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with God, for two cannot walk together except they be agreed.
The prophecy equally claims our attention. The brevity of it does not prevent its exhibiting an epitome of the gospel. It announces that there is a people redeemed from sin, sanctified, and made holy; and that these shall come with the Lord when he cometh to judge the world. “ The Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him."*
« Even so them also which believe in Jesus will God bring with him. For the Lord himself shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”+ It equally declares, that in this judgment the hidden wickedness of the ungodly shall be brought to light and punished. “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. Therefore judge nothing before the time until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of dark* Matt. xxv. 31.
+ 1 Thess. iv. 14-16, 17.
ness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.”* “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”+
Enoch bore his testimony before a generation, whose corruption and depravity called down a most signal display of the wrath of God against their unrighteousness; and he did this with a fearlessness of consequences corresponding with the exalted station which he held as an inspired minister of God, filled with zeal for his service, and the honour of his name; resembling one yet more exalted, of whom it is recorded—“And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” I
When he had thus, by a life of holiness, with a bold and animated declaration of the counsels of the Almighty, condemned the practices of a sinful world, and exhorted them to repentance, that they might have life, he finished his course, not by that death which is the common lot of all men, but God took him, both body and soul, to heaven; thus giving proof of the efficacy of the covenant of grace, and the sufficiency of the redemption by the Messiah, which, though not completed, was yet powerful to save from condemnation, to triumph over the dominion of death, and exalt to glory.
* 1 Cor. iv. 5. + Matt. xii. 36, 37. Johnïi. 17.
The typical resemblances to a yet more exalted character appear in the singular holiness of his life, which as far as that which is imperfect can bear an analogy to that which is perfect, corresponds with the immaculate purity of the Son of man, “who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth;"* in the doctrines which he preached, salvation, righteousness, and judgment to come; in the energy with which he warned, reproved, and instructed a corrupt world, exceeded only by him who * clad himself with zeal as with a cloak;” in his gift of prophecy, and that particular subject of it, the doom of a sinful generation, the measure of whose iniquity being nearly filled up, the wrath of God was about to be displayed in a manner equally signal and awful, by an universal judgment, in which the ungodly should be swept away by an overwhelming deluge ; whilst the little flock who feared the Lord, and had his name always in remembrance before them, should be as miraculously saved, as the former would be marvellously destroyed. The mighty power of God in bringing to light the secret wickedness, and punishing the open rebellion, or hidden works of darkness of the one, and justifying the other, who in meekness and patience committed their cause to him who judgeth righteously.
* 1 Peter ii, 22.
His ascent into heaven, without tasting death, at what can only be deemed a youthful period of that longæval race, but when his work and testimony were completed, presents a symbol of the triumph of the Lord of life and glory, over whom death and the grave had no power, but who made a show openly of his victory over them, and who having fulfilled the work of the covenant, trampled upon them and upon him who had the power of them, and was received into glory.
This translation of Enoch took place about fifty years after the death of Adam, but before that of Seth or the other patriarchs ; consequently, this eminent type of our blessed Lord and Saviour, in his holy life, his ministerial labours, his zeal and fidelity, and his entrance into heaven, was exhibited to almost all the inhabitants of the old world.
At length the period arrived, when God in his wisdom determined to close the day of mercy to the antediluvians, and to let loose his stores of vengeance on those who had so long neglected or despised his warnings, abused his long-suffering, and hardened themselves in iniquity. Yet, he remembered Noah, the man born to “ comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed ;"* and who “ found grace in the eyes of the Lord;” who “ was a just man, and perfect in his generation.”+
But the day of punishment did not come without particular denunciations and evident signs of its approach. Instructed by the Almighty, Noah prepared an ark for the salvation of himself and family, by which he testified to the world that the sentence of condemnation had passed, and would be speedily executed : but he did not confine himself to this silent, though strong appeal to their consciences; he continued a preacher of righteousness. How long this period lasted we are not informed. “And the Lord said, my spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh : yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” From this it has been concluded, that the ark was building during all that space. I do not think the passage fully authorizes such a deduction; but, waving that inference, its construction must have occupied a long period, during which it could not have failed to excite great attention. Noah must have pos+ Gen. vi. 8, 9,
1 Gen. vi. 3.
Gen. v. 29