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phers' “ oblate spheroid.” The theory of the existence of a burning mass in the earth's centre, is alleged in explanation of the well-known fact that, after passing a certain point in the crust of the earth, in digging for coal and other minerals, miners find that the temperature changes. The thermometer, which, until that point is reached, continues to shew a gradual fall in the mercury, exhibits precisely opposite results after it has passed it. The temperature is shewn to be higher, and the deeper we descend the higher the mercury rises. The existence of burning mountains also points to the likelihood that molten matter forms the centre of the earth. Active volcanoes are regarded as so many safety-valves, through which gases and liquid fire escape which might otherwise rend the solid earth. Lying around this mass of molten matter—this deep sea of liquid fire, are huge masses of granite, and porphyry, and other primitive and volcanic rocks. “The primitive rocks lie beneath the rest, and form mountain-chains, leaning against and between which the later rocks are found deposited; and the name which they bear can in any case be accorded to them, since in all instances they have taken, either in a fluid or solid condition, a very early share in the formation of the crust of the earth. We behold the volcanic rocks, in some cases, rising before our eyes out of the interior of the earth, but with regard to others we know not to what period of the earth's formation we can in any way refer them.
“ The most important of these rocks are the following:granite, gneiss, mica-slate, syenite, clay-slate, porphyry, serpentine, and primitive limestone."
“Certain porphyries and granites," says Lyell," and all the rocks commonly called plutonic, are now generally supposed to have resulted from the slow cooling of materials fused and solidified under great pressure; and we cannot doubt that beneath existing volcanoes there are large places filled with melted stone, which must for centuries remain in an incandescent state, and then cool and become hard and crystallise, when the subterranean heat shall be exhausted.”
Let us now glance at the references in the Scriptures to the “foundations of the earth.” We shall simply quote some of these, and leave the reader with the thoughts which may be suggested by regarding the quotations in the light of the foregoing remarks. In one of those wonderful passages of the Old Testament, which seem to lift the veil which hides the unseen from mortal eyes, and give to those "outside” a glimpse into the mysteries of the spiritual world, we find the Eternal Son represented as rejoicing in his own uncreated glory, and saying—“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled ; before the hills was I brought forth : While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there : when he set a compass upon the face of the depth : when he established the clouds above : when he strengthened the fountains of the deep : when he gave to the sea his decree that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth."-(Prov. viii.
22-29.) Then, in Psalm xxiv., we have the following: “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein: for he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.” And in Psalm xviii., when the forthputting of the power of Him by whom all things are, is referred to, it is in words like these :-"Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils." The great manifestations of God, in connexion with his moral government of the world, point to the same mode of glorious working—“For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” When, then, we realise the great thoughts suggested in those passages, we will see the full force of the sublime words of Jehovah in the Book of Job,—“Gird. up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth ? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line
it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened ? or who laid the corner-stone thereof, when the morning-stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Aye, where? God is the Great and Eternal One, but man is of yesterday, and knoweth nothing. He hath founded the world upon
The thought of progress meets us at every point in the
The fluid mass becomes encrusted with world on world piled around it, holding in their awful bosom the sea of fire. Then wall upon wall rises, decorated with a system of wonderful hieroglyphics. Every mark of shell, and plant, and fish, and higher animal, becomes a letter in an alphabet by which we can read much of the ways of God in building up the globe, which is now that“earth which he gave to the children of men.” The foundations were laid to be built upon, and everywhere we find progress and development. The Past of the earth is the Divine comment on this, and, at the same time, it is the symbol of its own Future. Since man has been cast upon the grand and glorious stream of God's self-manifestation, he is required to associate himself with this progress. The new heavens and the new earth point to a far greater work with that which is built on the watery foundation. As the stream runs on, let us cast all our hopes upon it. It is regulated by God; it proceeds out from the throne of God, and, carried by its onward current, we are safe, if only we trust Him who laid the foundations of the earthreared the walls on them, and gave to man the whole as a dwelling-place, in which he might serve Him as God in whom we live, and move, and have our being.
Nay, in the boat at the minute of which I have been speaking, silent and neglected, sat a fellow-passenger, who was a greater adept at removing nuisances than the whole board of health put together; and who had done his work, too, with a cheapness unparalleled; for all his good deeds had not as yet cost the State one penny. True, he lived by his business; so do other inspectors of nuisances; but nature, instead of paying Maia Squinado, Esquire, some five hundred pounds sterling per annum for his labour, had contrived, with a sublime simplicity of economy, which Mr Hume might have envied and admired afar off, to make him do his work gratis, by giving him the nuisances as his perquisites, and teaching him how to eat them.
Certainly (without going the length of the Caribs, who uphold cannibalism because, they say, it makes war cheap, and precludes entirely the need of a commissariat), this cardinal virtue of cheapness ought to make Squinado an interesting object in the eyes of the present generation, especially as he was at that moment a true sanatory martyr, having, like many of his human fellowworkers, got into a fearful scrape by meddling with those existing interests, and “vested rights which are but vested wrongs,” which have proved fatal already to more than one board of health. For last night, as he was sitting quietly under a stone in four fathoms water, he became aware (whether by sight, smell, or that mysterious sixth sense, to us unknown, which seems to reside in his delicate