« AnteriorContinua »
stinction and eminence, no doubt, and to bear up the honors of his ancestors, was called Tubal-Cain.
But the civil institution, though it can restrain and control the individuals, and alfo, protect the particular members, and the whole body, in civil fociety, yet it could not, in the least, restrain or control the war between Cain and his feed, and the elect feed; they were in nature, and had now in form become two distinct nations, and this was a proclaimed, and, as we fay, an authorized war, between nation and nation.
Though wars between different states and nations, in the view of the divine law, on one fide or both, are murders; and will be fo adjudged at the last day; yet, as to the civil institution, they are deemed legal, and by it thefe murderers are protected-Such war, therefore, can be terminated only by the decifion of the field.
Lamech, a defcendant of Cain, carried on the war with fpirit; he flew two Abels, a man and a youth; but, like Cain before, he had to confefs with anguifh of mind, that the war had turned against him; and he found that his conquefts had been to his wounding and to his hurt; yet he confoled himfelf, and calmed the fears of his wives, that, guilty as they were, they were still under civil protection; and that, if Cain fhould be avenged fe venfold, wonderful as it might feem, furely Lamech fhould be avenged Seventy and feven fold! Where feven, at first, were united in the civil compact, doubtless there were now
seventy and seven ; and the government, by fɑ much, was the more strengthened and confirmed.
How fuperficial and vain is the reasoning and glorying of natural men!—So far was it from being a mercy either for Cain, or for Lamech; and fo far is it ever from being, properly confidered, a mercy for a murderer to be protected, or in any way whatever, to escape from the avenger of blood; that it is his privilege to pay the forfeit with his own blood, For, otherwife, his cafe is hopeless; as by the divine law, which will determine the future flate of all men, in this cafe, fuch fatisfaction is an indispensably requifite for pardon and grace.
Section 5. Men calling upon God.
The great tribulations arifing neceffarily from the nature of the elect eftablifhment, are ever the causes of effectual fervent prayer; it is only when the elect people, in fome degree, find themselves delivered unto death, as Jefus Chrift was the night before he fuffered on the cross, that they agonize and pray, as he then prayed.
The firft prayer recorded in the fcriptures, where most faithfully is recorded the work of God's holy fpirit, is the crying of the blood of Abel; by which we may understand the prayer he made to God, while bleeding to death under his brother's hand. And, doubt
Jess, for this reason, genuine prayer, in the fcriptures, is called groanings; not merely the folitary figh, but, as the meaning of the word is, the strong, deep and unutterable complaint of the foul, as that of the death groan.
The blood of Abel is joined exprefsly with the blood of Zecharias, as being thed both in one cafe, Matth. xxiii. 35: which supports this fenfe of the crying of the blood of Abel; for when Zechariah, being ftoned, was expiring, he faid, Look, Lord, and require it.And it may be concluded, that from the dying cry of Abel, and the Lord's appearing to make inquifition for his blood in answer to it, the glorious truth was first proved and fhown, that Jehovah is a prayer hearing God.
In the days of Enos, began men to call upon the name of the Lord.-The war between the feed of the serpent, and the feed of the woman grew hot; and the aspects of these oppofite principles appeared daily more and more irreconcilable, and exciting to the bloo dy conflict. It was fometime in the days of Enos, that the Lamech of Cain flourished.The elect of God found themselves killed all the day long, and accounted as Sheep for the flaughter; therefore, as they ever have done in like circumftances, they now resorted in good earnest to their only legitimate and all-conquering weapons, faith, patience and prayer.
Section 6. Men of Renown.
The ferpent having proved the ill-fuccefs of this outward and uncovered mode of warfare; and, at length, perceiving the peculiar nature of the elect eftablishment, more wifely conceived of the deeper measure of feducement; and which he adopted, by all the enicements of the flesh, the alurements of the eyes, and the indulgent charms, or heroic paffions of the pride of life.
Therefore, his blood-ftained weapons are laid aside—his every motion becomes conciliatory, and a profpect is now given of happy times. The daughters of men came forth, brilliant, in foft apparel, and ornaments of gold, with their lydian fongs and city addrefs, and fmiling with the airs and arts of pleafures. The fons of God, unwarily, fell into the fnare-they faw that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chofe.
The fruit of this union, of the form of god. linefs, with the civil eftablifhment, (for more than the form of godlinefs can never be thus united) for a while was grand. The chil dren of this marriage became mighty men, which were of old, men of renown. But finally, this union produced the most fatal disorders--it erased the impreffions and re ftraints of the civil character, made by the
hand of God, from the mind, and from the face of fociety; and, confequently, the earth was filled with violence.
This ever has been, and ever must be, the fruit of fuch an union; for the form of godlinefs, being of another nature, in union with the civil character, muft complicate and mar it, and fo reduce its strength, like clay or drofs mingled with the metals-which tendency, the experience of the world has fhown; and that the more fimply the civil or any other inftitution is preferved, it will be the more effectual. This adulterating and corrupting tendency, therefore, in fuch a flate, by degrees, muft weaken the civil compact, and finally, deftroy its influence. And the form of godlinefs, not being able to fupport itself, being the form only without the power, brittle and weak as drofs and miry clay, falls a dead weight upon the finking empire.
So that even this deep policy of fatan, a vails him but for a fhort time; though fo defperate is his caufe, that he has recourse to it over and over again, whilft, in the iffue, it never fails to divide his own dominions, and bring nation upon nation, and kingdom upon kingdom, and even to divide the houfe and kingdom against itself,
Section 7. Enoch Prophefying. By the joining together of what God hath put alunder, things the most oppofite in prin