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three natural days, by physical laws, which is incredible because it is impossible." Being thus instructed by the revealments of Science, as well as by the teachings of Reason, the reader will see that the construction of the Universe from the chaotic materials previously existing, was not an instantaneous birth of form and order, but rather a series of progressive developments, which was established in strict accordance with the principles existing in the Supreme Power.
It is to be observed that all things in the world of matter were caused to undergo a process of sublimation and refinement, and that all the myriad forms which were here primarily developed, became the illustrations and representatives of progress. And when the grand design of creation is definitely understood, the fact will be perceived that all the varied objects of the material world had an indwelling tendency to attain higher and still higher degrees-of perfection, unto the development of a perfected and individualized structure. In the mineral was manifested simply the general principle of motion, without the presence of any of the higher qualities which belong to organized existence; but even in this—angular and imperfect as it was—was contained a power of development which was manifested in unfolding the higher form of the vegetable, —and thus the primary principle of the grossest substance is seen to be that of refinement and organization. But the vegetable illustrated the same prominent principle in a more sensible manner, by taking up, as it were, the chaotic materials of the earth and molding them in such order ahd precision as to form a complete structure of organized life. In the animal a still superior development was manifested; and here the motion and life which were the attributes of the vegetable kingdom, were crowned with a more exalted quality which resulted from, and was dependent upon, a more perfect organization. Then standing on the very summit of Nature's pyramid—with upright form and majestic soul—was at last produced the human being, representing the highest and most perfect development of matter.
But the writer is not satisfied to base this reality on what may be regarded as an unsettled theory or a fanciful speculation. The great truth which is here presented has its foundation in the undeniable facts of Nature, as contained in "the primeval history of the earth. To these facts it is necessary that we should now recur, that we may discover in them the wondrous methods and processes by which the work of creation has been carried on. Accordingly in this connection, for the purpose of presenting a more detailed and satisfactory history of the progressive developments of the earth, it is deemed appropriate to introduce the following graphic account—taken from Sharp's Magazine—which will be found to possess intrinsic interest, while it serves to confirm our previous conclusions :—
"Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the earth now so busy and full of life, rolled on its ceaseless course, a vast, desolate, and sterile globe. Day and night succeeded one another, and season followed season, while yet no living form existed, and still the sun rose upon arid, verdureless continents, and hot, caldronlike seas, on which the streaming vapors and heavy fogs sat like an incubus. This is the earliest period of which we glean any positive record, and it is probable that previous to this era the universe was in a state of incandescence, or intense heat, and that by the gradual cooling of the globe, the external surface became hard, and formed a first crust, in the same manner that molten lead, when exposed to the cold air, hardens on the surface. The vapors which previously floated around this heated mass, in like manner became partially condensed; and gradually accumulating in the hollows, formed the boiling seas, which, in after ages, were destined to be vast receptacles teeming with life.
"How long such a period continued, it is impossible to say, and were we even able to number its years, we should in all probability obtain a total of such magnitude as would render us unable to form any accurate idea of its extent. Our ideas of time, like those of space, are comparative, and so immense was this single period in geological history, that any interval taken from human records would fail to present an adequate idea of it.
"As might be expected, this era was marked by vast and violent convulsions; volcanos raged and threw up molten granite, earthquakes heaved and uplifted continents, seas were displaced and inundated the land, and still the earth was enveloped in vapor and mist arising from the high temperature, and the light most probably penetrated only sufficiently to produce a sickly twilight, while the sun shot lurid rays through the dense and foggy atmosphere. Such a world must have been incompatible with either animal or vegetable life, and we accordingly find no remains of either in the rocks which belong to this early period; their principal characteristics is a highly crystalline appearance, giving strong presumptive evidence of the presence of great heat.
"After this era of desolation and gloom, we enter upon what is technically termed the 'transition period ;' and here we begin to mark the gradual preparation of the globe for the reception of its destined inhabitants. The change is, however, at first very slight, and there is evidence of frequent convulsions and of high temperature; but the action of fire appears to have declined in force, and aqueous agencies are exerting themselves. The earlier portion of this formation is rendered peculiarly interesting by the fact, that during it the most ancient forms of life sprang into existence. It is true that merely a few species pf shell-fish, with some corals, inhabited the depths of the ocean, while the dry land remained untenanted; nevertheless, humble' and scanty as they were, we can not fail to look with interest on the earliest types of that existence which has subsequently reached such perfection in ourselvesr
"The presence of corals shows, that although the transition seas had lost their high temperature, yet they retained a suffi- cient degree of heat to encourage the development of animals requiring warmth. These minute animals possess the remarkable property of extracting from the elementary bodies held in solution in the waters, the materials for forming new rocks. To the coral animalculae or polype we owe much for the vast limestone beds which are found in every part of the world, and many a vessel laden with the riches and productions of the earth, finds a grave on the sunken reefs that are the fruit of its labors.
"As ages elapsed, and the universe became better adapted for the reception of life, the waters swarmed with zoophyte and corals, and in the Silurian strata we find organic remains abundant; shell-fish are numerous and distinct in form, and in some instances display a very interesting anatomical construction. As an instance, we may mention the Trilobite, an animal of the crustacean order; the front part of its body formed a large, crescent-shaped shield, while the hinder portion consisted of a broad triangular tail, composed of segments folding over each other like the tail of a lobster; its most peculiar orgau, however, was the eye, which was composed of four hundred minute spherical lenses placed in separate compartments, and so situated that, in the animal's usual place at the bottom of the ocean, it could see every thing around. This kind of eye is also common to the existing butterfly and dragon fly, the former of which has thirty-five thousand, and the latter fourteen thousand lenses.
"Continuing to trace the history of this ancient period, we reach what is called among geologists the Old Red Sandstone age. The corals, and the shell-fish, and the Crustacea of the former period have passed away; and in their place we find fishes; thus presenting to us the earliest trace of the highest order of the animal kingdom—Vertebrata. The plants in this system are few, and it would seem as if the condition of the world was ill adapted for their growth. Another peculiar characteristic of this era is the state of calm repose in which the ocean appears to have remained; in many rocks the ripple mark left by the tide on the shores of the ancient seas, is clearly visible; nevertheless, considerable volcanic action must have taken place, if we are to believe geologists, who find themselves unable to account otherwise for the preponderance of mineral matter, which seems to have been held in solution by the waters.
"We now pass on to the Carboniferous period, and a marked Change at once strikes us as having taken place. In the previous era few plants seem to have existed ; now they flourished with unrivaled luxuriance. Ferns, cacti, gigantic equisetums,