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the earth was under water, it must not therefore be supposed that it returned to its ancient desolation and solitude. The author whom we last quoted, in speaking of this subject, says: 'The sterility and solitude which have sometimes been attriln uted to the depths of the ocean, exist only in the fictions of poetic fancy. The great mass of water that covers nearly three-fourths of the globe, is crowded with life, perhaps more abundantly than the air and the surface of the earth ; and tlie bottom of the sea, within a certain depth accessible to light, swarms with countless hosts *of worms and creeping things, which represent the kindred families of low degree which crawl upon the land.'
"This era seems to haf.e been one of peculiar tranquility, for the most part undisturbed by earthquakes or other igneous forces. The prevailing characteristic of the scenery was flatness, and low continents were surrounded by shallow seas. The earth is now approaching a state when it will be fit for the reception of man, and in the next era we find some of the existing species of animals.
"It is worthy of observation, that at the different periods when the world had attained a state suitable for their existence, the various orders of animal and vegetable life were ere. ated. In the 'dark ages' of geological history, when the globe had comparatively lately subsided from a state of fusion, it was barren, sterile, and uninhabited; next, the waters having become cool enough, some of the lowest order of shell-fish and zoophytes peopled them; subsequently, fishes were formed, and for ages constituted the highest order of animal life; after this we enter on the age of reptiles, when gigantic crocodiles and lizard-like forms dwelt in fenny marshes, or reposed on the black mud of slow moving rivers, as they crept along toward the ocean betwixt their oozy banks ; and we now reach the period when the noblest order of animal life, the class to which man himself belongs, Mammalia, began to people the earth."
In this primeval history of the earth is contained a beautiful illustration of the principle of progressive development; and the thought will be naturally introduced in the mind of the reader, that the series of gradations which are here explained, must tend toward some grand ultimate, which may be viewed as representing the use and design of creation. The same law of progress which develops the vegetable from the mineral production, also developed the animal from the vegetable; and the same law is likewise sufficient to unfold Man from the inferior orders of being. Hence, as the rock, the plant, or the animal were not separate and independent creations, but were the result of a natural development of the earth, so Man himself was not formed out of the dust of the ground by the special action of the Creator, but was an ultimate form, standing on the lofty pyramid of being, toward which all other forms are aspiring, and with which they are all in some degree connected. Nature thus presents a vast and mighty scale, in which all the variety of unfolding forms are caused to occupy an appropriate pqsition; and in this scale the soul may behold the wonders of that Wisdom, which, in a ceaseless and harmonious spiral ascension, bears all forms and beings toward the pure atmosphere of the Divinity.
The design of this volume does not include a specific and detailed"account of the creation of Man; but enough has already been said to disclose the true principles which were
involved in his development. If Deity did not stretch forth his hand, or issue a special mandate, to create the minerals of the earth, the flowers of the field, or the various animals that inhabit the land and sea, then we have no reason to conclude that He exercised any miraculous power, or, to be explicit, a power which is above the laws of Nature, in the creation of Man. Neither does the existence of Man on the earth present in itself any more a miracle, than the existence of any inferior being; and it is as easy to conceive that he forms the ultimate link in the chain of development, as that other beings of less exalted nature are intermediate links in this chain. It is admitted that Man is possessed of glorious and godlike powers— that he occupies a position far superior to the brute, and has within him a principle of intelligence which claims a relation with the Divine Mind. But this admission does not destroy the connection which must subsist between him and all the lower orders of creation—it does not. place him aside from, or make him independent of, the regular and systematic unfoldings of Nature; but it rather shows that in him is contained the final embodiment of material elements, and the divine ex- , pression of their interior life. Man is in himself a miniature universe; the forces, essences, and elements which made the worlds, are all concentrated in his perfected constitution, and in his birth upon this planet was exemplified the same general principles which primarily gave form and being to the suns and systems of space.
The constitution of the existing Universe reveals the established order of its unfolding. There is an ineffaceable impression of the original Power in all the variety of material forms, and a record of the degrees and states of being through which 0
they have passed, has been written in unmistakable characters on the bosom of the wide-spread Creation. And the one great lesson taught in all things is that of progressive development. Forms which have arisen from chaos to a state of beauty and perfection, have left their marks on the upward pathway along which they came, and they manifest their relations to, and" dependence upon, all the inferior grades and states of being. The mind may therefore perceive in the chain of connection which binds the Universe in one grand structure, the innumerable and unbroken links of unfolding, which were necessary to make this chain complete. Suns, planets, and satellites—minerals, plants, and animals—motion, life, sensation, and intelligence, all display, in their several progressive spheres, the systematic gradations of refinement through which all matter has been carried. Accordingly it is found that these gradations, existing now as the evidence of primary unfoldings, form the parts of a vast and almost incomprehensible system, each of which is essential to the harmony and perfection of the whole. To use the language of a true philosopher,
""From Natun's chain whatever link you strike,
Now to suppose that the several departments of the cosmical structure were special and independent creations, would involve no necesssity for concluding that there exists between them any necessary connection or dependence ; but if these are regarded, as they should be, as so many successive developments of matter, having been created gradually in a progressive order, then it will be easy to appreciate the fact which really exists, that they are all united in one indissoluble chain of being. Hence, according to the evidence presented in the settled order of Nature and in the relation which subsists between its various departments, it will be wise to recognize in all surrounding creations the erection of one ascending scale, that reaches from the gross earth to the summit where Man is seated on his throne of power.
How perfect, how harmonious, and how divine are all the arrangements of the Universal Temple 1 Sweet breathings from the Soul of All, are diffused and expanded through every particle of the material world; and the power of the attraction which dwells therein, leads upward and forward the great multitude of living and unliving forms, in, the direction of that end in the human body which corresponds with the leginnvng in the Eternal Soul. Creation is but one continued series of progressive developments, extending thus from the Divine Brain to the germ of the human being, and all the intermediate gradations in this series are so many necessary steps, without which the end could never be attained. In all that is below Man may be viewed the essential parts which were employed in the formation of his complete organism. Eyery thing manifests an aspiration to attain the position which he occupies, and all look up to him as the crowning work, in which the