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Genesis". The shells, and other marine bodies, deposited in the bowels and on the tops of the highest mountains all the world over, afford sufficient evidence, that the waters have been there. If any one can give a better account than Moses has done, when and how they came there, e'en let us have it. A learned and respectable person expresses his surprise, that the shell fish should transport themselves from the bed of the ocean, where they were much better accommodated, to so uncomfortable a situation as the summit of a barren mountain. Alas, worthy sir, it was no party of pleasure! Whenever they took the journey, depend upon it, it was-" "compulsion, Hal!"
Page 8.-"Neither can we easily persuade infidels "that the windows of heaven were opened, while they "know it has no windows."
They can know nothing of the matter, till they know the meaning of the phrase, and its usage in the Scriptures, where the heavens are said to be opened when it rains, and shut when rain is withholden, and the like. What is more common than such modes of expression are in all languages? Suppose, to describe an uncommon fall of rain, I should say, "The sluices of heaven were opened;"
y "Some are puzzled to find water enough to form an univer"sal deluge: to assist their endeavours it may be remarked, "that was it all precipitated which is dissolved in the air, it might probably be sufficient to cover the surface of the whole "earth to the depth of above thirty feet." WATSON's Chemical Essays, vol. iii. p. 87.
would it not be the height of absurdity to reply, that the sluices of heaven cannot be opened, because it has no sluices? Every body knows the expression to be metaphorical. But the truth is, that the original word does not signify windows, according to the modern idea, but rather clefts, fissures, passages: these were opened, the clouds were rent, as we say. The waters rising from beneath met the rains descending from above, and, uniting their forces, they deluged the world.
Page 7. "It (the flood) ceased not by annihilation "of the waters, but they were evaporated by a "wind."
There was no occasion for annihilating the waters. They returned to the place from whence they came. And as to the wind which God caused to pass over the earth, it was not intended merely to evaporate, but, like that which moved upon the chaos at the creation, to separate the waters from the earth, and carry them down to their former habitation. We have no adequate idea, perhaps, of this element the air, and of what mighty things it can effect, when employed in full force by its Creator.
Page 8. "It seems strange, that so vast an assemblage of animals could be enclosed in an ark, or "chest."
-But why, chest? The Hebrew word is used only for this ark of Noah, and that in which the child Moses was committed to the Nile; both hollow vessels, constructed to float upon the waters. But
there was something pleasant in the notion of the whole animal world being shut up in a chest; and the temptation was not to be resisted.
"Which had but one window (which window was kept shut for more than five months), without "being stifled for want of air."
All this, the infidels say, "seems strange." It does so; but it is not more strange than true. That air would be necessary to support the life of the creatures enclosed in the ark, was as well known to him who enjoined it to be built, as it can be to them. Our conclusion therefore is, that either a proper supply of it was conveyed in some manner from without, or else the air within, by means natural or preternatural, was preserved in a state fit for respiration. There might be various contrivances in and about the ark, which are not mentioned in so concise a history. The general facts, of which it concerned us to be informed, are these two; that the world was destroyed by a flood; and that one family, with a number of animals sufficient to replenish the earth, was preserved in a vessel constructed for that purpose.
It is asked farther, how the small family in the ark could give due attendance to the wants of so many creatures; and how the carnivorous animals were supplied with food proper for them.
Many more questions of a like kind might easily be asked, if one were to set one's wits to work upon the subject. But it should be considered, that the author who relates this transaction, relates it to have been carried on under the immediate direction and inVOL. IV.
spection of God. By divine power the creatures were brought to Noah, and the fierce dispositions of the wild kind overruled and mollified, that they might live quietly and peaceably with one another, and with those of the tame sort, for the time appointed. Otherwise, instead of asking how they were taken care of and fed in the ark, it should first have been asked how they came into it, or stayed a single moment in it, before the flood began.-When "the wolf thus dwelt with "the lamb, the lion might eat hay like the ox." We should not recur to miracles upon every occasion; but if the event under consideration took place at all, it must, from the very nature of it, have been miraculous, and out of the common course, as it is said to have been. Some means of preserving the fish might therefore be provided by their Maker, notwithstanding the dilemma to which the learned and respectable writer above mentioned hath reduced us: "The water at the
deluge," says he, " was either fresh, or salt: now
"the sea-fish could not have lived in the for(C mer, nor the river-fish in the latter."-Close and elever!
Page 9. It is argued in the eighth section, that according to the laws of reflection and refraction, established in the system of nature, the phenomenon of the rainbow must have been produced, as at present, in certain circumstances, from the beginning of the world; and therefore could not have been first set in the cloud, as a token of God's covenant with man, after the flood.
But do the words necessarily imply, that the rainbow had never appeared before? Rather, perhaps, the contrary. The following paraphrase of the passage is submitted, as a just and natural one. "When, "in the common course of things, I bring a cloud "" over the earth, under certain circumstances, I do "set my bow in it. That bow shall be from hence"forth a token of the covenant I now make with you to drown the earth no more by a flood. Look upon it, and remember this covenant. As cer"tainly as the bow is formed, by the operation of physical causes, in the cloud, and as long as it con"tinues to be thus formed, so certainly and so long "shall my covenant endure, standing fast for evermore, as this faithful witness in heaven." Jacob, we are told, "took a stone, and set it up for a pillar, and said, This pillar be witness." God, in like manner (if we may so express it), "took the rainbow, and said, This bow be witness." Neither the stone nor the rainbow were new created for the purpose. When the Jews behold the rainbow, they bless God, who remembers his covenant, and is faithful to his promise. And the tradition of this its designation to proclaim comfort to mankind was strong among the heathen; for according to the mythology of the Greeks, the rainbow was the daughter of Wonder, " a sign to mortal men," and regarded, upon its appearance, as the messenger of the celestial deities. Can we any where find a more striking in