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by Dr. John Thomas
In these characters, they stood at the head of two divisions of their father's family; and proximately represented the seed of the Serpent, and the seed of the Woman.
Cain bruised his brother's heel; but God appointed a substitute for Abel in the person of Seth, by whom Cain's headship was bruised, and his posterity superseded in the earth.
Eve, says Moses, "bare a son, and called his name Seth: for, said she, God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew".
She had many other sons, but none of them are mentioned except Cain, Abel, and Seth.
When, therefore, we are informed that Seth was "appointed instead of Abel," and trace the posterity of Seth terminating through a certain line in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God; we are taught that Cain lost his excellency by sin, and was therefore set aside; and Abel provisionally appointed to be the progenitor of the seed, who is to bruise the Serpent's headship over the world.
But, Abel having been bruised in the heel, it became necessary, in order to carry out the divine purpose, and to answer allegorically the indications of the sentence upon the Serpent, to appoint another son of Eve in the place of Abel.
According to this arrangement, Abel became the type of Jesus, wounded in the heel; but whose sprinkled blood speaks better things than Abel's, which cried only for vengeance: while Seth typifies him in his re-appearance among the sons of men to bruise sin under foot, and to exterminate in the course of his reign the Serpent's seed from the face of the earth.
Notwithstanding his crime Cain was permitted to live.
But the seed of evil-doers never gets renown.
Sooner or later their deeds of villainy consign their names to reprobation.
God hid His face from Cain, and exiled him from the settlements in Eden.
He wandered still further to the east, "and dwelt in the land of Nod".
There he founded a city, and called it Enoch.
His offspring multiplied, and found out many inventions.
They became wandering tribes, dwelling in tents and tending cattle; others of them musicians; and artificers in brass and iron.
Their women were beautiful, and as the descendants of Cain, untrained in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, were vain in their imaginations, and demoralizing in their associations.
Seth's descendants in the direct line ended in Noah and Japheth at the time of the flood.
His posterity, in this and the collateral branches, multiplied considerably; but for a time constituted a separate community from the progeny of Cain.
During the lifetime of Enos, son of Seth, "they began to call themselves by the name of the Lord," or "sons of God": while the faithless and corrupt worshippers of the land of Nod were simply styled "men".
THE ANTEDILUVIAN APOSTASY.
The Sethires and the Camires stood related to one another as the church of God and the world; or, as the Woman and the Serpent.
So long as the sons of God maintained their integrity, and walked in "the way of the Tree of Life," the two communities had no religious associations, or family intercourse.
The time, however, arrived when the middle wall of partition was about to be laid low by a general apostasy.