The Skies and the Earth

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Doubleday, Page, 1902 - 191 pages
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Page 104 - And both, with moons and tides. Nothing hath got so far, But Man hath caught and kept it, as his prey. His eyes dismount the highest star ; He is, in little, all the sphere. Herbs gladly cure our flesh, because that they Find their acquaintance there.
Page 52 - He, who through vast immensity can pierce, See worlds on worlds compose one universe, Observe how system into system runs, What other planets circle other suns, What varied being peoples every star, May tell why Heaven has made us as we are.
Page i - That, changed through all, and yet in all the same; Great in the earth, as in the ethereal frame; Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees; Lives through all life, extends through all extent; Spreads undivided, operates unspent!
Page 121 - ... will satisfy the reader that there are spaces on the globe, several thousand miles in circumference, throughout which the downward movement has predominated for ages, and yet the land has never, in a single instance, gone down suddenly for several hundred feet at once. Yet geology demonstrates that the persistency of subterranean movements in one direction has not been perpetual throughout all past time. There have been great oscillations of level, by which a surface of dry land has been submerged...
Page 138 - Geology, it was affirmed, could never rise to the rank of an exact science, — the greater number of phenomena must for ever remain inexplicable, or only be partially elucidated by ingenious conjectures. Even the mystery which invested the subject was said to constitute one of its principal charms, affording, as it did, full scope to the fancy to indulge in a boundless field of speculation. The course directly opposed...
Page 141 - Rocks, also, produced by subterranean fire in former ages at great depths in the bowels of the earth, present us, when upraised by gradual movements, and exposed to the light of heaven, with an image of those changes which the deep-seated volcano may now occasion in the nether regions. Thus, although we are mere sojourners on the surface of the planet, chained to a mere point in space, enduring but for a moment of time, the human mind is not only enabled to...
Page 136 - But if he afterwards found three buried cities, one above the other, the intermediate one being Roman, while, as in the former example, the lowest was Greek and the uppermost Italian, he would then perceive the fallacy of his former opinion, and would begin to suspect that the catastrophes...
Page 137 - We were induced to enter into that enquiry by reflecting how much the progress of opinion in Geology had been influenced by the assumption that the analogy was slight in kind, and still more slight in degree, between the causes which produced the former revolutions of the globe, and those now in everyday operation. It appeared clear that the earlier geologists had not only a scanty acquaintance with existing changes, but were singularly unconscious of the amount of their ignorance. With the presumption...
Page 137 - Geology, if we could assume that it is part of the plan of Nature to preserve, in every region of the globe, an unbroken series of monuments to commemorate the vicissitudes of the organic creation, we might infer the sudden extirpation of species, and the simultaneous introduction of others, as often as two formations in contact are found to include dissimilar organic fossils.
Page 139 - Gordian knot. We have now, at least, the advantage of knowing, from experience, that an opposite method has always put geologists on the road that leads to truth — suggesting views which, although imperfect at first, have been found capable of improvement, until at last adopted by universal consent; while the method of speculating on a former distinct state of things and causes has led invariably to a multitude of contradictory systems, which have been overthrown one after the other — have been...

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