Imatges de pÓgina
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resting on the mountains of Ararat. * This was about the beginning of May, and about the middle of the following month the tops of the mountains appeared. But Noah (who, no doubt, was glad to see the appearance of anything substantial after so long a confinement), wisely considering, that though the mountains were visible, the valleys might be yet overflowed, waited forty days longer before he attempted any further discovery. At the expiration of that time, opening the window of the ark, he let go a raven, supposing that the scent of dead bodies would allure him to tly a considerable distance. Encouraged by the absence of the raven for seven days, he let fly a dove, which, finding no resting-place, returned to its old habitation. Seven days after he sent out the same bird, which then returned with an olive-branch in its mouth, a happy certainty that the waters were removed from the place where the olive-tree stood. Still, however, determined not to be too hasty, he remained in the ark seven days more, when sending out the dove a third time, and she not returiing, he concluded that the waters were entirely withdrawn. In consequence of this he made the necessary preparations for leaving the ark; but, mindful of God's directions, ventured not forth till fifty-five days after, in order that the earth might be properly dry for his reception. Having, at the expiration of that period, received God's positive command to leave the ark, he accordingly came out of it on the twenty-seventh day of the second month, bringing with him every creature that had been retained for replenishing the earth. Thus ended Noah's long and melancholy confinement, which, from the time of his entering the ark to that of his leaving it, amounied exactly to one solar year.

The first thing Noah did, after quitting the ark, was to erect an altar, on which he offered sacrifices to God, for his great goodness in preserving him and his family from the general destruction. The Almighty, knowing the purity of Noah's intentions, was so well pleased with his conduct, that he gave him his divine assurance that he would never more “curse the ground for man's sake," nor should the earth ever be again destroyed by a general deluge. In confirmation of this, he appointed a bowt to appear in the heavens as a token, and which was now to be the ratification of the truth of his promise.

Having, by this divine promise, eased the mind of Noah, who was fearful of a second deluge, the Almighty, after blessing him and his sons, granted them many singular privileges, such as far exceeded those he had bestowed on our primitive parents. Before the flood, mankind had no other food than vegetables; but now the Almighty, after giving Noah and his sons the same dominion over the creation as he had done Adam, permitted them to kill any creatures they thought proper for food, only with this restriction, that they should not eat “the blood thereof." This restraint was certainly laid by God to prevent the shedding of human blood, against which he denounces the following sentence: “ Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by

It is generally admitted that the mountain on which the ark rested lies in Armenia ; although there are some who contend It must be sougi in Cashgar, on the extension eastward of the great Caucasian chain. The investigations of recent Biblical critics have, however, tended to strengthen the original con. viction in favor of the Armenian mountain. The particular mountain to which people of dillerent nations and religions concur in awarding this distinction is situated in X. lat. 39° 30%, and E. long. 44° 30', in the vast chain of Taurus, and nearly in the centre between the southern extremities of the Black and the Caspian seas. Its summit is elevated 17,260 feet above the level of the sea, and is always covered with snow, as indeed is the whole mountain, for three or four months in the year. It is a very grand object, being not merely a high summit in a chain of elevated mountains, but standing as it were apart and alone; the mmor inountains, which seem to branch out from it and decline away in the distance, being so persecily insignificant in comparison, that the sublime etfect of this most magnificent mountain is not at all impaired, or its proportions hidden by them. This great mountain is separated into two heads, distin. guished as the Great and Little Ararat, which perhaps accounts for the plural expression, “ inountains,' of the text. The heads form distinct cones, separated by a wide chasm or glen, which renders the distance between the two peaks 12,000 yards. One of them is much smaller than the other, and forms a more regular and pointed cone: it is also much lower, and its summit is clear of snow in sunner. The Armenians, who liave inany religious establishments in its vicinity, regard the mountain with intense veneration, and are firmly persuaded that the ark is still preserved on its suinmit.

+" I do xet my born in the cloud."- The rather equivocal sense of the word "set" in English has occia sioned a very mistaken impression, which has led to some caviis, which the use of the more proper word " appoint" would hare prevented. As it stands, it has been understood to say that the rainbow was at this time first produced: wbereas, as its appearance is occasioned by the immutable laws of refraction and reflection, as applied to the rays of the sun striking on drops of falling rain, we know that the phenomenon must have been occasionally exhibited from the beginning of the world, as at present constituted. Accordingis, the text says no more than that the rainbow was then appointed to be a token of the covenant between God and man. Our engraving is a view of Mount ARARAT, from the hills above Erivan, drawn by A. W. Calcait, from a sketch made on the spot by J. Morier, Esq.


Mount Arrarat, from the hills above Erivan." And the Ark rested upon the Mountains of Arrarat."-Gen vli. 4. man shall his blood be shed.” With these grants and promises, God gave the same encouragement to Noah and his family that he did to our first progenitors, by telling them to “ be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

Though the deluge had destroyed all the inhabitants of the earth (except what were retained in the ark for forming the new world), yet the vegetable part of the creation still existed, and, in a short time, by the genial warmth of the sun, again appeared in all its glory.

Previous to the food, Noah had directed his attention to husbandry, * and the earth having now resumed its former appearance, he betook himself to the same employment. Among other improvements, he planted a vineyard, and, prompied by natural curiosity to taste the fruit of his own labor, invented a machine for extracting the juice from the grape. Pleased with the taste of the liquor, and being kinacquainted with the strength of it, he unwisely gave a loose to indulgence, and, by drinking too freely, became quite intoxicated. In consequence of this, he laid himself down to sleep in his tent, where, either from the rustling of the wind, or the discomposure of his body, he was uncovered on that part which natural modesty teaches us to conceal.

This circumstance produced the first instance of human degeneracy after the flood. The old world was destroyed for the wickedness of its inhabitants, and therefore it might have been expected that the new world would have been filled with people of a better disposition : but, as in the ark there were unclean as well as clean beasts, so in the family of Noah there were two good sons and one naturally wicked, the two former being Shem and Japhet, and the latter Ham.

The unseemly situation of Noah, from his intoxication, was first discovered by this wicked son, who, instead of covering his father's nakedness and concealing his shame, exposed his weakness, and made him the subject of his scorn and derision. But his brothers were far from being pleased with his conduct: possessed of filial piety, and moved at the indecent posture of their aged parent, they no sooner saw him than they ran and fetched a garment, and immediately covered that nakedness which their pious modesty would not permit them to behold.

When Noah recovered from the stupefaction into which the wine had thrown him, and was informed of the unworthy manner in which his son Ham had treated him, he cursed his race, in the person of Canaan, his grandson: “Cursed," said he, “ be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren.” On the contrary, reflecting how respectfully his other two sons behaved, he rewarded their pious care with giving each his blessing; all which, in process of time, was fulfilled in their posterity.

These are all the particulars given us by the sacred historian relative to Noah, except that he lived three hundred and fifty years after the deluge, and paid the debt of nature at the age of nine hundred and fisty. At what exact period he died we are not informed, neither the place of his interment; but, according to oriental tradition, his remains were deposited in some part of Mesopotamia.


It is not in the least to be doubted but that Noah and his family, for some years after the flood, continued to reside in the neighborhood of the mountains of Armenia, where the ark had rested. But his descendants, in the course of time, having a numerous progeny, the greater part of them quitted their primitive spot, and directing their course eastward, came at length to ihe plain of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. Attracted by the beauty of the place, the convenience of its situation, and the natural fertility of the soil, they resolved not to proceed any further, but to make this their fixed place of residence.

Having formed this resolution, in order to render themselves conspicuous to future

* It is conceived that Noah considerably advanced agriculture by inventing more suitable implements than had previously been in uso. We find no grounds for this conjecture in the text; but it is by no incans unlikely that the demand upon his mechanic ingenuity in the construction of the ark had qualified him tos

ururing the agricultural inplements previousiv io uso

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