Sidor som bilder

swallowed up in the full flowing river of eternity. The rest we must leave until the day dawn and the shadows flee away; and instead of attempting to compare the state of Enoch with that of the whole of the redeemed, pray and strive to be among that blessed number. We must not deal in lofty matters, or things too high for us. Secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but things that are revealed to us and to our children. One thing we are certain of, that Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him. Let us also walk with God, and then we shall be, when time shall end, for ever with the Lord.

Let us now proceed to the practical lessons to be derived from the translation of Enoch, that we may be incited to follow his bright example :

First, The translation of Enoch demonstrated to that generation, that there was to be a future state,

Second, It proved also, that there should be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust.

Third, It proved, that the dark passage of death was not necessary to be trodden in every case; but that God might, if He pleased, transfer from this world to the next, any of His own people, without combating with, and falling by the king of terrors.

Fourth, It shewed, that God had a peculiar respect for the good, and that He would soinetimes acknowledge them in a singular manner even in this world.

Lastly, It proved, that death, or a change equivalent to death, must pass on all mankind; for all have sinned.

If we would wish to meet with Enoch, we must walk in the narrow way in which he walked.

First, We must believe in Jesus Christ, who is the way; for this is emphatically the work of God.

Second, We must obtain and exercise that golly sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented of.

Third, We must endeavour to walk in all the statutes and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Fourth, While we walk humbly, watchfully, and uncon. formed to this world, we must always remember, that we can do all these things only through Christ strengthening us.


“ Every house is builded by some man; but He that built all things is

God."-HEB. iii. 4,

These words are a strictly logical conclusion from the preceding premises. They contain two distinct propositions, both of which appear to be truisms. Every mind, we think, must instinctively assent to them. They are self-evident axioms in our apprehension; and we shall afterwards shew, that the most untutored mind has, by a direct process of reasoning, come to the same conclusion. It is not more certain, that two and two make four-that the whole is greater than a part—or that the three angles of any triangle are equal to two right anglesthan that every house is builded some man; but He that built all things is God. Taking the truth of them for granted, we shall not attempt to prove them. Indeed, any attempt of ours to

prove the truth of the sayings of God, is as vain as for a child, by his breath, to endeavour to add force to the wind; or, by his weak hand, to impede the progress of the red-hot thunderbolt. The first question to be ascertained by every person to whom the Bible comes, is, Whether the holy men of old who wrote it, spake and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost ? and the next is, Whether their writings have, pure and uncorrupted as, the light, been transmitted to us ? Are the books, admitting them to be inspired, which no reasonable man can possibly question, authentic and genuine ? All this being granted, for it cannot now be disproved, the Bible, every word of which is tried, is, like its Author, the very truth. The eulogium, if so it can be called, of the accurate philosopher, John Locke, ought to be preferred to the ebulition of every puny mind that ever dreams of questioning the truth of the Bible. The Holy Scriptures, to use his expressive lan. guage, have God for their Author, salvation for their end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for their matter. Knowing full well, that every real Christian would feel hurt, and highly and justly offended, were I to attempt, by my weak and erring reason, to support Divine Revelation, I shall, in the following discourse, by an induction of facts, endeavour to expand and elucidate the two topics distinctly contained in my text. While I am doing so, at greater length than is necessary for the more fully informed part of my readers, I humbly solicit their patient and candid attention to some things which, though old to them, may be new to others.

The first statement is, Every house is builded by some man.

We can form almost no conception, certainly no adequate conception, of the father and mother of mankind. It is true, we are their descendants; and our bodies and our souls possess the same parts and the saine powers; but our species have certainly undergone wonilerful changes during the lapse of about two hundred and thirteen generations. Some, not otherwise inaccurate thinkers, observing the now diversified colours, and forins, and statures of men of different climes and nations, have boldly advanced the unscriptural theory, that we are not all descended from one pair. If they could have observed what almost every mountain and every valley exhibit, and what the uniformly laid strata around the whole globe, and the multifarious embedded fossils displayed, they must have admitted, that at one awful catastrophe, a few, that is, only eight souls, were saved by water. This number was not, and could not be selected, because they were a distinct species or genus ; for they were all of one family, of one colour, and, most probably, of one feature. Where is a man to be found now like Abraham ? (Gen. xxv. 7:) or a wife like Sarah ? (Gen, xxiii. 1.) Where was there ever a lawgiver like Moses ? (Dent, xxxiv. 7;) or a priest like Aaron ? (Numb. xxxiii. 38.) Where was there ever a courtier like Joseph ? (Gen. 1. 26;) or a warrior like Joshua ? (xxiv. 10.) But leaving this as the Bible has said it, and uniform experience, with the improvements and elucidations of science and art confirmed it, and descending to more recent times, where is he who could now fill the bedstead of the King of Bashan ? Where is now a second Samson, who could triumphantly carry away the gates of Gaza, or slay a thousand men with the jaw-bone of an ass ? (Judges xiii. and xvi.) Who could now handle Goliath's' spear, or sink, with a sling, a pebble of the brook into his forehead ? (1 Sam. xvii.) Who could now achieve the exploits of the worthies of David ? (2 Sam. xxiii.) Where cou'd we pow find fortitude comparable to that displayed by Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah ? (Dan. i. 6; iii. and vi.) Where could we find the undaunted courage of Peter and of Paul, and their coadjutors and successors ? But, leaving tle Book of Truth, where could we find any like the heroes of Homer? Like

Chalcas the wise, the Grecian priest and guide,
Tbat sacred seer, whose coinprehensive view
The past, the present, and the future knew.
Where is now a man like the Pylian sage
Experienced Nestor in persuasion skilled ?
Words sweet as honey from his lips distilled.

Two generations now had passed away,
Wise by his rules, and happy by his sway:
Two ages o'er his native r«alm he reigned,

And now the example of the third remained. And, to select no more from the first epic poet, where is now one to be found like Hector ? who said,

How would the sons of Troy, in arms renowned,
And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground,
Attaint the lustre of my former name,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame?
Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates ;
How my heart trembles while my tongue relates
The day when thou, imperial Troy, must bend,
And see thy warriors fall, thy glories end.
And yet no dire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind.
Nöt Priam's hoary hairs d-filed with gore;
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore,
As thine år:dromache; thy grief I dread;
I see the trembling, weeping captive led.
May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Pressed with a load of monumental clay!
Thy Hector wrapt in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee weep.
Ardromache! my soul's far better part,
Why with untimely sorrows heaves thy heart?
No hostile hand can antedate my doom,
Till fate coudemns me to the silent tomb;
Fixed is the terın of all the race of earth,
And such the hard condition of our birth;
No force can then resist, no flight can save;
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.

Who can now compare with the heroes of Ossian, whom he celebrates with all the simplicity and sublimity of original genius? Deep is the sleep of the dead, says he; low their pillow of dust in the dark and narrow house. And, to quote no more from an author who wrote among the hills, and glens, and streams of Caledonia, about the year 300 of tlie Christian era,-an age as completely, in general, enveloped in the gross darkness of Paganism, as his native hills were often with the mists of the morning,—who can read, without admiration, his address to the Sun,-0 thou that rollest above, round as the shield of my fathers ! Whence are thy beams, o sun! thy everlasting light? Thou comest forth in thy awful beauty, and the stars hide themselves in the sky: the moon, cold and pale, sinks in the western wave; but thou thyself movest alone : who can be a companion of thy course ! The oaks of the mountains fall—the mountains themselves decay with years—the ocean shrinks and grows again, the moon herself is lost in heaven; but thou art ever the same, rejoicing in the brightness of thy course when the world is dark with tempests,—when thunder rolls and lightning flies, thou lookest, in thy beauty, from the clouds, and laughest at the storm. But to Ossian thou look est in vain ; for he beholds thy beams no more; whether thy yellow hair flows on the eastern clouds, or thou tremblest at the gates of the west. But thou art, perhaps, like me, for a season; and thy years will have an end. Thou shalt sleep in thy clouds, careless of the voice of the morning. Exult then, Osun, in the strength of thy youth! Age is dark and unlovely: it is like the glimmering light of the moon, when it shines through broken clouds, and the mist is on the hills. The blast of the north is on the plain, and the traveller shrinks in the midst of his journey. Who could now attempt to bend the bow of Douglas, used at Chevychase, or the battle of Otterburn? Or who would dare to wear Earl Percy's armour ? Who could now compare with Wallace of Ellerslee, who was basely betrayed, and murdered at Robroyston, in the parish of Cadder, 11th Sept., 1303 ? Or who could be compared with the admirable Crichton? Who that has seen the ancient armoury of Britain in the Tower of London, destroyed by fire in 1841, could beJiere, that what is there exbibited was ever worn ? Both Houses of Parliament were burnt in 1834, which will cost £1,500,000 for their re-erection. The Royal Exchange, London, was burnt down, January 10, 1838. In fine, we are quite uuable to think or speak aright of the men of other years, cor pared with whom we are a pigmy race.

Far-famed have been the beauty of many former dames, and much-lauded the handsomeness of many of our sires; but they would not, all combined, equal the manliness of Adam, or the delicacy of Eve. There is no poetic license in the succinct description of them by the greatest of epic poets, bad he been the first,

So hand in hand they passed, the loveliest pair
That ever since in love's embraces met;
Adam the lovliest man of men since born
His sons; the fairest of her daughters, Eve.
Grace was in all ber steps, heaven in her eye,

In every gesture diguity and love. When these two more than half-angelic beings were created, they had no house reared and furnished for their reception. The world was their estate-Paradise their domicile-the azure vault of heaven their canopy-their couch the green grass sward, enamelled with every flower that was grateful to the smell, or delightful to the eye; richer far than all the carpets ever in Turkey or Persia wrought, or the finest sheets or softest blankets ever manufactured. All the shrubs and

« FöregåendeFortsätt »