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“the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Her members walk before God in the exercise of “ charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned; and hence they are hated for the sake of him who hath redeemed them from all iniquity, and to whose service they are sanctified. were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”+ “And the brother shall deliver up the brother unto death, and the father the child, and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death: And ye shall be hated of all men, for my name's sake; but he that endureth unto the end shall be saved.” I They are faithful whereunto they are called, even should it be unto death, that they may obtain “a crown of life;" knowing that God is faithful who has promised, and by whom they are called unto the “fellowship of the sufferings” of his son Jesus Christ, as well as to that of his resurrection. “ The weapons of their warfare are not carnal.” They resist the enemy, not with acts of violence, but by patience, by nieekness, by the spirit of their divine Master, who,“ when he was reviled, reviled not again;" but “was led as a Lamb to the slaughter;" and who prayed for them that “despitefully entreated him and slew him.”
† John xv. 19, 20.
1 Tim. i. 5.
But although they suffer in the spirit, and after the example of their divine Master, their afflictions are not forgotten or neglected by Him with whom their cause is intrusted; their blood crieth unto God, and for his own sake he will hear, and visit his adversaries with destruction; their secret deeds of evil will he bring to light, and pour forth the fury of his indignation upon his enemies.
The character of the latter is as faithfully pourtrayed in that of Cain. The love, even of a brother, is lost or annihilated in the animosity which ever has, and ever must subsist between the wicked and the righteous. “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning.”* They display the enmity irrevocably fixed between the seed of the serpent, and the seed of the woman. Being without faith, they cannot please God; their sacrifices God will not accept, and those of a broken and contrite heart they will not offer. They count the preaching of the cross foolishness, the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and rejecting it, offer their impure and imperfect obedience as their righteousness, and for their justification; the rejection of which leads not to a godly sorrow for sin, but inflames their stubborn and rebellious hearts against the wisdom and goodness of God against his ways of mercy.
* John viii. 44.
Their disobedience manifests itself by the most evident acts of rebellion-the hardness and impenitency of their hearts inducing them openly to disregard his commands, and slight his benefits. The same spirit excites them to persecute the humble and believing, but true and patient follower of Christ. The meekness of the Christian cannot disarm them; his innocence cannot protect him ; delusion and violence are equally employed for his destruction.
God may permit the instruments of wickedness to prevail, as he suffered Cain to deceive and murder Abel ; but his eye is never withdrawn from, nor his ear closed against the prayers of the church. He will avenge her cause; and if not speedily, yet surely and mightily. The secret wrath and malice of her enemies he will bring to light, and charge these upon them with an energy which shall force conviction and self-condemnation, and a
feeling of the fury of his anger, which carries with it punishment intolerable.
The eternity of this state of suffering is exhibited in the endlessness of that inflicted on the first persecutor. The appearance of Melchizedek on the page of history, without parentage or death, beginning of days or end of life, presents a type of the eternal existence of the Son of God. So the preservation of Cain from death, that he might sustain the full extent of divine vengeance, and for a period, the termination of which is never given, symbolized the everlasting punishment of the ungodly.
The local situation of this type accords with the wisdom and goodness which is so strikingly evident in the divine guardianship of the church. It comes in a regular sequence, as a supplement to the doctrines contained and exhibited in the sacred institution of sacrifice; and explains the effects which the acceptance or rejection of these will produce upon mankind, the opposition which must exist between the followers of sin and righteousness, and the consequences which must result to the wicked and the godly.
This type was also peculiarly suitable to the consolation and instruction of the faithful servants of God, placed under the then impending circumstances, the rapid spread of corruption
in the old world, the very limited number of the members of the true church then militant on earth, and the violence of the stream of that depravity which was then directed against them.
“ And Enoch walked with God.”* Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”+ “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”I
Such are the brief, but important memorials of one of the most distinguished characters, not only in the annals of the antediluvian world, but in the history of succeeding ages; yet short as these are, the testimony to his eminent piety and holiness is twice repeated, and conveyed in language equally remarkable and expressive-“ he walked with God.” Words cannot more strongly denote the conformity of the creature to his Creator; or the accordance of his desires, disposition, and labours to the will of his Maker; or the unity of his heart
Gen. v, 22. + Jude 14, 15. | Gen. y. 24.