Imatges de pàgina
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wards Noah his Father; of which conduct Noah himself gave the unhappy occasionbut nothing was attempted, as to a change of the form of society, and the setting up of any human invention or policy, until the time of Nimrod, one of the posterity of Ham, when a general rebellion broke out against the divine administration. From his bearing this name, which fignifies a rebel; and its being said that the beginning of his kingdom was Babel; it may be concluded, that Nimrod was at the head, and was the principal mover and agent in this business,

It is more than probable, that the whole family of Ham were involved in the guilt of his transgression—they shared with him, no doubt, in the same spirit of unbelief, if not in the overt act—and that Nimrod and others, feeling themselves implicated with Canaan, at lealt in the dishonour of the curse of servi. tude to Shem, and to Japheth dwelling in the tents of Shem; which tents have been understood to mean the divine ordinances they were, hence, by their unhumbled hearts, led to determine boldly upon the trial, which should be empress of the world, a jabric of their own contriving; raised to the heavens; or the commonwealth formed by the lowly and despised tents of Shem.

Heth was a contemporary with Nimrod, and was his cousin-german; and from his name being taken, generally, for the name of his party, it may be concluded, that he also was a principal'in this undertaking. Reþekah, complaining to Isaac of Esau, that he

had taken him wives out of the Hebrew fa. mily, said, I am weary of my life, because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Helh, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good Mall my life do me? Gen. xxvii. 46.- And Balaam prophesying of the final overthrow of these citizens, appears to use this as a com: mon name for the men who thus depart from God. There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and unwall all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a pos. Jefpon, Sier also shall be a pellchon for his enemies, and Israel fall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and fall destroy him that remaineth of the city. Num. xxiv. 17-19. The word for nations, in the ancient ianguages, is evidently derived from this name of Heth; and, probably, the English word, heathen, has the same derivation. To execute such a policy, as was now defigned, requires both a council and an army, It may be thought, that Heth was the counfellor and adviser in this daring and adventurous project; and that Nimrod was the executor, and stood to arms.

And first, a movement is made, collecting iogether a body of men, who falling upon a ground favourable to their purpose, and find. ing themselves in fufficient force to keep it; which, by the name given to it, Shinar, Spoil, seems to intimate, that they had already exercised some hoftilities towards those who would not follow them- the new political

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doctrine, in which one and all must engage; was disclosed, viz. That a city should there be builded, in a style the most magnificent and superb--worthy of being the capital of the world—and strengthened by a fortress which should be very high-and that a name, or law, * should also be made, and attached to it, of such energy and effect as should influence the whole world, and bind together in one body, of a political and human frame, the whole race of men.

This was the molt perfect policy, the profoundest invention of man-it discovered the deepest inspection into the motives and springs of the human mind; and it could not fail of engaging the whole natural heart. It favoured every natural bent of the soul, pleasure, opulence, grandeur—the lust of the felh, the lult of the eye, and the pride of life—it cherished every spark of the love of the world, and of the things that are in the world--all was here embraced that the heart could wislı --whereas the divine institution was designed, and was every way calculated, to restrain the natural passions-to govern and control all these delires of the flesh-and to mortify the things of time and sense to men, and men to them. No wonder ther, that this resolution was so generally and so heartily adopted; and that, no sooner was it moved, than all hands were up;

and

go to, go to, was the order of the day.

But, thongh hand join in hand, the work:

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Oigna, in the Greek,

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ers of iniquity shall be confounded. The Lord caine down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men builded. And the Lord Jaid, Behold a people one, and one ianguage of all: and this they begin to do: and now nothing shall be reslrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down; and there confound the language, that they may not understand one anothers speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad, from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city and the fortress. Therefore the name of it is called Label: because the Lord diel there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scata ter thein abroad upon the face of all the earth

How delusive is the wildom of men !_ Their first and most promising attempt, to band together on political ground, divided the world; and from that to the present time, every new attempt of this nature, has given birth to another Peleg. And should it be attempted on these shores, with a prevailing consent, to form a compact and national character, by means of cities, towers, arnies, and names; or by any means whatever, other than those great covenant principles, exprelsly ordained of God; another such name-another Peleg-will still be added to the catalogue-for from thence, Ame: rica will be divided.

That the builders of Babel were climbing up to heaven, through fear of another dt. Juge; for which sealon the Lord frowned upoa them; and many such like tales have

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been invented to conceal the folemn truth, that the divine ordinances exhibiting the docx trine of Christ, the infinite wisdom and pow. er of God, are the only bond of union among men, that is pleasing to him; and that every thing that is done to unite and bind men tóc gether upon any other ground, will sooner or later meet with his displeasure, and will be overthrowni

, together with its projectors. Restrained thus, men delilled from this crowning object of their desires—but they repented not-the object was fill dear to ihem—and dispersing abroad, each family or tribe carried away with them deep impressions of it upon their minds; and setting down in distinct societies, the same policy as to its nature and design, more or less perfect as circumstances favoured, was every where adopted.

Section 2. The Šetilenient of the Nations.

From the people who had been engaged in this fatal work, in the land of Shinar, hence called Babylon, went Ashur, and builded Ninevah, &c. and laid the foundati. on of proud Assyria, wonderfully great.-Another tribe from hence, formed a Philistia, which was greatly praised. Hence also, the . families of the Canaanites, which exceedingly multiplied-and a Lydia, and Phænice, fam. ed for their beauty. Sheba also, and even re. nowned Rahab, were all the daughters of

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