Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

duce more than 500,000,000 of plants, and in the fourth year be enough to more than cover the surface of the earth and all the planets !-Gen. iii. 18.

GOD named the man, and called him Adam, which signifies red earth; Adam named the woman, and called her Eve, that is, life.-Gen. iii. 20-24.

WHEN Cain was born, Eve said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord :" or, as the words may be translated, “I have acquired a man, even Jehovah.” She was so taken up with him that another son was as vanity to ber. Observe, each son had a calling. It is the will of God that every one have something to do in this world. Parents ought to bring up their children to business. “Give them a Bible and a calliny," said good Mr. Dod, “and God be with them.” The early use of sacrifices confirms the belief that they were appointed by God, and revealed to Adam after his transgression. It is difficult else to account for the general use of altars and sacri. fices to appease the anger of the offended Deity. Observe that the religious worship of God is no novel invention. It was from the beginning--the good old way; Jer. vi. 16. The offerings of Cain and Abel were different. Cain's was only a sacrifice of acknowledginent offered to the Creator. Abel brought also a sacrifice of atonement, the blood whereof was shed in order to remission; thereby owning himself a sinner, deprecating God's wrath, and imploring his favour in a Mediator. Cain appears to have approached God in a way of his own devising, and despising that which God had appointed. He came in his own name, without the acknowledgment of his sinfulness or dependence on the promised Saviour, and not to supplicate mercy but only to thank God for the blessings of bis providence. In so doing he manifested a proud, impenitent, unbelieving heart; and intimated his purpose of adhering to the covenant of works. And therefore he and his offering were rejected.—Gen. iv..-1-7.

So near akin are sin and punishment, that the same word in Hebrew signifies both. Some understand this as an intimation of mercy. “It thou dost not well, sin, that is, the sin-offering, lies at the door, and thou mayest take the benefit of it.” The saine word signifies sin, and a sacrifice for sin. Christ, the great sin-offering, is said to stand at the door.-Rev. ii. 20.

CAIN went out from the presence of the Lord, and we never find that he came into it again, to his comfort. The land he dwelt in was called the land of Nod, that is, shaking, or trembling, because of the continued restlessness and uneasi.

ness of his own spirit (or the land of a vagabond).-Gen. iv. 16-24.

LAMECH was the seventh from Adam in the line of Cain. Observe, one of Cain's degenerate race first transgressed the original law of marriage. Hitherto, one man had but one wife at a time; but Lamech took two. From the beginning it was not so; Mal. ii. 15; Matt. xix. 5.

This son, by a prophetic spirit, they called Seth, that is, set, settled, or placed ; because in his seed mankind should continue to the end of time, and from him the Messiah should descend.-Gen. iv. 25, 26.

All the patriarchs that lived before the flood, except Noah, were born before Adam died.—Gen. v. 6-20.

METIUSELAH signifies, “ he dies, there is a dart,” or, “a sending forth," namely, of the deluge, which came the very year that Methuselah died. Noah signifies “rest.”—Gen. v. 25-32

The Greek and Latin historians and poets, particularly Pliny, relate that there were giants in the first ages of the world, and record that on opening some sepulchres the bodies of men were found to have been much larger in old times. Grotius, in his treatise on the truth of the Christian religion, has given these passages at length.

If we profess to be the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, we must not marry without his consent; and he will never give his blessing, if we prefer beauty, wit, wealth, or honourable alliance, to faith and holiness.-Gen, vi. 1-7.

NonE are punished by the justice of God, but those who hate to be reformed by the grace of God.

It is easy to be religious when religion is in fashion ; but it is evidence of strong faith and resolution to swim against the stream, and to appear for God when no one else appears for him. .... When wickedness is become general, ruiu is not far off; while there is a remnant of praying people in a nation to empty the measure as it fills, judgments may be kept off a great while ; but when all hands are at work to pull down the fences by sin, and none stand in the gap to make up the breach, what can be expected but an inundation of wrath?-Gen.vi.8-12.

God could have secured Noah without putting him to any care, or pains, or trouble, himself; but he chose to employ him in making that which was to be the means of his preservation, for the trial of both his faith and obedience. So we may learn that none shall be saved by Christ but those only that work out their salvation ; we cannot do it without God,

and he will not without us. Both the providence of God, and the grace of God, own and crown the obedient and diligent.Gen. vi. 13-22.

Most ancient heathen writers particularly mention one man alone and his family to have been preserved, during a flood, in an ark, with pairs of all creatures. -Horne. As to the size of the ark, if the cubit be taken at eighteen inches (and some reckon it to have been twenty-one), the ark was 450 feet long, seventy-five wide, forty-five high, or nearly as long as St. Paul's Cathedral, and nearly half the size of that immense building. It contained three floors. Dr. Hales shows that it would be of +2,413 tons burden ; and as a first-rate man-of-war is of about 2,300 tons, it would hold as much as eighteen of the largest ships now in use, and might carry 20,000 men with provisions for six months, besides the weight of 1,800 cannons, and all requisite military stores. Can we doubt of its being suthicient to contain eight persons, and about 200, or 250 pair of four-footed animals—a number to which, according to Buffon, all the various distinct species may be reduced, or even a much larger number, if they existed? The fowls are to be added, and such insects and reptiles as cannot live in water, with provisions for the whole for twelve months. Surely, it was more than sufficient. Others make the ark much larger, calculating the cubit at nearly twenty-two inches, and computing it to have been 81,062 tons burden.

It is very comfortable to follow the calls of Providence, and to see God going before us in every step we take. What we do in obedience to the command of God, and in faith, we ourselves shall certainly hare the comfort of, first or last.Gen. vii, 1-12.

Now see what was done on the day that Noah was securely fixed in the ark. The fountains of the great deep were broken up. Perhaps there needed no new creation of waters. What were already made to be blessings to the earth in the common course of Providence were now, by an extraordinary act of Divine power, made the ruin of it. God has laid up the deep in store-houses (Ps. xxxiii, 7), and now he broke up those stores. As our bodies have in themselves those humours which, when God pleases, become the seeds and springs of mortal diseases ; so the earth had within it those waters which, at God's command, sprang up and flooded it. God had in the creation set bars and doors to the waters of the sea, that they might not return to cover the earth (Ps. cvi. 9; Job xxxviii. 9-11); he only removed those ancient land-marks, mounds, and

fences, and the waters of the sea returned to cover the earth as they had done at first (Gen. i. 9). All the creatures are ready to fight against sinful man, and any of them is able to be the

instrument of his ruin, if God do but take off the restraints • by which they are held in, during the days of God's patience.

As there was a peculiar exercise of the almighty power of God in effecting the deluge, it is as vain and presumptuous to attempt explaining the method of it on principles of philosophy, as it would be to endeavour in the same manner to explain how the dead shall arise.

The great deep seems to mean that vast confluence of waters which are said to have been gathered together on the third day of creation into one place, and were called seas. These waters not only extend over a great part of the surface of the earth, but probably thow, as through a number of arteries and veins, to its most interior recesses, and occupy its centre. — Fuller. The rise of the waters would be thirty feet in each hour, if we suppose it to have arisen at an equal rate during the whole forty days, and in all probability it arose with still more dreadful rapidity at the first.

OBSERVE, the waters, which broke down everything else, bore up the ark. That which to unbelievers is a savour of death unto death, is to the faithful a savour of life unto life. The more the waters increased, the higher the ark was lifted up towards heaven. Thus, sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions; and as troubles abound, consolations much more abound.—Gen. vii. 17-20.

No fact that ever occurred in the world is so well attested as the deluge, both by natural and civil history.-T. H. Horne. See the proofs collected by him. Some traces of it may be found in the history of every nation which has preserved any ancient records or traditions. That the deluge was universal appears from the highest mountains, all of which show that the sea has at one tiine been spread over their summits. “ The event” (as Bishop Horne remarks), “must, from the very nature of it, have been miraculous, and out of the common course, as it is said to have been.” The highest mountains in the world—in Nepaul-are more than 27,000 feet above the level of the sea. - Gen. vii. 21-24.

Gov usually works deliverance for his people gradually, that the day of small things may not be despised, nor the day of great things be despaired of: Zech. iv. 10; see Prov. iv. 18. -Gen. viii. 1-3. Mount ARARAT is in Armenia, nearly midway between the

Euxine and Caspian Seas. It stands by itself, somewhat in the form of a sugar-loaf, in the midst of immense plains. It has two tops ; on the highest the snow is permanent, and it is almost inaccessible.—Gen. viii. 4.

GOD that is the first, must be first served; and he begins well that begins with God. Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; and we must never think that wasted with which God is honoured.-Gen. viii. 20-22.

In this declaration of Omniscience the doctrine of original sin is most clearly asserted. The term “youth" extends to the earliest infancy of man, and the corruption which is natural to him affects the earliest motions of his mind. Its contagion is universal and perpetual (ch. vi. 5). Stronger words cannot be produced.Biddulph.

WHILE the earth remaineth, and man upon it, there shall be summer and winter. Here it is plainly intimated that this earth is not to remain always.-Henry and Scott.

The blessing of God is the real cause of prosperity, whether personal, relative, or national.--Gen. ix. 1-7.

The main reason of forbidding the eating of blood was because the shedding of blood in sacrifices typified the great atonement.

“At the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man ;" that is, “I will avenge the blood of the murdered upon the murderer.” Wilful murder ought always to be punished with death. To this law there is a reason annexed; for in the image of God made he man at first. Man is a creature dear to his Creator, and therefore ought to be so to us; God put honour upon him; let us not then put contempt upon him. Such remains of God's image are still upon fallen man, as that he who unjustly kills a man defaces the image of God, and does dishonour to him.

It is owing to God's goodness and faithfulness, not to say reformation of the world, that it has not often been deluged, and that it is not deluged now. As the old world was ruined, to be a monument of justice, so this world remains to this day a monument of mercy, according to the oath of God, that the waters of Noah should no more return to cover the earth (Isa. liv. 9).-Gen. viii. 8-17:

The original does not say that God first formed the rainbow after the food. The words may be literally rendered, “I do appoint my bow in the cloud to be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” As the rainbow is produced by the refraction (or turning aside) of the sun's rays falling upon

« AnteriorContinuar »