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was first inhabited in 1589 by some shipwrecked English, and was visited in 1667 by a Dutch ship, a population of 12,000 souls was found, all the descendants of four mothers. Acosta in describing the natural history of New Spain 100 years after its discovery, says that even before his time it was not uncommon for people to possess from 70,000 to 100,000 sheep; and yet before the country was discovered by the Spaniards there were no sheep there, and the whole race was descended from those which had been brought by the Spaniards. It is well known also that horses and cattle have only existed in America since its discovery by Columbus; they are now found there in countless numbers in both a tame and a wild condition. Acosta speaks of numerous wild herds of cattle which wandered about the island of Hispaniola, and which afforded sport for the chase; in 1585, 35,000 were exported from this island, and 64,000 from New Spain. From Paraguay and New Spain alone one million ox hides were exported every year at the end of the last century; yet the numerous cattle in these regions are descended from seven cows and one bull which were left there in 1546. If these animals could multiply to such an extent in a comparatively short space of time, in spite of the depredations of men and wild beasts, why should not the human race have multiplied in a like degree, under more favourable conditions and in a longer period?' It cannot therefore be proved that the descent of mankind from one pair is impossible, and here again
Wiseman, On the Connection between Science and Revealed Religion, p. 237. A. Wagner, ii. 280.
there is no contradiction between revelation and science. Is it the conviction that his scientific arguments are untenable that induces Vogt to number himself amongst exegetes, and to “extract” from the Bible itself the real reason for the differences between the races of mankind which are distributed over the earth “After Abel's murder,” he says," “the murderer Cain was Adam's only progeny; for Seth and the other sons and daughters mentioned in Genesis were not born at that time. In spite of this we are told Cain took his wife with him in his flight and founded a town, after a mark had been placed on his forehead so that no one should kill him. This sign could only have been meant for man ; for the wolf eats the marked sheep.” It is very easy to explain this misunderstanding. Genesis only gives us a few fragmentary notices of primitive history, and we find facts placed close together in the narrative which chronologically are a long way apart. Therefore although it is stated in Gen. iv. 17 that “Cain knew his wife; and she conceived and bare Enoch : and he builded a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch,” the time of his brother's murder and the flight of Cain, and the time of the foundation of the first city are not given, and may be separated by centuries. Vogt has invented the fact that Cain founded the city at once. The wife of Cain was either one of the daughters of Adam who followed him into banishment, — for Genesis does not say that Adam had at that time no children except Cain,_or one of his sisters who was born after Seth, or one of his nieces. S. Augus1 Worlesungen, ii. 225. Cf. Quenstedt, Sonst und Zetzt, p. 254.
tine' declared that the marriage with a sister which has been such a stumbling-block to K. Hase, J. Grimm, and others, was inevitable in the first age if mankind is descended from one pair. We must not conclude from Cain's saying when he is flying from the land of Eden (Gen. iv. 14), “Every one that findeth me shall slay me,” that he supposed that other countries were also inhabited. He seems rather to refer to the vengeance which he fears if his father's family should spread. But if he fears to be recognised as the murderer outside Eden, that shows that there was only one human family, the family of Adam, and that no other existed which was not connected with it.”
1 Cir. Dei, xv. 16. * Delitzsch, Genesis, p. 169.
THE DURATION OF LIFE IN THE FIRST AGE. OLD
THE statements in Genesis about the duration of human life in the earliest age gave rise to discussion even in the time of the Fathers. “The days of our age are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow,”’ says Moses in his psalm. But in the table of generations from Adam to Noah, which he gives in the fifth chapter of Genesis, we find very few who do not exceed 900 years. Methuselah died at the age of 969. Noah attained to an age of 950 years. The duration of life diminished in the post-diluvian epoch; in the table of generations in the eleventh chapter we find that Shem is said to be 600 years old, the three persons next to him less than 500, the others less than 200. The age of the three Israelite patriarchs was only 175, 180, and 147 years respectively. S. Augustine” mentions a theory according to which the years by which the age of the antediluvian men was calculated were only 36 days long, that is, only one-tenth of ours: this theory also suggests that the length of the year varied with the different nations, being six months with the Acarnanians, three with the Arcadians, four, or perhaps only one, with the Egyptians. But S. Augustine refutes * Ps. xc. 10. * Civ. Dei, xv. 12; cf. Lact. Inst. ii. 12.
it by pointing out that according to the Hebrew text, whose figures, as we shall see, are here at any rate more trustworthy than those of the old Greek translation which differ from them, Seth had a son when he was 105, and Canaan when he was 71; and if we were to adopt the above computation, they would be only ten and seven respectively. In recent times a Danish scholar has tried to show that the duration of life in the patriarchs was the same as the present, by assuming that the years were shorter. But for this hypothesis he is compelled to alter a series of figures which is rather hazardous, and, as after Noah the duration of life in Genesis gets less and less, also to assume that the years first mean a period of one month, then two, four, and six, and from the time of Moses onwards twelve months, all of which is still more questionable." There is no hint in Genesis that the author calls different periods of time a “year” in different portions of his work. On the contrary, the chronological statements in the narrative of the Deluge show, as S. Augustine has said, that in the earliest times years and months mean the same as they do in the later—whether the years were reckoned according to the sun or the moon makes no difference to our point. The Flood began in Noah's 600th year, on the 17th day of the 2nd month; on the 27th day of the 7th month the Ark rested on Ararat; on the 1st day of the 10th month the tops of the mountains appeared; after another period of forty and thrice seven days, on the 1st day of the 601st year the earth was dry.”
* Rask, see A. Wagner, Geschichte der Urwelt, i. 310; also Dillmann, Genesis, p. 120. * Gen. vii. 11, viii. 4–13.