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beds of very ancient formation, generally composed of sand and rounded pebbles.
• The most celebrated of the unknown species belonging to known genera, or to genera nearly allied to those which are known, as the fossil elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus and mastodon, are never found with the more ancient genera, but are only contained in alluvial formations.
• Lastly, the bones of species, which are apparently the same with those that shall exist alive, are never found except in the very light and alluvial depositions.
Such is the statement of M. Cuvier, formed on long and accurate observation of organic remains in their original positions, aided by the tirst Museum of detached specimens in the world. Now to all this what has Mr. Gisborne to oppose? First, that the asserters of this hypothesis are infidels; and, secondly, that the hypothesis itself is gratuitous and unnecessary. To the first of these charges we shall reply in another place. To the second, we presume to say, that if an hypothesis be gratuitous and unnecessary, the phenomena to be accounted for may be explained without it. We will now therefore ask a few plain questions. Mr. Gisborne will not deny the existence of organic animal remains in stratified bodies. He has indeed distinctly admitted the fact, but they are all to be accounted for by one great moral cause—the Deluge. Were, then, these strata depositions formed during the convulsions of that short and perturbed period ? Most of them on the contrary bear indubitable marks of a slow and uninterrupted operation both of mechanical and chemical causes; but if our author chuses to limit the evidence of a deluge to the cracks and clefts which every where exist in the crust of the earth, it will necessarily follow that these strata, with all the animal remains which in regular succession are found imbedded within them, existed, and that too in a completely indurated state, before that event. We have therefore irrefragable proof of a prior crust of the earth.
But on the other hand, allowing the formation of these strata, and the fact that all the organized animal remains contained within them, were really the effects of one single and contemporary cause, the Noachian deluge, independently on the difficulty of conceiving how strata could be formed under such circumstances at all, why have we not an universal jumble of quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, and every class of animals which could perish by means of water? Above all, why have we such multitudes of fossil fish, and why have we no relic of man, the single species, on whose account, as the author and ourselves agree, this tremendous visitation was sent upon the earth, and of which every individual perished excepting eight persons ? Besides, how does this hypothesis account for the extinction of so many genera and species ? According to this system, pairs of each must have been taken into the Ark -the mastodon, the megatherion, the palæotherion, &c. if then existing -all and every of which must therefore respectively bave survived the deluge. All are now, with Mr. Gisborne's leave, extinct,* and so long extinct that there is not a hint in all the records of antiquity respecting their existence.t
excepting * Mr. Gisborne permits himself to doubt whether some of the species of gigantic quadrupeds, whose skeletons have been found in some of the latest alluvial formations, may not yet exist in the central solitudes of America, or in the
But again, there is no reason from Scripture to suppose that in the production of this tremendous inundation the Almiglity employed the
other than mechanical causes-the-windows of Heaven were opened, the fountains of the great deep were broken up. But there are phenomena in the formation of the strata of the earth, which, in order to be accounted for, demand the operation of chemical principles. What agitation, for example, in the waters of the deluge, would have accounted for the utter extinction of so many species of testaceous fish, which are now found only in a fossil state? Tossed and retossed, bad such been their fate, from the poles to the equator, the greater part of the several species, at least, would have survived the shock. Or what can at all explain the topical existence of their fossil remains in such prodigious quantities but the operation of some chemical and sudden infusion, which from that time forward rendered the medium in which they had been originally placed unfit for their further existence? This, in all probability, was the commencement of that process which reduced them from an animal to a fossil state; but an operation-so powerful, so distinct, so local, could have had no place during the confusion of all fluids at the time of the deluge.
From a statement and ratiocination, on the whole flimsy, defective, declamatory, illogical, and ill-founded, we can only lament that the worthy author appears to have been born an age too late. He would have adorned the first meetings of the Royal Society; or at a somewhat later period have been deemed a fit coadjutor of Ray and Derbam-able and excellent men indeed, like Mr. Gisborne; but who had a merit which he does not possess, that of having availed themselves of all the lights which their own age afforded. We would have analyzed the extraordinary passage already referred to, proposition by proposition, had we not deemed it preferable to examine the subject to the bottom in an analysis, which, we trust, will involve satisfactory answers to each. The scruples of a truly pious Christian, who, after all the lights thrown upon the subject of geology in modern times, shall feel himself bound by the letter, as he conceives it, of the Mosaic text, to accept as an article of faith a creation limited by six days of twenty-four hours each, are entitled to respect; yet it ought to be remembered that the question does not affect the inspiration or the veracity of Moses, but merely turns on the meaning of a very equivocal and uncertain term. And if it can be made appear that the word ,* the legitimate parent of the Latin dies, cannot in this instance be restricted to any definite period, and still more if the latest discoveries have shewn that the work of creation was really of long duration; but above all, if the order in which organized remains are found in successive strata is by a wonderful coincidence such as to throw the strongest light on the Mosaic account, we shall arrive at our author's attempted conclusion by a much clearer. and more satisfactory route.
depth of Northern Asia. For a solution of this doubt we beg leave to refer him to M. Cuvier's most satisfactory chapter on the small probability of discovering new species of the larger quadrupeds. But were this even probable, the remains alluded to are skeletons in their recent state, and have nothing to do with the fossil remains of animals imbedded in ancient strata. Of the vast elephant, or animal nearly resembling the elephant, of which the remains were found in a state of astonishing preservation on the northern shore of Siberia, our author speaks with undoubting assurance as having been rolled thither from some far southern latitude by his universal cause—the Deluge. He might have reflected that the hide of this wonderful and wonderfully preserved animal was covered by a thick coat of long, coarse and shaggy hair, which plainly indicated that it was a native of some cold climate, and probably of the latitude in which it was discovered.
† A person so well acquainted with antiquity as Mr. Gisborne, may attempt to invalidate this assertion by attempting to discover the slightest vestige of any proof to the contrary in the writings of the Greek historians or naturalists: but he may spare his trouble by referring to the first of historians and zoologists, Moses.
Mr. Gisborne, we are persuaded, as a disciple of Newton, would laugh at what was foolishly called the Mosaic Philosophy of the Heavens, by Julius Bate and the other followers of Hutchinson. He would satisfy himself in disniissing, though with reverential awe, the account which represents, merely in compliance with popular ideas, the sun as a kind of secondary to the eartlı, and subservient, along with the moon its companion, or even equal, to the uses of the globe which we inhabit. He would smile at the hypothesis of those grave philosophers who sent that glorious orb to perform a diurnal revolution of twenty-four hours about this speck of earth as its centre, and he would probably account for the representation, as other divines have done, by saying that it was not the office of Moses to teach astronomy. But why stop short at this precise point?-Why impose upon himself, or why require of others, as an article of
*• Valde bene interpretatus est Hebræum in, quia 01' (dies) apud eos sæpe tempus significat. Psal. lxxxii. 2. Num. ii. 13. Esaiæ XXX. 26. Grotii Not. in lib. i. Regum, c. xiv. 33. VOL. XXI. NO, XLI.
faith, to believe that the word rendered day denoted the exact period of twenty-four hours, before a sun existed to measure that time ?—Why not admit at once, that on the account of the two first days of the creation, an awful obscurity rests which can never be dissipated by man? Yet it is evident, that by a certain class of geologists, and, as appears from one pretty broad hint, by Mr. Gisborne himself, the patrons of this interpretation, by which, after all, the truth of the Mosaic account may best be established, are accounted little better than infidels.* There is indeed something so triumphant in our author's tone, so supercilious in his manner, when writing on this subject, as would scarcely be justified in one who had either discovered facts, or demonstrated truths which must for ever silence and confound his antagonists. Somewhat excited, perhaps, by this loftiness of temper, when coupled with a want of the best, that is the latest, information on the subject, we shall investigate his reasonings intended to prove that all organized remains which have been discovered in a mineralized state, are relics of the Noachian deluge; and, secondly, shew that the facts adduced to prove a succession of periods anterior to the æra, unquestionably the true æra, of the creation of man, do not consist of the discovery of a few remains of animals belonging to species no longer existing; but that they have been reduced to numerous species, genera, and classes. We shall also point out to Mr. Gisborne's observation, and that of all who are anxious to establish the veracity of Moses, that the successive order in which these organized remains are discovered, while they are not to be accounted for by the confusion occasioned by a single disruption of the earth's surface, are so relatively situated in the strata where they are discovered as to afford the strongest confirmation to the Mosaic account of the order in which they were severally created.
Let us now take up our author's assumption, that all these appearances are relics of the Noachian deluge only.
"In the self-same day entered Noah, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark. They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth
* We ask not for the high antiquity of the earth which inkidelity assigns.' - p. 32.
t. If the skeletons of the mammoth or of the megatherion, or the horns of some unknown tribe of the class of the deer or the buffalo, have been found on the surface of the earth, or dug up from bogs or cavities, may not these animals still survive in the central solitudes of America ? &c. Is not any of these suppositions at least as philosophical as to erect on a basis so narrow and slender' (the basis of fact and experiment) the hypo. thesis of an unknown world ? If fifty years ago the bones of a kangaroo had been extracted from a mine or a morass, they might probably have been produced by some philosopher as triumphant proofs that our globe was constructed from the wreck of a predecessor —that is, we suppose, of a preceding globe. A mine or a morass!—that is, in a recent or mineralized state. Does our author make no distinction betwixt the two
upon the earth after his kind, every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.
And they went in unto Noah, into the ark, two and two of all Mesh, as God had commanded him, and the Lord shut him in.'
These are the words of Moses, in which the emphatical reiteration of the words all and every is very remarkable. Now on Mr. Gisborne's hypothesis, that at the æra of the deluge sixteen hundred and fifty years only had elapsed, not since the creation of
man, which is unquestionably true, but from the formation of the present crust of the earth, we beg leave to present him with two difficulties. The crust of the earth, as broken up at Noah's flood, was indubitably the present crust, and this, as our author contends, was exactly coeval with the creation of man. These organized remains, therefore, of unknown animals, had existed upon earth in this intermediate period of sixteen centuries and a half. But they are found imbedded in strata of various kinds, and at various depths, together with symptoms of violent convulsions (not one, but many) interposed, which during this period must have rendered the earth utterly uninhabitable by man, directly against the evidence of Moses himself.
In the next place, every creature of land or air then existing entered into the ark. If so, did the living representatives of these mineralized species enter the ark or not?-if they did, they have all perished since if not, they had all perished in the sixteen centuries preceding. But this leads to another difficulty.-If they had so perished, how came it to pass that not a vestige of any species now remaining is discovered imbedded in the same strata with them? For even in the very latest of these appearances there is some variety in their anatomy which proves them to have belonged to different species. If, again, these unknown and extinct species did enter the ark, they must have been extinct since. Why then are their remains scarcely ever found in a recent state, and especially with the relics of existing quadrupeds in alluvial deposits ? But again, within the space of eleven hundred years after the deluge, Moses drew up, for the purpose of establishing a distinction between clean and unclean animals, the first sketch of zoology which the world ever saw. Yet by what we know of the uniform practice and observances of the Jews, all the species there enumerated may be accounted for, as indeed they have been by the erudition of Bochart.* All the lost species therefore, among which are to be enumerated not the unwieldy helpless megatherion or mammoth only, but many species of birds, must have become extinct in that short interval. And why, it may be asked, did the process of extinction stop at that precise point in other animals while the miserable sloth itself, half ani
See his Hierozoicon, passim.