Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

CHAP. IV.

Of the Origin of Nations.

1. All Mankind derived from Adam, if the Scriptures be true.

II. The contrary Supposition an Introduction to Atheism. III. The Truth of the History of the Flood. The Possibility of an universal Deluge proved. IV. The Flood universal as to Mankind, whether universal as to the Earth and Animals; no Necessity of asserting either. V. Yet supposing the Possibility, of it demonstrated without Creation of new Waters. VI. Of the Fountains of the Deep. The Proportion which the Height of Mountains bears to the Diameter of the Earth. No Mountains much above three Miles perpendicular. Of the Origin of Fountains. The Opinion of Aristotle and others concerning it discussed. The true Account of them from the Vapours arising from the Mass of subterraneous Waters. VII. Of the Capacity of the Ark for receiving the Animals, from Buteo and others. VIII. The Truth of the Deluge from the Testimony of Heathen Nations. Of the Propagation of Nations from Noah's Posterity. IX. Of the Beginning of the Assyrian Empire. The Multiplication of Mankind after the Flood. Of the Chronology of the LXX. Of the Time between the Flood and Abraham, and the Advantages of it. X. Of the Pretence of such Nations, who called themselves Aborigines. XI. A Discourse concerning the first Planters of Greece: the common Opinion propounded and rejected. The Hellens were not the first Inhabitants of Greece, but the Pelasgi. The large Spread of them over the Parts of Greece. XII. Of their Language different from the Greeks, XIII. Whence these Pelasgi came; that Phaleg was the Pelasgus of Greece, and the Leuder of that Colony, proved from Epiphanius. XIV. The Language of the Pelasgi in Greece Oriental; thence an Account given of the many Hebrew Words in the Greek Language, and the Remainders of the Eastern Languages in the Islands of Greece; both which not from the Phænicians, as Bocbartus thinks, but from the old Pelasgi. XV. Of the Ground of the Affinity between the Jews and Lacedæmonians. Of the peopling

of America. The next thing we proceed to give a rational account Chap. of, in the history of the first ages of the world contained IV. in Scripture, is the peopling the world from Adam; which is of great consequence for us to understand, not only for the satisfaction of our curiosity as to the true origin of nations, but also in order to our believing the truth of the

26.

BOOK Scriptures, and the universal effects of the fall of man: III.

neither of which can be sufficiently cleared without this. For as it is hard to conceive how the effects of man's fall should extend to all mankind, unless all mankind were propagated from Adam; so it is unconceivable how the account of things given in Scripture should be true, if there were persons existent in the world long before

Adam was; since the Scripture doth so plainly affirm, Acts xvii. That God hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to

dwell on the face of the earth. Some Greek copies read it Ę évòs, leaving out aluatos, which the vulgar Latin follows: the Arabic version, to explain both, reads it ex homine, or, as De Dieu renders it, ex Adamo uno; there being but the difference of one letter in the Eastern languages between 7 and 07, the one denoting blood, and the other man. But if we take it as our more ordinary copies read it, & évòs aiuatos, yet thereby it is plain that the meaning is not that all mankind was made of the same uniform matter, as the author of the Præ-Adamites weakly imagined, (for by that reason not only mankind, but the whole world might be said to be é évos aiuatos, of the same blood, since all things in the world were at first formed out of the same matter ;) but aluc is taken there in the sense in which it occurs in the best Greek authors, for the stock out of which men come: so Homer,

Ει ετεόν γ' εμός εσσί και αίματος ημετέροιο. Odyss. ū.

Thence those who are near relations are called in Sophocles oi wgàs aluatos, thence the name of consanguinity for nearness of relation; and Virgil useth sanguis in the same

sense, Virg. Æn.

Trojano a sanguine duci. So that the Apostle's meaning is, that however men now are so dispersed in their habitations, and differ so much in language and customs from each other, yet they were all originally of the same stock, and did derive their succession from that first man whom God created. Neither

can it be conceived on what account Adam in the Scripi Cor. xv. ture is called the first man, and that he was made a living 45, 47.

soul, and of the earth, earthy, unless it were to denote that he was absolutely the first of his kind, and so was to be the standard and measure of all that follows. And when our Saviour would reduce all things to the beginning, he instanceth in those words which were pronounced after Eve was formed. But from the beginning of the

Hom.

v. 300.

[ocr errors]

Mark x. 6.7.

IV.

creation God made them male and female ; for this cause CHAP. shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave unto his wife. Now nothing can be more plain and easy than from hence to argue thus: those of whom these words were spoken, were the first male and female which were made in the beginning of the creation; but it is evident these words were spoken of Adam and Eve: And Adam Gen. ii said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; 232 24. therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife. If the Scriptures then of the New Testament be true, it is most plain and evident that all mankind is descended froin Adam; and no less conspicuous is it from the history of the creation, as delivered by Moses.

For how necessary had it been for Moses, when he was It giving an account of the origin of things, to have discovered by whom the world was first planted, if there had been any such plantation before Adam. But to say that all the design of Moses was only to give an account of the origin and history of the Jewish nation, and that Adam was only the first of that stock, is manifestly ridiculous; it being so clear, that not only from Adam and Noah, but from Sem, Abraham, and Isaac, came other nations besides that of Jews. And by the same reason that it is said that Moses only speaks of the origin of the Jewish nation in the history of Adam, it may as well be said that Moses speaks only of the making of Canaan, and that part of the heavens which are over it, when he describes the creation of the world in the six days work, For why may not the earth, in the second verse of Genesis, be as well understood of the land of Judea, and the light and production of animals and vegetables refer only to that, as to understand it so in reference to the flood, and in many other passages relating to those eldest times? But the author of that hypothesis answers, That the first chapter of Genesis may relate to the true origin of the world, and the first peopling of it; but in the second Moses begins to give an account of the first man and woman of the Jewish nation. Very probable! But if this be not a putting asunder those which God hath joined together, nothing is.

For doth not Moses plainly at first give an account of the formation of things in the first six days, and of his rest on the seventh? But now could he be said to have rested then from the works of creation, if after this followed the formation of Adam and Eve in the second chapter? Besides, if the forming of man, mentioned Gen,

the generations ,תולדות השמים והארץ ,all parity of reason

BOOK °. 7. be distinct from that mentioned Gen. i. 27. then by III.

, , of heaven and earth mentioned Gen. ii. 4. must be distinct from the creation of the heaven and earth mentioned Gen. i. 1. And so if there were another creation of heaven and earth belonging to the Jews in Gen. ii. we may likewise believe that there was a new creation of man and woman in that chapter, distinct from that mentioned in the former. Again further, if there had been any such persons in the world before Adam, no doubt Adam himself was ignorant of them; or else it had been a false and

ridiculous account which he gives of the name of his wife Gen. iii. 20.7177, because she was in a box, the mother of all living ; not

of all living things, for that had been a more proper description of a Ceres, or Magna Mater, or Diana multimammia, of our grandmother the earth; but certainly it extends to all of the kind, that all living creatures that are of human nature came from her. So the Chaldee paraphrast understands it: she was called Hava, because she was NVIN 'a %37 NOx, the mother of all the sons of men.

And so the Arabic version, quia ipsa fuit mater omnis viSelden. de ventis rationalis. To which purpose our learned Selden jure Natur. cites the version of the Mauritanian Jews, and the Persic et Gent. 1.

of Tawasius.

But whatever the credit or authority of these versions be, this is most certain, that Adam had no reason at all to have given this name to his wife, as being the mother of all living, if there had been any of mankind existing in the world from other mothers, which had been long before Eve was formed. So that we find it plain and clear, that if the report given of things in Scripture be true, the hypothesis of Præ-Adamites is undoubtedly false. And certainly, whoever seriously considers the frequent reAlections on the authority of the Scriptures, which were cast by the author of that fiction, and his endeavouring on all occasions to derogate from the miracles recorded in it, may easily suspect the design of that author was not to gain any credit to his opinion from those arguments from Scripture which he makes shew of, (which are pitifully weak and ridiculous,) but having, by the help of such arguments, made his opinion more plausible, his hope was, that' his opinion would in time undermine the Scriptures themselves, when he had made it appear that the account given in the Scriptures of the plantation of the world was unsatisfactory, since there were men before Adam; which the Scriptures, to please the Jewish na

j. c. 5. P: 65.

tion, take no notice of. So that after he had attempted cHAP. to prostitute the Scriptures to his opinion, his next work

IV. had been to have turned them out of doors, as not of cre dit to be relied on by any, when they were so common to every opinion. But how impious, absurd, and rude that attempt was upon the sacred and inviolable authority of the Scriptures, hath been so fully discovered by his very many not unlearned adversaries, that it might seem need less so much as to have taken notice of so weakly grounded and infirmly proved an opinion, had it not thus far lain in my way, in order to the clearing the true origin of nations according to the Scriptures: the main foundations of which fabulous opinion lying chiefly in the pretended antiquities of the Chaldæans, Egyptians, and others, have been fully taken away in our first book; where our whole design was to manifest the want of credibility in those accounts of ancient times, which are delivered by Heathen nations in opposition to the Scriptures. There is nothing at all in Scripture, from the creation of Adam to the flood, which seems to give any countenance to that figment, but only what may be easily resolved, from the consideration of the great conciseness of the Mosaic history, in reporting that long interval of time which was between the fall of Adam and the flood; by means of which conciseness such things are reported as speedily done, because immediately succeeding in the story, which asked a very considerable time before they could be effected; and besides, all things which were done before the flood being all quite obliterated by it, and all the numerous posterity of Adam being then destroyed, (only Noah and his family excepted,) to what purpose had it been any further to have reported the passages before the flood, otherwise than thereby to let us understand the certainty of the succession of persons from Adam, and such aetions in those times, which might be remarkable discoveries of God's providence and man's wickedness in it: which being most apparent at first in Cain and his posterity, did by degrees so spread itself over the face of the then inhabited world, that the just God was thereby provoked to send a deluge among them, to sweep away the present inhabitants, to make room for another generation to succeed them,

This therefore we now come to consider, viz. The his III, tory of the flood, and the certainty of the propagation of the world, froin the posterity of Noah after the flood. I begin with the history of the flood itself; as to which

« VorigeDoorgaan »