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ed up with : Where navigators have observed, that these great shoals and floating islands of ice are not found but upon the coasts, and about the mouths of rivers—That on the high seas, distant from the shores, even as far as the north-pole, which some have failed quite up to, and others within a degree or two of it, there was no ice to be seen; but a clear open sea--But that, as all the mountains of Friesland for instance, are covered with Inow, so all the coasts are lined with ice, which forms such a bulwark, as is not to be approached : And as these icy banks are seldom, if ever, entirely thawed, they are a perpetual lock upon the seas in those parts: And on the other hand, it is not improbable, that they gather and increase in bulk; and by degrees are atterrated, and converted into solid earth. This is not a groundless conjecture: We have an account in the voyages of some Hole landers, that, having anchored their ship at one of these banks of ice, and having
climbed up upon it, they observed the surface of it was covered with earth, and found about forty eggs upon it; and that it was not of the common colour of ice, but a kind of azure, or sky colour. It was very high, being about eighteen fathom under the water, and ten fathom above it *. If this instance be sufficient to ground a general conclusion upon, here is a great draw-back upon the element of water, and as great an addition to that of earth; and this operation having been continually carrying on ever since the deluge, how considerable the effect is become by this time is not to be estimated. I shall only add, that the flatness of the globe about the poles is alone sufficient to prevent the waters collected in those parts from overflowing the earth.
fob's reflection is most properly applicable to the seas in these parts, where alone they are known to be frozen. The waters are hid with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen t. * Buffon, p. 78, 135. t Job xxxviii. 30.
To these instances of the increase of the earth, I shall only add one argument more for the decrease of the element of water, to those that have been already given. We read of great inundations, which happened in particular countries in antient times; not long after the universal deluge: Such as that of Ogyges in. Attica, about 550 years after it; 'which laid the country waste to that degree, that it lay uncultivated, and without inhabitants, for almost two hundred years. Deucalion's flood, in Thessaly, was so considerable, as to have been con. founded with Noah's flood by many heathen writers' ; though it happened 830 years after it: And other partial and local deluges, irruptions, and inundations of the seas, are recorded in antient history *. But we read, or hear of, no such great deluges, or inundations, as these seem to have been, in later ages, that have happened in any part of the world; though
* See Sir Walter Raleigh's Hift. of the World, p. 89.
the world in general is better known than it was in those early times. Whence it may be concluded, that there have not been in succeeding ages, those quantities of rain and waters, to cause such inundations, as happened in antient days.
Upon the whole, so many impediments to the return of the deluge, serve as so many ratifications of God's covenant to Noah; and, according to the present conftitution of the world, render such a catastrophe absolutely impossible ; A constition, which from many of the foregoing instances, appears to be very different from that of the antediluvian earth,
ON THE POST-DILUVIAN STATE
T HERE is nothing relating to this,
1 subject in scripture, except what may be deduced from some few prophetical palsages : And as these are generally under.. stood in a metaphorical sense, so being gradual and-imperceptible in their accomplishment; few imagine, or perhaps will allow, that they are capable of any other. Let us however examine them.
The most remarkable of these prophecies is the following. Every valley shall be exalted; and every mountain and hill Mall be made low : And the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain*. This prophecy is quoted by St. Luke t, and ap* Ifai. xl. 4. + Luke iii. 5.