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wards ; as there was but one language in the world. Yet it is evident they had no idea of navigation, and of extending their trade to remote parts, by the assistance of any
kind of vessels ; or otherwise some families might certainly have escaped the flood besides the patriarch Noah. Indeed it is sufficiently obvious, that commerce, however it might be conducted, was not as necessary at that time as it has been since, not only because the wants of men have been greatly increased, in proportion to the injury which the earth and its various productions received from the overwhelming flood that was brought upon it; but also because they resided together in greater numbers, and could easily obtain every article they desired, by bartering with their nearest neighbors.
THE WORLD CONTEMPLATED AT A
"Tis pleasant through the loop-holes of retreat
Is it supposed that the antediluvians were acquainted with ship navigation, as we are ?-Can a particular reason be assigned against the supposition, and what is it?
from flower to flower, so he from land to land ;
THE TOWER OF BABEL.
1. It is not, in the least, to be doubted, that Noah and his family, for some years after the food, continued to reside in the neighborhood of the mountains of Armenia, where the ark had rested. But his descendants, in course of time, having a numerous progeny, the greater part of them quilted this place, and, directing their course eastward, came at length to the plains of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. Attracted by the convenience of its situation, and the natural fertility of the soil, they resolved not to proceed any further, but to make this their fixed place of residence:
2. Having formed this resolution, in order to render themselves famous to future generations, they determined to erect a city, and in the city a building of such stupendous height as should be the wonder of the world. Their principal motives in doing this, were, it is supposed, to keep themselves together, in one body, that by their mutual strength and councils, as the world increased, they might bring others under their subjection, and thereby become masters of the universe.
3. The idea of the intended tower gave them the most singular satisfaction, and the norelty of the design induced
Is it supposed that Noah and his family continued any time near the place where the ark had rested ?-Where did they go, on leaving this place ?-In what way did they become determined to dig. tinguish themselves, on settling in the plains of Shinar'
them to enter upon its construction with the greatest alacri ty. One inconvenience, however, arose, of which they were not at first apprised, namely, there being no stone in the country with which to build it. But this defect was soon supplied by the nature of the soil, which, being clayey, they soon converted into bricks, and cemented them together with a pitchy substance, called bitumen, the country producing that article in great abundance.
4. As the artificers were numerous, the work was carried on with great expedition, and in a short time the walls were raised to a prodigious height. But the Almighty being dissatisfied with their proceedings, thought proper to interpose, and totally put an end to their ambitious project; so that the first of their vanity became only a monument of their folly and weakness.
5. Though the descendants of Noah were at this time exceedingly numerous, yet they spoke the same language.--In order, therefore, to render their undertaking ineffectual, and to lessen the towering hopes of these aspiring mortals, the Almighty formed the resolution of confounding their language. In consequence of this, a universal jargon took place, and the different dialects caused such a distraction of thought, that, incapable of understanding or making known to each other their ideas, they were thrown into the utmost disorder.
6. By this awful stroke of divine justice, they were not only deprived of prosecuting their intended plan, but of the greatest pleasure a social being can enjoy, namely mutual converse and agreeable intercourse. We are not, however, to suppose, that each individual had a peculiar dialect or language to himself; but only the several tribes or families, which are supposed to have been about seventy in number. These detaching themselves according to their respective dialects, left the spot, which, before the consequences of their presumption, they had considered as the most delightful on
What inconvenience did they experience at first in building their city and tower ?-How did they obviate the inconvenience of not having stones with which to build ?--Did they commence their contemplated work ?-Was God pleased with their design ?-In what way did he manifest his displeasure, and stop their work ?Is it supposed, that in the confusion of language on this occasion, every individual was made to have a dialect of his own?