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4. If God will walk with those, who walk with him ; then we may justly conclude, that he will cause all those, who once sincerely walked with him to continue walking with him, till they leave the world and enter into eternal rest. He caused Enoch to walk with him three hundred years before he translated him to heaven. And there is reason to believe, that he caused Adam and Seth and Enos and Cainan and Mahalaleel and Jared and Methuselah and Lamech and Noah, to walk with him seven or eight hundred years, though iniquity abounded and the love of many waxed cold and died. God gives all his sincere friends some peculiar tokens of his favor, which he never gives to those, who are not cordially reconciled to him. And one of these peculiar favors is his gracious presence with them, which effectually guards them against both their visible and invisible enemies ; so that they cannot cause them to fall away finally. This assurance of final perseverance Christ gave to his true disciples. “ My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me : And I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them me, is greater than all ; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” God keeps his eye constantly fixed upon those, who once walk with him, and sees all the evils and dangers, to which they are exposed from the things of the world, the cares of the world, the business of the world, the men of the world and from their great moral imperfection and subtle adversary; and he determines to preserve them and keep them, by his almighty power, through faith unto salvation. And if God be for them, who can be against them? Upon
this solid foundation, the apostle confidently declares, “ I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
5. It appears from the nature of walking with God, that those, who walk with him, in a day of degeneracy, do peculiar service and honor to religion. The world had been gradually degenerating from Seth to Enoch; and had it not been for them and the other patriarchs, who walked with God and maintained his cause, the world would have been destroyed much sooner than it was. This is evident from one single consideration, that God did not destroy it till there was but one man in it, who walked with him. Seth, Enoch, and the other pious patriarchs were the salt of the earth and the light of the world, till they were taken out of it. Good men have a peculiar opportunity, in a time of great degeneracy, to display the beauty, reality and importance of religion; and to restrain the corruptions of the times. It was evidently owing to the dark times, in which Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David and Daniel lived, that they did so much good, and became so celebrated and distinguished in the world. When iniquity abounds and the love of many nominal saints waxes cold, it tends to fill the minds of those who walk with God, with a holy zeal, fortitude and resolution, to triumph over all opposition and to be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the service of the Lord. A day of degeneracy trying day to all, who profess to walk with God; and if they are sincere, will make them shine with peculiar
lustre, It is really a more trying time to professors, than a time of revival of religion. Then insincere professors are naturally, though reluctantly, carried along with the current. But in a time of degeneracy, they are pleasantly and insensibly led astray from God. Though the world be not so universally corrupt now, as it was about the time of Enoch ; yet it is more deeply corrupted. Wherever the gospel does not purify, it corrupts the hearts of men. The christian world is far more corrupt than the heathen world. And though the hearts of many individuals, at this day, are softened and sanctified; yet a vast many more are hardened and corrupted : and especially in some places ; and in none, perhaps, more than in this.-How small is the number of those, who walk closely and constantly with God, and, like the patriarchs, condemn the world!
6. This subject calls upon all, who have professed to walk with God, to inquire whether they have walked worthy of the vocation, wherewith they are called. Have you received and given evidence of this ? Enoch who walked with God, received testimony, that he pleased him ; and he gave testimony to the world, that he walked with God, and they saw and hated his testimony. If God gives some tokens of his favor to those, who walk with him, you ought to inquire, whether he has given any of these tokens to you.--Has he given you that peace, which the world cannot give ? Has he given you the assurance of hope ? Has he kept you near to himself and not suffered you to wander from him ? Have you given evidence to the world, that
you have walked with God, not only in his special ordinances, but in your daily concerns and in
tercourse with the world ? Have the world claimed you, or opposed you? It is impossible for any to walk closely and constantly with God and not manifest it in a greater or less degree to the world. The men of the world do not feel indifferently to those, who forsake and condemn and oppose them. If you have walked with God, he has given you evidence of it; and the world have given you evidence of it. Be entreated to ascertain, what evidence you have for you, or against you. You may and ought to do this, for your present and future peace.
Finally, this subject exhorts all, who have not hitherto walked with God, to walk with him. He commands you to walk with him. He invites you to walk with him. He promises you the highest tokens of his favor, if you will walk with him. He will protect you from your visible and invisible enemies ; he will give you inward peace and tranquility; he will prepare you for a peaceful death and a blessed immortality. But if you refuse to walk with him, he has threatened to banish you from his presence. And he has recorded for your warning and admonition his awful treatment of those, who have refused to walk with him. The old world refused, and were swept away by the besom of destruction. Sodom and Gomorrah refused to walk with him ; and he set them forth as ensamples, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. The Jews in Christ's day refused to follow him and walk with him, and he destroyed them by most exemplary judgments. And God still says, “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay.” Are you prepared to meet such tremendous consequences of divine wrath? Turn, turn ye, therefore, for why will ye die ?
THE TRIAL OF ABRAHAM.
GENESIS XXII. 2.---And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains, which I will tell thee of.
This is the most extraordinary command, whick we find in scripture. In order to set it in the most intelligible and instructive light, I shall make the following inquiries.
I. Let us inquire, whether God had a right to give this command to Abraham. The enemies of divine revelation allege this command, as an unanswerable objection against the inspiration of the Mosaic history. They challenge all the divines in the world, to reconcile this command with the law of nature written in every human heart. They say it is a plain violation of that rule of right, which is founded in the nature of things, for any man to imbrue his hands in the blood of his child. They say, if such an action be not wrong, it is impossible to prove any action to be so ; for it is nothing less than murder, which is repugnant to every dictate of justice, benevolence, and humanity. But however plausible these objections against the divine command may appear, at first view ; they are entirely groundless. For,
In the first place, God did not command Abraham to murder Isaac, or take away his life from malice