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with those who are sceptical on scriptural subjects, because. Here we have it distinctly announced by the voice of the such persons are too often unsettled in their belief of the Almighty, that he was not only to destroy mankind from of omnipotence of a Creator. To such, therefore, it were almost the earth, which would have implied the earth remaining as useless to observe, that a being who could cause a deluge, at first, to become the habitation of a postdiluvian race: but and re-arrange a dry land, in the diversified, adn as it were, ac- they were to be destroyed TOGETHER WITH THE EARTH on cidental forms we now find it, could, in ways apparently as which they dwelt. It is also afterwards declared by the Alaccidental, spread abroad the human beings which were to mighty, in establishing a covenant with mankind.
* And I people it. But to such persons, perhaps, the remarkable fact will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh of the universal tradition of the deluge, from which only a be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; NEITHER shall few persons were saved, is more convincing than the most there any more be a flood to DESTROY THE EARTH.”* The latconclusive abstract reasoning: and the more especially when ter part of this sentence would have been altogether unnecesthese traditions are found to exist even amongst those very sary, were we not given to understand by it, that the earth, or isolated nations, the descent of which, from Noah, appeared dry land, of the antediluvian world, had then been destroyed, so problematical. If we add to this tradition, the strong coin- as well as its wicked inhabitants. cidence in the languages of all nations, which we shall have A very close critical inquiry has been instituted by Mr. occasion to remark upon in a subsequent chapter, the mind Granville Penn, into the various translations of the original of that man must be of a singular character, which can retain text on this part of Scripture; and he proves, beyond dispute, a doubt of the truth of the inspired history on the subject of that the original, in these passages, has never had the deluge. There are, however, so many instances which interpretation, or translation, than that adopted in our English may be produced, from the voyages of navigators, of sava- version; implying the destruction of the earth, as well as “ of ges in their canoes being drifted out to sea, and carried by all flesh that moved upon it.” This estimable writer has not winds or currents to great distances, that no reasonable ob-confined his Scriptural inquiries to the Mosaic history alone; jection can be raised to the spread of population, even in this but has most ably drawn from other inspired sources, what accidental manner. Mr. Mariner, and Captain Dillon, in were the received opinions respecting the deluge, throughout their accounts of the South Sea Islands, furnish us with ma- the whole period of Jewish history, down to the times of the ny instances of such accidents.
apostles. He brings forward that very remarkable passage, “When we thus meet with some traditions of a deluge in from the 20 Epistle of St. Peter, 3d chapter, 6 and 9 verses, almost every country, though the persons saved from it are“ whereby the world, that then was, being over flowed with said, in those various accounts, to have resided in districts water, PERISHED; but the heaven, and the Earth, WHICH ARE widely separated from each other, we are constrained to admit, now, by the same word of God,) are kept in store, reserved for that so general a concurrence of belief could never have ori- fire, against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly ginated merely by accident. While the mind is in this situa- men.”+ Mr. Penn also quotes a passage from the Book of tion, scripture comes forward; and presenting a narrative more Job, in which the friend of Job, reasoning with him, says, simple, better concocted, and bearing an infinitely greater re- Hast though remarked the old way which wicked men have semblance to authentic history than any of these mythological trodden; who were cut down out of time; whose foundation accounts, which occur in the traditions of Paganism, it im- was over flowed with a flood ;" which passage the Greek intermediately flashes a conviction on the mind, that this must be preters render yet more decidedly, "their foundations are bethe true history of those remarkable facts, which other nations come an overflowing flood,” and Michaelis interprets it, A have handed down to us only through the medium of alle-flood OBLITERATED their foundations." gory and fable. By the evidence adduced from so many In the very curious and interesting work, called the book quarters, the moral certainty of the Mosaic history of the of Enoch, referred to by St. Jude, v. 14, which had long flood appears to be established on a basis sufficiently firm to been looked upon as lost, but which was at length discoverbid defiance to the cavils of scepticism. Let the ingenuity of ed in the Ethiopic language by Bruce, in Abyssinia, who unbelief first_account satisfactorily for this universal agree-brought home three manuscript copies of it, one of which ment of the Pagan world, and she may then, with a greater was presented to the Royal Library at Paris, a second, to the degree of plausibility, impeach the truth of the Scripture Bodleian Library at Oxford, and the third, retained by himnarrative of the deluge."-Edin. Encyclop. Deluge. self; we find a very remarkable corroborative testimony to
The moral certainty we thus attain of the Mosaic deluge it- the above view of the subject of the deluge. In quoting, from self, may be, with equal force, extended to the preservation this apocryphal book, it is not necessary, in this place, to enof Noah, and those with him in the ark, as the only living ter into the question of its actually being, what its title probeings preserved from this, otherwise universal, destruction; fesses it to be, a prophetic work of the antediluvian Enoch. and thus, from every hand, may be drawn additional eviden- This point has been clearly settled by Dr. Laurence, to whom ces to confirm our confidence in the unerring truth of the we are indebted for an English translation of the copy in the inspired writings.
Bodleian Library. But, although, in the opinion of the The Mosaic narrative of the deluge is as full and circum- learned translator, this original Hebrew, or Chaldee work, stantial as we could almost desire; but, like many other most was composed subsequent to the Babylonish captivity, it interesting points in Scripture, its very simplicity occasions must be admitted to be a very interesting and curious piece of our not giving it that attention which it so well merits; and antiquity, though not worthy of a place among the canonical there is, perhaps, no subject on which the general ideas of books of Scripture. mankind are so erroneous.
The passage I am about to quote, however, will serve to The most common notion entertained of this catastrophe, show the prevailing opinion on the subject of the deluge in is, that by some means, incomprehensible to us, the sea rose upon the dry land to the height of the highest mountains; and Genesis, ix. 11. after destroying every living thing, excepting those whom it extended with much effect ; for he seems, in this part of his general
+ This passage, from the inspired apostle, might, perhaps, be pleased God to spare, the waters gradually retired to their epistle to the new Christian church, prophetically to describe some hidden retreats, leaving the same dry land that had before of the opinions now held by modern philosophy. been inhabited, though variously changed, in its actual sur- This second Epistle, beloved, I now write unto you ; in both face, by the wreck and ruin with which it remained charged. which (Epistles) I stír up your pure minds by way of remembrance : It would be difficult to say from what source this errone
“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spokeh beous idea of the deluge has first arisen ; the mode by which fore by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the this fatal event was brought about by the councils of the Al- apostles of the Lord and Saviour : knowing this first, that there shall
come, in the last days, scoffers, walking after their own lusts : mighty, has not indeed been given us by the inspired historian;
“ And saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since but the clearness of the recital, together with the effects, the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the bewhich we now every where find to corroborate it, can leave ginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that, no doubt in an unprejudiced mind, that the above mentioned by the word of God, the heavens were of old, and the earth standcommon opinion is altogether false, and has given rise to ing out of the waters, and in the
waters : many of the equally false doctrines and theories of the cha- being overflowed with waters, perished.
Whereby”(viz. by the word of God,)“ the world that then was, otic geology:
“But the heavens, and the earth, which now are, by the same In the Mosaic record we are told, “And God said unto word (of God) are kept in store, reserved unto fire, against the day Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men. filled with violence through them (mankind), and behold, I “But, beloved, he not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is, will destroy them, TOGETHER WITH THE EARTH."*
with the Lord, as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”-Second Epistle of Peter, iji, 1, &c.
This short passage contains lessons in philosophy, as well as in Genesis, vi. 13.
Imorality, which we should do well most seriously to consider.
the times of the author of it, and is quite consistent with were, locked up from common use, and reserved for one the passage in St. Peter's Epistle, and with the above passage especial occasion. Besides this objection of the reason, we in the book of Job.
have also one fact : for when we come to measure the depths In the 82d chapter of the book of Enoch, and the 5th of the sea, and the quantity of water existing on our whole verse, we find the writer prophetically describing the destruc- planet, by the great and only true scale before mentioned ;* tion of the earth, that then was," in the following manner: and when we find its medium depths, all over the earth, not
“ And falling to the earth, I saw likewise the earth ABSORBED to exceed, comparatively, a thin coat of varnish on a common BY A GREAT abyss, and mountains suspended over mountains, artificial globe; we shall at once perceive how utterly unhills were sinking upon hills, lofty trees were gliding off from necessary it would be to demand so great a quantity of water their trunks, and were in the act of being projected, and of as a hollow earth would contain, for the sole purpose of efSINKING INTO THE ABYSS.
fecting so diminutive an end.f No. The ends of the Al“ Being alarmed at these things, my voice faltered. I cried mighty are brought about by much more simple means; and and said, "THE EARTH IS DESTROYED! Then, my grandfather, when we are informed by the inspired record, that not only Malalel, raised me up, and said to me, Why dost thou thus the inhabitants of the first “dry land," but also that “ dry cry out, my son ? And wherefore dost thou thus lament? land" itself was to be destroyed, we can, without any strain
“ I related to him the whole vision which I had seen. He upon our reason, and in perfect accordance with surrounding said to me, confirmed is that which thou has seen, my son: physical facts, imagine the same great Being by whose power
“And potent the vision of thy dream respecting every se- the waters were at first gathered together, issuing his second cret sin of the earth. ITS SUBSTANCE SHALL SINK INTO THE mandate for the execution of this terrible decree, and saying, ABYSS, and a great destruction take place.
"Let the level of the dry land be lowered, and let the founda“ Now, my son, rise up; and beseech the Lord of Glory, tions of the great deep be broken up: and it was so." (for thou are faithful,) that a remnant may be left upon the But if we insist on discovering or inventing a mode by which earth, and that he would not wholly destroy it. My son, all the Almighty caused this destructive interchange of sea and this calamity upon earth comes down from heaven, upon land to take place, we shall find ourselves in the same inexcarth shall there be a great destruction.".
tricable difficulties as when endeavouring to account for the In another part of the book, purporting to be Noah's vision mode of first formations by secondary causes. We must make of the deluge, we find the following, to the same effect: “On our reason bend to the inscrutable ways of the Omnipotent, account of their impiety have their innumerable judgments and submit, with whatever rebellious reluctance, to the great been consummated before me. Respecting the moons have truth every where impressed upon us, that “the ways of God they inquired, and they have known that the EarTH WILL are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts." All PERISH, with those who dwell upon it, and that to these there our reasoning must end in this point, that the deluge, like will be no place of refuge for ever.”—Chap. lxiv. v. 9. the creation, was a preternatural event, which could by no
These passages, from such authorities, decidedly show, means be brought about but by preternatural means ; and conthat the destruction of “the earth thut THEN was,” formed a sequently, that we should in vain search for a cause in the part of the effects of that awful judgment; and the phenomena mere laws of nature. presented to our view over the whole “ earth that now 18," establish the truth of the historical record in a manner the most conclusive. We have thus given us most important data on which to form a judgment of the mode by which this great event was brought about; but, as the mere laws of nature will be found utterly incompetent to it; and as the
CHAPTER VII. deluge was evidently an operation as completely preternatural, as either the creation itself, or the gathering together of Mosaic Account of the Deluge.— The Mountains of Ararat.the waters of the ocean, we must come to the same conclu- Origin of that remarkable Name.—Effects during the Desion with regard to it which we have already done with luge.--Action of the Tides and the Currents during the Deregard to these events, viz. that it was in the power of God luge.— Their Effects upon Organic Bodies.—Diluvial Strata. alone to bring it about.
-- Abatement of the Waters.--Renewal of the Face of the Many disputes have arisen, and theories been formed, Earth. among philosophers, respecting the mode by which a deluge might have been brought about by natural causes; but, like. Having thus, by a variety of evidence, convinced ourselves the theories of first formations, they lead the mind, at every that a universal deluge took place upon our earth, from which step, into obscurity and contradiction. Some have supposed but one family of human beings was saved by the mercy of the earth to be hollow, and to contain water, which, issuing the Almighty;t and that, in this deluge, not only the antediout by some incomprehensible means, deluged the earth, and luvian race, but the antediluvian earth or dry land on which again retired to its hidden abode. Others have supposed they dwelt, was destroyed, we can be at no great distance that by a great earthquake, a heaving up of the superincum- from the truth, if we suppose, though it is no where stated bent mass of one portion of the earth might have raised the in direct terms, that the deluge was effected by the interwaters of the ocean, so as to form one vast wave on the sur-change of level between the former sea and land, or, in other face, which swept over the remaining parts of the earth. In words, that either the bed of the former sea was gradually supporting this theory it is truly stated, that during partial elevated, or “ broken up;” or that the first land was gradually earthquakes, an agitation of the sea, somewhat similar, takes depressed beneath the level of the waters ; *or, perhaps, by a place, the effects of which have often been most destructive combination of both; in either of which cases, the effects in low countries. But this theory implies one sweeping con- would be exactly such as are described in the Mosaic record. vulsion which could have lasted but a short time, and been Let us now consider this record itself. but partial in its effects; whereas, both history, supported by “And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corthe traditions of the most obscure nations, and physical facts, rupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. tend to convince us that the deluge must have lasted some And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before considerable time, and been universal in its destructive effects. me; for the earth is filled with violence through them (men);
As to the theory of the cavous nature of the globe, in order and behold I will destroy them, with the earth.” “Behold to contain water for the purpose of one particular deluge of a I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy few months duration, we have, amongst other powerful ob- all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; jections, this especial one; that such an arrangement would be in contradiction to all the general laws of the Creator, in * Chapter i, page 57, note. the study of which we perceive an economy of means, if I
+ Would not a hollow glass globe, of one foot in diameter, conmay use the expression, which is most remarkable. The tain infinitely more water than would be necessary slightly to moisten means employed for any end are never greater than are abso- its exterior surface? lutely necessary to attain that end ; and thence the just balance upon as one of the most remarkable instances of divine wisdom and
The preservation of one family, at the deluge, may be looked which we so much admire throughout the creation. When providence: for there could have been no greater difficulty to the the mandate was issued, on the third day of the creation, Almighty power, in forming, in this instance, an entirely new crea“Let the waters be gathered together unto one place, and tion, than in doing so in the beginning of the world. But if all let the dry land appear,” which a gathering together of the mankind had perished, a new race could
not have been so deeply waters God called sea,” we have not a vestige of ground impressed with the terror of this
great event, as we now find the for supposing that there was any supcrabundance in the
primi- its having happened, unsupported by tradition and facts, the recital tive creation of wuter; nor that any portion of it was, as it would be found to make but a slight impression upon our minds.
and every thing that is in the earth shall die." * And, injing to the Jewish nation, many years after the event, and the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, when the continent of Asia had become perfectly well known, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the and thickly peopled, the circumstances of the destruction of fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of the former world by means of the flood; and he relates, that heaven were opened." And it came to pass, after seven on the subsiding of the waters, the ark, with its inhabitants, days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth.” |grounded on one of the points of a ridge of mountains, which “And the same day were all the fountains of the great deep was, from henceforth, to be remarkable amongst the inhabitbroken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."ants of the east, and to which those saved from the deluge "And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty gave the expressive name of Ararut, or the cuRSE OF TREMBnights.” “And the waters prevailed, and were increased Ling (which is the meaning of the Hebrew word), that the greatly upon the earth, and the ark went upon the face of the memory of the dreadful event from which they had just waters."
“ And all the high hills, that were under the whole escaped might be handed down as long as the mountain was heaven, were covered." “ Fifteen cubits upwards (above in being, on which they had been saved. We may also come the highest hills) did the waters prevail, and the mountains to the same conclusion when we consider the improbability were covered.” “And the waters prevailed upon the earth of the ark floating quietly for nearly a year on the surface of an hundred and fifty days.” At length, “God made a wind an ocean as much effected by winds and tides as our present to pass over the earth ; and the waters assuaged. The seas, being stranded in the immediate neighbourhood of the fountains also of the deep, and the windows of heaven were place whence it is generally, but erroneously, supposed to stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the have been first borne up by the waters : and, also, the equally waters returned from off the earth continually; and after the improbable circumstance of any mountain of the old world end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. bearing such a title as the curse of trembling, previous to any And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth event likely to call forth so remarkable a name. We must day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. And the not forget, besides, that even those who support the idea of waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the our now inhabiting the antediluvian earth, admit that the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of effects of the deluge were such as would probably prevent the mountains seen. And it came to pass at the end of forty the recognition by those in the ark, of any part of the former days, that Noah opened the window of the ark, which he had countries they had known, as the surface must have been made. And he sent forth a raven, which went forth, to and every where loaded with diluvial soils of very great depth. fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also
All these reasons, taken collectively, and supporting the he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were positive sentence of destruction passed upon “the earth that abated from of the face of the ground. But the dove found then was,” leave no room to doubt as to the mode by which no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into this sentence was put in execution. We may, therefore, the ark; for the waters were on the face of the whole earth : conclude, that when the time was come, when this great then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in revolution was to happen, the dry land began gradually unto him, into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days, and insensibly to sink, or the surface of the bed of the and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove former ocean as gradually to rise; the whole accompanied came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an with such a convulsion of the elements, such torrents of olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were rain, and, probably, such peals of thunder, as would be calabated from off the earth ; and he staid yet other seven days, culated not only
to make a lasting impression upon the and sent forth the dove, which returned not again unto him minds of those who escaped ; but to render the punishment any more."
"And Noah removed the covering of the ark, of those who suffered from this Curse of Trembling the most and looked, and behold the face of the ground was dry. And awful and heart-rending that the mind of man can conceive !* in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the The living creatures upon the earth, of every kind, must month, was the earth dried."'*
then have been gradually swept from the elevations on which Thus the whole duration of this dreadful event was one they would naturally seek safety: and at the end of forty year and ten days; or from the seventeenth day of the second days the whole globe became again overspread with the month of one year, until the twenty-seventh day of the second same thin coat of water, from the effects of which it was month of the next year.
" invisible” on the first and second days of the creation. Now, in the whole of this narrative, we find no one cir
“ Jamque mare et tellus nullum discrimen habebat ; cumstance to lead us to a supposition, that the same earth, or Omnia pontus erant ; deerant quoque littora ponto.” dry land, existed after the flood, as had been inhabited previous to that event; or to contradict the united evidence of the For 150 days, or for about five months, this universal declaration of the intention of God to destroy the earth, and of the physical facts with which we are now surrounded, on the description of Mount Parnassus, by Ovid, should bear so close every part of the present dry land. An erroneous idea is, a resemblance to this account of Ararat: however, very general with respect to the mountains of Ara- “Mons ibi verticibus petit ardcus astra duobus rut," which are commonly considered as having been moun- Nomine Parnassus, superatque cacumine nubes.” tains on the old earth, and known to Noah. There can be no one reason given from the narrative for this opinion, and masses of free stone. Nothing is to be seen growing upon it but
The surface of the lower part is composed of loose sand, or large there are many of the most decided character to lead us to some juniper and goat's thorn. The whole mountain is described an opposite conclusion.f The inspired historian is describ- by travellers as having a gloomy and disagreeable aspect.—Tourne
fort, Tavernier, &c. “ According to the account given by Moses, the ark was 300 * We may apply to this subject the sublime expressions of the Incubits long, 50 broad and 30 high ; but the length of this cubit has spired Psalmist, when alluding to the miraculous preservation of given rise to much argument and conjecture. Some have supposed the children of Israel, pursued by the Egyptians; and it is even it to be nine feet, and others three ; but the opinions most worthy of probable, that he had also in view the very event we are now connotice are, 1st, That of Bishop Cumberland, who considered the templating. Hebrew cubit as about 22 inches, which would make the ark 550
“The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were feet long, 91 broad and 55 high. 211, That of the learned Park- afraid : the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out hurst, who computes the cubit at something less that 18 inches, water : the skies sent out a sound : thine arrows also went abroad. which makes the ark 450 feet long, 75 broad and 45 high. Even The voice of thy thunder was in heaven: the lightenings lightened upon the smallest estimate of this cubic measure, the competency of the world ; the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the
sca, the ark, for the purpose assigned to it, has been satisfactorily proved and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.” by different writers; but, especially, by the ingenious Bishop Wil
--Psalm lxxvii. kins, who has established the point with a clearness and exaetness
In the 104th Psalm, we find what may be considered a more dialmost amounting to demonstration, and rather found too much than rect allusion to the creation, and to the period of the Deluge, in too little room. Thus does this seeming difficulty, like many others the following sublime passage. connected with scripture history, the more closely it is investigated,
“Who laid the foundations of the carth, that it should not be furnish an evidence, instead of an objection, to the truth of revealed removed for ever. religion."-Edin. Encyclop. Ark.
“ Thou coveredst it with the deep, as with a garment : the waters Jerom places Mount Ararat towards the middle of Armenia, near stood above the mountains. the river Araxes, or Aras, about 280 miles north-east of Al Judi, and “At Thy rebuke they fled ; at the voice of Thy thunders they 12 leagues south-east of Erivan. It is detached from the other hasted away. mountains in its neighbourhood, and stands in the midst of a very “ They go up by the mountains ; they go down by the valleys extensive plain. It is in the form of a sugar-loaf, and has two dis- unto the place which Thou bast founded for them. tinct summits, the largest of which is perpetually covered with snow,
“ Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they and may be seen at a great distance. "It is not a little singular, that turn not AGAIN to cover the earth.”
aqueous covering remained nearly stationary ; and it is from and derangement in the horizontal stratifications of some of this long continuance of the waters upon the earth, that we the secondary formations which we have hitherto speculated can account, in a satisfactory manner, for many of the strati- upon in darkness, and in error: and that we should consefied appearances in the upper beds, which we had before quently find them, when fully exposed to our view, in a remarked in the lower secondary formations. We feel highly inclined, and sometimes even in a vertical posiquite assured, that though, by this great revolution, the face tion.* of all things upon the earth's surface was to become changed, Let us imagine to ourselves the whole vegetable kingdors yet the planet still retained its regular position and place in of the earth deposited at various depths, and more or less the solar system, and must, consequently, have continued to covered up by the sandy or other sediments of the deluge. be affected, as it was at other times, by the influences of the We look in vain to the most terrific catastrophes of our own sun and of the moon. The action of the tides and of the times, to give us a faint idea of the scene which the earth currents, which we have before considered, must now have must now have presented. Those who have witnessed the had a most powerful influence both during the rise, the con- raging of a hurricane on the ocean, many leagues distant tinuance, and the abatement of the waters. The surface of from any land, can perhaps best form a conception of this the all-prevailing ocean must now have been covered with watery waste, unsheltered by any shore. the wreck and ruin of the animal and vegetable world, floated The tossing of a tall ship, at the mercy of a raging sea, off in various directions, according to the currents, and the may best represent the manner in which the floating masses eddies, which must have every where prevailed. The soils must have been precipitated on the yielding shoals. For of the old earth, loosened by the moisture, must now have they that go down to the sea in ships, and do business in become suspended in the turbid waters, and been deposited the great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and in the bed of the ocean as at other times, only in unusual his wonders in the deep.”. quantity.* Dead bodies of every description, swelled up by. At length it was permitted to the elements, by the Great corruption, must now have followed the courses of the cur- Ruler of the storm, to resume their wonted order and regurents, and floated or sunk, according to the state they hap- larity. pened to be in. Those of the larger animals more especially, would long continue floating on the waves, like strong blad
“Surgit humus, crescunt loca decrescentibus undis.” ders filled with mephetic vapours, and be hurried far from their natural climates, to excite the wonder and speculation depth, was there arrested ; and means were thus afforded to
The new bed of the ocean, when sunk to the necessary of succeeding generations.
At length the waters are permitted to subside ; the full the new dry land, of becoming gradually drained of its superpurpose of the Almighty has been accomplished. T'he earth abundant moisture. The order of the world was to be reinand its inhabitants have been destroyed; and the waters are
stated, and the command was given to Noah' to quit the again to be “gathered unto one place,”
to let the dry land" ark, and to lead out with him his family, and every living once more “appear.” What a scene now presents itself to
creature that had been with him in the ark, that they might the mind's eye! for no human eye could look upon it; even
“ breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful and multiply Noah himself could form no distinct idea of the state of the upon the earth.” “And God said, I will not again smite new earth, but by sending out one of his feathered family, every living thing, as I have done ; but while the earth remainwho he knew would return to him, if " she found no rest for cth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer the sole of her foot.” Week after week passed with those
and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.” occasional experiments, long after the ark had been finally how the new world became again replenished with verdure,
It seems scarcely necessary here to raise a question as to lodged upon the heights of Ararat. It is now left to our and adorned with a renewal of all those riches which the imagination to conceive effects which, though not described, must have naturally followed such powerful causes. As the
deluge must have so completely destroyed; because all who waters gradually subsided into their new bed, the dry land, the Almighty, at the first creation, must be satisfied that,
are deeply impressed with the effects produced by the fiat of which was now to come for the first time into the light of day, must have presented a most singular appearance. We though no direct mention is made of a new creation
of vegemust keep in mind, that as the bed of the first ocean had
table substances after the deluge, it must have been both as become charged with the stratified debris of upwards of necessary, and as easy an operation, as in the beginning. sixteen centuries, deposited upon it by the laws of gravita
The vegetable world must have been completely obliterated at tion and of the currents, the surface of this bed, when raised the deluge, even supposing that the old earth had merely above the new level of the waters, must have been soft, and suffered from a passing event: but when we find that the still saturated with the moisture of the slowly retiring seas, first time, in the light of the sun, and that it must have been
new earth which we now inhabit, appeared then, for the As the waters became more and more shallow, they would act with the more violent effect upon the soft and muddy had ever grown, we shall be forced to the conclusion which
composed of moist soils, on which no vegetable production plains over which the tides, the currents, and the winds, must now have swept with irresistible force. As point after point evidence; and that is, that the creative power must have
is most consistent with reason, in the absence of historical upon the new and soft earth became liberated from their sway, the various floating bodies, whether animal or vege, indeed, find it necessary to stop at a new vegetable world;
been again exercised upon this occasion.
Nor shall we, table, would be scattered on the surface, or deeply embedded for there are many reasons for extending this conclusion also in the yielding mud or sand by the violence of the waves. Other mixed masses of organic remains, brought into one
to the animal world, though, probably, on a less extended place in an indiscriminate heap, by the eddies of the waters, of history, as to a great variety of animals having been
scale, as we have the positive evidence both of tradition and would now be covered up by these new secondary formations, of mud, or gravel, which formations would be of very con
saved in the ark, together with Noah and his family. It siderable depth, from the enormous quantities of materials appears more than probable, however, that we ought to conthus furnished in a preternatural way. It is also highly
sider the strong expression used in the record, of every probable that many submarine volcanic districts would now
living thing of all flesh,” in the same sense as we find it in become exposed, and also that even volcanic action was not
various other parts of Scripture ; and, indeed, as such exwanting to complete the terrors of this curse of trembling.
pressions are often used in our own, and in other languages, In whatever manner the Almighty thought fit to bring about this elevation of the bed of the antediluvian sea, it is to be * All such derangements of the stratifications of the surface of supposed that the “ breaking up” of the fountains, or foun- the earth, must not, however, be attributed to this cause, for there dations, of the great deep must have occasioned that elevation can be no doubt, that in the upper strata occasioned by the delage, that is, not as literally meaning every created being over the whole globe, but merely a great number.
and left by the waters in a very moist state, the derangements of
their level must be accounted for in the very natural way of subsi* In a former note, referring to the lately published work of Mr. dence in the course of dessication. Lyell, (see page 65), we had occasion to observe the wonderful + We are enabled to form some idea of the floating or sinking effects of rivers, in transporting materials for the formation of masses of matted vegetable productions, from the accounts given secondary strata in the bed of the sea. The account given in that us of the floating islands of timber, in some of the American lakes: note, of the mud of the Ganges, in its daily course, will serve to these are often several miles in lengtb, and of very considerable give us some faint idea of the turbid state of the whole ocean, at breadth and depth, rising or falling with the water, and covered this eventful period : and the sediments deposited by this catastro- with vegetation. In the deluge, when the soils of the forests bephe, added to the secondary formations in the antediluvian sea, came saturated with moisture, the whole vegetable mass would formed in the space of 1650 years, will produce a much more con- naturally rise to the surface, bound together by the roots and sistent result than can possibly be extracted from the theories of branches, and be floated off by whatever current happened to pregeology, which give an unlimited time to the age of the world. vail in their immediate neighhourhood.
CHAPTER VIII. Michaelis* remarks, “the Jews have well observed that the expression all, every, is not to be understood, on all occa- General View of the existing Surface.--Force of the Waves.sions, with the mathematical sense of all; because it is also Principles of Stratification.—Cavous Limestone.—Gibraltar. used to signify many. Thus, in Isaiah xxiv. 10, were we - The Plains of the Earth.-Of South America.-Of Africa. read every house is shut up,' Kimchi most truly observes, -Of Asia.–Of Europe. - Result of this View.-Chalk Bathough he says every house, he only means many; as it is sins.--That of Paris, a Guide to all similar Basins.--Salt said, all countries came into Egypt. And if we reflect upon Deposits.-Coal Formations.-Evidences of Coul being a our own native tongues, we shall find that we often use the Marine, and not a Lacustrine Formation. term all for many, or most. We have also a remarkable example of this strong mode of speech in 1 Kings, xviii. 10,
Thus have we followed, in as concise a manner as the where Obadiah affirms thus forcibly and solemnly to Elijah: subject will admit of, the traditions as well as the history of • As the Lord thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, this awful event, both supported by the corroborative eviwhither my lord hath not sent to seek thee :' which affirma-dence of numerous physical facts in all parts of the world : tion, though universal in its terms, was evidently not design- and we cannot doubt its having been the intention of the ed to be universal in its signification; and innumerable Almighty, that the memory of so signal a judgment should instances of the same mode of speech occur in the Sacred be for ever deeply imprinted on the human mind, even in Writings.”+
the most distant and isolated corners of the earth. But we We have some reason to doubt, from the fossil remains of should not be doing justice to so interesting a subject, if we animals now discovered, which have not yet been found alive left it, without taking a general view of the present surface upon the present earth, whether every living creature was in- of the habitable globe, and further tracing, as we shall every cluded in this strong expression : and though, from the remark- where be able to do, the lasting monuments of it, so univerable circumstance of the similarity of all languages in certain sally presented to our consideration. commom expressions, and in the universal tradition of the When we consider, then, the state of the earth, as it now deluge found amongst the most distant and savage nations, is, we find it divided into sea and land; but so unequally, we feel assured that the whole existing race of mun on the that the ocean occupies about three-fifths of the whole surwhole earth, has sprung from Noah and his family ; we face; and if a meridian line be taken to divide the earth have no evidence to lead us to the same conclusion with equally, we shall find the proportions of land and water, on respect to quadrupeds, or birds found in such isolated coun- the opposite sides, strikingly different: there being a great tries as New Holland, where the species so entirely differ preponderance of water on the southern, and of land in the from every kind known on other parts of the earth. With northern hemisphere.* respect, also, to the lower classes of animated beings, includ- On viewing, on the great scale, the general condition of ing reptiles, insects, and animalcula, to which latter there this land, we find by far the greater portion of it but little seems no bound in the creation, we feel inclined to believe elevated above the level of the ocean : so little, indeed, that that a new creative power was exercised after the deluge; it may be safely said that nine-tenths of the whole would be and we may, in this instance, say with the inspired Psalm-again submerged, either by a rise in the level of the waters ist, “ He took away their breath, and they died, and returned of a very few hundred feet, or by a depression of the land to to their dust: He sent forth His Spirit, and they were a similar trifling extent. There is, perhaps, no portion of created, and He renewed the face of the earth.”
the whole extent of the plains of the earth, where the primiIt may, perhaps, here be asked, What reason can be as- live surface of the globe can be seen. Nor can it even be signed for the slow and gradual course of this awful judg-reached by mining, without a deep section of various secondment; since, if the first formation of the bed of the sea were ary formations. Even the most elevated plains, and many an instantaneous operation, the destruction of the earth by a mountains of very considerable height, are either entirely deluge could, and probably would, be equally rapid. But formed of, or heavily loaded with, strata of secondary rocks. various good and sufficient reasons may be given, for a gra- It is, generally, only on the tops of the most elevated moundual, rather than an instantaneous, operation, in the case oftain ridges, where the primitive formations of the earth are the deluge. And, first, we must consider, that, by this me-found in mass. But the lower portions of even the highest thod, the great moral impression which was intended to be mountains, bear unequivocal marks of their having once made upon the family of Noah, and upon all succeeding gene- formed the bed of the sea: and fossil sea shells have been found rations, would be much more effectual, by the long continu- upon the Andes, at an elevation of 14,000 feet above the ance of their terror, than if they had been stunned, and, as present level of the ocean. Whole ridges, however, of very it were, thunderstruck, by a dreadful, but rapid calamity. considerable height, are found to be entirely formed of these Again, we must remember, that as the All-Wise Ruler of the secondary formations; and so full of fossil shells, that no Universe had ulterior views for the welfare of his human doubt can be entertained of their present site having once creatures, a gradual operation acting upon what was to be formed the bottom of the sea. the new earth, would render it better fitted for a habitation The ridge of the Jura mountains, to the south-west of the for mankind, than if the bed of the sea, with its soft sedi- Alpine range of Switzerland, is one of the most remarkable ments, had, by one violent convulsive throe, been elevated and best known of these secondary formations. This ridge above the surface, and thus left dry, in the most deranged rises from 3 to 4000 feet above the level of the Swiss plain; and ruinous condition. Besides, any such sudden convulsion and its length is nearly one hundred leagues, being from must have caused so violent an agitation, that the natural eighteen to twenty in breadth. means of preservation prescribed to Noah, by the Almighty
It is almost entirely composed of compact limestone, in himself, must have been overpowered by the preternatural strata which alternate with beds of clay and shelly marl ; vortex into which the vessel would have been plunged.
and the stratification is so much inclined, that it presents a Thus, although we can in no way account for the deluge, most interesting example and proof of a raising or depressbut by supernatural agency, yet the command given to Noah ing power having been in force, subsequent to the nearly horito make use of so common a means of safety as a floating zontal stratification which must at all times take place from tessel, shows us that it was the intention of God to allow a deposition in water. There is, also, to be found on this natural means, or the laws of nature, to take their course, secondary ridge a remarkable proof of a great mechanical after the first impulse had been given by his preternatural power having been exerted, such as the deluge was perhaps decree. I
alone capable of. Innumerable masses of primitive rock are found scattered on the surface, even at a height of 2500
feet. These masses, so far detached from their parent rock * Michaelis was a celebrated German theologian and biblical eritie, who died in 1791. The extensive knowledge which he had found on almost all the alluvial plains of Switzerland), have
on the Alpine summits, (and similar masses of granite are aequired in biblical philology, as well as in every department of learning connected with the study of the Scriptures, enabled him given rise to much difficulty, and various theories among to form very accurate notions on the original institutions and language of the Hebrews. He was professor of Hebrew, Arabic, and animal world, with the existence of which we were before unacSyriac, in the University of Gottingen.
quainted. + Comp. Estim. ii. p. 214.
* We shall have a future opportunity of remarking the difference The experience of every year ought to teach us caution in com- of temperature between the Southern and Northern Polar regions, ing to any determined conclusion with respect to extinct races of which difference may, probably, be accounted for by the great preanimals. A great portion of the earth still remains unexplored, ponderance of land in the one, and of water in the other hemisand every year makes us acquainted with some new thing in the phere.