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GENESIS Viii. 13.
And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.
IN my last Lecture, we left the ark, with Noah and his family in it, in safety, and the rest of the world destroyed. I hope that you have attended to me very carefully, and that you remember most of the circumstances. I now go on with the ac
We read in the Bible, that 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. How terrible God is in his judgments! When he ariseth to punish the wickedness of men upon earth, how severely he can punish! What will be the punishment of the wicked in hell! May you never know by experience what that punishment is! "Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found! call ye upon him, while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
We read, that the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days, that is, nearly five months. How great must have been the quantity of water, to remain
so long! The heaviest rains we know, (and I am sure, we know sometimes, of very heavy ones) pass off in a few days, and leave the greatest part of the ground dry. Here, the waters remained almost five months. You cannot wonder at this, when you are told the cause. The windows of heaven were opened, and the fountains of the great deep broken up. All this was the doing of God. And he did it to punish the world for its iniquity, the inhabitants of the world for their wickedness.
And now, all mankind had perished. The flood had swept them all away. And God remembered Noah and every living thing that was with him. Not that he had ever forgotten him, for it was his care of him which kept the righteous man and his family safe. But he now determined to bring him out of the ark, and to make him the father of the new world. God therefore sent a mighty wind, which
passed over the earth and made the waters dry very fast. In two months' time, the ark rested on a mountain. The waters continued to decrease until the tenth month, and then the tops of the mountains could be seen. What a joyful sight to Noah and his family! How must he have thought to himself, that "blessed are they that trust in the Lord." How must he have seen, that "in the Lord there is salvation, and with him is plenteous redemption!" After seeing the tops of the mountains, Noah waited forty days, and then opened the window of the ark, and sent forth a raven. The raven is a bird of prey, and if the waters had been dried, and the carcases of the creatures drowned could have been seen by it, it would not have returned. But it did return, and kept flying backwards and forwards to the ark, without coming in, so that in all probability it contrived to feed itself on some of the many creatures destroyed. Noah sent a dove also, because this bird is said to have a
strong flight, picks up seeds from the ground, and always returns to its restingplace. But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto Noah, and he took her in. This was a proof to him, that the ground was still muddy, and afforded no food to the dove. He waited seven days, and then sent forth the dove again. We find that he did this on the seventh day, God's sabbath, a holy day, and he did it, my friends, because he looked for a blessing on this day-the day, which God had blessed at the Creation. In the evening the dove returned, and lo! in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off! How cheering a sight must this have been to Noah and his family! Never did a green leaf look so precious as then! He waited other seven days, and on the seventh day-the holy of the Lord, honourable-he sent the dove again. But she returned no more. She found food for herself. She went again to her usual way of life, and sought for shelter no more.