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A Dissertation on Geology.




him, requesting that he would peruse as nations best known, (and this is with attention the account of Moses, allowed by all commentators,) Ameand then give me a solution of the diffi- rica, for instance, and the remote parts culty. The very day after he received of Europe, and even the frozen regions my letter, he sent me a long one in re- in the north of Asia, the continent turn, which I shall feel great pleasure where man first had his existence. I in presenting to my readers. I think say it does not appear impious to beit proper to state, that as he gave me lieve, that only the most fertile and permission to retrench it, I have omit- habitable parts of Asia, Africa, and ted one passage, but it is a very short Europe, were peopled, and that there

only we are to look for marks or proofs, Copy of a Letter from Mr.

of early population. Again, as manto H. Š. Boyd.

kind, or at least the greater part, were “ I have read with attention Moses's either hunters or shepherds, they must account of the deluge, and tried to have occupied the plains and valleys, suppose that it was the first time I or at least not the mountainous parts had heard or read of such a circum- of the earth. In this case, a flood stance. There is nothing in the ac- coming on so suddenly, must have count to make one think, that any of overwhelmed and destroyed them, those great disturbances or disloca- with the greater part of their flocks, tions of the strata near the earth's sur- &c. Their bones then would be exface, happened at that time ; for though posed to the action of those agents the “ fountains of the great deep” are which are necessary to decompose said to have been broken up," I them. But if we doubt whether many think the expression is not literal, but of them may not have escaped this metaphorical ; 1.“ The windows of hea- process of nature, we must look for ven were opened, and it rained forty them in the alluvies of those countries, days and nights,” which it need not which are universally believed to have have done, as there was water enough been first fully peopled. Geology is in the sea to cover the highest moun- yet in its infancy. We know but little tains, if such a breaking up of the of the contents of the most recent strata, earth's crust had happened. 2. Such a in the immediate vicinity of the resirevolution must have destroyed the dences of the greatest Geologists, in trees, plants, &c. which was evidently the neighbourhood of the most popunot the case; otherwise the dove could lous cities, and in the almost only part not have brought an olive leaf to the of the earth, (Europe,) where Geology ark. I am not to examine how an or Mineralogy has been heard of as a olive-tree could retain its leaves, after science; and we are absolutely ignobeing six months under water; we rant what organized bodies are conare to believe this to be the fact; and tained in such recent strata, or in the being such, we may suppose that the alluvies of those parts of the earth, flood was as quiet an accumulation of which first gave birth to, and were for water as was necessary to effect its two thousand years the principal place purpose. In this case, the living crea- of residence to the human race.

Who tures would perish on the earth's sur- can say, that if search be made in such face, or only be carried to a small plains, human bones might not be depth by the mud, gravel, &c. that found? Bones of various quadrupeds would be washed from the hills, and, are occasionally found in such alluvial to a certain small depth, fill up the val- matter, at a small depth under the leys. There are innumerable instances surface, and though not properly in a of such alluvial deposits, as might state of petrefaction, are yet in many have happened during the above quiet instances in perfect preservation; and retreat of such a flood.

When we I believe it is allowed by all philosoconsider the highly figurative and hy- phers, that these bones may have been perbolical language of all the eastern deposited, at a period at least as far nations, we may without impiety doubt back as the time of the deluge.”+ whether in the first 2000 years after the

+ I regret, that the author of the above creation, (notwithstanding the long letter, being actuated by an unreasonable molives of the Antediluvians,) the earth desty, will not permit me to affix his name to was fully peopled; as the expressions it. His name, if published, would reflect ho“ the whole earth, ,' “ all nations,” &c. nour on my work, for he is a man as eminent in most places, mean only those parts, ) in the world of Art, as in the world of Science. He who has read my Essay with at-, which are of the same species as those tention, will be able to estimate the which exist at present. But Jameson value of the above remarks. He must has told us, on the authority of Cuvier, be convinced, from all the facts which that these bones appear not to have I have stated, that not one of the phæ- been deposited by an inundation; but nomena of nature can be referred unto to have sunk quietly and gradually that deluge, which destroyed both man into alluvial matter.-We are hence and beast. If then, Divines will ob- assured of two facts. 1. That the flood stinately maintain, that such a flood as which destroyed the elephants, was Moses has described, must have broken not the flood of Moses. 2. That it was up the crust of the earth, and have de- the last which left behind it any absoposited its various strata, the conclu- lute proofs of its occurrence. The sion is inevitable. The plain inference author of the above letter, indeed has is, that such a flood never happened. intimated, that the bones found in such But if we admit with this gentleman, alluvial matter, may have been depothat such a deluge would have produc- sited by the deluge, but he has not edonly a faint and transient impression, stated that it is probable; he has only the absence of all physical proofs can intimated the possibility. be no reason for our rejecting it. The I have now, according to my meaworld of science, and of art, has been sure of ability, performed the task for many years under considerable which I had undertaken. If unsucobligations to the author of the letter; cessfully, to me be attributed the blame, but in the present instance, he must for I have derived no assistance from be considered as a benefactor to the any human being, except in that one Christian public. He has accounted instance which I have recorded. But in two different ways, for what ap- if I have succeeded, let the praise and pears at first sight an uncommon diffi- the glory be ascribed to Him, to whom culty ; and I conceive, that either of alone all praise belongeth. Yet, them is sufficient to remove it.

though I would not seek for human When I ventured to combat an as- praise, and human admiration, I cansertion of so great a man as Jameson, not be indifferent to the good opinion I said, that the absence of fossil hu- of my fellow-mortals; and I trust, that man bones, was a proof that the de- I have secured the respect both of the luge which overwhelmed the elephants, Christian and of the infidel. The incould not have been that of Moses. Ifidel will observe, that I have shrunk perceive that an argument, drawn from from no inquiry ; that I have concealed the reasoning of my friend, may be no truth; and that I have neither debrought against me. It may be answer- nied, nor perverted any geological dised, that at the time of the deluge, the covery. The Christian will perceive, human race existed only in a confined that while I walk hand in hand with region of the earth. This argument will the unbeliever as to his facts, I am not avail little. For, although the descend- misled by the error of his deductions. ants of Adam may have been confined I acknowledge that my situation has to one particular spot, the various ani- been somewhat perilous. My soul had mals could not have been so circum- embarked on an ocean which it had scribed. The animals which are never traversed; wafted by the gales adapted to northern climates, never of science, in search of the treasures existed in the torrid zone. It is there- of philosophy, But it beheld the fore certain, that the land animals wreck of many a hapless spirit. It which at present live in Europe and beheld, and looked for its security to America, must in general have inha- the Captain of Salvation. Yes, I was bited them at the period of the flood. led to the brink of a precipice, but I Now, of all the quadrupeds which are trembled at the abyss below, and clung found with the elephants, the rhino- more firmly to the rock I stood on. ceroses, the tapirs, the mastodons, &c. Let others trace out blemishes on there is not one which is of the same the face of beauty, and seek for darkspecies as those of the present day. ness in the midst of light. Let others There are a few which are doubtful; but array their minds in the specious garb since they are doubtful, they must be of the subtlest metaphysics, that they left entirely out of the argument. In may confound those things which are the very newest alluvial beds, we find incomprehensible, with those which the bones of a few ruminating animals, are contradictory. Let others, upborne 1041

A Dissertation on Geology.



on the wings of that science which if the crust of the earth had been they dishonour, urge through the im- broken up, and if the globe itself had mensity of space their way; and though been dissolved, the waters must have astonished at the magnificence of the been tremendously agitated. How, orbs which blaze around them, tell on such a sea, could the ark have lived ? those unnumbered suns and systems, You must not tell me that it was mirathat they shine with an unoriginated culously preserved. God, if he had splendour. Let others descend into pleased, could have preserved both the strata of the earth, that they may man and beast without any ark at all. find an argument to oppose the scrip- The very circumstance of his comture; that they may call up the bones manding Noah to construct an ark, of the dead, to bear witness against and of his giving such minute directhe God of the living.

tions, evinces, that it was his holy Be it mine, with the step of diffi- pleasure to make use of secondary dence, to tread this ballowed, this mys-causes. terious ground. Be it mine, where Secondly. It is a remarkable fact, demonstrations of the truth occur, to that there are some fishes, whose or greet them with a holy rapture; andganic remains are not generally diswhere difficulties arise, to believe that persed through the various strata, but they shall be done away.

Be it mine are confined to two or three; and to meditate the Apostolic saying, there are some, whose romains are “ We see, as in a glass, darkly;" to confined to one stratum only. It is a solace my heart with the comfort of positive fact, that Geologists somethat gracious promise, “ What thou times meet with a stratum containing knowest not now, thou shalt know shells, which are not to be found in hereafter;" and to lay my wearied any of the inferior, or in any of the head on the pillow of that heavenly superior strata. Is it possible to redeclaration, Lo, I am with you al- concile this, with the notions which

are usually entertained ? But who is he, that is with us al- Thirdly.—The organic remains which ways ? Who is this celestial guardian ? are found at the very lowest depths, It is Christ! Then may we dismiss are chiefly the remains of zoophites; our inquietudes and fears; for our de- that is, of those beings which connect fence is Christ, and Christ is God, the animal with the vegetable kingand God is every where!

dom. If we ascend a little, we come to the remains of moluscæ, and testa

ceous shell-fish; that is, fish of the TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL most imperfect kind. Continuing our

ascent, we find the remains of crustaSIR,

ceous shell-fish also ; but these fish are In the Essay on Geology, which you totally unlike any which now exist. have done me the honour of insert- They are of different genera. Aping in your respected Miscellany ; proaching nearer to the earth's surI have laboured to convince the face, we discover shells which are of reader, that the geological phæno- the same genus as some of those which mena cannot be referred to the flood exist at present; but the species is of Noah. Yet, as it is difficult to the always different. The newer the human mind, to get rid of any preju- strata, the more do the shells approxidices, bat especially of those which mate to those of the present day; and are imbibed in early childhood, and in the most recent of the alluvial soils, are strengthened by continual reading, the shells appear to be precisely the converse, and education; I shall endeavour by additional arguments to The same thing holds good, with reestablish my position. Three more spect to land animals. The lowest of reasons have presented themselves to the alluvial beds contain the remains my mind. I proceed to state them, as of beasts, whose genera are now utterly briefly as my habits of thinking, and unknown. In beds nearer the surface expressing my thoughts, will permit.

of the earth, we find the bones of quaFirstly - During the period of the drupeds, whose genera are the same flood's continuance on the earth, the as those of our own times ; but the ark of Noah was calmly and securely species are different. borne on the bosom of the waters. But most of all, we find bones exactly reNo. 11.--VOL. I.

3 X



In the upper

sembling the bones of those animals

ASTRONOMICAL OCCURRENCES FOR which exist at present.

These last,

JANUARY, 1820. however, are not petrified, and as I have elsewhere observed, do not ap

London, Dec. 1st, 1819.

MR. EDITOR, pear to have been deposited by an inundation.

Having had the pleasure of seeing The same circumstancé which pre- my communication in your Magazine, vails with regard to the remains of I have sent the following, if approved animals, prevails also with respect to of, for insertion. the remains of vegetables. In the Yours, &c.

AN OBSERVER. lowest transition rocks, we find the The Sun enters Aquarius on the 21st, petrified remains of marine plants; but at 'twenty-eight minutes past one in they are totally unlike any with which the morning. The Moon enters her we are now acquainted. Their very last quarter on the 8th; she is new on genera are different. In some of the the 15th; enters her first quarter on flætz rocks, and in the older alluvial the 22d; and is full on the 30th. She beds, we discover the petrified remains will pass Mars on the 1st, the Georgian of land plants ; but they are different planet and Mercury on the 13th, Venus from those which at present decorate on the 16th, Jupiter on the 17th, Sathe earth.

turn on the 19th, and Mars again on And now, can there be any one so the 28th. Venus is an evening star, marvellously obstinate, so amazingly setting on the 1st, about half-past five, obtüse, as not to admit the truth which and on the 31st about seven. She is these facts announce? Is it not writ- seen to the west of Jupiter, which ten as clearly as with a sun-beam? Is planet she will pass on the 18th. it not proclaimed as loudly as with Under the two planets we shall notice the trumpet's voice? Surely we are the four small stars in the tail of the here instructed, that the work of crea- Goat, from which Venus receding, dition was gradual and progressive; rects her course to the eleventh of the that animal existence was brought by Water-bearer, near to,' and under slow degrees unto perfection; and that which, she finishes it. Jupiter sets innumerable races of fishes and qua- on the 1st, about a quarter past seven drupeds, were successively created, in the evening, and about six on the and successively extinguished, until 31st. He is first seen above and near the earth and the ocean brought forth to the third of the Goat, and he passes their present inhabitants, and God, the fourth on the 8th, thus marking with his own Image, crowned the sum- out distinctly to us the two highest of mit of his temple.

the four small stars in the tail of this The learned Dr. 'Adam Clarke, one constellation. The chief feature in day discoursing on the doctrine of the his course is the passage of Venus by Atonement, wisely observed, that the him on the 18th, and these two magniDeity never makes an unnecessary ficent planets decorate the western hedisplay of his power, but accomplishes misphere during the whole of the the greatest purposes by the least pos- month. Saturn sets on the 1st, about sible means. We may now perceive, a quarter before eleven in the eventhat God thus acted in the case of the ing, and about a quarter before nine deluge. What was its object? To de- on the 31st. He is seen under the four stroy man and beast. This was its stars in square, in the constellation of design; and we now see, that the wa- Pegasus and Andromeda, but nearest ters calmly and unobtrusively perform to à line drawn through the two easted their office, and that the sole memo- ern of them. Mars rises on the 1st, rials of their operation are the record about half-past five in the evening, and of Scripture, and the histories and the is in opposition to the Sun on the 16th, traditions of heathen nations.

when he is at his nearest distance from Before I close this letter, I feel it the Earth. He is seen to recede from incumbent on me to state, that in a the two small stars of the Crab, directsubsequent edition of Cuvier's Essay, ing his course under the two first of Jameson has omitted the Preface, on the Twins, passing between two small which I have animadverted.

stars of the Crah, the twenty-third and I am Sir,

twelfth, on the 14th. Continuing his Your obedient Servant,

course from these stars, he finishes it Dee: 5, 1819.

H. S. Boyd.

under the second of the Twins.


Curious Calculation.-Bishop Duppa's Preaching.




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LET the glass vessel be put into a vessel of cold water, and let this water be heated boiling hot, and then allowed to cool slowly of itself, without taking out the glass. Glasses treated in this way may, while cold, be suddenly filled with boiling hot water without any risk of their cracking. The gentleman who communicates the method, says, that he has often cooled such glasses to the temperature of 10°, and poured boiling water into them without experiencing any inconvenience from the suddenness of the change. If the glasses are to be exposed to a higher temperature than that of boiling water, boil them in in oil.-Annales de Chim. et de Phys. ix.

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. 57 9 9 Weight of the Or in

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Ft. In.

Curious Mode of Calculation.



If you do not think the following too

much trouble to insert in your justly
famed Magazine, you will oblige me

126 very much by giving it publicity. My

21 object is to obtain information from some of your numerous readers, on an

336(9 obscure point respecting the measuring of Cattle, in order to calculate their weights, as I am only in part Now, Sir, I am certain that the taught.

above is a very accurate method of E. G. Suppose an Ox to measure calculation, as I have been witness to in girth 7 feet 6 inches, and in length its being within 2 or 3 lbs of the real 5 feet 4 inches, required its weight? weight. But I cannot be informed

from any person of whom I have in. 7 6

quired, What is the reason that the ng 6

quotient of the length and girth should

be multiplied by 24 as above, and then 52 6

the two right hand figures cut off? If 3 9

any of your readers will explain the

above, through the medium of your 56 3 Sqare of the Girth.

Magazine, they will much oblige a 5 4 Length


A. B. C.

15th Nov. 1819.
281 3
18 9



[Continued from col. 892.] 1200

It was a strange error in Lactantius, 600

so learned a father, being deceived by

the translation of the Septuagint, in 72100

the second of the sixth of Genesis, to Having cut off the two right-hand think that those sons of God, that fell in figures, there remain 72 English stone, love with the daughters of men, because viz. the weight of the Ox.

they were fair, were the angels; for,

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