Page:The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious.djvu/25

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sons, are usually the preparatory forerunners of earthquakes." From all these considerations I conclude; earthquakes are not caus'd by subterraneous vapors.

II. We are to inquire, what is the cause of earthquakes.

In an age when electricity has been so much our entertainment, and our amazement; when we are become so well acquainted with its stupendous powers and properties, its velocity, and instantaneous operation through any given distance; when we see, upon a touch, or an approach, between a non-electric and an electrified body, what a wonderful vibration is produced! what a snap it gives! how an innocuous flame breaks forth! how violent a shock! Is it to be wonder'd at, that hither we turn our thoughts, for the solution of the prodigious appearance of an earthquake?

Here is at once an assemblage of all those properties and circumstances which we so often see in courses of electricity. Electricity may be call'd a sort of soul to matter, thought to be an ethereal fire pervading all things, and acting instantaneously, where, and as far as it is excited. 'Tis every body's observation, that there never was a winter, like the last past, in any one's memory, so extremely remarkable for warmth and driness, abounding with thunder and lightning,