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fon's system. It is not to be conceived in what manner the waves of the sea, after having raised up a quantity of sand, earth, stones and shells, should deposit them again in parallel and horizontal beds. The laws of hydrostatics 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 sea f; which the French Naturalist conceives to penetrate the strata of the mountains formed there, and, opening a paffage through, to divide them into hills and vallies.

In rejecting, however, the imaginary caverns of De Buffon and Hollman, our Author docs not adınit of those terrible volcanos of the Abbè Moro; which he thinks inconsistent with that regularity of strata, mixed with innumerable marine animals, observable over the face of the whole earth, and even in places very distant from any volcanos, and deftitute of the smallest veftige of their explofion. Again, he observes, that in veins of fand, marle, chalk, marble, and sate, 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 Aint.

For these reasons Mr. Raspe concludes that the hypothesis of Kay, 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 shell or surface of the earth is compounded, were originally formed at the bottom of the sea, by the constant agitation of the waters and the continual production of plants and shells : after which, the subterraneous explosions and earthquakes, breaking through the bottom of the sea, not only formed banks, hills and submarine mountains of its broken parts, but frequently raised it up together with its incumbent strata, in sufficient 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 subterrancous fires

+ It has been afferted by many, particularly by Doétor Tozzetti, an ingenious Florentine, that the sea is much calmer, or has less motion, at the boilom, than in any part nearer the surface.

is so intense as to meit, cakine, or convert the adjacent substances into stone.

Against this hypothesis, Meff. de Buffon and Hollman have raised two considerable difficulties. The one is, that the production of new mountains and isands 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 fo general and numerous as could be wished, yet it is ina: controvertible that there have been some islands newly generated in the sea, and that the continent which we inhabit, was anciently submarine. Now it is but reasonable to presume, continues he, that both have been generated by the same cause.

This conclusion, 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. Raspe 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 such an affirmation. · At the same time, he affirms, and that upon unquestionable information, that some of these modern islands have their regular strata and mountains like those of our continent. In the island of Santorin, for example, the mountain of St. Stephen confifts of fine white marble that burns into excellent Jime; a certain proof that such part of the isand hath never been exposed to the intense heat of subterraneous fires. Tournefort 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 ifle, in the neighbourhood of Santorin, that appeared for the first time in the preceeding year. Tournefort and Spon expreíly allert also that the ifand 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 hypothclis he has adopted. He laments, however, the want of a sufficient 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 Archipelago in 1707, as those near the Azores in 1720. In concurs rence with this examination, he recommends also the profecution of the researches, begun by Marfigli, Donati, and Sloane, into the nature of the bottom of the sea.

Ii 4

Lettres

,

Lettres écrite de la Montagne. Par J. J. Rousseau. Letters written from the Mountains. By Mr. Rousseau. 12520.

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 subversion of public freedom. In ancient times, when the characters of magistrate and priest were united in the same person, 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 the 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 fupport the pretensions 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 feems to be gaining some ground under the govern ment of arbitrary monarchs, and in countries where ecclesiaftical authority is ftill held to be infallible, we should see persecution erect its standard 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 almoft 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 philosophy, and of genuine Christianity, induces men to bear patiently with political evils, rather than to exert themselves to re.. move them? Certain it is, that people are generally more zealous in a wrong cause than in a right one, and that fanaticism and crrour have been productive of more daring attempts, and greater revolutions in states, than ever were occasioned by the fimple dictates of religion and truth. However commendable may be a zeal for truth, it is seldom that truth alone inspires it. We cannot help thinking, indeed, that even Mr. Roufiau 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 paffion for fingularity hath greatly animated his zeal for truth. Be this, however, as it may, it is with some fatisfaction we find the case of this oppreffcd and perfecuted republican fo greatly

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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 ecclesiastics, who, to preserve a subordinate power, pay the most servile obedience to their temporal superiours, Thould be backward in animating the persecuting spirit of their masters. With churchmen alio, 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 same 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. Whifton was turned out of his profesorship 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 infidel, or a Roman Catholic. If a man

Thus Jews, Turks, and Infidels, have been long permitted to publish their writings freely in Holland, where Mr. Rousseau's Emilius however has been suppressed. There was an instance, indeed, some years ago of the Dutch intolerance; but this was in a singular case. Atheists were permitted to write against the Being of a God with impunity ; but ii 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 foon convinced him of his errour, by playing the Devil with him in this

were in cier so fair a way for heaven, it is contrary to the very profefion of fome ecclefiaftics to suffer him unmolested to purfue his journey, if his path be an hair's breadth out of a parallel with theirs. In the mean time they all very quietly permit people to take a contrary road, thro” as many turnings and windings as they please. Thus we find, among our mithonaries for promoting Chriftian knowlege in the west, that more pains are taken and more rejoicing made for the conversion of one diffenting schismatic to the epifcopal Church in NewEngland, than for the conversion of ninety-nine poor Indian heathens to Chriftianity in the wilds of America. This being notoriously the case, both the political and religious motives of Mr. Rousseau's persecution, are very evident. What effect the fpirited remonstrances he hath made in the Letters before us, may have on his perfecutors, we know not; but this is certain, that this state of his case, and his animadversions on the unprecedented severity of the prosecutions carried on against him, are worthy the attentive perusal of all who are in any degree folicitous about the preservation of their civil and religious liberty. What has happened at Geneva may happen elfewhere; for Ministers both of the State and of the Church, are the fame in all countries. “ I confess,” says our ingenious Author, in the advertisement prefixed to these letters, “ that the subjects of them are very unimportant to the public. The constitution of a petty Republic, and the oppression of a mean individual, the detection of ministerial injustice, and the refutation of a few sophisms, will possibly attract an inconsiderable number of Readers; but if the subjects themselves are mean, the objects to which they have a relation are great, and worth the attention of every man of probity: Setting Geneva and Rousseau out of the question, I plead the cause of religion, of liberty, and of juftice: and who is there above being interested here!"

In the first letter, our Author cursorily mentions the extraordinary proceedings of the Council of Geneva, in condemning his writings without citing him to any personal appearance, or hearing the defence he might have to make for himself, but it would be too tedious a talk to pursue either his relation or remonftrances, step by step, through these letters, as he has obferved no certain method or connection. We Thall therefore content ourselves with a general intimation of the subject of each, and the selection of some of the most striking parsages interspersed throughout the whole.-In answer to the accufation laid against him, and charging him with attempting to fubvert religion, he avers, that, fo far from attacking the genuine principles of religion, he hath done his utmost endea

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