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unevennesses on its surface. It is not easy to reconcile this hypothesis, with those words of Moses, “ The waters increased—and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward [above the highest] did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered;" Gen. vii. 19, 23. We have no reason to believe that these mountains were produced by the Deluge itself. Not the least intimation of this is given; therefore we cannot doubt but they existed before it: indeed they answered many excellent purposes, beside greatly increasing the beauty of the creation, by a variety of prospects, which had been totally lost had the earth been one extended plain. Yet we need not suppose their sides were abrupt, or difficult of ascent. It is highly probable that they rose and fell, by almost insensible degrees.
3. As to the internal parts of the earth, even to this day, we scarcely have any knowledge of them. Many have supposed the centre of the globe to be surrounded by an abyss of fire. Many others have imagined it to be encompassed with an abyss of water; which they supposed to be termed in Scripture, “ the great deep,” Gen. vii. 11: all the fountains of which were broken up, in order to the general deluge. But, however this was, we are sure all things were disposed therein, with the most perfect order and harmony. Hence there were no agitations within the bowels of the globe; no violent convulsions: no concussions of the earth: no earthquakes : but all was unmoved as the pillars of heaven. There were then no such things as eruptions of fire: there were no volcanos, or burning mountains. Neither Vesuvius, Ætna, nor Hecla, if they had any being, then poured out smoke and flame, but were covered with a verdant mantle, from the top to the bottom.
4. The Element of Water, it is probable, was then mostly confined within the great abyss. In the new earth (as we are informed by the Apostle, Rev. xxi. 1, will be no more sea :” none covering as now the face of the earth, and rendering so large a part of it uninhabitable by man. Hence, it is probable there was no external sea in the paradisiacal earth: none, until the great deep burst the barriers which were originally appointed for it; indeed, there was not then that need of the ocean for navigation which there is now. For either, as the poet supposes,
Omnis tulit omnia tellus ; Every country produced whatever was requisite either for the necessity or comfort of its inhabitants : or man being then (as he will be again at the resurrection) equal to angels, was able to convey himself, at his pleasure, to any given distance. Over and above, that those flaming messengers were always ready to minister to the heirs of salvation. But whether there was sea or not, there were rivers sufficient to water the earth, and make it very plenteous. These answered all the purposes of convenience and pleasure:
By“ liquid lapse of murmuring stream.” To which were added gentle, genial showers, with salutary mists and exhalations. But there were no putrid lakes, no turbid or stagnating waters : but only
Such as “ bore imprest Fair Nature's image on their placid breast.” 5. The Element of Air was then always serene, and always friendly to man.
It contained no frightful meteors, no unwholesome vapours, no poisonous exhalations. There were no tempests, but only cool and gentle breezes,
Genitabilis aura Favoni, fanning both man and beast, and wafting the fragrant odours on their silent wings. 6. The Sun, the fountain of Fire,
“ Of this great world both Eye and Soul,” was situated at the most exact distance from the earth, so as to yield a sufficient quantity of heat, (neither too little nor too much,) to every part of it. God had not yet
66 Bid his angels turn askance
There was, therefore, then no country that groaned under
of Arctos, and eternal frost." There was no violent winter, or sultry summer; no extreme either of heat or cold. No soil was burnt up by the solar heat: none uninhabitable through the want of it. Thus Earth, Water, Air, and Fire, all conspired together to the welfare and pleasure of nian.
7. To the same purpose served the grateful vicissitude of light and darkness, day and night. For as the human body, though not liable to death or pain, yet needed continual sustenance by food, so, although it was not liable to weariness, yet it needed continual reparation by sleep. By this the springs of the animal machine were wound up from time to time, and kept always fit for the pleasing labour for which man was designed by his Creator. Accordingly " the evening and the morning were the first day,” before sin or pain was in the world. The first natural day had one part dark, for a season of repose; one part light for a season of labour. And even in Paradise “ Adam slept,” chap. ii. 21, before he sinned; sleep, therefore, belonged to innocent, human nature. Yet I do not apprehend, it can be inferred from hence, that there is either darkness or sleep in heaven. Surely there is no darkness in that city of God. Is it not expressly said, Rev. xxii. 5, “ There shall be no night there!” Indeed they have no light from the sun ; but “ the Lord giveth them light.” So it is all day in heaven, as it is all night in hell. On earth we have a mixture of both. Day and night succeed each other, till earth shall be turned to heaven. Neither can we at all credit the account given by the ancient poet, concerning Sleep in heaven; although he allows cloud-compelling Jove to remain awake while the inferior gods were sleeping. It is pity, therefore, that our great poet should copy so servilely after the old heathen, as to tell us
.“ Sleep had seald
Not so: they that are “ before the Throne of God serve him day and night,” speaking after the manner of men, “ in his temple," Rev. vii. 15. That is, without any interval. As wicked spirits are tormented day and night, without any intermission of their misery: so holy spirits enjoy God day and night, without any intermission of their happiness.
8. On the second day God encompassed the terraqueous globe with that noble appendage, the Atmosphere, consisting chiefly of Air, but replete with earthly particles of various kinds, and with huge volumes of water, sometimes invisible, sometimes visible, buoyed up by that ethereal fire, a particle of which cleaves to every particle of air. "By this the water was divided into innumerable drops, which descending, watered the earth and made it very plenteous, without incommoding any of its inhabitants. For there were then no impetuous currents of air, no tempestuous winds; no furious hail, no torrents of rain, no rolling thunders or forky lightnings. One perennial spring was perpetually smiling over the whole surface of the earth.
9. On the third day God commanded all kind of vegetables to spring out of the earth. And then added thereto innumerable herbs, intermixed with flowers of all hues. To these were added shrubs of every kind, together with tall and stately trees, whether for shade, for timber, or for fruit, in endless variety. Some of these were adapted to particular climates or particular exposures : while vegetables of more general use, (as wheat in particular,) were not confined to one country, but would flourish almost in every climate. But among all these there were no weeds, no useless plants, none that encumbered the ground. Much less were there any poisonous ones, tending to hurt any one creature: but every thing was salutary in its kind, suitable to the gracious design of its great Creator.
10. The Lord now created the Sun to rule the day, and the Moon to govern the night.” The Sun was
“Of this great world both eye and soul.” The eye, making all things visible; distributing light to every part of the system, and thereby rejoicing both earth and sky: and the soul, the principle of all life, whether to vegetables or animals. Some of the uses of the Moon we are acquainted with, her causing the ebbing and flowing of the sea, and influencing in a greater or smaller degree, all the fluids of the terraqueous globe. And many other uses she may have, unknown to us, but known to the wise Creator. But it is certain she had no hurtful, no unwholesome influence on any living creature. 66 He made the stars also : both those that move round the Sun, whether of the primary or secondary order: or those that, being at a far greater distance, appear to us fixed in the firmament of heaven. Whether comets are to be numbered among the stars, and whether they were parts of the original creation, is, perhaps, not so easy to determine, at least with certainty: as we have nothing but probable conjecture, either concerning their nature or their use. We know not whether (as some ingenious men have imagined,) they are ruined worlds; worlds that have undergone a general conflagration: or whether (as others not improbably suppose) they are immense reservoirs of fluids, appointed to revolve at certain seasons, and to supply the still decreasing moisture of the earth. But certain we are, that they did not either produce or portend any evil. They did not (as many have fancied since)
From their horrid hair
Shake pestilence and war.” 11. The Lord God afterward peopled the earth with animals of every kind. He first commanded the waters to bring forth abundantly; to bring forth creatures, which, as they inhabited a grosser element, so they were, in general, of a more stupid nature, endowed with fewer senses and less understanding than other animals. The bivalved shell-fish in particular, seem to have no sense but that of feeling, unless, perhaps, a low measure of taste : so that they are but one degree above vegetables. And even the king of the waters (a title which some give the whale, because of his