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But here it is necessary to make a diftinction. It was observed in Chap. IV. p. 93, &c. that foslil shells, and fishes, and other marine productions, are often found inclosed in the bowels of the highest moun. tains, and buried in the bottoms of the deepest mines: And in this chapter it is observed, that the like are found on the tops of the high mountains. These are all generally confounded by naturalists, and attributed to one and the same cause; which they ought not by any means to be. Those which are buried at great depths in the earth, have the best claim to be the offspring of the earthquake, by which the mountains were originally raised : But those fossils which lie on the tops of mountains, or other places near the surface, bid fairest for being the deposits of the deluge. Where petrified vegetables, trees, bones of land animals, and the like are found ; I suppose, for this reason, they do not lie very deep; and are seldom, if ever, met with in mine-works, at the
bottoms of mountains, or inclosed far within their bowels; where they cannot well be supposed to have been lodged either by deluge or earthquake: And I would beg to recommend to naturalists an attention to this circumstance; and that they would consider the nature and kind of them, together with the depths in which they lie- whether they have the effects of fire upon them, or whether they are within the sphere of overflowing water; and might be the wrecks made by that element. By this means they would be enabled to judge; whether these natural medals, as they may be called, are to be esteemed, as monuments of the fall, or of the deluge.
CH A P.
OF THE NATURAL M PẺ DI MẺ NT9 TO THE RETURN OF THE Dėluge.
T HEN God made his covenant with VV Noah, that there should not atly more be a flood to destroy the earth, and set his bow in the cloud, as the token of this covenant ; no doubt but his omnipotence was able to perform the terms of it, without the use of any natural means : Yet, as he hath constituted certain laws in mature, by which his providence constantly acts in the government of the world in general; so it is natural to suppose that he acts by those laws in this, as well as all
other respects: And therefore that he hath by various means, some of which he hath been pleased to make known to us, rendered it impossible, by the present consti'tution of things, as well as by his will, that the world should be drowned again: As it seems indeed to be, according to the opinion of philofophers.
In confequence of his promise to Noah, God not only gave the fea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment * : But his word assures us, that he fet a bound to the waters, that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth to He compassed them with bounds--and fet bars and doors: And said, Hither salt thou come, but no farther; and here all thy proud waves be stayed I. · These look like some natural means, made use of in consequence of the abovementioned covenant ; such, therefore, as had not been used before, otherwise they would have been effectual in preventing the deluge; as well as they have been since, in restraining a return of it. To. point out some of the means for this purpose
* Prov. viii. 29. + Pl. civ. 9. Job xxvi. 10. xxxviîi. 10, 11.
1. It was supposed above, that the earth was deluged by a change in the position of it. It seems, therefore, absolutely necesfary, on that suppofition, to continue it in the same position it was then put into; or that it should vary from it, but by very gentle degrees ; which alone, without any other means, would seem sufficient to preferve it from ever being deluged again. Otherwise, by making any farther such change in the position of it, it would be obnoxious to the like catastrophe. But,
2. Not to depend upon our own reasonings and conjectures, we have the more sure word of God, to guide and assist our observations. Fear ye not me? faith the Lord—which have placed the land for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that