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pear, to emerge no more. They are like the bird in the old story, coming out of the winter darkness into the king's feasting-chamber, and passing through its light and warmth into the winter darkness again.38 And then the sea-sucklers supplant them, not so to pass away, There is an old solution of this vivid apparition of species on the platform of the past. It supposes a voice, not of Natural Law, but of Supernatural Will, which says, Let saurians be! and there are saurians; and, again, Let whales be! and there are whales. Species, on this view, come and go at the bidding of the breath of God. “When Thou hidest Thy face, they are troubled: they die, and are turned to their dust. Again, Thou sendest forth Thy breath, and they are created : Thou renewest the face of the earth.”
23. That these successions have not been ruled on the purely competitive principle is one clear lesson of geology. Not always has the battle been to the strong; not always have the “favoured races" thriven best. Extinction, we are told, is the rigidly exacted penalty that is laid on the laggard in the race of life. And yet, as has been proved by a most laborious induction, throughout the immense Molluscan family, the higher the rank the lower the range: the headless bivalve, with an equal start, has distanced and dispossessed the highly endowed cephalopod. 39 No living stag brandishes an antler comparable to that of the great Irish elk; and the hugest shark now swimming in the seas is a dwarf by the side of its congener of the Miocene, measuring some sixty feet long.40 Fishes take their place in ancient nature in four septs or squadrons, the two first separated from the two last by a prodigious interval ; but, notwithstanding their fierce instincts and their prescriptive occupancy, the cuirassed Placoids and Ganoids give way, and the unwarlike Ctenoids and Cycloids take possession of the field. Physical causes, of themselves, scarcely solve the phenomena of extinction and replacement on so significant a scale ; and the critical unpeopling as well as peopling of the waters throws new and purer light on that study of nature which introduced a Divine Destroyer into the Hindoo Triad. Why are not the saurians, and the monster shark, still scouring our contemporary seas? Food could never have failed them in so stintless a storehouse, nor climate made war on them, nor rivals exterminated them. And yet they are gone. All that can be said is, that it was necessary to remove them, and they are removed. If the Enaliosauria, or the fossil Carcharodon, were living gladiators
of the ocean, it could not be so fit a home for their
mammalian superiors, and would even be blockaded against man On seas teeming with these monsters, Arion could not have sailed, nor could the dolphin have disported beside his vessel. But the mammalia have not been left to fight it out with such foes. The animal competition has been modulated into consistency with the unfolding scheme of the Creative Providence. Obedient to no merely physical necessity, defeated in no pitched battle for the sovereignty of the seas, the fossil monsters shrank at another signal from disturbance of that new and higher order for which the appointed time had come, with which their co-presence was clearly incompatible, and which their brute strength, let loose, would infallibly have destroyed.
24. If it be one distinct lesson of the stony archives that the battle is not always to the strong, they teach with at least equal clearness that the race did not start with the weak. It is a vital postulate in all schemes of development-as vital to Mr. Darwin's doctrine as to that of Lamarck, of Oken, or of the “Vestiges” --that precedence is another name for embryotic immaturity and extreme lowness in the scale. Not only must the lower divisions ante-date the higher, for that simply amounts to a manifestation of Divine Order in the introduction of living forms; it is essential that each division shall make its entrance in some mean and dubious representative, some type closely osculant with those beneath it in the series. Mr. Darwin, as we have seen, confesses that the record does not yield this reading ; it must, he suggests, have dropped out. The older Scottish annalists, when inclined to romance on the buried glories of their country, used to make great capital of the destruction of attesting parchments by King Edward the first. I know a person who applied, in the early years of this century, to an octogenarian Jacobite clergyman for a certificate of the date of his birth. “My good youth,” said he, “ you should recollect that our registers were all destroyed after the '45"--some fifty years before the applicant was born. These shifts may be more or less amusing, but they are not satisfactory. In the investigation of ancient nature they are not even amusing. “Asaphus gigas is of Silurian, and Pterygotus problematicus of Devonian age; this latter crustacean weakling would outweigh a couple of sheep : where are his ancestors ?” “They are lost.” “Here are high cephalopods, Lituites and Huronia, almost as low-lying as any form of Molluscan life.” “They are quite recent not
withstanding.” “Zones there are three of primaval nature : from the Ludlow beds upwards, a zone teeming with fish ; from the Lingula bed downwards, a zone almost lifeless but for Arenicola ; and a zone between, teeming with well-grown and well-marked Mollusks and Crustaceans. Amphioxus, on hypothesis, ought to be the
Old Red: Fish abundant.
Silurian : Crustacea, &c. abundant.
Cambrian : Oldest Trilobites, Arenicola, Zoo
phytes, Fucoids: lower strata, azoic.
father of fishes; and even lampreys or lancelets might