« AnteriorContinuar »
racter of Enoch, because, brief as is the record given of him, in the Sacred Volume, it well deserves a more extended notice than that which has already, in our sixty-third Number, been rendered to it.It is testified of Enoch, that he walked with God"; and that he pleased God+; the latter the sure consequence of the former.
What is implied in walking with God? What is included in this figurative description of the intimate communion that subsists between a merciful God and his faithful servants? Walking with God includes an habitual sense of the presence of God. It is said in Scripture of the unrighteous, that they have not God in all their ways. Their language is, "How doth God know? Is there knowledge in the most High?" On the contrary, they who truly walk with God, have an habitual sense of this solemn truth upon their minds," The Lord God is about our path, and about our bed, and spieth out all our ways §." In order to their walking with God, this conviction "Thou God seest me," is absolutely necessary. must be the languge of the heart.-Reader! the eyes of the Lord are in every place | They rest upon thee, when thou goest forth in the morning to thy labour; they follow thee through the day, and accompany thee, when thy daily task is done. They are upon thee, too, in thy moments of recreation, and they note thy behaviour in the house of prayer. Yea, "the darkness is no darkness with God; to Him the darkness and light are both alike ¶."Hast thou a deep, an habitual conviction of this truth on thy mind? Rememberest thou that whatever thou thinkest, sayest, or doest, is naked and open before God? And, in regard to this conviction, dost thou regulate thy conduct according to
* Gen. v. 24.
+ Heb. xi. 3.
Ps. lxxiii. 11.
his will?-thy conduct, not occasionally, but habitually? not in part, but in whole? If this be thy constant aim, then thou art walking with God. Alas! that any who call themselves Christians should so speak, and so act, as if He, who made the ear, did not hear, as if He, who formed the eye, did not see. How much of that which fills the earth with mourning, lamentation, and woe, would this conviction restrain! How much sin would be prevented, if men seriously reflected that the eye of God is upon them and within them! To remember God is present, belongs to the character of one who walks with God.
Walking with God includes or implies, further, a state of reconciliation to him. "Can two walk together," questions the prophet*, "except they be agreed?" But does there exist naturally an agreement, a union, between God and man? No. The Scripture assures us that man's natural bent and disposition is not to comply with the injunctions of religion, but to walk after the flesh, according to the course of this world t. To gratify self, to indulge in the lusts of the flesh, of the eye, and of the pride of life, is man's natural propensity. Now how is reconciliation to be effected between a God of infinite purity, and man so sensual and so frail ?The scriptural answer is, reconciliation with God must be obtained through Him (Jesus Christ) who "is the way, the truth, and the life ‡." And, when a man does come unto God, repenting of his sins, seeking forgiveness and acceptance in this way of God's appointment; resolved to devote himself to his service in the steady pursuit of holiness; then it is plain, that he is reconciled unto God; for he walks with him; he desires to walk in all his commandments and ordinances blameless; and, though
* Amos iii. 3.
t1 Cor. ii. 14.
John xiv. 6.
he falls indeed short of his desire, yet he habitually walks in repentance, faith, and obedience.
And now, reader, enquire whether thou hast this evidence of thy reconciliation to God! It is the most decisive evidence that can be produced. Examine thy heart and life by the rule of God's commandments.-Dost thou walk with God? Hast thou an habitual regard to his presence? Dost thou attend to his word, that thou mayest learn his truth and will? Dost thou pour out thy heart before him daily in fervent prayer and grateful praise? Dost thou endeavour to adorn the doctrine of God thy Saviour in all things? If, in the main, thou hast to these, and similar enquiries, the answer of a good conscience, thou hast evidence, clear and incontrovertible, that thou art reconciled to God through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.-If thou hast not this evidence, beware of flattering thyself. Before any man can truly prophesy smooth things to himself, he must give proof of his regard to that holiness" without which no man shall see God;" practical religion must become his main object; in other words, like Enoch, he must walk with God.
Further, walking with God includes or implies, the enjoyment of communion with him. It is the true Christian's privilege to be admitted to a holy intercourse with God. Like Hezekiah of old, who went up into the house of the Lord, and spread before the Lord the letter of Rabshekeh †, may the true Christian express unto the God that heareth prayer his wants, his fears, his trials. A way of access is revealed unto him, and he is invited and encouraged to draw nigh unto God, with this cheering assurance, " draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh unto you ‡."-The Christian may be said
+ Heb. xii. 14,
+ 2 Kings xix. 14. Isa. xxxvii. 14. James iv. 8.
to commune with his God, when he reads his word; but more particularly he communes with him in prayers and supplications, in praises and thanksgivings. The closest communion he enjoys with his God and Saviour, is in the solemn ordinance of the Lord's Supper. Then, when he duly receives the holy mysteries, has he, indeed, "fellowship with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ *.
Reader! dost thou hold communion with God? Dost thou read his word, and meditate upon it? Dost thou pray to him? Dost thou attend his ordinances; and, particularly at the sacramental table, dost thou find real enjoyment in drawing nigh unto God, and in drawing water out of the wells of salvation?
Once more, walking with God implies a constant endeavour to please him. Saint Paul says +, "by faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and was not found, because God had translated him, for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." Doubtless this was his constant aim: and, reader, if thou wouldest have any comfortable assurance that the testimony borne to Enoch shall finally be borne to thee,-to please God must be thy constant aim.
That blessed consequences will result from this holy walk, the history of Enoch fully establishes. The consequences which do and will result from walking with God, are such and so happy, that they will obtain for all, who thus please God, favours in time, in death, and in eternity. In time,-" Wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace ‡." In death-" O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ §."
* 1 John i. 3.
+ Heb. xi.
Hymn from Dr. Watts.
But in eternity, what tongue shall describe the blessedness of those who, like Enoch, have walked with God! Here we must pause; "for eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love him *."
My Cottage friend, art thou walking with God? Put the enquiry to thy heart; and, before thou returnest an answer to thyself, examine thy faith by its habitual fruits.
At your baptism you were pledged to the service of God; ask yourself whether you have walked as the servant of God. If the Christian's walk be not like Enoch's, his end will not be like his. But if thou, reader, treadest in the steps of Enoch, making the word of God the rule of thy faith and conduct, thou wilt have the favour of God here. Thy life will be happy, thine end peaceful; and eternal glory, through Jesus Christ, will be thine exceeding great and final reward +.