Page images

that it is able to withstand all opposing pow er; and, in the end, it fhall break in pieces and confume all the kingdoms of this world; and fhall fill the whole earth, and fland for ever.

The kingdom of God is righteousness, &c. for grace reigns through righteousness. All it concerns us to know in religion, is comprised in the brief queftion, what is truth? or, what is righteousness? And the answer is equally brief, the kingdom of God—the kingdom of heaven.

It is obferved of Abel and of his works, that they were righteous; and of Noah, that he was a preacher of righteousness. Thefe obfervations in the New Teftament, are evidently made upon the facts recorded in the Old, which are few, and most plain. For an elect establishment, believed and confefsed, in an offering brought unto the Lord, of the lamb of facrifice, is all that is recorded on the divine page, of the works of the righteous Abel; and which gives him the charaЄter.


And the fact refpecting Noah's being righteous, and his preaching righteousness, is equally fimple; for the faith, or truth, concerning an elect eftablishment, which, in effect, muft diffolve the natural world, was the righteoufnels found of God in him; and his expreffing this, by preparing an ark, was the preaching of righteoufnefs, in which he condemned the world. This is all that is recorded of the preaching of Noah; and it is faid exprefsly, that it was in this way that Noah preached of righteoufnefs, to the conviction

of worldly ungodly men. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not feen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the faving of his houfe; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

If it be afked, why the elect establishment, together with these evidences which relate, to it, is called righteoufnels? The answer is plain-it is for the fame reafon that the fubftance of things hoped for, together with the evidence of things not feen, is called faith, viz. That Chrift's engagement in eternity to perform the work of redemption; together with his coming forward, in time, to lay. down his life, that he might take it again, and fo be the foundation of the elect world, was an act of covenant obedience, and anfwered to the rule of the divine will; and therefore, with the greatest propriety, the elect foundation, together with the whole fuperftructure belonging to it, is called righteousness—it is everlasting righteousness.

Section 9. The Deluge.

According to the theory, we have feen a cause exifting in the creation, which eventually muft diffolve the natural frame of the world. This caufe we have feen gaining ftrength, and giving various fure indications of the approach of the folemn event.

Moreover, from the peculiar conftruction of this first world, it is apparent, that the first dreadful catastrophe would be by a deluge of waters. For the expanding power of the creative operation being, to a certain degree, weakened, the waters above the firmament would return towards those from which, by that power, they were originally divided; and, by the fame caufe, the waters beneath would fwell, and flow over their natural bounds. This fwelling of the fubterraneous waters, requires an explanation-our theory offers the following.

Though, as has been faid, the fprangling motion of the fluid would not reach the cen tre of the globe; yet it is not fuppofed that the fluid itfelf, in this direction, would not approach there; on the contrary, muft we not conclude, from its all commanding power, that it would take full poffeffion of the centre; and there attract to itself, or rather, be united and compreffed by its expanding power, with fuch a prodigious force, as would buoy up the waters and heaviest bodies?This denfity, or compreffion of the fluid at the centre, is what was intended by the obfervation, page 180, that the obftruction, from whence arifes the fprangling of the fluid, may be chiefly from itself, being too much compressed by converging to a centre.

It is evident, that this fluid, in its expanding direction, towards the centre, would carry in its current all the waters, or vapours, until its force began to abate by its compref. fion, And, is it not alfo evident, that an elaf

[ocr errors]

tic fluid moving in this manner, with fuch ftrength as we know this fluid moves, would at the centre become fo compreffed, as to render buoyant the greatest conceivable weight? If fo, this conclufion follows, that the whole region occupied by the air, earth and waters, in the first world, was between the points, where the commanding fluid, expanding toward the centre, began to be compreffed, and where the whole became buoyant by the greater degrees of this compreffion.


The fwelling and rocking of feas, and the undulatory motions of the earth from a fhock of the earthquake, feem to indicate fomething of this nature in the present flate of the world, and that they lie upon an elaftic fluid. How elfe can it be explained, that the fea will fometimes fwell and roll to the greateft height when there is no ftorm, and none has immediately preceded? Thefe fwellings. often begin in the most perfect calm; a florm is expected to fucceed; but, instead of increafing, it is often found, even in the height of the gale, that the fwelling has abated.

But thould not the known powers of the electrical fluid, its attraction to itself, the vehemence of its motion, and its alafticity, together with other phenomena of nature, be thought fufficient to afford the conclufion, that it poffeffes wholly the centre of the earth; ftill it must be concluded that vaft quantities. of this fluid are contained within the globe, and in fo compressed a state, as to be able to command the waters. In earthquakes, this element is known to be difcharged from the

earth in great quantities; the vapours iffuing from the earth, at fuch a time, are often in fo great a degree electric, as to have the appearance of a flame of fire; and the waters, thereby, as at the time of the late great earthquake at Quito, in South America, have been caufed to flow far above the natural springs, and much of the country, in this manner, has been overflowed.

I think it beyond all doubt, that the cause of the earthquake is the fame thing in nature, as that of thunder. A portion of the electrical fluid being fuddenly let off from the cloud, the remainder, recoiling to restore its equilibrium, causes the concuffion of the cloud; whilft the part let off, in its course to other clouds, or to the earth, produces thofe fhocks and other effects of thunder, which we obferve in the air, and upon bodies near the furface of the earth. In like manner, a portion of this fluid being let off from its great magazines within the earth, what remains will fuddenly recoil and produce a fhock there, proportionably great to the quantity of the fluid feparated; and which separated part, in its courfe through the waters, earth and air, may naturally be fuppofed to produce all the effects of the earthquake, obferved, in a greater or lefs degree, to accompany the fhock.

It is evident, therefore, upon the ground of the most established facts relative to this fubject, that the expanding force of the fluid being weakened, and its compreffion within the earth abated, thofe vaft magazines would

« PreviousContinue »