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GENESIS V. 24.
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
IN the two immediate descendants of Adam we saw, in the last sermon, a very great contrast of character; a contrast which appears continually in the whole human race. There are ever to be seen the righteous and the wicked, and the distinction is still strongly observable between those who fear God and those who fear him not. For our instruction and imitation, notice is taken in the holy scriptures of several who have been eminent for piety and holiness; and some of the most distinguished of these are mentioned by name in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, who all, under the influence of the divine principle of
faith, were patterns of piety, zeal, and obedience. Amongst these stands Enoch, the seventh from Adam, whose character is so emphatically expressed, and whose exemption from the common lot of mankind is a circumstance so extraordinary, as to induce me to make him the subject of the present sermon. His history indeed is a very short one, for it is almost begun and concluded in this one verse. We cannot indeed say that we have here nearly the whole of the life and death of Enoch, because he died not; but of his life in this world and of his removal to another, we have the account we are told how he lived, he "walked with God;" we are told how he was removed, "he was not, for God took him ;" that is, as the Apostle more clearly states, he "was translated that he should not see death;" and he adds, "for before his translation he had this testimony that he pleased God." One more record of him is all that we possess. St. Jude has preserved a prophecy of his in these striking terms. "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 all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." This is all that we know of Enoch, and surely we have enough to secure our admiration in the extraordinary manner of his removal from earth, (himself and Elijah being the only two who were thus honoured); but we should also have had enough to demand our imitation, had we only been told that he walked with God. If so much as that, my brethren, can be said of any of us, after we are gone from our places on earth, it is no matter if all else be forgotten.
In order that we may copy the bright example thus set before us, I will endeavour to describe the manner in which we must live, so that it may be said of us that we walk with God.
But previously I must observe, that something preparatory is necessary. We must be reconciled to God; for otherwise the walk with him will not so much as be commenced.
The scriptures uniformly represent us as being, in our natural state, at a wide distance
from God. Sin has caused this separation; it has exiled us, as it did our first parents, from the presence of God, and brought fear and hatred of him into our minds. We are said to be "far off;" we are spoken of as "strangers and foreigners;" we are described as being "alienated in our minds," and "enemies to God by wicked works." With full bearing therefore upon the present subject is that pointed interrogation. "How can two walk together except they be agreed ?" We enquire then, how shall friendship and intercourse be restored between us and God. The Apostle answers, "Now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometime were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ." "God is in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." He therefore must be known as our Peace, believed in as our Propitiation, applied to as our Mediator, received as our Saviour, and obeyed as our Master and King. Then we shall be admitted to favour and communion with God. Then we shall be looked upon as his friends and children. Hear his own declarations, "I will walk in you, and dwell in you, and I will be a
father to you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Moreover, when God has thus become reconciled to us in Christ, that transforming grace of his divine spirit is communicated to us, which changes our nature and disposition, and fills us with heavenly love, and holy fear, and every other due and suitable emotion towards the blessed God. "A new heart also will I give you," saith the Lord by the prophet Ezekiel, "and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my commandments and do them; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God." Thus on the part of God, wrath is appeased and justice satisfied by the atonement of Christ; and on the part of man, the former prevailing enmity is taken away, and sincere love and devotedness induced. The previous enemy and rebel is subdued; not kept down by force, but overcome by kindness: his heart is won; gratitude binds him in its soft cords and faith and love become the springs of all holy obedience. Friendship and communion being thus restored, we are prepared