Imatges de pÓgina
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wards Noah his Father; of which conduct Noah himself gave the unhappy occafionbut nothing was attempted, as to a change of the form of fociety, and the fetting up of any human invention or policy, until the time of Nimrod, one of the pofterity of Ham, when a general rebellion broke out against the divine adminiftration. From his bearing this name, which fignifies a rebel; and its being faid that the beginning of his kingdom was Babel; it may be concluded, that Nimrod was at the head, and was the principal mover and agent in this business,

It is more than probable, that the whole family of Ham were involved in the guilt of his tranfgreffion-they fhared with him, no doubt, in the fame fpirit of unbelief, if not in the overt act—and that Nimrod and others, feeling themselves implicated with Canaan, at least in the dishonour of the curfe of fervitude to Shem, and to Japheth dwelling in the tents of Shem; which tents have been underflood to mean the divine ordinancesthey were, hence, by their unhumbled hearts, led to determine boldly upon the trial, which fhould be emprefs of the world, a fabric of their own contriving; raised to the heavens; or the commonwealth formed by the lowly and defpifed tents of Shem.

Heth was a contemporary with Nimrod, and was his coufin-german; and from his name being taken, generally, for the name of his party, it may be concluded, that he alfo was a principal in this undertaking. Rebekah, complaining to Ifaac of Efau, that he

had taken him wives out of the Hebrew fa mily, faid, I am weary of my life, because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, fuch as thefe which are of the daughters of the land, what good fhall my life do me? Gen. xxvii. 46.-And Balaam prophefying of the final overthrow of these citizens, appears to ufe this as a common name for the men who thus depart from God. There fhall come a flar out of Jacob, and a fceptre fhall rife out of Ifrael, and shall fmite the corners of Moab, and unwall all the children of Sheth. And Edom fhall be a pos feffion, Sier alfo fhall be a poffeffion for his enemies, and Ifrael fhall do valiantly. Out of Facob fhall come he that fhall have dominion, and fhall defroy him that remaineth of the city. Num. xxiv. 17-19. The word for nations, in the ancient languages, is evidently derived from this name of Heth; and, probably, the English word, heathen, has the fame derivation. To execute fuch a policy, as was now defigned, requires both a council and an army, It may be thought, that Heth was the counfellor and advifer in this daring and adventurous project; and that Nimrod was the executor, and flood to arms.

And firft, a movement is made, colle&ing together a body of men, who falling upon a ground favourable to their purpose, and finding themfelves in fufficient force to keep it; which, by the name given to it, Shinar, Spoil, feems to intimate, that they had already exercifed fome hoftilities towards those who

uld not follow them-the new political

doctrine, in which one and all muft engage, was disclosed, viz. That a city fhould there be builded, in a flyle the most magnificent and fuperb-worthy of being the capital of the world-and ftrengthened by a fortress which should be very high-and that a name, or law, fhould alfo be made, and attached to it, of fuch energy and effect as fhould influence the whole world, and bind together in one body, of a political and human frame, the whole race of men.

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This was the most perfect policy, the profoundest invention of man-it difcovered the deepest inspection into the motives and fprings of the human mind; and it could not fail of engaging the whole natural heart. It favoured every natural bent of the foul, pleasure, opulence, grandeur-the luft of the flesh, the luft of the eye, and the pride of life-it cherifhed every fpark of the love of the world, and of the things that are in the world-all was here embraced that the heart could wifh ---whereas the divine inftitution was defigned, and was every way calculated, to reftrain the natural paffions-to govern and control all these defires of the flesh-and to mortify the things of time and fenfe to men, and men to them. No wonder then, that this refolution was fo generally and fo heartily adopted; and that, no fooner was it moved, than all hands were up; and go to, go to, was the order of the day.

But, though hand join in hand, the work

Oropa, in the Greek,

ers of iniquity fhall be confounded. The Lord came down to fee the city and the tower; which the sons of men builded. And the Lord faid, Behold a people one, and one language of all: and this they begin te do: and now nothing shall be refrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound the language, that they may not understand one anothers fpeech. So the Lord fcattered them abroad, from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city and the fortress. Therefore the name of it is called Babel: because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth and from thence did the Lord fcatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

How delufive is the wildom of men!Their first and most promifing attempt, to band together on political ground, divided the world; and from that to the present time, every new attempt of this nature, has given birth to another Peleg. And fhould it be attempted on these fhores, with a prevailing confent, to form a compact and national character, by means of cities, towers, armies, and names; or by any means whatever, other than thofe great covenant princi ples, exprefsly ordained of God; another fuch name-another Peleg-will fill be added to the catalogue-for from thence, Ames rica will be divided.

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That the builders of Babel were climbing up to heaven, through fear of another de luge; for which realon the Lord frowned upon them; and many fuch like tales have

been invented to conceal the folemn truth, that the divine ordinances exhibiting the doc trine of Chrift, the infinite wisdom and power of God, are the only bond of union among men, that is pleafing to him; and that every thing that is done to unite and bind men together upon any other ground, will sooner or later meet with his displeasure, and will be overthrown, together with its projectors.

Reftrained thus, men defifted from this crowning object of their defires-but they repented not-the object was ftill dear to them-and difperfing abroad, each family or tribe carried away with them deep impreffions of it upon their minds; and fetting down in diftinct focieties, the fame policy as to its nature and defign, more or lefs perfect as circumftances favoured, was every where adopted.

Section 2. The Settlement of the Nations.

From the people who had been engaged in this fatal work, in the land of Shinar, hence called Babylon, went Afhur, and builded Ninevah, &c. and laid the foundation of proud Affyria, wonderfully great.Another tribe from hence, formed a Philiftia, which was greatly praifed. Hence alfo, the families of the Canaanites, which exceedingly multiplied-and a Lydia, and Phoenice, fam. ed for their beauty. Sheba alfo, and even renowned Rahab, were all the daughters of D d d

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