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at the rate of about 400 feet per day,—a rate not twice greater than that at which the tide rises in the Straits of Magellan, and which would have rendered itself apparent as but a persistent inward flowing of the sea; let us yet further suppose, that from mayhap some volcanic outburst coincident with the depression, and an effect of the same deep-seated cause, the atmosphere was so affected that heavy drenching rains continued to descend during the whole time, and that though they could contribute but little to the actual volume of the flood—at most only some five or six inches per day—they at least seemed to constitute one of its main causes, and added greatly to its terrors, by swelling the rivers, and rushing downwards in torrents from the hills. The depression, which, by extending to the Euxine Sea and the Persian Gulf on the one hand, and to the Gulf of Finland on the other, would open up by three separate channels the fountains of the great deep, and which included, let us suppose, an area of about 2000 miles each way, would, at the end of the fortieth day, be sunk in its centre to a depth of 16,000 feet—a depth sufficiently profound to bury the loftiest mountains in the district. . . . And when, after 150 days had come and gone, the depressed hollow would have begun slowly to rise,—and when, after the fifth month had passed, the ark would have grounded on the summit of Mount Ararat—all that could have been seen from the upper window of the vessel would be simply a boundless sea, roughened by tides, now flowing outwards, with a reversed course, towards the distant ocean, by the three great outlets which during the period of depression had given access to the waters."
"Let me further remark, that in one important sense a partial flood, such as the one which I have conceived as adequate to the destruction, in an early age, of the whole human family, could scarce be regarded as miraculous. Several of our first geologists hold that some of the formidable cataclysms of the remote past may have been occasioned by the sudden upheaval of vast continents. . . . And these cataclysms they regard as perfectly natural, though of course very unusual events. Nor would the gradual depression of a continent, or, as in the supposed case, of a portion of a continent, be in any degree less natural than the sudden upheaval of a continent. It would, on the contrary, be much more according to experience. Nay, were such a depression and elevation of the Asiatic basin to take place during the coming twelvemonth, as that of which I have conceived as the probable cause of the Deluge, though the geologists would have to describe it as beyond comparison the most remarkable oscillation of level which had taken place within the historic period, they would certainly regard it as no more miraculous than the great earthquake of Lisbon, or than that exhibition of the volcanic forces which elevated the mountain of Jorullo in a single night 1600 feet over the plains. . . . The revelation to Noah, which warned him of a coming flood, and taught him how to prepare for it, was evidently miraculous; the flood itself may have been purely providential."1
1 H. Miller, Testimony, p. 344 aeq.
We have seen that the Deluge must be considered as universal, in so far as it was a divine judgment for the destruction of mankind. All the men then existing, with the exception of the eight who were in the ark, were destroyed. But what happened to the animal world? This is one of the most difficult questions which could here be raised.
Genesis does not speak expressly of the vegetable world. But the dove brings back an olive leaf, and according to this it seems as if we ought to believe that vegetation was not destroyed, that it at least partially outlived the Flood, and that from those places in which it had survived, it spread to those where it had been destroyed.1 Genesis says nothing of any new creation of vegetation after the Flood. But I should not like to assert that it is exegetically inadmissible to assume either that such a new creation occurred, or that the remaining vegetation was increased by a later creation. The silence of Genesis does not militate against it, and when it is said in the 2nd chapter that "God rested from His work," that is, that He left off creating, this
1 The statement that the olive can bring forth leaves under water is probably only founded on an expression of Pliny's. (Lambert, Le Deluge, p. 120.) The leaf which the dove brought back had probably come out after the Flood; but the tree had been covered by the water, and had remained alive, (ies Mondes, t. 20, 24, Juin 1869, pp. 318, 325.)
refers primarily only to the conclusion of the six days of creation, and does not exactly exclude a later repeated creation, especially a re-creation of destroyed organisms. By the divine command Noah takes measures for the preservation of the animal world by the building of the ark, "to keep seed alive upon the face of the earth," as it is said in Gen. vii. 3. Noah is to take a pair of all the beasts into the ark with him—that is, the animals so taken in and saved by Noah are, as it is said when they are leaving the ark, meant to multiply and to repeople the earth. Are we to understand by this that all animals spring from the animals in the ark, as all men spring from Noah and his family? It is expressly said, in chap. ix. 19, that all men are descended from the sons of Noah. It is true that we find no such statement with reference to the animals, but it seems as if Genesis wished to imply that something similar should be understood in their case. It is said in chap. vii. ver. 21, "And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepetk upon the earth, and every man." But the very next sentence points to an exception. The Vulgate no doubt goes on, "Everything died in which was the breath of life in terra;" but, according to the Hebrew, "in terra" must not be translated " on the earth," but "on the dry land," for whereas in the preceding verse the more uncertain expression Haarez is employed, which may mean either earth or dry land, here the word Hecharabah is chosen, that is, the dry land. Of course, too, it is understood that only those animals were taken up into the ark which could not be saved in any other way. So that besides the aquatic animals, of which Genesis does not speak, other kinds of animals may also have survived the Flood, e.g., the eggs or larvae of insects may have been preserved, etc. If we may assume that the Flood was not a universal inundation—i.e., that all the land was not overflowed at the same time, and that the results of the Flood were not everywhere, at any rate, so great as in the region in which Noah and his family witnessed it—we may believe that the preservation of many land animals also was quite possible. Of course we cannot go into the details, or calculate what kinds of animals, or how many of them, might have remained alive outside the ark, because, as I have shown above, we cannot arrive at any exact idea as to the real extent of the Flood. But if we may admit such exceptions, we gain two things. It has been declared impossible that all the animals could find room in the ark, and it has been said that it is inconceivable that the animals could have spread themselves over all the continents and islands from the ark. Both these difficulties are, at least, substantially diminished if we may assume that the words in chap. vii. 23, "And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, . . . and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark," need not be taken literally.1
1 "It does not necessarily follow, from the fact that human sinfulness was the moral cause of the Deluge, that that portion of the animal world which inhabited the countries still unknown to man must have been spared by the Deluge. But we may gather from that fact that it is impossible to argue from animals to man, and vice veria; and also that because all men died who were not in the ark, it does not necessarily follow that all the animals died likewise; while on the other hand, if it were proved that certain kinds of animals had survived the Deluge, it