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promise on which its very existence as a nation rested, nor of the efficacy of the worship which was the prophecy of the Redeemer. Thus the whole was more or less directly connected with the incarnate God.
At the same time, the method of Divine government which was expounded by the prophets with respect to particular cases, more fully revealed the character of the Lord, and of the rule He exercises over man, and thus became a means of instruction to the race for all time. In like manner, the history of apostolic times, as given in the Acts and Epistles, shows how the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus set men free from the law of sin and death, and prepared and enabled them to walk in newness of life. But however various their character, national and individual, there was one operation and one result, as the consequence of their union by faith with the Redeemer. In this line, therefore, we have the continuity preserved, from Abel to the apostles, and thence to the believer of the present day. But through the unbroken succession, there has been one Lord whom all have worshipped, one faith by which all service has been offered, and one baptism of the Holy Spirit, which has been the means of the life and the seed of all righteousness of practice. This continuity of religion, in all its essential elements, from the beginning, is a momentous fact, especially as each individual case of it requires a direct Divine operation in the soul, and therefore carries a revelation of God in the glory of His saving power. By what means can this fact be accounted for, but by the presence of the incarnate Son of God at the head of the race, and by the pouring of His quickening power through the whole ?
This conclusion attains to greater assurance when we consider more particularly some of the more prominent facts or links in this chain of continuity. The appointment of sacrifice immediately after the first sin was not only a type and prophecy of the great atonement, but, because of its prophetic connection with that atonement, it was the means, for the time being, of the life which that atonement brings to the world. It was the way to God, and by this way a fellowship with God was maintained adequate to the need of man in his complex life, and to the purpose of God with respect to the individual and the race.
By this means Abel had access to God, and was accepted of Him. Enoch not only had access periodically, but possessed constant fellowship, and therefore became an example of the elevating and purifying power of the intercourse which caused him to stand forth alone to stem the flood of blasphemy and violence which was sweeping the race to destruction. Noah had such personal knowledge of God as prepared him at His bidding to build the ark, by which he condemned the ungodliness and unrighteousness of the world as unnecessary and wicked, and became the heir of a Divine righteousness by faith. Abraham walked with God as His friend, and was ready at His command to become a wanderer among tribes and nations fast falling from a true worship and righteous practice, that by his example he might bring them back to Him from whom they were wandering. Each of these cases is sufficiently prominent to be taken as an example, and each also is sufficiently typical to show that the Divine power in man is equal to all the exigencies of the spiritual life, and to present a pattern of the way in which the recovering influence passes over to others.
presence of God for ever, but banished his slayer from that presence, and fixed an eternal brand upon such unnatural and wicked rebellion against the redeeming King. Enoch not only exercised a faith which made him a friend and servant of God, but when his prominent and aggressive service had exposed him to danger from his violent contemporaries, God took him to Himself, and thus showed the supremacy and adequacy of His own rule, and the inefficacy of all resistance. Noah, by his obedience in building the ark, not only showed the reality of the spiritual life, and of that intercourse with the living God from which it sprang, but by his preaching of righteousness, accompanied by the preaching of Christ, to their imprisoned spirits, presented to that hardened generation a combination of recovering power which has never been surpassed. This was also a competent school in which to teach Noah that intense and varied virtue which made him a fit progenitor and guide of the renewed race, the effect of which is seen in the long-continued reformation which is now newly learned from the fragments of early history recovered from the Semitic, Aryan, and Tauranian families. Abraham was called from Chaldea when the heavenly host were beginning to receive the worship which is only due to their Maker, and was sent among a people of various religious culture when Sodomites were neighbours to Melchizedec, and Canaanitic pollution was in close proximity to a worship and life springing from the fear of the Lord. And in thus going forth at the Divine bidding, and therefore as a Divine messenger, in his conspicuous equipment of courage, intelligence, justice, wealth, affection, and power, he stood forth before these exposed, tempted, or fallen tribes as a typical and pattern man, the creation of the Divine fellowship and the fruit of the worship he practised before them.
These examples are at a sufficient distance of time from each other to show that they did not arise from any individual peculiarity of person or condition, but that they sprang from
source open to all their contemporaries. From the time of Abraham, in his descendants, we have an unbroken succession of men who experienced this personal intercourse with God, and who were able to apprehend all records of past Divine action as pledges of similar action from a present living God. They also found