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chalk, stone, marble, and other heterogeneous substances, were only some mock productions of nature, or originally formed in the places where they are found, by some plastic power of falts, or other minerals; for this reason, among several others, that living animals, or fish, have been found in some of those foffil shells; and that some such marine substances have been formed and generated in human bodies; and therefore it is supposed, they were formed by a spermatic principle, as fish spawn, received into the chinks, and other meatus's of the earth; and falling down in rains, &c. But these instances are too rare, and too equivocal to form any general system upon, especially one of such a nature : Nor, as it hath been observed, can by any means be admitted with regard to many of these fossils ; such as the glollopetræ, or teeth of the shark, and the other bones of larger creatures; however disputable the case might be, with regard to some shell fish, whose shells might possibly preserve them in the carth; and with regard to subterraneous
woods, and foslil trees, especially of such as are of the growth of those parts where they are found; which might be accounted for from other causes. But those of a quite foreign growth, which are never seen
growing in the climate, or country where found, cannot be presumed to be brought there, any otherwise than by the deluge.
This opinion therefore, that foslil arid putrified shells, and all such like phenomena, are mere lufus nature, stands upon such slender grounds, that it cannot be supported; and I think it is now in a manner quite given up. It is indeed such, as, if pursued to its utmost consequences, would terminate in atheism. Dr. Woodward hath thoroughly sifted, and investigated all these
and hath found, and proved them to be in reality, what they seem to be: And no one, that I know of, hath contested it with him. We may look upon
them therefore, as so many monuments of the deluge; as medals struck on this memorable occasion.
But here it is necessary to make a diftinction. It was observed in Chap. IV. p. 93, &c. that fossil shells, and fishes, and other marine productions, are often found inclosed in the bowels of the highest mountains, 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 faireft 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 Y
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.
OF THE NATURAL M PEDIMENTS TO THE RETURN OF THE DĖLUGE.
HEN God made his covenant with
Noah, that there should not any 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 nature, 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 Y 2