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keep in due subjection those passions and appetites, to gratify which he had transgressed the divine command.
11. The awful decree being thus solemnly pronounced, as well on the author of the offence, as on the offenders themselves, the Almighty, to enhance their sense of the crime, and the tokens of his displeasure, expelled the guilty pair from the blissful regions of Paradise, and placed, at the east end of the garden, a guard of angels, not only to prevent their return, but to secure the forbidden fruit, in future, from the unhallowed hands of polluted mankind.
12. Thus, by this original pollụtion, fell our first parents, who, from the happiest condition that can be conceived, plunged themselves into a state of wretchedness, and thereby entailed misery on their descendants.
They eat the apple, it is true;
And to these distant ages rue
AN EVENING IN PARADISE.
Now came still evening on, and twilight gray
1. The wickedness of mankind had rapidly increased
Were they permitted to remain in Paradise !-How were they pre.. vented from returning into it ?
with the increasing population, and the earth was literally filled with violence ; yet the forbearance of God was continued towards them, and he mercifully resolved to grant them the space of one hundred and twenty years for repentance; during which time, he declared that his Spirit should strive with man, in order to awaken him to a sense of his depravity, and eventually to reclaim him to the paths of peace and virtue.
2. It is here proper to remark, that notwithstanding the general corruption, one man was found perfect in his generation, and walking humbly with his God. This person was Noah, the son of Lamech, who exerted himself, on every occasion, to introduce a reformation both of worship and conduct; and to this end he undertook the laborious task of public admonition, warning his auditors of the fatal consequences that must result from their enormities. His zealous counsel was, however, treated with disdain, and the deluded race continued in the practice of every vice, till God is said to have been grieved at his heart, for the formation of such rebellious and incorrigible creatures.
3. Finding all attempts to reclaim the inhabitants of the earth to be fruitless that they were resolvod on ruin, the Almighty decreed an universal deluge that should utterly destroy them, together with the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. From this tremendous sentence, Noah and his family were excluded. This venerable patriarch, having found grace in the eyes of the Lord, was directed to build a certain vessel or ark, for the preservation of himself and family, and of such a quantity of animals of every species, as would be sufficient to replenish the earth again, when the threatened flood should subside.
4. In obedience to the divine command, Noah readily engaged in the work to which he was appointed. With respect to the dimensions of the ark, we read in Scripture, that its length was three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty, and its
What effect did the increasing population of the antediluvian world have on morals ?-Did God resolve immediately to destroy mankind for their great wickedness ?-How long time did ho allow them for re pentance and reformation ?-What righteous person was there found, at this time, on earth ?--Did God employ him to reclaim the wicked inhabitants ?-Did they listen to his admonitions ? --In what way did God resolve to destroy the old world ?-How were Noah and his family to be saved ? What was the length of the ark ?--Its breadth ?
height thirty. Its form was that of an oblong square, with a flat bottom, and a sloping roof, elevated one cubit in the middle. It consisted of three stories, each of which, excluding the thickness of the floors, might have been eighteen feet high, and was divided into separate apartments. It was, in all probability, well supplied with light and air ; and though it had neither sails nor rudder, it was admirably contrived for lying steadily upon the surface of the water, and for thus preserving the lives of its various inhabitants.
5. The appointed time of vengeance being come, and the ark completed, Noah went on board, in the year of the world 1656, with his wife, his sons, and his daughters-in-law, taking with him all kinds of beasts, birds, and reptiles, by pairs and by sevens, as he was expressly commanded; while the rest of mankind, regardless of his repeated warnings, continued to indulge in luxury and dissipation, till the flood came and overwhelmed them with a swift destruction ; for in the self-same day, were the fountains of the great deep broken up, the windows of heaven were opened, and the inundating torrents began to fall, which continued without intermission for forty days and forty nights. The waters also increased
gradually during the space of five months, when they rose = 6
to the elevation of twenty-seven feet above the summits of the highest mountains.
6. The irrevocable decree of heaven having been thus awfully accomplished, a wind was caused to pass over the Eld
earth, in consequence of which the waters began to assuage; and on the first day of their decrease, they sunk so considerably, that the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat. This happened on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, or the sixth of May; and by the first day of the tenth month, answering to our nineteenth of July, the tops of the neighboring hills began to appear.
7. Towards the end of the ensuing month, Noah opened one of the windows of the ark, and sent forth a raven, which e flew to and fro till the earth was dry, but afforded him no
What was its height ?-What was the form of the ark which God directed him to build ?-In what year of the world did Noah go on board the ark ?-How long did the incessant rains continue which caused the deluge ?-For what length of time did the waters continue to rise ?-How high did they rise above the summits of the highest mountains ?--Where did the ark rest when the waters had subsided ?
satisfactory intelligence; he, therefore, let out a dove three successive times, allowing seven days to elapse between each excursion. The first time she returned quickly, having found no spot sufficiently firm and dry to afford a resting place; the second time, she came back in the evening, bringing an olive branch in her mouth, as a proof that the flood was greatly abated; and the third time she returned no more.
8. On the first day of the first month, or the twenty-third of October, the patriarch, who was now in the six hundred and first year of his age, removed the covering of his vessel, in order to take a view of the surrounding scenery, and discovered that the surface of the earth was perfectly free from water ; he continued, however, in the ark, till the twentyseventh of the second month, or the eighteenth of December, when he came forth, in pursuance of the divine command, together with his wife, his family, and every living creature which had been intrusted to his care, for one year and ten days, according to the antediluvian computation, or during the
ce of three hundred and sixty-five days of our present time.
1. The history of the antediluvians, particularly with regard to their religion, policy, arts, and sciences, would certainly be considered as a subject of great value, were it possible to expatiate upon these points with strict regard to truth; but as the sacred volume affords but little whereon we might ground our assertions, and the page of profane history is clouded with fable, we must candidly acknowledge that our remarks are founded chiefly upon conjecture.
2. With respect to the religious rites of the primeval race of men we can only venture to affirm, that they offered sacrifices, both of animals, and of the fruits of the earth; yet some writers have attempted to prove that all the patriarchs, from Adam, had certain times and places set apart for the
In what manner did Noah ascertain when the earth had become suffi. ciently dry to leave the ark ?-At what season of the year did he leave it?-What was his age on leaving it?-How long did Noah continue in the ark ?-Is much known of the religion, policy, arts and sciences of the antediluvians ?-What can be affirmed of their religious rites ?
celebration of divine worship, and devoted a portion of their property to the maintenance of the priests.
3. Their politics and civil constitutions are hid in impenetrable darkness, and consequently afford no foundation even for conjecture. It is however probable, that the patriarchal form of government was set aside by tyranny and oppression ; and that this change took place much sooner among the descendants of Cain than those of Seth. We also imagine, that their communities were but few, and consisted of vast numbers of people previous to the union of the families of Seth and Cain, and that all mankind, subsequent to that imprudent junction, constituted but one great nation, divided into several disorderly associations, and living in a state of anarchy, which indisputably tended to contaminate the thoughtless race with an universal depravity of manners.
4. Even with regard to their arts and sciences, but little can be said ; and they appear rather to have devoted their time to luxury and dissipation, than to useful discoveries or mental improvement. The last generation of Cain's line found out the art of working metal ; and music seems to have been invented about the same time. Some have supposed that the science of astronomy was cultivated by the antediluvians ; but this opinion has no solid foundation ;-and the erroneous opinions of those who have attributed various books to the patriarchs, Adam, Seth, and Enos, are too absurd to merit a -- serious refutation.
5. The antediluvian world is supposed to have been exceedingly different from that which we now inhabit, and to have been stocked with a greater number of inhabitants than the present earth is capable of containing; and indeed this idea seems tolerably well founded, when we consider the surprising length of men's lives previous to the deluge, and the numerous generations that were then contemporary.
6. Various causes have been assigned by different authors for this longevity; some imputing it to the sobriety of the antediluvians, and the extreme simplicity of their diet
What is probable as to their government ?--When did they attain to the art of working metal ?-Did they become acquainted with music, and when ?-Is it supposed that the antediluvian world was different from what the world now is ?-What circumstance renders this supposition probable ?-What three reasons have been assigned for the longevity of the antediluvians ?