Page:The Philosophy of Earthquakes, Natural and Religious.djvu/29

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horrible uncouth noise, which we hear upon an earthquake; and the shock is the earthquake itself.

In the relation received from Portsmouth, and the Isle of Wight, concerning the last shock there, on the 18th of March, the writer observes, the Day was warm and serene; but, upon a gentle shower falling in the evening, the earthquake came. Here we have reason to apprehend the electrified state of the earth, and the touch of the non-electric: which caused the earthquake.

The learned Dr. Childrey observes, treating on this subject:, that earthquakes happen upon rain; a sudden shower of rain in the time of a great drought.

'Tis objected, that, if this was the case, nothing would be more frequent than earthquakes; but these two circumstances concurring, a shower and dry weather, must not necessarily cause it, any more than touching a tube before it is electrified causes a snap. The earth must be in a proper electrified state to produce it; and electricity has its fits; is remitted, intended, ceased and recommenced. It has its bounds. All causes must concur. And now, with us, all necessary causes did so apparently. Tho' a shower of rain falling upon the earth when electrified, may cause an earthquake, yet too much rain before, will prevent that state of electricity, necessary.