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ed up with: Where navigators have obferved, that thefe great fhoals and floating islands of ice are not found but upon the coafts, and about the mouths of rivers-That on the high feas, diftant from the shores, even as far as the north-pole, which fome have failed quite up to, and others within a degree or two of it, there was no ice to be feen; but a clear open fea-But that, as all the mountains of Friefland for inftance, are covered with fnow, fo all the coafts are lined with ice, which forms fuch a bulwark, as is not to be approached: And as thefe icy banks are feldom, if ever, entirely thawed, they are a perpetual lock upon the feas in those parts: And on the other hand, it is not improbable, that they gather and increase in bulk; and by degrees are atterrated, and converted into folid earth. This is not a groundless conjecture: We have an account in the voyages of fome Hollanders, that, having anchored their ship at one of these banks of ice, and having Z 3 climbed
climbed up upon it, they obferved the furface of it was covered with earth, and found about forty eggs upon it; and that it was not of the common colour of ice, but a kind of azure, or fky colour. It was very high, being about eighteen fathom under the water, and ten fathom above it. If this inftance be fufficient to ground a general conclufion upon, here is a great draw-back upon the element of water, and as great an addition to that of earth; and this operation having been continually carrying on ever fince the deluge, how confiderable the effect is become by this time is not to be estimated. I fhall only add, that the flatnefs of the globe about the poles is alone fufficient to prevent the waters collected in thofe parts from overflowing the earth.
Job's reflection is most properly applicable to the feas in these parts, where alone they are known to be frozen. The waters are hid with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen †.
* Buffon, p. 78, 135.
Job xxxviii. 30.
To these inftances of the increase of the earth, I fhall only add one argument more for the decrease of the element of water, to thofe that have been already given. We read of great inundations, which happened in particular countries in antient times; not long after the univerfal deluge: Such as that of Ogyges in Attica, about 550 years after it; which laid the country waste to
that degree, that it lay uncultivated, and without inhabitants, for almost two hundred years. Deucalion's flood, in Theffaly, was fo confiderable, as to have been confounded with Noah's flood by many heathen writers; though it happened 830 years after it: And other partial and local deluges, irruptions, and inundations of the feas, are recorded in antient history*. But we read, or hear of, no fuch great deluges, or inundations, as these seem to have been, in later ages, that have happened in any part of the world; though
* See Sir Walter Raleigh's Hift. of the World, p. 89. Z4 the
the world in general is better known than it was in those early times. Whence it may be concluded, that there have not been in fucceeding ages, thofe quantities of rain and waters, to cause such inundations, as happened in antient days.
Upon the whole, fo many impediments to the return of the deluge, ferve as fo many ratifications of God's covenant to Noah; and, according to the prefent conftitution of the world, render fuch a catastrophe abfolutely impoffible: A conftition, which from many of the foregoing inftances, appears to be very different from that of the antediluvian earth. ...0
C'H A P, X.
ON THE POST-DILUVIAN STATE OF THE MOUNTAINS.
HERE is nothing to this
Tfubject in fcripture, except what may
be deduced from fome few prophetical paffages; And as these are generally underftood in a metaphorical fenfe, fo being gradual and imperceptible in their accomplishment; few imagine, or perhaps will allow, that they are capable of any other. Let us however examine them.
The most remarkable of these prophecies is the following. Every valley shall be exalted; and every mountain and hill fhall be made low: And the crooked shall be made ftraight, and the rough places plain *. This prophecy is quoted by St. Luke t, and ap
Ifai. xl. 4.
+ Luke iii. 5.