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cording to the deeds done in the body: but while we are in this world we stand in various relations, in which it is impossible that we should be dealt with merely as individuals. God deals with families and nations as such ; and in the course of his providence visits them with good and evil, not according to the conduct of individuals, but, as far as conduct is concerned, that of the general body. To insist that we should in all cases be treated as individ. uals, is to renounce the social character.

We are informed at the close of the chapter. that Noah lived after the flood three hundred and itty years, and died at the age nine hundred and fifty. How long this was after the foregoing prophecy, we are not informed ; but he lived to see in the descendants of Shem, Eber and Nahor and Terah the father of Abram.


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Gen. .

Without this genealogy we should not have been able to as certain the fulfilment of Noah's prophecy: but after what has been said on that subject, I need not be particular here. The chapter contains the origin of the various nations of antiquity ; and the more it is examined, and compared with universal history, the more credible it will appear. All the researches of the Asiatic Society into the ancient Hindoo records go to confirm it. But it does not comport with the object of these discourses to enter mia nutely into such subjects ; I shall therefore pass over it with only a few remarks. • 1. Concerning the posterity of Japheth, ver. 2–5. His family was the largest, and almost every one of his sons became the father of a nation. In them, we trace, among others, the names of Madia, the father of the Medes ;-of Javan, and his two sons, Kita tim and Dodunim, the fathers of the lonians or Greeks, and of the Romans. It was from Japheth that all the nations of Europe appear to bave been peopled; who seem, at this early period, to have obtained the name of Gentiles ; namely, peoples, or nations. (ver. 5.) This name was given in apostolic times to all who were not Jews ; but in earlier ages it seems to have been chiefly, if not entirely, applied to the Europeans. Such at least is the meaning of the isles of the Gentiles, in which, by a synecdoche, those places which were the nearest to the situation of the sacred writer are put for all the countries beyond them. And the scriptures forseeing that Europe would from the first embrace the gospel, and for many ages be the


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principal seat of its operations, the Messiah himself is introduced by Isaiah as addressing bimself to its inhabitants : Listen, OH ISLES unto mo; aad hearken ye people from afar ! Jehovah hath called me from the womb: and hath said unto me, It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob-I will also give thee for a light to the GENTILES, that thou shouldst be my salvation to the end of the earth. Here we see, not only the first peopling of our native country, but the kind remembranee of us in a way of mercy, and this, though far removed from the means of salvation. What a call is this to us who

occupy what is denominated the end of the earth, to be thankful for the gospel, and to listen to the sweet accents of the Saviour's voice !

2. Concerning the posterity of Ham, ver. 6—20. In them, we trace, among others, the names of Cush, the father of the Ethi. opians; of Mizraim, the father of the Egyptians; and of Canaan, the father of the Canaanites.

Particular notice is taken of Nimrod, the son of Cush, as the first who set up for empire. He might, for any thing I know, be fond of hunting beasts ; but the connexion of his character with a kingdom, induces me to think that men were the principal objects of his pursuit, and that it is in reference to this that he is called a mighty hunter, a very proper name for what modern historians would have called a hero. Thus we see, from the beginning, that things which are highly esteemed among men are held in abomina. tion with God. This perfectly accords with the language of the prophets, in which the great conquerors of the earth are described as so many wild beasts, pushing at one another, whose object is to seize and tear the prey.-Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord. This may denote his daring spirit, doing what he did in the face of heaven, or in defiance of the divine authority. Thus the iuhabitants of Sodom are said to be wicked, and sinners before the Lord. Nimrod's fame was so great that his name be. came proverbial. In after times, any one who was a daring pluna derer in defiance of heaven, was likened to him, just as the wicked kings of Israel were likened to Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. In short, he became the type, patern, or fa

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ther of usurpers and martial plunderers. Till his time, government had been patriarchal; but his ambition led him to found a royal city, even that which was afterwards called Babel, or Babylon; and to add to it (for the ambition of conquerors has no bounds) Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Nor was this all. Either he drove Ashur, the son of Shem, from the land of Shinar, (who, taking up his residence in Assyria, built Nineveh, and other places ;) or else, as Ainsworth and the margin of our own bibles render it, He (Nimrod) went forth out of that land to Ashur, or Assyria, and builded Nineveh. This last is very probably the true meaning, as the sacred writer is not here describing what was done by the posterity of Shem, which he introduces afterwards, but by that of Ham; and it perfectly accords *with Nimrod's character, to go hunting from land to land, for the purpose ofincreasing his dominion.

From Mizrain, the father of the Egyptians, descended also the Philistines. Their situation was near to that of the Canaanites; but not being of them, their country was not given to Israel. This accounts for their not attempting to take it, though in after times there were frequent wars between them.

Finally : Moses was very particular with regard to the Canaanites, describing not only what nations they were, but what were their boundaries, that Israel might know and be content with what the Lord their God had given them. Under this head, we see much of what pertains to this world, but that is all. We may learn from it, that men may be under the divine curse,


yet be very successful for a time in schemes of aggrandizement. But if this be their all, woe unto them! There are instances, however, of individuals, even from among Ham's posterity, who obtained mercy. Of them were Rahab the barlot, Uriah the Hittite, Obededom, and Ittai, and his brethren the Gittites, and the Syrophenician woman who applied to Christ. The door of mercy is open to faith, without distinction of nations ; nor was there ever a time in which the God of Israel refused even a Canaanite, who repented and embraced his word.

3. Concerning the posterity of Shem, ver. 21–32. The account of this patriarch is introduced in rather a singular manner; Vol. V.



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