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they did. Who can tell, but God may turn from his fierce anger, and spare us? If that nation, says God himself, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. Such goodness in God should lead, not only the nation, but each individual into repentance. Otherwise, the men of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment with our generation, and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and behold, in his holy Gospel, and daily preaching to us, a greater than Jonas is here.
1 Chron. i, 14.. - ADAM, SHETH, ENOSH, KENAN, MAHALALEEL, JERED, HENOCH, METHUSELAH, LAMECH, NOAH.
THESE Names stand like epitaphs upon tombstones. They stand like milestones along the space. Here are ten Heads of Families of the World before the Flood. Here are the Antediluvian Patriarchs from Adam to Noah. I called these Names epitaphs. They are rather cenotaphs. For no grave-yard now contains their bones; no unmouldered urn their ashes. What a rushing and continuous train of thought is suggested by these ten simple names. These Names include a History of sixteen and a half centuries. And the only true history in the world of these men, and the wonderful events of their times, is recorded in the brief space of the first six or seven chapters of Genesis. The account of the Creation was probably given to Adam, either by inspiration of God, or by one of his holy angels, who used at that time to visit our earth on heavenly messages. And from Adam, this account was handed down by tradition, through these ancient patriarchs, from one to another, until the Flood. And thence, very easily, it passed from Noah to the historian Moses, who recorded and published it. Nor is this tradition impossible, or even unlikely. For the most of these ten men lived upwards of nine hundred years, each one; and the youngest, if we except Henoch, lived near eight hundred years; and it can be proved, that their lives so overlapped, that one might very readily communicate, either immediately, or mediately, with another
No notice is taken, in this line of names, of any other sons of Adam, because it was designed to mention his name only, in whose loins were Christ and his Church. For the Sun of Righteousness was hereafter to arise, and burst, with his healing beams, through these early ages of eclipse.
Adam, the first name in our line, leads us to think of Paradise and Eden. It is melancholy, that it is not known where Eden was. Of the four rivers, the Pison, the Gihon, and the Hiddekel, are dried up in their beds, or changed in their courses by the Flood; and the Euphrates is not certain to be the same now thus named. And the land of Havilah, where was the gold that was good, and the bdellium, and the onyx-stone, is not known. Many spots are dotted out upon the maps, as the different supposed seat of Paradise, which variety only shows its uncertainty. Paradise is, however, almost universally allowed to have been somewhere in Syria, in Asia. Paradise means a garden planted with trees. Eden, pleasure or delight. Adam signifies earthy or red, or, as some think, the generic name man. Eve means living, because she was to be the universal mother. Adam being made, not born of woman, and also Eve, they herein differed from us. But how little room was there for pride in one, who was so near akin to the dust, as Adam. Marriage was first ordained in Eden; and Eve was taken out from near the heart of the man, to signify that the husband should love the wife. And if one wife had not been the proper number for happiness to both parties, God would doubtless have made more for Adam, especially as then the whole world was to be peopled by him. The Sabbath was also first instituted in Paradise; and the Sabbath was the next, or first whole day, in the life of Adam and Eve. In this happy Garden stands Adam, made in the moral image of God, himself the appointed lord of this lower creation, with the whole future world in his loins. This was a joyous time, when God talked with man, as one friend talketh with another; and when the blessed Angels used to descend, and glide over, and alight down on the earth. In this blissful state, if Adam and
Eve had remained long enough to have had children born to them, their little infants, the beauteous birds of Paradise, would probably have been translated, in due time, from the earthly Garden, to sing upon the branches of the Tree of Life in Heaven. But the tremendous Fall too soon threw a pall over the earth. Some think the tempter serpent was a fallen seraph; and the apple, and the tasting it, an allegory. But no matter. The effect is too evident. Sin is in the world, alive and loose, however it came. It is unknown, how long Adam continued in Paradise; probably not a year. It is generally thought, and so we hope, that Adam and Eve were personally pardoned. But Adam, it seems, communicated to his offspring his lapsed, not his restored nature. Adam lived above nine hundred years after his expulsion from the Garden. Eve's age is unrevealed; and it is remarkable, that the age of but one woman is recorded in Scripture. The first Adam soon fell; but there is a second Adam. Christ is now the Tree of Life, in the midst of the Garden. As Eve was taken out of Adam's side, so afterwards was the church, our Lord's bride, taken out of his bleeding side.
Sheth, or Seth, is the second name in our line. As Adam was made in the image of God, so was Seth born in the image of Adam; that is, fallen, frail, mortal, like himself. Adam indeed had two sons, some think they were twins, before he begat Seth; but one of them was slain without issue, the other was accursed. Here see the effects of the Fall. The first man born of woman was a murderer; the second was a martyr. What was the mark set upon Cain, to insure his life, while a vagabond in the earth, we know not. Cain, after his murder, wandered eastward of Eden, to the land of Nod, which means exile; where we find his wife first mentioned, who must have been his own sister, or niece; as we read that Adam had other sons and daughters. Cain's descendants were wicked, but ingenious. The first Lamech, one of Cain's posterity, was the first who took unto himself two wives, and thus introduced bigamy and polygamy into the world. This Lamech's children, by his two wives, were the first graziers, and organists, and braziers, that we read of in
history. But all the descendants of wicked Cain perished in the Deluge. Therefore, the name of Seth only was recorded in the genealogy, as the head of connexion between these primitive Fathers. In the days of Seth, began men to call upon the name of the Lord.
Of the other Names, in succession, there is nothing said, until you come to Henoch, or Enoch. This Enoch is the one called the seventh from Adam, because there were two others of the like name; one the son of evil Cain, another the son of good Seth; for Henoch and Enoch, and perhaps Enosh and Enos also, are but one name in their original. This Enoch was the central star of the patriarchal firmament. For though little is said of him, yet what more could be comprehended in his eulogy ? He walked with God. Hand in hand, as it were, he walked with God on earth; and afterwards, at an early age for those times, he walked with God into heaven, body and soul, without death. By faith, Enoch was translated, that he should not see death. God often takes away those soonest, that he loves the best.
Although but little, as we have seen, is said about Sheth and Henoch; yet still less is recorded of Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, and Lamech the second. Of these five, the sacred historian has thought fit to give us only their names and ages. All we can gather of some of these primitive patriarchs, and this is very uncertain, is from the interpretation of their names. Adam, we before remarked, signifies earthy man, or red. Sheth or Seth means substituted. Enosh or Enos, mortal. Kenan or Cainan, the nest, or one that laments. Mahalaleel, he that praises God. Jered or Jared, he that descends or rules. Henoch or Enoch, dedicated. Methuselah or Methusalem, he dieth, and water is sent forth. Lamech, poor, made low. And Noah or Noè, rest or consolation. As to their ages, the youngest, who did not live out half his days, before he was transferred to heaven, yet lived three hundred and sixty-five years. These long lives were then necessary, in order to people the infant earth. It is supposed that, in these early times, men dressed in the skins of beasts offered in sacrifice. And that, notwithstanding people lived so long, no animal food