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ficent arch of the starry heavens the brightest representative in nature of His radiant and God-like countenance !

Astronomy has indeed a heavy debt to pay to the sublime truths of the Gospel, a debt which has been accumulating ever since Newton's death; and, knowing this, we trust it will now gather together all its resources, and put forth all its energies in order to cancel the obligation. But let it, likewise, remember that, boundless as these resources are, and infallible as the manipulations appear to be which govern its results, yet the Dynamical Theory has proven that, when existing in cold and lifeless separation from Religion, the former can be drawn from sources of error, and the latter have led to false conclusions.

We, likewise, offer a tribute of thanks for the very important assistance we have derived from the sober and certain science of MECHANICS, which, more conversant with tangible objects, as the ground-work of its conclusions, has revealed the truth, without incurring any errors of hypothesis. But let it rejoice with trembling, and learn to contemplate its own inevitable fate in that which has befallen the sister sciences, should it ever wilfully despise, or willingly lend its aid to any attempt which may be designed to asperse or to impugn the truths of the Sacred Volume.




Preliminary advertencies. The consequences likely to result from a world of water being thrown into violent agitation and motion by the first diurnal revolution. Longitudinal effects on it of the elevation of continental ridges, and the depression of oceanic hollows. The effects of the introduction of the principle of Expansion into the primeval water. Chemical analyses of water. No Nitrogen in water. No Hydrogen in the atmosphere. Nitrogen traced to its origin in ammoniacal gas. Chemical analyses of this alkaline substance. Free Oxygen-its source. Appropriateness of the juncture, while these elements abounded, for the introduction of Light into the material universe. Philological corroboration of these assumptions. The diffusion principle of gasses requisite to complete the force which expanded the aerial elements to their prescribed boundaries. Meteorological phenomena. Composition of gases in general, and the indestructibility, in particular, of those which constitute the atmosphere.

At the close of the fourth section, we considered the earth to be revolving around the unillumined sun, but without diurnal motion having, as yet, been impressed upon it; while its recumbent rocky crust sustained an equally diffused and universally spread mass of water; which, having undergone a purifying process through many ages, had been deprived of nearly the whole of its earthy and acidulous ingredients, and at the period to which we now allude contained only saline materials; free oxygen maintained in that state by the joint agency of carbonic oxide, and carburetted hydrogen; the primeval water, at this stage of its existence, being likewise saturated with ammonia, which arose from the decomposition

of animal substances, whose living possessors once inhabited infinite numbers of calcareous coverings discovered in the strata, and which ammonia had assumed a supernatent position. It will, likewise, be recollected, that this was the state in which in the subsequent section we supposed it to have been, when it pleased the Creator to issue the successive mandates for the formation of the light, and its division from the darkness, whose first and more immediate consequence was the rotation of the earth around its axis; while we endeavoured, in that which followed, to unfold in succession the important results which were produced by that memorable and stupendous event upon its rocky masses.

In describing the effects which the movement of its aqueous portion produced, we confined ourselves almost exclusively to those which it exercised upon the broken fragments of the mineral crust. In other words-we merely investigated the results which occurred underneath, and were there occasioned by that singular movement of the water of the world. But there were equally important consequences destined to take place in the upper regions of that watery mass, and in its lighter and more gaseous associates, which the division and agitation of the water permitted to escape, and, under the influence of the centrifugal impetus, to ascend, in vapourous expansion, into those vacant regions, whose full extent they were afterwards destined to occupy; and from whence, on this occasion, they were not permitted to return; but being there suspended by the wonder-working power of the Creator, were caused, by his immediate agency, to expand, in the manner we are now about to unfold, into the life-sustaining atmosphere; while their partial elevation, for that purpose, into space by a force so general, and so evidently destined for many other important purposes, as was the centrifugal impetus occasioned by the earth's protorotation around its axis, affords another confirmation of the truth, that nothing is done in vain by the Omnipotent, but that every step in the process of this great work was previously designed by a plan of exceeding wisdom; and executed by an arm of infinite power.

Before endeavouring, by closer inspection into each successive step, to form a juster conception of this magnificent

transformation, performed by the arch-chemist of natureNature's God-it will perhaps greatly aid our convictions were we to pause a moment, and imagine, if we can, the grandeur and sublimity of a world of atmosphereless water thrown into violent and uncontrolled agitation, silent and unattended by the slightest noise, in the absence of the vehicle of sound, but greatly augmented in motion by the successive elevation and depression of continental ridges and oceanic hollows, when "at his rebuke they fled, at the voice of his thunders they hasted away;" when they "went up by the mountains, and down by the valleys," or perhaps more emphatically still, "when the mountains ascended and the valleys descended."*

This may, perhaps, be the most opportune juncture for entering into some enquiries with a view to determine, if we can, the relative levels maintained by the primitive water during the first and second days of the Mosaic week, directing our attention particularly to those portions which may be supposed to have rested above the continental ridges, in contradistinction to those which were perpendicular to the oceanic hollows, when their entire mass was thrown into motion by the rotation of the earth around its axis; and afterwards to endeavour to trace the line observed by "the firmament" when it "divided the waters from the waters," or, the level at which that expanse was introduced into the primitive ocean. These questions are not without their difficulties, but, to simplify them as much as possible, let the case be stated thus: A sphere, bearing upon its level surface an equally distributed atmosphereless mass of water of considerable depth, is caused to revolve around its axis with an angular velocity capable of elevating immense continental ridges and of depressing corresponding oceanic hollows, in lines running nearly at right angles to the direction of the rotatory motion, and under these complicated conditions, it is required to know, how the atmosphereless aqueous portion would be disposed of?

The question, in our opinion, resolves itself into two separate branches. First. The manner in which the water would comport itself during the time when it was under the influence of

* Psalm civ. 7, 8, and marginal reading.

the centrifugal impetus, and to a certain extent abstracted from that of gravity? and, secondly. How it would proceed after that impetus had ceased, and the water was restored to the influence of attraction, as far as liquidity admits of its operation?

We prefer going into this investigation, without delaying the general argument by tarrying to enquire, with greater speciality, into the effects which would result from the primitive ocean having been thrown into violent commotion before it was circumbounded by the atmosphere; as our reasoning can proceed irrespectively of this, and on the assumed fact, that the work of creation was commenced, carried on, and nearly completed in vacuo; atmospheric pressure having been called in, as a secondary agent, only for those parts which were undertaken and accomplished during the last five days of the Mosaic week. With this advertency we shall continue our discourse.

With regard to the first of the divisions above-mentioned, it is obvious, that there would ensue consequences of a latitudinal, and consequences of a longitudinal character. With respect to the former of these, it has already been shown, in a previous part of this work, that the most natural tendency of the water would be to rush from the poles towards the equatorial regions, in order to assume that state of equilibrium, or of rest, from which it had been roused; and which was necessary in order to complete the form of rotation; while, the difference or inferiority in the velocities of the higher latitudinal zones of water, as they swept towards the equator, by causing them to lag behind, and to acquire a westerly direction, would gradually transform the latitudinal effects into those of a longitudinal character.

Those of a more decidedly longitudinal description are by no means so easily disposed of. They are attended by difficulties, greatly augmented by the paucity of all evidences, or precedents to which we might refer; and, therefore, adhering to that which is next best, we must endeavour to abide by the light of the strictest analogy, and direct our attention steadily to the phases of the other phenomena which resulted from the proto-revolution of the earth around its axis, especially to those

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