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stance of what extraordinary and adorable methods the great Creator makes use of, to instruct and impress upon mankind, in all ages, the knowledge of his dispensations, and of himself, the author of them *. This should dispose us, with the wise son of Sirach, when we look upon the rain-bow, to praise him that made it: Very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof.
It compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle ; and the hands of the most high have bended it. Ecclus xliii. 11, 12.
* How wonderful are the ways of his wisdom, in making that which threatens rain the harbinger of fair weather; and the watery cloud, which is fraught with the means that drowned the world, the merciful token of the preservation of it! It justly merited the name of Wonderful, as well for the desigót, as the construction of it; which is more than the heathens knew, who gave it that name.
THOUGH the memory of many
1 events which happened in distant ages, is liable to be worn out and effaced by time and accidents, to that degree, as to leave few, and perhaps no traces of them remaining: Yet an event, which affected the earth and mankind in general, in which the fate of the whole world was involved, must surely have left such marks and impressions, as would withstand all the injuries of time, and would not be wholly obliterated by any means whatsoever. The whole face of nature undoubtedly bore testimony to the universal deluge for some ages; and vestiges of it, of feveral kinds, are still to be seen in many places. Some traditions concerning it have been met with in all parts of the world, which verify the Mofaic account of its univerfality; and his history of it is confirmed by many other antient writers.
The ark rested on Ararat, a mountain in Armenia: And Josephus informs us, that the Armenians called the place where Noah and his family went out of it, Apobaterion, or the place of defcent. '. We read, says he, of this deluge, and the ark, in all the writers of barbarian histories ; as in Berosus, the Chaldean for one, who, speaking of this flood, writes to this effect. They say that there are fome remains of this veffel to be seen upon the mountains of the Cordyeans in Armenia to this very day; and that several people, living upon the place, scrape the pitch off the planks as a rarity, and carry it about them for an amulet. Hieronymus, the
Egyptian, in his Phænician antiquities, Mnafeas, and a great many others, say somewhat of this matter too: But Nicolaus of Damascus, in the 96th book of his history, speaks to this purpose. In the province of Minyas in Armenia, there is a high mountain, called Baris; to which place there fled a great many people, as the story goes, in the time of the deluge, for sanctuary. There is a tradition also, of a certain man in a vessel, that struck upon the top of this mountain; and that several pieces of the timber were to be seen there a long time after. This, says he, probably was the man that Mofes makes mention of *."
* Joseph. Antiq. Book i. ch. 4. Eng. þy L'estrange. Josephus quotes Berofus again, in his book against Apion." This Berosus, says he, after the manner of the most antient historians,” who it seems in general recorded this event, “ wrote the history of the d-luge, just as Moses relates it. He mentions the ark like. wise, in which the first father of our race was preserved, and carried to the mountains of Armenia. He runs through the genealogy of the sons of Noah likewise; their names and ages.” Jof. contra Apion, lib.i.
Eusebius adds, from the monuments of the Medes and Asyrians, a passage out of Abydenus, to the following effect - That Sifthrus, `a name probably of the fame import with Noah, having been forewarned by Saturn of an approaching deluge, set fail for Armenia; where he was soon convinced of the truth of the divine prediction-That, on the third day after he found the rain abated, he sent birds, once and again, to try if they could discover land, but without success-That, on their being sent a third time, they returned with their wings bedaubed with mud-That Sifithrus, after this, was taken by the gods from among men-And that the ship in which he failed, arrivirig in Armenia, furnished the inhabitants with amulets made of the wood of it ; which they hung round their necks, and carried about with them *,
* Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. ix. cap. 12. Vide etiam Cyrill. I. adv. Julianum. Vide Syncellum, p. 30, 31.