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COVENANT WITH AND DISPENSATION OF NOAH,
able the Blessed God—shall descend
—teaching — having died He shall send—to the afflicted—rest or consolation." The “ afflictions of Joseph," and the fact that the blessings of the Gospel have been mainly addressed to his descendants, and, through them, to the world, will hereafter engage our attention.
With Noah, a new covenant was made. It was, that no such sudden destruction, by the water of a flood, should end the present, as it had the past dispensation. His children might, therefore, with confidence go forward to multiply and replenish the earth; and the bow in the cloud was appointed to be a token of this covenant, that, when they looked upon it, they might think upon God's remembering his promise, that the showers should fall in measure; that the clouds should be girt, as it were, with the band of the Almighty; and no more burst upon the world with the waters of a universal deluge. The family of Noah seem then to have left the mountains, and come down to the more inviting plain, in the land of Shinar. If the land of Israel be, as there is reason to believe, the site of Eden, then the land of Shinar, which is eastward of that, may be the very land into which the first great tyrant among mankind, Cain, went from the presence of the Lord, and built a city for his son.
Here, in the site of Babylon, the first of that list of tyrant empires, that have so sought to lord it over men, and persecute those that have occupied the place of righteous Abel; here, thus early, did they seek to centralise the human race, in a grand confederacy against the will of Heaven. Thus early did Babylon oppose itself to the King of Salem, who hath chosen Zion, and desired it for his habitation; saying, “ This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it." The Lord confounded the folly of these early founders of a universal empire independent of Him who alone hath a right to reign. He forced the rebels to disperse; and the three families of Noah
were at length, according to the divine appointment, scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The dispensation of Noah, like the Adamic, went into utter apostacy; and the whole world was being covered with idolatry ; but God remembered his covenant with Noah, and brought not such a sudden all-sweeping judgment as the flood, to sweep away all his posterity at once from the face of the earth. He adopted another method of dealing with mankind. He chose one, to whom and to whose posterity, he meant to show especial favour, and upon whom he would bestow a very superior training; who should be the depositary of his lively oracles, and the medium through which he would communicate with the other families of mankind.
Before proceeding to trace farther the purposes of God with regard to his chosen race, and to identify them among the nations, it may be good to understand well what the general masses of mankind are, from whom they are to be distinguished, and among whom they were to be a blessing.
The Grand Races of mankind may properly be reckoned three in number. These have been distinguished from each other by their form of head, and other physical marks, as well as by intellectual and moral character : not that any one of them has qualities which the other is entirely without; but the different races possess in very different degrees and modifications those qualities which are common to all. The races are in very many cases in a considerably mixed state; but still in the masses they may be marked out from each other, and they are known as the Calmuc-Tartar, the Caucasian, and the Negro.
The Huns, or otherwise the Calmuc-Tartar race, seem to have been appointed the northern portion of the globe. There they exist, in very different conditions. As Laplanders, they, in the extreme north, live much unlike their brethren, traversing the great wilds between Russia and China; and still more are they unlike the
THE THREE GRAND RACES OF MANKIND.
Chinese themselves, who, as being most stationary, seem to have retained more of the ancient civilization of the race, as received from the first fathers of mankind. Europe appears to have been anciently possessed by this race; and America was found considerably peopled by them, when that country was discovered by the modern possessors of Europe; who, with such power, have, in the latter ages of the world, come rolling from the East. Except in the case of China, the Japhetic race are generally found very thinly spread over a very wide territory.
The race we are describing have much breadth of face, and great width between the eyes. The cheekbones are wide asunder, and prominent; and the whole head is in general very broad. All this is correspondent with their general character, as being restless and roving, and in many cases addicted to violence and war; impatient they are of restraint, and ambitious of a proud independence. The warlike propensities, and those that principally tend to muscular activity, have their organs situated on the side of the head, and occasion the breadth of head already described. The physiognomy, otherwise, is correspondent: the features are harsh; the parts not well proportioned, according to our ideas of beauty; the hair is long and straight. The beard is scanty: in some, as in the North American Indians, it does scarcely at all exist; but that seems to be partly produced by art, just as, in the case of the Charibs, the breadth of head has been aggravated by pressure in infancy. The complexion is pretty uniform, being somewhat of an olive hue; but still 'h is varied, from that of the dun Laplander, to the colour of the red Indian, traversing his wide-spreading wilds; where the physical powers must of course obtain more free expansion, than amid the snows of Lapland, or where they are cooped up so closely as in China. Correspondent to then- form of head, this race have in general manifested considerable mechanical skill; and
they have frequently made very extensive conquests. These, however, they more easily make than retain. They can execute; but seem rather wanting in masterly wisdom. They require a superior moral and intellectual power, to guide their great force to a proper end. They do not sufficiently care for those under them. Here, again, China seems to be rather an exception: but, even there, the exposing of children is allowed. This, the Japhetic race, has less care for their children than either of the other races; and it may easily be observed that in them, generally, there is less of a projection over the cerebellum,
the region of the head allotted to that propensity which gives an interest in the young.
On the opposite side of the globe, that is southward, and chiefly in the vast continent of Africa, we have the Negro race, the supposed descendants of Ham. These in general have the head elongated behind, forming in this respect a considerable contrast to the Japhetic race: and the Negroes are as remarkable for their love of children and fondness of nursing, as the Tartar tribes are for their indifference in these respects. The forehead is narrower, and perhaps also lower ; correspondent to their deficiency in reasoning power, and in mechanical ingenuity. They have generally a good height in the upper and middle part of the head, where is the organ of veneration ; but they are considerably deficient in that which gives a tendency to form ideas respecting the spiritual world, and to hold communion therewith: the mind is consequently left more to the influence of objects of sense; and the worship is apt to be rendered to the sensible creature, rather than to the unseen Creator. They thus, the more easily, become subject to others. They can have intelligence, but they seem to have little forethought or power of planning. They require to be cared for like children. They can, of course, be the more easily seduced into unreasonable acts; but they have much
CAUCASIAN RACE, IMPROVED FAMILY OF.
portion of those powers which regard the spiritual world, and which tend to give an elevated and refined exercise to the intellect. In this race, the beard, when allowed to grow, is abundant. The hair is more soft and pliant than in any of the other two families. As for stature and complexion, they seem to be greatly modified by climate: in some quarters, as in the burning plains of India, this race may be found quite black. In more ele vated situations, and in temperate climes, they are found fair, and more fair, until in Europe we find them with the lily hand and rosy cheek, the azure eye and flaxen hair; and corresponding to Jeremiah's description of what his people once were.
Lam. iv. 7:
“ Her Nazarites were purer than snow, They were whiter than milk, They were more ruddy in body than
rubies, Their polishing was of sapphire."
gentleness and affection, and power of being made useful when properly trained. Their mildness is indicated by a comparative narrowness of the head, over the ears. The wide-headed Japhetic race cannot be so easily managed. It need scarcely be remarked, that the Negro race are generally distinguished by the prominence of the lower part of the face, especially the mouth, indicating perhaps considerable sensitiveness as to touch. They have black, woolly, strongly-curled hair: and the blackness of the skin is about as uniform with regard to the children of Ham, as the brown colour is to the descendants of Japhet. That, however, seems mainly occasioned by climate. In some countries, the children of Ham are comparatively white. This race appears to have early taken possession of the lands in which the families of Abraham were first to be planted: thus, Cush inhabited Arabia, destined for Ishmael, and Canaan took possession of the very land of promise itself; and even north-eastward of these countries, in ill-fated Babylon, we find Nimrod, the mighty hunter before God, erecting the throne of Ins empire. This central position was not, however, designed for the descendants of Ham. They have long been expelled from their usurped domain.
The children of Shem, generally called the Caucasian race, occupy the central position; and chiefly inhabit Southern Asia. We find them spread over Armenia, Persia, Arabia, and the thickly-peopled regions of India. The Jews are an improved specimen of this race; and so also are the chief of the nations," the modern inhabitants of Europe. These people are generally characterized by an oval face, with regular features. The head is more remarkable for height than either for length or breadth, although it has in general a goodly proportion of both. The upper part of the forehead, the reflective region, is especially well developed; and so also is the imaginative immediately outward from thence. They have the largest pro
This race may more generally be characterized by the head elevated and elongated in front, the delicacy of the texture, and the beautiful proportion of the features.
It may be remarked that although the head is more finely formed, indicating a greater proportion of the reflective faculties, imaginative powers, and religious sentiments, yet, altogether, the mind has less force: and this is indicated by the comparative smallness of the head. The brain is better in quality and form, but less in quantity. The case of the Jews, and that of the modern possessors of Europe, is an exception to the latter part of this rule; as, here, the head is not only more beautifully formed than in even the other branches of the Semetic family, but it is greater in volume than in the case of either the Negro, on the one hand, or the Tartar, on the other.
It may be observed that this improved specimen—the European branch of the Semetic family—is rapidly spreading westward. From the East, they came into the maritime parts of Europe; and have gradually pushed
THE PROPHECY OF NOAH.
the people to the ends of the earth, who previously possessed these countries; or they have taken them up, to become one people with them, and to he made partakers with them of their blessings. This improved family of the Semetic race, after renewing their strength in these islands, have launched out into the great Atlantic; and the tide of emigration has rolled, over that world of waters, still further westward,—encroaching still upon the Japhetic race in America, as it did in Europe. And we may predict that this race will still further spread, until the wilderness be wholly inhabited; and "the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose." With all their faults, they seem to be, eminently, a seed which the Lord hath blessed.
In Genesis, ix. 25—27, there is a remarkable prophecy of Noah, with regard to his three sons. We there find Ham (v.25) punished in his seed; and this is a point in which, judging from his race, he would he most likely to feel: whilst Shem (v. 26) is blessed in the object of his religious regard; and the religious sentiments are in his descendants
the strongest. And Japhet, whose restless spirit sought large room in which to range, was promised enlargement (v. 27.) According to the view we have taken, Japhet has been originally given the largest possessions; and this race have been remarkable for their wide spreading. They have also been given enlargement of a still more important kind. Having become much mingled with the posterity of Shem, they do as it were dwell in their tents, filling the place of upper servant: whilst, not only has Canaan been cursed, but the lower place—that of the mere slave, has generally been left to the other children of Ham. God has especially manifested himself, and his great salvation, to the posterity of Shem; who have even, as we have seen, the greatest natural capacity for this kind of knowledge: and, with the Semetic race, not only has the true religion been more abundant, but false religions have also been more plentiful. The truth, however, shall prevail:
and then indeed shall Shem be blessed, and be given still more fully his place at the head of the human family. Japhet, intermingled with Shem, shall occupy the place of a servant born in the house: whilst Canaan shall have the curse removed, and be blessed through the ministration of Shem; and the whole human family, taking refuge in the ark of the covenant, shall become the blissful family of God.
A singular contrast may be observed to take place between the European family, and even the most civilized portions of each of the three grand races already described. Beside the Nomadic branches of these races, who, as being too far separated from the main stems, to retain the full advantages of the ancient civilization, possessed by the immediate descendants of Noah; or, who, in consequence of other changes, have been thrown into a state of utter barbarism ;-beside these, who have lost so much, and who, without the assistance of others, seem utterly incapable of regaining what they have lost—there seems to have been a portion of each of the three grand races, which, as being more stationary in the original seats of mankind, have retained a sufficient knowledge of nature and of art, to procure for them the appellation of civilized. Thus, of the same race with the wandering. Tartars, but considerably different, in consequence of circumstances,—we have the Chinese. Of the Semetic, or Caucasian race, we have the Hindoos; and of the children of Ham, of the same general race with the Negroes, we have the most anciently civilized empire of Egypt, and their kindred, along the coast of Palestine. These three nations, the Chinese, the Hindoos, and the Egyptians, appear to have retained what they have, from time immemorial; and they seem in some instances rather to have lost than gained. And the practice of the arts they have often retained, without knowing the principle, according to which the effect they aim at is produced. They merely, as it were, with difficulty, retain what has been deliver
LEC. 1.] EUROPEAN FAMILY CONTRASTED WITH THE THREE GRAND RACES. 23
In that remarkable song of Moses, Deut. xxxii, we are told that
“When the Most High divided to the
nations their inheritance; When he separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people According to the number of the chil.
dren of Israel."
Why should the Lord thus set the bounds of other nations, according to the number of a people not yet born into the world ? Because this people were intended to compass these nations; which they could not do, unless their numbers were proportionate to the bounds of the people they were intended to encompass; and so it follows:
ed to them from their fathers. Not so the European family, and especially that of Saxon origin. They had lost all,—they were stripped naked, as in the day when they were horn, (see Hos. ii. 3,) when they presented themselves here in the west; hut they have not remained as those generally do, who are left thus destitute. They have evidently been given a principle of life—an onward tendency—which is not merely of use to themselves, but it, in general, gives an impetus to all with whom they come into contact; who must either yield themselves to its influence, or he broken down by it. Theirs is not merely a retentive capacity, but an inventive genius. Theirs is not a contentment in empirical practice: they must know the principles of the arts they practise; by the knowledge of which, not only is the retention of the art the more insured; but a way is opened up for new improvements and discoveries. The great work of self-instruction is ever going forward. They are not bound down to the limits of the knowledge possessed by their fathers. They are wiser than all their teachers among men, for God himself is then- Instructor—both in nature and in grace; and He hath given them a capacity to receive his instruction, and communicate it to others, above what any nation, or number of nations, have ever possessed. This is no matter of chance. We shall see that it is according to the original purpose, and whole course, of God's procedure with regard to Israel.
“For the Lord's portion is his people, And Jacob the lot (that is, curd or measuring line) of his inheritance."
And then follows a description of the careful training, by which they should be so far fitted for the important purposes which God had in view with regard to them.—And then there is an extended prophecy, clearly recognising the fact, that the end which God had in view with regard to Israel, was not accomplished during their former sojourn in the land
:—nor could it indeed be, without their going forth out of the land, and encompassing the various nations the Lord intended to bring within his fold. When this end is accomplished, then goes forth the joyful invitation with which the song concludes:
"Rejoice O ye nations, with his people;