Obrazy na stronie

The former had two sons, viz. Jabal, have done some wrong things, we who seems to have made such im

are not greater sinners than some of provements in the shepherd's occu our neighbours: We shall, there. pation, that he was distinguished, as fore, fare as well as most other peo“ the father, or instructer of such as ple. Have I been guilty of any dwell in tents and have the care of heinous crime? Have I slain a man, cattle:” and Jubal, “the father of that I should be wounded, or a youth all such as handle the harp and or that I should be hurt? If Cain, who gan:" i. e. the inventor of such mu committed fratricide shall be avengsical instruments as were used in ed seven-fold, truly Lamech, who those early ages. Zillah had a son has never been guilty of so great a and a daughter: viz. Tubal-cain,"an crime, shall be still more secure. instructer of every artificer in brass Should any one attempt to injure or and iron:" i.e. one who introduced disturb him, he shall be avenged of useful improvements in the imple his adversary, seventy and sevenments of husbandry, and who, pro fold. Here the sacred historian bably, invented some of the first closes his account of the descenweapons of war, which are formed dants of Cain; and we hear no out of the hard metals: and the

more of them, except incidentally, sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. in the history of progressive wicked

Lamech's speech to his wives, on ness, which provoked that tremena certain occasion, is supposed to dous expression of Heaven's hatred contain a difficulty: “ Hear my of sin, the deluge. voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken Our attention is next directed to unto my speech: for I have slain a another, and a more hopeful branch man to my wounding and a young of the human family. Abel had man to my hurt.” Gen. iv. 2, 3. fallen by the hand of violence-and, Whatever difficulty may be in this with him, the chief earthly comfort passage, it can be of no great im of our first parents, and the hope of portance, as it does not relate either the world seemed to have perished. to any

doctrine which we are to be But that the purpose of God might lieve, or to any duty which we are stand, and that there might be a to perform. The sentence is abrupt, seed to serve him on the earth, Seth and evidently elliptical, more being was born unto Adam, in the hunimplied than is expressed. The dred and thirtieth year of his life. family seems to have been agitated This son, designed as a substitute and unhappy from some cause or for Abel, and as the first link in the other. Perhaps, conscious of their long chain of our Lord's progenitors, guilt, they began to express their “as concerning the flesh," is said fears to one another, that the judg to have been begotten by Adam, ments of God might one day over “in his own likeness and after his take them. Hereupon Lamech, image;" an image differing widely either in a fit of anger, or with a from that, in which Adam came from view to quiet their fears, by vindi the immaculate hand of God. Had cating his past conduct, and by the first man retained his original quoting the supposed impunity of integrity, his offspring would, of Čain, their wicked ancestor, inter course, have inherited his moral poses his authority, and commands purity; but having become a sinner, attention to what he was about to his children must, by parity of reasay, which I suppose might be para son, be conceived in sin, and brought phrased thus: Dismiss your ground forth in iniquity. Human depravity less apprehensions of the Divine is propagated by a universal law of judgments. If there be a God, he procreation ; i. e. in every species is not strict to mark iniquity: and, of creatures continued, by a series admitting we have our failings and of generations, the offspring pos

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sesses the specific qualities of the pa entreat the God of all


that he rent stock. And this law operates as would impress upon their hearts the certainly and uniformly upon moral image and likeness of the heavenly and accountable beings, as it does Redeemer. either in the vegetable kingdom, or The birth of Exios, the son of Seth, among the various orders of ani

took place about the year of the mals. Hence we learn, that, though, world two hundred and thirty-five. as we have reason to hope Adam In his time, it is said, men began to was pardoned and saved, through

call on the name of the Lord; or, the grace of the Redeemer, yet hav more properly, then began men to ing become a transgressor before he call themselves by the name of the was a father, his children were all Lord. As one of the objects had in born in sin ; and if Abel and Seth view, in these lectures, is to ascerwere pious and righteous men, di tain the church of God, observe its vine grace, and not their natural growth, and notice the changes disposition, made them differ from which were made, from time to time, Cain the vagabond and the mur

in its visible form and rites of worderer. And to the same cause are ship, the age of Enos is worthy of we to attribute the difference be some regard. It is evident that God tween the saint and the sinner, in was worshipped before this time, by

ages of the world. Sin is here the use of thank-offerings and exditary; it is interwoven in our very piatory sacrifices, as we have seen nature, pervades our entire moral in the history of Cain and Abel. system, and is, therefore, propagated These services included prayer and from generation to generation. But praise, with confession of sin and a piety, or true holiness is owing, profession of faith, and hope in the solely, to a divine and gracious in promised Redeemer. Hitherto difluence upon the heart: it is, in vine worship seems to have been fact, supernatural ; i. e. foreign to confined to the family altar. Every our fallen nature: and, it cannot, pious head of a family officiated as therefore, be transmitted to poste priest in his own house, teaching his rity by any law of ordinary gene children, praying and praising God ration. Supposing Adam to have with them, and offering, on their bebeen a good man, a subject of sav

half, the stated and prescribed obing grace, when he begat Seth, he lation. And much is it to be lamentcould not convey his goodness to his ed, that this primitive mode of acson, for this obvious reason-it was knowledging God as the kind prenot an essential, but a superinduced server and gracious benefactor of quality of his degenerate nature. our families, is so generally laid Indeed, most of Seth's descendants, aside. It is a neglect of duty for as well as those of Cain, gave une which no apology can be offered; it quivocal proofs, in process of time, borders closely on practical atheism, that they bore the image and like or living without God in the world; ness of a corrupt and sadly dilapi- and there is a fearful doom denouncdated nature. And it is a mournful ed in scripture against the families and undeniable fact that pious fa

that call not on God's name. Jer. thers and mothers many

instances, the parents of ungodly In the days of Enos, mankind has children. Yes, readers, the image multiplied considerably, (for we are of apostate Adam is the wretched not to suppose that the Bible gives inheritance which we entail upon us the names of all the people then our beloved offspring: let us spare living,) and with the increase of no pains to bring them up in the population, there was no doubt an nurture and admonition of the Lord, increase of wickedness. Hence it and while we live, let us not cease to became necessary, for those who

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are, in

X. 25.

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feared God and loved the institu- | lation, he had this testimony, that be tions of his worship, to associate for pleased God." Heb. xi. 5. “Blessthe maintenance of truth and piety; ed are they whose God is the Lord!” to form a religious community dis Thrice blessed, they who love his tinct from the ungerily and the pro service, think upon his name, and fane. Thus separated unto God, keep his testimonies, hearkening and meeting statedly, on the Sab unto the voice of his word! Be it bath, for the performance of religious our glory,readers, to be called by his service, they, as a body, either called

name, and our care to walk worthy themselves, or were designated by our high vocation. « Behold what others, in a way of derision, “the sons manner of love the Father hath beof God;" as we find them, in the stowed on us, that we should be next chapter, distinguished by that called the sons of God!" Surely it title, from the family of Cain, and cannot be less the duty and the priothers who followed their bad ex vilege of men to call themselves by ample. It is also probable, that some the name of the Lord now-a-days, additions or modifications were now than it was in the days of Enos. made in the rites of religious wor The church is the glory of the whole ship; but what they were, we are earth; a blessing is in her; the oranot told in the Bible, and therefore cles of truth, with their infallible have no means of ascertaining. As counsels and comforts; the cove, there does not appear to have been nant of mercy, with its seals and any particular order of men set

promises; the charter of immortaliapart, as yet, to the priests' office, ty; the tree of life; the throne of we naturally conclude that their re grace, and the blood of sprinkling, ligious ritual was simple, and that which speaketh better things than their ecclesiastical government, like that of Abel. Let no sinner be their civil polity, was patriarchal. ashamed of the gospel of Christ; it Here then, was the visible church, is the power of God unto salvation. in its infancy; a seed to serve the The world lieth in wickedness; and Lord; a people distinguished and the Lord hath set apart him that is recognised as the sons of God, godly for himself. The workers united, and adhering to the service of of iniquity shall be destroyed, Jehovah; bearing testimony against though hand join in hand. The infidelity, idolatry, and all the works church of God is a visible and conof darkness. And it seems probable secrated community, governed by that Seth and his seven descendants, holy laws and fed with bread from whose names are recorded in holy heaven. It has its precepts, its

prowrit, with many of their families for mises, and ordinances, to which several generations, were church

every sinner, who hears the glad members, and gave evidence that tidings, should submit thankfully, they were a peculiar people, zealous without regard to the fear or favour of good works.

of man. “What agreement (saith Of Enoch, the son of Jared, the the apostle) hath the temple of God sacred historian gives a most amia- with idols e' for ye are the temple of ble and exalted character, in four the living God; as God hath said, I words: “ He walked with God." will dwell in them, and walk in And for his eminent piety, he was them; and I will be their God, and indulged the rare privilege of an they shall be my people: Wherefore early and deathless removal from come out from among them, and be this vale of tears. “God took him." ye separate, saith the Lord, and * By faith, Enoch was translated touch not the unclean thing; and I that he should not see death; and will receive you; and will be a was not found, because God had Father unto you, and ye shall be translated him; for, before his trans my sons and daughters, saith the

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Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. vi. 16 18.

“ And all the days that Adam lived, were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died; and all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died.”

The great age to which many of the antediluvians lived, appears very extraordinary to us, whose term of continuance here below, is but as a dream when one awaketh. Seth and his descendants, whose names are recorded in scripture, with the exception of Enoch, who was translated, at the age of three hundred and sixty-five, lived from seven hundred and seventy-five, to nine hundred and sixty-nine years; on an average, twelve times three score and ten. So that Adam, who lived to within seven hundred and twenty-six years of the flood, may have seen his descendants to the twentieth generation. This was a longevity truly astonishing; yet, it is indubitable: the fact, we admit, on the testimony of God, by the ministry of Moses, corroborated by the suffrages of several of the oldest, and most credible profane writers, with whose works we have any acquaintance. Manetho, Berosus, Hesiod, and Hecatæus and others, as Josephus informs us, generally agreed that the ancients lived about a thousand years. It were absurd to make the years of Moses lunar years, or months, as some fancy we should do. This hypothesis, while it might help us out of one difficulty, would involve us in at least three, viz: “ First, this calculation reduces their lives to a shorter period than our own: Secondly, some of them must have been fathers under, or about six

age: Thirdly, it contracts the interval between the creation and the flood to less than a hundred and fifty years."* It is impossible for us to account for this extraordinary lon

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gevity, on any natural, or philosophi. cal principles. It has been ascribed to their plain diet; to the excellence of their vegetables and fruits; to the disuse of animal food; to the healthfulness of their atmosphere; to the vigorous organization of their bodies; the strength of their stamina, &c. But these causes are all imaginary and inadequate to the effect. We resolve it into the good pleasure of the Creator. And it was an appointed means of peopling the world, in its infancy. True, it gave an opportunity for the rapid growth of impiety; as the event proved. And, we cannot, therefore, but regard the present reduced term of human life, as a wise and merciful arrangement of Providence. Life is still long enough to afford us an opportunity of preparing for eternity; and this is the great purpose for which it is given. To the pious, it is better, if the Lord will, to depart and be with Christ; and to the wicked, a protracted term of probation is, in many instances, through their own fault, an occasion of aggravated guilt and awful condemnation. But how forcibly do the comparative brevity and great uncertainty of this life urge us to make preparation speedily, for that which is to come!' Hear the scripture: Set your affection on things above; not on things that are on the earth. Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. What is thy life? A vapour that appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away. Behold! now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation ! Reader, do you

believe these

sayings of the Holy Ghost? Do you think much, and pray much concerning them? If you receive the Bible, as the word of God, you know and acknowiedge that you are going into a future state, where you will be either happy, or miserable for

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* See Dr. Colliyer's Lectures on Scripture Facts,



ever. What provision have you than ordinary beauty, by the Dimade for an exchange of worlds ? vine hand. You have a hope; on what is it It has often occurred to me, that founded? Have you peace with the associations, to which the mind God, through faith in our Lord is accustomed, if properly directed, Jesus? Then may you say, with might aid the cause of holiness. Paul the Apostle: To me to live is Hence well written lives of pious, Christ; and to die is gain. “Lord, devoted men, have always been conso teach us to number our days, that sidered among the most useful kinds we may apply our hearts unto wis of reading. We pause with delight, dom!"

W. N. to view a character, shaded with

comparatively few imperfections. We are ever curious to know the early habits of great men, the vil

lages or cities where they were born EARLY ASSOCIATIONS.

and lived, the scenes which were

consecrated by their presence, and Some how or other we feel attach

the causes by which they became ed to places and scenes, with which eminent in the world. we have been familiar in early life. Here Christianity opens a wide We may forget much that we have

field of employment for the youthseen on a journey, or read of in ful mind. Men of the deepest learnbooks, but it is difficult to find a

ing have unfolded the evidences of person, who can forget the oak that

religion, divines have illustrated its shades the spot of his nativity, or doctrines, martyrs have bled in its the blue line of the mountain which

defence, poets have portrayed its his eye has often traversed. We

charms, patriarchs and apostles have may explore countries at a distance,

exemplified its precepts. But above and make a right estimation of their

all Christianity has exhibited in our beauties, but our native woods and

Lord Jesus Christ, a model of unrihills, never lose their charm entire

valled perfection. He is the source ly. Hence when individuals and of that moral excellence, which has families remove and form new set

adorned so many wise and holy tlements, they always contrive to raise in the mind a pleasing remembrance of the place they have left.

Hither as to a fountain, other stars repair, They lay out their villages and gar

And in their golden urns draw light. dens in the same way, give

The present state of the church names to their towns, trim their lays us under peculiar obligations trees after the same fashion, and to rise in our affections above lobuild churches like those in which cal attachments and associations. they used to worship.

Missionary establishments can be The gospel does not condemn carried on, only by men, whose holy this strong bias of the mind to local devotedness to religion qualifies scenery, but only directs and con them for every difficulty, because trols it. Productive it evidently there is a principle in man which is of great blessings, and we could often leads him to look back

upon point out many ways in which its the friends of his bosom. But we agency is concerned, in adding to cannot compromise with the reour stock of happiness. Perhaps quirements of religion. He that the holy angels, as they rove loveth father or mother, houses or around the universe, may receive lands, more than me, is not worfresh views of their Maker's good. || thy of me. The command to Abraness from fields of being, which ham was explicit: Get thee out of have been wrought out, with more thy country and from thy kindred


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