still foundations of which, like those of all the other laws of God, less, those of quadrupeds, in these gradually formed sea deposare beyond our comprehension ; but in the action of which, ites; for though race after race, of the finny tribes, must have human science has made so many brilliant discoveries. We perished from the very first, and the bodies of many land anshould every where discover effects produced by these chemi-imals, and even of human beings, must have been conveyed cal laws, varying according to the situation, and the nature of to the ocean, in the common course of events, before the the materials to be acted upon. Instead of finding these ma-flood; yet that wonderful law of God, by which so just a terials, when freed from the waters in which they had been balance is preserved throughout the animal creation, would deposited, simply in the state of dry sand, mud, or gravel, have prevented almost a possibility of the remains of the and equally loose and friable as they must have been at the dead being covered up, or preserved: for no sooner does a period of their deposition, we should find them cemented to- fish perish, than its body disappears among the voracious gether in the most solid and compact manner. All the inter-tribes of the deep ; and those of terrestrial animals could vening spaces between the angles of the grosser particles, rarely meet with any other fate.t. filled up with a stony matter, and the whole assuming the. On a closer inspection of some of the finer earthy deposits, appearance and qualities of solid rock.*
having every appearance of having once been a tenacious Where cavites had, by any accident, been formed, either in mud, we should find them variously loaded with these crusthe first deposition, or, as would be more probable, in the taceous remains. We should also find, that the whole mass course of desiccation, we should frequently find that wonder- had become impregnated with a calcareous quality, which was ful and unaccountable law in operation, by which fluids as- not to be found in any of the formations generally considered sume, in drying, a crystalline form. As the primitive ocean primitive; and which, therefore, must have been acquired had, by the command of the Almighty, produced, “abundant- by some of those chemical laws at all times in action in the ly the moving creature that hath life;" and as many of these world. We should find some difficulty in coming to any creatures were destined to become the permanent inhabitants positive conclusion with respect to the original cause of this of the deep, we should feel no surprise, in every where discover-calcareous property; more especially, when we discover a ing more or less of animal remains, mixed up with the mineral similar calcareous principle in the shells and bones of both deposits of their own proper element. But as the fish of the terrestrial and marine animals. sea, as well as the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the The deposits of salt which we might discover, would, in no field, are guided by the laws of instinct for their self-preser- way, surprise us, having had connexion with waters of the vation; and as instinctive self-preservation would lead them, same briny character. But the question, whether the saltness when alive, to keep upon the surface of these gradually form of the ocean be' derived from the mineral, or the mineral be a ing deposites, unless when overpowered or buried by any chemical deposit from the water, would probably lead us out of unusual accumulation, we should seldom expect to find more the plain beaten track we had determined to pursue, and than the shelly remains of the crustaceous animals. Even should, therefore, be declined, and left for future investigathese would be looked for, but in small numbers, in the first tion, as not in any way affecting the general question.
In the whole of this general review of the secondary forstructure consists of primitive rocks of granite and quartz. The mations, however, we should be deeply impressed with this maritime and midland mountains, together with the lateral chains of remarkable fact, that in all these various formations, in which the Andes, are of secondary formation ; their strata, which are hori- the laws of chemistry had been observed to have acted so and contain
the impressions of animal bodies.”-Molina's Natural powerfully, and in some of which even crystallization apand Civil History of Chili.
peared, in many cases, to have taken place, we should dis* We are sometimes enabled to form some idea of the operations cover no trace of such forr ions as we had previously remarkable instances, the action of this petrifying power. One of the were originally crystallized in an aqueous fluid of the very self in the great laboratory of nature, and can thus trace, in some re-marked in primitive rocks, which we had been taught to believe most remarkable of these instances is described by Mr. Morier as
same character. existing in Persia, not far from Maragha. A mineral spring issues from the earth in bubbles, and falls into a basin of about 15 feet in
We should no where find granite, or any other primitive diameter. On flowing over the edges of this basin, the water spreads rock, amongst the secondary chemical deposits; and we should over the ground, forming numerous ponds and plashes, and in these consider this fact alone, as a positive confirmation of the conit becomes hard, and produces that beautiful transparent stone, com- clusion we had before come to by a different process, viz. that monly called Tabreez marble. “The process of petrifaction,” the primitive creations never could have arisen in an aqueous says Mr. Morier, “ may be traced from its first beginning to its fluid, by the mere laws of nature. termination. In one part, the water is clear; in a second, it appears thicker, and stagnant; in a third, quite black ; and, in the
It is scarcely necessary to observe, that the case which has last stage, it is white, like hoar frost. The petrified ponds look like been here put hypothetically, of having it in our power to frozen water ; a stone slightly thrown upon them breaks the crust, make this actual survey of the bed of the former ocean, has and the black water exudes. "But where the operation is complete, in fact occurred; as is sufficiently testified by the numerous a man may walk upon the surface without wetting his shoes. A phenomena presented to us, over nearly the whole surface of section of the stony mass appears like sheets of rough paper, in ac- the present dry land. cumulated layers. Such is the constant tendency of this water to become stone, that the bubbles become hard, as if, by a stroke of
But in order to form a more defined idea of the mode of magic, they had been arrested, and metamorphosed into marble." secondary formations, let us, for a moment, consider the acInstances nearly as remarkable, are seen at the falls of Terni in Italy, tion of these same laws by which we have supposed them to at the famous hot springs in Iceland, in Derbyshire, and in many have been formed, as they may, at any time, be observed goother places. “I saw," says Saussure, “on the sea shore, near the Pharo de
* See page 61, note. Messina, sands which were loose and friable, when lodged by the + Fish are rarely found in a fossil state in the lower secondary waves on the shore, but which, by means of the calcareous juice in- formations; but the fact occasionally occurs, as might be expected, filtrated into them by the sea, gradually becomes so hard, as to be as exceptions to what may be called a general rule. They are, used as millstones. This process takes place in the course of a very however, found in great abundance in diluvial formations, as we few years.” —Comp. Estim. vol. ii. p. 45.
shall have occasion to perceive, in considering the effects of the + In the course of considerable experience in the search of fossil deluge. shells in various secondary formations, I have been led to the conclusion that these fossil remains must, in by far the greater number earthy salts, fat, gelatine, and cartilage. The earthy salts are
The component parts of bones are chiefly four ; namely, of cases, have been embedded after the death of the fish that in- four in number, 1st. Phosphate of lime, which constitutes by far habited them. The chalk formation is especially remarkable for the greater part of the whole. 2d. Cardonate of lime. sd. the perfect state of preservation in which it renders up its fossil Phosphate of magnesia. 4th. Sulphate of lime.”—Edin. Encyclop. treasures ; and they are often found retaining the remains of their Chemistry, p. 138. most delicate parts, as perfect as when first embedded. In the case “Lime has been known from the remotest ages. It abonnds in of the echini, for example, many of which are, in the natural state, every part of the earth, constituting immense ranges of rocks and covered with spines, like a hedgehog, I have found, in a few of the mountains. It may be obtained by burning calcareous spars, and most perfect fossil specimens, just sufficient indication of a spine, certain marbles. Oyster shells, when burnt, yield it nearly pure." to convince me how complete they would have been, had they been Ibid. p. 45. buried in a living state. But as they are almost always, more or less, stripped of their spines, it appears certain that they must have tions, would incline us to refer all saltness to the great laboratory of
§ The saline principle so generally found in all animal producbeen cxposed to the friction of the waters, in an empty state, before nature, and not to attribute it solely to marine origin. With regard they were covered up. The fractured and disordered position of to salt, as a solid mineral body, I shall have occasion to make some fossils in general, also tend to the same opinion.
remarks upon it, in a subsequent chapter. (See chap. 8.)
ing on under our eyes. Let us station ourselves on a part of Now, as all this sand is a primitive crystalline formation, havthe sea coast, near the mouth of any great river, and considering no mixture of calcareous earths, except, perhaps, particles how the laws of nature are continually acting. We must, of broken sea shells, in small quantity, we must conclude, however, in the absence of extensive primitive coasts, which that it is brought from other parts, by the currents, and that are now scarcely any where to be found, content ourselves the lighter and finer muddy deposits, which are not found so with illustrations from the secondary and alluvial formations commonly on that coast, are carried off and deposited in some with which our present shores are loaded ; so that the second- of the depths of the ocean. ary deposits, now in progress, are formed from secondary Wherever these secondary formations may be in the act of rocks, instead of from primitive, as the antediluvian deposits deposition, we could feel no surprise, if, on examining them must have been.
in a dry and hard state, we should discover, embedded in Let us station ourselves, for instance, on that point of our them, the shells of such crustaceous animals as may inown shores, formed by the Isle of Thanet, where we have, to habit these depths; and if we should even find the remains the south, a great extent of chalky coast, and to the north, the of fish, or “ creeping thing," with which we were unacquaintmouth of our noble Thames. And, first, let us observe the ed, we should not feel justified in concluding that they were action of the atmosphere on the chalky cliffs of this island. not the inhabitants of our present seas, or not of existing There are few of the secondary formations more easily affect- species, because our research had not yet penetrated their ed than the chalk, by the alternate moisture and dryness of deep abodes. For we may rest assured, that however minuteour climate: and this is materially assisted by the chemical ly we may scan the dry land, and its various productions, action of the salt from the spray of the sea. In the spring there are treasures in the great deep, that are for ever placed of the year, when the heat of the sun becomes powerful, and far beyond the eye of the most active naturalist. evaporates the abundant moisture imbibed by the chalk dur- But let us now turn our thoughts towards the flowing ing the winter, the whole surface of the cliff, as it were, ex- Thames, and observe the continual operations carried on by foliates; and large masses, becoming detached, are precipitat- its unwearied waters. We shall find them charged with a ed on the sands below, in a crumbling heap of ruin. The load of earthy matter, collected, in their course, from the vavery first succeeding tide that flows, begins the work of trans- rious formations through which the river flows.' This burden portation ; and the waters retire, on the ebb tide, loaded with must necessarily be of the most indiscriminate character; the finest particles of this chalky ruin. But though this in- but these various bodies are to be deposited in an element satiable enemy retires white with its booty, and sullies, for a where each species of importation is most exactly sifted, and considerable distance, the purity of the ocean, yet, on every every thing is arranged according to its own particular class. succeeding flow, it again advances empty handed : the flow- The muddy, the sundy, or the gravelly bodies, which are thus ing waves are as transparent as if no chalk existed on the in constant motion downwards, from the highest sources of whole coast. A few weeks or months of this never-ceasing the river, are all at length submitted to the action of those action gradually diminishes even the most solid portions of laws of Nature, which regulate the deep. We cannot supthe chalk; and, at length, the sands are as pure and as free pose that all this earthy matter remains in the form of banks from earthy matter, as if no fall had ever taken place. Now, and shoals, near the immediate mouth of the river itself; for though we may liken this gradual disappearance of the chalk if this were the case, that mouth must long since have been to that of salt or sugar immersed in water, there is this most completely blocked up. But, although we always find rivers material difference; that in the one case, the matter is actual- closed, more or less, with a bar, occasioned by the contendly dissolved, and held in solution as long as the moisture ing action of the tide, and the stream; yet we do not percontinues; but in the other, the indissoluble earthy particles ceive that bar materially to increase; for the exact balance of the chalk are carried off bodily by the waves; and are is, at all times, kept up by the constant removal of superfluonly held in suspension, until, by their own weight, they sink ous matter, by the action of the currents of the neighbouring to the bottom of the sea, and are added, in the form of mud, ocean.* to beds that must have been in the course of formation ever since that great revolution which placed the chalky bottom of the antediluvian sea in a situation to be thus acted upon as which the wreck of many a tall ship has been buried, was once a the high coast of the postdiluvian ocean.*
cultivated island, and part of the property of the Earl of Godwin. It is not so easy to determine in what part of the bed of Sandwich, was once a sea port, though it is now fully two miles
The ancient Roman castle of Richborough, about a mile north of the sea this chalky mud is now being deposited; but there is from the shore. At that period, the Isle of Thanet was really an considerable reason to suppose that it is not in the immediate island, being separated from the main land by a channel, at one end neighbourhood of the present shores ; for there, the currents of which was Richborough, and at the other Reculvers, both Roman seem to deposit sand in such immense quantities, as to render stations, under the names of Ritupium and Rigulbiam. In the Romthe navigation both difficult and dangerous. We no where ney Marsh, on the south coast of Kent, there was another Roman hear of a muddy bottom: every thing is either sund or solid port, which is now several miles from the shore. chalk. And here we have numerous examples of the changes inland lakes, and in adding to the accumulations in the bed of the
* As an instance of the power with which rivers act, in filling up that are gradually effected in the form and structure of the sea, the following example may serve to give an idea. bed of the ocean. Every old pilot, well acquainted with The river Kander, a mountain torrent of no great size, rushes the difficult navigation of this part of the coast, can relate in- down the valley of Kanderthal, in the Canton Burne, in Switzerland, stances, within his own memory, where the shifting nature and enters the lake of Thoun, about four miles from the town sợ of the sand banks renders the most watchful attention to the the lake, from which its course was cut off by a ridge of diluvial landmarks, and buoys, so necessary. The form and extent hills of several hundred feet in height, stretching along the south of the fatal Goodwin sands have undergone considerable side of the lake, in a north-westerly direction. This diluvial ridge, changes within a comparatively short period of time. They extending more than ten miles in length, is entirely composed of now extend many miles in length, and are formed of so pure rounded gravel, or pudding stone. a sand, that scarcely a shell is to be found upon them, and no In consequence of the mischief done by the overflowing of the gravel whatever. The ramifications of this bank, extending Kander, to a great extent of valuable meadow land, in its course to
join the Arr, ten miles below Thoun, which was its natural course, northward towards the mouth of the Thames, are all formed
a spirited plan was proposed and adopted, for cutting a subterraneof an equally pure sand, which is dry and hard at low water.tous passage for the river, through the above mentioned ridge, at a
place where it approached the lake within about a mile, and thus
admitting it into its bed. This passage was cut in the beginning of * There cannot exist a doubt, that, though England be now se- the last century (about 1715.) The descent was rapid, from the parated from France by a distance of from 20 to 40 miles, and that lake being considerably lower than the old course of the river. At distance be now occupied by the sea, the whole intervening space, this period, the depth of the lake was in proportion to the steep hills and a great extent of both countries, form one continuous secondary forming its shore." The Kander had not long followed its new subformation of chalk, of which the basins of Paris, London, and the terraneous course, when it greatly enlarged the artificial tunnel, and Isle of Wight, so well known to geologists, form a part. It is the hurried great quantities of gravel into the lake. The rapidity of the opinion of some, whose ideas in geology are quite unfettered by torrent in a few years enlarged its course, till at length the whole suhistory, as to time, that the two countries were once united, and that perstructure gave way, and fell in; so that there is now a most rothe separation has been effected by gradual decay, from the action mantic wild glen, where, a century ago, there was smooth pasture of the sea upon a narrow isthmus. But history will not bear us out and wood lands. The effects of the torrent soon became apparent in in this idea for we know, from certain landmarks, which existed the lake: an immense quantity of gravel, and every species of rock, many centuries ago, such as the Roman part of Dover Castle, and was carried in by the current, and lodged in its bed. In 1829, when other ancient buildings on the coast, that the decay of the cliffs, I lived in that neighbourhood, the bed formed of this debris, was
of though constant and gradual, has not been such, in the last 2000 years, not less extent than 300 acres; the greater part was covered with as to warrant any such conclusion, supposing the deluge to have taken thick wood; and this secondary formation is every year increasing place, as we have reason to know it did, about 4000 years ago. in the same proportion ; so that, as the lake is not there of great
+ It is traditionally reported, that this formidable sand bank, in breadth, there is every prospect of a rapid and most material If this, then, is the system now in action, on a small por- pression on the minds of the survivors, which would be como tion of our own shores, to what an extent must it be going municated from them to their children, and would not be ea. on around our whole island. And if we extend our view, sily effaced from the traditions even of their latest posterity. and consider the more gigantic scale of the rivers on the con- A deficiency in such traces of this awful event, though it tinents, and the more direct influence of the great currents upon might not entirely invalidate our belief of its reality, would their vast importations, we shall find a cause fully sufficient certainly tend considerably to weaken its claim to credibility; for the formation of secondary deposits of great depth and it being scarcely probable that the knowledge of it should be variety, in the course of a comparatively short space of time. atterly lost to the rest of the world, and confined to the doc
uments of the Jewish nation alone.
“What we might reasonably expect, has accordingly been actually and fully realized. "The evidence which has been brought from almost every quarter of the world, to bear upon
the reality of this event, is of the most conclusive and irreCHAPTER VI.
sistible kind; and every investigation which has been made
concerning heathen rites and traditions, has constantly added The Deluge.-- Traditional Evidence of that Event.-Erroneous to its force, no less than to its extent.”—Edin. Ency. Deluge.
Ideas commonly entertained • respecting it.—Distinctness of Without entering at great length into the evidence on this Scripture on the Subject.--Evidence from Scripture.-Evi- subject, which has been
brought from the most distant heathen dence from the Ancient, though Apocryphal, Book of Enoch.--- lands, it may perhaps be sufficient, here, to state generally: Theories of Philosophy on the Subject. The most probable that allusion is made, more or less directly, to the flood of Cause of that Destructive Event.
Noah, and to Noah himself, under various names, by the an
cient Greek, Latin, Egyptian, Oriental, and Chinese authors. In the former part of this work, and in taking a general Lucian, a Greek author, and an avowed scoffer at all religions, view of the phenomena presented to our observation on the sur- gives a history of the deluge, and of Noah under the name of face of our earth, a confident hope was held out, that we Deucalion, soʻminute and circumstantial, that it must certainshould be able fully to account for all those phenomena, byly have been taken from the ancient tradition of the sarne considering, with a candid and unprejudiced judgment, the event which is described by Moses. The accounts of the three great events recorded in history, viz. 1st, the creation of flood of Deucalion of the ancient heathens, bear so strong a the world ; 2d, the formation of a bed for the gathering to- resemblance to the Mosaic narrative in some parts, that no gether of the waters, together with the action of the laws of na-one can doubt their being founded on traditions of the flood of ture within that bed, for upwards of sixteen centuries; and last- Noah. Deucalion, the son of Prometheus, reigned over part ly, the deluge, as described by Moses in the book of Genesis. of Thessaly. The impiety in the world had irritated Jupiter, We have already, at some length, considered the two first of who resolved to destroy mankind; and immediately the earth these great events; and in the last of the two, we have found exhibited a boundless scene of waters. The highest mounan unquestionable source of very extensive secondary forma- tains were climbed by the terrified inhabitants of the earth; tion, and sufficient to account for a large proportion of all but these seeming places of security were soon overtopped those, actually existing, on the primitive surface of the earth. by the rising waters, and no hope was left of escape from the We have thus satisfactorily explained the formation of the universal calamity. Prometheus advised his son to make transition rocks containing few or no fossil remains; and also himself a ship; and by this means he saved himself and his wife accounted for the early sand stone, and calcareous formations, Pyrrha.- As to the account of the flood given by Ovid, it aptogether with the abundance of fossil sea shells found in the pears nearly certain, from the order in which he describes the latter.
creation, and from the facts connected with the deluge, as We now, therefore, come to the consideration of that great described by him, that he was acquainted with the sacred event by which so complete a revolution has occurred upon the volume. The Septuagint translation had, at that period, been earth, and by means of which alone we are now enabled to known for more than two centuries; and being written in a lantrace out a part of the operations of those laws, to which the guage with which all well-educated Romans were perfectly conworld has been submitted by its Creator. For had we now versant, it is more than probable that the ideas of the heathbeen placed in the situation of the antediluvian world, as in- en poet were directly derived from this source.-The accounts habitants of a primitive surface, we could have had none of given by Plutarch, Plato, and Diodorus Siculus, show that information which we now derive from the inspection of that the Egyptians believed in a universal deluge, and allude the secondary formations on which we dwell.
to Noah under the title of Osiris, but in the obscure and con“ According to the most approved systems of chronology, fused manner to be expected in their heathen traditions. this remarkable event happened in the year 1656, after the cre- Sir William Jones, in his valuable researches into the ation, or about 2348 years before the Christian æra.–Of so works and traditions of the Hindoos, gives us the substance general a calamity, from which only a single family of all then of their accounts of the deluge, which, though also full of the living on the earth was preserved, we might naturally ex- wild superstitions of the east, bear the strongest marks of pect to find some memorials in the traditionary records of Pa- the same origin. But the most extraordinary traditional evigan history, as well as in the sacred volume.' Its magnitude dence of this event, comes from quarters where it could be and singularity could scarcely fail to make an indelible im- least expected, and is consequently of the greater value, as it
could not have been handed down by any other means than change taking place in its form. I have sounded the lake at the oral tradition, from one generation to another. Some of the present mouth of the Kander, and, as I found no bottom with a line inhabitants of Otaheite, on being asked by one of our cirof about a hundred feet, we are certain that this mountain stream cumnavigators concerning their origin, replied that their sumixed materials, of fully three hundred acres, and at least one preme God, having, a long time ago, been angry, dragged hundred feet in depth.
the earth through the sea, when their island was broken off, and One circumstance, however, is worthy of remark, with respect preserved. In the island of Cuba they relate, that an old to such secondary formations in fresh water lakes ; and that is, that man, knowing that the deluge was approaching, built a ship, in consequence of the absence of tides and currents, and that con- and went into it, with a great many animals; that he sent out stant lateral movement kept up in the bed of the sea, we never dis- from the ship a crow, which did not immediately come back, tion of the tide. The mixture of mineral bodies carried into an in- staying to feed on the carcasses of dead animals, but afterwards land lake, remains, therefore, exactly as deposited at the first, and returned with a green branch in his beak. From Peru, Brathis must always be in great confusion. The difference of effect, zil, and Mexico, the traditions of the duluge are very dismay, perhaps, be safely taken as a guide, in judging of what some tirictly marked with traces of the original from whence they geologists have called salt and fresh water formations; and if this must all have come; and even among the Iroquois Indians of idea be correct, we have an additional evidence against the extraor- America, it is believed that a great lake overflowed its banks, dinary theories of Cuvier, who supposed the well defined strata of the and in a short time covered the whole earth, in consequence Paris' basin to have been occasioned by the alternate occupation of that basin by salt and fresh water. The rounded pebbles and sand, of the dogs of one of their spirits being lost in it, while hunting. found in lakes, are never formed in the lakes themselves, as they It has frequently been asked by those who are incredulous are in the bosom of the sea, but are carried into them by the rivers on many points of scripture history, how it happened in annearly in the shape in which we find them.
cient times, when navigation was little known, that the most It may, therefore, be safely assumed, that the regular strata of distant islands, in the midst of the ocean, and the entire consand,
or gravel, or of fine clay, found in mosses, and shallow lakes, tinent of America, so recently discovered by Europeans, be period of the deluge, under the influence and by the agency of the came inhabited, if it were true that all men perished except one aetion of the sea.
family, who were landed in Asia. It is difficult to reason