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water upon thee, and thou shall be clean from all thine idols.” Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." “ The serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman.”
That.waters sometimes mean falses, we might know from what David says, when he prays, “Send thine hand from above ; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.” Thus David says, "Save me, O Lord, for the waters have come into my soul. I am come into deep waters where floods overflow me. Let not the floods overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up.” Isaiah
Isaiah says, “I have digged and drunk water ; and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places.
But we need not pursue the investigation further. It must be obvious to all that there is a spiritual signification to water. And that when used in a good sense it means truth ; and in a bad sense falsity. We have mentioned but few of the many passages where water is used.
There is much said, in the Word, of the sea, which means general knowledge stored up in the memory. It may be true, or false, or mixed. In Jeremiah, the Lord says of the church, “I will dry up her sea.” Now, what can the sea of the church be, which the Lord can wish to dry up, but her false knowledge ? John says of the coming of the New Jerusalem, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” All the false doctrines and knowledges of the natural man, which form the sea of the external memory, are driven away when the spiritual light of the Word enters, creating a new heaven and a new earth. The knowledge now is spiritual. The true water is made wine—the sea is gone. The Lord says, in Mark, “ Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte. Here it is obvious that by sea and land is meant the whole mind of man-knowledge and will.
How beautifully true and expressive, then, is our text! “His voice as the sound of many waters.” His voice is divine truth ; all truths, everywhere, spiritual and natural: the truths of His Word : the truths of His works : truths of infinite varieties. He speaks in everything. His voice is everywhere. Every truth spoken by man is God's voice. Think of the universal speech of God, wherever the truth is uttered, throughout the vast universe, in all its infinite varieties; it is God's voice. Indeed, His voice is as the sound of many waters. May we all learn to hear this voice, so that we can feel the precious presence of our heavenly Father, wherever we are : in city or country : in mountain or valley : in sunshine or storm : on sea or land – whether contemplating His Word or His Works ; may the still small voice of His Holy Spirit have our first affections and thoughts, now and forever; for “ His voice [is] as the sound of many waters.” 66 And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
THE MOSAIC DELUGE.
“ And he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth.” (Gen. viii. 8, 9.)
We have seen, by our lectures, that man was the crowning object of the creation, being the connecting link between the earth and the Creator ; and containing within him the sum total of the various qualities of the living things of the earth—they being, individually, but component parts of their common lord and sovereign—the human race. We have also seen that man is really and truly man only by means of the church within him ; or, in other words, by means of the order and harmony of the various parts and principles of his nature.
From these facts, we have seen that the creation of man, as a spiritual being, is described in allegory, in the first chapter of Genesis, by a composed history of the supposed creation of the world, including the animals and birds, and other living things. And so, by
the same law of analogy, the destruction of man, as a spiritual being, in the image and likeness of his God, may be analogically described by a composed history of the supposed destruction of these living things by a flood. And, again, the reëstablishment of this order and life may also be described by a composed narrative of supposed events, in which the living creatures of the earth are represented as brought together into an ark, and there fed and protected against destruction by a flood. And by thus looking at this history of the deluge, in the light of correspondence, as applied to the human mind and its principles, all is rational, beautiful and instructive.
But in trying to view it, literally, as a natural history, it is strange, incomprehensible and at variance with the natural laws. It is incomprehensible because it appears contradictory, unreasonable and inexplicable in itself. In the first place it declares that it rained “ 40 days and 40 nights,” and that the “flood was 40 days upon the earth ;” which is a plain indication that the deluge then ceased to prevail. It next avers that the waters continued to rise for 150 days, which is 110 days after it had done raining, and longer than it is affirmed that the flood was upon the earth. We are next told, that, at the end of 150 days, the ark rested on Ararat. This resting of the ark, being just at the time when the water had done rising, would show that the water rose just high enough to set the ark upon the mountain and no more. And, from this time, we are told that the waters returned from off the earth continually ; and yet, that it was not until 73 days after
the ark had rested, that the tops of the mountains were
This would not only make Ararat the highest mountain of the earth, but even so much higher than the rest that the waters had to fall continually for 73 days in order to bring other mountains in sight. We are next told that on the fortieth day, after the tops of the mountains were seen, Noah sent forth a dove to see if the waters had abated. This is certainly a very singular step for Noah to take at this time. Had he forgotten that the ark had been resting on dry land for months, and that the mountains had been in sight for forty days ? But, what is more remarkable still, “The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth.”
These are strange discrepancies. By the literal sense alone they cannot be reconciled. Nobody has successfully attempted it. The commentators wisely pass them by in silence.
So it appears from the letter, that Noah and his family, with this mass of living creatures, were confined in this ark for one year and ten days. Here they were in this water-tight vessel with only one window, which was but eighteen inches square, and that in the top of the ark—a vessel three stories high, pitched within and without with pitch, with only one door and that closed by the Lord. There is no possible way to account for their existence but by one continued and unaccountable miracle. Such a miracle would be different from all others in the Word ; for it is contrary to the laws of life and of order. Such a miracle God never performs : for miracles, when seen by correspondence, are found to