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nor any

ment of any process of sedimentary deposit, or the preparation of any materials for it, was primitive granite ; from which was derived all the earthy and mineral matter now found in strata above it. But that rock does not comprise all the materials which enter into the composition of the sedimentary strata,

of the materials which compose some of them; and, therefore, if it had been allowed ever so long a period for disintegration, and if the whole of its superficies had been constantly exposed during such period, instead of being for the most part covered up and protected from further decay, by the earliest deposit of sediment, could not have furnished the kind of materials which were actually employed in the sedimentary formations.

It has already been observed, that after the deposit of the first stratum, or the lowest portion of it, the comparatively insignificant extent of granite surfaces which remained exposed, and which remain so to this day, could scarcely have furnished a quantity of - materials worthy of being taken into account in an estimate of the subsequent formations. Had the whole of the granitic rocks which were not covered up by the first layer of sediment, been employed in the next stage of the process, they probably would not have filled a ten thousandth part

of the space occupied by the entire series. But instead of having been so used, they remain to this day substantially as they were, exhibiting but slight evidences of any diminution of their bulk; and it may therefore be inferred with safety and with confidence, that they never furnished any

of the materials of any consequence, which enter into any one of the stratified series. This only resource of the theory for matter for a gradual process continued through interminable periods, this foundation of hypothesis and assumption, is mere fancy. The materials must have existed independently of the granite as long ago as that rock itself existed ; and if they were then in being they must have rested on that primitive rock, and hindered its decay as well before as since the earliest sedimentary deposit. For if they existed in any form they must have occupied as much room as they now do; and if they did not occupy substantially the same space as at present, it is obvious to ask where were they heaped up and held in durance out of the way of the process by which the first and lowest stratum was formed ? Where, if excluded from the space directly over that deposit, was there room for them? How, if they were elsewhere, were they transferred and diffused over the wide and vacant regions occupied by that first process? Were those regions during the whole course of the formations covered with water? If so, where was there room left for the production and growth of those land plants and animals whose relics are inhumed in the successive strata ?

But if these materials existed independently of the granite, and if they occupied substantially the same space as at present, then it is inconceivable that the lower strata could have been formed by any gradual process, or by any process at a period differing much from that of the other strata. The theory, therefore, of a gradual formation, is alike defective of the materials to be deposited and of the vegetable and animal remains to be inhumed. It is the theory of an assumed process, without materials or medium for carrying it on, or any thing whatever essential to its success, but a fancied lapse of interminable periods of time.

But supposing there had been materials elsewhere than over the scene of stratification, the necessary presence of water over the whole of that scene, and in the region of the matter to be transported, in order to supply and disperse the several classes of organic remains, would preclude the growth and subsistence of those terrestrial plants and animals which are dispersed in every formation. It is no solution of the matter to suppose that the detritus of primitive rocks was drifted by rivers into the sea and there spread out in beds, even if there had been enough of such rocks piled up on the primitive surfaces which remain exposed, had that been possible, to supply the quantity of detritus required for the mass of sedimentary formations; for if there had been currents to effect such a

spreading out over millions of square miles of surface, currents flowing in all directions as they must, their action would not in the smallest degree serve to account for such a distribution of homogeneous materials, and of marine and terrestrial plants and animals, large and small, ponderous and light, as actually took place.

So in regard to the coal deposit. “It is in this formation chiefly,” says Buckland, " that the remains of the plants of a former world have been preserved and converted into beds of mineral coal; having been transported to the bottom of former seas and estuaries or lakes, and buried in beds of sand and mud, which have since been changed into sandstone and shale.” To this mode of accumulation some others agree. But can any one not under the deep spell of the theory concerning a former world, adopt it as affording any satisfactory, probable, or possible account of the matter? Let it be considered that this formation is found in different climates, on every continent, and in many islands, and is reasonably presumed to have taken place at

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