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Abel” had yielded his heart to the will of God,

“ renewed after the image of Him that created him.” It appears evident that the Almighty communicated to both of them some knowledge of Himself, and of that which He required from them. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground: and it came to pass, in process of time, that they each brought an offering unto the Lord. “ And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering, but unto Cain and his offering He had not respect.”

The Apostle informs us, that “by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”

; And here let us observe, the remarkable nature of this sacrifice of faith ; a lamb—the firstling of the flock. A lively type of Him who is called “ The lamb slain from the foundation of the world ;” being, from the beginning to the end of time, the one all-sufficient sacrifice of atonement for sin, by which salvation is bestowed on every repentant and obedient soul.

The offering made by Abel suggests various considerations of deep importance and instruction. It leads us to meditate on the nature of faith, and on the state of mind in which it can become a living and active principle. It implies, in the first place, an implicit belief in all that is revealed to us concerning God, and “His wonderful works," both as they relate to material, and to spiritual objects. But there is yet a far more essential principle developed in faith; for a belief in God, and in His mighty acts, is, as we learn from the testimony of an inspired Apostle, entertained even by Devils—but faith implies, in addition to this entire assent of the understanding, a yielding of the heart to the will and guidance of an invisible Being, in whose power and goodness it perfectly confides, and whom it devoutly worships. This faith brings the soul of man into communion with his gracious Creator - into a realization of the favour and love of God;—being "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen;" enabling the Lord's regenerate and justified children, not only to hope for the blessing of a better existence, but even to

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lay hold on eternal life.” This faith is begotten and renewed, in the obedient mind, by the Holy Spirit, which “ worketh in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.”


CHAP. VI.-How far the “ more excellent sacrifice," which" by faith Abel offered unto God,” was comprehended by his understanding, we are not informed: but we may clearly perceive that he was guided by the God whom he worshipped. Very different was the state of his brother's heart, and his oblation was not acceptable to the Lord. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth, and why is thy countenance fallen ? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted ? but if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And Cain talked with Abel his brother : and it came to pass,

when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not.-Am I my brother's keeper?” And the Lord said, “ What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.” Here let us pause, to reflect on this tremendous exhibition of that corruption into which man—the creature that had been made in the image of an all-perfect and holy Godwas now plunged. He was become by nature, the child of wrath-subject to the power of the serpent, who infused into him a spirit of envy, malice, and deceit; dispositions which induced the first-born of the human race to rebel against God, to murder his brother, and then to deny his guilt in the presence of Him, whose eye beholds every atom of His vast created universe, who penetrates the secret recesses of every heart; from whom nothing can be hid; to whom “ the darkness and the light are both alike.” There is not a thought of the mind, not a word on the tongue, but God knoweth it altogether.See Psalm cxxxix.

CHAP. VII.-It appears that subsequently to this period, Adam and Eve had a numerous progeny. Of Seth, who was the first-born after the death of Abel, we have the brief record, that“ to him also there was born a son, and he called his name Enos.” In the line of Seth, the generations of men are very minutely specified, because of his seed, according to the flesh, He was to come who is the Redeemer of the world. Amongst the descendants of Seth, there appears to have been for a long period, some sense of allegiance to the Most High. Of Enoch, we have a remarkable account; “ he walked with God, and was not, for God took him ;” and an Apostle informs us that “by faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death ; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God :” and he adds, “ But 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."


CHAP. VIII.—As the sacred historian proceeds with his summary recital of the most important circumstances which marked the primeval ages of time, he displays a most

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