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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.