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the bed or bottom of our actual oceans; consequently, our actual mountains were all formed in the antediluvian ocean, and thus shells might be left on their highest summits.
In this hypothesis the ancient continents must have existed in those tracts now covered by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans : if so, I do not see how the elephants could have been brought into Siberia, or a whole rhinoceros found in it: for Siberia being then the bottom of some ocean, the sea must have moved from it to cover the sinking continents, instead of moving towards it to strew over it their spoils. If it be said that these animals were carried into the sea before the flood, then surely the rhinoceros should have been devoured, and only his bones left.
To say nothing of the incompatibility of this system with the principal geologic phenomena, mentioned in my former Essay, and of the destruction of at least all the graminivorous fish that must have followed from their transfer to a soil not suited to them, it is evidently inconsistent with the Mosaic account of this catastrophe; which account, however, these philosophers admit.
Moses ascribes the deluge to two principal causes, a continual rain for forty days, and the eruption of the waters of the great abyss. Now to what purpose a rain of forty days to overwhelm a continent that was to be immersed under a whole ocean? He tells us the waters increased on the continents a certain number of days, rested thereon another period of days, and then retired. Do not these expressions imply a permanent ground on which they increased and rested, and from which they afterwards retreated? As the retreat followed the advance, is it not clear that they retreated from the same spaces on which they had before advanced and rested?
Mr. De Luc replies, that in the 13th verse of the 5th chapter of Genesis, it is said the earth should be destroyed, and that Mr. Michaelis so translates it. However, it is plain, from what has been just mentioned, that Moses did not understand such a destruction as should cause it to disappear totally and for ever; he tells us, that the waters stood fifteen cubits over the highest mountains; now, as he has no where mentioned the antediluvian mountains, but has the postdiluvian, it is plain, it is to these his narration relates; and these, he tells us, were, at the time of the deluge, covered with water, and uncovered when the waters diminished : he never distin. guished the postdiluvian from the antediluvian, and therefore must have considered them as the same.
Nor did Noah himself believe the ancient continents destroyed; for he took the appearance of an olive-branch to be a sign of the diminution of the flood. This he certainly believed to have grown on the ancient continent, and could not have expected it to have shot up from the bottom of the sea. Mr. De Luc tells us this olive grew on an antediluvian island, and that these islands, being part of the antediluvian ocean, were not flooded. It is plain, however, Noah did not think so, else he would not judge the appearance of the olive to be a sign of the diminution of the waters. Where is it mentioned, or what renders it necessary to infer that islands existed before the flood ? If islands did exist, and were to escape the flood, so might their inhabitants also, contrary to the express words of the text.
It would surely be much more convenient to Noah, his family, and animals, to have taken refuge in one of them, than' to remain pent up in the ark.
The dove, Moses tells us, returned the first time she was let out of the ark, finding no place whereon to rest her feet; she consequently could not discover the island; whereas the raven never returned, plainly because he found carcasses whereon to feed; therefore these carcasses were not swallowed up, as Mr. De Luc would have it. Moses tells us that, at the cessation of the flood, the fountains of the deep were stopped or shut up; therefore, in his apprehension, instead of the ancient continents sinking into the deep, the waters of the abyss flowed from their sources upon that continent, and again returned ; from all which it follows, that this hypothesis is as indefensible as the foregoing.
Passing over the systems of Woodward, Burnet, and Whiston, which have been repeatedly retuted, I recur to the account given of this great revolution by Moses himself, taken in its plain literal sense, as the only one that appears perfectly consistent with all the phenomena now known, of which I shall find occasion to mention many; he plainly ascribes it to a supernatural cause, namely, the express intention of God to punish mankind for their crimes. We must therefore consider the deluge as a miraculous effusion of water, both from the clouds and the great abyss; if the waters, situated partly within and partly without the great caverns of the globe, were once sufficient to cover even the highest mountains, as I have shown in a former essay, they must have been sufficient to do so la second time, when miraculously educed out of these caverns. Early geologists, not attending to these facts, thought all the waters of the ocean insufficient; it was supposed that its mean depth did not exceed a quarter of a mile, and that only half of the surface of the globe was covered by it: on these data, Keil computed that twenty-eight oceans would be requisite to cover
Vol. III.-No. II. .L
the whole earth to the height of four miles, which he judged to be that of the highest mountains, a quantity at that time considered as extravagant and incredible; but a further progress in 'mathematical and physical knowledge, has since shown the different seas and oceans to contain at least FORTYEIGHT times more water than they were supposed to do.
Mr. de la Place, calculating their average depth not from a few vague and partial soundings, (for such they have ever been, the polar regions having been never sounded, particularly the Antarctic) but from a strict application of the theory of the tides to the height to which they are known to rise in the main ocean, demonstrates that a depth, reaching only to half a league, or even to two or three leagues, is incompatible with the Newtonian theory, as no depth under four leagues could reconcile it with the phenomena. The vindication of the Mosaic history does not require even so much. The extent of the sea is known to be far greater than Keil supposed, that of the earth scarcely passing one third of the surface of the globe.
A STRANGE SIGHT. It is indeed a strange sight to see those that complain they can do nothing without Christ, labouring hard, and those who boast they can do great things, standing idle-to see those that renounce all dependence upon their good works, abounding in good works; and those who expect to be saved by their good works, living in the neglect of good works, and doing the works of the devil. Davies.
FOR THE CHRISTIAN's MAGAZINE. THE following view will be succeeded by others of
the same nature, as circumstances may permit, from time to time. The detail is given as minutely as possible, both to gratify curiosity, and afford instruction.
The state of the Reformed Church ; as also, of the
different religious denominations in Holland, previous to the late revolution.
I HE doctrines of the Reformed Church, are contained in the decisions of the Synod of Dort—the Belgic Confession of Faith, and the Heidelbergh. Catechism.
Her offices are four-fold, viz. teachers, or professors of theology, ministers of the word, elders, and deacons. The number of professors is not limited. In the year 1638, there were four at Leyden, four at Utrecht, two at Harderwyck, three at Franeker, and four at Groningen. Many of these act as ministers of the word also. Their office consists principally in teaching theology, to such as design entering into the ministry of the word. Some make it their business to teach branches of knowledge which are calculated to illustrate theology: such as church history, Jewish antiquities, eastern languages, sacred eloquence, &c. According to the regulations of the Synod of Dort, they are bound to defend the truth against errors of every kind. They are supported at the expense of the province in which