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*This piece was never before published, but was written in, or prior to, the year 1790. The appendix was probably written at a subsequent period, but when, we have no means of ascertaining.


Longitude and perpetual motion have employed the prying thoughts of the ingenious for a long time; great premiums are offered to the man who shall first find them out. The apparent advantages of such discoveries would be great; but whether the world will ever enjoy those advantages or not, is a matter of present uncertainty.

The first rise of sin has also been a subject of much speculation. Orthodox divines, poets, and mystics have employed their pens to investigate the point; but not being satisfied with the elucidation of any piece that I have seen, I have presumed to offer the following tract to the public, which will speak for itself.

Those who have read Dr. Gill on Genesis, will see that I have borrowed some remarks of him; but, in some instances, I have dared to differ from that great man.

If the conjectures are considered extravagant, or futile, the reader may remember that he is at his full liberty to invent anything better. The whole of it is offered to the world in modesty and diffidence, by the author. J. L.



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THE history of the world, before the flood, includes only one hundred and seventy verses from the first of Genesis, to chapter vii., verse 11. It is very short, and, therefore, very sublime and significant. The term of time, that this short history treats of, is no less than sixteen hundred and fifty. five years, one month, and seventeen days.

From this history, we learn that there was one murderer, one man-slayer, one martyr, one prophet, and one preacher, before the deluge; and that the imaginations of men's hearts were, in general, evil, and only evil, continually.

No more than twenty-seven personal names are given us in this account, viz. Adam, the first man, and Eve, his wife—Cain, and eleven of his posterity—Abel—Seth, and eleven of his descendants; and yet, we are told by some, that there were eleven, and some say, eighty thousand mil. lions of people destroyed in the flood. No doubt but what there was a large number, but this account seems extravagant, beyond all reason; for this would be more than six souls to every acre of land on the face of the globe; which, perhaps, is eighty times as many as have ever been on the earth, living at one time, since the flood.*

The name, God, is used seventy-three times before the deluge, and the name, Lord, or Jehovah, thirty-five. No direct promise is given of the Messiah, in the whole history, but the conquering seed of the woman is made known in the denunciation of Jehovah God to the serpent.

But, what lies before me at this time, is to confine my observations to the first three chapters of Genesis, containing eighty verses.

* If, from the formation of Adam and Eve, to the flood, people doubled once in fortyfive years, there had been on earth more than one hundred and thirty-seven thousand millions. And, if they have doubled as fast from Noah, to the present time, there have been in the world nearly forty thousand quatrillions ; which would be more than one hundred thousand souls, for each square inch in the terraqueous globe.


In the first chapter, the phrase, and God said, is found ten times. A short account of creation is given, which is more fully explained, in a supplementary way, in the second; for which reason, both chapters are explained together; introduced by the words,


In the beginning. Not of eternity, which had no beginning, but of time. If the history of Moses respects the whole creation, this clause destroys the notion of the pre-existence of angels, or the human soul of Christ; but if his history only treats of the solar system, and there are other worlds, and systems of worlds in existence, let their histories be produced, and they shall be regarded. Creation had, some time, a beginning; and no sufficient reason has yet been offered, that it ever had a beginning anterior to the Mosaic account. He who wrought in the beginning, was God. The Elohim, here used, is a noun of plural number, and seems to express a trinity of persons in the divine Essence: by this triune Creator were all things created, visible and invisible. The word Elohim, is said, by some, to signify all Power, to show that creation and formation were the effects of omnipotence; that the world, both as to matter and form, was the creature of God, and did not emerge by the fortuitous motion and conjunction of pre-existing matter. Others say, the word represents a being, in whom all fulness centres. This is true of the Creator; but as the same name is given to angels, and the rulers of this world, who are not centres of all perfections, the first signification seems best. The things that God made in the beginning, were, the heavens and the earth. All created heavens are here intended, at least in substance, though not as yet spread out like a garment, or tent. It is most likely that the Heaven for angels was first finished, and then peopled by angels; for it is certain that the heavens, earth, and seas, and all things in them, were made in the six days; and as angels were present on the third day, when the foundations of the earth were fixed, and sang for joy; where is a more likely time to assign for their creation than the first day? The word heaven, here used, signifies above, as the word earth does below, so that whatever is above or below, in substance, was made on the first day. But when the earth was first made, it was without form and void. Not without some form, which always attends gross matter, but void of the form which it now has—which it had when Moses wrote—which it had before the flood—and particularly which it had on the third day, when it was new-moulded and decorated by God. Had man been then formed, he could not have discerned what form it was in, for, darkness was upon the face of the deep. The particles of the earth

being as much heavier than water as twenty exceeds twelve, of course, sunk the lowest, while the particles of water rose uppermost, resembling a deep sea; and as no light had then been made, (at least to appear,) dark. ness covered the whole mass; but it did not long remain in that predicament, for, the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. By the spirit of God, some understand the wind, which is volatile, like spirit, which they suppose moved on the face of the waters; if so, then the air was made on the first day. If this does not intend the wind, no account is given of its creation in the Genessian history; and as fire cannot exist in a visible manner without air, it looks as if the air must have been made before the light appeared. But it is more generally believed, that the infinite spirit of God is meant. The clauses before this, treat of the creation of all above and below, and the dark situation all was in; and this clause speaks of the working of God's power, to produce things and creatures out of what was already created: and, indeed, it appears most likely, that what the Hebrews call To-kee and Bo-kee, and the Greeks call chaos, was made in the beginning of the first day, and that out of this crude mass all things were formed. And when the spirit of God thus moved, God said, let there be light, which was the first time that God spake. It appears most probable, that God, the Son, was the speaker; from which it is said, in the beginning was the Word—all things were made by him—in him was light: and the first word was obeyed, for there was light; likely in the form of a pillar of fire, which answered the use of a sun, until the fourth day, when the sun was formed. And God saw the light that he had made, and it was good in itself, and would be useful to men. The almighty Architect examined his work, to see if it was well done, and pronounced it good. And God divided the light from the darkness, by causing the light to move round the rough mass of matter, or, more likely, the rough mass, to turn round the light. In either case, the shadow of the dark ball made darkness, and the light shining upon it made it lurid, and the division depended upon the diurnal motion, which has lasted to this day.

And God called the light day, and the darkness, he called night; which times are to continue, alternately, as long as the earth remaineth. And the evening and the morning were the first day. Darkness preceded the light, likely, about twelve hours, which was succeeded by twelve hours light, which evening and morning made the first day. Various philosophers say, that darkness was before light, and many nations, such as the Romans, Athenians, Druids, etc., began their days in the evening, as also, did the Jews their holy days.



And God said, let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters. firmament is called heaven; the visible heavens are intended, which were

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