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tains, nor even hills, unless of very moderate elevation. Its surface beneath the waters formed, probably, as even an outline as the ocean itself that reposed above it. The change that was wrought, accordingly, must have involved an alteration of the crust of the earth, either by an elevation of the whole body of the continents and islands above the level of the seas, and at such unequal heights as to form mountains, hills, slopes, and valleys; or by an elevation of the mountains and hills of the dryland, and a depression of the seat of the seas; or both combined. In either case, the event, as well as the language of the fiat, shows that it was produced by an act of omnipotence, and not by second causes. As the dry land immediately appeared and became the theatre of vegetable life, and in forms, doubtless, adapted to various climates, the waters cannot have been withdrawn by the mere force of gravity to which they owe their movement in streams and rivers. The descent of waters over slopes of several thousand miles, like those over which the Missouri, Mississippi, Amazon, Nile, and Ganges pass, instead of but a small part of twenty-four hours, would require several weeks, and perhaps months. In like manner the depression of the bed of the seas, and elevation of the continents and islands, and upheaving of their mountains and hills, must have been the work of omnipotence, not of mechanical force. Such a stupendous effect, wrought in an instant, or at most in a few hours, is infinitely beyond any of the volcanic powers, so far as we are able to estimate their energy, that have ever agitated the earth's surface. To attempt to explain it by the laws of matter, as far as we have a knowledge of them, is scarcely less unphilosophic than it were to ascribe to them the creation of the world. It was the fiat of the Almighty that wrought the change. "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap; he layeth up the depth in store-houses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him: for he spake and it was; he commanded, and it stood fast," Ps. xxxiii. 6-9.
As the earth was immediately fit for the support of vegetables and trees of all kinds, it is apparent that it was covered with a soil consisting of silica, alumine, lime, and other ingredients, which now enter into the composition of vegetables, and mixed in different places in the different proportions that are congenial to the several species of herbs and trees. What the extent was of the continents and islands we have no means of determining. They bore possibly a very different proportion to the seas, from that which subsists between the present lands and the waters of the globe.
The geological theory, which asserts the existence of the world through innumerable ages anterior to this epoch, is thus again in conflict with the sacred word; for that theory not only refers the upheaving of the mountains and elevation of the hills, as well as the formation of the strata in which the fossil relics of plants and animals are imbedded, to that distant age, but exhibits those strata themselves as formed mainly from the detritus of a preceding system of mountains and continents. Thus Dr. Macculloch says:—
"It is important to observe the exact resemblance between the present primary rocks and the still more ancient ones from the ruins of which they have been partly at Jpast formed.
"Now, as the compounded rocks now forming are produced by the consolidation of materials carried from the land into the sea, it follows that before the formation of the present primary strata, and while they were all buried beneath the water in their germs, there was a terraqueous globe, an earth containing land and water, mountains, rivers, and seas. That earth, also, was formed of rocks similar to those of the present primary strata; and further, it is important to observe, of granite also, proving that this agent had then, as in later times, been the cause of the elevation of the strata."— Geology, vol. i. p. 464.
"The detritus of the first dry lands being drifted into the sea, and then spread out into extensive beds of mud, and sand, and gravel, would have for ever remained beneath the surface of the water, had not other forces been subsequently employed to raise them into dry land; these forces appear to have been the same expansive powers of heat and vapor which, having caused the elevation of the first raised portions of fundamental crystalline rocks, continued their energies through all succeeding geological periods, and still exert them in producing the phenomena of active volcanoes."— BucklancFs Bridg. Tr., pp. 42, 43.
"One of the most interesting of the results to which the careful study of the elevation of mountains has conducted geologists, and at the same time one of the most certain, is the knowledge that the dry land is not all of the same antiquity; in other words, that some mountain ranges and some large regions were raised above the sea long before the occurrence of the convulsions which affected the level of other countries, and even before the production of the strata of these countries. For instance, we have no doubt that the Grampian, Lammermuir, and Cumberland mountains were dry long before the Alps were raised from the sea, and while the greater part of Europe was occupied by the ancient ocean."—Phillips's Guide, p. 46.
As he holds not only that the lower strata of all countries, but that those which he regards as formed since the elevation of the Grampian and Cumberland mountains, were deposited innumerable ages ago ; he holds that those mountains, also, have existed through an incalculable period. This view is entertained also by Sir C. Lyell, who regards Etna as having existed through an immense series of ages anterior to the historical era; although, compared with the primary strata, he holds that it is of very modern date.
"There are no records within the historical era, which lead to the opinion that the altitude of Etna has materially varied within the last two thousand years. Of the eighty most conspicuous minor cones which adorn its flanks, only one of the largest has been produced within the times of authentic history. . . . The dimensions of these large cones appear to bear testimony to paroxysms of volcanic activity, after which we may conclude, from analogy, that the fires of Etna remained dormant for many years—since nearly a century of rest has sometimes followed a violent eruption in the historical era. . . .
"How many years, then, must we not suppose to have been expended in the formation of the eighty cones? It is difficult to imagine that a fourth part of them have originated during the last thirty centuries. But if we conjecture the whole of them to have been formed in twelve thousand years, how inconsiderable an era would this portion of time constitute in the history of this volcano! If we could strip off from Etna all the lateral monticules now visible, together with the scorise that have been poured out from them, and from the highest crater, during the period of their growth, the diminution of the mass would be extremely slight; Etna might lose, perhaps, several miles in diameter at its base, and some hundreds of feet in elevation ; but it would still be the loftiest of Sicilian mountains. . . .
"On the grounds, therefore, already explained, we must