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on the face of the earth, they filled it with lust, rapine, and violence. This was the case before God denounced the destruction of the world: and so great was the apostacy of the human race, and so far were they from being reclaimed from their horrible crimes, that they went on after the denunciation and warning given by Enoch, Methuselah, and even Lamech and Noah, in the same acts of open rebellion and defiance of Jehovah. This made way for the Lord to give them another solemn warning by the ini. nistry of Noah, saying, “ My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh,” wholly carnal, notwithstanding all my warnings; yet I will now fix and pronounce the exact space of time, from this my last warning to its execution, it shall be one hundred and twenty years.
The justice of God in his procedure with sinful man, was expressed by the particular notice he took of men.
By the eye of his omniscience and omnipresence, he looked upon the earth, and saw that " the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." The Holy Ghost adds, “ And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart:" which words fully imply that there were none on the earth,' whom the Lord respected, (Noah, and his family only excepted;) so
that it was only on account of the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, in whom Noah believed, or he would have consumed the earth wholly, so as not to renew it after the 'deluge, as he has done. Jehovah being immutable, may will a change, but he cannot change to will ; therefore repentance cannot properly be attributed to God : and the best explication of these words, is to consider them as expressive of the indignation of God against sin, and sinners out of Christ: he hates sin with a perfect hatred, and will damn the sinner who dies in his sins, eternally for it.
Having given these general hints, by way of introduction, I proceed to consider in section the first, the dissolution of the world, by the waters of the flood ; but it may be necessary to observe the situation and circumstances of the globe, and also of its inhabitants prior to that event.
I quote the following, which I conceive as very just, and conveying very clear ideas to the mind concerning this subject, from a French author, translated into English, under the title of Spectacle de la Nature; or, Nature Displayed.
“Although the earth before the deluge, as well as now, consisted of several strata of matter, laying one upon another; of mountains, valleys, plains, great collection of waters or seas, and all other parts essentially necessary to the constitution of an habitable globe; yet notwith, standing, its form then, was probably different from what it is at present; and its atmosphere, or firmament, not exactly the same as now. And this cannot be denied, seeing that God who wrought a change in the life of man, might as easily effect the same in the structure or form of his dwelling. And St. Peter seems plainly to authorise such a supposition, when he says, the ancient world perished by water; the heavens and the earth, which now are, being reserved unto the fire of the last day, 2 Peter iii. 6, 7. Let us suppose now, that the former earth described its annual orbit, or elipsis, round the sun, having its axis perpendicular to the plane of its orbit, that is, without having a greater inclination to one part of it than another. Let us suppose also, that as this earth was designed to be the habitation of a very long lived race of men, who were to multiply exceedingly; the surface of the land was much greater than that of the sea, which, the better to accommodate mankind with room, was partly open, and partly concealed under the earth; so that there were on all sides large magazines of water, or different seas, which held a communication with each other under ground, by means of one common receptacle or rendezvous of water; and the scriptures seem to countenance such a disposition or distribution of waters, by
calling this vast bed or storehouse by the name of the profound abyss, and the different gathering of the waters, by the name of seas, as being many. From these two different suppositions, which are neither repugnant to scripture 'nor philosophy, naturally flow all those particulars which we find in scripture, in the traditions of the ancients, and in the present state of the world. Now the axis of the earth not being inclined to the plane of the eliptic, the plane of the earth's equator coincided with the plane of its natural orbit, and consequently intersected the body of the sun, or, in other words, the earth's equator was always opposite to the sun. From such a situation, it necessarily follows, that all the climates of the earth, except the middle of the torrid zone, enjoyed a constant and pleasant temperature of weather; day and night were equally divided to all places alike, consisting each of twelve hours; the air was always pure and serene, and there was à perpetual spring all over the globe; the sun and moon regulated the course of the year, not by diversities of seasons, but by the change of places; the earth in its annual revolutiòn in its orbit round the sun, passing under the twelve constellations of the zodiac, so that when it was under Libra, the sun appeared to be under Aries; and when the earth passed under the sign Scorpio, the sun seemed to be in Taurus. 'The revolution which the sun seemed to perform in one year, the moon did really perform every month, renewing its phases then perpendicularly, as it does now. Thus did these two lights, which presided one over the day, and the other over the night, serve as two regulators to mankind, whereby to fix the length of the year, and to measure the several portions of time.
“By a natural consequence of this uniform temperature, which presided every where, and at all times, the trees perpetually retained their verdure, and brought forth fruit, blossomed and budded at the same time; the present crop was but an earnest of what was to succeed, and uninterrupted plenty exalted her full horn in every place.
“The clemency and temperature of the air could not fail of having a beneficial influence on the bodies of men, and causing longevity." :
These seem to have been precisely the cir cumstances of the old world.
Section 2. The inhabitants of the old world, having enjoyed, according to what has been suggested, a perpetual spring, and a state of health and strength agreeable therewith, could not conceive that they were in any danger from the waters of a flood. Hence, though Noah preached to them, and the Spirit of Christ in his ministry, testified that God's wrath would break out fully upon them at the fixed season; yet they lived in