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never to break up. Week after week, it came pouring from the clouds, till it was like one falling sheet of water, and the inhabitants could no longer stir from their doors. Yet still the water rose around them, till, all through the valleys, nothing but little black islands of human beings was seen on
O, then what fierce struggles there were for life among them! The mother lifted her infant above her head, while she strove to maintain her uncertain footing in the sweeping waters; the strong crowded off the weak, as each sought the highest point; while the living mass crumbled away, till the last disappeared, and the swift water swept smoothly and noiselessly above them all.
No one yet dreamed of the high grounds being covered, least of all the mountains; so men feared not, and sought for amusement within doors till the storm should abate. O, what scenes of vice, and shame, and brutality, and revelry did that storm witness in the thronged city, and what unhallowed songs mingled in the pauses of the blast that swept by!
23. The Same, continued.
But at length a dread sound was heard, that sent paleness to every cheek, and chained every tongue in mute terror. It was a far distant roar, faint but fearful, yet sounding more distinct and ominous every moment, till it filled the air. The earth trembled and groaned under it as if an earthquake was on its march, and ever and anon came a crash as if the "ribs of nature" were breaking. Nearer, and louder, and more terrible it grew, till men, forgetting alike their pleasure and their anger, rushed out in the storm, whispering, "The flood! the flood!" - and lo! a sea, the like of which no man had ever seen, came rolling over the crouching earth.
Stretching from horizon to horizon, as far as the eye could reach, losing itself like a limitless wall in the clouds above, - it came pouring its green and massive waters onward, while the continual and rapid crash of falling forests and crushed cities and uptorn mountains thus fell, one after another, under its awful power, and the successive shrieks that pierced the heavens, rising even above the deepening roar of the on-rushing ocean, as city after city, and kingdom after kingdom, disappeared, produced terror and horror inconceivable, indescribable. "The fountains of
the great deep were broken up.”
But the last cry of human agony was at length hushed ocean now mingled with ocean, and the waves swept on without a shore. O, what a wreck was there! Not shivered masts and broken timbers, the remains of some gallant vessel, were seen on that turbulent surface, but the fragments of a crushed and broken world. It was a noble wreck - splendid cities and towers, gorgeous palaces, gay apparel, the accumulated wealth and luxury of twenty centuries, strewing the bosom of the deluge, like autumn leaves floating on the surface of some forest stream.
But amid the sudden midnight that had wrapped the earth, and the frenzy of the elements, and utter overthrow and chaos of all things, there was one heart that beat as calmly as in sleep; one brow, over which no breath of passion or of fear passed; one spirit, whose serene trust never wavered; for in the solitary ark, that lifted to the heaving billows, the aged patriarch knelt in prayer. Amid the surging of that fierce ocean, his voice may not have been heard by mortal but the light of faith shone round his aged form, and the moving lip spoke a repose as tranquil as childhood's on the bosom of maternal love.
The patriarch's God ruled that wild scene, and Noah felt
Turbulent, disturbed, agitated, tumultuous, being in violent commotion. Gorgeous, showy, splendid, magnificent, glittering with gay colors. Chaos, that confusion, or confused mass, in which matter is supposed to have existed, before it was separated into its different kinds, and reduced to order by the creating power of God.
his frail vessel quiver in every timber, without one tremor himself. Upborne on the flood, the Heaven-protected ark rose over the buried cities and mountains, and floated away on a shoreless deep. Like a single drop of dew, this round sphere of ours hung and trembled -a globe of water in
I have often wondered what the conversations were during the long days and nights that lonely ark was riding on the deep. As it rose and fell on the long-protracted swell, massive ruins would go thundering by, whole forests sink and rise with the billows, while, ever and anon, an uptorn hill, as, borne along by the resistless tide, it struck a buried mountain, would loom for a moment like some black monster over the waves, then plunge again to the fathomless bottom. Amid this wreck and these sights, the ark sailed on in safety.
How often, in imagination, have I pictured it in the deluge at midnight! To a spectator what an object of interest it would have been! Round the wide earth the light from its solitary window was the only indication of life that remained. One moment it would be seen far up on the crest of the billow, a mere speck of flame amid the limitless darkness that environed it, and then disappear in the gulfs below, as if extinguished forever.
Thus that gentle light would sink and rise on the breast of the deluge, the last, the only hope of the human race. Helmless, and apparently guideless, its wreck seemed inevitable; but the sea never rolled that could extinguish the starlike beam that told where the ark still floated. Not even the strong wind that the Almighty sent over the water to dry it up, driving it into billows that stormed the heavens, could sink it. Though it shook like a reed in their strong grasp, and floundered through the deep gulfs, it passed unerringly
Loom, to appear above the surface either of sea or land, or to appear larger than the real dimensions, and indistinctly, as a distant object, a ship at sea, or a mountain. Fathomless, that of which no bottom can be found, depth that cannot be measured: less, 106. — Flounder, to fling the limbs and body, as in making efforts to move to struggle, roll. toss, and tumble.
on to the summit of that mountain on which it was to rest, and at length struck ground, and ceased its turbulent motion. Noah waited a week, and then sent forth a raven to explore the deep. Though the waters still swept from mountain to mountain, the myriad carcasses that floated on the surface furnished both food and resting-place, and he returned no more. He then sent forth a dove. It darted away from the place of its long confinement, and sped on rapid wing over the flood, now turning this way and now that, looking in vain with its gentle eye for the green earth, and at last turned back toward the ark of rest. The tap of its snowy wing was heard on the window, and the patriarch reached forth his hand and took it in. The fierce pantings of its mottled breast, and its drooping pinions, told too well that the earth gave no place of repose. But the second time it was sent abroad, it returned with an olive leaf in its mouth, showing that the earth had risen from its burial, and was sprouting again and clothing itself in verdure.
Then the patriarch went forth with his family, and stood on Mount Ararat; and lo, the earth was at his feet — but how changed! Cut into gorges, which showed where the strong currents swept, and piled into ridges, it bore in every part marks of the power that had ravaged it.
Noah and his family were alone in the world, and he built an altar there on the top of the solitary mountain, and lifted his voice in prayer, and the Almighty talked with him as "friend talketh with friend," bidding him go forth and Occupy the earth. And as the flame of the sacrifice rose from the mountain top, bearing the patriarch's prayer heavenward, the promise was given that the earth should never again be swept by a deluge; and lo, God's signet ring appeared in the clouds, arching the man of God, that the covenant should never be broken.
Baptized by the flood consecrated by the altar mined by the first fresh rainbow, Ararat mountain on the earth.
stood a sacrea
J. T. HEADLEY.
24. The Fall of Niagara.
THE thoughts are strange that crowd into my brair,
As if God poured thee from his "hollow hand,"
"The sound of many waters ;" and had bade
Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we,
J. G. C. BRAINARD.
25. The Voices of the Dead.
1 HAVE seen one diethe delight of his friends, the pride of his kindred, the hope of his country;- but he died! How beautiful was that offering upon the altar of death! The fire of genius kindled in his eye; the generous affections of youth mantled in his cheek; his foot was upon the threshold of life; his studies, his preparations for honored and useful life, were completed; his breast was filled with a