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contempt and scorn, that attend the righteous in this life, while the way of the wicked prospers, it has often been supposed that God has no special favor to his servants. It might have been supposed from the cruel and violent death of Abel and the prosperous wickedness of Cain, when he built a city after he was rejected of God, that the wicked receive greater favors than the righteous. It might seem that they who stand against the world, as Enoch must_have done, suffer more than they gain by godliness. But God showed his great and special friendship to Enoch by his translation ; and by that example to his true friends and faithful servants, however they may be received and treated by this vain and foolish world.
3. The translation of Enoch affords decisiye evidence of the future existence. There is in man a living spirit, which is essentially different from matter and can exist independently of the body and separate from it. It is certain, that if no objects were to be obtained but what belong to this life, it would be better if human beings had no existence. The apostle says, “ If in this life only we shall have hope in Christ,we are of all men most miserable.” Yet mankind are so fallen into present indulgence and so engrossed by the objects of time and sense, that they have little desire, care, or thought for spiritual and eternal interests and enjoyments. It is of the highest importance that there be decisive and impressive evidence of the future state and of the eternal connections and consequences of human conduct in this life. The death of righteous Abel, when candidly regarded, would afford evidence that his spirit would exist after he left the body. Would not his acceptance with God imply the bestowment of greater good, than he received before his death? The whole system of truth, as given by Moses and the prophets, Jesus Christ and the apostles, is founded on the future and eternal existence of human beings, with such rewards and punishments, as shall agree with their character and conduct in this state of trial. When God translated Enoch he confirmed and exemplified, by that wonderful and affecting event, the instructions of his word respecting the future existence. 4. The translation of Enoch shows that the bodies
of the righteous shall be raised from death to a state of glory. There is reason to believe that Enoch was removed in a manner that was visible and conspicuous, from earth to heaven. And it is certain that he was so changed in respect to his body, that he was fitted for his eternal residence in the kingdom of glory. He was designed to be an example of the complete redemption of the righteous from all evil. He was translated from sin and all its evil and dreadful effects, in respect to his body as well as his spirit and soul. By his conduct towards Enoch God gave a sample of the glory to which the bodies of the righteous shall be exalted at the general resurrection.
5. By the translation of Enoch God gave a manifestation of his perfections in the redemption of his people. From the entrance of sin into the world, its most bitter and terrible effects had been seen and felt.
The present faith and hope and comfort and holiness of ancient believers, were but little seen and realized against the rising floods of error and wickedness.
But Enoch was a bright and shining light. His faith showed the value of divine truth ; and his works the power of divine grace. By his translation God showed the people of that day and he has shown to past ages the greatness of his.power and the riches of his glory in the salvation of his people. By that instance of perfect redemption God manifested his perfections, as they will appear in every saint at the judgment of the great day and in the ages of eternity.
From the translation of Enoch we may derive the following observations.
1. From his translation there is reason to believe that God originally formed the purpose of redemption in the counsel of his own will. Who can doubt whether God designed to redeem Enoch? or question the greatness and goodness of his purpose and work in his redemption ? If not a sparrow fall on the ground without God, if the hairs of our heads are numbered by him, if for every idle word men shall speak they must give account, if God search our hearts and try our reins, if he will bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, can he be indifferent in respect to any creature or event that ever exists ? Could he be indifferent respecting the
number and the persons who shall be saved ? From the instructions of the Bible, from the whole design and system of the gospel and from the redemption of his people, who can have any reason for darkness, or doubt respecting the object and purpose of God in the mediation, atonement, ascension and government of the Lord Jesus Christ ? But could this purpose and object be obtained, if there had been no sinners to be redeemed ? if evil had never entered the universe If God could not have prevented the rebellion of angels and the apostacy of Adam consistently with his moral government and their free, moral agency, how can he renew the hearts of sinners and accomplish the great purpose and work of redemption? Indifference and inefficiency in respect to any being, object, or event in the universe are inconsistent with the perfections, purposes, agency and glory of God in the wonders of creation, providence and redemption. But he says, “ I am the Lord and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness'; 1 make peace and create evil ; I, the Lord, do all these
, things.” And God " worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."
2. The translation of Enoch may afford us some impression of the future glory of the redeemed people of God. Millions and millions of human beings will be raised from hell to heaven and will behold and enjoy the glory of God in their redemption forever. But creatures who had not been debased so low in sin, guilt, shame and woe, could not be raised so high in holiness, happiness, beauty and praise. In prospect of their future redemption, they can say by faith, in the darkness and sorrow of this life, “ Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” And well may they exclaim, “ Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”
3. From this subject we may perceive the worth of the instructions which are given us in the Bible. Without the light of divine truth and of the glory of God in the redemption of his people, we shall find nothing but vanity of vanities and suffer vexation of spirit. The evidences and expressions of divine power, knowledge, goodness
and wisdom in creation and providence, will show us, with greater surprise and terror, the sin and folly, the guilt and ruin of man, unless we see the exceeding greatness of the mighty power of God and the exceeding riches of his glory, in the purpose and work of redemption. But if his glory in the gospel be seen, the darkness of this world becomes light; and we shall know why the seraphim cry, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!
· the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4. The work of God in the redemption of his people shows us the great and proper object of the Christian ministry. It is, as the apostle declares, “ to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; to the intent that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” "How important, then, it is that the preachers of the gospel " should comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height and know the love of Christ
, which passeth knowledge and be filled with all the fulness of God !"
5. The translation of Enoch should induce us to regard by faith" the judgment of the great day." By faith he beheld and proclaimed that day, saying, “ Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon ungodly sinners.” “ Then all that are in the graves
shall hear his voice and come forth, they that have done good to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.”
Ν Ο Α Η.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
GENESIS, VI. 8.
From the entrance of evil into this world it generally increased, until the distinction between righteousness and wickedness was so confounded, that it had but a small degree of practical influence. At length, religious families began to unite with the wicked in familiar intercourse and the most important relations. Then the wickedness of man became so great that “the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Such regard to Noah, in distinction from the millions who were then on the earth, implies an affecting expression of divine favor. From the text it is proposed,
I. To mention the fayors which God bestowed upon Noah.
1. He gave him the most important instruction in the midst of general delusion. He taught him the moral state of the world ; and the design of his anger against the wickedness and violence, which filled the earth. He also taught him what he must do for the safety of his family. But error and delusion prevailed in the earth. Mankind could not so have corrupted their practice, if they had not renounced the restraints of truth. By their delusions they destroyed themselves. But “ Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house."
2. God granted Noah protection in the greatest dangers. As a preacher of righteousness Noah opposed the ancient world for hundreds of years. In that time he had doubtless seen many aged saints removed from the earth; some faithful magistrates relieved from their