A Most Intelligently Designed Catastrophe

November 29, 2010

“The so nice and exact Adjustments of the Motions of both the Comet and the Earth; that the former should pass just so near, and impart such a certain Quantity of Waters, neither more nor less than would drown the World, and just cover the highest Mountain, and yet reach no father; in short, as would secure the Ark for future Generations, and yet not leave one dry-Land Animal besides alive; this Exactness is a most peculiar and strange Effect of the most wise and sagacious Providence of God in this mighty Revolution. …  That exactly at a time which was fit and proper, and in an Age that justly deserv’d so great a Judgment, the Comet should come by, and overwhelm the World, is very remarkably and extraordinarily the Finger of God himself. That Omnisicient Being, who foresaw when the Degeneracy of human Nature would be arriv’d at an insufferable Degree of Wickedness, the Iniquities of the World wou’d be compleatly full; and when consequently his Vengeance ought to fall upon them; predisposed and preadapted the Orbits and Motions of both the Comet and the Earth, so that at that very Time, and only at that very Time, the former should pass close by the latter, and bring that dreadful Punishment upon them. Had not God Almightly on purpose thus adjusted the Moments and Courses of each, ’twere infinite odds that such a Conjunction and Coincidence of a Comet and a Planet, would never have happen’d during the whole Space, between the Creation and the Conflagration of this World; much more at such a critical Point of Time when Mankind, by their unparallel’d Wickedness were deserving of, and only dispos’d for this unparallel’d Vengeance, no less than almost an utter Extinction.”

William Whiston, A New Theory of the Earth, From its Original, to the Consummation of all Things. Wherein The Creation of the World in Six Days, The Universal Deluge, And the General Conflagration, As laid down in the Holy Scriptures, Are shown to be perfectly Agreeable to Reason and Philosophy (1696), pp. 433-434.

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