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314 THE MATERIALS OF THE STRATAauthor, and held a conspicuous place in his great scheme, as the Ruler of the world. Whatever, then, the causes were of the formation of the strata, they are to be regarded as having been expressly assigned to that work, and armed with the requisite power for its accomplishment; and whatever the sources were from which the materials of the strata were drawn, they were arranged by him in their several places, with a direct reference to the agents by which they were to be transferred to their present positions, and the uses to which they are now appropriated. The means and conditions were fitted to the results that were to be attained, with the same intelligence and skill that mark the adaptation of other physical causes to the effects which God employs them to produce.
This great truth is to be borne in mind in our inquiries in respect to the agents and processes to which the strata owe their existence. Instead of having come into being aside from the great purposes of the Almighty, or sprung from causes whose proper office was to produce a different class of effects, they are the work of agents, and the result of conditions that were expressly appointed for their production, and that, on completing them, had accomplished their mission. They are themselves as absolute proofs of the existence and agency of such causes in such conditions, and for that end, as the world itself is of the existence and agency of its cause. The fact that the agents by which they were produced, ceased to give birth to such effects, is a proof also that those agents are either no longer in existence, or at least no longer in activity in the circumstances that are requisite to the generation of such products. And the limitation of the effect to the point at which it terminates, was accordingly as much a matter of arrangement, as the agency was of the causes by which that effect was carried to that extent.
With these views, then, of the place which the present constitution of the globe holds in the great scheme of the divine administration, and the certainty that it is the result of causes and conditions that were expressly ordained to its production, let us inquire whence it was that the materials were derived that constitute the present surface of the earth, that has been formed since the creation of the globe itself.
Two theories have been entertained by geologists on this subject. The first is that which was advanced by Werner, who maintained that the whole rocky and earthy mass of the strata was originally held in solution by the waters of the ocean, and was gradually deposited by the agency of chemical and mechanical causes. But that is now universally rejected; as the waters of the ocean are wholly inadequate to the solution of such a quantity of matter; as there are no chemical forces by which such a mass and combination of elements could be at once held in solution in any volume of water however great; and no known laws of chemical agents by which such mixed substances held in solution could be separated and assorted in such a manner as to form strata differing in their composition like those of the crust of the earth. Instead of furnishing any explanation of the problem which it professes to solve, it embarrasses and confounds it by false assumptions and palpable contradictions to the laws of matter.
The other theory is that now generally held, which represents the materials of the strata as having been drawn from pre-existing continents and islands of granite, that were gradually disintegrated, borne down by streams to the sea, and spread by tides and currents over its bottom. But this, as was shown in a former chapter, is equally groundless and unphilosophical; as there are no proofs that such continents and islands ever existed; while it is certain from the elevation which is ascribed to them, and from the laws that govern the disintegration and transportation of such masses, that they cannot have been the source of the materials from which the strata were formed.
But if the materials of the earth were neither originally held in solution in the waters of the ocean, nor derived by disintegration from pre-existing continents and islands, it is manifest that, at least in the main, they must have been drawn from the interior of the globe. We shall, accordingly, endeavor, to show that that was their origin; and that it supersedes the necessity of assigning to the earth any earlier date than that which is ascribed to it by the history in Genesis of the creation and deluge.
In order to accomplish this, it is not necessary that we should demonstrate directly from the strata themselves, that they were thrown up from the depths of the earth, and arranged in their present form within the period that is implied in the Mosaic history of the world from its creation to the remodification of its surface at the deluge. All that it is requisite for us to prove, is simply that it was compatible with the laws of nature, and therefore possible and probable; as that being shown, the consistency of the facts of geology with the Scriptures is established. And that we shall accomplish by proving first, that all the ingredients that enter into the composition of the different species of rocks and soils, originally existed in masses in the interior of the earth; next, that vast volumes of them have been thrown up from the depths where they were first placed, and become parts of the present surface of the earth; and thirdly, that there have been agents in the proper conditions, and of sufficient force, to have ejected the whole body of the sedimentary strata, and within the periods during which, according to the sacred narrative, they must have been formed. If these points are established, as the formation of the strata will be shown to have been practicable within the period that elapsed from the creation to the change of the earth's surface at the period of the deluge, no ground will exist in the strata themselves, for referring the creation of the world to an earlier date than that which is assigned it by the sacred history. This we shall, accordingly, now proceed to prove.
In the first place, then, there is the most ample certainty that all the various substances that enter into the composition of the present surface of the earth existed originally, and still exist within its depths. The chief of those substances are silica, alumine, lime, soda, potash, iron, magnesia. Of these, silica exists in far the greatest quantity; constituting, probably, at least one-half of the whole mass of the rocks and soils. Its proportion in granite is usually about seventy-five per cent., to thirteen or fourteen of alumine, eight or nine of potash, nearly two of iron, a trace of lime, and one or two other ingredients. This rock is now universally regarded as having been thrown up from beneath the primary stratified deposits, and must have come, therefore, in a large measure from a depth in the earth, and demonstrates accordingly the existence in its interior of the several elements that enter into its composition. Felspar, mica, and hornblende, instead of simple minerals, are