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Ibid. “ Could this omnipotent and LET. 66 upright Spirit adopt no method of X111. - distinguishing his favourite Jacob, 66 but that of fraud and lies, by which “ he deprived the fame unsuspecting “ brother of his father's blessing?”
„The following confiderations may aslift in directing us to form a right judgment of this matter.
1. The proposition of deceiving Isaac originated not with Jacob, but with Rebekah. Jacob reinonstrated against it, as likely to bring a curse upon him, rather than a blessing; nor would consent to perform his part, till she engaged to take all the blame on herself—“ On me be thy curse, “my fon; only obey my voice.”
2. From this speech, and from the earnestness and solicitude discovered by Rebekah, it may not unfairly be
LET. “ (which window was kept shut for XII. " more than five months) without
“ being stifled for want of air."
All this, the infidels say, “ seems “ strange”-it does fo; butitis not more Strange, than true. That air would be necessary to support the life of the creatures inclosed 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 relpiration. There might be various contrivances in and about the ark, which are not mentioned in fo concise a hiftory. The general facts, of which it concerned us to be informed, are these two; that the world was destroyed
. by by a flood; and that one family, with LET." a number of animals fufficient to re. XII. plenish 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 actendance 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 inspec-: tion of God. By divine power the creatures were brought to Noah, and the fierce dispositions of the wild kind overruled and mollified, that
192 LETTERS ON INFIDELITY. LET; they might live quietly and peaceably XII. 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 food began ?-When “ the wolf thus dwelt
“ with the lamb, the lion might eat .." bay 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 mentioned hath reduced us. “ The let. " water at the deluge (says he) was X “ either fresh, or falt: now the sea“ fish could not have lived in the " former, nor the river-fish in the " latter."-Close and clever!
P. 9. It is argued in the 8th section, that according to the laws of reflection and refraction, established in the system of nature, the phænomenon 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