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to the necessary Laws of a Comet’s Trajection, which the Scriptures tell us was fent by God for the Sin of Mana kind, seems to give too great a Scope for the Scoffs of Libertines, and the atheistical Fatality. His turning Das into Tears, and denying the diurnal Revolution of the Earth at first, is methinks a little too bold, when it does not seem at all to Favour his Hypothesis, but only to give God lix Years time to work in, when the Infidels already grudge him so much as six Days. His fancying two Courses of Rain from the Scripture, which only seems to repeat the Relation of one, is nor to me so fatisfactory; nor his Exclusion of Clouds and Mists, which is agree. able 'indeed to the Burnettian Theory, but, I think, not to his. · Neither can I conceive, that the bare passing through the Tailor Atmosphere of a Comet could afford the thousand Part of the Water that Theory has occasion for, and he himself is forced to fetch a great Part of it from the Abyss. Nor is it credible, that the Earth, a cold Planet, fhould go off with 750,000 Miles of the Comer's Tail, which could not be supported by the Comet it self, but only by Reason of the burning Heat of the Body of it. And it is a Mistake, I suppose, to think, that the round Circle about the Body of the Comet is a watry Atmosphere, much grosser than the Tail, so as to afford nine Times as much Water to the Earth palling through that, as through the Tail; for the Ring is by fome curious Observers thought to be only the curling and winding round of the Smoke, rising at first to a de terminate Height from all parts of the Comet, and then -making off to the Part opposite to the Sun, as you may see Fig. III. Neither do I fancy, that the Earth, pale fing even through the Atmosphere of a Comet, could gain any more Water by that, than any Thing can do .by passing through the Smoke of a Chimney, for both of them are but Smoke, only the former is the thinner, as being the fume arising from the terreous Part of the
Comet, by, its Parelion almost vitrified and calcined, the 'aqueous Parts being first evaporated and sent off farther into the Extremity of the Tail. And besides, I cannor
e Fig. III. Neart opposite to the comet, and then
conceives how the Earth should not almoft have been fired, and Noah, and his Ark, burnt to Powder, by the, glowing Heat of the melted Planet ; for according to my little Philosophy, I should imagine it as comfortable living in a red hot Oven for an hour or two, as in such a sultry Atmosphere as this. And it is hard to think, that, this Comet should give no more Disturbance in this Part of the Universe, but only to turn the Earth's Annual Or. bit, from a Circle to an Ellipsis; for according to Mr. Nouton's Principles, if the Comer had been bigger than the Earth, it had carried it away to Rights in its Parabola, through the vast extra-faturnine. Spaces; and if it had been less; it had been stopt by the Earth, and so we had been troubled with its smoky Tail about us ever since. Or if it had been of the fame Bigness with the Earth, and if it had well nigh the same Celerity with the Earth, we thould have had the fame troublesome Companion nevertheless ; or however, it is ten thousand to one, but it would have run away with our Moon, if it had happened to have come nighér to Thar than the Earth does. Nor does it lie easy upon my Mind, how such a prodigious
Quantity of Water, that he supposes to have come from the Comet, could be difpofed of; it is impossible it could be one quarter of it suspended in the Air, or lodged in the Chanels of the Seas; for the Chanels could bear no proportion to it. Nor can I think the Seas were so much as inlarged by the Deluge, but that they both, before and since, have been growing less, and less, by the prom digious Quantities of Water employ'd in the Production of Trees and Plants, which are reduced afterward into Mold, and always retain the Species of Earth, or lie buried in the Ground, and never return to the Sea again. To say nothing of how much more is employed in the Concretion of Stones and conchous Substances', how much is licked up by the Ather out of the Acmosphere as the Earth is swimming through it, how much more Mies over in Vapours to the Poles, notwithstanding the Barricado of the Hills, is frozen there, and never returns again, unless Tome few Particles, it may be, of them at
some Seasons of the Year in Winds : And to pass over the Observations of the Chanels of great Rivers near the Sea, which seem formerly to have been far broader than they are now, and the many great Countries which the Sea has deserted. And besides, lastly, in my Mind it is impossible that the swelling of the Abyss should alter the Figure of the Earth's Crust, from a Circle or Oval to a Sphæroide ; that the Water had force enough to do ic; or that this. Effect could happen without thattering the Compages, being of a brittle faxeous Substance, into Pieces. These are my Reasonswhy I cannot acquiesce in the Hypothesis of that ingenious and learned Gentleman, as exa&ly true; yet I think it a curious Essay to shew the Infidels not only the Possibility of the mosaick History, but how finely it may be made to correspond with Philosophy; and after all, that 'tis easier to find Faults with this Theory, than to compose another so
Phil. Well ! Now you see how these great Wits are miserably at a Loss to explain this unaccountable History; and therefore it is in vain to try any further to explain that, which will admit of no Solution. So that you had better ingenuously give up the Cause, and own, that it is an impossible Relation, calculated only for the Illiterateness of those Times, to make the Jews stand in Fear of the Deity, when they were told that such a tragical Punishment was inflicted by him upon Mankind for their Sins.
Cred. If God was the Cause of the Deluge, as our Religion supposes, and not natural and mechanical Causes of their own proper Tendency ; then God might bring it to pass a thousand Ways, that we know nothing of; for his Omnipotence will be able to bear up against all the pretended Impossibilities that you are able to raise against
the History of the Deluge. :. adrian 1. But if this History of the Deluge be such an imive a!! 854 pollible unaccountable History, how come all the Nations dias ij a of the World, to have such an impossible Notion got into Donge. their Heads? Though several Men might have the same
Tradition there it as Exact Be Something, bis Race of Men,
unaccountable Fancies, yet it is hard to think that all Men should be troubled with the same Dreams. And it seems to me to have more Impossibility, that all Nati, ons should have Traditions of a Deluge, if there had been no such Thing as a Deluge ; than any you can shew me in the Deluge it self. The Babylonians, Phoenicians,
Asyrians, in their Histories make mention of a Deluge, as you may fee in Eusebius, and Fosephus. Deucalion's Flood was so famous in all the Greek and Latin Mythologists and Poets, that nothing more need be said of it, Martinius in his History of China relates the same of the Chinese ; and so does Josephus Acosta, Herera, and De Laet of the Americans. And Lucian * relates the ancient Tradition they had of the Deluge at Hierapolis in Syria; which is almost as Exact as the mosaick Relation of it. The Account, though it be something long, is not un. pleasant, and deserves Consideration. This Race of Men, which now is, was not the first ; but that Race was quite deo stroyed. But these are of a second Generation, and from their
first Progenitor Deucalion have increased to so great a Multi· tude as we fee. Now of those former Men they tell this
Story : They being contentious, did very unrighteous Things, they neither kept their Oaths, nor were hospitable to Strangers ; for which this great Misfortune befel them : All of a sudden the Earth gave out of her self a great Quantity of Water, there were mighty Showers, the Rivers overflowed, the Sea was much higher, by which all Things became Water, and all Men perished. Only Deucalion was left unto the second Generation, t upon Account of his good Connsel and Piery. Now he was saved after this manner. He had a great Apvač (i. e.) an Ark or Cheft, into which he came with the Children and Women, of his House ; and then entered Hogs, and Horses, and Lions, and Serpents, and all other
Animals, which live upon the Earth, Tenuta suged, all of them with their. Mates. And he received them all, and they did him no harm ; for by Afiftance from Heaven, there was
* De Deå Syria. + 'Eu@raias (verd. This is agrecable to what the Scripture fays of Noah's being a Preacher of Righteousness to the ungodly Antediluvians.
a great Amity between them. So all failed in this one Cheft, as long as the Water did predominate. But these Things are told in the Greek Histories of Deucalion. But of those Things which happened after, one Thing worthy of great Ada miration is told by the Inhabitants of Hierapolis; that in their Country, there was a great Gap into which all this Water Junk. Upon which, Deucalion built Altars and a Temple over the Gap, and consecrated it to Juno. I my self savihe Gap.' It is very little at the bottom of the Temple, as I told you. Whether it was formerly big ger or no, and grown nara rover by Age, I cannot tell ; but this I can tell, that That which I raw was but little. Now they make this the Sign of the History. Twice in a Tear Water is brought into the Tena ple : And not only the Priests bring it, but all Syria and Arabia. Näy, Men come even from Euphrates to the Sea, all carrying Water; which they first pour into the Temple, Then the Water descends into the Gap; and though the Gap be fmall, get it receives a prodigious Quantity of Wuer. And when they do this they tell, that Deucalion first instituted this Custom, to be a Memorial of the Calamity, and his Deliverance from it. This is the ancient Tradition which those about the Temple tell.
From which Relation it is remarkable, that it was the Opinion of the People of Syria, that there had been an universal Deluge, that a certain Man and his Family were saved in an Ark, and a Male and Female of every kind of Animals, to restore again the drowned Creation; and that all this vast Quantity of Water funk into an Hiatus of the Earth, and made the World habitable again. Now, I hope, that Moses's Relation is not so incredible, when it has the joint Testimony of so many Nations, and para ticularly the Heathen Syricns so exactly corresponding with it. Indeed this story in Lucian is told after his Way drollingly, as if he did not believe it; but yet there is no question to be made but that it was the Relation of those People, though he has a Mind to expose it.
But I need not trouble my self to prove the Being of a Deluge by Tradition of Nations, when late Observations have given Demonstration of it. The Beds of Shells