图书图片
PDF
ePub

jected. That Cain might not plead ignorance, it pleased the Lord to point out the omission, and to remind hm, that he had not made the proper offering for sin; but, instead of repairing his fault, Cain went away in wrath; and though the Lord God had reproved' him for his discontent and envy with the utmost mildness, Cain continued to indulge those baneful passions,till they brought him to commit the horrid crime of fratricide! Iln all this we may perceive the work ofthe Devil, who suited his temptations to the circumstances of mankind.

So great was the pride of Cain, that he could not bear a superior, even in the favour of God ; what then must have been his mortification to find himself the most abject of mankind; banished to a distant land, far from that hallowed spoti which was then distinguished by the frequent appearance of the Lok D God; and destitute of that- faith, which is the only sure foundationat'hope? Sensible, in part, of his wretched condition* Cain particularly lamented, that he was driven from the face of the Lord ; and expressed the most dreadful apprehensions, that the hand of every one would be ready .to cut him off: yet he disdained (as it seems) to.conciliate the favour of God by offering the sacrifice of atonement, nor did he express remorse for the wick.ed action he had committed: however, it pleased the Lord, not only to spare his life, but to threaten that hewould punish whoever should take upon himself to kill. Cain, because it would be presumption to alter the sen-. tence of God, who thought proper to prolong the daysof the first who was guilty of murder, in order (as we may suppose) to make him a living example of the unhappiness which follows the commission of this dread.. ful crime; and also to give him time for repentance.

C6 As

As Abel was evidently in favour with God, we cannot suppose, that he was abandoned to the rage of hi* brother as a fiuuhhment; on the contrary, we .may regard his sarly death, in reference to Providence, as a mark of the Divine approbation; and may reasonably conclude, that as he testified a true faith, he was after death received into a better world.

The Scripture is silent in respect to the sorrow of Adam and Eve on this mournful occasion ; but, without doubt, it must have been a great affliction to them, to lose a beloved son by the unnatural hand of his own brother; and to-have the offender condemned to drag on a wretched life, under the displeasure of God, and the contempt of mankind; and the sorrow of Adam was certainly greatly aggravated by the reflection, that he had brought Death upon the human race. In respect to the mark that was set upon Cain, there is nocertainty; but some learned authors think, that the verse which mentions it is not exactly translated, and that it should be rendered, set a mark before Cain } that is, wrought some miracle or sign, to assure him that he should not be slain: however it was, it will answer no purpose to puzzle ourselves with such questions as these,, whioh are merely matter of curiosity, as none of Cain'ft posterity are now remaining in the world.

Though none of the children of Adam and Eve are Mentioned by-their names in the Bible, excepting Cain, Abel, and Seth, it is certain that they had others before the murder of Abel, because -we read of Cain's wife, who must have been the daughter of Adam and Eve. According to calculations that have been made, it is probable, that, by the time Adam was 130 years old, there might be of his children, grand-children, and great gra.ad-childreD, a great number of people in the

world. world*. Seth is particularly mentioned, because, from him was to descend, in a regular succession, the Saviqv R of mankind, the promised seed of the tvoman.

At the end of this section we read, that after the birth of Enos, men began to calf themselves Ly the name of the Lord; from this expression, compared with the beginning of section vii. we are led to think, that all those, who believed in the Divine Promises solemnly devoted themselves to the service of the Lord, and expressed their Faith by offering the sacrifices which he had appointed; on which account the Loud God adopted them as His sons, sanctified and assisted them hy his Holy Spirit, and gave thera a title to the heavenly inheritance intended to be purchased for the human race, by the Restorer of Righteousness.

Much practical instruction may be collected from this history of Cain and Abel. In the first place, we may infer from it, that the public prayers (which are now in the place of the sacrifices) are not acceptable to God from persons who harbour hatred and malice in their minds. We may also learn, that wicked actions, however secretly committed, cannot be hidden from God;, and that the Supreme Being Himself is the avenger of murder, and will bring it to light by some means or other; or at least, will not suffer a murderer to know that inward peace which arises from a quiet conscience. The fear and dread of discovery alone must have been a continual torment to him, and will compel him to flee from place to place.—We are likewise taught, that to be driven from the face of tlie Lord, or to be cut off from the Society of God's people, and deprived of the blessing of communion with GuD, in social worship, a*, a

* See Stackhoute on the Bible.

.. murderer murderer must necessarily be, is the greatest pttnisii* ment that can be inflicted:

Brothers and Sisters are particularly instructed-' by this portion of Scripture, to cherish from their early years an affectionate attachment to each other, which* By its endearments, will prove a source of continual comfort and pleasure; by repeated acts of kindness they, may secure to themselves a set of faithful; disinterested friends, ready on" all occasions to do them good offices; and they will have the- additional satisfaction of in* creasing the felicity of their parents. But those, who indulge selfishness of mind, and are continually studying how to obtain a preference to themselves, and are envious of the superior advantages of their brothers and sisters, commit great offence against God, are enemies to society, by destroying the peace of families, and cannot expect to be esteemed or beloved. /-/* SECTION VI

T.HE GENEALOGY FROM ADAM, IN THE LINE OF SETH,, TO I HE TIME OK THE DKLU.GE.

From Genesis, Chap. v.

This is the book ofr the generations of Adam. Th the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him: male and female, created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. ,'

Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and had a son in his own likeness, after his image and called his name Seth: and the days of Adam after, the birth of Seth, were eight hundred years: and he had sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died."

And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and had Enos: and Seth lived-after the birth, of Enos eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters:

and

and all the days of Seth were nine hundred' and twelve years: and he died. . ,

And Enos lived' ninety years, and Had Cain An and Enos lived after the birth of Cainan eight hundred and" fifteen years, and had sons and daughters: and the days, of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

And Cainan lived seventy years, and had Mahala-. X.EEL : and' Cainan lived" after the birth of Mahalaleef eight hundred and. forty years, and had sons and daughters: and all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died.

And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, anil had JarEd: and Mahalaleel lived after the birth of Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters: and all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died.

And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two.years, and had Enoch: and Jared lived after the birth of Enocb eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters: and all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died. - • ........

And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and had MeTHUS£Lii»:: and Enoch walked with God after tho birth of Methuselah three hundred years, and had sons and daughters: and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God : and he was not; for God took hiru.

And MetHuSalEh lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and bad Lamich : and Methuselah lived after the birth of Lamech seveu hundred eighty and two years, and had sons and daughters-: and all the days of Methusaleh were nine hundred and sixty nina years: and he died.

And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and had a son: and he called his mime Noah, saying,

« 上一页继续 »