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we cannot say. The close will explain the beginning; the light of eternity shall shine upon the dark nooks of time; the voices of heaven in the last day, will resolve and harmonize the apparent discords which we hear and are puzzled by, in this dispensation. If we are the children of Japheth, let us recollect that we are the partakers of great privileges, and have, therefore, higher, loftier, less exhaustible responsibilities. Why does God make one man stronger and another richer than his fellow * Not that they may exact more, but that they may give and sacrifice more. Why has God made Japheth so great? That Japheth may be the instrument only of greater good. Why is the English tongue the possession of America, and of India, and of Palestine, and of vast sections of Africa, and increasingly so? It is, no doubt, that this tongue, inspired by the riches of Divine light, and life, and grace, may be the medium of countless benedictions to all the ends of the earth. There is nothing we may look to with greater hopes than this, that our country's power is spreading every day; and there is nothing we should pray for with greater fervor, than that where our country's power is felt, mankind may taste and feel her mercy too. Wherever the roll of our conquering drum is heard, may the glad voice of the gospel be heard also; on whatever strand, or in whatever harbor, our ships drop their anchors, may the glad tidings of a Saviour be heard. God grant that Englishmen may go forth to the ends of the earth, not like the locusts of Egypt, to blast and blight every green and beautiful thing; but the pioneers of good, the lights of the world, to shed the splendors of the cross upon all mankind; or the salt of the truth, silently, but no less effectually, to saturate all that are in contact with them, or under their influence. If we are exalted in privilege as the descendants of Japheth, there is no room for pride.
Our privileges and our sins should equally humble us. Our privileges are not our own, therefore they should humble us. Our sins are our own, therefore they should humble us. Amid our blessings we should ever feel, “Who has made thee to differ P’’ and as God has made us, not by our desert, but in his own sovereignty, to differ, it is that we may be a blessing in proportion to the extent of our prosperity unto all that come into contact with us. Let us learn, in the last place, that to be the descendant of Japheth, highly exalted, and even to be the descendant of Shem, with the knowledge of the true God, is not necessarily to be a Christian. Many are Abraham's children according to the flesh, who have no saving acquaintance with Abraham's God. Let us remember that to be classed in the family of Japheth, will only add to our condemnation, if we walk unworthy of it; and that the great prerequisite that admits into glory, and without which we shall never see God in mercy and in love, is to be born again. It matters little whether we be English, Scotch, French, or Irish; — if we be not Christians, – real, living, converted Christians, – we can never become the heirs of God, and fellow partakers with the saints of the covenant of promise.
CHA PTE R XVI.
“Oh, on that day, that wrathful day
“And 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.”—JUDE 14, 15.
IN the course of some lectures on the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (Voices of the Dead,) there will be found illustrated at length these words, “By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him : for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” We now turn to another fact in the history of the same illustrious member of the Church before the Flood, the prophecy that is stated by the sacred penman to have been uttered by Enoch.
But before we do so, let us notice some of the characteristics of Enoch. First of all, we find that the line of Enoch was the lineage out of which Christ was to come. In marking out the family of Adam in its best and most beautiful divisions, the line of Cain is passed by, and seemingly forgotten; the line of Seth, so much the superior of the twain, is selected as the lineage out of which Christ was to come, and yet this line is any thing but faultless. We have only to trace it through its successive links until it comes to the days of Noah, and onward to the patriarch Abraham, and we shall find that the very choicest specimens of all humanity—the line singled out because of its own peculiar and distinctive excellence, — was yet morally vitiated, and was in the likeness of the fallen Adam. In looking at the -character of Enoch, we see that the highest personal piety is perfectly consistent with a life led in the world, and the fulfilment of all the duties and the responsibilities that flow from it. Enoch was not a recluse, his home was not an anchorite's cell, his life was not that of an ascetic. He did not live a monk — he did not die a suicide. He had sons and daughters, he belonged to society, he was a husband, a father, and a friend; and yet he was distinguished for his piety and superiority to the sins, the follies, and the vices of mankind. We have therefore in this early age evidence that the ascetic life is not necessary to the highest Christian attainments, that the very loftiest approach to the character of God may be realized without coming mechanically out of the world, but by being morally superior to its sins and its corrupt practices and evils. In the next place, we have the character of Enoch defined by one grand feature, namely, his relation to God. He is said to be one who walked with God. This is a most expressive trait; it is the leading touch in the picture, that reveals all the rest. His walking with God, or his relationship to God, like the great law of gravitation in the physical world, kept all the rest of the parts of his character in perfect proportion, harmony, and order. Wherever there is genuine piety, there will be pure morality. Let our relationship to God be put right by regeneration of heart, and renewal of nature, and our relationships to each other will all beautifully fall into their natural and proper places. How short, however, is the biography of this good man | How little is said of him, but how much is implied Read the life of a Caesar, an Alexander, or a Napoleon, and you find whole volumes necessary to register their exploits; but the reader of the life of one of the most illustrious Christians of the ancient day, sees a single line alike his epitaph and his biography. The roaring cataracts of time make great noise and startle the still worsd; but the sweet and gentle streams that beautify it as they run with a belt of verdure, and flower, and fruit, make no noise at all. And yet, the few words in which Enoch's life is expressed are eloquently suggestive. A whole biography of holy and consistent character is called up by the simple announcement, “Enoch walked with God.”
And when one looks at the rest of this record, and the characteristics of the age, as these again are enunciated by God himself in a subsequent chapter, we must see how very solitary, in one sense, Enoch's life was. He was not alone in the sense that he was not in society; but he was alone in his deepest and truest sympathies, and feelings, and relations. The highest Christian in the heart of the greatest crowd may be far more alone than the ascetic living in a cell, or perched upon the trunk of a tree in the midst of the remotest desert. Real aloneness is not something corporeal, material, outer; it is spiritual, moral, inner. Enoch, in the midst of a world of great excitement, of rare criminality, of vast enterprise, walked with God; alone in his feelings, with few to respond to them, or to take sweet counsel with him, as he walked to the place where God dwelt. And yet, in this solitariness of his character, there was a sublimity that only makes it appear the more illustrious and beautiful.