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But here it is neceffary to make a diftinction. It was observed in Chap. IV. p. 93, &c. that foffil fhells, 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 obferved, that the like are found on the tops of the high mountains. Thefe are all generally confounded by naturalifts, and attributed to one and the fame caufe; 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 foffils which lie on the tops of mountains, or other places near the furface, bid faireft for being the depofits of the deluge. Where petrified vegetables, trees, bones of land animals, and the like are found; I fuppofe, for this reason, they do not lie very deep; and are feldom, if ever, met with in mine-works, at the bottoms
bottoms of mountains, or inclofed far within their bowels; where they cannot well be fuppofed to have been lodged either by deluge or earthquake: And I would beg to recommend to naturalists an attention to this circumftance; and that they would confider 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 fphere 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.
CHA P. IX:
OF THE NATURAL IMPEDIMENTS TO THE RETURN OF THE DELUGE.
HEN God made his covenant with Noah, that there should not any more be a flood to deftroy the earth, and fet 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 conftituted certain laws in nature, by which his providence conftantly acts in the government of the world in general; fo it is natural to fuppofe that he acts by thofe laws in this, as well as all Y 2 other
other refpects: And therefore that he hath by various means, fome of which he hath been pleased to make known to us, rendered it impoffible, by the prefent conftitution of things, as well as by his will, that the world fhould be drowned again: As it seems indeed to be, according to the opinion of philofophers.
In confequence of his promise to Noah, God not only gave the fea his decree, that the waters fhould not pafs his commandment * But his word affures us, that he fet a bound to the waters, that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth†. He compaffed them with bounds-and fet bars and doors: And faid, Hither fhalt thou come, but no farther; and here fhall thy proud waves be stayed t
These look like fome natural means, made use of in confequence of the abovementioned covenant; fuch, therefore, as
*Prov. viii. 29.
+ Pf. civ. 9.
Job xxvi. 10. xxxviîi. 10, 11.
had not been used before, otherwise they would have been effectual in preventing the deluge; as well as they have been fince, in reftraining a return of it. To. point out fome of the means for this purpose
1. It was fuppofed above, that the earth was deluged by a change in the position of it. It feems, therefore, abfolutely neceffary, on that fuppofition, to continue it in the fame pofition it was then put into; or that it should vary from it, but by very gentle degrees; which alone, without any other means, would seem fufficient to preferve it from ever being deluged again. Otherwise, by making any farther fuch change in the position of it, it would be obnoxious to the like catastrophe. But,
2. Not to depend upon our own reafonings and conjectures, we have the more fure word of God, to guide and affift our obfervations. Fear ye not me? faith the Lord which have placed the fand for the bound of the fea, by a perpetual decree, that Y 3 it