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catastrophes, deserts, deformity, death, and absence of beauty of form; and then recapitulate some of the anticipations of man in nature, in order to ascertain his true relations to the system.
I. Geological Catastrophes.-On this subject, Dr. Bushnell thus writes:
"How magnificent also is the whole course of geology, or the geologic eras and changes, taken as related to the future great catastrophe of man, and the new-creating, supernatural grace of his redemption. It is as if, standing on some high summit, we could see the great primordial world rolling down through gulfs and fiery cataclysms, where all the living races die; thence to emerge, again and again, when the Almighty fiat calls it forth, a new creation, covered with fresh populations; passing thus through a kind of geologic eternity, in so many chapters of deaths, and of darting, frisking, singing life; inaugurating so many successive geologic mornings, over the smoothed graves of the previous extinct races; and preluding in this manner the strange world-history of sin and redemption, wherein all the grandest issues of existence lie. This whole tossing, rending, recomposing process, that we call geology, symbolizes, evidently, as in high reason it should, the grand spiritual catastrophe, and Christian new-creation of man; which, both together, comprehend the problem of mind, and so the final causes or last ends of all God's works. What we see is the beginning conversing with the end, and Eternal Forethought reaching across the tottering mountains and boiling seas, to unite beginning and end together. So that we may hear the grinding layers of the rocks singing harshly—
Of man's first disobedience and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree '
and all the long eras of desolation, and refitted bloom and beauty, represented in the registers of the world, are but the epic in stone of man's great history, before the time." p. 206.
It may seem out of place to bring the prose of science into conjunction with this sublime description. But the grand principle is here, that the rocks anticipated man's disobedience in their very nature and history; and this point cannot be considered without speaking of rocks and physical forces.
In the first place, a common misapprehension of the science of Geology requires a word. We are apt, in looking back into geological time, to see catastrophes crowded together, as the widely scattered trees in the far distant landscape may seem to be a forest. But according to the history, they were only occasional events in the course of long ages of quiet change, and often were catastrophes rather in their destructiveness to
life, than in any sudden violence. But not to stop on this unimportant point, we proceed.
Matter has among its ultimate characteristics the property of contraction and expansion with change of temperature. The existence of the law enables us to make thermometers and steam-engines, and contrive numberless other things that are useful. It is the source of movement in the winds and waters. But it is a law, and has precise terms or limits. Hence if a mass of melted glass be rapidly cooled, so that the contraction cannot be the same without and within, it is left in a state of unequal contraction, and is therefore ready to break to pieces on the slightest scratch; the glass is worthless. Here then evil comes from this law of contraction on cooling. This example illustrates a universal principle relating to what may be called evil in nature. Nature is a system of physical law, and evil and good are commingled because there is a basis of law. This law is merely an established condition for a special result; and laws are essential to a nature, since there could be no evolution of special results except through some established conditions, and no system of results without a system of conditions or causes. It is plain therefore that failure of perfection from infracted law does not necessarily prove nature to be unnature; a system of law without the possibility of it would be physically impossible.
To apply the principle to the case of the earth. The earth, according to geological evidence, has been a cooling globe. This law of contraction has therefore operated throughout its history-oscillating the surface, making earthquakes, (or, in other words, slight jars in the rocky crust,) and raising the land above the waters or sinking it again. And when a continent has thus been raised, the life of the waters has been exterminated, or when the land has sunk, the life of the land has disappeared. Thus, out of the one fundamental law, various catastrophes have come upon the world.* Moreover, the catastrophes were all useful, and essential to the best making of the globe.
There are other causes of elevations, appealed to by some geologists. But whichever be adopted, the bearing on the question in view is the same.
The growing coral fields made great limestones; a change of level led to wide-spread sandstones or slates; another change to aerial vegetation and coal beds; and the succession of catastrophes caused the laying down of one coal bed after another, each covered and carefully stored away for the future beneath sandstones and shales. Through the same law came the mountains; and the globe would have been a cursed globe without high mountains. It gave us also a stratified earth, so that we have subterranean streams and gushing springs. Thus the events are horrible cataclysms, or steps in a beneficent system of progress, according to the point of view.
II. Deserts.-Deserts are not arbitrary inflictions on a region; they are made through the same system of law that makes other regions productive. There is this principle in nature that warm air absorbs or takes up more moisture than cold air. Carry warm air to a cold place, and the moisture will separate in drops, and, if abundant, descend in rain. Carry the cold air to a warm place, and it will absorb more moisture, taking it from anything at hand. This is part of a still more fundamental law in physics. Without such a law we should have no clouds or rain; with it, America over the larger part of the territory is moist and fertile. But it so happens, under the law, that the moist winds drop their moisture over the first cool land they meet, and hence have little, or perhaps none, for the land beyond; or they may be cold winds blowing towards a warmer region, in the great system of air circulation of the globe, and consequently drying winds. Out of the same law therefore come deserts and well-watered plains. On this principle an island in the Pacific, as Hawaii, has its wet side and its dry side. Thus, again, evil and good result; and because law exists. The provision of condensation by cold is good: yet under it, the curse of barrenness falls to the lot of many square leagues of the earth's surface.
III. Cold and barrenness of the Arctic.-The extreme cold of the Arctic depends on several causes, viz,-first, the fundamental laws of heat; secondly, the position and heat of the sun, the distribution of land and water, and possibly the existence of internal heat. God might without interfering with
the fundamental laws have varied or guided these latter conditions, either in anticipation of man's need as man, or in view specifically of his fallen condition. Yet to have made the surface warm by drawing upon internal heat would have required a thin crust to the globe, and therefore an unstable crust, as was the condition in former geological time; for stability of the land is one of the most striking characteristics of the present, distinguishing it from the past. To have made no Arctic dry land would have banished the ice and given us warmer winters, it is true; but we should have had cold summers and about the same mean temperature as now--a sort of Fuegian climate. We owe our warm summers to the extension of the continent far north as well as south. This method of improvement therefore might not have worked. Without other illustration, it is apparent that the good and evil are linked together, because in a system of law or nature it is unavoidable. The Arctic is one part of the existing system of zones, and upon this system depend the system of winds and climates and the climatal diversities of the continents.
A few words on the barrenness of the Arctic. Chemistry teaches us that some chemical compounds may be formed at one temperature, and others at other temperatures; that each has its special conditions in this and other particulars, on which its formation or failure of formation depends-that is, there is law, involving both good and evil. Now, a plant or an animal grows through chemical processes, and processes of a higher order than the common chemical compositions; for in the chemistry of living beings there are compositions going on, which inorganic nature alone cannot produce. These processes are necessarily under the law of temperature just mentioned; and hence every animal or plant has its own best temperature and its narrow climatal limits. Hence there is a constant change in the kinds or species of animals and plants of the globe, as we go from the equator towards the Arctic, or from the sea level to alpine hights; and hence, too, beyond certain limits, life ceases almost entirely. This barrenness is therefore due to a profound physical law.
IV. Deformity through imperfect development, as in "the absence of a perfect leaf," and in abortive productions.
"Like effects, like causes or conditions " is an obvious and reasonable principle. It penetrates chemistry, physics, and our own minds. Now, nature is a system of diverse active forces, and, therefore, of constantly varying as well as exceedingly various conditions,-varying as regards heat, light, electricity, magnetic currents, climate, winds, seasons, etc. All are in perpetual reaction, and all conditions, therefore, in perpetual change. There is a basis of units or individualities, which are in a sense individualized centers of force. Such is the molecule of an element or chemical compound; and such also is any species in life, or, taking the species in its simplest condition, the germ of any species in life. But these units or individualities, while in essence or power stable and the foundation of nature's stability, are also in the midst and at the foundation of this system of sympathizing forces.* If it were not so, Nature herself would be only a dead nature; and nature's death, if ever to take place, will consist in a reduction of forces to a perfect uniformity of condition or an unvarying equilibrium.
We repeat it: nature is a system of constantly varying conditions. Every part and every force reacts under its own law on every other, and therefore, on the principle of "unlike causes unlike effects," uniformnity of results in anything produced is impossible. In the case of crystals, the physical conditions dependent on heat, light, electricity, and the attracting influences of other substances at hand, cause variations in the forces, so that the same species crystallizes in a great diversity of dependent forms which are essentially perfect, besides in various imperfect forms, as fibres and grains. In all plants the variations in the climate, soil, exposure to the sun, positions of the roots with reference to moisture or nutriment, and other circumstances, are sources of change: consequently, leaves of the same plant vary in form and size; flowers are sometimes abortive or fail altogether; trees of the same species
* See J. D. Dana on Species, Bibliotheca Sacra, October, 1857, Vol. xiv, p. 854; American Journal of Science, November, 1857, Vol. xxiv, p. 305.