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“ Truth shows a glorious face While on that isthmus, which commands
The councils of both worlds, she stands." Not only has he enlarged the sphere of virtuous sensibility, but by animating neglected sympathies he binds the human family into a closer brotherhood, and by giving strength and dignity to the domestic and social affections, dispels the torpor of our common life. We have observed him moving with a serene flight along the whole scale of creation, up towards the throne of the Most High; and exploring the human heart, and all its range of emotions from its daily, homely feelings, to the height of heroic passions, and the depth of its most fearful anguish withal, dealing so chastely with our disordered nature, that in the thousands of lines he has composed, there is not one word which (to rescue an harinonious line from an obsolete poet,)
“ would tear The tender labyrinth of a maid's soft ear.". Donne. It is the highest and holiest purpose of poetry to minister to the sorrows inherent in human nature. To this have Wordsworth's genius and his life been consecrated, and when we behold him sending the soul into itself, to be admonished of its weakness, or made conscious of its power— taking thought for the poor and the humble - eleva ing the sense of humanity by the imaginative idea of childhood - in a word, forever cherishing in the heart of man, Faith, and Hope, and Love — then in the sublimity and beauty of his Muse, we can trace - in the sweet plirase of Spenser
“ The lineaments of Gospell bookes."
Art. II. — Reports on the Geological Survey of the State of New
York, made by the Governor to the Assembly, February, 1836 and 1837.
The whole science of geology is recent.
It is little more than fifty years since faets began to be made the basis of this branch of knowledge. The speculations and hypotheses of the older writers have scarcely any connexion with what is now denominated geology, or the science of the composition, structure, formation, and revolutions in the crust of our globe.
Recent as is the science, it has had its vicissitudes. Beginning with lofty pretensions, and prosecuted by many bold and fearless spirits, it was supposed to lead to dangerous conclusions. It therefore met with violent opposition from those who felt it a duty to defend the authenticity of revealed truth. Nor can it be denied that some geologists seem to have taken a pleasure in exciting the suspicions, and calling forth the censures of theologians, and have, in the heat of the argument, forgotten that revelation is founded on great and palpable facts; that it is supported by invincible testimony; and that the inspired writers constantly appeal to the providential government of the Creator. Certain it is, that in no instance has the record of scripture been found at variance with the evidence of the book of nature ; altliough narrow minded interpreters of both have arrayed them in opposition to each other. Some of the defenders of revelation have, in this contest, unwarily laid down interpretations which are contradicted by the most decided evidence, and
geologists, proud of a fancied victory, have proceeded to the adoption of conclusions which the premises did not warrant, and which subsequent discoveries have set aside. Churchmen have repeated the error committed in the case of Galileo, who was subjected to the discipline of the Inquisition for teaching that the earth moved around the sun, and have treated as infidels those who saw in the structure of the earth irrefragable proofs that it could not have been created from nothing within the space of six natural days; while geologists, finding themselves required either to believe what was contradicted by the clearest evidence, or to admit themselves infidels, have, in some unlucky instances, adopted the latter alternative.
Geology has, however, suffered as severely from feuds among its friends, as from the opposition of its enemies. The war of the Vulcanists and Neptunists had well nigh produced a convulsion as disastrous to the science, as had been the mighty revolutions of the globe, whose history geology was attempting to unfold, to the globe itsell. But while Beneficence had controled the latter, and brought order out of confusion, so has it guided those dissensions to beneficial results. The family contest has ended. The remains of the contending forces are now arranged under the same banners. The development of facts in this conflict of mind has made some definite and permanent changes in the details of the science. The nature and bearing of geology is now far better understood. The moral conclusions to which it leads are felt, appreciated, and sanctioned. It has become a most important supporter of revealed religion, in its triumphant maintenance of the grand principles of natural theology. "All geologists will agree with Dr. Buckland," (in his Bridgewater Treatise,) said Mr. Lyell, in his able and interesting address before the Geological Society of London, in 1837, that the most perfect unity of plan can be traced in the fossil world throughout all the modifications it has undergone, and that we can carry back our researches distinctly to times antecedent to the existence of man. We can prove (from geology) that man had a beginning, and that all the species now cotemporary with man, and many others which preceded, had a beginning: consequently, the present state of the organic world has not gone on from all eternity as some philosophers had maintained." This is an unanimity of opinion on a point of momentonis import in the consideration of our moral relations, wbich it was not to be expected could so soon have been produced from the examination of geological facts; and the world is soon to be led on to the same happy agreement of opinion as to the beginning" of all things, when “God created the heavens and the earth." The operation is begun; the process is advancing to this fixed result; the conclusion has already been drawn by Buckland in the same treatise, and not a fact stands to-day in opposition to it.
Union of opinion has not, bowever, diminished the ardor of the zealous admirers of geology, or made the records of the mighty changes which are read upon the rocky tablets of the “ everlasting hills," less wonderful and delightful. Europe has teemed with ardent minds engaged in translating into our language those records of devastating changes. In our own country, too, the
lovers of the works of the Almighty, as they are seen in their ruder forms in the mountain ranges, where the older rocks raise their majestic tops through and above the pressure of the incumbent hills once laid upon them in the deep excavations of the mountain torrent - in the mural banks of the river - in cataracts, and precipitous ridges - in the hills, and over the plains of rock and sand - in the exploration of caves and mines for ore, and coal, and salt - in the search after vegetable and animal remains, those concealed but enduring monuments of the ancient and long continued changes of the surface of our globe - have followed with untiring zeal and with extraordinary success. The means of knowledge have indeed been vastly increased since Maclure first drew only the broadest outlines of the geology of our country. Twenty-five years ago, and there were few men of science who knew even the common minerals, or understood any scientific classification and description of them; fewer still had opened their eyes upon the broad expanse of rock formations which every where meets the geologist. Knowledge on these subjects had scarcely begun to cross the Atlantic, and even on the other side of the great deep only the dawning of this day had begun. But the light has brightened and strengthened ---the sun has arisen. The inquirer has no longer to look with an almost hopeless eye for some qualified guide to conduct him to the possession of the treasures of mineralogy and geology, The minuteness of the investigations at the present time, make strong demands for more helps upon the way. The necessity of extensive knowledge in all the departments of natural history was never so great, and is constantly on the increase. The knowledge of the races of fish and fowl, of the land and water tribes, of anatomy and conchology, of botany, and chemistry, and mineralogy, is essential to the advancement of geological pursuits. And these helps are continually coming forth in the progress of discovery throughout the scientific world.
The geological surveys which have been commenced under the authority of so many of our state governments, constitute an era in the geology of our country and of the world. Extensive as are our formations and basins, the results must affect the state of geological knowledge not only in the United States, but lead to grand conclusions for the science every where.
The Reports of the Geological Survey of the State of New York embody a great amount of facts. The first and prominent object of the surveys is, the economical advantage of the citizens in the development of the mineral resources of the country,
NO. VII.- VOL. IV. 10
in the diffusion of useful knowledge in the collateral branches of business, in the detection of errors and the correction of mistakes in agriculture, mining, metallurgy, the nature of building materials, and the practical application of natural substances. The survey of New York, although extended over only a part of the state, has taken a wide range of investigation, and is equally honorable to the legislature and to the gentlemen engaged in the work.
In calling the attention of our readers to these reports, it is our object to exhibit the interesting economical results — to trace the important geological facts disclosed in them, and to present some remarks on the moral bearing of the science to which they relate.
I. The two reports which have been made through the governor to the assembly, contain the results of observations for 1836 and 1837. The duty of drawing up these reports bas been confided to four geologists, to whom the state has been allotted by districts, namely, Messrs. Mather, Emmons, Vanuxem, and Hall. With these gentlemen several assistants have been associated, and their researches have been aided by Dr. Beck, who has undertaken the departments of mineralogy and chemistry, and by Mr. Conrad, to whom, under the sounding title of palæontologist, has been assigned the natural history of the animal and vegetable remains which occur in the formations.
This division of labour does not appear to have been well arranged, for we cannot but consider that every geologist ought to be capable of performing the task of examining, testing, and naming the mineral species which he meets with in his researches. It would have been far better to have divided the state into a greater number of districts, than thus to have divided the responsibility. So, also, it might have been well to have provided a consulting zoologist, to whom the district geologists inight have referred their specimens for examination ; but the total separation of the two departments has already led to difficulties, which we shall have occasion to mention. For the present, we shall content ourselves with remarking, that the paramount and exclusive authority of the inferences deduced from the character of organic remains, has not been appreciated by the geologists as a body, while the palæontologist has, in deference to them, given up a most important point.
Had we been called upon to organize a corps for the geological survey, we should have preferred a single person to act as its chief director; allotted a sufficient number of district sur