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The following item is clipped from the Chicago Tribune of August 13th:
“London, August 9th. A paper at Constantinople announces the discovery of Noah’s ark. It appears that some Turkish Commissioners appointed to investigate the question of avalanches on Mount Ararat suddenly came upon a gigantic structure of very dark wood protruding from a glacier. They made inquiries of the inhabitants. These had seen it for six years, but had been afraid to approach it because a spirit of fierce aspect had been seen looking out of the upper window. The Turkish Commissioners, however, are bold men, not deterred by such trifles, and they determined to reach it. Situated as it was among the fastnesses of one of the glens of Mount Ararat, it was a work of enormous difficulty, and it was only after incredible hardships that they succeeded. The ark was in a good state of preservation, although the angles—observe, not the bow or stern—had been a good deal broken in its descent. They recognized it at once. There was an Englishman among them who had presumably read his Bible, and he saw it was made of the ancient gopher wood of Scripture, which, as every one knows, grows only on the plains of the Euphrates. Effecting an entrance into the structure, which was painted brown, they found that the admiralty requirements for the conveyance of horses had been carried out, and the interior was divided into partitions fifteen feet high. Into three of these only could they get, the others being full of ice, and how far the ark extended into the glacier they could not tell. If, however, on being uncovered it turns out to be 300 cubits
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long it will go hard with disbelievers in the book of Genesis.”
The gopher wood of which the Ark was built, is generally supposed to be the cypress, famous among the ancients, and frequently mentioned in Scripture. It is remarkable for durability. Instances are related of doors and posts made of this wood which had lasted 1,100 years.
Remembering, also, that Mt. Ararat is covered with perpetual snow and ice for more than 3,000 feet below its summit, and that an earthquake which shook it in the beginning of the present year (1883) broke loose tremendous quantities of this ice, burying under the avalanches whole villages, we cannot but think that the foregoing article is not so unreasonable as might at first appear. The same wise God who placed the Great Pyramid “in the midst and in the border of Egypt,” for a sign, now but commencing to speak to men of science, may have hidden away Noah’s Ark, burying and preserving it in ice, ready to be another witness to the most illiterate. We can only say, it would be “just like God,” and in perfect harmony with our teachings, that the outward evidences of the truth of the Bible, for the instruction of the natural man, should begin to increase; and we expect that these will multiply during the coming thirty years.
— September, 1883 —