Page:The Rambler in Mexico.djvu/165

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its of the Frozen Sea, when immediately to the south the hot and arid plains of Arabia and Armenia afforded an easy passage to the equatorial latitudes; and as far as the Old World was concerned, it may be said, that no animal, in leaving the ark, had to pass through a zone incongenial to its nature. Neither is it to be assumed that this evidently wise scheme of Providence was violated with regard to America.

The probability is, that there once existed easy modes of communication, which have since disappeared in some mighty physical convulsion: and the opinion that this is the case, gains additional strength, both from the configuration of this portion of the globe, and the vague but certain traditions, which are entertained by many nations, of such a second great catastrophe having taken place posterior to the deluge.

The concurrent testimony of many scientific observers as to the appearance of the eastern coasts of Asia, and the groups of islands scattered over the Indian and Pacific oceans, and the proofs of large bodies of land having disappeared, need not be dwelt upon; nor the almost universal tradition current among those islands, of such a great physical convulsion, or disruption of the continents perfectly distinct from those of the great deluge. He who is disposed to glean, may glean from the history of the nations of the Old World, testimony to the same purport. The Egyptians, the Chinese, the Hindoos, have all similar records, concerning this second great revolution, which seemingly produced these great changes on the surface of the globe, and in the disposition of its parts.

It may be further mentioned, that the signification of the name of the patriarch Peleg (that is division;[1] "for in his days the earth was divided") corroborates this idea in a singular manner. The word rendered "division," signifying, according to good authorities, a physical, and not a political division or separation; for proofs of which you may be referred to the ingenious work of Dr. M'Cul-

  1. See Genesis x. 25.