« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
For The Orthodox Churchman's Magazine.
ON THE SPOILS OF THE UNIVERSAL
f ■ ^HAT a deluge did happen is an undoubted fact; and M if we seek no other proof, there is the almost uniVenal tradition of this wonderful event in all countries of the globe.
With regard to these exuviæ (the subject of our present enquiry), it is in vain to attempt an explanation ot every appearance, or to unhinge the settled laws of nature, to support some ideas which have been formed: we are ignorant of even what the mere mechanical motion of the waters is able to effect; for we are assured (fays Mr, Boyle) by all divers, that the bottom of the sea is so strongly affected by the agitation of the waters, that earth, clay, and (hells, are removed to great distances., And if this is the cafe in ordinary, what must it be when the whole mass of waters, by divine interposition, were thrown forward on the earth r None, save those who have been eye-witnesses to the effects of a violent land flood, and seen those things performed by it, which they otherwise would by no means have believed, can form sufficient ideas of the fad destruction so direful an event as the Universal Deluge could effect, in which not only an incessant, but (if I may use the word) cataractive rain softened the earth for six weeks, but the tempestuous ocean poured in on all sides with- its moveable contents.
Now the Flood arrived nearly at its full height in forty days, and continued stationary for five months; and surely the pressure of a column os water nigh four miles in height for so great a length of time, must have softened the whole earth to so great a degree, as to render the passage of not only those shells, but of other substances which it had brought with it, easy to the greatest depths. Another circumstance of some weight in this cafe is, that beneath these marine exuviæ we often find whole trees in the fossil state; and we may naturally conclude, that the trees growing on the surface of the earth were the first objects of the pressure of the water: and that these trees were once growing on the surface of the earth, is evident from the marks of the
axe axe yet remaining on a great number. Again, how oftea do we find foflil shells crushed and broken in such a manner as evidently carries the marks of a violent pressure, and could have been done in no other way than by the preffive force of a supercumbent power.
It has been conjectured by some, "that at the Creation the whole earth was not all at once uncovered, but only those -parts where Adam, and the animals, were created, and .the rest gradually afterwards, perhaps not in many years, at (according to their method of reasoning) there seems -no necessity of understanding the account of the Creation to have been in,three natural days;" and thus they would make it appear, that shell and other fish "might breed and multiply abundantly all over its bottom; and that this •bottom being afterwards elevated, deserted by the sea, and made dry land, these shells must be elevated with it, and retained in those .strata, which afterwards hardened into the various kinds of earth and stone." The appearance of this, at first sight, is very plausible; bus had this been the cafe, •why do we not now find rocks of coral? and why do we find animal and vegetable remains beneath those marine spoils? Rocks of coral require a length of time'for their .formation, and had the sea remained over the earth for sp .great a period, must have been almost as common in the fossil state as in the recent. Animal and vegetable remains would not then have been found beneath those of the sea, unless it had been allowed that the earth, which had been elevated with these marine remains, was the ruins of a more ancient world, for the admission of which we have no authority in either sacred or profane history.
That great numbers of shells, already formed, would be brought along with the waters of the ocean, is an undeniable assertion; and it we consider the way in which they came on, as described by the sacred historian, our ideas of the quantity must be very great. This circumstance of itself will account for the appearance of vast numbers of shells and other marine substances on land. But there is yet one more which will enhance the force of it, that is, that the unfathomable depths of the ocean are not the proper habitations for fish, which swim in.shoals, and always haunt the shallows, and of consequence would abound on the tops of the mountains and elevated places; and while the waters remained on the earth, marine animals of every kind would breed over the land in their natural way.
It- is somewhat wonderful that human and other animal remains are not more trequently found than they are; for at the period of the universal deluge (as is now generally, believed) the earth was more fully inhabited than at present, by reason the life of man was considerably longer. They, like other animals, taught by the instinct of nature, would; naturally flee from the approaching danger, and (as it is natural for us to suppose) climbed the mountains and p,re«, cipices to avoid the mighty flood, and-at last perished together by the violence of the overwhelming torrent.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN & MAGAZINE.
SIR, , i
I WRITE toyou on a Tubject, which, if it meets with your ideas, you will not perhaps think unworthy of a place in your Magazine so eminently superior to any other modern publication.
Returning to London the other day after a long absence, I perceived a house near the Elephant and Castle Inn with these words written upon it in large char-icters "the Housb "Of God."—Inquiring for what purpose the house that was distinguished by so sacred a title was built or intended, I was informed it was a Methodistical Meeting.—Now Sir I think the persons who have built this house and attached this title to it have been guilty of a crime of the most impious nature. The house of God, as I always understood, is a place holy and sacred, where God delights to fee and hear the supplications of his people; where his divine presence is most immediately supposed to exist; and where God or his presence is, there no evil thoughts, words, or works ought to apprqach "Draw not nigh hither," said he to Moses,
when when he called to him from the midst of a bufli. "Draw not nigh hither, put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."—Holy and sacred not from the quality of the earth but from the divinity of God's presence. Now Sir, let us view the house in ques, tion, and see whether it deserves the distinguished appellation it assumes. It is built within a few yards of an inn, where more swearing and more blasphemous words and expressions may be hourly heard, than in most places in or about London.
This ground then so conspicuous for its blasphemy, is selected for the erection of what is called the house of God— either the persons who built it cannot really have meant the true construction of the words when they affixed them to it, in which cafe they have taken the name of God most impiously in vain, or if they did mean what the words are supposed to imply, how ignorant, how blind must they bt to suppose God will live or dwell where no respect is paid to his name ! This is my opinion «f the persons who built the house, and attached such an appellation to it. Did I attempt to point but the intentions of the persons in so doing, I should suppose in the first place that they must have been aware of what I have advanced, and then the only supposition remaining is, that they must have intended the words, which ought to be respected with piety and reverence, as a juggle, a mere delusion to attract people, otherwise well disposed, into their meeting, and so boast of their being able, if not by their doctrine, at least by their cunning, to increase the number of their followers.
What the punishment of such men ought to be, I cannot presume to say, but I think it the duty of every one well disposed to our civil and ecclesiastical constitution, to reprobate and restrain, as far as possible, the increase of such infatuation, which, in the course of time, may perhaps otherwise lead to the worst consequences.
I am, Sir,
THE concluding division of Archbijhop Laud's Daily Office being appropriated to that most momentous part of the ministerial duty, the Vifitation of the Sick, will most . properly follow the prayer For the Sick, which concluded" the last portion of Extracts.
'In due order therefore we proceed to what their venerable author has superscribed,
; At The Visitation Of The Sick.
Art you Persuaded ■ *
l. That no sickness or cross comes to any one by chance,: or at all adventures? • ■ .' -.
'2. But that they come from God, without whose providence no body is afflicted with diseases? *;
:j. And that God being most wise, Hlever will suffer any thing to -befall us, but when It is:,expedient (to be'
so?) , .■ ,•
4. And that this sickness or cross which God has now
sent iiponyou, is (therefore) expedient for you? •"'
5. And moreover, that God has the affection of a Father towards, us? and that a father, whether he be indulgent to his children, or whether he correB them, is a father alike.
G ■ . .•■-■(&-«
VoUXlII. Churchm. Mag. for July 1807.