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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

A spirit of liberalism had arisen among the sons and daughters of Seth, the result of an expiring faith, which predisposed them to a fraternity, or mixed community, with the Cainites; who, like their father, were religionists of a wilful stamp.

The Serpent's seed enjoyed themselves in those days as they do now.

They were men of the flesh, grovelling in their tastes, habits, and pursuits; and devoted to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

Their religion sanctified what pleased them best; and doubtless afforded a fair specimen of the same sort of thing in all subsequent ages.

It is probable that the precepts and example of the sons of God had considerably modified the original impiety of the Cainites so as to bring things to a similar state to that observable in our day.

Sects, between whom there were no more dealings in their beginning than between the Jews and the Samaritans, are now so liberal that they agree to be silent upon all controversial topics for which they once contended to the death, and to recognize one another as brethren in the Lord!

Thus, if they ever had the truth they have suppressed it by a tacit compromise; and have become highly respectable, and singularly amiable and polite; so that they "have need of nothing," but to enjoy the good things of the world within their reach.

The serpents had become so harmless, and even pious, under the influence abroad, and were withal so fair to look upon, and so enchanting in their ways, that the Sethites took them into their bosoms, and cherished them with the affection of their own flesh.

"They saw," says Moses, "that the daughters of men were fair; and they took wives of all they chose".

This was a fatal step.

Can a man take fire into his bosom and not be burned?

The sons of God corrupted themselves in marrying the daughters of Cain.

Instead of bringing them over to "the Way of the Tree of Life," they were beguiled into "the Way of Cain".

For sons of God to marry daughters of Belial is to jeopardize their fidelity to God.

This practice has ever been fruitful of apostasy.

Balaam was well aware of this; and knowing that the only way to bring a curse upon Israel was to involve them in transgression, he therefore taught Balak, the King of Moab, to tempt them with the fair daughters of his people, as the readiest way of beguiling them into the worship of their idols; which would cause God to hate them, and so facilitate their conquest by the Moabites.

The policy succeeded but too well for the honour and happiness of Israel.

Moses says, "They began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab".

The consequence of this licentiousness was that the women invited Israel unto the sacrifices of their gods: and they did eat, and bowed down to them.

And Israel joined himself unto Baal-Peor.

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; so that He slew four and twenty-thousand of them.

After the same example, the union of the Sethites and Cainites was productive of the worst results.

The offspring of this union were "mighty men of renown," whose wickedness "was great in the earth"; for "every imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually" Their apostasy, however, was not perfected without remonstrance on the part of God.