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am afraid your Art will fail you in doing as much, for fome other Objedions against his Books and Character. Now. I pray, Sir, what do you think of his History of the Deluge ? Don't you think this very odd, that the whole World should be drowned at the same Time? For my Part, I can as soon believe, that a Man could be drowned in his own Spittle, as that the World should be deluged by the Water in it. Now Mofès fays expresly, that all the high Hills under the whole Heaven were covered. Now to do this, we must have Water enough to reach up to the Top of the Pique of Tenariff, which is at present three Miles perpendicular, and at the Time of Noah much more, a considerable Part of it being washed down by the Rains since. Now where shall we find Water to cover the Earth above three Miles high quite round ? If the whole Ocean were circumfused, it would do little or nothing towards this Effect, much less a Rain of forty Days. For the Water of the Sea, take one place with another, is hardly a Quarter of a Mile deep ; for tho’in some Places in a deep Chanel it may be Half a Mile towards the Shore, it is but three or four Fathoms; so that all together it is not more than a Quarter of a Mile deep. But if this were all pumped out of the Chanel of the Sea, and kept against its Nature by a Miracle stagnating upon the higher Earth, it could cover the whole Earth no deeper in Water than the Sea is now, which is but a Quarter of a Mile; so that there will want two Miles and three Quarters of the Hight which Mofes assigns to it. This is upon Supposition that the Sea and the dry Ground are nigh of the fame Excent; but I believe an exa& Survey of the Earth about the Northern and Southern Poles, would shew that the Earth was much larger. But grant-, ing them of the fame Bigness; to raise the Chanel of the Sea three Miles higher (that is, to the Tops of the highest Mountains, round the World, would take up twentyfour Times as much Water as there is now in the Sea, twelve Quarters of a Mile deep in Water (i. e. twelve Oceans) to be laid upon the Sea, and cwelve more upon the Land. And then pray consider, what becomes of the
pretended Inspiration of Moses's History, when 'tis Des monftration that there is not the cwentieth Part of Water
in the World, as is sufficient to cause such a Deluge. Difficulties Cred. Your Gentlemen are often wont to call that Deof the De- monstration, which is oftentimes but lame Argument. For luge aco ated for nothing can be Demonstration against the divine Power;
but absolute Incompatibility and Contradi&tion. And
do very little Good among the Unbelievers. Remarks on The most agreeable, and surprising Book which, of late
ite Years, has offered it self to the World, was Dr. Burnet's Theories,
Theory upon this Subject. The Design whereof was fo Great and Noble, the Language so exact, the Thought so delicate ; the whole Work so uniform and of a Piece with it felf, and adorned with such variety of pleasant Learning; wherein were such ingenious Accounts given of the great Revolutions of Nature, of the Formation of the World, the Paradisiacal State, of the Amediluvian Lon. gevity, the Deluge and Conflagration ; that tho' there might want some Degrees of Probability to make every Reader believe his Theory, exactly True, yet it pleased most of them so, as to think it was pity it was not. Far be it from me to detract from the ingenious Guesses of that learned Man ; but yer there are some Things in that Hypothesis, which lie very difficult in my Mind, and do not seem so agreeable to the mechanical Laws he goes by, and
other Phanomena, which are observable in Nature. The Oval Figure, which he ascribes to the Antediluvian Earth, seems inconsistent with the present Figure which it is found to be of; that is a Prolate Spheroide, or an Oval turned about its lefser Axis, (i.e.) of the fashion of a Loaf. Which was a prudent Design of Nature to make it of this Figure, because the additional Heaps of Ice and Snow, which are continually lodged at the Poles, by the Vapours constantly flying North and South, should never increase the Globe beyond a Circle. His excluding the Annual Motion of the Earth, and its Mo tion of Parallelism to the Poles of the World, allowing it only a simple Motion round an Axis Parallel to the Poles of the Ecliptick, and consequently taking away. the Vicissitude of Seasons, which is one of the greatest Beauties of the World; and leaving the greater Part of it. uninhabitable, is a Matter which one cannot so easily comply with; especially when the first Chapter of Genesis says, that the Stars shall be for Times, and for Seasons, and for Days, and for years. And so is his Exclusion from thence of the the Seas, Hills, and great Rivers, allowing only some trilling Streams from the Poles. For the World withous the Sea, would be but a Prison, where Men would be lockt up from one another without Intercourse, would have no Communication in Commerce, Arts, Invention; but People must be content to live uncomfortably af Home, upon their own Stocks, and their own Improvements. Without Hills, Men would be bereaved of the Ornament and Convenience of Metals, of the Usefulness of Minerals and Stones ; and Men would have wanted Money, domestick Utensils, Physick, and Buildings ; nay, without Hills to drain off the Mifts and Rains, and Seas to evaporate the Mists and Rains from, it is unaco countable to me, how there should be such a Thing as a River in the World; and I fancy the easy Descent upon the Declivity of an Oval as big as the Earth, is not agreeable to the Laws of Hydrostaticks, and the usual Current of Waters. Nor is it less difficult to me to imagine, how a Crust of fo vast a Thickness, as that of the Earth must
In the w how there and Raina 'S and R to the of an and I should be rom,
of Waters.e Laws of imal as big as the eafy Dee Thing as
be, should be broken by any natural Force, especially bez ing supported equally by the subterraneous Waters; or as for any Fissures or Cracks by the Heat of the Sun, they are demonstrated in the hottest Countries, not to go many Yards into the Ground ; and as for any Earthquakes raised by Evaporation of the Abyss below, every Ditcher can tell, that the Heat of the Sun-beams does not go so many Inches under Ground, as this Hypothesis must fuppose Leagues; and besides Earthquakes, and subterraneous Eruptions are not caused by rarefied Vapours, but by the Accension of sulphureous Damps, which like Gun-powder, rend and tear, and carry all before them, and are of. ten wont to break out in visible Flame. Nay further, those vast Fissures and ugly Gaps would have been more inconvenient and unsightful in the Antediluvian Earth, than the most barren Mountains and roughest Seas are with us. Neither does the usual Depth of the Chanels of the Sea, seem to answer to the Depth of the Abyss ; nor the Regularity of the Mountains to the accidental Fragments of such a Crust. There would then appear frequently prodigious Wells and Gaps, where the Frage ments did not exactly meet, and such horrid and naked
Apices, which could not by this Time, have been any Thing smoothed by Rains, or covered with Grass or Herbs: Nay, even in the very Situation of the Mountains, and greatest Hills; there appears wise Contrivance, and not accidental Fracture; for to go no farther than out own Country, all our great Ridges of Hills, in England, run East and West, so do the Alps, in Italy, and in some Measure, the Pyrenees; fo do the Mountains of the Moon, in Africk, and so does Mount Taurus, and Caucafues. And further there appears a prudent Foresight, in not making the Ridges of Hills, continued, but by breaking them off into Tumuli, or Heads, part of each of which lies obliquely behind another, and generally admits a skew Passage between. For unless there was such a Ridge of Hills frequent from East to West, the Vapours would all run Northward, and there would be no Rains in the Mee diterranean Countries, but the Rivers dried up, and the
Sea it Telf în time evaporated and frozen into polar Ice. And unless the Hills were divided into these oblique Breaks; so as to keep back the Vapours and let in the Northern Air, the World would be far more liable to Pestilences and Putrefaction than now they are, and all Places as unhealthy as Scanderoon. These things, with the Deduction of the Americans from another Race than Noah, and some other Matters of less consequence, are my Reasons why I cannot subscribe to thát leárned Doctor's Solution of the Noachical Deluge ; and therefore must beg his leave to cast about and see if I can find á better elsewhere that I can more easily acquiesce in.
Dr. Woodward, to whom the World is for ever indebea ed, for his curious and diligent Observations of Shells and Minerals, and other subterraneous Phænomeñas, has promised in his Eray, a more natural Hypothesis ; but one of the Grounds which he designs to build his Theory upon, does seem to me so precarious and impossible, that I must see a great deal of good Proof, before I can assenė to it. For it does not appear to me, how it is possible that the Waters continuance à few Months upon the Face of the Earth should dissolve the Compages of the most rigid Fossils, and suspend the Particles of them all in the circumfused Water, except only conchous Substances ; and that, when the Waters were withdrawn, they should be let down to fix and be compacted again. For if it was possible that Water in so (hört a Space could dissolve Marbles and Adamants, yet methinks the fame should more easily disolve Oyster-shells and Cockles, which are of a more tenuious Composition, and more easy of Dif. solution.
Mr. Whiffon, in his Theory, has avoided most of the Difficulties which were chargeable upon the First, and has given the World a Taste of the extraordinary mathea matical and philological Learning he stands poslest of. The chief Fault I find in him is that he has stuck more to Mr. Newton's than Moses's Philosophy, and seems too fond and credulous of his ingenious Hypothesis of the Comet. Nay; the imputing this great Cataktrophe