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out of the ribs of both sides, or such as from the expression of the text * maintain there was a plurality of ribs required ; and might indeed decry the parabolical exposition of Origen, Cajetan, and such as fearing to concede a monstrosity, or mutilate the integrity of Adam, preventively conceive the creation of thirteen ribs.
But this will not consist with reason or inspection. For if we survey the skeleton of both sexes, and therein the compage of bones, we shall readily discover that men and women have four and twenty ribs; that is, twelve on each side, seven greater, annexed unto the sternon, and five lesser which come short thereof. Wherein if it sometimes happen that either sex exceed, the conformation is irregular, deflecting from the common rate or number, and no more inferrible
mankind than the monstrosity of the son of Rapha, or the vitious excess in the number of fingers and toes. And although some difference there be in figure, and the female os innominatum be somewhat more protuberant, to make a fairer cavity for the infant; the coccyx sometime more reflected, to give the easier delivery; and the ribs themselves seem a little flatter; yet are they equal in number. And therefore, while Aristotle doubteth the relations made of nations, which had but seven ribs on a side, and yet delivereth, that men have generally no more than eight; as he rejecteth their history, so can we not accept of his anatomy.
Again, although we concede there wanted one rib in the skeleton of Adam, yet were it repugnant unto reason, and common observation, that his posterity should want the same. For we observe that mutilations are not transmitted from father unto son; the blind begetting such as can see, men with one eye children with two, and cripples mutilate in their own persons do come out perfect in their generations. For the seed conveyeth with it not only the extract and single idea of every part, whereby it transmits their perfections or infirmities; but double and over again ; whereby sometimes it multipliciously delineates the same, as in twins, in mixed and numerous generations. Parts of the seed do seem to contain
* Os ex ossibus meis.
the idea and power of the whole; so parents deprived of hands, beget manual issues, and the defect of those parts is supplied by the idea of others. So in one grain of corn appearing similarly and insufficient for a plural germination, there lieth dormant the virtuality of many other; and from thence sometimes proceed above an hundred ears. And thus may be made out the cause of multiparous productions ; for though the seminal materials disperse and separate in the matrix, the formative operator will not delineate a part, but endeavour the formation of the whole; effecting the same as far as the matter will permit, and from dividing materials attempt entire formations. And therefore, though wondrous strange, it may not be impossible what is confirmed at Lausdun concerning the Countess of Holland ; nor what Albertus reports of the birth of an hundred and fifty.
And if we consider the magnalities of generation in some things, we shall not controvert its possibilities in others : nor easily question that great work, whose wonders are only second unto those of the creation, and a close apprehension of the one, might perhaps afford a glimmering light, and crepusculous glance of the other.
What hath been every where opinioned by all men, and in all times, is more than paradoxical to dispute ; and so, that Methuselah was the longest liver of all the posterity of Adam, we quietly believe: but that he must needs be so, is perhaps
9 And if we consider, &c.] “Many the want of that bone, which he had so things are useful and convenient, which multiplied, so animated. O God, we can are not necessary: and if God had seen never be losers by thy changes, we have man might not wantit, how easy had it been nothing but what is thine, take from us for him which made the woman of that thine own when thou wilt; we are sure bone, to turn the flesh into another bone? thou canst not but give us better!"But he saw man could not complain of Bp. Hall's Contemp. bk. 1, ch. 2.
below paralogy to deny. For hereof there is no determination from the text; wherein it is only particularised he was the longest liver of all the patriarchs whose age is there expressed; but that he out-lived all others, we cannot well conclude. For of those nine whose death is mentioned before the food, the text expresseth that Enoch was the shortest liver; who saw but three hundred sixty-five years. But to affirm from hence, none of the rest, whose age is not expressed, did die before that time, is surely an illation whereto we cannot assent.
Again many persons there were in those days of longevity, of whose age notwithstanding there is no account in Scripture; as of the race of Cain, the wives of the nine patriarchs, with all the sons and daughters that every one begat: whereof perhaps some persons might out-live Methuselah; the text intending only the masculine line of Seth, conduciable unto the genealogy of our Saviour, and the antediluvian chronology. And therefore we must not contract the lives of those which are left in silence by Moses; for neither is the age of Abel expressed in the Scripture, yet is he conceived far elder than commonly opinioned ; and if we allow the conclusion of his epitaph as made by Adam, and so set down by Salian, Posuit mærens pater, cui à filio justius positum foret, Anno ab ortu rerum 130; Ab Abele nato 129, we shall not need to doubt. Which notwithstanding Cajetan and others confirm; nor is it improbable, if we conceive that Abel was born in the second year of Adam,and Seth a year after the death of Abel; for so it being said, that Adam was an hun
jis perhaps below parology to deny.) the marriage of Seth's posterityes with “ To deny it is not hastily to be con Caine's female issue. Itt is fit to beleeve demned as false reasoning."
that God would never grant to any of we cannol, &c.] If the learned au Caine's posterity longer life then to the thor had looked into the text, Gen. v, longest liver among the patriarchs, when hee woulde have dasht this unnecessary he intended to cutt off even that life of and frivolous discourse, for in that the theirs which hee permitted them to proHoly Ghost does particularly mention all long till their sinns were fulfild: and therethe 9 patriarchs' ages, as of men to whom fore tooke away Mathuselah also the God gave such long life for the peopling yeare that hee sent the food to take of the world : and tooke away all the away all (universally) then living, save rest of the world, not only in Caine's Noah and his immediate family.-W. race, but in all the other patriarchal fa 3 second year, fc.) Abel's birth is not milyes, men, women, and children, that deducible necessarily from Scripture : they might not live to propagate that wick- his death is more probable.—Wr. edness which had overspread the world by
dred and thirty years old when he begat Seth, Abel must perish the year before, which was one hundred and twenty-nine.
And if the account of Cain * extend unto the deluge, it may not be improbable that some thereof exceeded any of Seth. Nor is it unlikely in life, riches, power, and temporal blessings, they might surpass them in this world, whose lives related unto the next. For so when the seed of Jacob was under affliction and captivity, that of Ishmaeland Esau flourished and grew mighty, there proceeding from the one twelve princes, from the other no less than fourteen dukes and eight kings. And whereas the age of Cain and his posterity is not delivered in the text, some do salve it from the secret method of Scripture, which sometimes wholly omits, but seldom or never delivers the entire duration of wicked and faithless persons, as is observable in the history of Esau, and the kings of Israel and Judah. And therefore when mention is made that Ishmael lived 127 years, some conceive he adhered unto the faith of Abraham, for so did others who were not descended from Jacob, for Job is thought to be an Idumean, and of the seed of Esau.
Lastly, although we rely not thereon, we will not omit that conceit urged by learned men, that Adam was elder than Methuselah; inasmuch as he was created in the perfect age of man, which was in those days 50 or 60 years, for about that time we read that they begat children; so that if unto 930 we add 60 years, he will exceed Methuselah ; and therefore if not in length of days, at least in old age he surpassed others; he was older than all, who was never so young as any. For though he knew old age, he was never acquainted with puberty, youth or infancy, and so in a strict account he begat children at one year old. And if the usual compute will hold, that men are of the same age which are born within
Cain.] Betweene the creation and flood, excepting only eight persons.the flood were 1656 yeares, to which, Wr. though Cain's owne accompt did not 5 Adam was elder.] This phrase, as reach, yet his posteritye did. For upon itt is commonly used, signifies elder in them was the food sent, yet not on them time, and then itt sayes nothing, for who onlye, for all the posterityes of the denyes itt? But in lengthe of dayes patriarchal familyes, which doubtless from the birthe Adam was not soe old were innumerable, did all perish in the as Mathuselah by 20 yeares.-Wr.
compass of the same year, Eve was as old as her husband and parent Adam, and Cain, their son, coetaneous unto both.
Now that conception, that no man did ever attain unto a thousand years, because none should ever be one day old in the sight of the Lord, unto whom, according to that of David, “A thousand years are but one day," doth not advantage Methuselah. And being deduced from a popular expression, which will not stand a metaphysical and strict examination, is not of force to divert a serious enquirer. For unto God a thousand years are no more than one moment, and in his sight Methuselah lived no nearer one day than Abel, for all parts of time are alike unto him, unto whom none are referrible, and all things present unto whom notbing is past or to come; and therefore, although we be measured by the zone of time, and the flowing and continued instants thereof do weave at last a line and circle about the eldest, yet can we not thus commensurate the sphere of Trismegistus, or sum up the unsuccessive and stable duration of God.
That there shall no rainbow appear forty years before the end of the world, and that the preceding drought unto that great shame shall exhaust the materials of this meteor, was an assertion grounded upon no solid reason; but that there was not any in sixteen hundred years, that is, before the
6 that no man, &c.] This is most true imaginary only), yet soe Adam would de facto, though the reason bee but sym- not reach to 1000 by 10 yeares, and bolical, and concludes nothing neces- therfore the saying is most true.-Wr. sarilye. For granting that Adam was 7 sphere of Trismegistus.] Trismecreated in the perfect age of man, as gistus sayd God was a circle, whose then itt was, which was rather 100 then center, that is, his presentiall and immu60, yet he lived noe more then 930 in table essence, from whence all things all, viz. solar, sydereal, tropick years. have their beinge, is every where, but To which if you add those hypothecall his circumference, that is, his incompre60 yeares (for they are not reall but hensible infinity, is noe where.- H's.