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man, who, yielding up his heart to the obedience of faith, suffers the Spirit of the Holy One to new model his crooked and perverse affections, and to reduce them, as nearly as may be, to that standard of all perfection, the mind that was in Christ Jesus, by changing his pride into humility, his envy into love, his wrath into meekness, and his malice into mercy. Blessed is he who remembers the faith and the pa tience of Abel; who so remembers, as to imitate them for though his sorrow may be great, it shall introduce him to joy; though his sufferings be heavy, they shall terminate in glory; and when the few and evil days of his pilgrimage are ended, he who is greater than Abel shall give him Abel's reward.
LIFE AND TRANSLATION OF ENOCH.
Nec morti esse locum, sed viva volare
1. The Case of Enoch and Elijah.
IT is appointed unto all men once to die. This is the general rule but we meet with an exception to it in the case of Enoch, who was transported from the earthly to the heavenly Sion, without passing the valley of the shadow of death interposed between them. The Scripture affords us one more instance of the same kind, that of the prophet Elijah, for whom a chariot and horses of fire were sent down from the city of the great King, and who instantly exchanged his prophetic mantle for a robe of glory. Thus it pleased God to vouchsafe the world two rehearsals of the ascension of the holy Jesus; one for the building up of those before the law, the other of those under the law, in the faith of that great and important article: and both, that we of these latter days might admire
the wisdom of God in foreshowing what hath been accomplished, and adore his mercy and power in the accomplishment of what was foreshowed.
2. Enoch's Faith.
If we ask, what it was in Enoch that could merit an exemption from the common lot of mortality, the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews will tell usBy FAITH Enoch was translated from earth to heaven. His faith then was in heaven whither he was translated, and in that blessed Person who only could translate him thither: he was a believer in him who, after having made atonement on the cross for the sins of the world, appeared before the everlasting gates of heaven, and commanded them to be thrown open, for the righteous nation to enter into them, and give thanks unto the Lord their God. The righteousness of the Redeemer, like light from the sun, looked always and reached upwards, to save those who lived by faith before and under the law, as well as downwards, to justify and sanctify believers to the end of time, and nothing was, is, or shall be hid from the influence thereof. Enoch was translated, that he should not see death, by faith in him who, because he was to overcome the sharpness of death, could therefore open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
3. His Prophecy.
But did there a doubt remain as to the object of
Enoch's faith, the prophecy delivered by him to the old world, and recorded by St. Jude, were sufficient to dispel it. The subject of the prophecy is, the second advent of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to take vengeance on the deniers and blasphemers of his holy name. Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all the ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. This prophecy of the coming of our Lord to judgement, which is to be his last act, and to close all the dispensations of God to man through a Mediator, necessarily supposes in the person who uttered it, an acquaintance with the steps leading to that awful and final catastrophe, such as the incarnation, life, sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension, inauguration, and kingdom of our Lord, as well as the glorious, state of the saints departed, who are to come with him in the clouds of heaven. On these subjects were the thoughts of the prophet employed, and his affections were in heaven long before he himself was translated thither. How ought we then to be continually looking for and hasting to the coming of the day of God, now that Christ has sustained his offices of prophet, priest, and king, and nothing remains but that we behold him in the character of our Judge. Surely it is now, more than ever, the part of a prophet, or teacher of the revealed
b Jude, 14.
will of God, to dwell upon the second advent of Messiah, and to paint in the most lively colours the transactions of the approaching day of final retribution; that day when the stoutest heart shall tremble, and the terrors of which nothing but the faith of Enoch can enable us to support. Yet who is there among us, that thinks, as he ought to do, on that day, or. that faith!
4. The Testimony that he pleased God.
The faith of Enoch is demonstrated by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews from another topic, viz. the testimony he had before his translation that he pleased God; since without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. We may here observe, first, that all those persons who are said in the Old Testament to have pleased God, to have kept his commandments, to have been righteous, holy, &c. were believers, and did what they did through faith, as all must do now who hope to be accepted: secondly, that the existence of God is a point which man comes to the knowledge of not by inference, or deduction à priori, but by faith in the revelation he has made of himself-He that cometh to God must believe that he is: thirdly, that the knowledge of a future state of rewards, and consequently of punishments too, enters into the mind the same way, viz. by faith, which, as it is elsewhere said, cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God: that God is a re
Rom. x. 17.