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position true ; yet the Marrow, which is much lighter than the Bones, is concluded within them; the Bones being its superficial Crust, in the same manner as we suppose the Earth to be to the Abyss. Now, why should not we suppose that God used as much Wisdom and Contrivance in the Formation of the Body of the Earth, as in that of an Animal? Or why should specifick Gravity tie him up more in one than the other? No doubt there was the same most admirable Contrivance in the Formation of the course Body of the Earth, as in other finer and smaller Contextures. Only the Earth is a Body, whose Parts are so great, as they cannot be distingly view'd at the same time, and many of them hid from us, and therefore we are apt to conclude, that they are less elegant ; so we proceed to philosophize upon it under this Mistake, and allow it only the rude Contexture which might arise from the bare Subsidency of Parts, and the Laws of specifick Gravity. But this is a grievous Ertour, and we might, with as much Philosophy, pretend to give an Account of the Organization of Animals by by the fame Laws. For I doubt not, but if we were let into the subterraneous World, and could have a disting View of Stones and Minerals, the excellent Disposition and Variegation of the several Strata, the wonderful Contrivances of subterraneous Currents, by which one Sea is fed by another, and all receive their Origin from the one great Foundation of the Abyss, and to which they all pay their Tribute again ; to consider the spreading Veins of the lesser Springs, which at first are distilled from the Rains and Mists, by uniting together do form the greatest Rivers ; if we consider all this, we cannot but allow, that God formed the Earth with as much Wisdom and Contrivance as other parts of the Creation, and that he might make it to be a Thick-fhell surrounding the Abyss, though contrary to the Laws of specifick Gravity, if that did contribute to the good of the whole, and the usefulness of Mankind, as I think the Communication of the upper and lower Şeas sufficiently does,
Phil. But still, Credentius, this unaccountable Miraca cle lies hard upon me, especially when your Divines allow, that God generally works by second Causes, even when he acts Miraculously and above the Power of Nature ; by giving Nature as it were a Power superior to it self. And indeed in the present Case, it looks very odd, that God should engage his Omnipotence to make the Water of the Abyss ascend contrary to its Nature, or that his inferiour Agents, the Angels should be employ'd invisibly to Pump up so much Water from thence as would drown the World. Without doubt it would lie more easy upon Men's Minds, if this great Catastrophe were accounted for in a more natural Way ; in which the Laws of the Universe are not so forcibly opposed as in this Supe position.
Cred. For my Part, it lies as easy upon my Mind to think, in general, that God miraculously raised up the Water of the Abyss, and sent such continual Spouts and Rains, that in forty Day's Time the whole World was drowned ; as if I was able to find out those immediate Causes he made Use of in this dreadful Judgment. For after all I must own it to be the Finger of God, either making use of intermediate Causes, or himself immediately producing the Effect. If I am sure the Effect was miraculous, what need I care where the divine Power was first impressed, whether immediately upon the Effect it. self, or upon any of its pre-existing and necessary Causes ? I am sure by the divine Revelation, that God is in it either first or last, and this is sufficient for my Conviction; and I think, the Holy Scripture is not so much obliged. to gratify our Curiosity. I doubt not but there are innumerable Ways which God could have made Use of to drown the World, even by intermediate and natural Causes, which the wisest Philosopher never dreamt of ; and if any of these Ways are shewn to be possible, then all the Arguments which would infer the Impossibility of the Deluge are at an End. Now to comply with your Curiosity for once, I will endeavour to shew what second
Causes God might possibly make use of in the deluga ing the World, and by what Means the Abyss was drawn up over the face of the Earth. Not that I am so vain to think that he did make Use of these means ; but that if he did, the Effect would be fo far from being impossible, that it would, upon that Condition, be neceffáry."
Now it is most generally among the best Philosophers agreed, that the Moon is the Caufe of the Tides, and that the nigher she is to the Sea, as at her time of Southing, she raises the Water the higher by her Attraction of it towards her. So that if by the fupernatural Power of God, the Moon were brought very near to the Earth or the Earth to the Moon, such a vast Tide would be raised, upon Supposition there is Communication between the Abyss and the upper Scas, that the World would be drowned to the Height which Mofes assigns. Now I
fancy this might come to pass by the pure Acceleration of Fig. IV. the Earth's annual Motion. For ler CDAB represent
the annual Motion of the Earth in the time of the Antediluvians, which is a perfect Circle, in which it is probable all the Planets, after their Creation at firft, revolved. Let B. represent the Earth, and 1. the Moon, revolving round the Earth in the Circle I pil. Now when the Earth was in the Point 1, let us súppofé its annual Motion to be accelerated, so as to exceed the exact Proa portion there was formerly, between the Attraction of the Sun H, and the Celerity of the Earth ; and then the Earth, instead of coming to the point B in the Circle CD AB, will go off to the Point c, and move in the Ellipsis EFÐA Now by this new elliptical Motion, the Earth in the Point c, will be nigher to the Moon I, by the distance B c, than it was in the Point B;'which would raise such a prodigious Tide, as would produce the Effect we contend for." And then the Moon for a considerable time would revolve about the Earth at'c, in the Circle I mh, instead of its ancient Orbit Ipil, which will so long keep up the Tides over the whole Face of the Earth, as is described Fig. I. and II. But the Tides will decrease gradually as the Moon by her menstrual
babyians, which of the Ear for let CD Accelera
. Now by be nighero
to her and otion, to drawthe Resistance more and mone
Course shall have made more Perihelions, for every time she comes nigher to the Sun, the Sun will more and more conduce together, with the Resistance of her own impresled Motion, to draw her from her late contracted, to her ancient and more enlarged Orbit. So that. a Month or two after, when the Earth, in its annual Course, shall be in the Point F, and the Moon be in her Peribelion Q, she shall then have enlarged her Orbit to o Qr greater than her contracted one wy z, or mḥ I, so that after five Months, the time of the. Con tinuance of the Deluge, when the Earth shall have come to the point D, then the Orbit of the Moon shall be inlarged to ust, equal to her former one I pih, or as great as her other she had before the Acceleration of the Earth's Motion. So that then the Moon being as far distant from the Earth as formerly she was, those great
Tides will be oyer, and the Deluge at an End; all the Waters being again funk into the Belly of the Earth, through the same Cavities by which they ascended. · Phil. But stay, Sir, this does not much mend the Matter, for this Attributes the cause of the Flood only to the breaking up the Fountains of the great Deep, which Moses likewise attributes to another Cause, viz. the Rain of forty Days and forty Nights. .. Cred. Indeed Mofès says, that at the beginning of the Deluge it rained forty Days and Nights; but he does not say that these Rains added any Thing considerably to the Deluge of the whole World. They only raised the Waters to such a height, that the Ark was born up, and swam upon the Waters. And the Flood, or Rain, was forty. Days upon the Earth : And the Waters increased and bore up the Ark, and it was lift up above the Earth, Gen. vii. 17. But in the two following Verses is expressed the Effect of the Waters rising out of the Abyss. And the Waters prevailed and increased greatly upon the Earth, and the Waters prevailed exceedingly upon the Earth, and all the high Hills, that were under the whole Heaven were covered. So that what was the Effect of the Rains to lift up the Ark, Mofes calls only increasing of the Winters; but when he
afterwards afterwards speaks of the Eruption of the Abyss, he lay's a great deal more, that Waters increased realy, and prevailed exceedingly. And indeed this previous Élood from the Rains, or Preludium of the Deige, was wisely de signed by God Almighty, that the Ark might be lift up before the Torrent from the Abyss came, or other ways such a mighty Current running with so great a Force would have overthrown and drowned it before it could have been lifted up. But a Rain of forty Days having before made a Land Flood, great enough to bear up the Ark, the Fury of the roaring Torrent of the Abyss would be broken by the yielding Waters under the Ark; and so would by Degrees be raised to the height which the Wa. ters rose to without Danger. I will not contend that there was no more than this forty Day's Rain ; for it is probable that it rained the greatest Part of the Time that the Waters covered the Surface of the Earth ; for the Sea then being above as large again as it formerly was, must supply a far greater Quantity of Vapours than could poss sibly be suspended in the air, and therefore must fall down in frequent, or continual Spouts, or Rains. Thisy I take, Philologus, to be a possible Account of the Deluge; and is a sufficient Confutation of them, who decry it as an Impossibility ,
Phil. Well ! supposing that the Absurdities of Moses's Relation of the Deluge are not so great as are generally imagined, yet I cannot allow him to be a true Prophet ; because the pretended Miracles by which he endeavoured to establish his Laws and Doctrines, seem to me to be mere Artifice, contrived only to beguile the filly Jews, and to lead them tamely by the Nose without Opposition. They, poor Creatures ! thought that God wrought mighty Miracles by his Hand, whilst he was only working Designs for himself, to purchase himself Admiration among the Rabble, or else to gain a Jurisdiction under the specious Name of a Theocracy. But alas ! these Miracles are all Craft and Collusion, which any cunning Man might seem to do, if he had but such simple Inspecters. Witness his pretending to receive the Law in