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hath happened not to have been attended
If it carries conviction at present, it will make an additional instance, and be a fresh proof, of the growing evidence of revealed religion *.
This is a monument of that great revolution, which, for its antiquity, its permanency, and extent, its grandeur and awefulness, is beyond the possibility of a parallel in this world, because the whole world is occupied by it.
What therefore are we to think of the cause of this fad catastrophe? What sentiments must we have, and what judge ment are we to form, of the malignancy of that evil, which thus convulsed the whole frame of nature, and threw it into all this disorder and confusion ? Surely this was
no light offence, how light foever some may think of it, that was pregnant of fo much mischief, and drew after it a train of such dreadful consequences !
* See the Evidence of Christianity deduced from facts, &c.
OF THE UNIVERSAL DELUGE.
HE phenomenon, which in order of
time comes next under confideration, is the universal deluge : The scripture-account of it is as follows –
That all the fountains of the great deep were broken up; and the windows of heaven were opened: And that the rain was upon the earth forty days, and forty nights, in continuance: Whereby the waters increafed greatly, and prevailed exceedingly upon the earth : To that degree, that all the high bills and mountains that were under the whol heaven were covered; to the height of fifteen cubits upwards, or, above the summits of them. This Noah might find by found
ing, when the ark rested; or by high water-mark on the sides of it, which being the depth of water that it drew, was half its height. The waters prevailed upon the earth, at this height, an hundred and fifty days; at the end of which, and not be fore, they were abated. These hundred and fifty days, were inclusive of the forty days and nights incessant rain ; and made a period equal to five solar months of thirty days each ; which having commenced on the seventeenth day of the second month, from the autumnal equinox; when the antediluvian year, according to Abp. Usher, did begin ; and which answers to sunday, December the seventh; the end of the hun. dred and fifty days fell on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, or, on weda nesday, May the sixth. The flood, having continued so long without any abatement, now took a turn; God having caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the two sources which fed the waters being stopped and restrained, they fell so much on this
day, that the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat:, And from this time they decreased continually until the tenth month; to that degree, that on the first day of that month; on sunday July the nineteenth, the tops of the neighbouring mountains began to appear.
In the order of the narration it next follows, that it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah sent out a raven first, and then a dove, three several times, to see if he could discover any abatement of the waters: The raven went forth to and fro; without bringing him any good tid. ings: But, the dove brought an olive branch in her bill, the second time the was sent out ; whence Noah knew, that the waters were abated: And the third time she was sent, she returned no more.
But if the tops of the mountains appeared forty days, before either of the birds was sent out, what occasion was there for sending them? And when sent, how could they miss of land to rest upon? For N
besides, that land had been discovered fo many days before, the waters must have greatly fallen in forty days after; and it was fourteen days more, before the dove returned with the olive leaf. For after her return the first time, it is said, that Noah stayed yet other seven days, before he sent her out a fecond time; which implies; that he had stayed seven days after sending out the raven, before he sent out the dove at all. Now this makes fifty four days in the whole, since the summits of the mountains are supposed to have appeared; during all which time the waters must have continued decreasing: And yet it is said, that the dove could find no rest for the fote of her foot, at the end of this supposed period.
To fay, as the commentators do, that the tops of the mountains were so covered with mud, that she could not find
any footing upon them; is by no means fatisfactory. For what with the running off of the waters, and the constant blowing of the wind, the tops of the mountains