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affecting picture of the sinfulness of the natural heart. So entirely were the children of men become alienated from their gracious Creator, that “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart, (or, as the Hebrew implies, every purpose or desire,) was only evil continually.” And “the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.”
There was, however, one individual of that corrupt generation who “ found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” This was Noah, who “was a just man, and perfect in his generation. And Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” “ And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before
for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with the earth.” And Noah was commanded to build an ark for “ the saving of his house.” And he “ did according to all that God commanded him.” the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” And
Noah, with his wife, and his sons, and his sons' wives, entered into the ark, with two and two of all flesh: “ and the Lord shut him in.”
The ark of safety, in which Noah and his family were thus preserved from destruction, is a type of Christ; in whom alone there is deliverance from the dreadful consequences of sin--from that perdition which, as an overflowing flood, awaits the wicked.
CHAP. IX.-How tremendously awful was the event that now manifested the infinite power, holiness, and justice, of the Almighty Ruler of the universe! Then were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened ;" “ bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly :" and “the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, and all flesh died that moved upon the earth ; and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” In the shelter thus provided for them, by the mercy of Him, who (to use the figurative language of a prophet,) “ hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out
heaven with a span,” were these few survivors of a destroyed world safely preserved, until “ the waters were abated from off the earth,” and “the face of the ground was dry.” And when Noah, and his family, and all the creatures that were with him, went forth out of the ark, he “ builded an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar," and it is said, “ The Lord smelled a sweet savour.” And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons, saying, “ Behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you.” And the Lord set a “bow in the clouds," as a token of the covenant which He made with “ all flesh that is upon the earth.”
We have here another remarkable evidence of the institution of sacrifices; and have good ground to believe that, from the earliest periods of time, they were divinely appointed, as the means of propitiating the favour of God; and were, doubtless, designed to be typical of Christ, who " hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”
CHAP. X.-In the line of Shem, the eldest of the sons of Noah-was the covenant confirmed : and of him his father, in the spirit of prophecy, exclaimed, “ Blessed be the Lord God of Shem :” thus indicating that, amongst the posterity of this, his first-born son, would be preserved the knowledge and worship of the one true God. And very remarkable is his prediction concerning Japheth, from whom those nations have mostly sprung who believe in the divine mission of the Messiah, and who profess to be his disciples. “God shall persuade Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem.” For, whilst the descendants of Shem, 'who peopled the vast regions of Asia, have degenerated into an almost universal system of gross idolatry, those of Japheth have been favoured to inherit the privileges attendant on some knowledge of the gospel of life and salvation. Thus, in a spiritual sense is the declaration fulfilled, “God shall enlarge, or (as it may be correctly rendered) persuade Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem."
On Ham, the youngest son, a sentence was pronounced which foreshadowed that spirit
of disobedience to the Most High which so awfully characterised his race. 66 Cursed be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” From Canaan, the son of Ham, proceeded the children of Heth, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites, and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, with all those nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.
CHAP. XI.-In the first ages of the world, the life of man was prolonged to a date that almost baffles contemplation :—for race after race arose, until patriarchs beheld many populous nations, of which they were the ancestors : and Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years ; during which period he saw the earth again peopled around him. “ And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” And it came to pass,
that they journeyed from the east, and found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. And they made brick and mortar: “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad