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arch might have been in other respects, he was still more so for his unwavering devotedness to God. The account of Moses is very brief, but it is full and satisfactory. Its brevity, however, is accounted for. The inspired historian was not treating of religion, nor, properly speaking, writing a history; he was compiling a rapid chronicle of the antediluvian generations. We are informed of Adam, Seth, and their lineal descendants, for six generations, without hearing more than that the individual was born, had children, and died at a given age. No single remark breaks the monotony of the detail: we are told nothing of their character, their intellect, or their prowess; but when the name of Enoch is written, this rigid rule gives way, and a few expressive terms convey to the mind the most exalted ideas of his religious life. “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Gen. v, 24. Few as are these words, they distinctly inform us that Enoch maintained uninterrupted communion and fellowship with God, and that his life of piety was crowned with a triumphant end. We have, however, a brilliant commentary on this passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews. There we are told that, while walking with God by faith, Enoch “had this testimony, that he pleased God. Without faith it is impossible to please him.” Heb. xi, 5, 6. Enoch had this living faith, and it guided him into, and preserved him in, the experience of the divine favor and fellowship. It is this feature which brings out so interestingly the religion of these patriarchs. Like ours, it owed all its blessing to the atonement; it was only wrought in the heart by the Holy Ghost, and was the fruit of faith. This was the happy religion of Enoch. He knew that he was accepted, that he pleased God. And this piety met with a corresponding reward: "He was translated, that he should not see death." He was suddenly changed from mortality to immortality, and body and soul passed at once from earth to heaven.
But we take a partial and unworthy view of the piety of this holy man if we confine our observations to his personal character. We have to consider Enoch as set for the defense of religion in a time of prevailing wickedness and infidelity. Of this we have Scripture proof. Enoch was an inspired prophet, and, early as he lived in the world, predicted the final judgment, and exhibited, in inspired language, the glory and majesty of God. The apostle Jude (verse 14) has preserved a portion of these predictions ;
and, in recording them, makes some reference to the situation of Enoch, which casts considerable light on the religion of those times. From this text it is evident that even then irreligious men not only wantonly and wickedly sinned against God; they also denied his truth, and spoke, as well as acted, in direct opposition to his will. If, then, the piety of Enoch shines forth like a star in the midst of heaven, it shines, as far as we are informed, alone. We do not, indeed, believe that at this period all flesh had corrupted their way. But the signs of the times wore a threatening aspect. Men had multiplied, arts and elegance had been introduced, mental cultivation had been extended. But an increasing number of men were found faithless and wicked. The source of the only really conservating influence of any people or nation, the pious and devoted servants of God, diminished. In these circumstances, this holy man lifted up his voice against prevailing wickedness, condemned the licentiousness and violence of the age by the purity of his life, and asserted the government of God and the certainty of final retribution; but, from the results which followed, we may judge, with little success. It would greatly illustrate this portion of history if we knew the circum stances of his translation. Perhaps this was the time referred to by Maimonides, when “the glorious and awful God had come into oblivion," and a miracle was necessary to honor the faith of the man who trusted in God, to set the broad 'seal of heaven in attestation of the truths he had taught, and to impress on the public mind, in the most powerful manner, the certainty of a future state of being. All this was effected by the translation of Enoch; for, to adopt the words of an eloquent living author, “it is easy to suppose that there were scoffers in those days,* as well as in the present; men who, while the prophet was proclaiming the coming of the Lord, might ask for the promise or precursors of his coming, and point to the constancy and uniformity of nature, in which all things continue as they were from the beginning of the world; and taunting him with his sobriety and self-denial, his absurd hypocrisy and puritanical pretensions, might insult him with their infidel jests, and reel to their wretched revelry, with the maxim of their successors in their mouths, “Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die ! All this is, at least, possible; for my part, I think it likely; and I regard, therefore, the translation
* The language of Jude, in connection with the passage already referred to makes this certain,
of the prophet as intended to prove to an infatuated world the 'actual existence of a future state, and the positive fact of human immortality. Under whatever circumstances the miracle might occur—whether secret and sudden, whether unexpected or promised, whether witnessed at the moment, or afterward ascertained by subsequent evidence-there can be no doubt but that it was known and believed by the existing generation; some and suffi. cient means were employed by Providence to impress its truth upon the public mind; and the intention of Providence unquestionably was to give a certainty and a sanction to those truths which the patriarch had preached, and to exhibit in his own person a splendid display of the reality of them all.”—Binney's Discourses on Faith, p. 112.
The effect produced on the people of that day by this great miracle is not known. One thing, however, appears certain : it was calculated to justify the dealings of God toward mankind, and to place in a clearer and stronger light, than had been previously done, the blessed results of serving God, and the nature of the rewards which he will bestow upon his servants. This had been shown to some extent in the case of Abel. This young man, having obtained the divine acceptance, was cruelly murdered. Those persons who believed in the divine government, (and the inhabitants of the world in Abel's time did,) saw it here attested in the acceptance of his offering : this melancholy fact proved the certainty of a future reward to the righteous. For men could not possibly suppose that the divine Governor of the world would allow his accepted servant to be beaten to death, and his cruel murderer to live on for many years afterward, unless in another state of existence piety was to receive its reward. In this case, however, it must be observed that there were two things necessary to produce this salutary conviction on the mind: first, an admission of the doctrine of the divine government; and, secondly, a careful observance of reasoning upon passing events. This might be expected from the immediate family of Adam ; but in the days of Enoch there is reason to believe that the divine government was denied, and that mankind, given up to earthly and sensual pursuits, were indisposed to serious reasoning on religious truths. In such circumstances God left not himself without witness; and, by the translation of his holy servant, threw off all obscurity from his government and its great results, and showed the wicked world that the man whom
they had derided and refused to hear, was raised to heaven to be for ever with the Lord.
After this time little can be said for the religion of the old world. Methuselah, the son of Enoch, is supposed to have given Noah a name under the influence of a prophetic spirit: “And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” Gen. v, 29. There is some ob. scurity about these words which we have no hope of being able to remove. It seems, however, to have been the intention of Moses to teach us that, in giving a name to Noah, his father had some reference to what would take place in his lifetime. But then it becomes a question, whether this language referred to the coming flood, or to the agricultural improvements which Noah is supposed as a husbandman to have introduced. We think the former application of the words the correct one; and, therefore, that the terms, "the ground which the Lord hath cursed," do not refer to the malediction pronounced in Paradise, but to some prophetic intimation of destruction which even before this time was given to mankind, and which was fulfilled in the deluge.
And now man had filled up the measure of his iniquities : “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me : for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Gen. vi, 12, 13. The fiat went forth, and the whole world of mankind, with all the results of their labor, and the productions of their genius, sunk into one common ruin. Yet in judgment He remembered mercy; and as the earth contained one righteous man, the Lord saved him and his family from the common destruction, to show unto all ages that he discerneth between those that serve him and those that serve him not.
THE DELUGE. Reason of the calamity-Scriptural account of it-Wickedness of man-Faith of
Noah-Form of the ark—2 Peter ii, 5--Provision for the safety of the lower animals- The catastrophe-The release-OBJECTIONS CONSIDERED—Alledged impossibility and want of necessity~Alledged difficulty of accounting for the quantity of water-Alledged want of historical confirmation-PROOF TO THE CON. TRARY-Identity of Heathen Deities with the Noachian Family-Osiris-BacchusSaturn-Uranus-Deucalion-Atlas-Oracles of Zoroaster-Theology of ancient Egypt-Hindoo triad-Greece and Rome-Persia-Scandinavia-Sacred Names, Buildings, and Rites of the Heathen World— Temple of Theba-Processions of the sacred ship-Picture at Herculaneum-Symbolic ark of Bacchus---Historical and Traditional Evidence--Berosus--Lucian-Apamean medal— Traditions of the Hindoos-Chinese-Persians–Egyptians-Scandinavians-Jewish and Christian tes. timonies-American traditions—British traditions—The geologists; their agreements, differences, and admissions-Necessity for the Scriptures--Value of corroborative historical testimony.
We have now to contemplate the most terrible infliction with which our world was ever visited; an infliction as extensive in its range as it was destructive in its effects. The world had existed more than two thousand years, and had become exceedingly populous. On it God had sent showers of blessings, and given unnumbered displays of his goodness; but now he speaks the word, and it is subjected to wide and wasting ruin. Before we proceed to consider the important particulars included in the subject of the deluge, it may be well distinctly to notice the immediate cause of this fearful calamity. The flood did not destroy the world because its Maker had ceased to regard the workmanship of his hands, and to watch over the creatures to whom he had given existence; nor was it destroyed for his pleasure, or as a part of the purpose of his will concerning it; nor from any cause beyond the divine control, by the law of an unalterable fate. No: the world was destroyed by God, when he would have preserved it; destroyed by him in the exercise of his divine government and
The world was judicially destroyed on account of the sins of its inhabitants. No truth within the whole compass of revelation is more clearly enunciated than this. While, therefore, this great event exhibits the holiness and justice of God, and the moral responsibility of man, it speaks, in language not to be misunderstood, “Verily, there is a God that judgeth in the