« PrécédentContinuer »
without any legitimate grounds, he so stoutly contests. Though we are not easily satisfied with evidence, we are free to confess that the foregoing circumstances, in conjunction with others, are to our mind perfectly conclusive. As the point is one of first rate importance, we cannot abandon, in this place, the opportunity of adverting to the caverns in the transition simestone near Torquay, which were first announced toward the beginning of 1825; particularly as we have seen an immense assemblage of the bones of the hyæna, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, elk, hippopotamus, &c., in the possession of a gentleman who has diligently explored the cavern called “Kent's Hole,” in which they were found. In Pixy’s Hole, the upper stratum of stalagmite was cut through, and there was discovered on the lower excavation, charcoal, pottery, flint knives, &c.; and the individual referred to, informed us, that, in the
very middle of the stalagmite, in “Kent's Hole,” which was about eight inches thick, there was found a piece of wood with a ledge on one side, resembling a sandal, it was completely embedded—animal matter was also found ; and in Pixy's Hole, a black layer, apparently manganese, was discovered in the mud, about four feet from the surface, and running in a direction parallel to it for a distance of twenty or thirty feet. Here we have works of art belonging to the aborigines of Britain, and in the middle of the stalagmite. Bones are also found frequently incrusted, and in some instances, teeth have been discovered, half in the mud and half in the incrustation of stalagmite. It has been stated, and with some shew of truth, that the substratum of stalagmite is antediluvian, and the superstratum postdiluvian :-the intermediate mud is diluvial, and the reliquiæ being in relief, the stalagmite would incrust and embed them.
In opposition to the numerous revolutions, not merely local and confined, but universal, which geologists have been in the habit of taking for granted, it affords some relief to find that there are honourable exceptions: among these may be mentioned Mr.
Granville Penn, and Mr. Young, of Whitby, who think, with us, that one universal deluge is quite sufficient to account for the facts and phenomena of geology; and to suppose any thing more, is a positive infraction of Sir Isaac Newton's celebrated maxim, that if one explanation is sufficient, it is superfluous and unnecessary to assume more. Besides these authorities, it is cheering to learn that M. Constant Prevost has lately laid before the Academy of Sciences, a treatise on the great geological question - Whether the continents, which are now inhabited, have or have not been repeatedly submerged? This author maintains firmly, in opposition to modern geologists, that there has been only one great inundation of the earth; and that the various remains of animals and plants, which have given rise to the supposition of successive inundations, have floated to the places where they are now occasionally found. Every successive investigation, and every new discovery weaken the speculations of geologists; which are, at the present moment, only, at best,“ a bowed wall and a tottering fence :” and though they may, for a little longer, be able to satisfy themselves on the principles of “ geological logic,” we doubt whether they will be able to convince others. None, who are capable of reflecting, will be disposed to abandon Revelation, the credibility of which is adamant at every link, for the fooleries of a sceptical geology; and if there are any, who, on a calm survey of geological facts, can discover a solitary one counter to the palpable truths of the Mosaic cosmogony, his opinion is at antipodes with our own ;-we view things through media that are altogether different. Truth will instantly convince us. Fable and romance, however playful and amusing, we treat as idle tales, not worthy of the least attention from the votary of scientific truth.
The circumfusion of the waters of the deluge has been already stated, and nothing seems to be better substantiated and established than the fact in question. The language of the Sacred Volume is clear and decisive on this point. “The waters prevailed exceedingly
on the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail, and the mountains were covered.” The attestations to this fact, in organic remains, are universal, and completely conclusive. In Italy entire skeletons of whales have been found at an elevation of not less than one thousand two hundred feet above the level of the Mediterranean. In a letter of the 5th May, 1830, to the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, M. Gerard states, that he had collected shells
the snowy mountains of the frontiers of Thibet: some of them were obtained on the crest of a pass, seventeen thousand feet above the level of the sea. Here were also found fragments of rock, bearing impressions of shells, detached from the contiguous peak rising far above the elevated level : generally, however, it would appear, that the rocks from whence these shells were collected, rise to an altitude of about sixteen thousand feet; one cliff was no less than a mile in perpendicular height above the nearest level. M. Gerard continues,
" Just before crossing the boundary of Sudak into Bassalier, I was exceedingly gratified by the discovery of a bed of fossil oysters clinging to the rock as if they had been alive." No doubt many of the rocks are in more sublime relief now, than the were in the antediluvian world. The subsidence of the land and lower levels, and the action of submarine currents would scoop out deep vallies; and no doubt, much that is now “ dry land,” once formed the bed of the ocean. Alpine structures have emerged from the deep, and volcanoes have heaped up elevations on mountains already lofty. and sublime; as Cotopaxi, Antisana, and Tunguragua, amid the range of the Cordilleras of the Andes. The Geological Society has a series of ammonites from India. These fossils are objects of adoration to the Hindoos : they fall on the S.W. side of the Himālā mountains from an altitude which exceeds that of perpetual congelation : they are picked up by the natives, and religi
* Asiatic Register.
ously preserved, being concealed as much as possible from the scrutiny of Europeans. Mont Perdu, among the Appenines, which rises to an altitude of eleven thousand feet above the sea's level, encloses an innumerable multitude of testacea: and Humboldt found sea-shells among the Andes, fourteen thousand feet above the level of the ocean. At Touraine, on the Continent, is a bed of shells which extends nearly twenty-seven miles, having a depth of twenty feet. Monte Bolca contains upwards of one hundred species of fish from the four quarters of the earth, and collected together in one immense assemblage.
It is quite refreshing to quote the simple narrative of the deluge as described by the inspired prophet, after considering the perplexing and conflicting speculations of geologists. In the seventh chapter of Genesis, we are informed, that the patriarch and his family went into the ark which was prepared, and along with them such animals as were to be preserved to replenish the new earth, which was to emerge from the waters of the deluge. “It came to pass,” says the sacred historian, “after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth: in the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows (or floodgates ) of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” “And the flood was forty days upon the earth ; and the waters increased and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the
and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry
land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of heaven ; and they were destroyed from the earth; and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days."* This description of a catastrophe, which is attested by the universal consent of mankind, and confirmed by the testimony of geological phenomena, is, though brief, a very circumstantial and explicit account. We have already shewn, that, in the organic remains of the antediluvial world, which have been discovered through the researches of the practical geologist, fossil types of " fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing, and of man,” remain in attestation of the fact. That these have been the fruit of modern research is a remarkable confirmation, by an independent testimony, of the important and awful truths developed in the Sacred Narrative. The fact that fossil fishes, which have living analogues in the four quarters of the globe, now separated by distinct lines of demarcation, are found collected together in one place, is a decisive proof that the universal tide, which had circumfused the globe, must have been the medium of transport—no other supposition will account for the phenomenon. This fossil assemblage bears all the impress of a medallion destined to perpetuate the event of the deluge to the remotest posterity. Tropical animals and tropical plants, whose fossil remains are found far distant from the soil that gave them birth, must have been swept away by a mighty flood which overwhelmed the land, and rushed onward to other regions, loaded with the spolia opima of the tropics. We by no means doubt that there may have been, in former times, animals, and perhaps plants, indigenous to temperate and polar regions, not now extant, and whose prior existence can only be ascertained by their fossil types ; but irrespective of this admission, the great diversity of
# Genesis vii. 10, &c.