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Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives told, in another place, that it was “by faith,” of his sons with them, into the ark;

that, moved with fear, he prepared the ark, 14 They, and every beast after his kind,

preserved his family, condemned the world, and all the cattle after their kind, and every

and became heir of the righteousness which creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind,

is by faith. (Heb. xi. 7.) Had he been an every bird of every 6 sort.

unbeliever, like the rest, he would no more 15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, have obeyed the command which the Lord two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath had given to prepare the ark, than others of life.

regarded the warning of their approaching 16 And they that went in, went in male and

end, and he would have perished at last in female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

the general overthrow. But Noah believed ; 17 And the flood was forty days upon the

that faith led to obedience; and the conseearth; and the waters increased, and bare up

quences of that obedience we behold in the the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. chapter before us. (2 Pet. ii. 5-9.)

18 And the waters prevailed, and were in All things are ready ; the ark is prepared ; creased greatly upon the earth; and the ark the time is at hand; the measure of the went upon the face of the waters.

world's iniquity is full. Now shall it be seen 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly

whether a holy God does not as certainly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.

know how to punish the wicked for their sin, 20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters

as to preserve his people by his grace. Before prevail ; and the mountains were covered. the deluge breaks forth, Noah must be safe.

21 And all flesh died that moved upon the | Not one drop shall be poured forth till he and earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, his are all secure. “Come thou, says the and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon Lord, and all thy family into the ark." Oh! the earth, and every man: 22 All in whose nostrils was 6 the breath of

sweet token of divine mercy and love! And life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

not only so; but when he enters that refuge, 23 And every living substance was destroyed

the same kind and merciful hand shut him which was upon the face of the ground, both in ; and the Lord himself would watch over man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and that ark all the time it would be tossed about the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed by the desolating waves of the flood! And from the earth: and Noah only remained alire,

are not the eyes of the Lord always upon his and they that were with him in the ark. 24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth

people? Does he not keep and preserve, as an hundred and fifty days.

well as bless and save them? Will ever any

perish, whom he hath shut up in the faith (1) Or, floodgates.

revealed (Gal. iii. 2-3), and sealed as his own (3) Or, on the seventh day (6) Heb. the breath of the spirit

to the day of redemption ? (Eph. iv. 30.)

But now the hour is come, and the flood In the last chapter we were told of the uni- breaks forth. The windows of heaven are versal wickedness of man, the character of | opened; the fountains of the great deep are Noah, God's determination to destroy the broken up; and for forty days and forty nights world and all that were in it, both of man and the rain pours down in torrents. The rivers beast, and the means appointed for Noah's swell; the valleys are full; the flood rises; safety. Now there is one thing said of this houses, hedges, trees, forests, hills, and mounholy man deserving special notice. When tains, are all covered, and swallowed up in God gave him directions for building the ark, one vast and universal desolation! Oh! the he began to act upon those commands; and misery of the wicked then! How they run ceased not to do so till the whole was done! and seek for safety! They go to the top of “ T'hus did Noah,” it is said, “ according to all their houses; they climb the trees; they flee that God commanded him, so did he.”

to the hills; they try to ascend the height It may be useful to inquire, how he came to of the mountains; but all in vain! The flood act in this manner; and by what principle reaches them still; they cry, but there is no was he guided throughout? You are expressly helper; their day is gone; they all die ; all

(1) Heb. seren seren. (2) Heb. blot out.

(5) Heb. wing.

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perish; and all are swept away from the earth. Thus was it then in that awful time of vengeance. Thus will it be in that far more tremendous season which is yet to come; when the whole impenitent world will as certainly perish by the fire of God's indignation in the day “which will burn like an oven” (Mal. iv. 1), as the whole ungodly world then perished by the flood of waters. (2 Pet. iii. 7, &c.)

But where is the ark; and where is Noah Borne aloft on the surface of the flood, he outrides the deluge in safety. And what will be the final state of all who are found in Christ? Safe and blessed, as Noah was. Come then, and enter this divinely appointed ark. Come yourselves. Come with all your families, and enter the ark of Christ for the salvation of your souls.

CIIAPTER VIII.

1 The trulers assurage. 4 The ark resteth on Ararat. 7 The raven and the dove. 15 Noah, being commanded, 18 goeth forth of the ark. 20 IIe buildeth an altar, and offereth sacrifice, 21 which God accepteth, and promiseth to curse the earth no more. ND God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged ; 2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; 3 And the waters returned from off the earth 'continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. 4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters * decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. 6 *| And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah o ...! the window of the ark which he had made: 7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth * to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. . 8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9 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: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and “pulled her in unto him into the ark. 10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark ; 11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. 12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more. 13 || And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. 15 "I And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. 17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. 18. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him : 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their "kinds, went forth out of the ark. 20 " And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord ; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the Lord smelled "a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; 7 for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 * While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (4) Heb. caused her to come.

(5) Heb, families. (6) Heb. a savour of rest.

(1) Heb, in going and returnn

ing. (2) Heb. were in going and de

creasing. (7) 0r, though. (3) Heb. in going forth and re- | (8) Heb. as yet all the days of turning. the earth,

WE read in the last chapter of the tremendous desolations of the deluge. All flesh died that moved upon the face of the earth. Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. We may easily imagine what a trying season that must have been, had he not been sustained by faith: and probably it was so, though he was upheld by that mighty principle. Noah, however, was neither forgotten, nor forsaken ; though the waters prevailed exceedingly, and nothing but desolation and death surrounded him on every side, he was safe. The same gracious Lord that bade him prepare the ark; that directed him to enter the ark ; and that shut him into the ark; watched over him all the time it was tossed on the waves of the roaring deluge, and in due season brought him in safety out of it. You may always confidently rely on the Lord's protecting love and mercy, when walking in the way he bids you go ; and, especially so, when hid in the ark of the gospel for salvation. It is said, “God remembered Noah, and all that were with him in the ark.” The Church of God was then in a very low estate indeed. The number was small; the peril was great. But God remembered Noah; and that was the pledge of his safety and deliverance. How often have the people of God experienced the blessedness of being remembered by him! Perhaps you have found it so. Amidst the various vicissitudes of life, your trials may have been many and great. Often has it

been, when all without and all within has.

been like the roaring deluge. Deep called unto deep, as all the waves threatened to overwhelm you. But you were neither swallowed up, nor destroyed; you were kept in safety; the winds were hushed, the storm ceased, and you experienced a mighty deliverance. Why so Because the Lord remembered you, as he did Noah. Oh! what a sweet prayer is that, “Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people !” (Ps. cwi. 4.) May you, then, confidently rely on him in time to come Yes, you may ; and, doing so, you shall find that all the promises of God will be to you “as the waters of Noah" (Is. liv. 9); and that the Lord will as certainly remember to help and deliver you, as he did his faithful servant on this occasion. Observe the gradual indications of this deliverance. The waters asswaged; the fountains

of the deep were stopped; the rain ceased ; and the waters returned from off the earth continually. Then the ark rested; and all things were making way for a happy termination of the trial. Is it not thus the Lord generally succours his people : First one mercy comes, then another is given, and, in due time, the deliverance is signal and complete. Behold these birds sent forth from the ark. The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and came flying back for safety. The raven was delighted to feed upon the dead, and thought of the ark no more. Ilow many are like the raven! They love the world ; they live upon the world; the world is their home, and their all. The ark is forgotten; the Saviour is neglected; and for the sake of the world they perish with them that are lost. On the other hand, the dove resembles the people of God. The world is no home nor resting-place for them. IIere they are often troubled and uneasy. In Christ alone is their comfort and safety; and the prevailing, desire of their soul is, “O that I had wings like a dove; then would I flee away, and be at rest!” (Ps. lv. 6.) Take notice, also, of Noah's patience and piety. Though the waters were abated, and the earth dry, he would not leave the ark till God bade him; and then his first action was, as soon as he stood on the dry ground, to build an altar unto the Lord. Is not this the manner in which true faith, and real piety, will always be displayed The genuine feeling of every one that fears the Lord is, not to move a step in any undertaking without the Lord's guidance and blessing. Then he is safe, but not otherwise. And after mèrcies received, he praises the Lord for his goodness, still confessing his sins, and still pleading for pardon. Lastly, observe the Lord's perpetual faithfulness. The earth, as such, is still the same ; and man is the same polluted being as before. But, till the end of all things, the earth and all its fruits and seasons shall remain in regular order and appointment. So to this day it is. Thus the Lord fulfils his word; and thus will every tittle of that word, in due time, be brought to pass. (Is, liv. 9, 10.)

CHAPTER IX.

1 God blesseth Noah. 4 Blood and murder are forbidden. 8 God's covenant, 13 signified by the rainbow. 18 Noah replenisheth the world, 20 planteth a vineyard, 21 is drunken, and mocked of his son, 25 curseth Canaan, 26 blesseth Shem, 27 prayeth for Japheth, 29 and dieth.

ND God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the ... fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. 3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. 7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein. 8 || And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, 9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. 11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and

I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. 17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth. 18 "| And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of "Canaan. 19 These are the three sons of Noah : and of them was the whole earth overspread. 20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his

tent.

22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. 24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 27 God shall "enlarge Japheth, and he

shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan

shall be his servant. 28 And Noah lived after the flood three

hundred and fifty years. 29 And all the days of Noah were nine

hundred and fifty years: and he died.

(1) Heb. Chenaan. (2) Or, servant to them. (3) Or, persuade.

EMERGING from the desolations of the flood, everything connected with the present state of this earth and the history of man should be carefully noted. Two points arising from the close of the last chapter, and several in this, demand consideration and improvement. How inveterate is the stain of sin All the waters of the deluge could not wash it away. The unrenewed heart of man is still as wicked as it was before ; and so will it ever be whilst the earth remaineth. Is there, then, no remedy? Blessed be God, there is. There is a “fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.” (Zech. xiii. 1.) The blood of Christ can do what the waters of the deluge could not effect. It can cleanse from all sin, remove all the curse, and bring to the believer pardon and peace here, and life and glory hereafter. But this must take place by the Spirit of God whilst this life continues, and before the day of grace has passed away. The world will as certainly perish at last, as man must die; and when death comes the state of all will be fixed for ever. “Now,” therefore, “is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. vi. 2.) The first action of God on Noah's coming out of the ark was to bless him. Let the blessing of the Lord be the first mercy you seek, wherever you are, and whatever you do. “Oh! that thou wouldest bless me, indeed” (1 Chron. iv. 10), is a prayer you may well use on all occasions. But does the Lord hate sin less after the flood, than he did before it took place : The statements contained in this chapter teach us the contrary. Murder was the crying sin of Cain. Lamech, one of Cain's descendants, gloried in shedding blood, and in slaying others. In process of time the earth was filled with violence ; and where violence is habitually committed, men will feel but little hesitation in acting the greatest atrocities. There is reason, therefore, to conclude that this was one of the prevailing crimes of the old world. And how solemnly does God mark that sin here in this chapter “Surely your blood of your lives will I require.” “Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” Let all beware of evil dispositions, and learn to love their neighbour as themselves (Matt. xix. 19); and then there will be no violence, injustice, nor shedding of innocent blood; for “love worketh no ill to his neighbour.” (Rom. xiii. 10.) But what proof had Noah that the world might not be deluged again God had said so, and he believed. But would the Lord be pleased to confirm that promise by some visible token of its truth and certainty Behold his condescending goodness! By setting the beautiful rainbow in the cloud he would, from time to time, by its brilliant display, assure all the future generations of men, that he would certainly keep the promise he had made. Whenever you see that splendid

token in the cloud, learn to adore the divine goodness in preserving us from a watery deluge, though we deserve it as much as the sinners of the old world; and let it serve to remind you of that adorable Jesus, in whom all the attributes of the Godhead, like the blended colours in the bow, meet together for our pardon and salvation. But let us take heed; there is danger everywhere. When we cease to watch and pray, we soon fall into sin. Is this Noah, that found grace; that walked with God; that was preserved in the ark; the pious, humble, thankful Noah Ah! take heed of intemperance; which is so dangerous to ail, and so unseemly for the man of God. Well may we cry, Lord, what is man! What stronger proof can there be of man's utter depravity than to see Noah drunken and uncovered in his tent? Who will not pray, Lord, keep me from evil; as well as, Lord, pardon my sin! Learn also not to exult over the falls of others. Did God pronounce the fearful curse upon Ham, which rests on his posterity to this day, because of the unbecoming manner in which he spake and acted in respect of his father's fault: Then never make a mock of sin. (Prov. xiv. 9.) Consider your own weakness, and pray for mercy and grace. On the other hand, see the mercy pronounced on Shem and Japheth. The one was blessed; the other shall be enlarged, and made fartaker of Shem's blessing; whilst the curse rests on the head of Ham. And if a father's curse be so terrible, what must the curse of God be on whom it falls! May our hearts be enlarged with the blessing of God, and made one in Christ with the blessing of Shem; so shall we be blessed for ever!

CHAPTER X. 1 The generations of Noah. 2 The sons of Japheth. 6 The sons of Ham. 8 Nimrod the first monarch. 21 The sons of Shem. OW these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. 3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.

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