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If there were any good reason to suppose that there was no rain before the flood, which is the opinion of some, all difficulty in regard to the rainbow would immediately vanish. The Scripture quoted to show its probability, appears to us to give no probability to it at all. “ And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But (or, and) there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” Gen. ii, 5, 6. From this last verse some have concluded that the watering of the earth before the flood was not brought about by rain, but by a mist somewhat resembling dew, we suppose, in its effects. The Hebrew word 7, rendered "mist," means a vapour, such as clouds are formed of; and consequently the watering of the earth by this means was in fact rain.
The reason assigned for the non-existence of plants is, that "the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth.” This shows that there was some connexion between the existence of plants and rain. Besides this, rain would have been of little use before plants were created. But after their creation (or rather, perhaps, at the very time of their creation) " there went up a mist,” &c. And thus we think that the rain mentioned in the fifth verse, and the watering of the earth by a mist in the sixth verse, mean the same thing. But if there were no rain before the flood, the law of evaporation, or some other law, must have been different then from what it is now; and so nothing is gained by the hypothesis, for a miracle would still be necessary.
Upon the whole, we are disposed to adopt the opinion of our author, that the bow was not seen before the flood, and that it was caused by some change in the law of refraction.
In his history of the Scripture patriarchs, Mr. Smith discusses at length the history of Job, which has been a subject of more controversy than any other part of Scripture, and treats it with a great deal of ability and judgment. He renders it probable that
Job is the same person with Jobab, the son of Joktan," who is mentioned in Gen. x, 29, and flourished about 2338 B. C. The following are the arguments which he offers in support of this date: That Job's age, at the time of his death, was about the same as that of the patriarchs contemporary with Jobab; that the cardinal constellations of spring and autumn in his time were Chima and Chesil, or Taurus and Scorpio, and knowing their present longitude, we can compute from the precession of the equinox the time when they occupied that position in the heavens; that when Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt every nation un
der the heaven had lapsed into idolatry, especially the worship of images, so that Job must have lived before this event otherwise it would be highly improbable that five such persons as Job and his friends should have been found in Idumea (in which he supposes Job resided) at that time; that when idolatry is alluded to, it is represented as being the worship of the sun and moon, and punishable by the judge, Job xxxi, 26–28. The astronomical argument appears to us very feeble, as there is no good reason, from the reference that is made to the constellations Taurus and Scorpio, to suppose that they were spring and autumn constellations. The following is the passage to which our author principally refers : "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion ?” Job xxxviii, 31. Our translators render the Hebrew word niya “sweet influences," mistaking it for another word which has the same form in the plural in one instance in the Bible. The word means bands or ligatures, and is rendered by the Septuagint dequós, a bond. The Lord demands of Job whether he could (or did) bind together this cluster of stars, or loose the bands of Orion, which constellation, in accordance with the views of the ancients, is represented as a mighty giant bound to the sky. But it may be thought that the prominence given them indicates their occupying prominent positions in the zodiac. We think not; for, in the prophet Amos, who lived before Christ about 790, it is said, “Seek him that maketh the seven stars (Pleiades) and Orion," chap. v, ver. 8. Yet these could not have been the cardinal constellations of spring and autumn in the prophet's time, but must have differed from it by at least twenty degrees.
In reference to the Satan of the book of Job, which, however, Mr. Smith does not discuss in connexion with the preceding, he quotes the views of Wemys, and says: "His exposition is ingenious, and may be correct: if well founded, it certainly obviates a serious difficulty; but in this case we are not so fully satisfied as to feel at liberty to decide between these conflicting opinions." These views are, that the Satan of this book is a different being from the Satan of the other books of the Bible, that he is a good angel, appointed by God to inspect the manners of men, and to give in his report at the divine judgment-seat; and having some doubt of Job's piety, he proceeded to test it. He supposes it to “ be utterly incongruous to imagine that the enemy of God and man, the impure spirit, should have free and undebarred access whenever he chose it, to the divine presence; that the Almighty should hold colloquies with him, and condescend to gratify him, especially for the accomplishment of purposes which might appear wholly malignant.” And, furthermore, Satan never exceeds his commission in the calamities with which Job was tried-which is a character scarcely attributable to him who is commonly called Satan and Abaddon." In replying to this, we will first give a quotation from Gesenius : “The empty hypothesis of A. Schultens, Herder, Eichorn, and others, who held the Satan of the book of Job to be different from the Satan of the other books, regarding him as a good angel appointed to try the characters of men, and who therefore proposed in the prologue of this book everyWhere to read wire, i. e., TeplodeÚTns, [one who goes about,] from the root an, is now universally exploded."* There is nothing inconsistent with the devil's character in regard to Job. In the book of Revelation, after Satan is represented as being cast out of heaven, it is said, “ the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night," chap. xii, ver. 10. Nor is it strange that Satan never exceeds his commission. When our Saviour, on a certain occasion, cast out devils, they besought him to permit them to enter into the herd of swine; and after permission was given they went. Thus we see that they can do nothing without divine permission. Satan has his limits, which he cannot pass.
In describing the life and character of Abraham, our author meets with a chronological difficulty which has greatly perplexed the learned. “Moses says, ' And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran,' Gen. xi, 26. And again: 'And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran,' ver. 32. We are also told that Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran,' Gen. xii, 4. Yet, notwithstanding this, we are assured by Stephen, Acts vii, 2-4, that Terah was dead before Abram left Haran.” Now if Abram was born when Terah was seventy years old, and he was seventy-five when his father died, then Terah, at the time of his death, would be but one hundred and fortyfive. And since Abram stands first in the list of Terah's sons, it has been generally supposed that he was the oldest. Our author thinks that he was not, but that Haran was older than he, because he was married a considerable length of time before Abram was. This opinion he might have confirmed, and shown conclusively that Abram's standing first in the list is no proof of his being the oldest, by reference to an analogous case : And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japhet,” Gen. v, 32. Almost every one concludes from Shem's standing first in the list that he was the oldest; yet such was not the case. In Gen. x, 21, it is said, “ Unto Shem, also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of
* Hebrew Lexicon, under the word 720p.
Japhet the elder, even to him were children born.” Here, then, Japhet, who is the last in the list, is declared to be older than Shem, the first one. It may be so with the list of Terah's sons—which removes the difficulty; for no one, we suppose, will contend that all three were born the same year. But we can easily conceive why Abram and Shem should stand first
they were the illustrious ancestors of the Hebrews, and consequently would be first in the mind of Moses.
The remaining chapters of the book are taken up in discussing the religion of the patriarchs and the rise of empires, to enter into a consideration of which would carry us beyond the limits we have prescribed for ourselves.
ART VI.-JOHN RANDOLPH.
The Life of John Randolph of Roanoke. By Huge A. GARLAND. 2 vols., 12mo.
New-York: Appleton & Co. 1851.
John RANDOLPH,—of Roanoke, as he loved to write,—was a son of “the Ancient Dominion," born on the 2d day of June, 1773. By his mother's side he was a descendant of Pocahontas, the celebrated Indian princess. In his childhood he was noted for the almost uncontrollable ardour of his temperament; and before he was four years old he would swoon away in fits of infantile passion. There was always, what he calls, “a spice of the devil in his temper." His constitution was frail, his complexion effeminate, and his skin as tender and delicate as an infant's. He cared not for the sports of his associates, and spurned the restraints of the pedagogue. He loved solitude, and pursued his own desultory course of reading, as chance or his own choice directed. In the family library, where he spent the larger portion of his time, he had devoured before reaching his eleventh year, Voltaire and Shakspeare, Tales of the Genï and the Arabian Nights, Don Quixote, Gil Blas, Tom Jones, Plutarch, Gulliver's Travels, Thomson's Seasons, Robinson Crusoe, and Quintus Curtius. A strange medley for a child! And this rambling way of reading he lamented and denounced, though he pursued it in his mature age. “I have been," said he, “ the creature of impulse, the sport of chance, the victim of my own uncontrolled and uncontrollable sensations." He deemed himself a child of destiny, a football for the fates. A curse, he was wont to say, clung to his race, and he was quite sure that, in all his wanderings, in solitary retirement
at Roanoke, and in the whirl of political dissipation, he felt this curse cleaving to himself. Mr. Garland mentions, as "a remarkable coincidence,” that successively his birth-place, the cherished home of his childhood, and the house in which he spent the first fifteen years of his manhood, were each destroyed by fire. Randolph saw in these conflagrations the lowering curse which hung over him—the lurid reflection of inevitable destiny. In infancy he was left fatherless, and his mother appears to have had little, if any, control over him in his waywardness, although she lavished her love upon him, and aimed to instil into his youthful heart lessons of piety. And he never forgot her. She died when he was about fifteen. He carried her picture with him in all his journeyings, and was wont to speak of her as the only friend he ever had. Often was he known to ejaculate her name and to repeat the prayers she taught him with an earnestness that called forth tears from those who heard him. In a letter to a friend, written a quarter of a century after her death, he says:
“When I could first remember, I slept in the same bed with my widowed mother: each night, before putting me to bed, I repeated on my knees before her the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed; each morning, kneeling in the bed, I put up my little hands in prayer in the same form. Years have since passed away; I have been a sceptic, a professed scoffer, glorying in my infidelity, and vain of the ingenuity with which I could defend it. Prayer never crossed my mind, but in scorn. I am now conscious that the lessons above mentioned, taught me by my dear and revered mother, are of more value to me than all that I have learned from my preceptors and compeers. On Sunday I said my catechism, a great part of which at the distance of thirty-five years I can yet repeat."--Vol. i, p. 12.
By the occasional instructions of his step-father, a gentleman of literary taste, and a year's tuition at a grammar school in Virginia, young Randolph was prepared for college. He spent a few months at Princeton, whence he removed, for what cause is not mentioned, to Columbia College, in this city. Here he remained but a short time. His classical studies were closed, finally, before reaching his sixteenth year. In his own language, “ all his noble and generous aspirations had been quenched.” He was wont to charge it to his destiny; and, when at the zenith of his popularity as an orator and a leader in debate, he mourned over his lack of early training, and in the bitterness of his spirit would frequently exclaim, “I am an ignorant man, sir!" There is some truth, mingled with a little wormwood, in the following reminiscence from his own pen :
My mother once expressed a wish to me, that I might one day or other be as great a speaker as Jerman Baker or Edmund Randolph! That gave the bent to my disposition. At Princeton College, where I spent a few months, (1787) the prize of elocution was borne away by mouthers and ranters. I