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none but the Lord himself can know it and search
Before we pass on to what is here said in this part of Noah's history, in which the Lord declared that he would destroy man with the earth; I beg the reader to pause a moment over this solemn subject of man's fall and ruin before God.
There is nothing new in this view of human depravity. It is now nearly six thousand years since the fall of man; and since which, the Lord himself declared, "that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." And the stream of time hath not washed away an atom of the original deadly poison. Its virulence, in human life, breaks out now very frequently into actions of the most baleful malignity. Where the restraints of grace are not given, there will appear similar fruits of it as at the first. whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint." (Isa. i. 5.)
And what is most particularly to be considered in the view of fallen man, but yet by very few is regarded as it ought; namely, that the corruption of our nature is alike the same in all. The breakings out of sin, like the irruptions of the body, may be more or less, as temptations and the different circumstances of life vary; but the root is the same in every one; for the corruption of the heart is in the very core. So that though the buddings, blossoms, and fruits, of the deadly tree of inherent sin, grounded in the nature of fallen man, may not alike appear in the spring or
summer of life: yet there it still is formed within ; and if the like occasion operated alike in all, the acts would be the same in all. They who are of a more refined education from such restraints, will be more secret and retired for the most part in their sensuality than the vulgar, who wallow openly in the mire; but corruption and depravity are equal in all. The Patriarch Noah, considered in himself, differed not an atom from the world. His finding grace in the Lord's sight, (and not the Lord's finding any goodness in Noah's heart,) became the sole cause of saving him from the universal destruction.
And let me add one observation more ; namely, that however less flagrant the lives of some may appear than others; there is, in fact, no difference in the nature of man. We all spring from a stock sunk and depraved. We have all our nature lighted at one common taper from sinful Adam. And our unhappy father hath entailed one and the same heritage on all his posterity. It is not divided as men in common life do their property; part to one, and part to another, for all have and do possess the whole, as if there were no other. There is no difference in this sense between the greatest apostle, and the vilest sinner; and for this plain reason: because the grossest sin that ever disgraced human nature; the seed of that sin is in the heart of the highest saint. Wherefore it breaks out in one and not in another, ariseth not from any difference in their nature, which is common to all, but from the restraints or witholding of grace in that nature. And this corrects the errors of such as calculate sin more by its effects than by its cause. Men of this complexion dwell upon this or that particular sin, and not on the origin from whence the whole is produced. When the sons of Jacob were detained by Joseph in Egypt, their hearts smote them in the recollection of their cruelty to their brother; and as
if with one consent, their mind led them instinctively
It is natural to the human mind to connect our
"And God said unto Noah; Make thee an ark of gopher wood: rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
"And behold, I, even I, do bring a flocd of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
"But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the Ark; thou and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.
" And of every living thing of all flesh; two of every sort shalt thou bring into the Ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
"Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded him, so did he." (Gen. vi. 14. 17—22.)
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.
THE Holy Ghost hath been graciously pleased to explain this Scripture, concerning the command given to Noah, to prepare an ark, by another Scripture;
and thereby most decidedly shewn, that the grace which this man "found in the eyes of the Lord" became the sole cause of distinction shewn the patriarch, from the ungodly world. And the reader would do well upon all occasions of this kind, when reading Scripture, to mark those holy explanations given by the Lord himself, in not leaving them to the comments of men; that he may not be carried away by the words "which man's wisdom teacheth, but what the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” (1 Cor. ii. 14.) "By faith, saith the Holy Ghost, by Paul, (Heb. xi. 7.) Noah being warned of God, of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark, to the saving of his house, by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." Now observe, how explanatory this is of the transaction; and what a beautiful illustration it gives of the doctrine of grace :
By faith Noah being warned of God." What faith was this, but faith in Christ the promised seed? Noah knew full well from himself, and what daily passed in his own mind, that though he had found grace in the Lord's sight; yet in himself, he was of that fallen race, of whom it is truly said, "there is none that doeth good, no not one." (Psalm xiv. 3. Rom. iii. 10.) He partook in the common nature, and was alike involved in the common ruin of the Adam-fall transgression. When therefore warned of God, of things not seen as yet, nevertheless, knowing that by the sin of the first man, his whole posterity was subject to the just sentence of God's broken law; and that redemption was alone in Him, who in the fulness of time would come to bruise the serpent's head; knowing these things, he prepared an ark to the saving of his house. I intreat the reader to remark with me, what an analogy runs through the whole Scripture on this grand point. "By faith Noah prepared an Ark. By faith,
Abel offered unto God a more acceptable sacrifice