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sence, Gen.iv. 14,16. And when the Wickedness of Men had provoked God to drown the World, he revealed this to Noah, and respited the execution of this Judgment an Hundred Years and Noah, in the mean time, both by his Preaching, and by preparing an Ark, warned them of it, and exhorted them to Repentance : by preparing of an ark to the saving of his house, he condemned the world, Heb. xi. 7. and he was a preacher of righteousness to the old world, 2 Pet. ii.
5. He made it his business, for above an Hundred Years together, to forewarn the wicked World of their approaching Ruine ; which he did by all the Ways and Means that a Wise and Great Man could contrive, proper for that End.
Noah lived, after the Flood, Three hundred and fifty Years, Gen. ix. 28. and it was between One and Two hundred Years before the Division of Tongues, and the Dispersion of the Sons of Noah. And when all the Inhabitants of the Earth were of one Language, and lived not far asunder, Noah himself living amongst them; the Judgment of God upon the wicked World, in overwhelming them with the Flood ; his Mercies to Noah and his Family, in their preservation, when all the rest of the World perished ; and the Commandments which God gave to Noah at his coming out of the Ark, with his Promises and Threatnings respectively to the pera
C. 8. t but be ill
formance or transgression of them, must be well known: and the sin in building the Tower of Babel, for which the Universal Language was confounded, and the Race of Mankind dispersed, could proceed from nothing but the heighth of Presumption and Perverfeness. After the Confufion of Languages, and the Dispersion of Mankind, they could not on the sudden remove to very
distant and remote Places, by reason of the unpassable Woods and Desarts and Marshes, which, after so vast an Inundation, must be every where to be met with, to obstruct their passage, in those hot and fruitful Countreys, when they had lain uninhabited for so many Years.
This we may, the better understand, from the flow progress which was made in the Discoveries of the West-Indies. For the Spaniards, in those places where they
found neither Guide nor Path, did not enter (ASee the Countrey ten Miles (F) in ten Years. leigh, 1.1.
And in those Ages they could not 0.8. S. 3. provided, either by their own Skill, or by
convenient Tools and Instruments, with fit means to clear the Countrey which they were to pass ; and they were likewise unprovided of Vessels to transport any great numbers of Men, with their Families, and Herds of Cattle, which were for many Ages their only Richies, and absolutely necessary for their Sustenance : for Navigation had never had so flow an Improvement in the World,
feof the Christian Religion. if it had so foon been in that Perfection as to enable them for such Transportations.
And as for these Reasons, the Dispersion of Noah's Posterity over the Earth must be gradual, and many Generations must pass, before the remoter Parts of it could be inhabited ; fo the several Plantations must be supposed to hold Correspondence with those to whom they were nearest allyed, and from whom they went out ; they must be fupposed to own fome sort of Dependance upon them, and pay them such Acknowledgments as Colonies have ever done to their MotherCities. It is natural to suppose that they first spread themselves into the neighbouring Countries ; and (as Sir Walter Rauleigh has obseryed) the first Plantations were gene rally by the Banks of Rivers, whereby they might hold Intelligence one with another; which they could not do by Land, that being overspread with Woods, and alcogether unfit for travelling. And the great affinity which is obfervable between the Eastern Languages, proves that there was a continual Correspondence and Commerce maintained between the several Nations, after the Dispersion.
All which, considering the great Age that Men lived to in thofe times, must, without a very gross Neglect and Contempt of God, veral Parts of the World: For Noah himself lived Three Hundred and Fifty Years after
the Flood; his Sons were not soon dispersed; their Dispersion was gradual, and they held a Correspondence after their Separation, and lived long to educate and train up their Children in that Knowledge of God, which they had received and been instructed in themselves; and besides, they had little else . to discourse upon, but such things as would necessarily lead them to it : The History of their own Nation and Family is that which Men are naturally most fond of; and in these Ages the Particulars could be but few, and those very remarkable, and almost within the memory of some yet living ; and every Occurrence must bring to their remembrance what they had heard and had been taught concerning God, and his Dealings with them and their Forefathers.
Moreover, there was the special Hand of God, and a particular Over-ruling Providence, in the Dispersion and Division of Nations : For, when the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel, Deut. xxxii. 8. He determined the bounds of their habitation, that they should
seek the Lord, if baply, they might feel after him, and find him, Act. xvii. 26,27. This was
This was the reason of the Division of the Nations, according to the number of the children of Ifrael. There was a particular regard had to the Number
jot nich hele
of the Chosen Seed, that they might bear a fit
proportion to the rest of Mankind, and might and
be as so much Leaven to the whole Mafs, as Their
a quickning and enlivening Principle to exzich
cite and maintain due Apprehensions of God, in
and his Worship and Service in the World:
And this is the Reason given, why Polyould
gamy was permitted them ; That they who
to teach his Commandments to the rest of help the World, might fufficiently encrease and and
multiply. For though it appears by our hin
Registers (g), that here more Males are born (3) Seë ery than Females, to a considerable disproportion, the Bills of nice and that therefore Polygamy amongst ús Mortality.
would not tend to the multiplication of Mannem kind, but rather to the contrary ; yet in
Judæa it might be otherwise ; or the Captive
Women, whom they were perinitted to marry, ce, might raise the number of Females above that 175. of the Males ; 'or their perpetual Wars lefsen'd
the number of Males to a degree beneath the 18 Females. However, this is the reason alC ledged by learned Men, why Polygamy,
which was not permitted from the Beginning, should be allowed the Ifraelites : for, indeed, it was of great consequence that they should multiply so as to have a due proportion to the rest of the World, and for the lame reason, the surviving Brother was to raise up Seed to the deceased. Barrenness was a Reproach ; and to die Childless, 2