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ance; and God therefore communicated a revelation of his mind and will, which was committed to writing.
In retracing the outline of the preceding Lecture; and contrasting the scriptural relation of the beginning of all things with other hypotheses; I trust, that the proposition, announced for elucidation this day, has been established: THAT THE Mos Aic Account of THE CREATION, Is THE ONLY RATIONAL ONE which WE HAVE RECEIVED.
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth; wherein dwelleth righteousness.” -
GEN. VII, 11–24.
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them into the ark: They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in. And the flood was forty days upon the earth and the waters increased, and bare up the ark; and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth: and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth: and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died, that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth, an hundred and fifty days.
2 PET. III, 5–7. For this they willingly are ignorant of that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth vehich gre now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment, and perdition of ungodly men.
IT is impossible to read the history of empires which once gave laws to the world, to trace the sources of their gradual decay, and to contemplate them in ruins, without emotions of pity and regret. The man who visits the spot where ancient imperial Rome stood, and held through many successive ages a boundless dominion over the commotions of the world, and finds only thesad monuments of decayed greatness,must possess feelings peculiar to himself, if no melancholy sensations arise in his heart to accord with the desolations
without. Where her awful senate convened, time strides over the ruin,and writes on the broken triumphal arch, “The glory is departed.” The traveller, as he sits upon a prostrate pillar, hears no sound but the passing wind, as it sighs along the weed-encompassed portico of some mouldering temple. The amphitheatre, once crowded with the masters of the globe, now shelters the bat, and the serpent; and affords an asylum to the owl from the glare of noonday. Who, that has an heart to feel, can wander among the crumbling vestiges of ancient grandeur, without dropping a tear over the scene of desolation, and exclaiming, “So sets the sun of earthly majesty, to rise no more for ever?” But the destruction which now demands our attention, is of much wider extent, and of infinitely greater magnitude. Not a city, nor an empire, but a world in . ruins, is the subject of contemplation. A new and awful view of Deity is conveyed to the mind. We behold him, not descending in mercy wafted on the wings of angels, amid the full chorus of heaven, to spread his golden compasses over the vast abyss, and to describe the circle of the earth; calling universal nature from discord and chaos; lending radiance to the sun, and immensity to the spheres; impressing his image upon man; constituting him lord of the creation; placing the diadem of glory upon his head, and the sceptre of authority in his hand: but we contemplate the offended Majesty of Heaven, arrayed in vengeance; terrible in fury; clothed in all the thunder of his power; arming the elements against his adversaries; and opening the dreadful artillery of his wrath upon a guilty world. When God completed the creation, he beheld in the harmony and magnificence of his work, the perfect transcript of his own vast design, and pronounced the
whole, and all its several parts, “very good.” By an early act of disobedience, man broke the law of his Maker; and not only cancelled the bond of his own happiness, but blotted the hand-writing of Deity in the volume of nature. The fall of man, as a point of doctrine, comes not within the department of this course of Lectures: it is our business simply to insist upon it as a fact recorded in the Scriptures,which ten thousand different and fatal effects produced by it, tend to establish. To this fact, as a source, must be traced up every calamity which wrings a tear from the eye, every pang which extorts a groan from the heart, and every stroke of mortality which descends upon our connexions. Sin having found its way into the world, was followed by death and a long train of attendant miseries. The yawning tomb presented itself to the man at the end of this valley of tears, and the grave was the termination of his fondest hopes: to the earliest race of men, as to us, it was the limit to the longest period of existence. A life of “nine hundred sixty and nine years,” like a summer's day, had its dawn, its morning, its meridian, its decline: it yielded to the lengthen. ing shadows of the evening; and gradually sunk into the gloom of a midnight silent and impenetrable. Who will be able to set boundaries to vice? When the floodgates are once opened, who shall presume to check the torrent, or attempt to stay the impetuosity of the rushing waters? The rivulet, increased in its course by the constant accession of innumerable, tributary streams, swells into a flood, and rolls a deep, silent, resistless river, which is at length lost in the bosom of the ocean. Such was the progression of iniquity. Small in its beginning; it rapidly augmented, till it had covered the whole earth. Man added sin to