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BOOK and earth mentioned Gen. i. 1. And so if there were
another creation of heaven and earth belonging to the Jews in Gen. ii. we may likewise believe that there was a new creation of man and woman in that chapter, distinct from that mentioned in the former. Again further, if there had been any such persons in the world before Adam, no doubt Adam himself was ignorant of them; or else it had been a false and ridicu
lous account which he gives of the name of his wife Gen. iii. 20.77177, because she was n bo ox, the mother of all living;
not of all living things, for that had been a more proper description of a Ceres, or Magna Mater, or Diana multimammia, of our grandmother the earth; but certainly it extends to all of the kind, that all living creatures that are of human nature came from her. So the Chaldee paraphrast understands it: she was called Hava, because she was XuN3 527 Xox, the mother
of all the sons of men. And so the Arabic version, Selden. de quia ipsa fuit mater omnis viventis rationalis. To of remature which purpose our learned Selden cites the version of 1. i.C. 5. the Mauritanian Jews, and the Persic of Tawasius. p. 65.
But whatever the credit or authority of these versions be, this is most certain, that Adam had no reason at all to have given this name to his wife, as being the mother of all living, if there had been any of mankind existing in the world from other mothers, which had been long before Eve was formed. So that we find it plain and clear, that if the report given of things in Scripture be true, the hypothesis of Præ-Adamites is undoubtedly false. And certainly, whoever seriously considers the frequent reflections on the authority of the Scriptures, which were cast by the author of that fiction, and his endeavouring on all occasions to derogate from the miracles recorded in it, may easily suspect the design of that author was not to gain any
credit to his opinion from those arguments from Scrip- CHAP. ture which he makes show of, (which are pitifully weak and ridiculous,) but having, by the help of such arguments, made his opinion more plausible, his hope was, that his opinion would in time undermine the Scriptures themselves, when he had made it appear that the account given in the Scriptures of the plantation of the world was unsatisfactory, since there were men before Adam ; which the Scriptures, to please the Jewish nation, take no notice of. So that after he had attempted to prostitute the Scriptures to his opinion, his next work had been to have turned them out of doors, as not of credit to be relied on by any, when they were so common to every opinion. But how impious, absurd, and rude that attempt was upon the sacred and inviolable authority of the Scriptures, hath been so fully discovered by his very many not unlearned adversaries, that it might seem needless so much as to have taken notice of so weakly grounded and infirmly proved an opinion, had it not thus far lain in my way, in order to the clearing the true origin of nations according to the Scriptures: the main foundations of which fabulous opinion lying chiefly in the pretended antiquities of the Chaldæans, Egyptians, and others, have been fully taken away in our first book; where our whole design was to manifest the want of credibility in those accounts of ancient times, which are delivered by heathen nations in opposition to the Scriptures. There is nothing at all in Scripture, from the creation of Adam to the flood, which seems to give any countenance to that figment, but only what may be easily resolved, from the consideration of the great conciseness of the Mosaic history, in reporting that long interval of time which was between the fall of Adam and the flood; by means of which
BOOK conciseness such things are reported as speedily done,
because immediately succeeding in the story, which asked a very considerable time before they could be effected; and besides, all things which were done before the flood being all quite obliterated by it, and all the numerous posterity of Adam being then destroyed, (only Noah and his family excepted,) to what purpose had it been any further to have reported the passages before the flood, otherwise than thereby to let us understand the certainty of the succession of persons from Adam, and such actions in those times, which might be remarkable discoveries of God's providence and man's wickedness in it: which being most apparent at first in Cain and his posterity, did by degrees so spread itself over the face of the then inhabited world, that the just God was thereby provoked to send a deluge among them, to sweep away the present inhabitants, to make room for another generation to succeed them.
This therefore we now come to consider, viz. The history of the flood, and the certainty of the propagation of the world, from the posterity of Noah after the flood. I begin with the history of the flood itself; as to which two things will be sufficient to demonstrate the truth of it. 1. If there be nothing in it repugnant to reason. 2. If we have sufficient evidence of the truth of it, from such who yet have not believed the Scriptures. There are only two things which seem questionable to reason concerning the flood. The first is concerning the possibility of the flood itself; the other is concerning the capacity of the ark for preserving all kinds of animals. The only ground of questioning the possibility of such a flood as that is related in Scripture, hath been from hence: that some have supposed it impossible that all the water which
is contained in the air, supposing it to fall down, CHAP. should raise the surface of water upon the earth a foot – and a half in height; so that either new waters must be created to overflow the earth, or else there must be supposed a rarefaction of the water contained in the sea and all rivers ; so that it must take up at least fifteen times the space that now it doth : but then, they say, if the water had been thus rarefied, it could neither have destroyed man nor beast, neither could Noah's ark have been borne up by it, any more than by liquid air. To this therefore I answer,
First, I cannot see any urgent necessity from the Scripture to assert, that the flood did spread itself over all the surface of the earth. That all mankind (those in the ark excepted) were destroyed by it, is most certain, according to the Scriptures. When the occasion of the flood is thus expressed, And God saw that the Gev. vi. 5, wickedness of man was great. upon the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth. It could not be then any particular deluge of so small a country as Palestine, which is here expressed, as some have ridiculously imagined; for we find an universal corruption in the earth mentioned as the cause; an universal threatening upon all men for this cause; and afterwards an universal destruction expressed, as the effect of this flood. And all flesh Geu.vii. 21. died that moved upon the earth, and every man. And Ver. 23. every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven ; and they were destroyed from the earth, and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. So then it is evident that the flood was universal as to
BOOK mankind; but from thence follows no necessity at all
- of asserting the universality of it as to the globe of the earth, unless it be sufficiently proved that the whole earth was peopled before the flood; which I despair of ever seeing proved. And what reason can there be to extend the flood beyond the occasion of it, which was the corruption of mankind ? And it seems very strange, that in so short an interval, in comparison, as that was from Adam to the flood, according to the ordinary computation, viz. 1656 years, and not much above two thousand, according to the largest, the world should then be fully peopled, when in so much longer a space of time, since the flood to this day, the earth is capable of receiving far more inhabitants than now it hath. The only probability then left for asserting the universality of the flood, as to the globe of the earth, is from the destruction of all living creatures, together with man. Now though men might not have spread themselves over the whole surface of the earth, yet beasts and creeping things might, which were all destroyed with the flood; for it is said, That all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man. To what end should there be not only a note of universality added, but such a particular enumeration of the several kinds of beasts, creeping things, and fowls, if they were not all destroyed ? To this I answer, I grant, as far as the flood extended, all these were destroyed : but I see no reason to extend the destruction of these beyond that compass and space of earth where men inhabited : because the punishment upon the beasts was occasioned by, and could not but be concomitant with the destruction of mankind; but (the occasion of the deluge being the sin of man, who was punished in