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government and wars of these nations, which the Celts were in possession of, and never attempting to rife higher than . the time of Abraham, or thereabouts: yet however short Moses may have been in his antidiluvian, as well as his postdiluvian, account of the inhabitants of the world, he has sufficiently fulfilled the great purpofe for which the Divine Spirit inspired him to write; which was to preserve, and hand down to thinking men, those genealogies of persons who lived both before and after the flood, till he fell upon Abraham^ and began the extension of that chain of persons and tranfactions which in due time terminated in -the birth of the Saviour of the world, which was the whole scope of what he had to do.
It is between the deluge and the birth of Abraham, that I think I have found a very probable foundation whereon to form such conjectures as will, I hope, fall in> without forcing the matter, in a manner not altogether unnatural, in tracing what relates to the origin of the Celtic language: without taking much notice of the Hebrew, that might be thought either coæval, or more ancient than this j nor is there the least occasion for it, because indeed it will appear, in the sequel, that the thread of what I stiall offer, feems to be unconnected with any other.
We find that Noah was five hundred years old when he begat his sons, Shem, Ham) and faphet; and that when the flood came upon the earth, he was one hundred year older; therefore these sons were about that age in their degrees. Now these men must have been versed in all the knowledge and arts that were practised in the antidii luvian luvian world, as well as in the geography of the states and kingdoms round about them, and though we have no accounts of any particulars relative to these and such like matters, yet we cannot but believe that the family of Noah was very considerable and respectable among mankind; and we find his father, Lamech, was savoured with the gift of philofophy; for when Noah was born, he said: "this fame (hall comfort us concerning our work "and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the u Lord hath cursed," which, without the gift of prophecy, he could not foresee fix hundred years before it happened.
By the way, it may not be amiss here to make one remark concerning the state of the earth after the waters of the flood were retired; a certain theorist has asserted, that there was a thorough dissolution of all the matter of the earth during the time of the deluge, and he is followed by some other ingenious authors; which is plainly otherwise, because we find that immediately after the departure of the waters, and the earth became dry, Noah turned husbandman, which, no doubt, he well understood all his life before, for he planted a vineyard and made wine. Now if there had been any material destruction upon the face of the earth, there could have been no tillage of any kind; whence it would seem that nothing of the vegetable world was totally destroyed; though no doubt many trees were torn up and.carried away, and settlements of ouze and mud deposited in many places, with marine bodies of various kinds, which naturalists are well acquainted with. Besides, if we consider that the ark rested upon a mountain, and that after nine months the tops of#
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other mountains were seen, we must not allow os'any such dissolution, nor any very great alteration of the face of the earth: for if it had been all broken up and blended with trie waters, thofe subsidences, which have been vainly imagined, would have fallen equally all round, by the laws of gravitation, and left art uniform surface j instead of mountains and plains. Again, the dove that Noah sent out a second time, brought in an olive-leas plucked off of a tree now standing.
Besides, is we consider that it was the divine purpose to repeople the earth, we cannot imagine it was so spoiled and destroyed as some authors assert. It was from the earth the future inhabitants were to be nourished, and therefore it would be inconsistent with the gracious design of God to restore mankind, if he had permitted the destruction of the only means that could be expected to support the offspring of Noah; and indeed such a conjecture appears the more extraordinary in these ingenious authors, since the facred text is our charter upon which we must found our notions of these remarkable events.
Now if wt look into the seventh chapter of Genesis, we /hall find, verse 17, that the flood was forty days upon the earth, and the waters increased and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth; and that the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark went upon the face of the waters; and, ver. 19, that the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, and all the high hills that were under the whole heavens were covered; and, verse 20, that fifteen cubits upward did *he waters prevail and the mountains were covered.
Perhaps the notion of a total destruction of the earth, with the inhabitants, might proceed from our Englijh translation of the 13 th verse of chapter vi. where it fays: "I will destroy them with the earth;" but this is by several Hebrew interpreters translated, from the earth* which is certainly the more rational meaning; because the earth was not ruined, which the above verses sufficiently prove; for the waters and the earth are welt distinguished, and the- highest hills and mountains were covered, &e. How is a solution of all matter, making one amalgama with the waters, compatible with the waters covering the mountains in the above texts?
But to return: God gave his blesiing to Noah and his sons, ordering them to increase and multiply upon the face of-the earth; and, without all manner of doubt, gave them at the fame time all the requisites to enable them speedily to make such increase; as longevity, health, and strength, as well as the use of all the animal and vegetable worlds for their sustenance and comfort. *
Thev then ranged themselves in due order, and a regular government was established among them, in proportion to their increase; which was prodigious in their nunrbers, since, according to the genealogy given of the sorrs of Shemt we find that after Shem, who was an hundred years old before he begat Afphaxed, and lived five hun«dred years after, begetting sons and daughters; his son, Arphaxed) married at the age of thirty^five, and begat his first born; and afterwards all that line, as well as their sons, began to get children at about the age of thirty down tQrTerai). Abrams father; and even he-was bi/t
seventy seventy when he begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. This, without question, was the cafe with Japhet and Ham, though their genealogies are not so particularly marked out, for the reasons I mentioned, viz. that Moses intended only to be punctual in that line to which Abram belonged.
We have no account of any children of Noah before the flood, although he was five hundred years old before he begat the three sons who were to people the world after the flood; and yet it is not presumptuous to imagine he had, since it may well be suppofed, by analogy between him and his ancestors; for his father, Lamech, was but one hundred and eighty-two when he begat him; and his father, Mathuselah, was but five years older when he was born; Enos also was but sixty-five when he begat Mathuselah; and all these, both before, and thofe long after the flood, lived to great ages, begetting sons and daughters after thofe children mentioned in Scripture to have been first born.
The use I would make of this observation is, by the bye, to strengthen what I had before hinted (as I would omit nothing that I thought of consequence towards elucidating such passages as clearly shew the consistency and truth of Holy Writ); which is: that although Noah, or any of his forefathers, might have had children in numbers before, who had perhaps run into the enormous vices which brought on the divine wrath for their destruction; yet none were put into genealogical order but thofe who were to continue the line down to Abram, and no doubt these were all righteous men in succession to one another ('own to Noah, and from him to Abram. This