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the Hindoos connected with that great event, which they call churning of the ocean. Mt. Mandra was the churn. “ The roaring of the sea from its agitation was like the bel“ lowing of a mighty cloud. Many productions of the wa“ters were torn to pieces by the mountain, and confounded “ with the flood ; and every specific being of the deep, and “ all the inhabitants of the great abyss, which is below “ the earth, were annihilated." This can relate only to the deluge. All the nations had combined their forces by sea and land to conquer Mt. Mandra, as the Indiarr empire was called from the mountains in the northern part of the country. In the midst of all this violence and confusion Noah, sinding his remonstrances vain, and possessed of no effective force, persevered in his obedience to the divine commands, and prepared his ark. He is said then to have resided at Dravira, south of the tract of country, now called the Carnatic. He was continually vexed by some defection among the people, upon whom he depended His scheme of building an ark was probably considered with ridicule even by the people, whom he was obliged to employ in constructing it. In such circumstances it not only required the elearest evidence of his being right, but the most persevering resolution to withstand all the endeavors, used to bring him into contempt. His perseverance was however equal to his faith ; and, when the flood came in the autumn of the year 1656, which was the six hundredth of Noah's life, his faith was justified, and the rest had a melancholy proof, that his judgment was better, than theirs.
Of the Deluge. WE are now to consider an event; which, for the extent of its devastation, its effect on society, and the changes, wrought in the face of the world, has deservedly occupied the attention of philosophers more, than any other event in the compass of history. While authentic records have pte
served the knowledge of a fact, by which nearly all mankind were destroyed, men of a scientific turn of mind have employed their ingenuity in investigating the physical causes, by which it was effected. This has involved an inquiry into the original construction of the earth, and a number of learned men have published their different theories. It will not be expected here, that those theories should be minutely discussed, as this is not a book of controversy. The reader, who wishes for more minute information, and the particular reasoning, by which they are supported, will find them stated in Burnet's, Whiston's, and Buffon's theories. The two first are printed separately, and the last is in the fifth volume of the appendix to his natural history,
We shall endeavor to state the leading idea of each.
Dr. Burnet supposes a yast body of water to have occu. pied the centre of the primitive earth ; over which was formed a crust of earth and other solid particles, cemented by oil and other tenacious substances. This crust was of such uniform thickness and texture, that, like the shell of an egg, it sustained the pressure of animals and other weights, necessary to be supported by it. But in process of time the surface became chapt with drought, and the fissures extending through the whole thickness of the shell, it broke to pieces, and fell into the central abyss.
Numerous inconveniences attend this theory. Among others it is obvious, that no sufficient provision being made for watering the surface, the animal creation must all have perished by famine, long before the drought should be seyere enough to dissolve the body of the earth,
As the preceding theory supposed the centre of the earth to be fluid, Mr. Whiston's theory supposes it to be generally solid, but to contain some large, internal collections of water, which, together with the water supplied from abroad, produced the deluge. For this purpose he introduces a comet to smite the earth with its nucleus, and by the humidity of its tail to produce a flood. The variety of marine produce fions, found mixed in the earth, both above and below the level of the sea, suggested the idea, that the whole of our planet was dissolved into mud.
The inconveniences attending this theory arise principally from the necessity of bringing such a large quantity of water from abroad, the insufficiency of the means of supply, the difficulty of disposing of it afterward, and the implied dissimia larity of the new world to the old one. The Mosaic history evidently describes places, as bounded by rivers, still known to be the same after the flood. This could hardly have been the case, if all terrestrial substances had been confounded during the inundation, A comet does not appear capable of furnishing the necessary quantity of water, nor does it appear to be of sufficient weight to produce any great effect by its impulse. Some of them have been so near the planet, Jupiter, as to produce a sensible deflection of their path, yet so small was their quantity of matter, as to produce no sensible effect on Jupiter's satellites.* This proves them to be light bodies compared with the planets, and the extreme rarity of their tails denies a sufficient rain to swell the ocean so much above its proper limits, as to cover the mountains. But, even granting all these resources to be sufficient, still there is difficulty in disposing of the water. It is clear, that the same cavities, which originally contained the water of this planet, would not suffice for an additional quantity, measuring in any considerable proportion with a flood, that should cover the mountains.
Count Buffon, dissatisfied with former opinions of the structure of the earth, started a new theory, which derives all the planets from the sun by the impulse of a comet about 170,000 years before the date of the Mosaic creation. But however we may applaud the industry, which collected and arranged so many facts from various parts of the globe to * prove, that the world was formerly under water ; and however we may admire that force of imagination, which originated his theory, and the astonishing powers of discription,
Cometographia de M. Pingré ; but, as the book is not in my possessiona 1 çapnot refer to the page,
which he has embellished it; yet it is apprehended, that but few readers will agree, that his reasoning is satisfactory, or that all the present appearances of the world are such, as to make it necessary to refer them to a primeval ocean, which for
many centuries covered the whole surface of the globe.
It will be the object of the remaining part of this chapter to state those familiar principles, which shall reconcile the appearances with the historical records ; and, as the same appearances are quoted to support all theories, we shall have no scruple to adopt M. Buffon's classification of the evidence. Though in the passages to be quoted he alludes to the principles of his theory, it is not to be understood, that the present writer agrees to any more, than the facts. As they may be proved by other books, there is no unfairness in quoting them from this celebrated writer, though we do not agree in his conclusions.
I. There are on the surface and in the interior of the earth shells and other marine productions; and all those things, denominated calcarious, are composed of their remains.
II. In examining the shells and other marine productions, which are found on the land in France, England, Germany, and other countries of Europe, we can ascertain a large proportion of the sorts of animals, to which these exuvize belong, and that they do not belong to the adjacent seas,
but are either extinct, or to be found only in more southern seas. We also find slates and other substances at great depths with impressions of fishes and plants, none of which are to be found in our climate ; but are either extinct, or exist only in southern latitudes.
III. There are in Siberia and other northern countries of Europe and Asia skeletons, tusks, and bones of elephants, hippopotami, and rhinoceroses, sufficiently numerous to ascertain, that those sorts of animal, which can no longer breed there, did once inhabit and continue their species in those northern climates. These relics of elephants and other land animals are found pretty near the surface, while shells and other sea productions are buried at great depths within the earth,
IV. Tusks and bones of the elephant and teeth of the hippopotamus are also found in North America, where those animals no longer exist, nor in any part of the New Conti
V. In the midst of the continent at places, very distan from the sea, vast quantities of shells are found, the greater part of which belong to animals, still subsisting in the south
Of many other sorts no specimen of living ani. mals remains, so that the species have perished, or been des Stroyed by causes, unknown to us,
This is M. Buffon's summary statement of the evidence, He supposes from finding shells on high mountains, that the water stood a long time as high, as 1500 toises above the present level of the sea, which would be nearly two English miles. But his English editor, Smellie, * says, Don Ulloa observed marine shells in Chili, fifty fathoms above the sea, and petrified shells at 200 feet high. Between Montauban and Toulouse is a fine plain, abounding in cornua ammonis, cockles, bivalyes, and univalves, belemnites, and sea mush
Near Dunkirk at 400 feet above the level of the sea, and six leagues distant from it, about 17 English miles, is a statum of shells, much broken, and of the same species with those on the coast. In the neighbourhood of Paris mae. fine shells, as volutes, univalves, and bivalyes are found in marle pits. “It is only in the neighbourhood, and at some “ leagues distance from the sea, that we find beds of shells “in their natural state, and these are commonly the same “ with those, which exist in the adjacent seas.
tity of petrified shells, which are nothing but stones fig“ ured by shells, is infinitely greater, than that of fossil shells, " and they are never found together, nor even in places contigu
Petrified shells are found almost every where at great distances from the sea, and on the highest hills ; many species of them belong not to our seas, and several of
them have no existing representatives; such as those ancient fr species, we formerly mentioned, which only existed, when " the globe was much warmer. Of more than 100 spe,
• Quadrup. vol. ix, 36-46.