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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

There was one eminent man of whom it was testified, that "he pleased God".

He "walked with God" in the way of the Tree of Life for three hundred years after the birth of Methuselah.

His name is Enoch.

The spirit of prophecy was in him; and the gigantic wickedness of the Antediluvians aroused him to reprove their iniquity.

Animated by the hope of the promise concerning the woman's seed, he prophesied of the serpents of his own and future time, saying, "Behold, the Lord cometh with myriads of his saints, to dispense justice towards all, and to convict all that are ungodly among them of their ungodly deeds which they have impiously committed; and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him".

But his expostulation was unheeded; and God graciously "translated him that he should not see death"; " thus rewarding him for his constancy, and giving the faithful a notable illustration and earnest of "The recompense of the reward," and the certainty of the punishment of the world.

Things went on from bad to worse; "for all flesh had corrupted His Way upon the earth"; "and the earth was filled with violence".

Before, however, things had come to the worst the Lord made another effort to reclaim the Antediluvians.

He had resolved to put an end to the wickedness of man upon the earth; for, said He, "My Spirit shall not always strive with him because he is but flesh".

This intimates a limit to His forbearance; that it should have an end, but not immediately; for it is added, "Yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years" Four hundred and eighty years before the announcement of this determination, a son was born to Lamech, the grandson of Enoch, whom he named Noah; that is, Comfort, saying, "This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed".

This was the hope of those who remained faithful of the sons of Seth.

They laboured in hope of a translation into a rest from their labours, when the curse should be removed from the earth.

In process of time, Noah was "warned of God of things not seen as yet".

Noah believed them; and "God by his spirit" in him, "went and preached to the spirits (now) in prison," that is, to the Antedi-luvians "who were disobedient in the days of Noah".

He warned them of the coming flood, which would "destroy them from the earth"; and proved to them his own conviction of its certainty by "preparing an ark for the safety of his own house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith".

But, his faith thus made perfect by his works, made no salutary impression upon his contemporaries.

"They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not till the flood came, and took them all away"; leaving only eight persons of the sons of Seth alive.

Thus was the mingled seed of Seth and Cain exterminated from the earth.

Cain's race became utterly extinct, and those only of Seth remained, who were upright in their generations, and who walked with God.

The distinction of seeds was temporarily suspended.

The generation of vipers was extinct; but sin in the flesh survived -- a principle, destined in after times to produce the most hideous and terrible results.

THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.

"Inherit the Kingdom prepared from the Foundation of the World".