תמונות בעמוד

earth was not broad enough for such expressions. The expression, from thy face, may be in the same sense as David was shut out from the face of God when he dwelt in Ziklag, from his altar where his people sacrificed and worshipped him, and where he especially manifested bimself. Doubtless there were then such things as well as afterwards.

[323] Gen. v. 29. “ And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work, and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed." Noah comforted God's people concerning their labour and fatigue, that was the fruit of God's curse on the ground.

1. And chiefly as the Redeemer was to be of him, who should deliver his people from all their labours and sorrows, and should procure them everlasting life in the heavenly Canaan, a better paradise than that which was lost, where the ground is not cursed, and shall spontaneously yield her rich fruit every month, where there remains a rest to the people of God, who shall rest from their labours, and their works shall follow them.

2. He first invented wine, which is to comfort him that is saint and weary with fatigue, and the toil of his hands, and which makes glad man's heart, a remarkable type of the blood of Christ, and his spiritual benefits.

3. To him was given leave to eat flesh, as a relief from the fruit of the curse on the ground, which rendered the fruits of it less pleasant and wholesome. God gave Noah leave to feed on the flesh of other animals, to comfort him under his toil of his hands in tilling the ground. And this is another type of our feeding on Christ, and having spiritual life and refreshment in him : for, in feeding on the flesh of animals, our food and the nourishment of our lives is obtained at the expense of their lives and shedding their blood, as we come to seed on Christ by his laying down his life. And these things in Noah that should be matter of comfort under God's curse, are the rather taken notice of in him, because in his time the curse on the ground was to be more fully executed than ever it had been before-the good constitution of the earth was to be overthrown by a flood, and its wholesomeness and fertility greatly diminished, and so the toil of his hands would be greatly increased, were it not for this relief given that has been mentioned.

4. Before Noah, God's people did not know how far this curse would proceed; they probably foresaw that God intended to execute the curse on the ground in a much further degree than ever yet he had done. God had not comforted his people by any limits set in any promise made to them, but to Noah God made a gracious proinise, setting limits to the curse, promising in soine respects

a certain measure of success to the labour of their hands, promising that seed-time, and harvest, &c. should not cease.

[5] Gen. vi. 4. The monstrous births that arose from the conjunction of the sons of God with the daughters of men, typify unto us what an odious monster results from the conjoining of holy things with wicked, as of a holy profession with a wicked life in hypocrites, and what powerful enemies against religion such are, whether they are particular persons or churches, as the church of Rome, that monstrous beast, in whom are joined the profession of the name of Christ and many of his doctrines with the most odious devilism, who has horns as a lamb, but speaks as a dragon: and their bulk and huge stature denotes their pride, as none are so proud as hypocrites. Vid. 257.

[257] Gen. vi. 4. And their great bulk, and strength, and renown, besides the pride of such persons and churches as join the religion, doctrines, and worship, and profession of his church with the deluding glories and bewitching pleasures of this world, and of the heathenish and other human and carnal churches and societies of it, here typified by the beauty of the daughters of men. I say, besides the pride of such churches, these things seem to denote the earthly pomp and splendour, and worldly renown, and glory, and great temporal power that such churches affect, and are commonly in Providence suffered to arrive to, as the church of Rome and others.

[428] Gen. vi. 4." And there were giants in the earth in those days,” &c. Pausanias, in bis Laconics, mentions the bones of men of a more than ordinary bigness, which were shown in the temple of Esculapius, at the city of Asepus: and in the first of his Eliacks, he speaks of a bone taken out of the sea, which aforetime was kept at Piso, and thought to have been one of Pelops. Philastratus, in the beginning of his Heroicks, informs us that many bodies of giants were discovered in Pallene, by showers of rain and earthquakes. Pliny, b. vii. ch. 16, says, " That upon the bursting of a mountain in Crete, there was found a body standing upright, which was reported by some to have been the body of Orion, by others, the body of Eetion. Orestes's body, when it was commanded by the oracle to be digged up, is reported to have been seven cubits long. And almost a thousand years ago, the poet Homer continually complained, “ that men's bodies were less than of old.” And Solinus, chap. i. inquires, “ Were not all that were born in that age less than their parents?" And the story of Orestes's funeral testifies the bigness of the ancients ; whose bones when they were digged up in the 58th Olym

piad at Yegea, by the advice of the oracle, are related to have been seven cubits in length. Other writings, which give a credible relation of ancient matters, affirm this, that in the war of Crete, when the rivers had been so high as to overflow and break down their banks, after the flood was abated, upon the clearing of the earth, there was found a human body of three and thirty feet long : which L. Flaccus, the legate, and Metellus himself being very desirous of seeing, were much surprised to have the satisfaction of seeing what they did not believe when they heard.” Grotius de Verit. b. i. sect. 16, Notes.

Josephus, b. v. chap. 2, of his ancient history: “ There remains to this day some of the race of the giants, who by reason of the bulk and figure of their bodies, so different from other men, are wonderful to see or hear of. Their bones are now shown far exceeding the belief of the vulgar.” Gabinius, in his history of Mauritania, said that Antæus's bones were found by Sertorius, wbich, joined together, were sixty cubits long. Phlegon Trallianus, in his 9th chap. of Wonders, mentions the digging up the head of Ida, which was three times as big as that of an ordinary woman. And he adds also that there were many bodies found in Dalmatia, whose arms exceeded sixteen cubits. And the same man relates out of Theopompus, that there were found in the Cimmerian Bosphorus a company of human bones twenty-four cubits in length. Le Clerk's Notes on Grotius de Veritat. b. i. sect, 16.

We almost every where in the Greek and Latin historians meet with the savage life of the giants mentioned by Moses. In the Greek, as Homer, Iliad 9th, and Hesiod, in his Works and Days. To this may be referred the Wars of the Gods mentioned by Plato in his Second Republic, and those distinct and separate governments taken notice of by the same Plato, in bis third book of Laws. And as to the Latin historians, see the first book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the fourth book of Lucan, and Seneca's third book of Natural Questions, Quest. 30, where he says concerning the Deluge, “ that the beasts also perished, into whose nature men were degenerated.” Grotius de Verit. b. i. sect. 16.

[199] Gen. vi. 14. “Make thee an ark of gopher wood.” The word in the Hebrew language seems to imply that the wood was of a bituminous or pitchy nature, and consequently more capable of resisting wet or moisture, and St. Chrysostom particularly calls it füra astpaywva aonato, square wood not liable to rot. The learned Fuller rightly concludes it to be the cypress, from the affinity of the word for cypress in Greek, which is Kutad0005; from whence, if the termination is taken away, Cuphar, or Gopher,

consists of such letters as are often changed into each other; neither is there any wood less subject to rottenness and worms than this is, as all writers do allow. Pliny saith that the cypress wood is not sensible of rottenness or age, that it will never split nor cleave asunder except by force, and that no worm will touch it, because it hath a peculiar bitter taste ; and therefore Plato advised that all records that are to be preserved for the benefit of future generations, should be written upon tables of cypress. Martial says that it will last for an hundred ages and never decay. Thucydides saith that the chests were made of cypress in which the Athenians carried away the bones of those who died in war for their country, and the Scholiast gives this reason for it, because it would never decay, and the Pythagoreans abstained from making coffins of cypress, because they certainly concluded that the scepter of Jupiter was made of this tree, and no reason can be assigned for such a fiction among the poets, but because it was the fittest resemblance of that eternal power and authority which they attribute to him. Theophrastus, speaking of those trees which are least subject to decay, adds this as a conclusion, that the cypress tree seems to be the most durable of all, and that the folding doors of the temple of Ephesus being made thereof, had lasted without damage for four generations. In this Pliny is more particular, and saith that those doors were made of cypress, and they had lasted till his time, which he saith was near four hundred years, and still looked as if they were new. Aud Vitruvius speaks both of the cypress and of the pine tree, that they kept for a long time without the least defect, because the sap, which is in every part of the wood, hath a peculiar bitter taste, as is so very offensive that no worm or other consuming animal will touch it. He also tells us that such works as are made of such wood will last for ever. And therefore he advises that the beams of all churches should especially be made of cypress wood, because such as were made of fir were soon consumed by the worm and rottenness; and as it was such a lasting wood, so it was also very fit for the building of ships. Peter Martyr, as cited by the learned Fuller, saith that the inhabitants of Crete had their cypress-trees so common, that they made the beams of their houses, their rasters, their rooms, and floors, and also their ships of this wood. Plutarch saith that the shipcarpenter in the first place useth the pine from Isthmos, and the cypress from Crete; and Vegetius adds, that the galleys are built chiefly of the cypress, and of the pine-trees, or of the larch and fir; and in the epistle of Theodoricus to Abundantius, the Prefect, in which he gives him a commission to build a thousand barks for fetching provisions, or bread-corn; he commands him to inquire throughout all Italy, for proper artists, for wood

for such work, and wherever he should find the cypress or pinetrees near the shore, that he should buy them at a reasonable price. Neither was it thus only in Crete and Italy, but Diodorus proves that in Phoenicia there was timber sufficient to build ships, because Libanus, near Tripoli, and Biblus, and Sidon were full of cedar-trees, and larch-trees, and cypress-trees, which were very admirable for show and greatness; and Plato, among the trees that were fit for shipcarpenters to use, places the cypress next to the pine and the larch-trees. And even in latter years, we are told that the Saracens did hasten from Alexandria to Phænicia to cut down the cypress-wood, and fit it for the use of the ships. And as the cypress-tree was very fit for this use, so it grew in great plenty in Assyria and Babylonia, and therefore Arrian and Strabo speak particularly of it, and that the numerous fleet which Alexander the Great built in those parts, was made of the cypress which he cut down, and which grew in Babylonia. For there was, as they say, a great plenty of these trees in Assyria, and that they had no other wood in the country which was fit for such a purpose.

Bedford's Scripture Chronology, p. 111, 112, notes that the reason why they needed a sort of wood not subject to decay or rottenness, was chiefly because the ark was so long in building. Had it not been a kind of wood of extraordinary durableness, it would have decayed and spoiled in much less than in 120 years, being exposed to the weather.

[259] The country where Noah built the ark, was probably in Babylonia, or the region thereabout, which abounds with cypress or gopher-trees. The Gordyean mountains in Armenia seem to be at a proportional distance, and since they are allowed to be the highest in the world, there is no reason for receding from the commonly received opinion, viz. that those were the hills whereon the ark stopped. Here it is that the generality of geographers place the ark. Here it is that almost all travellers have found the report of it. And lastly, here it is that the inhabitants of the country show some relics of it, and call places after its name to this very day. Complete Body of Divin. p. 324.

“In Armenia est altior mons quam sit in toto orbe terrarum, qui Arath vulgariter nuncupatur; et in cacumine montis illius arca Noe post diluvium primo sedit ; et licet propter abundantiane nivium, quæ semper in illo monte reperiuntur, nemo valet illum ascendere; semper tamen apparet in ejus cacumine quoddam nigrum, quod ab hominibus dicitur esse Arca.” Hist. Orient. c. 9.

The mount Gordion, called by the Turks Ardagh, is the highest in the world; the Jews, the Armenians, and the Mussulmans

« הקודםהמשך »