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lucent seas. The remains are to be seen in the marble slabs, although the intense colours and living forms have passed away. The dried or fossilised skeleton of a sponge is not an object of transcendent beauty, but the living organism covered with gelatinous sarcode, supported on a network of needle-shaped spiculæ, with each tiny cell the home of a ciliated monad, and the whole mass, perhaps delicately tinted as from an Alpine glow, is a wondrous sight.
The cathedral stones, again, teach us that the prototypes of each organism lived and likewise flourished in the congenial temperature of the limestone seas. Attached to those ancient rocks something akin to the existing scarlet gorgonia spread its frond-like branchlets, each cell having its pink polyp and ciliated tentacles creating a ceaseless vortex, by means of which the food particles were attracted. The quiet pools had also their violet madrepores, aggregated colonies of animal life, and sea-green asteroid corals. Our purple and crimson echinodermata creeping on the ambulacral organs, with spinous spherical shells, are but modifications of pre-existing kinds, as the blue, orange, and red fish of the tropical seas, flashing in the intense light of an endless summer, are descendants of more ancient types. I have seen as strangely shaped crustacea from the Indian Ocean as any trilobite from Silurian rocks. At every turn the comparison is suggested between the past and present ages. Worcester Cathedral is a perpetual record of changing periods of tropical life-history presented in fragmentary pictures. “ The thing that hath been is that which shall be.” This is true enough in principle, but the evidence of every stone proves changing climatic conditions regulating the conditions of life in every form.
The capacious nave of the cathedral is paved with slabs of black and white marble, the product of Irish and Italian quarries respectively. The choir steps and portions of the screen are made from redtoned Devonshire marbles. In one of the north chapels is the monu. ment to Lady Digby, one of Chantrey's famous works : the figure is sculptured from pure white statuary marble, from the Apennines. The material is composed of a hard crystalline form of carbonate of lime metamorphosed by intense heat from a softer substance. If a small fragment of chalk is crushed into powder the microscopic washings reveal numberless organisms of the foraminiferæ, of which pure chalk is almost entirely composed. The same carbonate of lime, in the form of chalk, has been actually transformed into statuary marble in the laboratory by the application of intense hea or pressure (almost convertible terms). Chalk and crystalline marble are but two forms of the same elements, although, in the latter case, organic
traces have been obliterated. Each square inch of Lady Digby's sculptured form represents so many millions of foraminiferæ which lived and had their being in the Cretaceous seas, and were deposited in the mud as the foundation of future rocks, in the same way that Globerigina ooze now accumulates in the bed of the Atlantic.
On the opposite side of the choir stands the beautiful chantry containing the tomb of Henry VII.'s son. The monk architects of old knew full well that there was no stone in the world so capable of retaining the fine edges of carving in ages to come as the Tertiary limestones--comparatively new in geological time--which they conveyed for the purpose from Caen, in Normandy, up the winding channel of the Severn. The palæontological records of these Tertiary rocks tell us that the older marsupial genera had gradually given place to mammals of a more advanced type, such as tapirs and the prototypes of the horse.
Whilst surviving in Australia through these Tertiary periods, all the marsupialia, except the opossums, disappeared on the other continents.
It is instructive to note en passant that the Pleistocene caverns in Australia contain the fossil remains of pouched lions, bears, and other animals.
Concerning the horse, the history that it tells is forcibly direct ; the changes in course of development are too striking to be ignored. It is difficult, for example, to realise that the magnificent shire horse is specifically the same as a little Shetland pony. What the breeder has accomplished with domestic varieties, is but a faint adoption of the operation of great natural laws working through time to their appointed end. Thanks to Professor Marsh, the American geologist, and to the researches of others in Europe, it is now possible to trace the modern Equus through many transitions until we find the hoof of the species passing into a foot with divided toes ; link by link it can be demonstrated by anatomists that the horse is descended from the Hipparion of Miocene age, and that, again, finds a common ancestry with other animals in the Palæotherida of Eocene epoch. (See footnote on next page.)
Threaded together, these fragments of history inscribed in the stones appear to me as so many links, imperfect as they necessarily are in the present state of our knowledge, in the grand scheme of organic evolution. Design in the universe implies a Designer. The succession of rocks in due order with their fossil contents proves definitely that climates alternated and seasons changed vast ages before Adam delved in Eden. Ice-bound regions have become torrid, tropics have changed to temperate zones, and temperate zones in turn been frozen ; and so it will be while the earth rotates upon its
axis. The transitions continue, and it is only because the life of man does not span a thousand years that we cannot follow or perceive the changes of climate in time. The evidence of the rocks shows us clearly that, according to climatic variation, so the animal and vegetable adapted themselves to the changing environment, advancing or retrograding as the case might be. Either the successive creations were ruthlessly destroyed, to be replaced by a brand-new series, or the comprehensive law of evolution has been in operation since the germs of animation appeared on our planet. All the discoveries of biology teach us that the most complex organism is built up from the simple cell, and the study of embryology clearly reveals that during the transitional development of the ovum the embryo passes through successive lower animal grades before attaining to the higher type.
Thus the embryonic chicken is at one period like a young dog-fish, and the human fætus has the evidences of a caudal appendage, and closely resembles the immature structure of the quadrumana before it is fashioned into Homo sapiens.' A young newt and a young salmon are absolutely alike at certain stages in development; then the reptilian characters appear, and finally the water-breathing gills are displaced by the air-breathing organs of the higher class. Metamorphism is visible throughout the whole range of the geological kingdom ; organic structure is in a constant condition of change. The pangenesis doctrine of Darwin, or the modified heredity theory of Professor Weissmann, may not satisfactorily explain the potential
The article in the Nineteenth Century, November 1891–.“Darwinism in the Nursery”—bears forcibly on this point. ,
Horse I ESCENT OF THE HORSE AND OTHER QUADRUPEDS ON DIFFERENT FLANES
FROM A COMMON ANCESTRY -THE PALÆOTHERIDÆ,
capabilities of the germ plasm ; we do not yet know why that same protoplasm, identical apparently in composition during the incipient stages, should develop along different planes into plant or animal respectively. The broad fact, however, remains, that the highest organisms are thus built up from single cells, and that the embryonic stages reflect, as it were, the previous orders in the zoological kingdom, through which the higher grades of animal lise have passed before attaining to the present development. To concede these points as we are driven to do by the researches of biological investigation is going a long way towards the recognition of the grand scheme of organic evolution ; for there is nothing more difficult to accept in the doctrines of the survival of the fittest and natural selection than there is in the conception of complex man being built up from the lowly cell. If we credit the one axiom of biology, the others follow as almost inevitable corollaries.
The study of the stones teaches that, although organic types appear to have been constant through entire geological epochs, the inherent tendency to change has been reasserted in ratio to the prevalence of climatic variation. That which cannot conform must surely die. The blubber-eating Esquimaux races would infallibly disappear if the sub-arctic zone gave place to tropical conditions, as the negro races would die out in a colder clime to give place to more suitable races.
The time has gone by when the aspect of Christianity towards organic evolution can be hostile in character,' perhaps one of the most remarkable phases in contemporary thought being the countenance given by eminent theologians to the more advanced teachings of biology. Those who profess the doctrines of organic evolution are no longer adjudged without the pale of orthodox Christianity.
In the alluvial valleys of the Severn and tributary Avon are found embedded the remains of reindeer, bears, beavers, and primitive oxen, together with parts of the gigantic mammoth and other extinct animals. These bones tell of a land connection between Great Britain and Scandinavia many thousands of years ago, when subarctic conditions, glaciers, and ice-fields reigned supreme in our land. Stone implements and corn-grinding utensils from the same deposits tell of a contemporary race of mankind existing in a nomadic state. This race of men lived thousands of years before the time of Adam, according to the Biblical chronology ; the necessary changes in climate and the distribution of land and sea could not have occurred in a brief six thousand years. Passages in the early portions
· Vide Lux Mundi, section by the Rev. J. R. Illingworth, p. 181, ed. x.
of the Book of Genesis, it may be, point obscurely to pre-Adamite races of man ; and the variation in type from the highly-civilised man to the arboreal and cave-dwellers, the cannibal tribes, and lowly inhabitants of the Andaman Islands show us that man has been modified by infinitely small degrees through the Paläolithic and Neolithic ages.
The study of the cathedral stones dirnly reveals these things to my mind, and ieads me to the conclusion that the spirit of life in every degree, from the very lowest, is, in a measure, indestructible, and cannot suffer extinction, any more than matter can be destroyed.