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of light, in relation to the
way of acceptance with God, many discoveries were made in the useful and ornamental arts. Thus we find that Abel was “a keeper of sheep,” Cain “ a tiller of the ground;" Jabal “ was 66 the father of such as dwell in tents, and of “ such as have cattle;" Jubal invented " the “harp and the organ;" Tubal-cain,“ as instructor of every artificer in brass and “ iron”;" Noah was acquainted with the distinction between clean and unclean beasts, as also with the principles of ship-building". The method of measuring time must have been known in the very first ages, as appears from the calculation which Moses gives us of the length of the antediluvian patriarchs' lives, and the manner in which he describes the circumstances of the deluge. In addition to this, let it be remembered, that the sanctity and duties of the married state were likewise understood, and the principles of subordination which this state necessarily
a Gen. iv. 2. 20, 21, 22. Cain and his descendants had intercourse with those who walked by faith. The first pro• mise, therefore, still had in uence over their intellectual powers, in calling them into exercise for the invention of useful and ornamental arts.
b Gen. vi. xiv. 6. & vii. 2.
includes ; principles which involve in them the foundations of all social intercourse and civil order?
Combining all these materials of information with their natural connexions, we are constrained to conclude, that the
from the creation down to the deluge, though notorious for the depravity of their morals, were also distinguished by their extensive acquisitions in the different branches of useful knowledge, and by the developement of the forms and conditions of social life. With this knowledge in its various kinds, possessed by the antediluvian world, Noah must have been acquainted; for he was six hundred years old when he entered into the ark'. Nor can we suppose that his sons were ignorant of
a In Davies Celtic Researches, much information will be found on this subject. It is a matter not yet decided, whether writing was known to the antediluvian world, or not. Winder, in his History of Knowledge, endeavours to prove that there was no writing previous to the giving of the law at Sinai, vol. ii. Shuckford considers it as known to the antediluvians, and so does the author of Fragments and Scriplure Ilustrated, Frag. 136. Scrip. Illast. p. 198. Calmet's Dict. Charls. edit. Magee on the Atonement, in his remarks on the book of Job, gives his opinion that it was written previous to the time when Moses was in Midian.
b Gen. vii. 11.
the same, as the oldest at that time had reached his hundredth year". Both the patriarch and his family were thus qualified to become the instructors of the new world,
They had, moreover, additional revelations from God, containing some more light concerning the promised seed, and granting an increase of privileges to the human family. Immediately after they left the ark, the first care of Noah was to return thanks to him who had delivered them from the devouring flood. In the burnt-offerings of the patriarch on this occasion, “the Lord smell“ ed a sweet savour ;" he had respect to the sacrifice of Christ typified by these offerings, upon whose account the “ few, that is, eight
persons, were saved by water".” In consequence of this, God
to him and his seed after him,“ a new grant of the earth, “ founded on that covenant of
which “ is by the sacrifice of Christ, with a promise
annexed, that now the earth should no
more be destroyed, till the consummation “ of all things. The covenant upon which
a Gen. v. 32. b Gen. vjii. 21. comp. with Eph. v. 2. & 1 Pet. iii. 2. c Edwards' History of Redemption, part 2. Gen. ix. 9, 10.
this grant is founded was renewed with them, and confirmed " by the bow in the “ clouds,” as “ the token” thereof". The use of animal food, which was a new privilege, God gave unto them, but at the same time prohibited the eating of blood, because it referred to the blood of atonement. He also commanded that murder in future should be punished with death ; thus teaching the value of human life and the dignity of our nature even in its fallen state.
In a subsequent period, on a memorable occasion, by the Spirit of prophecy the
patriarch announced that the Messiah, the promised seed, should spring from Shem, and that in his blessings the descendants of Japhet would be largely interested.
With such information and privileges, the parents of the new world commenced their
a Gen. ix. 12---17.
b Witsii Econ. lib. 4. c. 2. Sherlock on Prophecy, dis. 4. This writer says, p. 99, of the 3d edit. “I find no
new prophecy given to Noah after the flood :" And yet, p. 103, he considers “ Noah's blessing like unto Lamech's “ prophecy," and speaks of Noah's foreseeing that “the cove* nant which should restore man to himsell, and to his Ma“ker, should be restored through the posterity of Shem." VOL. I.
social state in that country where they left the ark. Here, whether in Armenia or Bactria", before the descendants of Noah
separated,“ the earth was divided!” by him, according to the divine command. As their numbers increased, it became necessary for them to emigrate in search of their allotted habitations. however, to have been unwilling to part with each other, or to divide into distinct communities. On the plains of Shinar, to which their journeyings had been extended, they halted, and formed the project of building a tower, to prevent their dispersion, and to make them a name. They commenced their undertaking when they were of one language and of one speech; an undertaking designed to oppose the determination of God, and to establish one great empire'. In
a Shucksord's Connect. vol. i. p. 86–88. Bryant's Analysis, vol. iii. p. 362—413. Calmet's Dic. by Taylor, 4th vol. Charles, edit.
b Gen. x. 5-10. 32. Deut. xxxii. 7. Acts xvii. 26. Eusebius states, that, in the 930th year of Noah's life, he, by divine appointment, divided the world between his three sops. Bryant's Anal. vol. iv. p. 19. 8vo ed. Winder's Hist. of Knowl. chap. vi. sect. 4. vol. 1.
c Delany's Rev. Exam. &c. vol. ij. Dissert. 3.