« PreviousContinue »
seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head. Fear not men. Be not too much cast down at the deceitfulness of your hearts. Fear not devils ; you shall get the victory even over them. The LORD JESUS has engaged to make you more than conquerors over all. Plead with your Saviour, plead : plead the promise in the text. Wrestle, wrestle with God in prayer. If it has been given you to believe, fear not if it should also be given you to suffer. Be not any wise terrified by your adversaries ; the king of the church has them all in a chain : be kind to them, pray for them ; but fear them not. The Lord will yet bring back his ark, though at present driven into the wilderness; and Satan like lightening shall fall from heaven.
Are there any enemies of God here? The promise of the text encourages me to bid you defiance : the seed of the woman, the ever-blessed JESUS, shall bruise the serpent's head. What signifies all your malice? You are only raging waves of the sea, foaming out your own shame. For you, without repentance, is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. The LORD JESUS fits in heaven, ruling over all, and causing all things to work for his childrens good : he laughs you to 1Corn: he hath you in the utmost derision, and therefore so will I. Who are you that persecute the children of the everblessed God? Though a poor stripling, the LORD JESUS, the seed of the woman, will enable me to bruise your heads.
My brethren in CHRST, I think I do not speak thus in my own strength, but in the strength of my Redeemer. I know in whom I have believed ; I am persuaded he will keep that ; safe, which I have committed unto him. He is faithful who hath promised, that the seed of the woman shall bruise the ferpent's head. May we all experience a daily completion of this promise, both in the church and in our hearts, till we come to the church of the first-born, the spirits of just men made perfect, in the presence and actual fruition of the great God our heavenly Father ! i. To whom, with the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed
all honour, power, might, majesty, and dominion, now i and for evermore. Amen.
R M O N... II. ... Walking with GOD..'. ;
GENESIS V. 24. And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for
- God took him. V ARIOUS are the pleas and arguments, which men of
V corrupt minds frequently urge against yielding obedience to the just and holy commands of God. But, perhaps, one of the most common objections that they make is this, that our Lord's commands are not practicable, because contrary to flesh and blood ; and consequently, that he is “an hard master, reaping where he has not sown, and gathering where he has not strewed." These we find were the sentiments entertained by that wicked and flothful servant mentioned in the xxvch of St. Matthew;, and are undoubtedly the fame with many which are maintained in the present wicked and adulterous generation. The Holy Ghoff foreseeing this, hath taken care to inspire holy men of old, to record the examples of many holy men and women ; who, even under the Old Testament dispensation, were enabled chearfully to take CHRIST's yoke upon them, and counted his service perfect freedom. The large catalogue of faints, confessors, and mara tyrs, drawn up in the with chapter to the Hebrews, abundantly evidences the truth of this observation. What a great cloud of witnesles have we there presented to our view ? All eminent for their faith, but some shining with a greater degree of lustre than do others. The proto-martyr Abel, leads the van. And next to him, we find Enoch mentioned, not only because he was next in order of time, but also on account of his exalted piety. He is spoken of in the words of the text in a very extraordinary manner. We have here
a short but very full and glorious account, both of his beha. viour in this world, and the triumphant manner of his entering into the next. The former is contained in these words, “ And Enoch walked with God." The latter in these, “and “ he was not : for God took him." He was not; i. e. He was not found, he was not taken away in the common manner, he did not fee death; for Heb. xi. 5. God had translated him. Who this Enoch was, does not appear so plainly. To me, he seems to have been a person of public character. I suppose, like Noah, a preacher of righteousness. And, if we may credit the Apostle Jude, he was a faming preacher. For he quotes one of his prophecies, wherein he faith, “ Behold, the LORD cometh with ten thousand of his faints, 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 finners have spoken against him.” But whether a public or private person, he has à noble teftimony given him in the lively oracles. The author of the cpiftle to the Hebrews faith, that before his translation he had this testimony, “ that he pleased God;" and his being tranfated, was a proof of it beyond all doubt. And I would ob: ferve, that it was wonderful wisdom in God to translate Enoch and Elijah under the Old Testament dispensation, that hereafter when it should be asserted, that the Lord Jesus was carried into heaven, it might not seem a thing altogether incredible to the Jews; since they themselves confessed, that two of their own prophets had been translated several hundred years before. But it is not my design to detain you any longer, by enlarging, or making observations on Enoch's fhort, but comprehensive character. The thing I have in view, being to give a discourse, as the LORD shall enable, upon a weighty and a very important fubject; I mean, walking with God. “ And Enoch walked with God." If so much as this can be truly said of you and me after our decease, we fhall not have any reason to complain, that we have lived in vain. :
In handling my intended subject, I shall, · Firf, Endeavour to Thew, what is implied in these words, walked with God.
Secondly, I shall prescribe fome means, upon the due obfervance of which, believers may keep up and maintain their walk with God. . And,
Thirdly, Offer some motives to stir us up, if we never walked with God before, to come and walk with God now. The whole thall be closed with a word or two of application.
First, I am to Thew what is implied in these words, « walked with God;" or in other words, what we are to understand by walking with God.
And Firs, Walking with God, implies, that the prevailing power of the enmity of a person's heart, be taken away by the blessed Spirit of God. · Perhaps it may seem a hard saying to some, but our own experience daily proves, what the scripture in many places assert, that the carnal mind, the mind of the unconverted, natural man, nay, the mind of the regenerate, so far as any part of him remains unrenewed, is enmity, not only an enemy, but « enmity itself against God; " so that it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed “ can it be.” Indeed one may well wonder that any creature, especially that lovely creature man, made after his Maker's own image, should ever have any enmity, much less a prevailing enmity against that very God in whom he lives, and moves, and bath his being. But alas ! so it is. Our first parents contracted it when they fell from God by eating the forbidden fruit, and the bitter and malignant contagion of it, hath descended to, and quite overspread their whole posterity. This enmity discovered itself, in Adam's endeavouring to hide himself in the trees of the garden. When he heard the voice of the LORD God, instead of running with an open heart, saying, Here am I; alas ! he now wanted no communion with God; and still more discovered his lately contracted enmity, by the excufe he made to the Moft High. " The woman, « or this woman, thou gaveft to be with me, she gave me of “ the tree, and I did eat." By saying thus, he in effect lay's all the fault upon Gon; as though he had said, if thou hadst not given me this woman, I had not finned against thee, so thou mayst thank thyself for my tranfgreffion. In the same manner this enmity works in the hearts of Adam's children. They now and again find something rising againft Gon, and B 4
faying even unto God, what doeft thou ? “ It scorns any $ meaner competitor (says the learned Doctor Owen in his : “ excellent treatise on indwelling fin) than God, bimself.” Its command is like that of the Alfgrians in respect to Ahab, Shoot only at the King. And it strikes against every thing that has the appearance of real piety, as the Assyrians Thot at: Jehosaphat in Ahab's cloathes. But the opposition ceases when i: finds that it is only an appearance, as the Asyyrians left off fhooring at Jehosaphat, when they perceived it was not Ahab. they were shooting at. This enmity discovered itself in ac-. cursed Cain; he hated and flew his brother Abel, because Abel loved, and was peculiarly favoured by his God. And this same enmity rules and prevails in every man that is na-, kurally engendered of the offspring of Adam. Hence that averseness to prayer and holy duties, which we find in children, and very often in grown perfons, who have notwithstanding been blessed with a religious education. And all that open fin and wickedness, which like a deluge has overflowed the world, are only so many streams running from this dreadful, contagious fountain ; I mean the enmity of man's desperately wicked and deceitful heart. He that cannot fet his seal to this, knows nothing yet, in a saving man, per, of the holy scriptures, or of the power of Goo. And all that do know this, will readily acknowledge, that before a person can be said to walk with God, the prevailing power of this heart-enmity must be destroyed. For persons do not use to walk and keep company together, who entertain an irreconcilable enmity and hatred against one another. Obserye me, I say, the pręyailing power of this enmity must be takep away. For the inbeing of it will never be totally re, moved, till we bow down our heads and give up the ghost.
The apostle Paul, no doubt, speaks of himself, and that too not when he was a pharisee, but a real christian ; when he complains, “ that when he would do good, evil was present with him ;' not having dominion over him, but op: posing and refifting his good intentions and actions, “ so that $6 he could not do the things which he would,” in that perfection which the new man desired. This is what he calls fin dwelling in him." And this is that opornua sapuos, which, (to use the words of the ninth article of our church,)
.. “ some