« PreviousContinue »
the wood and the basalt passed, has been swept away, leaving this mountain as a solitary memorial to attest its existence.
“ Thus, also, on the side of Mount Jura, next the Alps, where no other mountain interposes, there are found vast blocks of granite, some of a thousand cubic yards, at the height of more than two thousand feet above the lake of Geneva. These blocks are foreign to the rocks among which they lie, and have evidently come from the opposite chain of the Alps; but the land which constituted the inclined plane, over which they were rolled or transported, has been worn away, and the valley of lower Switzerland, with its lakes, now occupies its place. Transported masses of primitive rocks, of the same description, are found scattered over the north of Germany, which Von Buch ascertained by their characters to belong to the mountains of Scandinavia ; and which, therefore, carry us back to a period when an elevated continent, occupying the basin of the Baltic sea, connected Saxony with Norway.”
This account is very interesting, and, indeed, delightful. Many people would have gone by these rocks and mountains, and would not have thought of their history.
True, Frank ; there are thousands of persons who live near them, and who have seen
them from their infancy, who know nothing of it. There are wonderful objects to be seen almost every where, if we will but use our eyes and our understandings.
You have been reading Barrow's Travels in Africa : did you notice, as I -wished you,
what he says of the immense mountains near the Cape of Good Hope ?
Yes, Father. He gives a particular description of them; and he says that the strata of which they are composed, is not “ placed in the order of their specific gravity: the whole formation of them,” he says, “clearly points out, that a grand revolution has taken place on the surface of the globe which we inhabit."
This, I think, Frank, is incontrovertible. The researches of almost every day, and in every part of the world, add new proofs to those which we already possess on this remarkable subject.
But, Father, did not the account you read of the mountains from the Encyclopedia, mention primitive rocks? Are there different kinds of rocks?
Certainly. Geologists divide rocks into four classes. The first are called Primitive Rocks. No animal or vegetable remains are to be found in these ; indeed, they appear not to have undergone any alteration since they were originally formed. Another class
are called Secondary Rocks ; traces of animals and shells, are generally, more or less, to be found in all these. Alluvial Rocks are the third class. These are generally loose in their quality, and have no very solid texture. The fourth class are Volcanic Rocks. As their name imports, they are produced by volcanos. You shall read more about these another day.
How evident it is, Father, that God has written, as you said, the truth of his word upon his works.
It is. The ocean has been over what is now the dry land. A deluge has evidently covered the earth, according to the doctrine of the Scriptures.
What a Being is God! The Psalmist says, “ He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth !” And how awful must he be in his displeasure.
Yes, Frank, he must : it could not have. been a light thing which induced him to send a deluge on the earth ; to break up the fountains of the great deep, and thus to destroy the works of his own hands. His anger must be terrible ; but “ his favor is life, and his loving-kindness is better than life.'
There is every reason, Father, to hope in his goodness.
There is, Frank : we know that “ his
tender mercies are over all his works."
THE HUMAN FRAME.
We have conversed about the heavens, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and many other things, Frank; let us now talk of a subject more interesting and wonderful, at least to ourselves.
More interesting and wonderful than the stars and the heavens, Father! why, what can it be?
The Human Framé, Frank; for it is a very wonderful piece of mechanism. Man is, doubtless, the first of the creatures ; and he was formed to have dominion over the earth, and over every living thing. He, alone, of all the animals which God has formed, is erect in his posture. He touches the ground only with the extremity of his body. With a glance of his eye, he surveys the vallies, and the hills, and the stars of heaven. He, alone, arranges the heavenly bodies which revolve in the immensity of space, in order, and understands the revolutions of the globe on which he lives.
We are sure, Father, without thinking much on the subject, that man is a wonderful creature. You have told me, you
know, Father, about the eye; I don't think,