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mossy bank, on the plant, on the flower, on the leaf. Of all these works of his wondrous hand He is continually varying and enhancing the attractions by the diversified modes and accessions of beauty with which He invests them, by the alterations of seasons, by the countless and rapid changes of light and shade, by the characteristic effects of the rising, the meridian, the setting sun, by the subdued glow of twilight, by the soft radiance of the moon; and by the hues, the actions, and the music of the animal tribes with which they are peopled. While Natural Theology perceives the Creator thus lavishing sources of pure and innocent pleasure on the abode of a race of transgressors; well may she listen with admiring yet undoubting faith to the voice of Revelation, which tells her that the eternal delights ordained for the redeemed of the Lord in those new heavens and that new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, ordained for them by Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, shall be such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive.

The wisdom and the kindness of God in preparing afresh the abode for the human race, through the instrumentality of water withdrawn by a rapid subsidence, as has been shown to have been the case, rather than by the slow process of simple exsiccation, are manifest. Had the earth been dried merely by evaporation, or by quiet absorption, the result apparently must have been, that a very large proportion, perhaps nearly the whole, of its surface would have been permanently left a confused assemblage of pools, swamps, and hillocks. A recent traveller describes a wide extent of the great desert in the north of Africa as in its surface adust, hard, unproductive, doomed to unalterable barrenness; with the exception of certain small dells or depressions from thirty to forty feet below the general level, containing from one to four or five acres a-piece, and separated each from the other by a distance of ten, fifteen, or twenty miles. These specks alone are moist, verdant, and habitable*. Had the earth been left after the deluge

* Riley's Narrative of the loss of the American Brig Commerce, wrecked on the western coast of Africa in 1815, &c. p. 392.

to the simple process of exsiccation, the preced. ing description, reversed by the substitution of hillocks for depressions, and of swamps for burn. ing wastes, might have characterised its general aspect. I do not say that such a surface might not have been capable of sustaining human life. Yet how incommodious, how uncomfortable, how noxious, would it have been, in comparison with the admirably arranged expanse which has been provided for us. How would man have been insulated from man, debarred from the exercise of social virtues, from the participation of social happiness, from intellectual, moral, and religious improvement! In particular spots of the present surface, swamps were to be expected, and they occur; yet in most cases probably they are such, as in due time to be vincible by hu man perseverance. The fens of our own island and the morasses of Holland speak loudly as en couraging examples.

I have termed the kindness of the Deity in preparing such a place of residence for mankind, after the penal Deluge, a mercy. The term is relevant. For Natural Theology could not know whether the taint of rebellious principles

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might not adhere to the nature of the restored inhabitants. If she could not know that it would adhere, she must see that the fact might be so. If the new race sprang from a preserved remnant of the old; the probability from the general analogy of animated nature might be strong, that the taint would be found to have descended from the parent to the offspring. And that, amidst the general punishment, a remnant of the old race would be graciously spared by God, already proved, by independent arguments, to be a God of mercy, was a conclusion not easy to be set aside.

But Natural Theology is endowed with or gans of hearing, no less than of vision. From every quarter of the world she hears the voice of Pagan tradition proclaiming the memory of an ancient and a penal Flood. With a concurrence, bearing a resemblance to that, with which on the day of Pentecost so many languages united in publishing the wonderful works of God, she hears the Roman, and the Greek, and the Mexican, and the Hindoo, referring to a judicial visitation of waters, by which their forefathers were overwhelmed. Questions as to the source of

this tradition so widely expanded over ages and over countries are here out of place and immaterial. However we may suppose them decided, the fact that the tradition has been, and is, thus widely expanded, remains unchanged and undeniable. In the place of an accumulation of separate testimonies from Eusebius, Grotius*, and other writers; the attestations of Sir William Jones will be sufficient. "If the Deluge really happened at the time recorded by Moses, those nations whose monuments are preserved, or whose writings are accessible, must have retained memorials of an event so stupendous, and comparatively so recent: but in fact, they have retained such memorials. This reasoning seems just and the fact is true beyond controversy.' -"The narrative of a Deluge which destroyed the whole race of man except four pairs," he elsewhere terms a historical fact, admitted as true by every nation to whose literature we have ac cesst." What if it be objected that the tradition

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* Eusebius, Præp. Evang. lib. ix. Grotius de Veritate, lib. i.

† Sir William Jones's Works, 8vo. London, 1807. vol. iii. p. 193. 197.

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