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saw the bodies of their fellows committed to the ground; and they saw them not again. Or if chance sometimes presented them a mouldering bone, it shed at best a dubious and discouraging light on that interesting question, "son of man, can these bones live?"
Gradual evolution is the plan of God. It is in regular gradation he unfolds his purposes; it is by little and little he builds us up in hope. If the first generations knew more than we have supposed, if they were led to gather some indistinct conclusion from the shadowy language of that first great promise-yet still they had seen nothing in illustration of the promise. Over the tombs of the fathers the green grass waved unmolested. All was silence, all was fettered there. But infinite goodness takes knowledge of our frame, and remembers we are dust. It is seldom that he suffers faith and patience to endure very protracted trials. And if he once arise to crown his saints with blessing, if he would fortify their patience, if he would irradiate their hope, his munifficence will be attested by no partial exhibition. If illustration be his object, there will be a flood of light, if piety be recompensed, there shall be "showers of blessing."
He now arose to speak to men of "the resurrection and the life;" and he did not barely pledge his truth that the slumbering dust should rise; he afforded to the world a proof upon experiment that flesh and blood may enter into par adise. Enoch was the person selected for the proof. And though the principal object centered in the illustration and confirmation of the hopes of piety in that and succeeding ages, yet it was highly proper that inheriting a distinction and a blessedness so signal, as to be translated without death for the advantage of the world-it was proper that
the person selected for such a service should be in some sort worthy the unusual lot.
Of such a distinction Enoch was deemed worthy. There are but few traits of his character, or circumstances of his life recorded in the scriptures; but the few there found are of a stamp decidedly favorable. On casting your eyes over this chapter, you will discover that he occupies a place in that long line of worthies through whom Messiah traces his descent, with respect to his humanity, and by whom a sense of piety was kept alive upon the earth. Enoch, it would seem, chose a partner for life at an earlier age than was usual even among the patriarchs; and in doing so, he has furnished one among the many proofs how readily and how perfectly piety allies itself with all the blessing of the domestic circle. Far very far from the spirit of christianity are those cold and selfish and unsocial feelings which multitudes have cultivated and still greater numbers advocated as the ingredients of genuine piety. However true it may be that strong and peculiar cares, such as were exemplified in the dangers and travels of the apostle Paul, may justify and even recommend such a course, yet nothing is plainer than that a spirit of monasticism is as foreign from the prinples inculcated in scripture as it is baneful to the tenderest charities of life. The idea of retiring from the world, and of abstaining from all the relations and interest which necessarily arise out of weded life, in order that God may be loved and honoured more intently, because nothing divides the heart with him, is far from being in harmony with that apostolic maxim, that he who loves God will love his neighbour also. For attachments lasting, strong and tender, christianized feeling is the most proper soil; there true happiness may be chiefly anticipated, be
cause vicious courses do not corrupt the heart; and there that happiness promises to be lasting, because vicious excesses do not petrify it.
It has been often remarked in relation to the Saviour that his domestic feelings were peculiarly strong. Numerous as were the calls of duty and of mercy which threw him into the midst of overwhelming multitudes, much as his heart was devoted to the more extensive and public duties of his mission, and indispensable as it was that he should be occupied among the crowd, or always on the wing, yet this constant round of occupation and of travel, did not weaken his social feelings, nor abate his fondness for the unostentatious felicity, to be gathered in the bosom of the little circles who knew him best and loved him most. From all the glare of public exhibition, and from the noise and gratulations of admiring thousands, we find him retiring upon every fit occasion to the humble circle of his loved disciples, or turning in to partake the affectionate attentions of Martha, and Mary, and Lazarus, his friends.
And he too-when the hour of his sorrow came, with what expressions of genuine and of simple-hearted feeling, did he give vent to his feelings in the ears of his dis-ciples, simple and rude men! The lustre of the atchievment he was about to accomplish, the incalculable glories he was about to reap, the elevated character of his station and his feelings, did not do away the simplicity of nature. His heart recured in sorrow to the sympathies of his friends, and while angels were intent, while earth and hell was moving to accomplish the dread sacrifice, while heaven itself was binding the cords around the victim, he turned him to the few who had followed him and loved him, "my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death."
And again in the garden, when the awful crisis neared, he selected from his disciples the three most dear to him, he consoled him with their company as far as they might go with him, and then retiring only a little farther, he fell down on his face and uttered those few and pungent words, which must be deeply impressed on the memories of all of you. But his feelings were too much agonized—even Messiah could not pray, and he hastened back again to his sympathising friends.
These feelings, strong and tender, which shed the mild. est and most engaging radience over Messiah's character, will operate a like result on all Messiah's people. It is not in nature that persons should be christians, and yet be without a heart. And, ordinarily at heart, the strength and tenderness of uncorrupted feeling will be manifested in friendships that know no guile, and in yet tenderer attachments that scarcely know a boundary.
Enoch thus surrounded with a little family of love, a family that augmented gradually to many sons and daugh ters, did not find his heart so completely engrossed, as to leave no room for his Creator; nor were his thoughts so much engaged about making provision for his family, as to deprive him of time or disposition to cultivate a strick and steady intercourse with heaven. "Enoch," says our historian-"Enoch walked with God." My dear friends, I hope there are none of you who need any explanation of this highly expressive, but very plain phrase. You know something of your Creator's character and providence. You know that he is the Almighty, the Omniscient, the Omnipresent God. You have often heard of that care of his which extends to little sparrows as they light upon the twigs, and even numbers the hairs of your head.
You have read many of his promises founded on such a providence, and authorizing and commanding you to commit all your concerns to God, and to cast your cares on him. You know full well of that provision of his bounty, the gift of his own son to obey and suffer in the room of men, that God might exercise mercy consistently with justice, and accomplish all his promises without infringing against the sanctions of his righteous law. You know all this, and you know what kind of feelings it becomes the sons of earth to cherish, and what kind of conduct it is fit that they pursue, when walking in the light of all this revelation, and cherishing the large and solid hope which this revelation sanctions. You would have a creature so circumstanced to regard most sacredly his benefactors will, and to cherish with enthusiasm the friendship which he tenders. You would have him spurn with indignation every seductive proffer which was burdened with the alternative of dishonour done to God, or of the prostration of that integrity which is precious in God's sight. You would have him in one word, most yielding and accommodating in every thing that ministers to the charities of life; but in questions of duty and deep interest, wakeful as an Argus, firm as the ocean-rock. Such was the character, such were the tempers of the Patriarch Enoch. He walked with God, and he did so upon the terms with which every good man closes; he did so in the faith of Messiah who was to come. So the the apostle Paul has testified, when summing up the worthies who had departed in the faith of Christ. "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." Heb. xi. 5.