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an undertaking of great magnitude. It is, more over, a work which must be done, or the soul will not be saved: or, in other words, it is in vain to seek salvation, or to hope for salvation, in the way of indolence, negligence, or inactivity.

Ye have often both said and thought that ye hoped to be saved. It is the earnest desire of my heart, it is the object of my labour, that ye should have good grounds for this hope. But, mark me! worse grounds no man can have, than to hope he shall be saved on account of the merits or value of his very best works: nothing can be devised more opposite to, more destructive of, the Christian covenant. Yet, nevertheless, it has pleased God (I repeat it) that in the way of that covenant, salvation should be not only a work or a business of great care and labour, but also a constant business; labour and care ye must never relax. Ye must take up your cross daily, and follow your Master: ye must surmount many obstacles: ye must overcome many temptations. It is a very great undertaking. Ye must allow yourselves in no one sin ye must break off from them all. And lastly, as I have just observed, ye must finish this work ye must

persevere to the ends of your lives: all your time, all your faculties, must be devoted to this work.

But then, my beloved brethren, remember my conclusion; At last, in the Great Day, your faith, which has supported you in persecutions and temptations and death, will secure you an eternal inheritance, and a crown of glory which fadeth not away.

359

SERMON XI.

1

GENESIS v. 24.

And Enoch walked with God, and he was not: for God took him.

THE history of Enoch is very short, but it is extremely important. I shall, first, collect the little which the Scripture speaks of him in different places; and illustrate as I can his character, with a view to enable us to form a just idea of what is meant by walking with God. And this will, secondly, afford us obvious matter of exhortation and address, both to sinners, whether careless or more decent; and also to holy men, and to all who desire to fear God, and to walk with him as Enoch did.

The very singular manner in which Enoch is taken notice of, in the catalogue of the old Patriarchs before the Flood, points out to us a

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suspicion that the times he lived in were very wicked and corrupt. However excellent a thing it be to walk with God, it is no more than what all men in all ages ought to do. We are led, then, to suspect that the generality of persons in his time walked not with God, but after the course of this world, "the prince of the power of the air;" not the Spirit of God, but the spirit which now worketh in the children of disobedience." In truth, the fall of man was presently followed by the most dismal effects. Witness the account given of the blood of righteous Abel; and of the earth being filled with violence; and of all flesh being corrupted in their ways upon the earth. Moreover, the Lord was induced to sweep away the whole generation of mankind, except eight persons, by a flood. But, before things proceeded to this extremity, it pleased God, by an act of singular and distinguished favour towards righteous Enoch, to shew to mankind that there is a God that judgeth the earth; that there is another life, in which his faithful servants shall enjoy their God for ever; and that the present life is too poor and low a scene for immortal spirits to set their affections upon. No doubt, as wickedness increased,

the sense of the distinction between good and evil was very much lost among men; and there wanted not, even then, licentious and arrogant spirits, who would reason wickedly against God, and plead for the unrestrained indulgence of men's lusts, and represent God's future punishments of them as not real at all, or, if real, unjust and cruel. From the analogy of things, one should conclude that it was so then, as it is now, even if there was no positive evidence that this was the case (which we shall presently see we have) in Enoch's time. It was, therefore, a merciful and instructive providence to take Enoch out of the world, and to translate him to a scene of rest and felicity-not only merciful to him, but to the world at large; for what a proof did it give to men that God approves the just man's ways! For it is not to be supposed but that the circumstances of Enoch's translation, whatever they were, were such as to give full evidence that the fact was real; as was the case of Elijah's translation to heaven long after-which event also took place at a period of much wickedness and contempt of God, and at a time when the idol Baal was set up against the living God. And, indeed,

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