Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine, 3rd ser. 3 (1824), 701–02.
The Coral Insect
Invertebrate Zoology, Wonder, Theology of Nature, Natural Economy, Design, Anthropocentrism, Vulcanology, Geology, Natural Law, Miracle, Climatology, Meteorology, Chemistry, Palaeontology
Relates the process of island formation by 'coral insects', observing that these are amongst the 'wonders' of God, by which he forwards 'His ends of benevolence'. Asserts that 'man' inclines to despise 'myriads of beings equally insignificant in appearance, because he has not yet discovered the great offices which they hold, the duties which they fulfil, in the great order of Nature'. Describes the formation of islands by earthquakes and volcanoes, contrasting the 'silent and unmarked labours of working myriads [of corallines], operating by an universal and long-ordained law' with 'the sudden, the momentary, effort of a power, which, from the rarity of its exertion, seems to be especially among the miraculous interpositions of the Creator'. Describes the importance of equatorial mountains in providing climatic zones, and as 'the great hydraulic engine by which the clouds are collected to fertilize the earth'. (701) Observes that human chemistry cannot explain the operation of corallines in the production of the 'calcareous earth' which has ultimately formed 'the chalk and limestone of our own England'. (702)
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