Proofs of Design in the Structure and Composition
of unorganized Mineral Bodies.

MUCH of the physical history of the compound forms of unorganized mineral bodies, has been anticipated in the considerations given in our early chapters to the unstratified and crystalline rocks. It remains only to say a few words respecting the simple  minerals that form the ingredients of these rocks, and the elementary bodies of which they are coinposed.


The term simple mineral is applied not only to uncombined miueral Substances, which are rare in Nature, such as pure native

[672 PROOFS OF DESIGN] "In crossing a heath," (says Paley,) "suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for any thing I knew to the contrary, it had lain there for ever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer." *

Nay says the Geologist, for if the stone were a pebble, the adventures of this pebble may have been many and various, and fraught with records of physical events, that produced important changes upon the surface of our planet; and its rolled condition implies that it has undergone considerable locomotion by the action of water.


gold or silver, but also to all kinds of compound mineral bodies that present a regular crystalline structure, accompanied by definite proportions of their chemical ingredients. The difference between a simple mineral and a simple substance may be illustrated by the case of calcareous spar or crystallized carbonate of lime. The ultimate elements, viz. Calcium, Oxygen, and Carbon, are simple substances; the crystalline compound resulting from the union of these elements, in certain definite proportions, forms a simple mineral, called Carbonate of lime. The total number of simple minerals hitherto ascertained according to Berzelius is nearly six hundred, that of simple substances, or elementary principles, is fifty-four.

* I have quoted this passage, not in disparagement of the general argument of Paley, which is altogether independent of the incidental and needless comparison with which he has prefaced it, but to show the importance of the addition, that has been made by the discoveries of Geology and Mineralogy, to the evidence of the non-eternity of the earth, which so great a master pronounced to be imperfect, for lack of such information as these modern sciences have recently supplied.

[573 IN SIMPLE MINERALS.] Or, should the stone be Sandstone, or part of any Conglomerate, or fragmentary stratum, made up of the rounded detritus of other rocks, the ingredients of such a stone would bear similar evidence of movements by the force of water, which reduced them to the state of sand, or pebbles, and ptransorted them to their present place, before the existence of the stratum of which they form a part; consequently no such stratum can have lain in its present place for ever.

Again,should the supposed stone contain within it the petrified remains of any fossil Animal or fossil Plant, these would not only show that animal and vegetable life had preceded the formation of the rock in which they are embedded; but their organic structure might afford examples of contrivance and design, as unequivocally at testing the exercise of Intelligence and Power, as the mechanism of a Watch or Steam engine, or any other instrument produced by human art, bears evidence of intention and skill in the workman who invented and constructed them.

Lastly, should it even be Granite, or any crystalline Primary Rock, containing neither organic remains, nor fragments of other rocks more ancient than itself, it can still be shown that there was a time when even stones of this class had not assumed their present state, and consequently that there is not one of them, which can have existed, where they now are, for ever. The

[574 PROOFS OF DESIGN] Mineralogist has ascertained that Granite is a compound substance, made up of three distinct and dissimilar simple mineral bodies, Quartz, Felspar, and Mica, each presenting certain regular combinations of external form and internal structure, with physical properties peculiar to itself. And Chemical Analysis has shewn that these several bodies are made up of other bodies, all of which had a prior existence in some more simple state, before they entered on their present union in the mineral constituents of what are supposed to be the most ancient rocks accessible to human observation. The Crystallographer also has further shewn that the several ingredients of Granite, and of all other kinds of Crystalline Rocks are composed of Molecules which are invisibly minute, and that each of these Molecules is made up of still smaller and more simple Molecules, every one of them combined in fixed and definite proportions, and affording at all the successive stages of their analysis, presumptive proof that they possess determinate geometrical figures. These combinations and figures are so far from indicating the fortuitous result of accident, that they are disposed according to laws the most severely rigid, and in proportions mathematically exact.*


* The above Paragraphs of this Chapter excepting the first, are taken almost verbatim from the Author's MS. Notes of his Lectures on Mineralogy, bearing the date of June 1822, and he has adhered more closely to the form under which they

[575 IN SIMPLE MINERALS.] TheAtheistical Theory assuming the gratuitous postulate of the eternity of matter and motion, would represent the question thus. All matter, it would contend, must of necessity have assumed some form or other, and therefore may fortuitously have settled into any of those under which it actually appears. Now, on this hypothesis, we ought to find all kinds of substances presented occasionally under an infinite number of external forms, and combined in endless varieties of in definite proportions; but observation has shewn that crystalline mineral bodies occur under a fixed and limited number of external forms called secondary, and that these are constructed on a series of more simple primary forms, which are demonstrable by cleavage and mechanical division, without chemical analysis : the integrant molecules* of these primary forms of crystals are


appear, than he might otherwise have done, for the sake of showing that no part of them has been suggested by any recent publications; and that the views here taken have not originated in express considerations called forth by the occasion of the present Treatise, hut are the natural result of ordinary serious attention to the phenomena of Geology and Mineralogy, viewed in their Conjoint relations to one another, and of enquiry pursued a few steps further beyond the facts towards the causes in which they originated.

* Ce que j'ai dit de la forme deviendra encore plus évident, si, en pénétrant dans le mecanisme intime de la structure, on conçoit tous ces cristaux comme des assemblages de molécules intégrantes parfaitement semblables par leurs formes, et subordonnées, à un arrangement régulier. Ahisi, an lieu qu'une

[576 PROOFS OF DESIGN] usually compound bodies, made up of an ulterior series of constituent molecules, i. e. molecules of the first substances obtained by chemical analysis; and these in many cases are also compound bodies, made up of the elementary molecules, or final indivisible atoms,* of which the ultimate particles of matter are probably composed.


étude superficielle des cristaux n'y laissait voir que des singula rités de la nature, une étude approfondie nous conduit à cette consequence que le même Dieu dont la puissance et Ia sagesse ont soumis la course des astres à des lois qui ne se démentent jamais, en a aussi établi auxquelles ont obéi avec la même fidélité les molécules qui se sont réunies pour donner naissance aux corps cachés dans les retraites du globe que nous habitons. Haüy.Tableau comparatif des Résultats de la Cristallographie et de l'Analyse Chimique. P. xvii.

* " We seem to be justified in concluding, that a limit is to be assigned to the divisibility of matter, and consequently that we must suppose the existence of certain ultimate particles, stamped, as Newton conjectured, in the beginning of time by the hands of the Almighty with permanent characters, and retaining the exact size and figure, no less than the other more subtle qualities and relations which were given to them at the first moment of their creation.

" The particles of the several substances existing in nature may thus deserve to be regarded as the alphabet, composing the great volume which records the wisdom and goodness of the Creator."
Daubeny's Atomic Theory, p. 107.

We may once for all illustrate the combinations of exact and methodical arrangements under which the ordinary crystalline forms of minerals have been produced, by the phenomena of a single species; viz, the well-known substance of Carbonate of Lime.

We have more than five hundred varieties of secondary forms presented by the crystals of this abundant earthy mineral. In each of these we trace a five-fold series of subordinate relations

[577 IN SIMPLE MINERALS.] When we have in this manner traced back all kinds of mineral bodies, to the first and most simple condition of their component Elements, we find these Elements to have been at all times regulated by the self-same system of fixed and universal laws, which still maintains the mechanism of the material world. In the operation of these laws we recognize such direct and constant subserviency of means to ends, so much of harmony, and order, and methodical arrangement, in the physical properties and proportional quantities, and chemical functions of the inorganic


of one system of combinations to another system, under which every individual crystal has been adjusted by laws, acting correlatively to produce harmonious results.

Every crystal of Carbonate of Lime is made up of millions of particles of the same compound substance, having one invariable primary form, viz, that of a rhomboidal solid, which may be obtained to an indefinite extent by mechanical division.

The integrant molecules of these rhomboidal solids form the smallest particles to which the Limestone can be reduced without chemical decomposition.

The first result of chemical analysis divides these integrant molecules of Carbonate of Lime into two compound substances, namely, Quick Lime and Carbonic Acid, each of which is made up of an incalculable number of constituent molecules.

A further analysis of these constituent molecules shews that they also are compound bodies, each made up of two elementary substances, viz. the Lime made up of elementarymolecules of the metal Calcium, and Oxygen; and the Carbonic Acid, of elementary molecules of Carbon and Oxygen.

These ultimate molecules of Calcium, Carbon, and Oxygen form the final indivisible atoms into which every secondary crystal of Carbonate ot Lime can he resolved.

[578 PROOFS OF DESIGN] Elements, and we further see such convincing evidence of intelligence and foresight in the adaptation of these primordial Elements to an infinity of complex uses, under many future systems of animal and vegetable organizations, that we can find no reasonable account of the existence of all this beautiful and exact machinery, if we accept not that which would refer its origin to the antecedent Will and Power of a Supreme Creator; a Being, whose nature is confessedly incomprehensible to our finite faculties, but whom the "things which do appear" proclaim to be supremely Wise, and Great, and Good.
To attribute all this harmony and order to any fortuitous causes that would exclude Design, would be to reject conclusions founded on that kind of evidence, on which the human mind reposes with undoubting confidence in all the ordinary business of life, as well as in physical and metaphysical investigations. "Si mundum eflicere potest concursus atomorum, cur porticum, cur templum, cur domum, cur urbem non potest? quæ sunt minus operosa et multo quidem faciliora." *

Such was the interrogatory of the Roman Moralist, arising from his contemplation of the obvious phenomena, of the natural world; and the conclusion of Bentley from a wider view of more recondite phenomena, in an age remarkable for the advancement of some of the highest


* Cicero de Natura Deorum, lib. ii. 37.

[579 IN SIMPLE MINERALS.] branches of Physical Science, has been most abundantly confirmed by the manifold discoveries of a succeeding century. We therefore of the present age have a thousand additional reasons to affirm with him, that "though universal matter should have endured from everlasting, divided into infinite particles in the Epicurean way, and though motion should have been coeval and coeternal with it; yet those particles or atoms could never of themselves, by oinnifarious kinds of motion, whether fortuitous or mechanical, have fallen, or been disposed into this or a like visible system." * — Bentley, Serm. vi. of Atheism, p. 192.


* Dr. Prout has pursued this subject still further in the third Chapter of his Bridgewater Treatise, and shewn that the molecular constitution of matter with its admirable adaptations to the economy of the natural world, cannot have endured from eternity, and is by no means a necessary condition of its existence; but has resulted from the Will of some intelligent and voluntary Agent, possessing power commensurate with his Will.

In the first Section of his fourth Chapter the same author has also so clearly shown the great extent to which several of the most common mineral substances, e. g. lime, magnesia, and iron, enter into the composition of animal and vegetable bodies, and has so fully set forth the evidences of design in the constitution and properties of the few simple substances, viz. fifty-four Elementary principles, into some one or more of which the component materials of all the three great kingdoms of Nature can be resolved, that I deem it superfluous to repeat in another form, the substance of arguments which have been so well and fully drawn by my learned Colleague, from those phenomena of the mineral Elements, which form no small part of the evidence afforded by the Chemistry of Mineralogy, in proof of the Wisdom, and Power, and Goodness of the Creator.