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stance of what extraordinary and adorable methods the great Creator makes ufe of, to inftruct and imprefs upon mankind, in all ages, the knowledge of his difpenfations, and of himself, the author of them *. This fhould difpofe us, with the wise son of Sirach, when we look upon the rain-bow, to praise him that made it: Very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof.
It compafleth the heaven about with a glorious circle; and the hands of the most high have bended it. Ecclus xliii. 11, 12.
* How wonderful are the ways of his wisdom, in making that which threatens rain the harbinger of fair weather; and the watery cloud, which is fraught with the means that drowned the world, the merciful token of the preservation of it! It justly merited the name of Wonderful, as well for the defigt, as the conftruction of it; which is more than the heathens knew, who gave it that name.
OF THE DELUGE.
HOUGH the memory of many events which happened in diftant ages, is liable to be worn out and effaced by time and accidents, to that degree, as to leave few, and perhaps no traces of them remaining: Yet an event, which affected the earth and mankind in general, in which the fate of the whole world was involved, must surely have left such marks and impreffions, as would withstand all the injuries of time, and would not be wholly obliterated by any means whatsoever. The whole face of nature undoubtedly bore
bore teftimony to the univerfal deluge for fome ages; and veftiges of it, of feveral kinds, are ftill to be feen in many places. Some traditions concerning it have been met with in all parts of the world, which verify the Mofaic account of its univerfality; and his hiftory of it is confirmed by many other antient writers.
The ark refted on Ararat, a mountain in Armenia: And fofephus informs us, that the Armenians called the place where Noah and his family went out of it, Apobaterion, or the place of defcent. " We read, fays he, of this deluge, and the ark, in all the writers of barbarian hiftories; as in Berofus, the Chaldean for one, who, fpeaking of this flood, writes to this effect. They say that there are fome remains of this veffel to be feen upon the mountains of the Cordyeans in Armenia to this very day; and that feveral people, living upon the place, scrape the pitch off the planks as a rarity, and carry it about them for an amulet.
Egyptian, in his Phenician antiquities, Mnafeas, and a great many others, fay fomewhat of this matter too: But Nicolaus of Damafcus, in the 96th book of his hiftory, fpeaks to this purpofe. In the province of Minyas in Armenia, there is a high mountain, called Baris; to which place there fled a great many people, as the story goes, in the time of the deluge, for fanctuary. There is a tradition alfo, of a certain man in a veffel, that ftruck upon the top of this mountain; and that feveral pieces of the timber were to be seen there a long time after. This, fays he, probably was the man that Mofes makes mention of *"
* Jofeph. Antiq. Book i. ch. 4. Eng. by L'eftrange. Jofephus quotes Berofus again, in his book against Apion. "This Berofus, fays he, after the manner of the moft antient hiftorians," who it feems in general recorded this event," wrote the hiftory of the deluge, just as Mofes relates it. He mentions the ark likewife, in which the firft father of our race was preferved, and carried to the mountains of Armenia. He runs through the genealogy of the fons of Noah likewife; their names and ages." Jof. contra Apion, lib. i. Eufebius
Eufebius adds, from the monuments of the Medes and Allyrians, a paffage out of Abydenus, to the following effect—That Sifithrus, a name probably of the fame import with Noah, having been forewarned by Saturn of an approaching deluge, fet fail for Armenia; where he was foon convinced of the truth of the divine prediction That, on the third day after he found the rain abated, he fent birds, once and again, to try if they could discover land, but without fuccefs-That, on their being fent a third time, they returned with their wings bedaubed with mud-That Sifithrus, after this, was taken by the gods from among men-And that the fhip in which he failed, arriving in Armenia, furnished the inhabitants with amulets made of the wood of it; which they hung round their necks, and carried about with them *.
* Eufeb. Præp. Evang. lib. ix. cap. 12. Vide etiam Cyrill. I. adv. Julianum, Vide Syncellum, p. 30, 31.