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try of the remaining third, great fhare will have been arrefted in torrents and rivers, or have raised the surface of the lowest plains: what is hurried down by floods to the fea will have there raised new lands and iflands; a very small portion, not a hundredth part, will have reached the deep. The contraction of the ocean aided by these depofitions will, no doubt, have somewhat raised the present level of its waters, but certainly not in any proportion with the prior elevation of the lands. The general furface of the earth, fo much more raised by a greater fhare of the fpoils of its mountains than can have been the bed of the ocean, will have maintained a still more confiderable proportionable elevation above the level of its waters than it has at prefent. Our higheft mountains, become very gentlyfloping hills, will be defended by graffes, plants, and woods, from any further confiderable depredation, whilst the great causes of degradation will be diminished. The contracted furface of the sea will furnish less to evaporation to charge the air with superabundant moisture: the clouds, no longer attracted and broken by the aspiring fummits of high mountains, will give lefs frequent and lefs violent rains. The boisterous torrent and the impetuous river become gentle ftreams will carry little to the fea to raife new lands, and ftill lefs to the deep to raise its bed. What may yet be washed away from one part of the land will only change place to raise it in another. Hence, from the unerring teftimony of the course of nature, I will conclude with the scriptures that the waters of the ocean fhall never rife again to inundate the earth.

If Providence defigns this globe to fubfift a length of time fufficient to effect all thefe changes (and, unless the great Difpofer of the universe direct it otherwife, no others can take place, because fuch alone are in the real procefs of nature), it appears evident to me that the aspect of this earth will gradually approach to that fame ftate which Mr. Wallerius and I have imagined to have existed before the deluge. When our mountains fhall have been reduced to gentle hills, eternal ice and fnow, even in northern climates, will: no longer top their fummits to chill the air and earth below. The loud tempeft and the hurricane will be hushed. The spoils of moun tains will have enriched and fertilized as well as elevated the general furface of the earth. The high platform of Siberia and Tartary will have been washed down, to render the extenfive fandy deserts below it capable of culture. The habitation of man will be every where extended and improved. Iflands contiguous to continents will be joined to them. Ireland will be united to Great Britain, and this laft to France. Fear not, Britons: even to fill up thefe narrow channels at leaft a million of years will be required. The ftring of Maldivia and Molucca Iflands will be by degrees joined to India and China. Thofe in the Gulph of Mexico will, by a chain of land, be again united to America. The numberless ifles of the Adriatic and of the Archipelago will connect Italy with Greece, and this laft with Afia. But in all these cafes there will ftill probably remain for ages interior feas and lakes. The ftreights of Conftantinople and of the Dardanelles filled up will again fhut up


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the Black Sea, and that of Marmora. In like manner will the ftreights of Gibraltar and of the Red Sea be again closed by the rubbish of the mountains now furrounding them. New islands will arife in the ocean, and the increased numbers of mankind will every where be provided with new lands. In fhort, this globe will nearly resume the features of the antediluvian world. Having brought, in imagination, the degradations of our lands to an almost stationary point, we must there leave them, to await the decrees of that power who can alone preferve or deftroy what his will created into exiftence. Such are the changes warranted by the actual proceffes of Nature, which no length of time can ever alter, unless by the special command of that Great Being from whom she received all her laws; our continents can never be totally washed away and their places occupied by the waters, nor new lands raifed from the bottom of the ocean, unlefs by hidden interior caufes of convulfion which man can neither investigate nor reafon upon, or by fome derangement in the course or pofition of this planet. Philofophers have no right to prognofticate for futurity, but from vifible actually-existing ́operations of nature.

But before I take my final leave of Doctor Hutton, I muft obferve, that his all-powerful, wife, and ever-living organical and organizing nature is a non-entity, a mere metaphysical abstract idea. By that word nothing can be understood but inanimate fenfelefs matter, and the aggregate of thofe laws by which it is governed. 4 C 2 If

If a fuperior intelligent Being formed at will the whole fubftance of this universe, and impreffed on it those laws by which it is with infinite wisdom directed to the purpose of his design, it is immaterial whether he willed it fix thousand or fix millions of years ago.. The first opinion, with refpect at least to the present state of this our planet, is fupported by every evidence which reason can require the second is poffible, and on that poffibility only can be grounded.


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THE learned Mr. Huet, bishop of Avranches, pretends, in his History of the Navigation of the Antients, that men had not built either great or little ships before the deluge, because, says he, if navigation had been known, others than the family of Noah might have faved themselves from the deluge. Mr. Wallerius is alfo of the fame opinion, because the ark, the description of which resembles rather a great box than a fhip, appears to have had neither keel, nor ftern, rudder, nor fails. Both these arguments are equally inconclufive. Had the antediluvians poffeffed fhips equal to the largest of ours in the present perfection of ship-building, could they have refifted a continued tempeft of many months, raised not by partial winds, but by the confufion of the elements and the wreck of the globe itself? Not many years ago, we saw ships of war driven from their moorings in the beft ports of the Weft-India Islands and funk by a hurricane, and the Ville de Paris of 110 guns, with fome other 74 gun fhips, loft in full fea, by a storm of fomewhat unufual duration. What ship or what art of navigation could have faved men from deftruction, when the fea rofe above the highest eminences and covered the whole earth without fhore or limit, whilft the whole earth under it was convulfed by dreadful earthquakes, and finking into vaft abyffes? Under fuch circumftances, neither conftruction, rudders, nor


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