Page:The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious.djvu/16

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The Philosophy of

air; as vulcano's, and coal-pits, when set on fire. But even from these coal-pits, when fired, do we ever find any thing like an earthquake produced. Nor do we find earthquakes frequent in those countries, that abound with coal-mines, as certainly would be the case, if that hypothesis was just. How easy would it be, on the slightest occasion for earthquakes to happen in the countries abounding with coal-mines, which are so full of artificial cavities communicating with one another, for many miles together: The very thing supposed, by those who hold the old opinion, of vapours traversing the earth for that purpose.

In the coal-pits, some small natural cavities now and then are found; which when opened, send forth a pestiferous vapour, and a fire-damp which runs for a long time together. And tho' there are many substances that may generate air, within the bowels of the earth; yet these matters are infinitely unable to produce an earthquake: Never would have force to open a passage for themselves thro' the solid rock, of perhaps many hundred feet in thickness. Nor did we observe in these last earthquakes any fire, vapour, smoke, or smell, any kind of eruption, in the least; as must certainly have been, in so great a struggle of the superfice, as affected a circle of so large a diameter. Were there such, we could scarce hope any otherwise, than that they would be