(Calvin, Genesis 1. part 14) Winter, which binds the joy of sky and earth in sharp and rugged frost, has now passed away; and the Lord has chosen the moment for destroying the world, in the very season of spring. For Moses states that the commencement of the deluge was in the second month. I know, however, that different opinions prevail on this subject; for there are three who begin the year from the autumnal equinox; but that mode of reckoning the year is more approved, which makes it commence in the month of March. However this might be, it was no light trial for Noah to leave of his own accord, the life to which he had been accustomed during six hundred years, and to seek a new mode of life in the abyss of death. He is commanded to forsake the world, that he may live in a sepulchre which he had been labouriously digging for himself through more than a hundred years. Why was this? Because, in a little while, the earth was to be submerged in a deluge of waters. Yet nothing of the kind is apparent: all indulge in feasts, celebrate nuptials, build sumptuous houses; in short, everywhere, daintiness and luxury prevail; as Christ himself testifies, that that age was intoxicated with its own pleasures, (Luke 17: 26.) Wherefore, it was not without reason, that the Lord encouraged and fortified the mind of his servant afresh, by the renewal of the promise, lest he should faint; as if he would says 'Hitherto thou hast laboured with fortitude amid so many causes of offence; but now the case especially demands that thou shouldst take courage, in order to reap the fruit of thy labour: do not, however, wait till the waters burst forth on every side from the opened veins of the earth, and till the higher waters of heaven, with opposing violence, rush from their opened cataracts; but while everything is yet tranquil, enter into the ark, and there remain till the seventh day, then suddenly shall the deluge arise.' And although oracles are not now brought down from heaven, let us know that continual meditation on the word is not ineffectual; for as new difficulties perpetually arise before us, so God, by one and another promise, establishes our faith, so that our strength being renewed, we may at length arrive at the goal. Our duty, indeed, is, attentively to hear God speaking to us; and neither through depraved fastidiousness, to reject those exercises, by which He cherishes, or excites, or confirms our faith, according as he knows it to be still tender, or languishing, or weak; nor yet to reject them as superfluous. "For thee have I seen righteous." When the Lord assigns as his reason for preserving Noah, that he knew him to be righteous, he seems to attribute the praise of salvation to the merit of works; for if Noah was saved because he was righteous, it follows, that we shall deserve life by good works. But here it behaves us cautiously to weigh the design of God; which was to place one man in contrast with the whole world, in order that, in his person, he might condemn the unrighteousness of all men. For he again testifies, that the punishment which he was about to inflict on the world was just, seeing that only one man was left who then cultivated righteousness, for whose sake he was propitious to his whole family. Should any one object, that from this passage, God is proved to have respect to works in saving men, the solution is ready; that this is not repugnant to gratuitous acceptance, since God accepts those gifts which he himself has conferred upon his servants. We must observe, in the first place, that he loves men freely, inasmuch as he finds nothing in them but what is worthy of hatred, since all men are born the children of wrath, and heirs of eternal malediction. In this respect he adopts them to himself in Christ, and justifies them by his mere mercy. After he has, in this manner, reconciled them unto himself, he also regenerates them, by his Spirit, to new life and righteousness. Hence flow good works, which must of necessity be pleasing to God himself. Thus he not only loves the faithful but also their works. We must again observe, that since some fault always adheres to our works, it is not possible that they can be approved, except as a matter of indulgence. The grace, therefore, of Christ, and not their own dignity or merit, is that which gives worth to our works. Nevertheless, we do not deny that they come into the account before God: as he here acknowledges and accepts the righteousness of Noah which had proceeded from his own grace; and in this manner (as Augustine speaks) he will crown his own gifts. We nay further notice the expression, "I have seen thee righteous before me;" by which words, he not only annihilates all that hypocritical righteousness which is destitute of interior sanctity of heart, but vindicates his own authority; as if he would declare, that he alone is a competent judge to estimate righteousness. The clause, "in this generation," is added, as I have said, for the sake of amplification; for so desperate was the depravity of that age, that it was regarded as a prodigy, that Noah should be free from the common infection. 2. "Of every clean beast." He again repeats what he had before said concerning animals, and not without occasion. For there was no little difficulty in collecting from woods, mountains, and caves, so great a multitude of wild beasts, many species of which were perhaps altogether unknown; and there was, in most of them, the same ferocity which we now perceive. Wherefore, God encourages the holy man, lest being alarmed with that difficulty, and having cast aside all hope of success, he should fail. Here, however, at first sight, appears some kind of contradiction, because whereas he before had spoken of pairs of animals, he now speaks of sevens. But the solution is at hand; because, previously, Moses does not state the number, but only says that females were added as companions to the males; as if he had said, Noah himself was commanded not to gather the animals promiscuously together, but to select pairs out of them for the propagation of offspring. Now, however, the discourse is concerning the actual number. Moreover, the expression, "by sevens," is to be understood not of seven pairs of each kind, but of three pairs, to which one animal is added for the sake of sacrifice. Besides, the Lord would have a threefold greater number of clean animals than of others preserved, because there would be a greater necessity of them for the use of man. In which appointment, we must consider the paternal goodness of God towards us, by which he is inclined to have regard to us in all things. 3. "To keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth." That is, that hence offspring might be born. But this is referred to Noah; for although, properly speaking, God alone gives life, yet God here refers to those duties which he had enjoined upon his servant: and it is with respect to his appointed office, that God commands him to collect animals that he may keep seed alive. Nor is this extraordinary, seeing that the ministers of the gospel are said, in a sense, to confer spiritual life. In the clause which next follows, "upon the face of all the earth," there is a twofold consolation: that the waters, after they had covered the earth for a time, would again cease, so that the dry surface of the earth should appear; and then, that not only should Noah himself survive, but, by the blessing of God, the number of animals should be so increased, as to spread far and wide through the whole world. Thus, in the midst of ruin, future restoration is promised to him. Moses is very earnest in showing that God took care, by every means, to retain Noah in obedience to his word, and that the holy man entirely acquiesced. This doctrine is very useful, especially when God either promises or threatens anything incredible, since men do not willingly receive what seems to them improbable. For nothing was less accordant with the judgment of the flesh, than that the world should be destroyed by its Creator; because this was to subvert the whole order of nature which he had established. Wherefore, unless Noah had been well admonished of this terrible judgment of God, he never would have ventured to believe it; lest he should conceive of God as acting in contradiction to himself. The word "haykum", which Moses here uses has its origin from a word signifying to stand; but it properly means whatever lives and flourishes. 5. "And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded." This is not a bare repetition of the former sentence; but Moses commends Noah's uniform tenor of obedience in keeping all God's commandments; as if he would say, that in whatever particular it pleased God to try his obedience, he always remained constant. And, certainly, it is not becoming to obey one or another commandment of God only, so that when we have performed a defective obedience, we should feel at liberty to withdraw; for we must keep in memory the declaration of James, 'He who forbade thee to kill, forbade thee also to steal, and to commit adultery,' (James 2: 11.) 6. "And Noah was six hundred years old." It is not without reason that he again mentions the age of Noah. For old age has this among other evils, that it renders men more indolent and morose; whence the faith of Noah was the more conspicuous, because it did not fail him in that advanced period of life. And as it was a great excellence, not to languish through successive centuries, so big promptitude deserves no little commendation; because, being commanded to enter the ark, he immediately obeyed. When Moses shortly afterwards subjoins, that he had entered on account of the waters of the deluge, the words ought not to be expounded, as if he were compelled, by the rushing of the waters, to flee into the ark; but that he, being moved with fear by the word, perceived by faith the approach of that deluge which all others ridiculed. Wherefore, his faith is again commended in this place, because, indeed, he raised his eyes above heaven and earth. 8. "Of clean beasts." Moses now explains,--what had before been doubtful,--in which manner the animals were gathered together into the ark, and says that they came of their own accord. If this should seem to any one absurd, let him recall to mind what was said before, that in the beginning every kind of animals presented themselves to Adam, that he might give them names. And, truly, we dread the sight of wild beasts from no other cause than this, that seeing we have shaken off the yoke of God, we have lost that authority over them with which Adam was endued. Now, it was a kind of restoration of the former state of things when God brought to Noah those animals which he intended should be preserved through Noah's labour and service. For Noah retained the untamed animals in his ark, in the very same way in which hens and geese are preserved in a coop. And it is not superfluously added, that the animals themselves came, as God had instructed Noah; for it shows that the blessing of God rested on the obedience of Noah, so that his labour should not be in vain. It was impossible, humanly speaking, that in a moment such an assemblage of all animals should take place; but because Noah, simply trusting the event with God, executed what was enjoined upon him; God, in return, gave power to his own precept, that it might not be without effect. Properly speaking, this was a promise of God annexed to his commands. And, therefore, we must conclude, that the faith of Noah availed more, than all snares and nets, for the capture of animals; and that, by the very same gate, lions, and wolves, and tigers, meekly entered, with oxen, and with lambs, into the ark. And this is the only method by which we may overcome all difficulties; while,--being persuaded, that what is impossible to us is easy to God,--we derive alacrity from hope. It has before been stated that the animals entered in by pairs. We have also related the different opinions of interpreters respecting the month in which the deluge took place. For since the Hebrews begin their year in sacred things from March, but in earthly affairs from September; or,--which is the same thing,--since the two equinoxes form with them a double commencement of the year, some think that the sacred year, and some the political, is here intended. But because the former method of reckoning the years was Divinely appointed, and is also more agreeable to nature, it seems probable that the deluge began about the time of spring. 11. "The same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up." Moses recalls the period of the first creation to our memory; for the earth was originally covered with water; and by the singular kindness of God, they were made to recede, that some space should be left clear for living creatures. And this, philosophers are compelled to acknowledge, that it is contrary to the course of nature for the waters to subside, so that some portion of the earth might rise above them. And Scripture records this among the miracles of God, that he restrains the force of the sea, as with barriers, lest it should overwhelm that part of the earth which is granted for a habitation to men. Moses also says, in the first chapter, that some waters were suspended above in the heaven; and David, in like manner, declares, that they are held enclosed as in a bottle. Lastly, God raised for men a theatre in the habitable region of the earth; and caused, by his secret power, that the subterraneous waters should not break forth to overwhelm us, and the celestial waters should not conspire with them for that purpose. Now, however, Moses states, that when God resolved to destroy the earth by a deluge, those barriers were torn up. And here we must consider the wonderful counsel of God; for he might have deposited, in certain channels or veins of the earth, as much water as would have sufficed for all the purposes of human life; but he has designedly placed us between two graves, lest, in fancied security, we should despise that kindness on which our life depends. For the element of water, which philosophers deem one of the principles of life, threatens us with death from above and from beneath, except so far as it is restrained by the hand of God. In saying that the fountains were broken up, and the cataracts opened, his language is metaphorical, and means, that neither did the waters flow in their accustomed manner, nor did the rain distil from heaven; but that the distinctions which we see had been established by God, being now removed, there were no longer any bars to restrain the violent irruption. 12. "And the rain was upon the earth." Although the Lord burst open the floodgates of the waters, yet he does not allow them to break forth in a moment, so as immediately to overwhelm the earth, but causes the rain to continue forty days; partly, that Noah, by long meditation, might more deeply fix in his memory what he had previously learned, by instruction, through the word; partly, that the wicked, even before their death, might feel that those warnings which they had held in derision, were not empty threats. For they who had so long scorned the patience of God, deserved to feel that they were gradually perishing under that righteous judgment of his, which, during a hundred years, they had treated as a fable. And the Lord frequently so tempers his judgments, that men may have leisure to consider with more advantage those judgments which, by their sudden eruption, might overcome them with astonishment. But the wonderful depravity of our nature shows itself in this, that if the anger of God is suddenly poured forth, we become stupefied and senseless; but if it advances with measured pace, we become so accustomed to it as to despise it; because we do not willingly acknowledge the hand of God without miracles; and because we are easily hardened, by a kind of superinduced insensibility, at the sight of God's works. 13. "In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, &c." A repetition follows, sufficiently particular, considering the brevity with which Moses runs through the history of the deluge, yet by no means superfluous. For it was the design of the Spirit to retain our minds in the consideration of a vengeance too terrible to be adequately described by the utmost severity of language. Besides, nothing is here related but what is difficult to be believed; wherefore Moses the more frequently inculcates these things, that however remote they may be from our apprehension, they may still obtain credit with us. Thus the narration respecting the animals refers to this point; that by the faith of holy Noah they were drawn from their woods and caverns and were collected in one place from their wandering courses, as if they had been led by the hand of God. We see, therefore, that Moses does not insist upon this point without an object; but he does it to teach us that each species of animals was preserved, not by chance, nor by human industry, but because the Lord reached out and offered to Noah himself, from hand to hand, (as they say,) whatever animal he intended to keep alive. 16. "And the Lord shut him in." This is not added in vain, nor ought it to be lightly passed over. That door must have been large, which could admit an elephant. And truly, no pitch would be sufficiently firm and tenacious, and no joining sufficiently solid, to prevent the immense force of the water from penetrating through its many seams, especially in an irruption so violent, and in a shock so severe. Therefore, Moses, to cut off occasion for the vain speculations which our own curiosity would suggest, declares in one word, that the ark was made secure from the deluge, not by human artifice, but by divine miracle. It is, indeed, not to be doubted that Noah had been endued with new ability and sagacity, that nothing might be defective in the structure of the ark. But lest even this favour should be without success, it was necessary for something greater to be added. Wherefore, that we might not measure the mode of preserving the ark by the capacity of our own judgment, Moses teaches use that the waters were not restrained from breaking in upon the ark, by pitch or bitumen only, but rather by the secret power of God, and by the interposition of his hand. 17. "And the flood was forty days, &c." Moses copiously insists upon this fact, in order to show that the whole world was immersed in the waters. Moreover, it is to be regarded as the special design of this narrations that we should not ascribe to fortune, the flood by which the world perished; how ever customary it may be for men to cast some veil over the works of God, which may obscure either his goodness or his judgments manifested in them. But seeing it is plainly declared, that whatever was flourishing on the earth was destroyed, we hence infer, that it was an indisputable and signal judgment of God; especially since Noah alone remained secure, because he had embraced, by faith, the word in which salvation was contained. He then recalls to memory what we before have said; namely how desperate had been the impiety, and how enormous the crimes of men, by which God was induced to destroy the whole world; whereas, on account of his great clemency, he would have spared his own workmanship, had he seen that any milder remedy could have been effectually applied. These two things, directly opposed to each other, he connects together; that the whole human race was destroyed, but that Noah and his family safely escaped. Hence we learn how profitable it was for Noah, disregarding the world, to obey God alone: which Moses states not so much for the sake of praising the man, as for that of inviting us to imitate his example. Moreover, lest the multitude of sinners should draw us away from God; we must patiently bear that the ungodly should hold us up to ridicule, and should triumph over us, until the Lord shall show by the final issue, that our obedience has been approved by him. In this sense, Peter teaches that Noah's deliverance from the universal deluge was a figure of baptism, (1 Pet. 3: 21;) as if he had said, the method of the salvation, which we receive through baptism, degrees with this deliverance of Noah. Since at this time also the world is full of unbelievers as it was then; therefore it is necessary for us to separate ourselves from the greater multitude, that the Lord may snatch us from destruction. In the same manner, the Church is fitly, and justly, compared to the ark. But we must keep in mind the similitude by which they mutually correspond with each other; for that is derived from the word of God alone; because as Noah believing the promise of God, gathered himself his wife and his children together, in order that under a certain appearance of death, he might emerge out of death; so it is fitting that we should renounce the world and die, in order that the Lord may quicken us by his word. For nowhere else is there any security of salvation. The Papists, however, act ridiculously who fabricate for us an ark without the word. Chapter VIII. 1 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that [was] with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged; 2 The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; 3 And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. 4 And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth [month], on the first [day] of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen. 6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters [were] on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. 10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth [was] an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. 12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more. 13 And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first [month], the first [day] of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. 14 And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. 15 And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16 Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee. 17 Bring forth with thee every living thing that [is] with thee, of all flesh, [both] of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. 18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him: 19 Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, [and] whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. 20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. 1. "And God remembered Noah." Moses now descends more particularly to that other part of the subject, which shows, that Noah was not disappointed in his hope of the salvation divinely promised to him. The remembrance of which Moses speaks, ought to be referred not only to the external aspect of things, (so to speak,) but also to the inward feeling of the holy man. Indeed it is certain, that Gods from the time in which he had once received Noah into his protection, was never unmindful of him; for, truly, it was by as great a miracle, that he did not perish through suffocation in the ark, as if he had lived without breath, submerged in the waters. And Moses just before has said that by God's secret closing up of the ark, the waters were restrained from penetrating it. But as the ark was floating, even to the fifth month, upon the waters, the delay by which the Lord suffered his servant to be anxiously and miserably tortured might seem to imply a kind of oblivion. And it is not to be questioned, that his heart was agitated by various feelings, when he found himself so long held in suspense; for he might infer, that his life had been prolonged, in order that he might be more miserable than any of the rest of mankind. For we know that we are accustomed to imagine God absent, except when we have some sensible experience of his presence. And although Noah tenaciously held fast the promise which he had embraced, even to the end, it is yet credible, that he was grievously assailed by various temptations; and God, without doubt, purposely thus exercised his faith and patience. For, why was not the world destroyed in three days? And for what purpose did the waters, after they had covered the highest mountains rise fifteen cubits higher, unless it was to accustom Noah, and his family, to meditate the more profitably on the judgments of Gods and when the danger was past, to acknowledge that they had been rescued from a thousand deaths? Let us therefore learn, by this example, to repose on the providence of God, even while he seems to be most forgetful of us; for at length, by affording us help, he will testify that he has been mindful of us. What, if the flesh persuade us to distrust, yet let us not yield to its restlessness; but as soon as this thought creeps in, that God has cast off all care concerning us, or is asleep, or far distant, let us immediately meet it with this shield, 'The Lord, who has promised his help to the miserable will, in due time, be present with us, that we may indeed perceive the care he takes of us.' Nor is there less weight in what is added that God also remembered the animals; for if, on account of the salvation promised to man, his favour is extended to brute cattle, and to wild beasts; what may we suppose will be his favour towards his own children, to whom he has so liberally, and so sacredly, pledged his faithfulness? "And God made a wind to pass over the earth." Here it appears more clearly, that Moses is speaking of the effect of God's remembrance of Noah; namely, that in very deed, and by a sure proof, Noah might know that God cared for his life. For when God, by his secret power, might have dried the earth, he made use of the wind; which method he also employed in drying the Red Sea. And thus he would testify, that as he had the waters at his command, ready to execute his wrath, so now he held the winds in his hand, to afford relief. And although here a remarkable history is recorded by Moses, we are yet taught, that the winds do not arise fortuitously, but by the command of God; as it is said in Psalm 104: verse 4, that 'they are the swift messengers of God;' and again, that God rides upon their wings. Finally, the variety, the contrary motions, and the mutual conflicts of the elements, conspire to yield obedience to God. Moses also adds other inferior means by which the waters were diminished and caused to return to their former position. The sum of the whole is, that God, for the purpose of restoring the order which he had before appointed, recalled the waters to their prescribed boundaries so that while the celestial waters, as if congealed, were suspended in the air; others might lie concealed in their gulfs; others flow in separate channels; and the sea also might remain within its barriers. 3. "And after the end of the hundred and fifty days." Some think that the whole time, from the beginning of the deluge to the abatement of the waters, is here noted; and thus they include the forty days in which Moses relates that there was continued rain. But I make this distinction, that until the fortieth day, the waters rose gradually by fresh additions; then that they remained nearly in the same state for one hundred and fifty days; for both computations make the period a little more than six months and a half. And Moses says, that about the end of the seventh month, the diminution of the waters appeared to be such that the ark settled upon the highest summit of a mountain, or touched some ground. And by this lengthened space of time, the Lord would show the more plainly, that the dreadful desolation of the world had not fallen upon it accidentally, but was a remarkable proof of his judgment; while the deliverance of Noah was a magnificent work of his grace, and worthy of everlasting remembrance. If, however, we number the seventh month from the beginning of the year, (as some do,) and not from the time that Noah entered the ark, the subsidence of which Moses speaks, took place earlier, namely, as soon as the ark had floated five months. If this second opinion is received, there will be the same reckoning of ten months; for the sense will be, that in the eighth month after the commencement of the deluge, the tops of the mountains appeared. Concerning the name Ararat, I follow the opinion most received. And I do not see why some should deny it to be Armenian the mountains of which are declared, by ancient authors, almost with one consents to be the highest. The Chaldean paraphrase also points out the particular part, which he calls mountains of Cardu, which others call Cardueni. But whether that be true, which Josephus has handed down respecting the fragments of the ark found there in his time; remnants of which, Jerome says, remained to his own age, I leave undecided. 6. "At the end of forty days." We may hence conjecture with what great anxiety the breast of the holy man was oppressed. After he had perceived the ark to be resting on solid ground, he yet did not dare to open the window till the fortieth day; not because he was stunned and torpid, but because an example, thus formidable, of the vengeance of God, had affected him with such fear and sorrow combined, that being deprived of all judgment, he silently remained in the chamber of his ark. At length he sends forth a raven, from which he might receive a more certain indication of the dryness of the earth. But the raven perceiving nothing but muddy marshes, hovers around, and immediately seeks to be readmitted. I have no doubt that Noah purposely selected the ravens which he knew might be allured by the odour of carcasses, to take a further flight, if the earth, with the animals upon it, were already exposed to view; but the raven, flying around did not depart far. I wonder whence a negation, which Moses has not in the Hebrew text, has crept into the Greek and Latin version, since it entirely changes the sense. Hence the fable has originated, that the raven, having found carcasses, was kept away from the arks and forsook its protector. Afterwards, futile allegories followed, just as the curiosity of men is ever desirous of trifling. But the dove, in its first egress, imitated the raven, because it flew back to the ark; afterwards it brought a branch of olive in its bill; and at the third time, as if emancipated, it enjoyed the free air, and the free earth. Some writers exercise their ingenuity on the olive branch; because among the ancients it was the emblem of peace, as the laurel was of victory. But I rather think, that as the olive tree does not grow upon the mountains, and is not a very lofty tree, the Lord had given his servant some token whence he might infer, that pleasant regions, and productive of good fruits, were now freed from the waters. Because the version of Jerome says, that it was a branch with green leaves; they who have thought, that the deluge began in the month of September, take this as a confirmation of their opinion. But the words of Moses have no such meaning. And it might be that the Lord, willing to revive the spirit of Noah, offered some branch to the dove, which had not yet altogether withered under the waters. 15. "And God spake unto Noah." Though Noah was not a little terrified at the judgment of God, yet his patience is commended in this respect, that having the earth, which offered him a home, before his eyes, he yet does not venture to go forth. Profane men may ascribe this to timidity, or even to indolence; but holy is that timidity which is produced by the obedience of faith. Let us therefore know, that Noah was restrained, by a hallowed modesty, from allowing himself to enjoy the bounty of nature, till he should hear the voice of God directing him to do so. Moses winds this up in a few words, but it is proper that we should attend to the thing itself. All ought indeed, spontaneously, to consider how great must have been the fortitude of the man, who, after the incredible weariness of a whole year, when the deluge has ceased, and new life has shone forth, does not yet move a foot out of his sepulchre, without the command of God. Thus we see, that, by a continual course of faith, the holy man was obedient to God; because at God's command, he entered the ark, and (continued in part 15...) --------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01/cvgn1-14.txt .