|« Prev||NOAH'S FAITH.||Next »|
The holy Scriptures testify concerning Noah, the son of Lamech, that he found grace before the Lord, because he was a righteous man, unwavering and perfect in his generation. Peter calls him a preacher of righteousness. High and glorious is the testimony, which is given in the Scriptures concerning this man.
When all the world was depraved before God, and the face of all the earth was full of wickedness, the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all whom they chose, and would not suffer themselves to be reproved by the Spirit of God; then spake the Lord, I will yet give them respite, for a hundred and twenty years; he also gave Noah a command, that he,' should make a ship or ark, by which he and his house might be saved from the coming flood, for God the Lord was about to destroy the whole world with water. Noah believed the word of the Lord with all his heart, and kept it in his mind, as if he saw it before .him with his eyes. He commenced building as he had been commanded, for he believed with his whole heart, that the threatened punishment would come. And when the appointed year was completed, and the disobedient, wicked world repented not, the word of the Lord must be accomplished. Noah went into the ark with all clean and unclean creatures as the Lord commanded him. The same day that he entered the ark, the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, and it rained forty days and forty nights, till all the high mountains upon the face of the whole earth were covered; fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and all creatures upon the earth that had in them the breath of life, as men, birds, beasts and worms were destroyed. Noah and his family, together with the animals which were with him in the ark, were preserved in the ark by the power and grace of Almighty God, in whom Noah trusted with all his heart.
Through faith, with Paul, Noah honored God, and prepared the ark for the salvation of his house, according to the divine command which was not yet seen, through which he condemned the world, and became an. inheriter of the righteousness which is by faith.
Oh! lovely example, O glorious pattern of a sure and firm faith. For, as he believed his God, so was he upright and unwavering. He believed the threatened punishment firmly, as if he saw it before his eyes, and therefore he labored so many years, and, through the eternal Spirit of Christ, he warned the unbelieving, disobedient spirits, or men led captive by sin, to repent and reform. He feared the word of the Lord, and doubted not that it would happen as the Lord had spoken. He well knew that the word of the Lord was powerful, as the prophet said, "O Lord, thou spakest from the beginning of the creation, and saidst thus, Let heaven and earth be made; and thy word was a perfect work," 2 Esdras e:38.
And when he had preached and built forty, eighty or a hundred years (the Scriptures do not say how long he built and taught), he did not become weak in faith by long delay, for he well knew that the punishment of God would come upon the unconverted, because he had formerly so told him, and that he, and his would be preserved through the mercy and grace o1 him who promised, for he is the God of truth, and no lie is found in him.
The Lord God warned the pious Noah, and said, "The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them, and behold, I will destroy them with the earth," Gen. e:13. So also hath he through his own blessed Son, through his holy prophets and apostles, with his holy word, truthfully warned us and said, If you repent not, be not born of God, believe not in Christ, walk not in his commandments, reform not your wicked lives, but serve strange Gods, be haughty, proud, ambitious, lustful, blood‑thirsty, malicious, unjust, idle, earthly, fleshly, and devilish, you will die in your sins, and shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, shall be condemned, shall be cast into the fiery pool, must inherit eternal woe and pain, with all the accursed, and with devils, and have no part nor communion in the kingdom of Christ, to all eternity.
My readers, take heed, if we, with the upright and godly Noah, observe the faithful warnings of Christ and his Holy Spirit, and believe with the whole heart; believe the word of God to be true and immutable, the threatened punishment will come in its time, even though it should be delayed a thousand years;‑ yet, I advise that every one watch, for all who die in their sins, receive their punishment, for the time of grace is then expired; then we would undoubtedly fear and tremble to the inmost of our souls, at the wrath and punishment, threatened in the Scriptures to all the impenitent which will be eternal in its duration; we would pray to God for grace, would clothe ourselves in sackcloth and mourning garments, would truly repent, reform the wicked life, follow after righteousness, and with our new and spiritual Noah, Christ Jesus, enter into the new and spiritual ark, which is his church; ever being careful and fearful that the deluge of the coming wrath of God, will not unexpectedly overtake us with all the unbelieving and impenitent, who acknowledge neither God nor Christ, neither Spirit nor word, as it overtook the corrupt antediluvian world as mentioned; yea, we would sincerely watch for the coming of the Lord, and give heed to the time of grace, preserve our wedding garment, and have oil in our lamps, that our house be not unseasonably broken through, and we with the guest, who had not on a wedding garment, be cast forth from the Lord's wedding, into outer darkness and abide eternally without.
Because alas, we do not believe the threats, punishments, wrath and judgments of the Lord, and have little regard for the examples of Scripture, therefore, we say with the mockers, Beloved, where is the promise of his coming ~ All things abide as they were from the beginning since the fathers fell asleep. It will, I fear, happen with us as it did with the unbelievers and disobedient who were overtaken with sudden destruction in the time of Noah and Lot, as one may plainly see and read concerning the coming of the Lord, Matt. 24; Luke 17; because we do not believe the threats, judgments, and wrath of the Lord, but disregard them, therefore do we lead such a reckless, unbridled life, follow the lusts of the flesh, eat, drink, build, sow, reap and marry without any fear or care, and avariciously hoard up gold, silver and possessions, and haughtily say in our hearts there is peace and liberty, till swift destruction shall overtake us.
Again, let every one look well and watch. The messenger, with his peremptory summons is already at the door, who will say, Render an account; thou mayest be no longer steward. But could we, with the unwavering and pious Noah, firmly believe the coming eternal wrath and punishment, also the promises through Christ, to all true Children of God, we would, undoubtedly, not be found so inattentive, drowsy and in differ ent, but with full earnestness without delay, rise from our abominable sin, separate ourselves from our grievous errors, and shun wickedness as we would a hungry, roaring lion, or ablood‑thirsty enemy; we should also watch with open eyes all our days, lest the Master of the house overtake us when wesleep and regard us not. Let us not strike our fellow servants; neither eat nor drink with gormandizers, that he may not give us our portion and lot with the hypocrites. Concerning this watching, read Matt. 24; Mark 13:37.
|« Prev||NOAH'S FAITH.||Next »|