Chap. VI.

Concerning the vulgar opinion, that the Earth, was slenderly peopled before the Flood.

BESIDE the slender consideration men of latter times do hold of the first ages, it is commonly opinioned, and at first thought generally imagined, that the Earth was thinly inhabited, at least not remotely planted before the flood;{1} whereof there being two opinions, which seem to be of some extremity, the one too largely extending, the other too narrowly contracting the populosity of those times; we shall not pass over this point without some enquiry into it.

Now for the true enquiry thereof, the means are as obscure as the matter, which being naturally to be explored by History, Humane or Divine, receiveth thereby no small addition of obscurity. For as for humane relations, they are so fabulous in Deucalions flood, that they are of little credit about Ogyges and Noahs. For the Heathens (as Varro accounteth) make three distinctions of time: the first from the beginning of the World unto the general Deluge of Ogyges, they term, Adelon,[2] that is, a time not much unlike that which was before time, immanifest and unknown; because thereof there is almost nothing or very obscurely delivered: for though divers Authors have made some mention of the Deluge, as Manethon the Egyptian Priest, Xenophon de æquivocis, Fabius Pictor de Aureo seculo, Mar. Cato de orginibus, and Archiolochus the Greek, who introduceth also the Testimony of Moses in his fragment de temporibus; yet have they delivered no account of what preceded or went before. Josephus I confess in his Discourse against Appion induceth the antiquity of the Jews unto the flood, and before from the testimony of humane Writers; insisting especially upon Maseas of Damascus, Jeronmus ægyptius, and Berosus; and confirming the long duration of their lives, not only from these, but the authority of Hesiod, Erathius, Hellanicus and Agesilaus. Berosus the Chaldean Priest, writes most plainly, mentioning the City of Enos, the name of Noah and his sons, the building of the Ark, and also the place of its landing. And Diodorus Siculus hath in his third book a passage, which examined, advanced as high as Adam: for the Chaldeans, saith he, derive the Original of their Astronomy and letters forty three thousand years before the Monarchy of Alexander the Great: now the years whereby they computed antiquity of their letters, being as Xenophon interprets to be accounted Lunary: the compute will arise unto the time of Adam. For forty three thousand Lunary years make about three thousand six hundred thirty four years,[3] which answereth the Chronology of time from the beginning of the world unto the raign of Alexander, as Annius of Viterbo computeth in his Comment upon Berosus.

The second space or interval of time is accounted from the flood unto the first Olympiad, that is, the year of the world 3174, which extendeth unto the days of Isaiah the Prophet, and some twenty years before the foundation of Rome; this they term Mythicon or fabulous, because the account thereof, especially of the first part, is fabulously or imperfectly delivered. Hereof some things have been briefly related by the Authors above mentioned: more particularly by Dares Phrygius, Dictys Cretensis, Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and Trogus Pompeius; the most famous Greek Poets lived also in this interval, as Orpheus, Linus, Musæus, Homer, Hesiod; and herein are comprehended the grounds and first inventions of Poetical fables, which were also taken up by historical Writers, perturbing the Chaldean and ægyptian Records with fabulous additions; and confounding their names and stories, with their own inventions.

The third time succeeding until their present ages, they term Historicon, that is, such wherein matters have been more truly historified, and may therefore be believed. Of these times also have written Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Diodorus; and both of these and the other preceding such as have delivered universal Histories or Chronologies; as (to omit Philo, whose Narrations concern the Hebrews) Eusebius, Julius Africanus, Orosius, Ado of Vienna, Marianus Scotus, Historia tripartita, Urpsergensis, Carion, Pineda, Salian, and with us Sir Walter Raleigh.

Now from the first hereof that most concerneth us, we have little or no assistance, the fragments and broken records hereof inforcing not at all our purpose. And although some things not usually observed, may be from thence collected, yet do they not advantage our discourse, nor any way make evident the point in hand. For the second, though it directly concerns us not, yet in regard of our last medium and some illustrations therein, we shall be constrained to make some use thereof. As for the last it concerns us not at all; for treating of times far below us, it can no way advantage us. And though diverse in this last Age have also written of the first, as all that have delivered the general accounts of time, yet are their Tractates little auxiliary unto ours, nor afford us any light to detenebrate and cleare this Truth.

As for holy Scripture and divine relation, there may also seem therein but slender information, there being only left a brief narration hereof by Moses, and such as affords no positive determination. For the Text delivereth but two genealogies, that is, of Cain and Seth; in the line of Seth there are only ten descents, in that of Cain but seven, and those in a right line with mention of father and son; excepting that of Lamech, where is also mention of wives, sons, and a daughter. Notwithstanding if we seriously consider what is delivered therein, and what is also deducible, it will be probably declared what is by us intended, that is, the populous and ample habitation of the earth before the flood. Which we shall labour to induce not from postulates and entreated Maxims, but undeniable Principles declared in holy Scripture; that is, the length of mens lives before the flood, and the large extent of time from Creation thereunto.

We shall only first crave notice, that although in the relation of Moses there be very few persons mentioned, yet are there many more to be presumed; nor when the Scripture in the line of Seth nominates but ten persons, are they to be conceived all that were of this generation; The Scripture singly delivering the holy line, wherein the world was to be preserved, first in Noah, and afterward in our Saviour. For in this line it is manifest there were many more born than are named; for it is said of them all, that they begat sons and daughters. And whereas it is very late before it is said they begat those persons which are named in the Scripture, the soonest at 65, it must be understood that they had none before; but not any in whom it pleased God the holy line should be continued. And although the expression that they begat sons and daughters be not determined to be before or after the mention of these, yet must it be before in some; for before it is said that Adam begat Seth at the 130 year, it is plainly affirmed that Cain knew his wife, and had a son; which must be one of the daughters of Adam, one of those whereof it is after said, he begat sons and daughters. And so for ought can be disproved there might be more persons upon earth then are commonly supposed, when Cain slew Abel; nor the fact so hainously to be aggravated in the circumstance of the fourth person living. And whereas it is said upon the nativity of Seth, God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, it doth not imply he had no other all this while; but not any of that expectation, or appointed (as his name implies[4]) to make a progression in the holy line; in whom the world was to be saved, and from whom he should be born, that was mystically slain in Abel.

Now our first ground to induce the numerosity of people before the flood, is the long duration of their lives beyond 7, 8, and 9 hundred years. Which how it conduceth unto populosity we shall make but little doubt, if we consider there are two main causes of numerosity in any kind or species, that is, a frequent and multiparous way of breeding, whereby they fill the world with others, though they exist not long themselves; or a long duration and subsistence, whereby they do not only replenish the world with a new annumeration of others, but also maintain the former account in themselves. From the first cause we may observe examples in creatures oviparous, as Birds and Fishes; in vermiparous, as Flies, Locusts, and Gnats; in animals also viviparous, as Swine and Conies. Of the first there is a great example in the herd of Swine in Galilee, although an unclean beast, and forbidden unto the Jews. Of the other a remarkable one in Atheneus, in the Isle Astipalea, one of the Cyclades now called Stampalia, wherein from two that were imported, the number so increased, that the Inhabitants were constrained to have recourse unto the Oracle of Delphos, for an invention how to destroy them.[5]

Others there are which make good the paucity of their breed with the length and duration of their daies, whereof there want not examples in animals uniparous: First, in bisulcous or cloven-hooft, as Camels, and Beeves, whereof there is above a million annually slain in England. It is said of Job, that he had a thousand yoak of Oxen, and six thousand Camels; and of the children of Israel passing into the land of Canaan, that they tooke from Midianites threescore and ten thousand Beeves; and of the Army of Semiramis, that there were therein one hundred thousand Camels. For Solipeds or firm-hoofed animals, as Horses, Asses, Mules, &c. they are also in mighty numbers, so is it delivered that Job had a thousand she Asses: that the Midianites lost sixty one thousand Asses. For horses it is affirmed by Diodorus, that Ninus brought against the Bactrians two hundred eighty thousand Horses; after him Semiramis five hundred thousand Horses, and Chariots one hundred thousand. Even in creatures steril and such as do not generate, the length of life conduceth much unto the multiplicity of the species; for the number of Mules which live far longer then their Dams or Sires, in Countries where they are bred, is very remarkable, and farre more common then Horses.

For animals multifidous, or such as are digitated or have several divisions in their feet; there are but two that are uniparous, that is, Men and Elephants; who though their productions be but single, are notwithstanding very numerous. The Elephant (as Aristotle affirmeth) carrieth the young two years, and conceiveth not again (as Edvardus Lopez affirmeth) in many after. yet doth their age requite this disadvantage; they living commonly one hundred, sometime two hundred years. Now although they be rare with us in Europe, and altogether unknown unto America, yet in the two other parts of the world they are in great abundance, as appears by the relation of Garcias ab Horto, Physitian to the Viceroy at Goa; who relates that at one venation the King of Siam tooke four thousand; and is of opinion they are in other parts in greater number then heards of Beeves in Europe. And though this delivered from a Spaniard unacquainted with our Northern droves, may seem very far to exceed; yet must we conceive them very numerous, if we consider the number of teeth transported from one Country to another: they having only two great teeth, and those not falling or renewing.

As for man, the disadvantage in his single issue is the same with these, and in the lateness of his generation somewhat greater then any; yet in the continual and not interrupted time thereof, and the extent of his days, he becomes at present, if not then any other species, at least more numerous then these before mentioned. Now being thus numerous at present, and in the measure of threescore, fourscore, or an hundred years, if their dayes extended unto six, seven, or eight hundred, their generations would be proportionably multiplied; their times of generation being not only multiplied, but their subsistence continued. For though the great Grand-child went on, the Petrucius6 and first Original would subsist and make one of the world; though he outlived all the terms of consanguinity, and became a stranger unto his proper progeny. So by compute of Scripture Adam lived unto the ninth generation, unto the days of Lamech the father of Noah; Methuselah unto the year of the flood; and Noah was contemporary unto all from Enoch unto Abraham. So that although some died, the father beholding so many descents, the number of Survivers must still be very great; for if half the men were now alive, which lived in the last Century, the earth would scarce contain their number. Whereas in our abridged and septuagesimal Ages, it is very rare, and deserves a Distick7 to behold the fourth generation. Xerxes complaint still remaining;[8] and what he lamented in his Army, being almost deplorable in the whole world, men seldom arriving unto those years whereby Methuselah exceeded nine hundred, and what Adam came short of a thousand, was defined long ago to be the age of man.

Now although the length of days conduceth mainly unto the numerosity of mankind, and it be manifest from Scripture they lived very long, yet is not the period of their lives determinable, and some might be longer livers, then we account that any were. For (to omit that conceit of some, that Adam was the oldest man, in as much as he is conceived to be created in the maturity of mankinde, that is, at 60 (for in that age it is set down they begat children) so that adding this number unto his 930, he was 21 years older then any of his posterity) that even Methuselah was the longest liver of all the children of Adam, we need not grant; nor is it definitively set down by Moses. Indeed of those ten mentioned in Scripture, with their several ages it must be true; but whether those seven of the line of Cain and their progeny, or any of the sons or daughters posterity after them out-lived those, is not expressed in holy Scripture; and it will seem more probable, that of the line of Cain, some were longer livers than any of Seth; if we concede that seven generations of the one lived as long as nine of the other. As for what is commonly alledged, that God would not permit the life of any unto a thousand, because (alluding unto that of David) no man should live one day in the sight of the Lord;[9] although it be urged by divers, yet is it methinks an inference somewhat Rabbinicall; and not of power to perswade a serious examinator.

Having thus declared how powerfully the length of lives conduced unto populosity of those times, it will yet be easier acknowledged if we descend to particularities, and consider how many in seven hundred years might descend from one man; wherein considering the length of their dayes, we may conceive the greatest number to have been alive together. And this that no reasonable spirit may contradict, we will declare with manifest disadvantage; for whereas the duration of the world unto the flood was above 1600 years, we will make our compute in less then half that time. Nor will we begin with the first man, but allow the earth to be provided of women fit for marriage the second or third first Centuries; and will only take as granted, that they might beget children at sixty, and at an hundred years have twenty, allowing for that number forty years. Nor will we herein single out Methuselah, or account from the longest livers, but make choice of the shortest of any we find recorded in the Text, excepting Enoch; who after he had lived as many years as there be days in the year, was translated at 365.[10] And thus from one stock of seven hundred years, multiplying still by twenty, we shall find the product to be one thousand, three hundred forty seven millions, three hundred sixty eight thousand, four hundred and twenty.


Now if this account of the learned Petavius will be allowed, it will make an unexpected encrease, and a larger number than may be found in Asia, Africa and Europe; especially if in Constantinople the greatest City thereof, there be no more then Botero accounteth, seven hundred thousand soules. Which duly considered, we shall rather admire how the earth contained its inhabitants, then doubt its inhabitation; and might conceive the Deluge not simply penall, but in some way also necessary, as many have conceived of translations, if Adam had not sinned, and the race of man had remained upon earth immortal.

Now whereas some to make good their longevity, have imagined that the years of their compute were Lunary; unto these we must reply: That if by a Lunary year they understand twelve revolutions of the Moon, that is, 354 days, eleven fewer then in the Solary year; there will be no great difference; at least not sufficient to convince or extenuate the question. But if by a Lunary year they mean one revolution of the Moon, that is, a moneth; they first introduce a year never used by the Hebrews, in their Civil accompts; and what is delivered before of the Chaldean years (as Xenophon gives a caution) was only received in the Chronology of their Arts. Secondly, they contradict the Scripture, which makes a plain enumeration of many moneths in the account of the Deluge; for so it is expressed in the Text. In the tenth moneth, in the first day of the moneth were the tops of the mountains seen: Concordant whereunto is the relation of humane Authors, Inundationes plures fuere, prima novimestris inundatio terrarum sub prisco Ogyge.12 Meminisse hoc loco par est post primum diluvius Ogygi temporibus notatum, cum novem et amplius mensibus diem continua nox inumbrasset, Delon ante omnes terras radiis solis illuminatam sortitamque ex eo nomen.13 And lastly, they fall upon an absurdity, for they make Enoch to beget children about six years of age. For whereas it is said he begat Methuselah at 65, if we shall account every moneth a year,[14] he was at that time some sixe years and an half, for so many moneths are contained in that space of time.

Having thus declared how much the length of mens lives conduced unto the populosity of their kind, our second foundation must be the large extent of time, from the Creation unto the Deluge, that is (according unto received computes about 1655 years) almost as long a time as hath passed since the nativity of our Saviour:15 and this we cannot but conceive sufficient for a very large increase, if we do but affirm what reasonable enquirers will not deny: That the earth might be as populous in that number of years before the flood, as we can manifest it was in the same number after. And whereas there may be conceived some disadvantage, in regard that at the Creation the original of mankind was in two persons, but after the flood their propagation issued at least from six; against this we might very well set the length of their lives before the flood, which were abbreviated after, and in half this space contracted into hundreds and threescores. Notwithstanding to equalize accounts, we will allow three hundred years, and so long a time as we can manifest from the Scripture, There were four men at least that begat children, Adam, Cain, Seth, and Enos; So shall we fairly and favourably proceed, if we affirm the world to have been as populous in sixteen hundred and fifty years before the flood, as it was in thirteen hundred after. Now how populous and largely inhabited it was within this period of time, we shall declare from probabilities, and several testimonies of Scripture and humane Authors.

And first, To manifest the same neer those parts of the Earth where the Ark is presumed to have rested, we have the relation of holy Scripture concerning the genealogy of Japhet, Cham and Sem,[16] and in this last, four descents unto the division of the earth in the dayes of Peleg, which time although it were not upon common compute much above an hundred years, yet were men at this time mightily increased. Nor can we well conceive it otherwise, if we consider they began already to wander from their first habitation, and were able to attempt so might a work as the building of a City and a Tower, whose top should reach unto the heavens. Whereunto there was required no slender number of persons, if we consider the magnitude thereof, expressed by some, and conceived to be Turris Beli in Herodotus;[17] and the multitudes of people recorded at the erecting of the like or inferiour structures: for at the building of Solomons Temple there were threescore and ten thousand that carried burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains, beside the chief of his officers three thousand and three hundred;[18] and at the erecting of the Piramids in the reigne of King Cheops, as Herodotus reports, there were decem myriades, that is an hundred thousand men.[19] And though it be said of the Egyptians, Porrum & cæpe nefas violare & fragere morsu;20 yet did the summes expended in Garlick and Onyons amount unto no less then one thousand six hundred Talents.[21]

The first Monarchy or Kingdom of Babylon is mentioned in Scripture under the foundation of Nimrod,[22] which is also recorded in humane history; as beside Berosus, in Diodorus and Justine, for Nimrod of the Scriptures is Belus of the Gentiles, and Assur the same with Ninus his successour. There is also mention of divers Cities, particularly of Ninivy and Resen expressed emphatically in the Text to be a great City.23

That other Countries round about were also peopled, appears by the Wars of the Monarchs of Assyria with the Bactrians, Indians, Scythians, Ethiopians, Armenians, Hyrcanians, Parthians, Persians, Susians: they vanquishing (as Diodorus relateth) Egypt, Syria, and all Asia minor, even from Bosphorus unto Tanais. And it is said, that Semiramis in her expedition against the Indians brought along with her the King of Arabia. About the same time of the Assyrian Monarchy, do Authors place that of the Sycionians in Greece, and soon after that of the Argives, and not very long after, that of the Athenians under Cecrops; and within our period assumed are historified many memorable actions of the Greeks, as the expedition of the Argonautes, with the most famous Wars of Thebes and Troy.

That Canaan also and Egypt were well peopled far within this period, besides their plantation by Canaan and Misraim, appeareth from the history of Abraham, who in less then 400 years after the Flood, journied from Mesopotamia unto Canaan and Egypt, both which he found well peopled and policied into Kingdoms: wherein also in 430 years, from threescore and ten persons which came with Jacob into Egypt, he became a mighty Nation; for it is said, at their departure, there journeyed from Rhamesis to Succoth about six hundred thousand on foot, that were men, besides children. Now how populous the land from whence they came was, may be collected not only from their ability in commanding such subjections and mighty powers under them, but from the several accounts of that Kingdom delivered by Herodotus. And how soon it was peopled, is evidenced from the pillar of their King Osyris, with this inscription in Diodorus; Mihi pater est Saturnus deorum junior, sum vero Osyris rex qui totum peragravi orbem usq; ad Indorum fines, ad eos quoq; sum profectus qui septentrioni subjacent usq; ad Istri fontes, & alias partes usq; ad Oceanum. Now according unto the best determinations Osyris was Misraim, and Saturnus Egyptius the same with Cham; after whose name Egypt is not only called in Scripture the land of Ham, but thus much is also testified by Plutarch: for in his Treatise de Osyride, he delivereth that Egypt was called Chamia a Chamo Noe filio,[24] that is from Cham the son of Noah. And if according to the consent of the ancient Fathers, Adam was buried in the same place where Christ was crucified, that is Mount Calvary, the first man ranged far before the Flood, and laid his bones many miles from that place, where its presumed he received them. And this migration was the greater, if as the text expresseth, he was cast out of the East-side of Paradise to till the ground: and as the Position of the Cherubines implieth, who were placed at the east end of the garden to keep him from the tree of life.

That the remoter parts of the earth were in this time inhabited is also induceable from the like testimonies; for (omitting the numeration of Josephus, and the genealogies of the Sons of Noah) that Italy was inhabited, appeareth from the Records of Livie and Dionysius Halicarnassius, the story of æneas, Evander and Janus, whom Annius of Viterbo, and the Chorographers of Italy, do make to be the same with Noah. That Sicily was also peopled, is made out from the frequent mention thereof in Homer, the Records of Diodorus and others; but especially from a remarkable passage touched by Aretius and Ranzanus Bishop of Lucerium, but fully explained by Thomas Fazelli in his accurate History of Sicily; that is, from an ancient inscription in a stone at Panormo, expressed by him in its proper characters, and by a Syrian thus translated, Non est alius Deus præter unum Deum, non est alius potens præter eundem Deum, neq; est alius victor præter eundem quem colimus Deum: Hujus turris præfectus est Saphu filius Eliphat, filii Esau, fratris Jacob filii Isaac, filii Abraham; & turri quidem ipsi nomen est Baych, sed turri huic proxime nomen est Pharath. The antiquity of the inhabitation of Spain is also confirmable, not only from Berosus in the plantation of Tubal, and a City continuing yet in his name; but the story of Gerion, the travels of Hercules and his pillars; and especially a passage in Strabo, which advanceth unto the time of Ninus, thus delivered in his fourth book.[25] The Spaniards (saith he) affirm that they have had Laws and Letters above six thousand years. Now the Spaniards or Iberians observing (as Xenophon hath delivered) Annum quadrimestrem, foure moneths unto a year, this compute will make up 2000 solary years, which is about the space of time from Strabo, who lived in the days of Augustus, unto the reign of Ninus.

That Mauritania and the coast of Africa were peopled very soon, is the conjecture of many wise men, and that by the Phænicians, who left their Country upon the invasion of Canaan by the Israelites. For beside the conformity of the Punick or Carthaginian language with that of Phænicia, there is a pregnant and very remarkable testimony hereof in Procopius, who in his second de bello vandalico, recordeth, that in a town of Mauritania Tingitana, there was to be seen upon two white Columns in the Phænician language these ensuing words; Nos Maurici sumus qui fugimus a facie Jehoschuæ filii Nunis prædatoris. The fortunate Islands or Canaries were not unknown; for so doth Strabo interpret that speech in Homer of Proteus unto Menalaus,[26]

Sed te qua terræ postremus terminus extat,
Elysium in Campum cœlestia numina ducunt.

The like might we affirm from credible histories both of France and Germany, and perhaps also of our own Country. For omitting the fabulous and Trojan original delivered by Jeofrey of Monmouth, and the express text of Scripture; that the race of Japhet did people the Isles of the Gentiles; the Brittish Original was so obscure in Cæsars time, that he affirmeth the Inland inhabitants were Aborigines, that is, such as reported, that they had their beginning in the Island. That Ireland our neighbour Island was not long time without Inhabitants, may be made probable by sundry accounts; although we abate the Traditions of Bartholanus the Scythian, who arrived there three hundred years after the Flood,[27] or the relation of Giraldus; that Cæsaria the daughter of Noah dwelt there before.

Now should we call in the learned account of Bochartus,28 deducing the ancient names of Countries from Phænicians, who by their plantations, discoveries, and sea negotiations, have left unto very many Countries, Phænician denominations; the enquiry would be much shorter, and if Spain in the Phænician Original, be but the region of Conies, Lusitania, or Portugal the Countrey of Almonds, if Brittanica were at first Baratanaca, or the land of Tin, and Ibernia or Ireland, were but Ibernae, or the farthest habitation; and these names imposed and dispersed by Phænician Colonies in their several navigations; the Antiquity of habitations might be more clearly advanced.

Thus though we have declared how largely the world was inhabited within the space of 1300 years, yet must it be conceived more populous then can be clearly evinced; for a greater part of the Earth hath ever been peopled, then hath been known or described by Geographers, as will appear by the discoveries of all Ages. For neither in Herodotus or Thucydides do we find any mention of Rome, nor in Ptolomy of many parts of Europe, Asia, or Africa. And because many places we have declared of long plantation, of whose populosity notwithstanding or memorable actions we have no ancient story; if we may conjecture of these by what we find related of others, we shall not need many words, nor assume the half of 1300 years. And this we might illustrate from the mighty acts of the Assyrians performed not long after the flood; recorded by Justine and Diodorus; who makes relation of expeditions by Armies more numerous then have been ever since. For Ninus King of Assyria brought against the Bactrians 700000 foot, 200000 horse, 10600 Chariots. Semiramis his successor led against the Indians 1300000 foot, 500000 horse, 100000 Chariots, and as many upon Camels:[29] And it is said, Staurobates the Indian King, met her with greater forces then she brought against him. All which was performed less then four hundred years after the flood.

Now if any imagine the unity of their language did hinder their dispersion before the flood, we confess it some hindrance at first, but not much afterward. For though it might restrain their dispersion, it could not their populosity; which necessarily requireth transmigration and emission of Colonies; as we read of Romans, Greeks, Phæniceans in ages past, and have beheld examples thereof in our days. We may also observe that after the flood before the confusion of tongues, men began to disperse; for it is said, they journyed towards the East: and the Scripture it self expresseth a necessity conceived of their dispersion, for the intent of erecting the Tower is so delivered in the text, Lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth.[30]

Again, If any apprehend the plantation of the earth more easie in regard of Navigation and shipping discovered since the flood, whereby the Islands and divided parts of the earth are now inhabited; he must consider, that whether there were Islands or no before the flood, is not yet determined, and is with probability denied by very learned Authors.[31]

Lastly, If we shall fall into apprehension that it was less inhabited, because it is said in the sixt of Genesis about 120 years before the flood, and it came to pass that when men began to multiply upon the face of the earth. Beside that this may be only meant of the race of Cain, it will not import they were not multiplied before, but that they were at that time plentifully encreased; for so is the same word used in other parts of Scripture. And so is it afterward in the 9 Chapter said, that Noah began to be an husbandman, that is, he was so, or earnestly performed the Acts thereof: so it is said of our Saviour, that he began to cast them out that bought and sold in the Temple; that is, he actually cast them out, or with alacrity effected it.

Thus have I declared with some private and probable conceptions in the enquiry of this truth; but the certainty hereof let the Arithmetick of the last day determine; and therefore expect no further belief than probability and reason induce. Only desire men would not swallow dubiosities for certainties, and receive as Principles points mainly controvertible; for we are to adhere unto things doubtful in a dubious and opinative way. It being reasonable for every man to vary his opinion according to the variance of his reason, and to affirm one day what he denied another. Wherein although at last we miss of truth; we die notwithstanding in inoffensive errors; because we adhere unto that, whereunto the examen of our reasons, and honest enquiries induce us.


* [My or others' notes are in square brackets]; Browne's marginalia is unmarked; {passages or notes from unpublished material by Browne is in curly braces} Ross Arcana Microcosmi, II.13, tries to demonstrate why there must have been islands before the flood.

1 [The first five editions have instead of "whether ... enquiry into it": "so that some conceiving it needlesse to be universal, have made the deluge particular, and about those parts where Noah built his Arke; which opinion because it is not only injurious to the Text, humane history, and common reason, but also derogatory unto that great worke of God, the universall inundation, {we shall not pass over without strict (3-5)} {it will be needfull to make some farther (1-2)} Inquisition; and (although predetermined by opinion) whether many might not suffer in the first Flood, as they shall in the last Flame, that is who new not Adam nor his offence, and many perish in the deluge, who never heard of Noah or the Arke of his preservation.]

2 [Wren: To the heathen who either knew nothing of the creation, or at least believed it not, the first distinction of time must needs be αδηλον, that is utterly unknowne, for the space of 1656 from the creation to the flood, and the second, the mythicon, little better, as the very name they give itt, (yt is fabulous) importes, whereas in the church of God, the third, (which they call historicall, and began not till after the 300th year of the world's creation with them) was continued in a perfect narration and unquestionable historye from the beginning of time through those 3000 years.]

3 [A "lunar year" being the time the moon takes to move once around the zodiac, a little less than month, in the same way that a "solar year" is the time it takes the Sun to move once around the zodiac or ecliptic, from 0 Aries to 30 Pisces. Browne's calculation is not very accurate, but will do in the context. However, see later for Browne's own objection to this use of the term "lunar year", especially with regard to the Chaldean reckoning. If we take the lunar year to be "twelve revolutions of the moon", as Browne insists at that point, the calculation is all out of wack: we first must divide the 43,000 by 10, and then 4300 lunar years of approximately 354.33 days (the standard lunar year) makes 1523619 days, or 4171.44 standard years of 365.25 days; in order to arrive at Browne's figure, a lunar year would have to be assumed to be about 308.68 days. This calculation is not at all clear, but may be taken directly from Annius, many of whose numerous errors in transcription and in fact are reproduced in this paragraph and elsewhere without any correction from Browne.]

4 [Seth or Sheth, "compensation"]

5 [Almost certainly not conies, but hares; in Atheneus ix.14. For Delphos, of course read Delphi. Browne has inordinate trouble with Delphi and Delos.]

6 The term for that person from whom consanguineal relations are accounted, as in the Arbor civilis.

7 Mater ait natæ dic natæ filia &c. [natam
Ut moneat natæ plangere filiolam.

8 [Herodotus vii. 46.2: Xerxes, found crying, explains, in the Loeb edition: "I was moved to compassion when I considered the shortness of all human life, since of all this multitude of men not one will be alive a hundred years from now."]

9 [Psalm 90: 4 For a thousand years in thy sight [are but] as yesterday when it is past, and [as] a watch in the night.]

10 [In Genesis 5:21 ff: And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.]

11[All editions have "46,000,000" here.]

12 Xenophon de æquivocis.

13 Solinus.

14 [Wren: The spirit in many places (as of Daniel, and the Apocalyps) by dayes means years: but in noe place years for dayes or monthes.]

15 [Wren: And according to this number there are, that take upon them to judge that when the years of the church's age comes to as many since Christ's birthe, as those years of the world had from the creation to the flood, the consummation or consumption of the world by fire prophesyed by St. Peter, 2d. Epist. 3 chap. v, 10 [2 Peter 3:7: "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."], must needs be then or thereabouts fulfilled, as it was before by water at those years. For counting (say they) as the Apostle there does, that with God 1000 years are but as one daye, and that (as all agree) in this year of Christ, 1650, there are just 5600 years of the world past since the creation, that is almost 6 dayes of the weeke, and that the dayes of the world shal be, as our Saviour foretold, much shortened, i.e. shall not continue to the full end of 6000 years, i.e. 6 of God's dayes: they conclude that the seventh day of æternal rest of the world and all the works therein cannot be far off. But how far off, or now neere, is not for man to enquire, much less to define otherwise then by way of Christian caution, to be always readye for the coming of that kingdome, which we every day pray, may come speedilye. For doubtless yf 1600 years agoe the Spirit thought it requisite to rowse them up with that memento, "the Lord is at hand, be ye therefore sober and watche", [1 Peter 4:7:10] it may well be an alarum to us, on whom the ends of the world are come.]

16 [In Genesis 10.]

17 [Herodotus (i.181) describes a tower of Zeus Belus, or Baal, which arises in eight stages, like a wedding cake. There may be three Babels, that of the tower, the Babel of Nimrod, and Babylon.]

18 [According to 1 Kings 15-16.]

19 [In ii.124.3, where Herodotus reports that there were shifts of 100,000 men, each working 3 months, which means a minimum of 200,000 men.]

20 Iuvenal.[Sat. 15.9]

21 [In Herodotus i.125.6, including radishes, onions, and garlic, according to Herodotus's memory of what an interpreter told him was inscribed on the stones of the pyramid. This was already ancient history in Herodotus's day.]

22 [Still in Gen. 10]

23 [Gen. 10: "11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, 12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same [is] a great city."]

24 [Plutarch does not say this. He does report that Egypt is called Chemia or Chamia.]

25 [Not in Book IV, but in Book III; Strabo III.1.6.]

26 [Wren, anti-Catholic and anti-Celt as well as anti-Semite, after a long-winded argument the gist of which is that neither Scripture nor anyone else supports the story, calls it a "feigned and foolish tradition". His vehemence is probably related more to the Irishness of the question than to its substance.]

27 [Strabo I.2.31.]

28 Bochart. Geog. Sacr. part 2.

29 [Which camels were dressed in elephant hide to mimic elephants.]

30 [Gen 11: 4: "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."]

31 [Beginning with Gen. 1:9: "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so." St. Augustine, Civitate Dei xvi.7, discusses how animals reached islands after the deluge.]

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