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The Newtonian theory is now generally received as unquestionable truth, and is, I believe, the only one that is studied and taught in all literary institutions. Yet it is well understood, that many scientific men have long doubted its correctness, although they yield their acquiescence in its soundness, because no one has yet been found capable of substituting a better. Nor do I believe the secret will ever be revealed to man, so as to be made clearly intelligible, until it shall please the Great Founder of the system to infuse into some one of his humble creatures a double portion of his own incomprehensible and all-pervading spirit.

The theory of the tides, as explained in the present day, is so perfectly plausible, from its strict conformity with certain movements and operations, continually taking place, that few are disposed to call it in question, while most men readily yield it their unqualified conviction. With many, it would probably be deemed a waste of time, if not an evidence of presumption, to doubt its entire correctness, or withhold from it unreserved and implicit faith. To such I would say, I have no desire to disturb or unhinge their settled impressions, and therefore I address myself to those who are not so thoroughly wedded to preconceived and long-established notions, as to believe that no reasonable arguments can be brought forward to show their fallacy, or illustrate any new position.

The grand defence in favor of the prevailing theory, is the uniform action of the tides, in certain latitudes, corresponding with the position of the moon in the heavens, and this uniformity has served to confirm it in the opinion of numerous philosophers throughout the world. Many there are who maintain its unalterable truth; but with all becoming deference, I shall presume to call in question its correctness, and to express my full persuasion of its utter impossibility.

It is evident, to my understanding, that what is strictly a coincidence between the position of the planets and the tides of the ocean, has been interpreted into a law, or agency, of a very different character. There was to be a fulfilment of certain great designs, and this was to be done by simple and natural means, and not by resorting to a process so entirely strange as to be impracticable in itself, and so ill devised as to impeach the wisdom even of the Great Architect himself. In consequence of this coincidence, a most potent agency is ascribed to a secondary planet, at an immense distance, which, in my judgment, is as false in fact as it is absurd in theory. I am thoroughly convinced that no such agency exists, not only from the facts which shall be brought forward, and which are indisputable, but from the plainest analogy, and the evident fitness of things. It is at variance with all the obvious indications and purposes of nature, so far as they are made knwn, and plainly repugnant to the dictates of common sense. Let me but ask, why the power to impart so important and indispensable an impulse, should be placed in a secondary planet, at the distance of two hundred and forty thousand miles, when it could be so much more conveniently and beneficially placed in the primary planet itself? And if the moon must be admitted to exercise so decisive and commanding an influence on the earth, what then must be the influence of the earth upon the moon? for we must suppose the operation to be reciprocal. And if the

moon must be admitted to exercise so decisive and commanding an influence on the earth, what then must be the influence of the earth upon the moon?-for we must suppose the operation to be reciprocal. And if the influence of the earth on the moon corresponds with its superior magnitude and importance, then are we authorized to suppose that the lunar oceans would be subject to a tremendous agitation indeed. How does this agree with the simplicity of nature's works, and her acknowledged wisdom and economy? I can imagine nothing more ridiculous than such suppositions, nor any thing more adverse to the general impressions of mankind, in relation to the decrees of eternal wisdom.

I think a plausible, and to my mind a very rational opinon, can be advanced, why it is that at the full and change of the moon we invariably see what are denominated spring tides. It is known that the earth acts to the moon as a moon, and that, according to the opinion of astronomers, as seen by the inhabitants of the moon, it is the 'most magnificent object visible in the heavens.' Now this harmony of action, this remarkable coincidence, in all probability fulfils a law that is of infinite importance to the moon and its inhabitants. It may be fairly presumed, without any extravagance, that whenever she reaches the above points in her orbit, she requires a greater portion of light to be thrown from the earth than is done under ordinary circumstances. For let it be remembered that at such times there are many more millions of acres of land covered with water than is the case with the usual tides, and that consequently the light is increased in that proportion, and reflected upon the moon in a corresponding degree. By this means, important objects may be accomplished; and while in countless ways the advantages may be felt by the earth, and its swarms of inhabitants, an equally important advantage may be conferred on the inhabitants of the moon. Here, it would seem to me, we may perceive some of the great and signal benefits imparted by a coincidence which is as wise as it is beneficial and beautiful.

Philosophers, however, have thought proper, from the fact of a forever recurring regularity, to invest in a secondary planet an allpowerful agency in the movements of the great oceans of the pri mary, and that too in direct contravention of all those plain and simple operations, which, as far as they are comprehended, agree so perfectly with the ordinary perceptions of mankind every where. And however universal may be such belief, I have no more faith in this presumed control of the moon, than I should have if I were told that by the same means our blood was propelled from the heart to the extremities, and back again to the heart. I should deem one quite as rational as the other, and quite as consistent with truth, and with those principles of order which are known to be 'heaven's first law.'

It is well known that under the line there is very little tide. Now this would appear extraordinary, if we are to believe that the influence of the moon is such as to produce tides so singular in their effects as continually occur. It must be clear to every one, that the surface of the earth under the line is much nearer the moon than it is in high northern or southern latitudes; and it would therefore

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seem to follow, as a fair consequence, that there, owing to the con vexity of the earth, the tides ought to be much the highest. The fact, however, is precisely the reverse of this; showing, contrary to all established laws, that in proportion as we recede from the centre of power, or the first impulse, so it increases in force, and that too to a surprising extent. In New-York, for instance, the ordinary tides are about six feet, and even two in Albany; in Boston ten to twelve, and in the Bay of Fundy forty to fifty. How such facts are to be reconciled with that theory which places this wonderful influence in the moon, I am utterly unable to conceive. It appears to me to be wholly inconsistent with all those causes and effects with which we are most familiar, and disagrees entirely with those principles of philosophy which are known to be well established in other respects, and which so universally accord with the reasoning faculties and perceptions of men.

I think my notions will be still farther illustrated, by a reference to the Mediterranean, the Black, and the Caspian seas. Surely, these are of sufficient magnitude to be subject to the influence of the moon, if such influence existed; yet in the first named sea it is barely perceptible, and in the others it is not felt at all. The same remark will apply to the great inland seas of America, where it is known, also, there is not the slightest appearance of tide. Now if we admit that the moon does really exercise the extraordinary power ascribed to it, how can we account for its controlling power being thus partial? Why should its force be restricted to the great oceans only, and even on these found to operate so unequally? If in some places the tides are strong and full, in others they are partialand feeble. In a certain latitude on the Pacific, they rise very high, and in a corresponding latitude on the Atlantic, there is very little; the tides in both oceans making nearly at the same time.

THERE is one phenomenon in the Atlantic ocean, which may perhaps be considered its greatest wonder, but which remains the least satisfactorily explained. This is that extraordinary movement denominated the Gulf Stream, which commences in the Bay of Mexico, and stretches along contiguous to the whole coast of North America, and after sweeping in a circular manner almost across the ocean, is lost not far from the confines of Africa. This prodigious current is estimated, by some navigators, to be sixty miles in width, and to move, for an immense distance, at the rate of not less than twoand-a-half miles an hour.

Theories are not wanting to account for this inexplicable and deep mystery. The most prevalent, though by no means one that is satisfactory, is that which traces it to a great accumulation of water in the Bay of Mexico, occasioned by the trade winds, and which finds an outlet in this way. This would lead to the supposition that there must be a strong pressure from the Atlantic into the Caribbean Sea, and so around through the Bay of Mexico. But we have no knowledge of any such operation. Hence the explanation given I deem neither conclusive nor carrying with it a very strong probability. It is moreover disbelieved by many scientific men, of profound reflection and

observation. Nor can it be deemed the least singular feature in this great mystery, that the water is found to be of a considerably higher temperature than that on either side of it, and which indicates the usual degree of warmth in the ocean, Where shall we seek for the

source of this perpetual heat?

It can

I shall here assume an hypothesis, which to some may seem strange, from its entire newness, but which, from long reflection, and the best view I have been able to take of the subject, appears to me the only correct one. That some portion of the substratum of the Bay of Mexico covers a vast volcano, there rests on my mind no manner of doubt. The high temperature communicated to the Gulf Stream can only be produced by such a cause; and I hesitate not to say, it can originate in no other. Hence the unceasing action and unchanging warmth of the water must proceed from its contiguity to a mighty deposite of unquenchable fires. Its natural effect is, to beget perpetual motion; and here, I think we are justified in believing, is the grand secret. This immense mass of heated water must have vent. There is but one way in which this can be accomplished, and that is, by making a current in an easterly direction. This must be the plain and simple operation, and that too for very obvious reasons. not go south or west, for reasons that are at once evident and conclusive. The whole of that portion of the ocean comprised between North and South America and the West India Islands, partakes of a higher degree of warmth than any other; beside, in those directions, there is no escape; whereas the broad Atlantic to the east is colder, by many degrees, than is the case in the Caribbean Sea, and among the islands. How much more so, indeed, when we take into view the vast islands of ice which are floated by cold northern currents from the coasts of Greenland, Norway, etc., (and these currents I believe to be perpetual,) and which almost every season are encountered by vessels in temperate and even in warm latitudes. Here, in my opinion, are abundant causes, and the perfectly natural and true causes, why the Gulf Stream must necessarily take this course, and why it can take no other. It is neither more nor less than that wellestablished principle in physical laws, which seeks to bring about an equilibrium in the elements, wherever, by force of circumstances, an inequality is created. This operation is both natural and simple; and according to the view that presents itself to my mind, here are the concealed but actual agents, which occasion one of the most extraordinary movements in the ocean, that has ever engaged the attention of mankind. Whether there be a subterraneous communication between the Pacific and the Bay of Mexico, must be conjectural. Should my hypothesis be admitted as truth, it still remains a matter of amazement, and deep wonder. The chief cause can only exist in an immense deposite of those hidden fires which the Creator has treasured up in the bowels of the earth, to be called forth at the appointed time, and employed for inscrutable but wise purposes. The earthquakes that shook the Mississippi country, in such a frightful manner, a number of years ago, are ample proof of the existence of these fires. And that they do not burst forth and convulse the earth, in a way still more destructive and terrific, is no evidence that they will sleep for ever.

We have before us, then, the everlasting results of two inconceivably powerful as well as permanent impulses, one of which, according to general belief, (though I think most preposterously,) is lodged in the moon, and the other, by universal assent, admitted to exist in the earth itself. How such hypotheses are to be reconciled with each other, or with that plainness and simplicity which are indisputable characteristics of Nature, in her accustomed displays and purposes, and which in all cases, where understood, agree so well with the ordinary judgment and reasoning powers of men, is beyond the reach of my ken or comprehension.

HAVING expressed my entire disbelief in the prevailing theory that the tides are produced through the instrumentality of the moon, I shall now submit to the reader certain facts, which no one will presume to doubt, or attempt to controvert; and I think they will be found to corroborate my position, beyond the reach of dispute or cavil. They are the result of recent observations and experiments, and their authority cannot be questioned. The first in order here follows.

Observations copied from 'An Account of Levellings carried across the Isthmus of Panama, to ascertain the relative height of the Pacific Ocean at Panama, and of the Atlantic at the mouth of the river Chagres, accompanied by geographical and topographical notices of the Isthmus. By John Augustus Lloyd, Esq. Communicated by Capt. Sabine, Secretary of the Royal Society.'

By careful and continued observations, I found the rise and fall of the tide in the Pacific, at Panama, as follows: Between the extreme elevation and depression of the water by occasional tides, there is a difference of 27.44 feet, and the mean actual rise and fall, two days after full moon, 21.22 feet.

'At Chagres I observed the rise and fall of the tide at the close of the dry season, in April, 1829, to be 1.16 feet, and being there subsequently, during the rainy season, I had an opportunity of observing that the high water mark was the same in both seasons.

The time of high water is nearly the same at Chagres and at Panama, namely, at 3 h. 20 m., at full and change. Hence the following interesting and curious phenomena are deducible, in respect to the difference of level of the two seas:

1st. High water mark at Panama is 13.55 feet above high water mark of the Atlantic at Chagres. Half the rise and fall of spring tides at Panama is 10.61 feet, and at Chagres, 0.58 of a foot; and assuming half the rise and fall above the low water of spring tides to be the respective mean levels, the mean height of the Pacific at Panama is 3.52 feet higher than that of the Atlantic at Chagres.

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2d. At high water, the time of which is nearly the same on both sides the Isthmus, the Pacific is raised at mean tides 10.61 feet, and the Atlantic 0.58 of a foot above their respective mean levels. The Pacific is therefore the highest at such times (10.61-0.58-3.52)

13.55 feet.

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