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their different specific gravity, thereby necessarily disposing themselves in different ftrata. At the same time, he supposes these eruptions to have ingulphed marine plants and animals of every kind; which subsided in like manner, and thus formed new mountains and new beds of stones, sand, metals and minerals, intermixed with plants and animals; all which remained under the sea, till some new agitation threw them up above its surface.
Mr. de Buffon, indeed, hath given this hypothesis a different turn. In supposing that the earth was for a long time immersed under water, he conceives that the substance of our dry land was there compounded of various strata of fossils, &c. and disposed into horizontal and parallel directions by the uniform motion of the waters. He imagines that the mountains do not owe their origin to the violence of earthquakes or subterraneous eruptions, but to the violence and perturbation of the waves of the sea. As to those chains of high mountains, which run across Europe, Africa and Asia, from west to eart, and in America from north to south; Mr. de Buffon considers them as the accumulated sediment of the waters, gradually increased by the flux and reflux of the tide. The formation of the other mountains, which are less, and whose position is more diversified, he imputes to the irregular agitation of winds and currents. With regard to the method in which he conceives the land and water became so diftin&ly separated as it is at present; this celebrated. Naturalist thinks it might be in a great measure effected by the retreat of the water into certain vast caverns beneath, into which it might be precipitated from its own weight, and thus lcave a great part of the furface it before occupied, entirely dry.
This supposition of Mr. de Buffon, is embraced, with some little variation, by the celebrated Hollman of Gottingen. Our Author, however, can by no means admit of it; thinking it absurd to suppose the existence of such immense caverns as would swallow up so much water as was necessary to leave dry mountains upward of twelve thousand feet above the surface of the sea*: and such are to be found both in the old world and the new. Add to this, continues Mr. Raspe, that neither the actual conformation of the mountains, with their different inclinations of strata, nor the regular figure of the hills, with their correspondent angles, are at all explicable by Mr. de Buf
• It has been generally supposed by Naturalists, that the surface of the sea is remarkably lower than it was formerly. Mr. Raspe, howe. ver, doubts the fact, on the credit of Donati, who in his Essay on the Natural History of the Adriatic, infifts, on the contrary, that it is higher than it was in ancient times, at least in some places,
fon's system. It is not to be conceived in what manner thie waves of the sea, after having raised up a quantity of sand, earth, stones and shells, should depofit them again in parallel and horizontal beds. The laws of hydrostaties do not appear to admit of the possibility of any such method, and still much less of the existence and action of those torrents at the bottom of the feat; which the French Naturalift conceives to penetrate the strata of the mountains formed there, and; opening a paslage through, to divide them into bills and vallies.
In rejecting, however, the imaginary caverns of De Buffon and Hollman, our Author does not admit of thołe terrible volcanos of the Abbè Moro; which he thinks inconsistent with that regularity of strata, mixed with innumerable marine ani. mals, observable over the face of the whole earth, and even in places very distant from any volcanos, and destitute of the smallest veftige of their explofion. Again, he observes, that in veins of sand, marle, chalk, marble, and Nate, we find no indication of a burnt foil, or of combustible substances; but rather of a sediment disposed by the agitation of the sea. At the same time, he remarks that he never hath met with any marine substances or animals in a stratum of cinders, pumice-stone, or burnt fint.
For these reasons Mr. Raspe concludes that the hypothesis of Ray, as represented by Moro, and imputing the origin of all kinds of mountains to subterraneous conflagrations, and earthquakes, is false and defective. He conceives, notwithstanding that this system, as improved by Dr. Hooke, has a great deal of probability. Thus he imagines that the strata, of which the Thell or surface of the earth is compounded, were originally formed at the bottom of the fea, by the constant agitation of the waters and the continual production of plants and fhells : after which, the fubterrancous explofions and earthquakes, breaking through the bottom of the fea, not only formed banks, hills and submarine mountains of its broken parts, but frequently raised it up together with its incumbent strata, in fufficient quantity to form islands and dry mountains.
At other times, he conceives, the pressure of the water occasions it to break through into the cavities, thus made by previous eruptions : that, at others again, the violence of the subterraneous explosions is so great as to remove such mountains from one place to another; while the heat of the subterraneous fires
+ It has been asserted by many, particularly by Doctor Tozzetti, an ingenious Florentine, that the sea is much calmer, or has less mosion, at the bottom, than in any part neaser the surface.
is so intense as to melt, calcine, or convert the adjacent substances into stone.
• Against this hypothefis, Meff. de Buffon and Hollman have raised two considerable difficulties. The one is, that the production of new mountains and islands is too rare a phenomenon to support fo general a theory. In reply to this objection, Ms. Raspe shews that such instances are not so rare and uncommon as is generally imagined ; remarking that, altho' our observations are not so general and numerous as could be wished, yet it is ina; controvertible that there have been fome islands newly generated in the sea, and that the continent which we inbabit, was anciently submarine. Now it is but reasonable to presume, continues he, that both have been generated by the fame cause.
This conclufion, indeed, is affected by the second objection of the Naturalists above-mentioned, and particularly Mr. de' Buffon, who affirms that the mountains and islands thus newly formed are not composed like others, of parallel ftrata ; but are compounded of an irregular intermixture of heterogeneous materials. In answer to this, Mr. Rafpe observes, that he should be glad to know which of those islands and mountains Mr. de Buffon actually examined, and on what authority he founds, fuch an affirmation. At the same time, he affirms, and that upon unquestionable information, that some of thele modern islands have their regular ftrata and mountains like those of our continent. In the itland of Santorin, for example, the mountain of St. Stephen consists of fine white marble that burns into excellent lime; a certain proof that such part of the island hath never been exposed to the intense heat of subterraneous fires. Tours nefort and Coronelli both corroborate the truth of this circumftance. In the Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences for the year 1708, we have a description of a rock, or ise, in the neighbourhood of Santorin, that appeared for the first time in the preceeding year. Tournefort and Spon expresly assert also that the island of Delos produces marble and granate.
On these, and other facts of the like nature, related on good authority, Mr. Raspe proceeds to illustrate the hypothesis he has adopted. He laments, however, the want of a fufficient number of observations and experiments, to confirm it in fo inconteftible a manner as he could wish ; and he recommends the making accurate observations on such islands as have appeared in the present century, as well those which arose in the ArchipeJago in 1707, as those near the Azores in 1720. In concurrence with this examination, he recommends also the prosecution of the researches, begun by Marsigli, Donati, and Sloane, into the nature of the bottom of the sea.
Lettres écrites de la Montagne. Par J. J. Rousseau. Letters written from the Mountains. By Mr. Rousseau. 1200.
Printed at Amsterdam 1764, and imported by Becket and De Hondt.
HERE are few countries in Europe, where religion hath
not served as a pretext for the oppreffion of individuals, and the subverfion of public freedom. In ancient times, when the characters of magiftrate and priest were united in the same persón, it is no wonder the cause of God was so intimately blended with that of tyrants. At present, indeed, the characters are frequently divided, and the magistrate hath got che upper hand of the priest. Their mutual importance, however, depends so much on their union, that it is matter of little surprise to see them reciprocally support the pretenfions of each other to tyrannize over the consciences, and trample on the natural privileges of mankind.
It is something strange, nevertheless, that, while religious toleration seems to be gaining fome ground under the government of arbitrary monarchs, and in countries where ecclefiastical authority is still held to be infallible, we should see persecution erect its ftandard under governments that owe their very existence to liberty of conscience, and a zeal for the natural rights of a free people! It is very certain that the nature of civil polity, and the genuine spirit of Christianity, were never fo generally known as in our own times. To what motive, then, can we impute that universal indifference and inactivity which prevails in almost all nations, with regard to the encroachments which the prerogative of the magistrate daily makes on the privileges of the people? Is it that the spirit of true phia losophy, and of genuine Christianity, induces men to bear patiently with political evils, rather than to exert themselves to remove them? Certain it is, that people are generally more zeaJous in a wrong cause than in a right one, and that fanaticism and errour have been productive of more daring attempts, and greater revolutions in states, than ever were occasioned by the simple di&tates of religion and trůth. However commendable may be a zeal for truth, it is feldom that truth alone inspires it. We cannot help thinking, indeed, that even Mr. Rousseau himself hath appeared always too warmly attached to his own opinions ; a circumstance that carries with it a shrewd suspicion, that he is either mistaken in his favourite doctrines, or that his passion for singularity hath greatly animated his zeal for truth. Be this, however, as it may, it is with some fatisfaction we find the case of this opprisicd and persecuted republican so greatly
interest the tolerating and disinterested part of most nations in Europe. The love of power is too natural, and the abuse of it too habitual, for us to expect that persons actually concerned in the administration of states, should approve the sentiments or conduct of a Writer, who hath taken so much pains to instruct the common people of all nations, in the science of Government, and the fundamental principles of Society, Implicit obedience to magisterial authority, is to be exacted only by means of such mysterious state-craft, as keeps the subject ignorant of the imbecillity or iniquity of those who require it. Again, it is much less to be expected that the inferiour order of tyrants, the ecclefiaftics, who, to preserve a fubordinate power, pay the most fervile obedience to their temporal fuperiours, Thould be backward in animating the persecuting spirit of their masters. With churchmen also, of whatever persuasion, it appears ever to have been held as a maxim, that schism is worse than infidelity ;, an heretic disturbing the form and discipline of religion (about which only they are solicitous) much more than a downright infidel. If this be not the case, how comes it that a Spinoza, an Hobbes, and others of the fame stamp, have lived unmolested and published their Writings without interruption, in those countries, where mere Arians and Anti-trinitarians have at times been so severely chastised * ? When the famous Mr. Whiston was turned out of his professorship at Cambridge, on account of his scruples respecting the divinity of our Saviour, it was whimsical enough to see his place supplied by a successor who hardly believed in any Saviour at all. We are told, in the Scriptures, respecting the severity of the Law, that if a man offend in one point he is guilty of all; but we cannot help thinking it a little hard to treat such offend ers worse than those who professedly kick the law out of doors. Yet this appears to be the rock on which our Author hath split. He must needs be a Christian truly, and of the reformed religion; at the same time professing such different tenets as separately taken, might justly have denominated him, according to his enemies, an inħdel, or a Roman Catholic. If a man
• Thus Jews, Turks, and Infidels, have been long permitted to publith their writings freely in Holland, where Mr. Rousseau's Emilius however has been suppressed. There was an instance, indeed, fome years ago of the Dutch intolerancc; bat this was in a singular case. Atheists were permitted to write against the Being of a God with impunity; but it seems that one Bakker, a Minister of the Church, took it into his head to write against the existence of the Devil. This was striking at the root of the craft. The Clergy, to a man, took the alarm; and though poor Bakker denied the existence of a Devil in the other world, they soon convinced him of his errour, by playing the Devil with him in this,