Puslapio vaizdai

plied the highest scientific knowledge to maintain the validity of our natural conceptions of religion. He asserts that the spiritual philosophy of France has done more to bring back the people of that country to a sense of religious obligation than all the direct efforts of Christian zeal combined. But in Germany he admits that the more extreme and daring features of idealism have unhappily developed themselves in connection with the religious life of that country.


remnants, footprints and dried fishes, limestone and coal measures, ready made." There would be nothing more wonderful in the creation of a fossil, than in causing those circumstances by which the materials of museums are supposed to have been produced. Those persons who accept the literal language of our Scriptural translation believe in something of this kind. They do not allege that the trees in the garden of Eden were the subjects of such gradual growth and development as have been evinced ever since that creation in their regular succession. They do not suppose for a moment that the first created man went through all those painful gradations of

The appendix is chiefly occupied with a matter which will excite much interest amongst Morrel's readers-a reply, on his own part, to the critic of the late Rev. Dr. Chalmers, in the "North British Review." It is sup-creeping, and teething, and tottering, and ultimately walkplemented by a very pathetic tribute to the memory of that great man, which does honour to the living as well as the dead.

Having now afforded a faithful summary and dispassionate estimate of Mr. Morell's philosophical work, we have only to refer for ampler satisfaction to his own text. Should he undertake, as is, we believe, anticipated, to lecture in Edinburgh on these topics during the ensuing winter, we feel assured that there is no living authority will be listened to with more earnest attention.

How are Worlds Formed? being a New System of
Cosmogonical Philosophy. By Samuel Beswick.
Haslingden. 1847.

ing, and acquiring strength, that since then have been the lot of all the successive generations of his descendants. It is unnecessary that they should believe in the thorough absence of any material, in any form, out of which this earth was constituted six thousand years since, antecedent to that date. The eduction of a habitable world out of a chaotic and inhabitable mass is an equally great miracle with the volition that a world should appear where nothing previously existed, working out its


We know not, therefore, that there need be, or that there really is, any immediate cause of quarrel between the geologists, and those who insist for the literal interpretation of scripture upon the mere question of the earth's age. We apprehend that the real quarrel ori

The Ancient World; or, Picturesque Sketches of Crea-ginates in other matters on which geologists themselves

have arrived at no precise conclusion. Mr. Beswick has a high and highly proper regard for revelation at the commencement of his work: thus he says—

tion. By D. T. Ansted, Professor of Geology in King's College, London. London: John Van Voorst. THE construction of worlds was formerly considered to be a subject altogether out of men's reach. Even since we remember, comparatively few persons pretended to tell, with any degree of precision, either how this or any other world was produced. Science and information are, however, progressing, and there is absolutely now no great difficulty encountered in the inquiry. By aid of a hammer, and a few months' rock-chipping, persons of ordinary capacity get at the whole secret. We have two works before us, of recent publication; one, a large pamphlet, showing how worlds in general are made; and the second, an antique and profusely-ornamented volume, which contains a history of this world in particular, not merely before the flood, but before what simple-minded persons are disposed to regard as the period of its creation. Mr. Beswick, the author of the thick pamphlet, obligingly intimates that he expects to be assailed on every hand by those who "found their cosmogonical ideas upon the letter of the sacred writings, who believe that the system was originated in six literal days."heaven; fear not them which kill the body, but rather Mr. Beswick, of course, believes nothing of the kind. Nobody, in short, who professes to be learned on these subjects has any such belief. There has been much learned criticism and speculation on this topic, and whether the announcement of creation in Genesis might or might not be in our translation more accordant with the original if "epochs" had been used instead of "days," is, after all, a question of less practical importance than many persons seem to suppose; since nothing, we think, can be clearer than that the same exertion of power which is supposed to have placed the strata of the world in regular order, could have formed a world, if we may reverently use the phrase, with all its geological relics, and

"But we have an opinion, that mankind will less oppose the progress of science, when the important fact is seen in Sacred Writings, not a single scientific fact is revealed all its consequences, that, throughout the whole of the which was not known before; neither throughout the whole of our Lord's life, from birth to crucifixion, as recorded in the gospels, did he reveal a single scientific to mankind. This is a demonstration, that the object and mission of revelation, or of theological teaching, are not to make known scientific truth, but rather to make a right and true use-a sincere use-a charitable and philanthropic use-of whatever truth or knowledge we may already possess. This is proved by our Lord's mission. His constant end and aim was to direct the attention, in the use of natural truth and things, to what is spiritual, heavenly, and eternal. There is not a precept, saying, parable, private lecture to his disciples, or sermon the attention invariably to things of a spiritual naon the mount, but what shows us, that he directs ture. His constant subject of discourse was about heaven and hell, and the life of, and for each. As, for instance, the kingdom of heaven is likened to this and to that; lay not up treasures on earth, but treasures in them which kill the soul; such was the invariable tendency and object of all that he said and did; consequently, of his mission. And are not his gospels the sublimest standard sion? yet he revealed not a single scientific to mankind. of theological teaching, and his life of a theological misShall we say that he, of whom such miracles are recorded to have been done from self-power, was ignorant of much scientific truth, then not known? this would be a The prophets, from Moses downwards, did not reveal a single scientific truth. Their display of ignorance indeed. mission, and that of revelation, is to teach the ultimate ends to be realised-to be intended and designed by the application and use of scientific truth."

If we concede this reasoning, its author will surely allow us to insist that this revelation, on which ho pro

fesses to place and we have no ground to suppose that he really does not place the highest value-did not make erroneous statements regarding natural science or historic facts. He will allow, we presume, that while it in no part professes to be what his work is styled," a new system of cosmogonical philosophy," yet in no part does it offer a distinct statement on any subject whatever which is not also a distinct fact. We turn from the commencoment to the termination of his pamphlet-where page 154 and onward he says

"The existence of boulders on the north-eastern shores of Great Britain, the east of Iceland, the south-east of Greenland, and especially on the north-east of North America, or that region contiguous to Europe, and their non-existence both in South America and in the southern latitudes of North America, considered in connexion with the direction of the Great Northern belt of the same kind of stones, forcibly leads us to the conclusion, that the precessional circulation of the waters of the ocean had carried these masses of granite from the north of Europe, and projected them upon the north-eastern localities of North America, where they would be deposited before they could be glided, or cast upon the South American shores. It must have been since this last precessional retreat of the ocean that the debril matter on and about the prominences, the mountains, hills, and rocks of Europe and Asia, has been formed by disintegration. From the same period we may date the formation of our alluvial matter, by the deposition of flowing streams, rivers, &c., and the origin of the latter also. In fact, the whole of the present superficial arrangement of Europe and Asia commenced from this epoch. It was then our present vegetation began its existence; our rivers to widen their borders at one place, and fill up in others; and our different classes of animals to multiply and spread themselves over the surface. It was then that colonies of men coming from the nearest habitable locality, Caucasia, spread themselves along its retreating borders, thus passing over central and northern Europe, forming establishments in what are now known as Germany, Poland, European Russia, and Scandinavia. And as the waters retreated, gradually spread themselves over Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Britain, &c., everywhere carrying with them the TRADITION of the DELUGE or FLOOD which had covered the whole earth they were then colonising; though, in consequence of all records and stories being then composed according to a science of correspondency, the tradition of the Deluge would, by them, have a meaning distinct from the literal fact.

"We may now see the truth of that long disputed subject, and the reason why the Chinese, inhabiting the shores, east of this flood, have records much older than those of European nations:* also those nations inhabiting the southern range of this FLOOD, viz., India, Persia, Arabia with Chaldea, Egypt, and Africa.

"Hence at the supposed time of the Mosaic deluge, about 4,000 years since, these nations had arrived at a degree of perfection in the arts and sciences which is a marvel to this learned age, and of which we can form no conception. At the time when the religious community of the present day is supposing the heavens to have been formed, they had mapped it out into configurations: at the time when it supposes the first man and woman were rudely tilling the ground, without clothing and shelter, these nations, particularly Egypt, were teaching the arts and sciences in schools: had formed the most durable

tion of the experience of successive generations, extending over a period that would baffle and render ridiculous all attempts at chronological computation. But it was an age of allegory and correspondency; and hence this appears to have been their scientific method of arriving at the discovery of truth."

We do not know that in any similar work we ever met more grossly absurd statements than those which we have quoted. They exhibit the wonderful credulity of Mr. Beswick-a credulous acceptance of his own imaginations that almost transcends anything manifested by the LatterDay Saints. We certainly never could find out any records of Persia, Chaldea, and the other nations named all, it may be observed, within the supposed limits of the flood-that antedated their existence so much farther back in time than the Mosaic history, as this expounder of the way that worlds are made coolly assumes. According to his theory, the notion of a general flood originated with the colonists of Germany, Poland, and so on; but how Moses, who was, so far as his education went, “an Egyptian," learned the tradition, since there was no overland mail in these days, remains to be explained. Mr. Beswick will perhaps indulge us so far as just to cast his eyes over the last sentence save one in our last quotation; and the reason why we respectfully ask the favour is, that this sentence alone is sufficient proof that he is not the man to explain the mysteries of creation, and tell us how the worlds were made. If these Egyptians had reached, as he says, at the era of Eve, such a degree of intellectual advancement, as only accumulations of experience, extending over periods "that baffle and render ridiculous chronological computation," could confer; it follows, that now in the era of Victoria the same people must be advanced in intellectual matters, at least, considerably beyond those European races, who, it is allowed, began the world anew only four thousand years ago. The rapid advances made in physical science and its application, in this country and in Europe, within half a century, being immensely over any progress attained by the men who built Thebes, must certainly be the product of incalculable ages of experience, according to Mr. Beswick's theory; and thus his Egyptian theory knocks out the side of his European theory, leaving it plain and palpable, in the teeth of boulders and parallel roads, that there was no flood here, but that we have been progressing in science, knowledge, and arts, for a million thus made a lie; and even the memory of the more adof years, less or more, uninterruptedly. All history is

vanced class of citizens is converted into a fiction. We have a dim remembrance of having been taken—we actually think carried-to see the first steamer that ever entered a secluded Scottish port; but that is a dream-a mere fanciful vision; and the remarks we fondly treasured as the forebodings of village patriarchs and matrons are mere boulders or debris of some disordered vision of the edifices and buildings that have ever been erected in the night. The fact must have been that steam-boats of history of man; and, at the supposed time of the Mosaic rather rude construction navigated our waters many cendeluge, they had so far progressed as to be able to teach turies ago; and the gallies that brought Julius Caesar to the most sublime mysteries in the form of allegory. Such is the nature of the Mosaic Cosmogony, as described in Dover; or the curraghs, in which the Lords of Lorn navithe Sacred Writings, which was composed in those gated the Sound of Mull, must have had at least one days. Their intellectual condition supposes an acquisi-paddle-wheel; although, probably, like Clarke, the cele

* See M. de Fortia d'Urban's History of China before the deluge of Ogyges.

"And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians."-Acts, c. vii., v. 22.

brated engineer of the Cricket, halfpenny steamer, which recently plied between Hungerford and London bridges, on the Thames-they tied down their valves with a hempen cord, and made a fatal explosion occasionally.

We have, indeed, a clue in this argument to the | spinning machinery, but "jennies," and such things, prolabyrinths of Ossian; and we take many of the descrip-bably of rude construction, were wrought in Manchester tions in that work to be, instead of highly imaginative, at the period of Agricola. So some old persons in very prosaic accounts of certain transactions on the water Greenock detail, as things consistent with their own and in the air, that may be even yet accomplished, at the knowledge, various recollections of the celebrated hero of small charge of one halfpenny. We can also fully explain, antiquity, James Watt. The whole matter curiously ilon the reasonings flowing naturally, spontaneously, and lustrates the progress of mental mystification. James unavoidably, from the basis of the great Beswickian Watt, if ever he existed at all, must have watched his theory, those accounts of human sacrifices that have been mother's tea-kettle, some afternoon when that matron ascribed to the dark mythology of the Druids. We beg was to have an old friend from the desert to tea with our readers to take our assurance that the Druids were her, nearly 800,000 years ago, in a cottage, not on the mere engineers of the Cricket species, who only threw an banks of the Clyde, but those of the Nile-perhaps beunfortunate passenger or two into the air now and then, low the cataracts, although some authorities point to the and they came down dead. uppermost regions of Upper Egypt. Most probably, however, James Watt had no real existence, but is a myth-neither man nor mite, but myth. So in reference to Robert Napier, whose steamers are so highly famed that one of them is said to have beaten the Fairy in speed, he is an allegory, that may be depended on, and his works are thoroughly allegorical.

The statements addressed in Scripture against human sacrifices in Tophat and elsewhere are pure allegories. There was a "myth," as the Germans have it, and the story is told in Scripture with such reflections as seem suitable. Baal was a respectable gentleman the mayor of one or two cities, and the chairman of several railway companies. Tophat was merely the Sowerby-bridge station on a railway out of Jerusalem, which had a viaduct of 318 arches over the Valley of Jehosophat-or some other valley, it matters nothing which. 'If any person doubts us, he can consult Brunetti, who will put it into his model. At this station a great accident occurred, in consequence of the last first-class carriage, in an express train, getting off the line, and the guards not paying attention-in point of fact, there being scarcely any guardianship-because Robert James Baal, Esquire, the chairman, and the other directors, wanted for the shareholders a dividend of eight and a fourth instead of seven and a half per cent., and could not afford two guards for each express train. The carriage being unnoticed, was dragged along for thirtytwo and a third minutes, at the rate of sixty miles an hour, and several persons were killed. That is the origin of the myth which we find in Scripture, where Mr. Baal is used to employ a principle; sometimes, also, set forth under the personification of R. D. S. Mammon, Esq., who was the original chairman of the company, and ultimately retired to his estates and vilia, near Sodom, with a large for tune acquired by bearing the company's scrip on the bourse of Babylon. Of course, the prophets, standing in those days in the position of troublesome newspaper reporters "the vermin of the press"-a phrase erroneously ascribed to a celebrated songstress, though, no doubt, originating in a committee-room that shall be nameless, where the only music is the porter's bell and the engine's whistle: these prophets, who were perpetually interfering with the amusements and money-getting habits of society, made a myth of this fatal accident, and the evidence, as it appeared on the coroner's inquest held at Bethlehem-which we in our day have read wrong; but now the matter is explained, and the entire transaction, we trust, placed upon an intelligent footing. Such is the advantage flowing from an enlightened criticism. The theory involves some singular corrections of modern history. For example, Sir Robert Peel is re ported, in aristocratic language, to be without a grandfather. His father is said to have made a large fortune by the use of some extraordinary inventions in the cotton-spinning business. This vulgar impression is, however, quite a blunder. There were no such inventions of modern date. Gradually men invented the


Commonplace persons, who will not investigate theories and their deductions, may style all these statements extravagantly absurd; but we beg to tell them that they are neither absurd nor Pickwickian, but good sound Beswickian consequences from "a new system of cosmogonical philosophy."

We return, in a serious and staid mood, to the book, and its beginning, page 8, for the purpose of making the fol lowing extract :

"If objectors to our philosophy think that the letter of the Divine Word contains the real truth, as to scientific subjects, and if, likewise, they believe it, then why fear

an appeal to fact?"

But what is fact? Objectors are asked to appeal to fact. They are justified, therefore, in asking for a fact. The nebula theory was considered a fact three years ago. After explaining it-and we must say in passing that the explanations in this pamphlet display much research and acquaintance with the subjects-after its explanation at page 31, the author says—

coupled with that of gravitation; nay, that it is, in fact. Here, it will be observed, the nebular theory is nothing more than the theory of gravitation applied to the elucidation of certain phenomena, or certain appearances of a self-luminous matter, with a view to show that it is the substance from which all the stellar bodies and astral systems are made.

But could it be proved, that this apparently self-shining fluid is nothing else than an extensively vast system of stars-so distant, that it appears like an irregularly din proved to be not rooted in the nature of things-to have cloud of light-then, of course, this Theory would be no ground in which to germinate and flourish, or to receive the culture of successive generations; because, no longer consistent with known fact."

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Then he tells us that this is exactly what occurred. The Earl of Rosse and Dr. Nichol smote the nebula hip and thigh. They made an end of the theory one fine and clear evening, by discovering that the nebula were clusters of individual stars. They were too late, however, for a myth had been written, and four editions sold, under the title of "Vestiges of Creation," which became a very popular book, especially amongst fine young gentlemen who liked to believe that they were descended by regular succession from reptiles and toads, and had a very fair chance of being re-transmuted into reptiles. This myth was founded mainly on the nebula theory. It

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appealed to facts. It appealed to the nebula fact. But
now it appears that this was no fact whatever-and only
a mistake. So it may fare with Mr. Beswick's facts, per-
haps. They may be resolved, just as Earl Rosse's
cope resolved the nebula.

members of the group, through which the passage from sauroid fishes to true saurians takes place, but belonged It seems clear, therefore, that, while progression and a to a higher form, and to a complicated type of that form. teles-general advance in point of organization is, in one sense, a method observed by Nature, still th re is not such a regular gradation, that an animal of lox er organization can be supposed to be employed as the agent in introducing a higher group; this view, however plausible, not being borne out by observation, but, on the other hand, being distinctly contradicted by the results of geological and paleontological investigation."

It is not the theory regarding the age of the world that is, respecting the existence of the earth in some form, under some organization, previous to its present era-that those who believe in the literal interpretation of scriptural statements consider to be objectionable; but those grave, yet incidental fancies, unconnected with the main theory, that are thrown into the bargain-fancies so extravagant as the existence and prosperity of the Egyptians more than six thousand years since.

Professor Ansted's work teaches geology under a new and fascinating form. It assumes to be a history of the world, previous to the changes that occurred in what are styled the various epochs of creation. The material of this history is not to be found in records or libraries. The historian must examine one museum-but it is the

Mr. Beswick's creed we understand to be what he styles "the orbital theory ;" and he believes that a long while ago, more than eight hundred thousand years-world. He must trace hieroglyphics-but they are writfor that period has been occupied, he thinks, by our transitions-this globe was dashed off in a chaotic form, and at a high degree of temperature-very hot indeed. Since then it has been occupied in cooling, and spinning itself into the orbital form. In that respect it has been making progress, and in the lapse of ages will become perfect as to shape, and, in consequence, perfect as to many other matters-such as the regularity of seasons; but, unfortunately, it is threatened with another partial deluge, almost as the consequence of its perfection, though, as this will only occur six thousand to twelve thousand years hence, our readers, in general, are perfectly safe from its consequences. Mr. Beswick will, we hope, observe that this theory also contradicts another distinct statement of Scripture, and illustrates our previous position-that it is not the leading geological statements, but the fancies of speculators, based on no foundation stronger than the theorist's imagination, that are obnoxious to the charge mentioned by this writer.

The geological writers and lecturers who build too rapidly a theory on an observance, and not on a fact, are themselves liable to the charge of bringing scientific pursuits into disrepute. Rashly-formed theories from partial and incomplete inquiries are susceptible to the most profound objections. They have been made, supported, proved, as it was thought; and they vanished one after another, until we have enjoyed a very regular succession of errors. This experience might teach caution in affirming any opinion as not merely probable but certain, until its evidence were found to be more conclusive than those statements on which a deluge, ten thousand years hence, or so, can be predicted; or even the opinion, that it is just eight hundred thousand years since the world was in a chaotic state; or 1,700,300 years since it was a comet, and in a state of vapour, can be maintained.

Even the unlearned amongst us can perceive that this looseness in the supply of proof, and facility in accepting possibility, or even probability for evidence, disfigure works that display much anxious research on topics of the highest interest; and this pamphlet is one of these

ten on mountains and valleys by the Creator. He must inquire into the origin of matter, so far as an answer to inquiries can be obtained. The research is of the most interesting character, but we maintain that it has only commenced. Its history cannot yet be authentically produced. Still, even if hereafter other and great discoveries may appear to change the nature of our evidences, this volume will continue to be an interesting illustration of the progress attained by the present generation of geologists. Meanwhile, if we can suppose that what are now styled "facts" can be overthrown by subsequent inquirers, still we have an addition to the stock of most readable books, for Professor Ansted's volume is not excelled by any other romance. We may explain thus much, that by the term "facts," in its use in the previous sentence, we mean rather "deductions" from "facts." Certain things appear in a particular form, under specified circumstances. These are facts which cannot be overthrown. Deductions are formed from these premises, presumed to be facts, and so called, although they are merely opinions, resting, as we believe, often on a narrow basis, too narow for the superstructure reared. We are quite prepared to find these deductions greatly modified, by the application of closer reasoning to our present knowledge than we have yet observed, or by the extension of that knowledge.

This history is divided into three periods; the first current from a time antecedent to the introduction of life down to the appearance of land; the second, from the formation of the new red sandstone to the termination of the middle epoch, which, according to this author, is not clearly marked; the third, from the introduction of land animals.

The entire ten

Without endeavouring to trace this long history in its various stages, which would be a task equivalent to rewriting the work, we shall quote the author's statements regarding one or two particular periods. dency of the work is to disprove the idea of progressionthat is, the opinion that organization proceeded step by step from a low to a higher development, until, finally, men sprang from monkeys. This theory, which scarcely merited a minute refutation, because it might have been successfully dealt with in a shorter, way, is shown to be thoroughly inconsistent with facts and with the frequent appearance of superior pre-existi pg organizations. This view of the remains in deposits is to be found in several "The reptiles thus appearing were not, however, passages, and we extract one from page 99, &c. :—


We referred to the "Vestiges of Creation" in passing; and in the second work we are noticing, Mr. Ansted's "Ancient World, or Picturesque Sketches of Creation,' we find at page 102 the following notice of "the theory of progression:"—

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"But the great reptilian fish were not the only inhabitants of the sea during this period, nor were they even the only ones of large size and possessed of great strength and voracity. Not less than sixty species belonging to various genera, all nearly allied to the shark tribe, and some of them of very large proportions, are indicated by the remains of teeth discovered in various localities in limestones, sandstones, and shales of the carboniferous series; and thirty-three species have been determined from fragments of fins and detached vertebrae from the same beds. Now, as there are no more than seven species of shark-like animals determined from the fossils of the old red sandstone, even including two which may be identical with some of the other five, it seems that a great and important change had taken place in the introduction of a large number of species of this class, which was very imperfectly represented at first, but which continued important for a very long time, and still forms a group performing a distinct part in the economy of creation."

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The numerous rays, or bony spines, called Ichthyodoru lites, so often found fossil in these and newer strata, seem to be identical with the bony spine with which the Port Jackson shark is provided, and which being moveable, and attached to a fin, enables the animal to turn itself readily on its back while swimming. These spines are variously marked, according to the species or genus to which they belong. They will be described at greater length in a future chapter when treating of lias fossils.

The basis on which Professor Ansted constructs his history may be understood from a very brief extract :-

"There are no means whatever by which we can at present determine how long a time elapsed between the conclusion of the first great series of deposits in England, and the commencement of the next; nor is it for us to those violent dislocations of the hardest strata, which we assert that the wild and chaotic confusion resulting in all so readily observe, was in any way inconsistent with the existence of life in many other parts of the world, now, perhaps, covered with hundreds of fathoms of salt water. But I would not dwell on this possibility, for I wish only to speak of what is known; nor can it be necessary to wander into the field of conjecture or romance, in order to obtain a striking picture of a former state of existence which shall exhibit all the charm of novelty, both in the outline and colouring. Without any such conjectures, of one thing, at least, we are certain, that during this interval, whatever it may have been, and however it may have been occupied in various parts of the world, every species of animal, and almost every vegetable, seems to have been replaced by some new one, not differing much, perhaps, from the former, or performing another office, but yet different, exhibiting an instance of the rich variety of nature, and an effect of that law of universal dissolution allotting to each its appointed time, and causing each to which appears to influence species, as well as individuals, pass through the different phases of imperfect development, full growth and vigour, and their gradual but certain decay and death."

The interval referred to is from the first to the second period-probably, as we should understand it, from the completion of the first to the commencement of the second great change, if it be supposed that these stages had any permanent platform, and were not a perpetual "See then the great and striking change that had super- succession of universal agitations. There is an assumpvened towards the close of this carboniferous period. tion in the third sentence of the last extract which breaks The corals and the encrinites remained with little altera- the bargain made with us in the second. That bargain tion of general form; the trilobites were nearly extinct, was, that we were to have no conjectures-that we were and seem but scantily replaced by other crustaceans; the only to "hear of what is known"-an important brachiopoda had assumed new forms, which some of them feature, certainly, in a history, but not long maintained, retained long afterwards, and which are even handed for at once we have a conjecture served up as a fact down to the present day; the ordinary bivalve and uni- known, or at least as something very apparent—namely, valve shells were gradually increasing; and the prevail- that some law influences all species, securing their graing cephalopoda, retaining up to this period the elongated dual but certain decay and death. This is a favourite asstraight form of orthoceratites, were also developed in sumption with geologists; but in and through material the spiral form scen in goniatites, and afterward con- science it never has been, and it cannot be demonstrated. tinued in ammonites, a form better fitted perhaps for the That certain species of animals have been created, and altered conditions of the sea, and the greater stir of life have disappeared, may be conceded, although we are not that was about to succeed. But the fishes present the so fully conversant with the globe, and the denizens of earth newest and most striking appearances. The minute, but and water, as to hold that to be clearly proved; but probably fierce and voracious species which first marked if it were proved, still the rule might only be of partial the introduction of this class of animals, had been suc- application, and arising from no fatality or decaying ceeded by a comparatively clumsy and awkward race, energy in the species, but from the increasing power of coarse feeders, of small size, and indifferent swimmers, its foes. There once were herds of wolves in Britain; but covered either with strong plaited armour, or with and we presume that there is not now an individual of fine coats of mail, and apparently very abundantly distri- the species in a wild state; but their destruction was buted. These lasted for a time, but then gave way to the caused, not by inherent decay, but the increase of exteradvance of other and higher groups. Innumerable sharks nal power. Their enemies multiplied, discovered new of all sizes, and perhaps of many forms, rapid and power-agencies of destruction, and extirpated them, although the ful swimmers, fiercely and insatiably carnivorous, were associated with huge monstrous fishes, more resembling reptiles than any of their own class at the present day, and incredibly powerful and voracious. The fishes at this time had attained, it would seem, their maximum of development in point of vigour, and in some respects (though in some respects only, and by analogy) in structure; and it is not a little interesting to find, that at this point, so far as we can tell, the true reptiles were actually introduced (the remains of that class being indicated in the coal measures, and actually found in the inagnesian limestone associated with carboniferous species of fishes)."

last of the race may have possessed all the vigour and
power that characterised his earliest progenitor.
wards the close of the first epoch, Professor Ansted af-
fords the following sketch of the state of society :—

"We pass on now from the consideration of this chapter in the world's history. We have seen, first of all, how the earth lay buried in the dark obscurity of its early state, when the only rocks of mechanical origin consisted of huge masses of decomposed and pounded granite, broken into fragments by the disruption of the first thin shell

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