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Eusebius' sentiment concerning both Plato and Moses : he plainly shews that he knew Moses had written fact, and history, but thought Plato mistook him, and supposed him an allegorist; and that in writing in that stile, he was an imitator of him. Accordingly, we ought só to construe what was before cited from Eusebius, as to make it agree with what he has thus plainly declared.
But to return from whence I have digressed; the writers who do not admit in a literal sense, what Moses relates of the garden of Eden; remark, that the ignorance of all ages concerning its true place and situation, must be deemed a considerable argumentj that no such real place ever existed. It is not likely, they say, but that some of Adam's early posterity must have found in the world some traces of the mansion of their first parents, if so remarkable a place of their abode had ever been; but if it be in fact true, that, choose we where we will, we can hear of no spot of ground so situate and bounded as Moses describes, why sliould we think his garden any other than a mere scene of fancy, which no real geography could ever mark out upon the face of the whole earth ?' But these writers are in all this guilty of the most shameful carelessness. They first call for an inquiry, whether any of Adam's posterity could ever trace out any marks of the situation of the place where Adam first lived ? and then overlook
* See Middleton's Essay upon the allegorical and literal interpretation.
i Middleton's Examination of the Lord Bishop of London's Discourses, p. 133.
ing, that ages after Adam, Moses gave his contemporaries a very particular designation of it, they run away to a modern disquisition, whether we can now find charts of the world, that may perfectly agree with the descriptions of Moses? But the best method we can take to clear the whole of this enquiry, will be to examine, 1, Whether we can reasonably admit, that any situation of places in the world before the flood, could possibly be found the same in the postdiluvian earth. 2. To examine whether Moses does, or does not, settle the boundaries of his garden, such as they were known to be after the flood. 3. Whether it appears, that the site of the garden, as Moses describes it, was known in the world beforc, in, and after, the time of Moses. 4. To determine what his description of it precisely is. 5. Whether there has not happened, since his time, such alterations in the countries bordering upon its si. tuation, as may give us reason to think, that we cannot now ascertain the local spot described by him ; yet, notwithstanding all the changes in the face of the earth, that we may still find the country in which Moses' garden of Eden may be reasonably concluded to have had its situation.
1. Our first enquiry ought to be, whether any spot of ground in the first world could possibly be found again after the flood: Here we have to combat with two opinions : one, that the first world was made so very different from the post diluvian earth, that it cannot be thought there was such a situation in it as Moses describes. The other, that if there had been originally, such a primitive situation, the carth must have suffered sạch alteration by the flood, that, after that catastrophe,
no traces of what had been before could ever be found. For the former of these we may read Dr. Burnet's Theory; that there were no hills; no such rivers in the first world as now water the earth. But we shall find this a mere fancy of his philosophy, into which he would not have fallen, had he kept to what he proposed should conduct his enquiries, namely, the light he might have had from the holy scriptures." The sacred writers have ever accounted mountains and hills as coeval with the world. The writer of the book of Job was of this opinion; who speaks of the first man as made before the hills ;o not meaning before them, in point of time; for the expression is, made in the sight of the hills ;P that is, when as yet not men, but the hills only, were spectators of his coming into being. The expression intimates what the Psalmist also suggests, that the mountains were brought forth as soon as the earth was made; for to these he appeals as to the most ancient things, to argue from them, that He, who was before them, is God: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.! Agreeably hereto, Moses speaks of hills, which had not their rise from the deluge, but were more ancient ; were the heights of the earth, over and above the lof. tiest of which the waters of the flood, he tells us, pre
Theory, b. i. c. 5.
n Adducamus in concilium naturam et rationem, præeunte semper, quà licet, sacrarum, literarum lumine. Tell. Theor. Sac. lib. i. c. 5. • Job xv. 6.
. Ps SC. 2.
.Ibid ,לפני גבעות 2
vailed fifteen cubils upwards ; to cover all the high hills then under heaven.! But it was in Dr. Burnet's imagination, that a fluid mass, rolled round upon its axis, might gradually throw outward its carthy particles, and become incrusted over a huge body of waters, and growing more and more firm and compact, have its surface naturally formed in an even oval." But how small a mote became here a bcam in our author's eye; from his not considering the greatness of this work of God! He does not treat (though he is not willing to allow his conceptions to be so narrow,') his mundane egg suitably to the real amplitude of the world.“ Geometry shews, that the height of the highest mountains of the earth bcars no greater proportion to a semidiameter of our globe, than as about 1 to 860. Therefore, though to us many of the mountains are vast objects, as they take up grcat room in, or, if we approach them, more than fill the little orb of our sight; yet they are in truth no greater prominence on the face of the earth, than an excrescence of about the one hundred and forty-third part of an inch high, would be upon a ball yard round. Our sight is not minute enough to reach so insensible an irregularity ; and were it even large enough to take a comprehensive view of a whole hemisphere of the earth, it could not spy so little an object as thox
Gen. vii. 19. Theory, vol. i. c. 4.
i Id. c. 11. Theory, vol. i. c. 5. 'Tis the doctrine of the mundane cgg. I do not know any symbolical doctrine so universally entertained by the Mystæ. Id. b. ii. c. 8.
» Varen. Geogr. sec. iii. c. ix. prop, vii.
hugest mountain. Had our author thus considered the bigness of the earth, cavities for the seas impressed upon the formed orb of it, to receive the gathering together of the waters, which were to run from among the hills, and the mountains and hills raised upon the -fice of the antediluvian globe, might have been deemcd by him to be no more than what the é Deos youetgâv, the divine workmaster, who gave every thing its due weight and measure, knew was proper to balance the parts of the earth one against another, to give a due libration to our globe.
But the other opinion is, that if the earth was indeed originally made such, as to have hills and rivers like what are mentioned by Moses; yet that such alterations of our globe must have happened from the universal deluge, that any of the same mountains and rivers which were before the flood, cannot be supposed to have remained, or be found after it. This sentiment is thought supportable either by considering, 1. What a fracture must have happened in the earth, to bring forth the abyss of waters produced by God's breaking up the fountains of the deep;' or, 2. The strata of the relics of a flood, which are said to lie every where deep in all parts of the present earth.
1. Moses tells us, that at the deluge all the fountains of the great deep were broken up. Our ingenious
trum telluris non habet sensibilem proportionem, sive adeò exis