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was. It was the beginning, or the first, of such a kind of work of God, such a pouring out of the Spirit of God. After such a manner, such an expression is commonly used in scripture : So, I Sam. xiv. 35. “And Saul built an altar unto the Lord ; the same was the first altar that he built unto the Lord.” In the Hebrew it is, as you may see in the margin, “that altar he began to build unto the Lord.” Heb. ii. 3. * How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which first began to be spoken by the Lord ** It may here be observed, that from the fall of man, to this day wherein we live, the work of redemption in its effect has mainly been carried on by remarkable pourings out of the Spirit of God. Though there be a more constant influence of God's Spirit always in some degree attending his ordinances; yet the way in which the greatest things have been done towards carrying on this work, always has been by remarkable pourings out of the Spirit at special seasons of mercy, as may fully appear hereafter in our further prosecution of the subject we are upon. And this pouring out of the Spirit in the days of Enos, was the first remarkable pouring out of the Spirit of God that ever was. There had been a saving work of God on the hearts of some before ; but now God was pleased to grant a more large effusion of his Spirit, for the bringing in an harvest of souls to Christ; so that in this we see that great building that is the subject of our present discourse, which God laid the foundation of immediately after the fall of man, carried on further, and built higher than ever it had been before. VI. The next thing I shall take notice of, is the eminently holy life of Enoch, who we have reason to think was a saint of greater eminency than any ever had been before him; so that in this respect the work of redemption was carried on to a greater height than ever it had been before. With respect to its effect in the visible church in general, we observed just now how it was carried higher in the days of Enos than ever it had been before. Probably Enoch was one of the saints of that harvest ; for he lived all the days that he did live on earth, in the days of Enos. And with respect to the degree to which this work was carried in the soul of a particular person, it was raised to a greater height in Enoch than ever before. His soul, as it was built on Christ, was built up in holiHess to a greater height than there had been any instance of before. He was a wonderful instance of Christ's redemption, and the efficacy of his grace. VII. In Enoch's time, God did more expressly reveal the coming of Christ than he had done before, in the prophecy of Enoch that we have an account of in the 14th and 15th verses of the Epistle of Jude - “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 their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all, their hard speeches which ungodly sinnners have spoken against him.” Here Enoch prophecies of the coming of Christ. It does not seem to be confined to any particular coming of Christ; but it has respect in general to Christ's corning in his kingdom, and is fulfilled in a degree in both the first and second coming of Christ; and indeed in every remarkable manifestation Christ has made of himself in the world, for the saving of his people, and the destroying of his enemies. It is very paralled in this respect with many other prophecies of the coming of Christ,that were given under the Old Testament; and,in particular, it seems to be parallel with that great prophecy of Christ's coming in his kingdom that we have in the 7th chapter of Daniel, whence theisews principally took their notion of the kingdom of heaven. See ver. 10. “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him : Thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” And wer. 13, 14, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the son of man, came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” And though it is not unlikely that Enoch might have a more immediate respect in this prophecy to the approaching destruction of the old world by the flood, which was a remarkable resemblance of Christ's destruction of all his encmies at his second coming, yet it doubtless looked beyond the type to the antitype. And as this prophecy of Christ's coming is more express than any had been before ; so it is an instance of the increase of that gospel light that began to dawn presently after the fall of man ; and is an instance of that building that is the subject of our. present discourse, being yet further carried on, and built up higher than ever it had been before. And here, by the way, I would observe, that the increase of gospel light, and the carrying on the work of redemption, as it respects the elect church in general, from the first erecting of the church to the end of the world, is very much after the same manner as the carrying on of the same work and the same light in a particular soul, from the time of its conversion, till it is perfected and crowned in glory. The work in a particular soul has its ups and downs; sometimes the light shines brighter, and sometimes it is a dark time ; sometimes grace seems to prevail, at other times it seems to languish for a great while together, and corruption prevails, and then grace revives again. But in general, grace is growing: From its first infusion, till it is perfected in glory, the kingdom of Christ is building up in the soul. So it is with respect to the great affair in general, as it relates to the universal subject of it, as it is carried on from the first beginning of it, after the fall, till it is perfected at the end of the world, as will more fully appear by a particular view of this affair from beginning to end, in the prosecution of this subject, if God give opportunity to carry it through as I propose. VIII. The next remarkable thing towards carrying on this work, that we have an account of in scripture, is, the translation of Enoch into heaven. The account we have of it is in Gen. v. 24. “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not ; for God took him.” Here Moses, in giving an account of the
genealogy of those that were of the line of Woah, does not say concerning Enoch, he lived so long and he died, as he does of the rest; but, he was not, for God took him ; i.e. he translated him; in body and soul carried him to heaven without dying, as it is explained in Heb. xi. 5. “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death.” By this wonderful work of God, the work of redemption was carried to a greater height, in several respects, than it had been before. You may remember, that when I was showing what were the great things that God aimed at in the work of redemption, or what the main things were that he intended to bring to pass; I among other things mentioned the perfect restoring the ruins of the fall with respect to the elect, and restoring man from that destruction that he had brought on himself, both in soul and body. Now this translation of Enoch was the first instance that ever was of restoring the ruins of the fall with respect to the body. There had been many instances of restoring the soul of man by Christ's redemption, but none of redeeming and actually saving the body, till now. All the bodies of the elect are to be saved as well as their souls. At the end of the world, all the bodies of the saints shall actually be redeemed; those that then shall have been dead, by a resurrection; and others, that then shall be living, by causing them to pass under a glorious change. There was a number of the bodies of saints raised and glorified, at the resurrection and ascension of Christ; and before that there was an instance of a body glorified in Elijah, But the first instance of all was this of Enoch, that we are now speaking of. And the work of redemption by this was carried on further than ever it had been before ; as, by this wonderful work of God, there was a great increase of gospel light to the church of God, in this respect, that hereby the church had a clearer manifestation of a future state, and of the glorious reward of the saints in heaven. We are told, 2 Tim. i. 10. “That life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel.” And the more of this is brought to light, the more clearly does the light shine in that respect. What was said in the Old Testament of a future state, is very obscure, in comparison with the Vol. II. F
more full, plain, and abundant revelation given of it in the New. But yet even in those early days, the church of God, in this event, was favored with an instance of it set before their eyes, in that one of their brethren was actually taken up to heaven without dying; which we have all reason to think the church of God knew then, as they afterwards knew Elijah's translation. And as this was a clearer manifestation of a future state than the church had had before, so it was a pledge or earnest of that future glorification of all the saints which God intended through the redemption of Jesus Christ. IX. The next thing that I shall observe, was the upholding the church of God in the family of which Christ was to proceed, in the time of that great and general defection of the world of mankind that was before the flood. The church of God, in all probability, was small, in comparison with the rest of the world, from the beginning of the time that mankind first began to multiply on the face of the earth, or from the time of Cain's defection, and departing from among the people of God; the time we read of, Gen. iv. 16. “When Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Mod;” which being interpreted, is the land of banishment: I say, from this time of Cain's departure and separation from the church of God, it is probable that the church of God was small in comparison with the rest of the world. The church seems to have been kept up chiefly in the posterity of Seth : for this was the seed that God appointed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew... But we cannot reasonably suppose, that Seth's posterity were one fiftieth part of the world: “For Adam was one hundred and thirty years old when Seth was born.” But Cain, who seems to have been the ringleader of those that were not of the church, was Adam's eldest child, and probably was born soon after the fall, which doubtless was soon after
.Adam’s creation ; so that there was time for Cain to have many.
sons before Seth was born, and besides many other children, that probably Adam and Eve had before this time, agreeably to God’s blessing that he gave them, when he said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth ;” and many of these children might have children. The story of Cain before