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plex disposition of the materials of the earth, which has resulted from the operations of all these mighty conflicting forces, if we consider the inconveniences that might have attended other arrangements, more simple than those which actually exist. Had the earth's surface presented only one unvaried mass of granite or lava; or, had its nucleus been surrounded by entire concentric coverings of stratified rocks, like the coats of an onion, a single stratum only would have been accessible to its inhabitants; and the varied intermixtures of limestone, clay, and sandstone, which, under the actual disposition, are so advantageous to the fertility, beauty, and habitability, of the globe, would have had no place.
Again, the inestimably precious treasures of mineral salt and coal, and of metallic ores, confined as these latter chiefly are, to the older series of formations, would, under the supposed more simple arrangement of the strata, have been wholly inaccessible; and we should have been destitute of all these essential elements of industry and civilization. Under the existing disposition, all the various combinations of strata with their valuable contents, whether produced by the agency of subterranean fire, or by mechanical, or chemical deposition beneath the water, have been raised above the sea, to form the mountains and the plains of the present earth; and have still farther been laid open to our reach, by the exposure of each stratum, along the sides of valleys.
With a view to human uses, the production of a soil fitted for agriculture, and the general dispersion of metals, more especially of that most important metal, iron, were almost essential conditions of the earth's habitability by civilized man. .
I would in this, as in all other cases, be unwilling to press the theory of relation to the human race, so far as to contend that all the great geological phenomena we have been considering were conducted solely and exclusively with a view to the benefit of man. We may rather count the advantages he derives from them as incidental and residuaryconsequences; which, although they may not have formed the exclusive object of creation* were all foreseen and comprehended in the plans of the Great Architect of that Globe, which, in his appointed time, was destined to become the scene of human habitation.*
With respect to the animal kingdom, we acknowledge with gratitude, that among the higher classes, there is a certain number of living species, which are indispensable to the supply of human food and raiment, and to the aid of civilized man in his various labours and occupations; and that these are endowed with dispositions and faculties which adapt them in a peculiar decree for domestication :* but their number bears an extremely small proportion to the total amount of existing species; and with regard to the lower classes of animals, there are but very few among their almost countless multitudes, that minister either to the wants or luxuries of the human race. Even could it be proved that all existing species are serviceable to man, no such inference could be drawn with respect to those numerous extinct animals which Geology shows to have ceased to live, long before our race appeared upon the earth. It is surely more consistent with sound philosophy, and with all the information that is vouchsafed to us respecting the attributes of the Deity, to consider each animal as having been created first for its own sake, to receive its portion of that enjoyment which the Universal Parent is pleased to impart to each creature that has life; and secondly, to bear its share in the maintenance of the general system of co-ordinate relations, whereby all families of living beings are reciprocally subservient to the use and benefit of one another. Under this head only can we include their relations to man; forming, as he does, but a small, although it be the most noble and exalted part, of that vast system of universal life, with which it hath pleased the Creator to animate the surface of the globe.
* " It is true that by applying ourselves to the study of nature, we daily find more and more uses in things that at first appeared useless. But some things are of such a kind as not to admit of being applied to the benefit of man, and others too noble for us to claim the sole use of them. Man has no farther concern with this earth than a few fathoms under his feet: was then the whole solid globe made only for a foundation to support the slender shell he treads] upon? Do the magnetic effluvia course incessantly over land and sea, only to turn hero and there a mariner's compass? Are those immense bodies, the fixed stars, hung up for nothing but to twinkle in our eyes by night, or to find employment for a few astronomers? Surely he must have an overweening conceit of man's importance, who can imagine this stupendous frame of the universe made for him alone. Nevertheless, we may so far acknowledge all things made for man as that his uses are regarded conjointly with those of other creatures, and that he has an interest in every thing reaching his notice) and contributing either to the support of his body, the improvement or entertainment of his mind. The satellites that turn the night of Jupiter into day, assist him in ascertaining the longitude, and measuring the velocity of light: the mighty sun, that like a giant holds the planets and comets in their orbits, enlightens him with its splendour, and cherishes him with its warmth: the distant stars, whose attraction probably confines other planets within their vortices, direct his course over the boundless sea, and the inhospitable desert."—Tucker's Light of Nature, book iii. chap. iz. p. 9.
See an excellent note on prospective provisions, to afford materials for human arts, and having reference to the future discoveries of human science, in Rev. W, D. Conybeare's Inaugural Address to Bristol College,
"More than three-fifths 'of the earth's surface," says Mr. Bakewell, "are covered by the ocean; and if from the remaining part we deduct the space occupied by polar ice and eternal snow, by sandy deserts, sterile mountains, marshes, rivers and lakes, the habitable portion will scarcely exceed one-fifth of the whole of the globe. Nor have we reason to believe that at any former period the dominion of man over the earth was more extensive than at present. The remaining four-fifths of our globe, though untenanted
• See Lyell's Principles of Geology, 3d edit vol. ii. book. 3, c. 3. VOL. I.—8
by mankind, are for the most part abundantly stocked with animated beings, that exult in the pleasure of existence, independent of human control, and no way subservient to the necessities or caprices of man. Such is, and has been for several thousand years, the actual condition of our planet; nor is the consideration foreign to our subject, for hence we may feel less reluctance in admitting the prolonged ages or days of creation, when numerous tribes of the lower orders of aquatic animals lived and flourished, and left their remains imbedded in the strata that compose the outer crust of our planet." Bakewell's Introduction to Geology, 4th edit. p. 6.
Supposed Cases of Fossil Human Bones.
Before we enter on the consideration of the fossil remains of other animals, it may be right to inquire whether any traces of the human species have yet been found in the strata
of the earth.
The only evidence that has yet been collected upon this subject is negative; but as far as this extends, no conclusion is more fully established, than the important fact of the total absence of any vestiges of the human species throughout the entire series of geological formations.* Had the case been otherwise, there would indeed have been great difficulty in reconciling the early and extended periods which have been assigned to the extinct races of animals with our received chronology. On the other hand, the fact of no human remains having as yet been found in conjunction with those of extinct animals, may be alleged in confirmation of the hypothesis that these animals lived and died before the creation of man.
* See Lyell's Principles of Geology, rol. i. pp. 153 and 159, first edit
The occasional discovery of human bones and works of art in any stratum, within a few feet of the surface, affords no certain evidence of such remains being coveal with the matrix in which they are deposited. The universal practice of interring the dead, and frequent custom of placing various instruments and utensils in the ground with them, offer a ready explanation of the presence, of bones of men in situations accessible for the purposes of burial.
The most remarkable and only recorded case of human skeletons imbedded in a solid limestone rock, is that on the shore of Guadaloupe.* There is, however, no reason to consider these bones to be of high antiquity, as the rock in which they occur is of very recent formation, and is composed of agglutinated fragments of shells and corals which inhabit the adjacent water. Such kind of stone is frequently
* One of these skeletons is preserved in the British Museum, and has been described by Mr. Konig, in the Phil. Trans, for 1814, vol. civ. p. 101. According to General Ernouf, (Lin. Trans. 1818, vol. xii. p. 53,) the rock in which the human bones occur at Guadaloupe, is composed of consolidated sand, and contains also shells, of species now inhabiting the adjacent sea and land, together with fragments of pottery, arrows, and hatchets of stone. The greater number of the bones are dispersed. One entire skeleton was extended in the usual position of burial; another, which was in a softer sandstone, seemed to have been buried in the sitting position customary among the Caribs. The bodies thus differently interred, may have belonged to two different tribes. General Ernouf also explains the occurrence of the scattered bones, by reference to a tradition of a battle and massacre on this spot, of a tribe of Gallibis by the Caribs, about the year 1710. These scattered bones of the massacred Gallibis were probably covered, by the action of the sea, with sand, which soon after became converted to solid stone.
On the west coast of Ireland, near Killery Harbour, a sand bank, which is surrounded by the sea at high water, is at this time employed by the natives an a place of interment.