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For, supposing them to have been married in /ecution," he went out from the presence of the nineteenth year of the world, they might the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod," a easily have had each of them eight children vagabond flying from place to place, skulking in the twenty-fifth year. In twenty-five in corners, shunning the haunts of men, pure years more, the fiftieth of the world, their de- sued incessantly by the remorseful pangs, and scendanis
, in a direct line, would be sixty- tormenting apprehensions of an ill conscience. four persons. In the seventy-fifth year, at Though you remove all external danger, yet the same rate, they would amount to five "the wicked is as the troubled sea, which hundred and twelve. In the one hundredth cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and year, to four thousand and ninety-six: and in dirt :” he is “majormissabib," a terror to himthe one hundred and twenty-fifth year, to self. To live in perpetual fear, to live at disthirty-two thousand seven hundred and sixty- cord with a man's self, is not to live at all. eight.” Now, if to this calculation we add, The posterity of Cain are represented in the high degree of probability that Adam scripture, as the first to build a city. The had many more sons, besides those mentioned mutual fears and wants of men drive them in the record; that families were generally into society; put them upon raising bulwarks, more numerous than the supposition states; devising restraints, cultivating the arts which that simple manners, rural employments, atlord the means of defence against attacks temperature of climate, and largeness of from without, or which amuse and divert roo.n. are circumstances inconceivably more within. The invention of music, and of mafavourable to population, than modern facts nufactures in brass and iron, are, accordingand European customs give us any idea of, ly, likewise ascribed to his descendants. we shall have no reason to think it strange, When men are got together in great multithat Cain, under the pressure of conscious tudes, as their different talents will naturally guilt, and harrowed with fear, which always whet each other to the invention of new arts both multiplies and magnifies objects für be- of life, and the cultivation of science; so yond their real number and size, should be their various passions, mingling with, and alarmed and intimidated at the numbers acting upon one another, will necessarily of mankind, who, he supposed, were ready, produce unheard-of disorders and irregulari. and were concerned to execute vengeance ties. Hence, in Enoch, the city of Cain, and
“ Ile went out," the history in- in Lomech, the sixth from Cain, we first read
" from the presence of the Lord.” of that invasion of the rights of mankind; Some interpreters have, from this expression, polygamy, or the marrying more wives than concluded, that even after the fall, God con- one. In a great city, as there will be many tinued to reside among men, in some sacred who omit doing their duty altogether, so spot adjoining to Eden, and in some sensible there will be some, who will take upon them tokens of his gracious presence: that thither to do more than duty prescribes.
The uns gifts and sacrifices were brought, and were varying nearness, or equality which Provithere offered up; and that from thence, Cain, dence has preserved from the creation of the for his heinous transgression, was banished world, of male and female births, is full deand excluded from the society and privileges monstration, independent of all statute law, of the faithful. Whatever be in this, we that the Governor of the world means every know for certain that wicked men naturally man to have his own wife, and every woman shun God, and drive him as far from their her own husband; that to neglect his inten. thoughts as they can: and in the phrase of tion in this matter, is an attempt to counterscripture, God is said to "hide his face" from act his providence; and that to outrun it is wicked men, “ to turn his back” upon them, an effort, equally vain, presumptuous, wickel, " to give them up," to denote his displeasure and absurd, to mend his work. with them. “And he dwelt,” it is added, “ in How long Cain lived, and when, or where, the land of Nod.” It is the same word which and in what manner he died, we have no inis rendered in the twelfth and fourteenth formation. And little satisfaction can it yield, verses, a vagabond. Why our translators, to attend the footsteps of a wicked and unin the two former verses give the meaning, happy man, through a life of guilt and reor import of the word, and in the sixteenth morse, to a latter end of horror. Better for verse, the letters of it merely, is not easily him he had never been born, than to have comprehensible. Let it be translated through-lived a sorrow to her that bare him, detested out, the sense is perfectly clear, and all and shunned of all men, “a fugitive and a ground of idle inquiry taken away. In the vagabond in the earth," a burthen and a tertwelfth verse, God denounces his punishment, ror to himself. Better for him his name had Thou shalt not die, but be Nod, a vagabond never been mentioned among posterity, than in the earth. In the fourteenth verse, Cain to have it transmitted to latest generations, recognizes the justice of his sentence, and stained with a brother's blood. But it is of bewails it; “I shall be Nod, a vagabond in high importance to know, that God, in his the earth.” And in the sixteenth, Moses good time, supplied the place of righteous gives us the history of its being put in ex- | Abel, preserved alive the holy seed, and se
cured a succession, which should at length murderous Cain? A female hand armed with terminate in that “promised seed,” who was a sword, lifted up to slay, dipped in blood ! "to bruise the serpent's head,” who was “to No, she wields a more deadly weapon, she destroy the works of the devil.” * And brandishes an envenomed tongue : poison Adam knew his wife again: and she bare a more fatal than that of asps is under her lips ; son, and called his name Seth; for God, said it is not the body that sutters, when that unshe, hath appointed me another seed, instead ruly member moves; it is the spirit, it is the of Abel, whom Cain slew."
spirit that bleeds: the man dies, and sees not This wicked man's history is a loud admo- who it was that hurt him; he perishes in the nition to all to watch over their spirits; and best part of himself, his good name is blasted; carefully to guard against the first emotions and what has he left worth possessing ? The of envy, anger, hatred, contempt, malice, or sight of a little material blood makes her revenge. And the words of Jesus Christ con- faint: a dead corpse terrifies and shocks her, firm and enforce the solemn warning, " I say but she can calmly, and with delight, sit down unto you, that whosoever is angry with his to that horrid human sacrifice, à murdered, brother without a cause, shall be in danger mangled reputation ! of the judgment; and whosoever shall say But the history, also, in its connexion, inunto his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of spires holy joy and confidence in God, by the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou representing the constant, seasonable, and fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. There- suitable interpositions of his providence, acfore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and cording to the various exigencies of mankind. there rememberest that thy brother hath Devils and wicked men are continually aimaught against thee; leave there thy gift be- ing at defacing his image, at marring his fore the altar, and go thy way; first be re- work; but they cannot prevail. The purconciled to thy brother, and then come and poses of the divine wisdom and mercy are offer thy gift."*
not to be defeated by the united efforts of Hold thy bloody hand, son, daughter of earth and hell. Abel dies, but Seth starts up murderous Cain! Why should a brother, a in his room. Jesus expires on the cross, but sister fall by it! That furious look is a dag- “ through death destroys him that had the ger; that unkind word has made the blood, power of death, that is, the devil. Surely, O the heart's blood to follow it. Daughter of Lord, the wrath of man shall praise thee, and
the remainder of wrath thou shalt restrain."
* Matt. y. 22-24.
HISTORY OF ENOCH.
And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him.-GENESIS v. 24.
The regular and uniform dominion of the one man “ sin entered into the world, and laws of nature, or the occasional suspension death by sin, and so death passed upon all and alteration of them, are equally a proof men, for that all have sinned :" But, behold, of the being and providence of God. Whether the mortal sentence is remitted in favour of the sun, with uninterrupted speed, continues Enoch, the seventh from Adam; behold the to perform his daily and annual course; or order of nature is altered, the decree of Heawhether he stands still in Gibeon," or“ goes ven is dispensed with; he is “translated withback on the dial of Ahaz;" the interposition out tasting of death." When an event, so of the Most High is equally apparent, and entirely out of course, takes place, it is na equally to be adored. And why may not He, tural, and not unprofitable, to inquire into the who has “ appointed unto all men, once to causes of it; for when the issue is singular die,” in order to make his power known, and and uncommon, we justly conclude that the his goodness felt, exhibit here and there an circumstances which led to it, were likewise illustrious exemption from the power of the singular and uncommon. The holy scriptures grave, and thereby vindicate his sovereign afford us, but sparingly, materials for a life rights as the great arbiter and disposer of life which concluded so very differently from that and death.
of other men; but what they have furnished, To fallen Adam it was denounced, “ Dust is striking and instructive. thou art, and to dust thou shalt return;" by The venerable father of the human race
had now himself paid the debt of nature. | teaches disrespect to the secular destinations The curse of the broken law had been seen of providence, or the relative obligations and and felt in the unnatural and premature death connexions of life. No, it is the religion of of Abel; and was at length inflicted, in the Satan, which would represent as impure, departure of Adam, at the mature age of nine what God declares pure, and permits to all, hundred and thirty years. The events which enjoins upon all; it is “a seducing spirit, and had hitherto taken place from the fall, were a doctrine of devils,” which forbids to marry, 60 many successive demonstrations of the "which God hath created to be received justice of God; under the weight of which, with thanksgiving of them who believe and men were, one after another, sinking into the know the truth." What, is a wretched soligrave. All that mercy had as yet done, was tary monk in his cell holier than Enoch, the to grant a reprieve of forfeited life: and death, father of a numerous family, who pleased though delayed to the thousandth year, is God, so as to be rewarded with exemption still bitterness in the end. We may reason- from death, and with immediate admission ably suppose the faithful themselves to have into the kingdom of heaven? He who lives been overwhelmed at the sight of so many unconnected, wilfully contracts his 'sphere vials of wrath, poured out from time to time of being useful, and of doing good ; he wickon their guilty race: and that they were in- edly hides his talent in the ground; he robs capable of discovering the promises of favour God, his country, and his kindred, of services and triumph, of life and immortality, through which they have a just right to expect from the obscure veil of that promise, “the seed him. of the woman shall bruise the head of the ser Again, this holy man deserves our notice, pent.” The sacrifice of Abel indeed disco- as one of the great ancestors of the human vered a faith in God, which raised the spirit race; as a link in the mighty chain of proviabove the fear and the stroke of death; and dence, which was gradually bringing on that good men like him, would be led in their eventful period, that fulness of time, when dying moments, with holy confidence and joy, the first-born among many brethren,” last to commit their departing souls to God, as in order of succession, but first in dignity, unto a faithful Creator; but the body evi- should come for our salvation. Enoch was dently returned to its dust, suffered corrup- born in the year of the world six hundred tion, and was dissolved. Religion accordingly and twenty-two. Adam died fifty-seven furnished, as yet, but imperfectly, one of the years before his translation. Of consequence most powerful motives which it proposes to they were contemporaries, or lived together, bring men unto God, as “the rewarder of for no less a period than three hundred and all them that diligently seek him.” But at eight years. Adam's whole stock of natural length he vouchsafes to unveil the invisible and divine knowledge might accordingly world; and shows it to be possible “ for flesh have been, and most probably was, communiand blood to inherit the kingdom of God.” cated, by word of mouth, to Enoch, in so long Within fifty-seven years from the time that a course of years: and much did he profit by Adam was laid in the dust, Enoch, without a communication so important. And this, undergoing that change, passes immediately by the way, instructs us in one final cause into the presence and paradise of God. And of the longevity of the patriarchs in the anthus there was placed before the eyes of the tediluvian world. As there was then no church, and of the world, in that early period, written word, no transferable record of divine an anticipated view and example of the final truth, all religious knowledge must have victory which the Messiah was at last to ob- been greatly marred and impaired, if not entain over death, and all the other enemies tirely lost, in the rapid lapse of generations, of man's salvation.
reduced to the present short standard of half Enoch, however illustrious and distinguish- a century. But God graciously lengthened ed in his latter end, as well as by the supe out life then to many centuries; whereby rior sanctity of his life, came into the world the father was enabled to instruct his posin the usual manner, and fulfilled the duties terity of the seventh or eighth generation, in of the ordinary relations of human life, while the things which he himself had received he continued in it. One great branch of immediately from the fountain of all truth holy walking with God, is useful walking and knowledge. Thus are the dispensations among men. Having, to the proper period, of Providence suited to the necessities of lived in the obedience and subjection of a mankind; thus can God remedy every inson, he in due time becomes the master of a conveniency, and make up every defect, in family and a father; for Methuselah was born a way peculiar to himself. But to proceed, to him in the sixty-fifth year of his age, a Enoch was an illustrious person, not only period earlier than that at which any of the in the church, but among the heathen. patriarchs, according to the record, became Eusebius, the famous ecclesiastical historian, a parent, except his grandfather Mahalaleel. who fourished and wrote in the fourth cenIt is not the religion of God, which with tury of the christian era, quotes Eupolemus, draws or excludes men from society; and a heathen author of credit, as affirming, thas
the Babylonians consider Enoch as the au- 1 of "faith, and love, and of a sound mind." thor of their astrology; and allege, that he is Not like Balaam, who saw in prophetic vi. the same who is called Atlas by the Greeks, sion, the star of Jacob arising, but in unbewho, from his profound skill in natural ob- lief shut his eyes against its light; who desjects, and particularly from his discoveries cried things to come by the inspiration of the in astronomy, was hyperbolically said to sus- living God; but sottishily yielded homage to tain the heavens on his shoulders. The ex- them who are no gods; who lived a prophet, pression, “Enoch walked with God,” is, in but died an idolater; not like Caiaphas, who, conformity to this opinion, interpreted of his following the impulse of his own passions, close and intense application to the study of and governed by the prejudice of a blinded nature, and of the great additions to the pub- mind, uttered a truth which he was not aware lic stock of acquired knowledge, which he of; stumbled on a prediction which he was mąde, in consequence of it. That this may unknowingly, undesignedly, helping to fulfil: warrantably be supposed to constitute one But Enoch, impressed with the solemn truth branch of 6 walking with God” we are not which he preached to others, daily improved disposed to deny. The study of nature is by it himself. How apt are men to err in this honourable, pleasing, and improving, and respect! They earnestly covet the gifts, " the invisible things of God" may be clearly which are dispensed but to a few, and are traced in " the things that are made.” But not always sanctified to the possessor; while had Enoch been merely a great naturalist, a they are careless about the graces which sagacious astronomer, or a profound sooth- God is ever ready to bestow upon all
, and sayer, he had not been transmitted to future which always accompany salvation. Let me generations by a distinction so honourable possess, O God, an humble and a charitable and so uncommon; nor had his history merit- spirit, though with the simplicity of a child, ed so much of your attention as has already rather than “speak with the tongue of men been bestowed upon it. Whether he was or of angels," and be destitute of it. an adept in the science of nature or not, we
us to the interesting, important, know, upon the best authority, that he was a and instructive part of Enoch's history, nameJesus Christ, in his general epistle, quotes ed in these few but comprehensive words,
;" him in that quality, in these words : “ Ènoch “Enoch walked with God.” Every thing else also the seventh from Adam, prophesied of is transitory and fading. Youthful vigour and these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with beauty are but the short-lived flowers of the ten thousand of his saints, to execute judg- spring, which die as soon as they are born; ment upon all, and to convince all, that are the honourable distinctions of this world are ungodly among them, of their ungodly deeds, bubbles of empty air, which burst in a mowhich they have ungodly committed, and of ment, and disappear for ever; scientific reall their hard speeches, which ungodly sin- searches and discoveries, are only the amuseners have spoken against him."* Now it is ments of children, who know but in part, and no business of mine to inquire in what re see as “ in a glass darkly;" but holy walking cord Jude found this prophecy of Enoch ; it with God is the honourable employment of a is sufficient for my purpose that an Apostle man; it is a permanent and perennial source of the Lord delivers it as such. Our
of satisfaction: it is the essence of life; the pose, is not to answer the objections, and re cure of pain; the conqueror of death; the fute the cavils of unbelievers, but, humbly gate of immortality; it is heaven upon earth. to attempt to illustrate, enforce, and apply And wherein does it consist ? “Can two scripture truth, to those who receive the walk together, except they be agreed ?" No. Bible as the word of God; as the guide of Walking with God must therefore commence their faith, the source of their hope, and the in reconciliation to God: and scripture knows, rule of their life. From the prophecy itself, acknowledges, teaches no other way of reit is of importance to observe how early, and conciliation but one. And the sacred comhow powerfully the doctrine of a judgment mentator on the passage and character under to come was taught to the world. How review, lays down this great leading princiclearly do those men discern, whose eyes ple of religion, as the foundation of Enoch's are opened by the Spirit of the living God! holy conversation, and of the honours which Ilow vast and how profound must that in- he ofconsequence attained—“ By faith Enoch telligence be, which can communicate, even was translated, that he should not see death, to man, the foreknowledge of events the and was not found, because God had transInost remote ; which revealed to Enoch, in lated him: for before his translation he had the very infancy of the world, the awful day this testimony, that he pleased God. But of its dissolution !
without faith it is impossible to please him: In this holy mun it is apparent, that the for he that cometh to God, must believe that grace of Go:l's Spirit accompanied his gifts; he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that the spirit of prophecy blended with the spirit diligently seek him."* Now, in every age of * Jude, verses 14, 15.
* Ilebrews xi. 5, 6.
the world, faith has but one and the same was Enoch taken; thither also did Elijah, object. From Abel down to the youngest of two thousand one hundred and twenty-one the prophets, and from the fisherman who years afterwards, mount on a chariot of fire, left his nets, and his worldly all to follow and the wings of a whirlwind; and finally, Jesus, to the end of time, the being, the na- thither at length, in placid majesty, ascended ture, and the will of God have been, and can the Captain of our salvation, " leading capbe, savingly known, and the mercy of God tivity captive." savingly embraced, only through a Mediator. Thus, in each of the three great periods
On this foundation, what a superstructure of the church, was exhibited an instance of a of holiness may be raised! What gratitude, man taken up into heaven, body and spirit, love, submission, and obedience to God! What as a support and encouragement to the hope complacency and delight in him! What kind of believers, of attaining the same felicity. ness, compassion, forbearance, beneficence, Enoch before the law was given; Elijah unand charity towards men! What gentleness, der the legal economy; and Jesus Christ, the meekness, purity, peace; to adorn, to com- Saviour of men, under the evangelical dispose, to tranquilize, to bless the man him- pensation. And God, in conducting these self! What constancy, perseverance, uni- events, has gradually disclosed life and imformity, increase in goodness! What vener- mortality, from the dawning of the morning ability as a patriarch! What dignity as a light, to the full glory of meridian splendour. sovereign! What sanctity as a priest! What It was a soothing, and an animating spectacle respectability as a husband, a father, a mas- for the faithful of the first world to see a good ter! What utility as a pattern and example! man vanish away, and after living his period And such an one was Enoch; thus he lived on earth, in piety, purity, and peace, lodged, and walked with God; and thus escaped death, not in a tomb, but in the bosom of God. It that end of all men: "He was not, for God was yet a stronger presumption of immortook him.” This is the last memorable par- tality, to those who lived in the second period ticular of his history. About the import of to see the heavens opened for the reception the words we can be at no loss, after the of one of their prophets; and celestial minisapostle has explained them, by his being ters in flaming fire, not of anger, but of love, “translated that he should not see death." sent to conduct him to the place of the blessWith the manner of that translation we have ed. But it is a demonstration to christians, nothing to do, as scripture is silent. If God and indeed the earnest and pledge of their intended it to be a public admonition or en- inheritance, to see the great Author and couragement to the men of that generation, Finisher of their faith, gradually and majeswe may rest assured he gave full and satis- tically rising through those vast regions factory evidence concerning it. That he which separate earth from heaven; and to meant it to afford universal and everlasting hear the church triumphant summoning the instruction to mankind, it is impossible to gates of the palace of glory to be opened, to doubt, from his giving it so honourable and receive the King of Glory, on his coming to so distinguished a place in his word. And prepare mansions of bliss for their reception, what is the instruction which it administers when the days of their probation are ended. to the world ? Simply this, that a life of faith “Such an High Priest became us, who is and holiness is but one remove from glory: holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinthat heaven descended to earth, will quickly ners, and made higher than the heavens." raise men from earth to heaven: that death Enoch, Elijah, and Christ, in certain views, either averted, or overcome and destroyed, can be compared only with each other; but will at length open a passage to perfect union in all things, 'He must have the pre-eminence. with God and enjoyment of him. Why should They prophesied through the power and virI detain you, to relate the dreams of vision- tue of the spirit given unto them. he is the aries, and the fables of impostors, respecting giver of that spirit to them, and to all the the manner in which God disposed of Enoch prophets. As mere mei, ney must have had after his assumption? There is no edifica- their infirmities, and the infirmities of one of tion, and indeed but little amusement, in the them are upon record: but he knew infirmity bold fictions of a Mahomet, or the wild con- only by a fellow feeling with the miserable, jectures of a Jewish Rabbin. We acknow- and he is the atonement for their sins. By ledge no other paradise, or habitation of the the power and mercy of God, they were taken blessed, but that represented in scripture, as up into heaven; by his own power he asthe place where God gives the brightest evi- cended on high; they as servants, he as the dences of his gracious presence, and com- eternal son of God. În them, we have a remunicates his glory in full splendour. That, peated instance of bodies glorified without to which Jesus on the cross promised to con- suffering death; he “ was dead, and is alive duct the penitent thief. That which Paul again," and carried to heaven a body which calls the ihird heaven: and which in other had been laid in the tomb. In them we have places of the Bible is denominated HEAVEN, an object of admiration and astonishment; in simply, and by way of excellency. Thither him, a pattern for imitation, a Saviour in