Sidor som bilder

no recklessness, no presumption in it; it must, on the contrary, have been tempered by reverence, humility, and godly fear. Above all, Enoch's companionship implied constant communion with God. To him God was not a mere idea, but a person, a reality, a living presence with whom it was his soul's highest delight to converse.

In difficulties he would seek His guidance, in sorrow he would seek His support, in prosperity his heart would go out to Him in thanksgiving. Though frequently alone he was never lonely, for God was with him. By meditation and prayer he brought down heaven itselt into his own bosom,

Do you ask how it is that such blessed companionship as this should make life glorious ? It would be a wonder indeed—the greatest of all miracles—if it failed to do this. Just think of it. God's friend must become a God-like character. The moon which is bathed in the transforming light of the sun, becomes itself a luminous body, and lightens up the sombre blackness of the night with its pale, beautiful, silvery rays.

And so the man who walks in the light of God's countenance must necessarily catch some of the glory, and reflect it upon the world around him. Besides this, God's friend needs fear no enemy. He calmly reposes on the power of the Almighty. He dreads not those who kill the body-for what does it matter they can

not kill the soul, they cannot touch the most important part of his nature. He feels that the Lord of Hosts is with him, and that the God of Jacob is his refuge. A life like this is a glorious life indeed !

Let us again consider the text as

II.-A SIMPLE RECORD OF A GLORIOUS END. “ And he was not, for God took him.”

And he was not." This expression might have been misunderstood; it might have been made to mean annihilation; indeed, this is the only meaning which a man who was ignorant of the existence of a future state would have attached to it. But I need not say

that such was not the intention of the historian. “ And he was not,” was not among men, was not in his home, was not with his family ; but was translated to another state of existence. 1 imagine that one day he suddenly disappeared, and that his friends who sought him in the places which he usually frequented, were informed by a supernatural voice that God had taken him to Himself.

Enoch was immortal in more than one sense; he lived in the impressions which he made upon the world, and he lived in heaven the abode of the blessed.

A good man is never lost; long after his body has mouldered in the dust, the influence of his holy example will remain, will remain as a mighty power; a power which will not diminish, but grow with the flight of ages. Who can estimate the tremendous influence which the life of Enoch, the life of David, and the life of Paul, exercise upon Christendom at the present day? But that influence, however great now, is destined to become greater still; in proportion as Christendom is extended and purified, the power of virtuous lives must continually increase. A good man is never lost; no; he may not remain here, but he lives yonder. He is safe in his Father's house; crowned with life, adorned with deathless bloom, he has reached the land where pain, and sorrow, and darkness are unknown,

“For God took him,” took him to Himself, took him to glory without tasting death, took him to the heavenly Canaan without passing through the dark waters of Jordan. It is a remarkable fact that, under each dispensation, one at least so triumphed over death and the grave as to enter heaven in the body. Under the first dispensation we have Enoch, who by faith was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him. Under the second dispensation Elijah the Tishbite, in a chariot of fire, with horses of fire, went up in a whirlwind into heaven. Under the third and last dispensation our Lord himself, having ascended the mount of Olives, in company with His

disciples was taken up in a cloud of glory out of their sight.

“For God took him." What a glorious end ! What greater honour could have been bestowed upon mortal man than to be thus elothed upon with immortality ? But we rejoice to think that the words used here are applicable in a certain sense, not merely to Enoch, but to all good men that have departed this life.

Those who have gone before, God has taken them. They had to suffer pain, to endure the ravages of disease, to feel the pangs of death; but it was only as it were for a moment; before they were hardly aware of the fact, they found themselves overwhelmed with the transports of their eternal home. One hour, one minute, one moment, of the bliss they now enjoy, would have been more than ample compensation for all their trials--would have made them forget eternally all the sufferings they ever endured.

My friends ! let me ask you, what is the character of your life ? what will be the character of your end ? If your life be glorious, your death even will be glorious, and your future in another world will be more glorious still.

Let this be your highest ambition ; to live the righteous man's life, to die the righteous man's death, to enjoy the righteous man's inheritance in the world to come. Set this mark before you, and you will not be disappointed.





“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into [in] thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

LUKE xxü. 42, 43.

I HAVE selected this passage for my text, not with the view of dwelling upon the awful scene with which it is connected, but rather for the purpose of enforcing some of the lessons which it is designed to teach. The sufferings of the dying Saviour are too sacred, too sublime, too incomprehensible to form a proper subject for the descriptive powers of man; the evangelists themselves only state the bare facts, without any attempt at amplification ; this is not the place for rhetorical display, but for wonder, adoration, and praise. Still the truths which the events accompanying the crucifixion are adapted to set forth, are the most important in the whole range of Christian doctrine. While hanging on the cross,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »