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(1) What is the preparation of Noah? (#Ge 6:14). If any one should wish to make an examination of the question of that ark of Noah’s on more natural principles, he will find it to have been the preparation of the human body, as we shall see by the examination of each particular respecting it separately.

(2) Why does he make the ark of squared pieces of wood? (#Ge 6:16). He does this in the first place, because the figure of a square, wherever it may be placed, is steady and firm, consisting as it does of right angles, and it is confirmed in a purer and clearer manner by the nature of the human body. In the second place, he does this because, although our body is an instrument, and although every portion of it is rounded off, nevertheless the limbs which are compounded of all these portions do, by some manner or other, evidently reduce that circular orb to the figure of a quadrangle or square. For example, take the breast which is rather square than circular; in the same manner take the belly, after it is swollen with food or by any natural excess, for there are some men potbellied by nature, who are to be excepted from our present argument. But if any one looks upon the arms and hands, and back and thighs, and feet of a man, he will find all these limbs compounded of a mixture of the square, with the circular figure at the same time. In the third place, a quadrangular piece of wood shows in its extension nearly every sort imaginable of uneven distinction, inasmuch as its length is greater than its breadth, and its breadth greater than its depth. And such also is the formation of our bodies, which are compounded of one extension which is great, of another which is of moderate size, of another which is small, great in its length and small in its depth.

(3) Why does God say, you shall make the ark in nests? (#Ge 6:14).{1}{the word in our Bible is rooms, not nests.} He gives this order very naturally, for the human body is formed of holes like nests; every one of which is nourished and grows like a young bird, a certain spiritual force which exists in it from its earliest origin penetrating through it, as, for instance, some of the holes and nests are the eyes, in which the faculty of sight has its abode; other nests are the ears, which are the place where hearing is situated. A third class of nests are the nostrils, in which the sense of smell is lodged. The fourth nest, which is of larger dimensions than those already mentioned, is the mouth, which is the seat of the taste; and it has been made of large size, since, besides taste, there is also another still more important instrument, which is that of articulate speech, reposing in it, namely, the tongue, which, as Socrates was wont to say, by beating in every direction in various manners, and by touching different parts, composes and forms a word, being, in truth, an instrument under the immediate guidance of reason. And the nest is placed under the skull, and that which is called the membrane of the brain is a certain nest, as it were, of the genius of each man: as also the chest is a nest, in which abide the lungs and the heart, and both these things are receptacles of other internal organs; the lungs being the place in which the power of breathing is lodged, and the heart being the abode of both the blood and the breath, for it has two ventricles, which are, as it were, a certain kind of nests or receptacles in the breast; blood, from which the veins, as if they could perceive its operations, are irrigated; and a breathing-hole, which again is extended over and irrigates the perceptive channels of respiration. And both the harder as well as the softer parts do, like nests prepared for the purpose, nourish the bones as real nests nourish young birds; the harder portion of which, namely, the marrow, is the nest, and the softer flesh is the nest of pleasure and pain; and if any one should wish to investigate the other parts, he will find that, in every respect, the nature of man has much the same foundation as the ark.