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I may add; an inspired apostle of our Lord, has admonished us, that this signal display of the righteous judgment of God, is a prelude to that awful catastrophe when the globe shall be wrapped in liquid fire, the elements be made to commingle by fervent heat, all human prospects be consumed, a just retribution be administered to every man, according to his works, and the end of the Messiah's reign be accomplished, in subduing all things to his government and kingdom.
ST. LUKE Xvii. 27.
"They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark: and the flood came and destroyed them all."
In commencing the subject of labor for this evening, I feel it important to notice a popular and prevailing objection to the doctrine of a general deluge, which was the burden of our last Lecture.
It is indeed acknowledged, that marine substances, both animal and vegetable, are scattered over the whole face of the globe, in such abundance, that to deny the fact of its having been at one time, or at different times, or by parts, successively overflowed with water, would betray an unpardonable ignorance of the surface of the globe, or a disgraceful indifference to the instruction which history has furnished to every enlightened and civilized nation, from the remotest records of antiquity. It is therefore admitted by the opposers of the Bible, that partial inundations of the earth have happened at different periods, and in almost every part of the globe But still they deny the fact of a general, or universal deluge, because, as they contend, there is not a sufficient quantity of water attached to our orb, to produce such an overflow as described in the history by Moses.
If this assertion be true, they are indeed somewhat excusable for their unbelief: for natural impossibilities are never to be admitted, except where the evidence of the immediate and miraculous power of God, amounts to absolute demonstration of the fact proposed : We must therefore inquire whether there is, or is not, a sufficient quantity of water attached to our globe, to produce the deluge for which we have contended. I am aware, that I might safely refer you to the divine agency, for a cause,
adequate to produce all those results which are recorded of the deluge; nor would your speaker for a moment indulge a doubt that it was produced by divine agency: But when such causes can be found within the sphere of human observation as will be sufficient to obviate every objection which modern philosophers can urge, I feel bound to make an appeal to matter of plain fact, the more effectually to silence the most plausible cavils of unbelief.
The plainest principles of mathematical science may be applied to the case before us. A cube of water of the dimensions of only ten miles, will cover a perfectly plain surface of the earth, containing two hundred and fifty square miles, to the depth of four miles; and if we make suitable allowance for all the mountains and hills which it may contain, it would undoubtedly cover a much greater surface. When, therefore, we attempt to calculate the quantity of water which is necessary to deluge the globe, we should make great allowance for the vast number of mountains and hills, with which the globe abounds; for these would render so large a body of water as the ordinary calculation supposes, to a certain extent, unnecessary.
But to give our opposers all the latitude which they can demand, we will proceed without this deduction for the mountains and hills. By the latest computations, the surface of the earth is supposed to contain 199,512,595 square miles. Now to overflow this surface to the depth of four miles, which is something more than the altitude of the highest mountains, it would require a parallelopepid of water, sixteen miles in depth, and a surface containing 49,878,148 square miles. In this computation, we only require a body of water sixteen miles deep, and whose surface shall be less than one fourth of the surface of the earth, to accomplish all that Moses has recorded, so far as the depth of water is concerned, in the overthrow of the world. And can any man believe, when he surveys the map of the world, that the immense seas which there meet his eye, do not contain a much greater surface than this plain computation requires ?The truth, that the vast oceans which diversify the face of the globe, contain a far greater quantity of water than was required to accomplish the deluge, is so clear and rational, that I am astonished
that men of reason and reflection should ever be led to doubt the fact.
We will now lay aside the consideration of the oceans, and forbear to appeal to the hypothesis of immense and deep caverns contained in the bowels of the earth, and pass to indulge a few thoughts upon the quantity of water which is required to moisten the solid parts of the globe.
That the earth is quite moist at the greatest depths to which it has ever been explored, is a fact universally known and acknowledged: Nor have we any solid reason to suppose that it is not equally moist, even to its very centre. Now let us observe the immense thickness of the earth; suppose it to be nearly 8,000 miles in diameter; the quantity of water which it would require to supply it with the same, or an equal degree of moisture with those parts which have been explored, would be abundantly greater than all the waters of the flood !-Nay, this resource alone would more than sufficient to flood the whole earth and raise the ocean more than four miles above its present level!
Perhaps some of my hearers will be surprised at this computation; but let them soberly examine the facts, and they will see that it falls immensely short of the quantity of water contained in the earth. Let them listen with candor to the ingenious Editor of the Encyclopedia, and then decide upon the fact. "To make all reasonable allowances, however (says he) we shall suppose the whole solid matter of the globe to be only equal to a cube of 5,000 miles s; and even on this supposition we shall find, that all the waters of the deluge would not be half sufficient to moisten it."
Let us now proceed to a mathematical demonstration of this fact. We will suppose, on the smallest computation, that the solid matter of the earth is a cube of 5,000 miles : This solid body would make the round sum of twentyfive thousand millions of cubic miles.-Take then the body of water which we have before described, as sufficient to overflow the globe, to the full extent of the Mosaic account; I mean the body of water, sixteen miles in depth, and 49,878,148 square miles of surface, and reduce it to cubic miles, and the whole sum will amount to 798,050,368 cubic miles of fluid;-which would be about equal to one pound of water, to one hundred and fifty times its bulk of
dry earth-This small proportion of water would scarcely moisten the earth to a degree which would render it perceptible to a careful observer and it cannot but strike your minds with great force, that the ordinary moisture of the earth, exceeds this proportion by more than one hundred per cent.
We have now reduced the fact to a mathematical demonstration, that there is abundantly more water taken up by the solid contents of the earth, than would be sufficient to produce the flood, whose history has been recorded by Moses; after making all reasonable allowances for the quantities of primitive rocks, which are justly supposed to contain but a small portion of fluid. And we have seen, that independent of the ocean and the air, such an event as he describes might have been produced, provided any means can be discovered in nature, by which it could be brought about. But while I attempt to reason upon this subject, on philosophical principles, I beg you, my hearers, not to indulge the thought, that I admit, fora moment, the absence of a divine and all-powerful agency, in bringing about this tremendous event, by which an ungodly world was overthrown. For all the powers of nature are but the quiescent instruments of divine wisdom, roused into action by his sovereign command, and his unerring will. The author of nature must surely control and direct all its astonishing powers, and overrule all its vast operations, in a manner perfectly subservient to the infinite designs of his wisdom and goodness.
We may now inquire, and let us do it in the candid and sober exercise of all our reasoning powers; are there any natural agents by which the astonishing effect of the deluge could be produced? If this question can be fairly answered in the affirmative, without doing violence to the laws of nature, the objections of skeptical philosophers will be silenced, upon the very principles by which they profess to be governed in all their decisions,
My remarks upon the quantity of water contained in the earth, will enable the curious, inquisitive mind, to avail himself of such actual experiments as will satisfy him of the quantities of that fluid which are required to saturate any given quantity of the ground on which he