land on the climate of the northern hemisphere is overwhelmingly great, and that were it wholly removed the resulting amelioration of climate, even now, would be almost magical. Some portion of the milder climate in the Arctic regions may then be due to the absence of any high land in districts of great precipitation; and we may easily imagine such an arrangement of the land as to concentrate all the heating power of the oceanic currents in a limited area, and thus to produce a mild or even warm climate on one side of the pole, while the other side experienced an Arctic winter. And if at this time high land prevailed, as now, round the south pole, the powerful influences of winds and currents, already described, would be kept constantly at work, so as to intensify the glaciation of the Antarctic, while ameliorating the climate of the Arctic regions. Such favourable geographical conditions might possibly keep up a warm arctic climate during an entire phase of high eccentricity, and if these conditions prevailed in several geological periods, the abundant indications of luxuriant floras and sub-tropical faunas in high northern latitudes would be to a great extent explained.

Let us now briefly summarize the facts of this strange history. The geological record is best known to us in temperate latitudes, and the series of extinct animals and plants it has brought to light indicates almost always warmer climates than at present. The Pliocene was a very little warmer, the Miocene considerably warmer, the Eocene almost or quite tropical. Further back we have no proofs of any increasing warmth; and it is generally admitted that even the carboniferous flora does not imply a climate at all warmer than the Eocene. But at a comparatively very recent period, just at the close of the Pliocene, we have irresistible proofs of intense cold in the northern hemisphere, which reduced the northern half of our own islands, and much of Europe and North America, to the condition in which Greenland is now. But there are also indications that this arctic climate alternated with milder intervals; and further, that in Miocene, Eocene, and many older periods, distinct glacial epochs occurred, which may have been as severe as that we have recently gone through. Then we have another series of still more startling climatic changes, in the warm climates of the Arctic regions. These have been proved to occur, first, probably, at or near the time of the glacial period; then in Miocene, Upper Cretaceous, Lower Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic, Carboniferous, and Silurian times. There is also evidence that some similar changes occurred in the southern hemisphere, of which however our limited space has not permitted us to give any account.


Now the whole series of these wonderful changes can be explained by a full consideration of the influence of certain astronomical facts-the eccentricity of the earth's orbit, and the precession of the equinoxes-combined with the physical properties of snow and ice in storing up cold, and the action and reaction of these on the winds and the ocean currents; the whole being further modified and intensified by changes in the distribution, and especially in the elevation, of the land in temperate and polar regions.

The objection to the theory is, that it accounts for too much. It not only explains all the changes of climate of which we have evidence, but it necessitates a whole series of changes of which we have no direct evidence. Some attempt has been here made to explain why the record of such changes is unlikely to have been preserved, and why, in cases where it has been preserved, it may nevertheless have been overlooked. The imperfection of all our records of the past is too well known to geologists, for this difficulty to have much weight with them; but we may further point out that none of the alternative hypotheses yet suggested at all remove this difficulty. If the pole had shifted its place any number of times to bring Greenland or Spitzbergen into warm latitudes, the Arctic regions must still have been somewhere, and the difficulty is, that no Arctic remains are anywhere found beyond recent times. And if we postulate any amount of change in the obliquity of the ecliptic (as advocated by the late Mr. Belt), we still have to trust to differences of eccentricity, and of winter or summer in perihelion, to produce glacial epochs and warm arctic climates alternately, and this leaves the problem exactly where it is now. As to the theory of a cooling earth, even if it were not totally inadmissible on physical grounds, it would leave the glacial epoch itself-the great starting-point in the complex problem of terrestrial climates-totally unaccounted for. We claim, therefore, that the known facts of 'eccentricity,' when properly applied, do serve to explain the known changes of our climate in past time; and that this is really the only working hypothesis now available, since all others have to make assumptions which either astronomers, physicists, or geologists will not grant. It were much to be wished that palæontologists would keep this theory in view when studying in detail the subdivisions of any formation, with the object of ascertaining whether such evidence of changes of climate as it requires may not sometimes have been overlooked.


ART. VIII.—1. Autobiography of the Rev. Dr. Alexander Carlyle, Minister of Inveresk. Edinburgh and London, 1860.

2. Life of Lord Jeffrey. By Lord Cockburn.



3. Memorials of his Time. By Lord Cockburn. Edinburgh, 1856.

4. Journal of Henry Cockburn; being a Continuation of the Memorials of his Time. Edinburgh, 1874.

5. Autobiography of Mrs. Fletcher. Edinburgh, 1875.

6. Life of Christopher North. London and Edinburgh, 1862. 7. Lectures on the History of the Church of Scotland. By Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, D.D., Dean of Westminster. London,


8. Speeches by Lord Hartington in Edinburgh. 1877, 1879.


HY is Scotland so Radical? is a question often asked, and generally answered by some sweeping generalization. There is little attempt really to study the circumstances of Scotland, and south of the Tweed some one-sided verdict on the national characteristics is usually accepted as explaining the political attitude of the country. The party, which finds a preponderance of support in the Scotch constituencies, has not been slow to take advantage of this neglect. It has lately been the habit of that party to flatter the complacency of Scotland by representing its Radical propensities as a sign of unusual intelligence : and the self-complacency of the Scotch constituencies-the national tendency which utters itself in the prayer 'Lord, grant us a good conceit o' oursels,' has been flattered by being told that it has sealed the doom of the Conservatives as the Stupid party.' Of late there has been a little addition to the usual attribute; and Scotland has been flattered that she is Radical not only because she is so intelligent, but also because she is so moral. doubtedly, if the Scotch believe themselves to have failings, it is in the direction of almost exaggerated intelligence and morals. It was not without skill, therefore, that Lord Hartington, on his first public appearance in Scotland, assured his hearers that the English Conservative party was not only sunk in stupidity, but repeated the corrupting frivolity of the second French empire. The description was given with that pleasing confidence, generally found in Englishmen, that the Scotch can never see a joke against themselves.

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It is with regret that we declare ourselves unable to accept either conclusion. Scotland is doubtless very intelligent and very moral; but we are afraid its Radicalism has other grounds


than either. At first sight there is undoubtedly something odd in Scotland's Radicalism, when we consider her entire want of sympathy with the English type. The philosophical Radical is absolutely unknown to her, or, if known, is only an object of ridicule. The doctrinaire runs counter to her practical instincts. The socialistic Radical is an object of sincere horror. Equality is the last thing a Scotchman wants: it might abate the exclusive privileges, material and moral, on which he piques himself as the member of some very select little sect. The average Scotch Radical is, in short, without understanding of, or sympathy with, the political motives of his party in England. His politics, as was long ago remarked, are apt to be those of the vestry. Even to Imperial questions he gives a local colouring. The Irish Church was hateful to him, not because it was opposed to the religious views of the mass of the population, but solely because it was prelatical. In its extinction he saw some prospective advantage for the Protestant sects. The Burial laws are hateful because they do not recognize Presbyterianism, not because they bear hardly on ordinary English Dissenters. A secularized education would horrify him; and yet-such is the force of names-he would probably do what he could to support the Birmingham programme, because that has for its adherents men embraced in the brotherhood of Dissent. On the other hand, he dreads any concession to the claims of the Catholic party in Ireland in the matter of education, not because he is opposed to denominationalism, but because he hates that particular application of the principle. His Radicalism has a peculiar foundation of its own.

We believe that the political attitude of Scotland cannot be rightly understood without a glance at some of the phases of her ecclesiastical history, and especially at the relations which ecclesiastical disputes have there borne both to politics and to social conditions. The picture, which that page of history presents to us, is neither an uninteresting nor an uninstructive one. It is not, of course, our intention to attempt any minute chronicling of ecclesiastical feuds, or any elaborate detail of the niceties of sectarian divergencies. All we wish to do is to point out the general current of events; to trace the lines on which party politics have moved. We are confident that such an examination will show that neither the best traditions of Scotch history, nor the best elements in Scotch national feeling, are represented by her Radical tendencies.

The generation which first brought Scotland into direct contact with English politics, is that which saw the Revolution and the Act of Union. It is one which presents very few edifying


features. With the Revolution fell the Episcopal Church, which had become associated with the tyranny of Lauderdale and Dalzell. That tyranny had provoked resistance, often bigoted, but not less frequently heroic. To the zealous and indomitable sect of the Covenanters, it had made Episcopacy to be regarded as of purely Satanic origin. That the bonds had been latterly rather relaxed, and that a more moderate system had come to prevail, only stirred their animosity the more; and, if Episcopacy was bad, the 'Black Indulgence' was even more conclusively an invention of the Devil. But rigid as the Covenanters were, sturdy and praiseworthy as was their resistance, they were still a sect and nothing more. Episcopacy had been the established form of ecclesiastical government for twenty-nine years; and it was in 1689 the religion of twothirds of the people of the country, and of the great mass of the landed gentry.* Presbyterianism had to make up lost ground by an intensified zeal of dogma. Whatever these years of persecution had taught, they had at least taught nothing of toleration.

Presbyterianism lost no time in beginning the work. The pent-up zeal of the Covenanters rushed forth all the stronger for having been so long restrained. No sphere of society or politics was free from a prying introspection. The places of the deprived clergy were rapidly filled by men drawn from the lower orders, who made up for their lack of education by an excess of orthodox zeal. The laity vied with the clergy in the exhibition of obtrusive piety. The popular element in the Church was encouraged to excesses of which those to whom the management of political affairs was entrusted knew well how to avail themselves. Superstition and bigotry found assistance even more valuable than that of priestcraft, from the fury of popular zeal.

The Act of Union did not in any way diminish this tendency. It drew off into a larger sphere the few whose influence, confined to Scotland, might have told in the direction of moderation. The struggle was left to the more extreme of both parties. The defeated factions were driven into Jacobitism: the dominant Presbyterians became more exaggerated in their claims to supremacy. It would not be easy to parallel the history of the thirty years that followed the Union. We find a clergy, little respected and with little claim to respect, who nevertheless, through the Church courts, exerted an almost unquestioned sway over private life and conduct. We find the mass of the people inflamed

* Autobiography of Carlyle,' p. 249.

Vol. 148.-No. 295.



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