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The first three chapters of this Book form the practical foundation of the whole body of divine revelation. A right understanding, therefore, of these three chapters is essential to the true development of the mind of God in all the subsequent parts of the Sacred Volume. In the first, we have the account of the creation of all things, and of man in particular, who was created in the image of God. His body was taken from the dust of the ground, and his spirit was imparted by the God who made him ; and so man became a living soul. In the second, we are informed of his condition in Paradise, of the happiness he there enjoyed, and the state of trial, the test of his obedience, in which he was placed. [[ow long that state of happiness and purity continued we are not told. But in this chapter another and a sad and sorrowful account of the state and condition of our first parents is given. May we be humbled in the review, and seek that grace and salvation which we all need Man fell. The melancholy fact must not, and cannot, be hid; and by that fall misery and death, and all the wretchedness entailed on the whole race of mankind, both in this world and the next, immediately ensued. Let us observe the solemn truth, and trace the means and progress of that awful downfi!!. Satan envied their happiness, and wrought their ruin. That evil spirit had already broken his allegiance to his Maker, drawn others into the soul conspiracy, and was cast, with all his followers, out of heaven into hell. And now his object was to bring man into the same condemnation with himself: and in this he was permitted to succeed, though overruled by God for the more signal display of his mercy and love. Behold the means. It is in the force of temptation the power of Satan chiesly consists; and his aim is generally accomplished by
treachery and deceit. First, he assaults Fve in an unexpected manner; he raises a doubt in her mind whether the prohibition were really given. Then he demies it, and affirms the contrary to what God had said. And under the prospect of attaining an imagimary enjoyment, he couched the most deadly designs and the most fearful ruin. The scheme sueceeded. Eve ate the forbidden fruit; gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat. The command of God was broken ; the curse denounced would follow. Our first parents were now fallen, guilty, and undone ; and all their future offspring would be involved in the same condemnation. Thus “sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men; for that all have simmed.” (Rom. v. 12-21.) What followed Their eyes were, indeed, opened; but were they as gods : Rather they were become more like that evil spirit by whom they had been seduced, and drawn into sin. They had known something of the good, and might have known more. But now they began to know and feel the evil. The eyes of them both were opened; they knew they were naked ; they tried to hide their his days, and them to return to the ground from whence he was taken.
shame; and began to flee from God. Fear and terror took hold of their mind. God's
voice was terrible in their ear; and among the trees of the garden they sought to sereen themselves from his wrathful frown. Alas! how changed how fallen | Nor had they aught to expect but the instant infliction of the dreadful curse. Behold the goodness of God In the midst of wrath he remembers mercy. First, the tempter is cursed ; but for ruined man the Saviour is promised. The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head; the Son of God shall “destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John iii. 8); and to man, though doomed to die, shall “life and immortality” be brought “to light through the gospel.” (2 Tim. i. 10.) But though Adam might be pardoned, he must feel and lament his sins. To the woman God would multiply sorrows. Adam must labour in the sweat of his brow; the very ground is cursed for his sake; and to mark the divine abhorrence of his sin, man was expelled from the paradise of Eden; doomed to toil in suffering and pain to the end of
But even here there was mercy and love. The expulsion from Paradise opened and secured the way of life. The cherubim and flaming sword turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life, shewing, guarding, and preserving it. Not, we may presume, to hinder or forbid, but to invite and encourage Adam's approach ; shewing him how to draw near to a reconciled God with acceptance, and what provision was made for the pardon of his sin and the life of his soul, though thus guilty and fallen, lest he should be tempted to despair of mercy, or be induced to seek the acquisition of that blessing by any unauthorised means, as he had lost his original rectitude by his own previous transgression. Behold, then, the evil of sin ' Behold the goodness of God! Man is lost; but Christ is the Saviour; he is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. xiii. 8.) Learn, however, to be humble. From the guilty source of Adam's fall proceed all the polluted streams of human depravity in all ages, and in all places; and, therefore, whilst we thankfully confess that we are saved by grace (Eph. ii. 8.), our humble cry must always be, “Woe is me, for I am undone !” (Is. vi. 5); and, “God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke xviii. 13.)
CHAPTER IV. 1 The birth, trade, and religion of Cain and Abel. murder of Abel. 11 The curse of Cain. first city. 19 Lamech and his tuco wives. of Seth, 26 and Enos.
ND Adam knew Eve his wife ; and she conceived, and bare 'Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LoRD. 2 And she again bare his brother “Abel. And Abel was “a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And "in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his "flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance failen?
8 The 17 Enoch the 25 The birth
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not "be accepted and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And 'unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. 9 *| And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper ? 10 And he said, What hast thou done the voice of thy brother's "blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the LoRD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. 16 °s And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare "Enoch; and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 And unto Enoch was born Irad : and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat "Lamech. 19 "| And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. 21 And his brother's name acas Jubal : he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. 22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an "instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister to Tubal-cain was Naamah. 23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for "I have
FROM the date of the foregoing chapter, the sad proofs of man's fallen and lost condition will meet our eye at every step we take, and in every event we consider. May we always remember this, walk humbly with God, and earnestly sue for his pardoning mercy and sanctifying grace' How often are parents deceived in respect of their children | When Cain was born, his mother thought she had gotten a treasure ; though he proved to be a murderer, and a child of the wicked one ! And when Abel was brought into the world, he was comparatively disregarded, though he became a child of God, a martyr, and a saint! Let parents learn to be watchful. Instead of forming hasty conclusions, let them pray. Children are blessings, or otherwise, as they seek and find the mercy of God. And they that obtain not that blessing, can afford but poor consolation to those who have had the sorrow and grief of bringing them into this world. Here is the history of Cain and Abel. The one was a tiller of the ground; the other was a feeder of the flocks. Their religion, also, is brought before us: the offering of the one was the fruit of the ground, the work of his own hands, which was rejected ; that of the other was of the lambs of his flock, which was mercifully accepted. Why was this Abel's offering was in accordance with the will of God, both as to the offering itself, and the mind with which it was presented. It was “by faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” (Heb. xi. 4). The
offering of Cain was not the appointed lamb ; and the mind with which it was brought was not that which God required. There was no faith, no sorrow, no contrition. Abel came with his typical offering a penitent and believing sinner; and found mercy. Cain brought his own offering, and came before God with a self-righteous, proud, and unhumbled heart; and here you behold the awakening results Why, then, did Cain hate Abel, and seek to slay him “Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” (Gen. iii. 15; 1 John iii. 10-12.) You may see from this circumstance why, in all ages, the evil hate the good; whence arises persecution; who are the chief actors in cruelty and bloodshed; and who are the general objects of their enmity and wrath. The enmity
between the serpent's seed and the Church
of God was manifest from the fall of man; it hath continued unto this day, and will be perpetuated to the end of time. But will God wink at the shedding of innocent blood Behold Cain, and learn the contrary. Wretched man In vain did he seek to evade the searching inquiry (v. 9). God witnessed the wicked deed, and heard the voice of that innocent blood which cried aloud for vengeance : Oh! miserable man, what hast thou done ! Behold his guilty conscience. What terror and dismay does he feel within “My punishment is greater than I can bear.” There was the appointed victim ; but he rejected it. There was the revealed way of mercy; but he set it at nought. How, then, can he escape Or if he escape for a time, will not the hand of God find him out at last Oh! let all shun the feelings of anger, and the first approaches to the dreadful crime of murder; for “no murderer hath cternal life abiding in him.” (1 John iii. 12-15.) How painful is it to look over this record Cain's seed are much like himself, men of the world. Some were noted for one art and science, and some for another. Many of their names were like those of the sacred line, the people of God; but their portion ys in this life; and some, like Lamech, were even more hardened in sin than their unhappy parent. When men can turn the patience and forbearance of God into an occasion of setting heaven and earth at defiance, that they may work their iniquity, and glory in their shame with impunity, as that wicked man seems to have done, we need not wonder that in process of time the earth was filled with violence, and God determined to arise to judgment.
But when some are removed, others will be raised up. Abel is murdered; but another seed is given instead of Abel. Thus the Church of God never fails; the gates of hell never prevail against it. And, generally speaking, it is in the worst of times God raises up a people to shew forth his praise. The history of the church proves this, and the instance here recorded illustrates the fact. It was when the extreme wickedness of Lamech is mentioned, that others of a different mind “began to call upon the name of the Lord.” And we know that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. x. 13.)
1 The genealousy, age, and death of the patriarchs from Adam unto Noah. 21. The godliness and translation of Enoch. HIS is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. 3 *| And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: 4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: . 5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. 6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos: 7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters: 8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died. 9 *| And Enos lived ninety years, and begat 'Cainan :' 10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters: 11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.
12 || And Caiman lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel: 13 And Caiman lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters: 14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died. 15 " And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat "Jared : 16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters: 17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died. 18 "I And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch : 19 And Jared lived after he begat Fnoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 20 And all the days of Jared were mine hundred sixty and two years: and he died. 21 || And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat ‘Methuselah: 22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: . . 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. 25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat "Lamech: 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: 27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died. 28 "I And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: 29 And he called his name "7 Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LoRD hath cursed. 30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters: '81 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died. 32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (1) Heb. Keman.
(2) Gr. Malelecl. (3) Heb. Jered.
(4) Gr. Mathusala. (5) Heb. Lemech. (6) Gr. Noe. (7) That is, Rest, or, Comfort.
IN this chapter we have a brief mention of the ages and names of the principal persons who lived from the creation of Adam to the days of Noah, a period embracing more than fifteen hundred years. But in this short reeord there are several points demanding our improvement. In the first place, take notice of the difference between the creation of Adam and the generation of his descendants, though sprung from him. “In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God created he him ;” that is, in uprightness, righteousness, and true holiness. But in the day that Adam begat a son, it was “in his own likeness, after his image begat he him.” The former expression denotes the state of man in his original purity; the latter is intended to express the sad change that took place in consequence of the fall. The image of God is gone; man is now a polluted and depraved being. Instead of coming into this world in the image of God, we are all born in Adam's likeness; we are all born in sin; we are all by nature the children of wrath; and in every person born into this world that original sin, which we all inherit from Adam, “deserves God's wrath and damnation.” The image of God is never regained till that happy change takes place, by which the children of wrath become the children of God. (See Eph. ii. 1-3.) Let all seek that new birth; for you must be born again before you can see, or enter, the kingdom of God. (John iii. 3, 5, 7.) In the next place, we notice the character of Enoch; of him, and he is the only one of whom this is specially here recorded, it is said, “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him.” Walking with God evidently denotes a very high degree of experimental and saving godliness. Before a man can walk with God, he must know him; for how can you walk with him of whom you are ignorant IIe must be at peace with him; for how can two walk together, except they be agreed He must have some pleasure and delight in his ways; for how can you walk with one whose person you dislike, or whose ways you abhor And what is this but a very brief and beautiful epitome of the true nature of real religion ? Do you ask how we obtain this knowledge, this peace, this pleasure, and delight, in the God against whom we have sinned Solely through the faith of Jesus Christ. He died to make peace with God.
He gives the saving knowledge of the only true God, and of himself whom He hath sent. (John xvii. 3.) IIe brings the sinner nigh to this reconciled God as a father and a friend. And then, in the faith of his name, the happy believer may say, “And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John i. 3.) Thus, like Enoch, all true believers in Christ walk with God. He did so by looking to the Saviour promised; we do so by looking to the Saviour come. The salvation is the same; and the blessings and the end are the same. All who walk with God on earth, will dwell with God in heaven. All may not be translated, as Enoch was, that they should not see death. But they shall triumph over death, and at last meet together in the realms above.
This leads us to notice, in the last place, the solemn fact here recorded respecting all these characters but Enoch. They all died. Long as they lived, and many of them lived to an almost incredible age, they all died at last. That is the common end of all men There is no discharge in that war. All must die, because all are sinners; and as death is a part of the wages due to sin, if you die in your sins, the death of the body will be the certain prelude to the death of your body and soul in hell for ever. Blessed be God for the gospel of Christ, which tells us how our sins may be pardoned, and our souls may be saved. Oh! let us learn to prize that gospel; to love that Saviour; to improve this high privilege ; to walk in this way; and thus, by a life of faith and communion with God on earth, prepare for the full enjoyment of his presence above for ever and ever !
1 The wickedness of the world, which provoked God's wrath, and caused the flood. 8 Noah findeth grace. 14 The order, form, and end of the ark. ND it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is