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creation of man and woman. Perhaps he was made on the first Sunday, and from that fact came, it may be, the old couplet,
"And Satan still some mischief finds
For idle hands to do."
The sacred historian failed also to tell us when the cherubim and the flaming sword were made, and said nothing about two of the persons composing the trinity. It certainly would have been an easy thing to enlighten Adam and his immediate descendants. The world was then only about fifteen hundred and thirty-six years old, and only about three or four generations of men had lived. Adam had been dead only about six hundred and six years, and some of his grand children must, at that time, have been alive and well.
It is hard to see why God did not civilize these people. He certainly had the power to use, and the wisdom to devise the proper means.
Can there be
has a god to fill a world with fiends? goodness in this? Why should he make experiments that he knows must fail? Is there wisdom in this? And what right has a man to charge an infinite being with wickedness and folly?
According to Moses, God made up his mind not only to destroy the people, but the beasts and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air. What had the beasts, and the creeping things, and the birds done to excite the anger of God? Why did he repent having made them? Will some christian give us an explanation of this matter? No good man will inflict unnecessary pain upon a beast; how then can we worship a god who cares nothing for the agonies of the dumb creatures that he made?
Why did he make animals that he knew he would destroy? Does God delight in causing pain? He had the power to make the beasts, and fowls, and creeping things in his own good time and way, and it is to be presumed that he made them according to his wish. Why should he destroy them? They had committed no sin. They had eaten no forbidden fruit, made no aprons, nor tried to reach the tree of life. Yet this god, in blind unreasoning wrath destroyed "all flesh wherein was the breath of life, and every living thing beneath the sky, and every substance wherein was life that he had made."
Jehovah, having made up his mind to drown the world, told Noah to make an Ark of gopher wood
three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. A cubit is twenty-two inches; so that the ark was five hundred and fifty feet long, ninetyone feet and eight inches wide and fifty-five feet high. This ark was divided into three stories, and had on top, one window twenty-two inches square. Ventilation must have been one of Jehovah's hobbies. Think of a ship larger than the Great Eastern with only one window, and that but twentytwo inches square!
The ark also had one door set in the side thereof that shut from the outside. As soon as this ship was finished, and properly victualed, Noah received seven days notice to get the animals in the ark.
It is claimed by some of the scientific theologians that the flood was partial, that the waters covered only a small portion of the world, and that consequently only a few animals were in the ark. It is impossible to conceive of language that can more clearly convey the idea of a universal flood than that found in the inspired account. If the flood was only partial, why did God say he would "destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life from under heaven, and that every thing that is in the earth shall die?" Why did he say "I will destroy man whom I have
created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping thing and the fowls of the air?" Why did he say "And every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth?" Would a partial, local flood have fulfilled these threats?
Nothing can be clearer than that the writer of this account intended to convey, and did convey the idea that the flood was universal. Why should christians try to deprive God of the glory of having wrought the most stupendous of miracles? Is it possible that the Infinite could not overwhelm with waves this atom called the Earth? Do you doubt his power, his wisdom or his justice?
Believers in miracles should not endeavor to explain them. There is but one way to explain anything, and that is to account for it by natural agencies. The moment you explain a miracle, it disappears. You should depend not upon explana tion, but assertion. You should not be driven from the field because the miracle is shown to be unreasonable. You should reply that all miracles are unreasonable. Neither should you be in the least disheartened if it is shown to be impossible. The possible is not miraculous. You should take the
ground that if miracles were reasonable, and possible, there would be no reward paid for believing them. The christian has the goodness to believe, while the sinner asks for evidence. It is enough for God to work miracles without being called upon to substantiate them for the benefit of unbelievers.
Only a few years ago, the christians believed implicitly in the literal truth of every miracle recorded in the bible. Whoever tried to explain them in some natural way, was looked upon as an infidel in disguise, but now he is regarded as a benefactor. The credulity of the Church is decreasing, and the most marvelous miracles are now either "explained," or allowed to take refuge behind the mistakes of the translators, or hide in the drapery of allegory.
In the sixth chapter, Noah is ordered to take "of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort into the ark—male and female." In the seventh chapter the order is changed, and Noah is commanded, according to the Protestant bible, as follows: "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female, and of beasts that are not clean, by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female."