Imatges de pàgina

Why art thou wroth? and Why is thy countenance fallen? If thou dost well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou dost not well, a fn-offering lieth at the door: and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt be his head.

But Cain still turned the deaf ear to the revelation of salvation by grace; and, finally, took the woful resolution to stand it out, and decide the controversy by strength of arıns; and going out, treading under foot that facrifice which couched down before his door, even the blood of the everlasting covenant, he gallantly invited Abel his brother into the field; and there Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and flew him. Woe unto them who go in the way of Cain!

Section 4. The Blood of Abel, Cain, having taken the resolution to con. tend with his brother by force of arms, pro- : claims the war.-According to the Septua. gint Bible, he gave Abel an express challenge ; the words are these, And Cain said to Abel his brother, Let us go into THE FIELD.* But Abel did not accept the challenge. The word, it cane to pass, supposes that some time had elapsed afier Cain had discovered his inten. tion, and the other word, he rose up, seems to fignify that, finally, Cain lay in wait for Abel.

* To do, the field for feet: not to sypov, the field for tile lage.

The first murderer was the first challenger; the scene of murder opened in our world in the fashionable style of the duellist, and Cain has the honor of being the father of these gentlemen of honor. And, perhaps, if offensive war was ever excusable, and a caufe exifted which could warrant a challenge, Cain might be excused; for Abel was his rival in the most tender point of his honor and feeling; and he appeared to be rising up to eclipse him in his standing of fuperiority, and to interfere in an interest where all his feelings were alive, and, to which, upon natural principles, Cain, as being the elder brother, had the most indisputable claim.

It appears clearly, from this case, that the dispute between the feed of the woman and the feed of the ferpent relates to a matter of state, and that the long and bloody struggle is at issue in this question, Who shall hold the government? Who shall have the rule?

Cain conceived that this was a cause in which his honor, and, therefore, his all was at stake; and the Lord, in his address to him, considers the subject in this view, and offers him, if he would renounce his natural principles, and take the side of the kingdom of grace, which presented the only ground upon which it was possible either for him or his brother to enjoy the divine favor, or to have any well-being or valuable intereit whatever: that, as the elder brother, he should have the priority, and that Abel, as the younger, should be subject unto him.

This proposal was infinitely reasonable,

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and was the only one that could be made consilently with the holy and benevolent purpose of redemption. Cain, however, could not accept it, for he was a natural man, and loved the world as it then was; and he did not receive the humbling truth of a regeneration, and was unreconciled to the whole fys. tem of grace.

But, though Abel knew what was purpos ed against him, and that it was war, yet he did not arm, but prepared only his mind for the approaching event.-On the one hand, the operation of the war was projected by the force of carnal weapons, weapons to shed blood; but on the other, the defence was contemplated, merely, by the virtue of the blood Shed. And thus, Abel fell a martyr.

And the Lord said unto Cain, Il’here is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: not the keeper of my brother am I.--Here Cain is feeni attempting to stand his ground, and boldly challenging the Lord himself, that as he had fet up

Abel upon another foundation, and he was not under his government, he was no longer under his care and protection; and where he was now, concerned him not, so that he was out of his way. And the Lord Juid unto Cain, l'hat hast thou donc? 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. When thou tillift the ground, it shall not henceforth yield to thee ber strength : groaning and tremblinge jhait thou be upon the carth,

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The blood of Abel being shed upon the elect principle, and so revealing, in a striking figure, the truth of Christ's righteousness, brought into effect by means of his death, it greatly strengthened the elect establishment; and going down into the springs of nature with this dissolving virtue, it greatly weakened those powers; and, therefore, for time to come, the ground would fail of yielding unto Cain her full strength.

Surprised, defeated, covered with confufion, and filled with wrathful despair ! Cain said unto the Lord God, Greater than my deJert! where can I sustain myself? Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth, and from thy face mall I be hid, and groaning and trembling 1 Jhall be upon the earth: and it shall come to pass that every one finding me shall kill me. But the Lord had said, Cain shall be upon the earth; he and his feed must


for a long time, be continued in the world; for the work of redemption must still be carried on, and at length be perfected by means of the shedding of blood, and instruments to effect this must be at hand.

Therefore, the Lord answered Cain-Not so. Whofvever sayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Căin, left any finding him should kill him.

Hence is the origin of the civil institution and authority ; the end and design of which, and the fanćtion it has received from God, is to restrain personal retaliation ard individ.


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ual vengeance; and to regulate and control a private interest by a public good.

The civil laws of communities, at first, were given in a very simple form; they were first enrolled by fome very fimple and plain marks or charaéters. What was the particular kind of character, by which this first civil law was engraved and registered, is useless to enquire; but, it is evident, that this mark, with the high fanction annexed to it, was of the nature of a civil written law.- The plain subject of it forms the great mark or charaéter of civil fociety; and to this mark or character, which, under the hand and heavy sanction of the Judge of all the earth, was set to Cain, is to be traced the civil institution.

The notion, that something besides the civil institution has ever been given to men, to protect any individual or fociety, is an idle fancy; and, without regard to the civil institution, the enquiry, what was the mark fet to Cain? can never be answered; fur there is not the least evidence that any other thing of this nature ever existed.

Cain now went off in form from the divine esabliment, and, under the institution of police and civil government, builded a city. And hence, the fathers of the civilized arts, the Jabals, Jubals, and the Tubals, sprang from Cain. And, to this high source, also, may be traced a nobility, and the conferring upon men titles of honor, and calling their lands and cities after their own names.---Cain called the name of his city after the name of his son, Enoch; and Tubal, by way of di

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