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up, fed and stimulated by the soil, through the agency of heat and moisture! It makes visible to the the life that is latent or held in suspense eye there in the cool, impassive ground. The acorn, the chestnut, the maple keys, have but to lie on the surface of the moist earth to feel its power and send down rootlets to meet it.

From one point of view, what a ruin the globe is! - worn and crumbled and effaced beyond recognition, had we known it in its youth. Where once towered mountains are now only their stumps -low, fertile hills or plains. Shake down your great city with its skyscrapers till most of its buildings are heaps of ruins with grass and herbage growing upon them, and you have a hint of what has happened to the earth.

Again, one cannot but reflect what a sucked orange the earth will be in the course of a few more centuries. Our civilization is terribly expensive to all its natural resources; one hundred years of modern life doubtless exhausts its stores more than a millennium of the life of antiquity. Its coal and oil will be about used up, all its mineral wealth greatly depleted, the fertility of its soil will have been washed into the sea through the drainage of its cities, its wild game will be nearly extinct, its primitive forests gone, and soon how nearly bankrupt the planet will be!

There is no better illustration of the way decay

and death play into the hands of life than the soil underfoot. The earth dies daily and has done so through countless ages. But life and youth spring forever from its decay; indeed, could not spring at all till the decay began. All the soil was once rock, perhaps many times rock, as the water that flows by may have been many times ice.

The soft, slow, aerial forces, how long and patiently they have worked! Oxygen has played its part in the way of oxidation and dioxidation of minerals. Carbon or carbonic acid has played its part, hydrogen has played its. Even granite yields slowly but surely to the action of rain-water. The sun is of course the great dynamo that runs the earth machinery and, through moisture and the air currents, reduces the rocks to soil. Without solar heat we should have no rain, and without rain we should have no soil. The decay of a mountain makes a hill of fertile fields. The soil, as we know it, is the product of three great processes-mechanical, chemical, and vital — which have been going on for untold ages. The mechanical we see in the friction of winds and waves and the grinding of glaciers, and in the destructive effects of heat and cold upon the rocks; the chemical in the solvent power of rain-water and of water charged with various acids and gases. The soil is rarely the color of the underlying rock from which it came, by reason of the action of the various gases of the atmosphere. Iron

is black, but when turned into rust by the oxygen of the air, it is red.

The vital processes that have contributed to the soil we see going on about us in the decay of animal and vegetable matter. It is this process that gives the humus to the soil, in fact, almost humanizes it, making it tender and full of sentiment and memories, as it were, so that it responds more quickly to our needs and to our culture. The elements of the soil remember all those forms of animal and vegetable life of which they once made a part, and they take them on again the more readily. Hence the quick action of wood ashes upon vegetable life. Iron and lime and phosphorus that have once been taken up by growing plants and trees seem to have acquired new properties, and are the more readily taken up again.

The soil, like mankind, profits by experience, and grows deep and mellow with age. Turn up the cruder subsoil to the sun and air and to vegetable life, and after a time its character is changed; it becomes more gentle and kindly and more fertile.

All things are alike or under the same laws the rocks, the soil, the soul of man, the trees in the forest, the stars in the sky. We have fertility, depth, geniality, in the ground underfoot, on the same terms upon which we have these things in human life and character.

We hardly realize how life itself has stored up

life in the soil, how the organic has wedded and blended with the inorganic in the ground we walk upon. Many if not all of the sedimentary rocks that were laid down in the abysms of the old ocean, out of which our soil has been produced, and that are being laid down now, out of which future soils will be produced, were and are largely of organic origin, the leavings of untold myriads of minute marine animals that lived millions of years ago. Our limestone rocks, thousands of feet thick in places, the decomposition of which furnishes some of our most fertile soils, are mainly of plant and animal origin. The chalk hills of England, so smooth and plump, so domestic and mutton-suggesting, as Huxley says, are the leavings of minute creatures called Globigerine, that lived and died in the ancient seas in the remote past. Other similar creatures, Radiolaria and diatoms, have played an equally important part in contributing the foundation of our soils. Diatom earth is found in places in Virginia forty feet thick. The coral insects have also contributed their share to the soil-making rocks. Our marl-beds, our phosphatic and carbonaceous rocks, are all largely of animal origin. So that much of our soil has lived and died many times, and has been charged more and more during the geologic ages or eternities with the potencies of life.

Indeed, Huxley, after examining the discoveries of the Challenger expedition, says there are good

grounds for the belief "that all the chief known constituents of the crust of the earth may have formed part of living bodies; that they may be the 'ash' of protoplasm."

This implies that life first appeared in the sea, and gave rise to untold myriads of minute organisms, that built themselves shells out of the mineral matter held in solution by the water. As these organisms perished, their shells fell to the bottom and formed the sedimentary rocks. In the course of ages these rocks were lifted up above the sea, and their decay and disintegration under the action of the elements formed our soil our clays, our marls, our green sand and out of this soil man himself is built up. I do not wonder that the Creator found the dust of the earth the right stuff to make Adam of. It was half man already. I can easily believe that his spirit was evoked from the same stuff, that it was latent there, and in due time, under the brooding warmth of the creative energy, awoke to life.

(If matter is eternal, as science leads us to believe, and creation and recreation a never-ending process, then the present world, with all its myriad forms of the organic and the inorganic, is only one of the infinite number of forms that matter must have assumed in past æons. The whole substance of the globe must have gone to the making of other globes such a number of times as no array of fig

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