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Lecture on Geology.
LECTURE ON GEOLOGY.
their people have banished themselves | ness, justice, goodness, and truth, is from communion with God-For any so conspicuously manifested by that thing he can tell, many a visit has astonishing display of mercy and been made to each of them on the judgment. subject of our common Christianity,
(To be continued.) by commissioned messengers from the throne of the Eternal_For any thing he can tell, the redemption proclaimed to us is not one solitary instance, or not the whole of that redemption
(Concluded from col. 324.) which is by the Son of God, but only one part in a plan of mercy, equal in Fossils. These stony masses are of magnificence to all that astronomy great importance in geology ; they are has brought within the range of human the lights of the science; they serve contemplation-For any thing he can the same purpose with medals in histell, the moral pestilence, which tory. They explain the revolutions walks abroad over the face of the of the globe, and the epochs at which world, may have spread its desola- they occurred. They convince us that tions over all the planets of all the the various strata wherein they are systems which the telescope has made found were successively formed; that known to us—For any thing he can though found at a great depth, they tell, some mighty redemption has once existed near the surface; tbat been devised, to meet the disaster in they were contained in a fluid, and the whole extent and malignity of its that that fluid has ebbed away and visitation-For any thing he can tell, left them bare. They intimate, also, the wonder-working God, who has that this has occurred repeatedly. strewed the fields of immensity with They also afford proof that the chemiso many worlds, and spread the shelter cal nature of the fluid has been variof his omnipotence over them, may ous; that the sea has changed its have sent a message of love to each, bed; that the present continents and and re-assured the hearts of its de- high land were once covered by the spairing people, by some overpower- ocean. ing manifestation of tenderness, Some of the limestone rocks of
The much and justly reputed author, England are above 2000 feet above the in the passage above quoted, seems level of the sea, and they contain to admit all that the cunning and arch stores of zoophytes and the fossil bagainsayer Paine suggests. But, as bitations of animals, once tenants of it has been well remarked, though the ocean. They are found in Mount such representations as he has given, Perda, the highest summit of the in answer to such objections, may Pyrennees; and Humboldt has obamuse, please, and flatter the be- served them at the height of 14,000 liever, they will never make any salu- feet in the Andes. In the earthy limetary impression on the sceptical mind. stone of the upper strata are found · No; they must be entirely of a diffe- fossil flat-fish, the impression of their rent nature, and such as to lay hold scales and bones being distinct; the of the heart.-Nor ought it to be fossil remains of the alligator and of granted without better proof, that zoophytes, different from those of the moral evil has contaminated and made lower strata. In the clay above the its way into so many worlds, as these slate are found the bones of the mamauthors would suppose. It is much moth, rhinoceros, and elephant. more like the truth, that God is an Many of these fossil species are not object supremely beloved by the most now found existing among the beasts of his intelligent creatures; that the of the forest; and many of the marine great majority are for him, and not species are also declared to be exagainst him; and that the redemption tinct, no traces of them being now of this insignificant spot, is not so found in the ocean. small an affair as some would affect to The fossil relics of marine animals represent it; but that it is commensu- incorporated with the densest rocks, rate with the vast extent of creation, shew there was a period when the and is calculated to preserve all intel- highest mountains were washed by ligent creatores in obedience to the the sea, and demonstrate one of two laws of Him whose character of holi- things, either that the ocean.bas receded and fallen below its former | the testaceous tribes. Those that are level, or that the continents, islands, not readily observed may be supposed mountains, &c. now existing, arose to be no more; but no one can deciout of the bosom of the waters.
dedly tell, whether they do not flourish Geologists say, that every stratum in the lower parts of the deep. was once the uppermost rock, and Hence, from this probability, belemtherefore the lowest is the most an- nites, cornu ammonis, &c. have been cient, and their contemporaneous called oceanic or kelagic shells. formation is denied, because the al- It may be objected, that as new and ternate rocks contain abundance of extraordinary species of animals have the reliquiæ of dissimilar species and been found in modern times—in Ausgenera. Hence they infer, also, the tralasia-as the ornithorynchus, kanseniority or juvenility of the several garoo, flying opossom, &c. so the dismarine animals. No human skeleton-covery of other lands, and the explorno human bone-has been found fos- ation of vast deserts, yet untried, silized in the lower or in undisturbed may lead us to an acquaintance with alluvial ground; which seems to prove animals of the same species with those most decidedly, that man is what our now said to be abolished. Islands of most sacred records teach us, that he a moderate size, and remote from is a tenant of the earth of not very large continents, have very few aniremote antiquity.
mals, and these have been transported Whether the orders of more imper- from other countries. Cook and Boufect beings were of antecedent date to gainville found no quadrupeds in the himself, is to my mind not so convinc- South Sea islands besides hogs and ingly proved, by their being found in dogs. And when the West India situations where no traces of man islands were discovered, the largest exist,-since it is not an improbable quadruped found was the agouti, an supposition that the sepulchres of the animal smaller than the rabbit. antediluvian population have at pre- The astonishing and unexpected sent the ocean superincumbent op forms of apiinals discovered in New them, and are for ever hid from dis- Holland, might support such expeccovery. Cuvier has, with a talent tations, if any great continent remainpeculiarly his own, applied the fossil ed to be discovered; but navigators remains of quadrupeds as chronome- well know that no great tract of land ters of strata and rocks.* The relics can now be discovered, unless towards of marine animals are not so much to the Antarctic Polc, where living bebe depended upon; they are probably ings could not be expected to exist. changed by the chemical nature of the Cuvier bas well remarked, that alfluid containing them. Those inhabit though men may not have penetrated ing particular spots, 'may have been very far into the interior of many redriven away by other species and gions; yet nothing prevents animals genera. The skeletons of quadru- from roaming. And though mountains peds shew certainly that dry land ex- cross their path, yet they are broken isted in their vicinity, and they also through by rivers, and in these fervid clearly denote inundations, and those, countries, animals will follow the too, repeated.
course of the streams. If these overflowings had been ge- Hence it was that the ancients, who neral, the entire class of land animals never passed beyond certain limits, mast have been destroyed, and their were well acquainted with all the most races have become extinct. Millions remarkable animals of the then known of marine animals may have been cast world. up, but their races may have dwelt Cuvier enumerates many of the anisecurely in their peaceful retreats, at mals well known to the ancients, some the bottom of the ocean. Extinct of which were as well described by species of quadrupeds may be more Aristotle as by Buffon. easily discovered than those of marine suppose that many animals described animals, for their number is more by the ancients may now be found by limited, and we are more ignorant of careful search, such as the Pegasus, * It will be seen from what follows, that I
of Thessaly; the Minotaur, of Crete; have made free use of Cavier's work-indeed,
or the Chimera, of Epirus. there is no other source of information on fos- But Cuvier has admirably shewn sil quadrupeds.
these ridiculous stories to be fables,
Lecture on Geology.
by applying the tests of comparative mity moving in the socket must bave anatomy. The carnivorous bull, for a certain form; that the resistance, example, devoured every other ani- the moving power, and the fulcrum, mal in its way.—But who would be should be proportioned to each other. lieve that this was more than a fable, The temporal muscle must be of a cerwhen it would require such an unna- tain size, but then the cavity in which tural combination of organs, as cloven it is lodged must be of a certain depth, hoofs and horos, with teeth for tear- and the zigoma, or arch, under which ing and cutting flesh. The oryx is it passes, must be suitably convex, said to have had one born situated in and must be strong enough to sustain the middle of the forehead ; but this the action of the masseter muscle. animal was ruminant, and cloven foot. Hence the principle of discrimination ed. Now Camper has shewn, that if is evident, by which naturalists are this were the case, the frontal bone enabled to ascertain the genus and would be divided by a suture, and species of an animal by a careful exatherefore the horn must have been mination of one or more parts of its placed on this longitudinal division of bony structure. A bit of bone, a the bone; which is an impossibility. mere apophysis, enables the sagaThere are certain difficulties in de- cious Cuvier to describe the class, termining the general species of order, genus, and species, of the aniquadrupeds, as they are usually mal to which it belongs. In this way drawn from the hair, colour, or other he has classed the fossil remains of peculiarities, which are destroyed pre- 78 different quadrupeds, in the viviviously to their incrustation. But parous or oviparous classes, and 49 Cuvier has employed comparative ana- are entirely unknown. tomy extensively, and has found inva- The oviparous quadrupeds are found riably certain conformations of the in more ancient strata than the vivibony structure, which accord with the parous. The monitors of Thuringia babitudes and peculiarities of the would be senior still, if the copper individual quadruped. Every animal slate, wherein they are found, is allowis possessed of organization for cer- ed to be the earliest of the secondary tain purposes, and there is a natural formations. The great alligators and accordance and connection of parts. crocodiles, and tortoises, of MaesThese several parts, examined sepa- tricht, are found in the chalk, being rately, indicate the forms and proper- both marine animals. This discovery ties of other parts, as they are made of fossil bones enables us to conclude, to concur to the production of the that dry land and fresh waters existed same object. Hence, if the viscera of before chalk; but there are not found an animal should be fitted for the solu- / at this early period, nor even in the tion and digestion of recent flesh, it chalk posterior to it, the fossil remains could be most assuredly affirmed that of any mammiferous land quadrupeds. the jaws of the animal were so con- The bones of the mammiferous sea structed as to tear and devour its animals, viz. the lamantin and seal, victim,-that there were peculiarities are first observed in the vicinity of . of the teeth, for lacerating and sepa- Paris, in the coarse shell limestone rating it. The limbs or organs of covering the chalk strata; and Cuvier, progression being adapted for pursuit, who has examined the circumstance there must be instinct of smell for with indefatigable ardour, has never discovering, of the brain for conceal- been able to discover any mammiferment, and for planning to catch its ous land quadrupeds, but immediprey. Thus one part clearly indicates ately on reaching the formations lying the nature and form of other parts of above the coarse shell limestone, the organized body, having a certain abundant stores of them are opened. determinate and mutual relation one Cuvier suggests, that oviparous quato another,
drupeds began to exist along with the One or two points more, and we fishes, and that the land quadrupeds must leave this interesting subject, did not appear until a period conreferring those who wish for more siderably later than the chalk formainformation to Cuvier's unrivalled tions. work. In order that the jaw may be The races supposed to be extinct enabled to seize and lay hold on ob- are always lower, and accordingly lie jects, the condyle or rounded extre- in the more ancient strata, while the
fossil bones of animals, resembling Lastly, the relics of species analothose that now live on the earth, gous to species now living on the are found in the latest alluvial deposi- earth, are, as before stated, found in tions, at the sides of rivers, the bot- caverns, in peat bogs, at the sides of toms of lakes filled up, in beds of rivers, and in the alluvium filling up peat, in the caverns and fissures of lakes and hollows, but from their surocks, or at small depths below the perficial situation are much more insurface, wbere they may have been jured than those bat are more anentombed in debris, or even buried by cient, and are situated in deeper
rocks. The grand corollary which that Volcanoes, &c.-In the changes and great naturalist would draw from revolutions that have taken place on these observations, is,—that there has our globe, doubtless volcanoes and been a succession of quadrupeds-one subterraneous fires have acted at least, if not two, that has appeared important part. Whole ranges of and subsisted on the earth, but had mountain rocks seem to have owed disappeared before the races which their existence to these causes.now inhabit it had a being. There Islands have quickly emerged from the seem, from his own confession, to be sea by their influence, and vast tracts so many sources of error, in making of country have been laid waste by these remarkable conclusions, that the ejection of torrents of melted lava. one would be almost inclined to delay A singular instance of the production acquiescing with them, lest there of an island was observed in 1811, should be some contingent of error in near St. Michael, one of the Azores. the process of induction, which a Captain Tillard approaching St. larger experience, and more reflec- Michael's, in the sloop Sabrina, obtion, would rectify. Is it not a re- served columns of smoke rising at a markable circumstance, that Sir E. distance, which was supposed to proHome, the Cuvier of Britain,* should ceed from two ships engaging at sea. have found some very striking resem- But it was soon found to issue from a blances in the large skeleton dug out volcano, that had just broken out. It in the neigbbourhood of Lyme, in was within a mile of St. Michael's, and Dorsetshire, and the ornithorynchus, in 25 fathoms water. While they surone of those surprising animals belong- veyed it, a peak elevated itself above ing to New Holland, which have so the sea, and became very conspicuous much engaged the notice and curio- before they left it. In a month after sity of the zoologist.* When compa- the effects of the volcano had subsided, rative anatomy shall have gained Captain Tillard and other gentlemen more experience and expertness, visited it, and found it an island would it not seem probable from this nearly a mile in extent, to which they circumstance, that more of these gave the name of Sabrina.t agreements and identities will be no- No one can reflect on volcanic erupticed, the want of which knowledge tions, without associating them with occasions theories to be formed so the misery in which they frequently much at variance with former opi- involve part of our species. Who can nions.
read Humboldt's account of the For the sake of distinctness, we earthquakes, which, in a short space will state the order in which these twice destroyed the town of Caraccas, animals are found. The megatheria, without blessing the Providence that a name denoting a prodigious animal, has given him to live in a land uavipaldotheria or ancient animals, and sited by the earthquake ? other unknown genera, are found in A portentous calm is the precursor the lowest parts of the fresh water for- of the dreadful convulsion. The mation, immediately under the marine ground beneath the feet begins to unformation. The unknown or extinct dulate. Its vibrations grow stronger species of genera, now living, as the -now it heaves up like a boiling elephant, mastodon, rhinoceros, hip- liquid- the libratory motion is compopotamus, are never associated with municated to the loftiest buildingsthe more ancient skeletons, but are the bells of the churches toll with the observed in the sea-water deposits. motion-loud volleys of thunder re
Philosophical Transactions, 1815, &c.
† Philosophical Transactions,
spond beneath their basement, or, as , force in different localities. HamKircher describes it at Calabria, a boldt has given a list of earthquakes, horrid sound, like that of an infinite &c. that occurred in the West Indies, number of chariots driven fiercely for- Cumana, Caraccas, &c. and supposes ward, the wheels rattling, and the that they were reactions of the former thongs cracking. The terrified spec- volcanoes, operating by elastic vatator is lifted from his feet and thrown pours, and other expansive matters, prostrate on the ground--pow the which had a subterranean connection stately tower totters-it falls--the with a large district. buildings crash-the majestic column In concluding this imperfect sketch - the sacred temple, now tremble- of some of the important points of now sink into the dust: and, to com- Geology, it may be shrewdly asked, plete the climax of ruin, they form What, is he himself a follower of one vast and ponderous sepulchre for Burnet, of Whiston, or an advocate the devoted inhabitants.-A putrid of the Huttonian or Wernerian and stagnant lake, a vast and loath- scheme?-To this I reply: To observe sone solitude-is all that remains of is ours; to theorize, the work, the the once populous and flourishing city. business, of those who are too wise to - Delenda est Carthago !
notice, too imaginative to follow, naAt the same moment, many miles ture. But we would inquire cautiousdistant, may be seen the volcano ly into the laws to which natural phebelching forth torrents of ignited com- nomena are subservient; we dare not, bustibles.-Its volumes of smoke, of as they do, legislate for nature. We mountainous size, blot out as it were can admire the specious air-wrought all the face of the earth, except that tissues which men of genius may which is horridly illuminated with the weave;-but we read them as we do a fearful glare of cataracts of sulphur- romance.-We no more expect to find ous flame. The rivers of melted lava their theories true, than we should run down its sides, and desolate its betake ourselves seriously to ascertain plains. Cities, towns, villages, plan- the geography of the Diamond Isle, tations-their possessors and tenants, discovered by the renowned Sinbad are engulfed in the boiling mineral the sailor. Finally, we would merely inundation. The day has passed acquire facts, and if the inferences we away when volcanic eructations would have ventured to draw, or rather sugbe connected with the moral degene- gest, be not thought the true ones, we racy of the unhappy victims of the would leave them with you, and say fiery desolation ;--but it is a subject with Horace, replete with interest for the moralist, Vale! Vale! si quid novisti rectius istis in its promoting movements that tend Candidus imperti ; si non, his atere mecum. to improve the moral sensibility. Humboldt remarks, that at this fearful
Farewell! and if a better system's thine, moment children found parents, by
Relate it frankly, or make use of mine, whom, till then, they had never been acknowledged--restitution was promised by those who had never been THE MAHOMETAN CAPITAL, IN A LETsuspected of fraud-and families long TER TO THE COUNTESS OF B, at variance were reconciled during the common calamity. Father Kir
( Concluded from col. 338.) cher describes his own sensation his own reflections. On every side “ Since my last I have stayed qui. ruin! Whither should I fly? At that etly at Constantinople, a city, that I hour, O how vain was every sublunary ought in conscience to give your ladyhappiness-Wealth, honour, empire, ship a right notion of, since I know wisdom, all were useless sounds, and you can have done but what is partial as empty as the bubbles of the deep- and mistaken from the writings of I recommended myself to God, as my travellers. 'Tis certain there are last great refuge.
many people who pass years in Pera, Successive earthquakes, and volca- without ever having seen it, and yet nic eruptions in a large tract of cir- they all pretend to describe it. Pera, cumjacent country, seem to shew that Zophana, and Galata, wholly inbathe internal fires do not intermit in bited by French Christians (and which their fierceness, but only exert their together make the appearance of a No. 40.-VOL. IV.