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love to wander from him, and justly expose themselves to the hidings of his face, and to the darkness, and doubts, and fears, which follow from it. God has expressly told them that, if they walk with him, he will walk with them ; but if they forsake him, he will forsake them. But notwithstanding this, they are very apt to complain of their darkness and doubts under the hidings of his face, rather than to condemn themselves for departing from him. He gives them tokens of his displeasure, and not of his approbation, which ought to lead them to return to him, from whom they have criminally revolted. David did this, and he says he found the happy effects of it. “ The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord, - and he helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." If saints would prevent, or remove darkness, doubts and distress from their minds, let them walk closely with God, who will then give them peculiar tokens of their pleasing him, and standing high in his favor.

2. If God manifests peculiar tokens of his favor to those who walk with him, then they have more to gain, than to lose, by walking with him. Good men often depart from God, and conform to the world, for the sake of gaining their friendship, or through fear of losing it, and exposing themselves to their reproach, contempt and opposition. The world love their own, but not those who come out from them, and walk with God. They feel themselves not only forsaken, but condemned, by those who choose to walk with God rather than with them, which excites unpleasant and unfriendly feelings in their breasts towards the godly. They have ground to expect, therefore, that they shall lose the friendship of the world, and experience the bitter effects of their enmity and opposition. This has been the lot of those who have sincerely and habitually walked with God, in every age of the world. It seems to be intimated that Enoch's walking with God excited the mortal enmity of the wicked, who sought his life, and would have taken it away, if God had not preserved it, by translating him to heaven. The apostle says: “ By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death ; and was not found, because God had translated himn.” This seems to imply that his enemies searched for him, and would have slain him, if God had not privately taken him out of the world. And this conjecture seems to be strengthened, by his being placed at the head of that catalogue of worthies, mentioned in the eleventh of Hebrews, who walked with God; and many of whom “were stoned, were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented." Though these pious patriarchs lived in an evil day, and suffered such an accumulation and complication of evils, yet they gained more than they lost, by walking with God. For they enjoyed peculiar tokens of his favor. « These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Wherefore God was not ashamed to be called their God; and prepared for them a city, to which he triumphantly conveyed them. Now if the saints of old gained much more than they lost, by walking with God, then it is very certain that saints at this day have much more to gain than to lose, by walking with God. They may lose some of their nominal friends, and incur the neglect, reproach, contempt and opposition of the enemies of all righteousness. But what are these losses in comparison with the peculiar tokens of the divine favor? God is the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. He loves those who love him. He will walk with those who walk with him. He will guard those who walk with him, not only against their visible, but invisible enemies. He will give them that peace which the world cannot give, nor take away. He will give them full assurance of hope. He will afford them all that outward prosperity which they can reasonably desire. And finally, he will prepare them for a peaceful death, and a glorious immortality beyond the grave. Real saints have infinitely more to gain, than they can possibly lose, by walking with God. They are, therefore, always unwise, as well as criminal, when they forget and forsake God, and walk with the world, to gain their friendship, or to avoid their frowns. Both their duty and happiness require them to walk constantly and joyfully with God.

3. If God be highly pleased with his friends while they walk with him, then he must be highly displeased when they depart from him. The best of saints are more or less inconstant in their walk with God. Though Enoch is not charged with any inconstancy, yet there can be no doubt but his love to God sometimes abated, and he became cold, and dull, and negligent in walking with God. We know, however, that other eminent saints frequently wandered from God, which was highly displeasing to him, and drew down tokens of his just displeasure. As God always takes notice of saints while they walk with him, so he takes equal notice of them when they forget and forsake him. If they leave him for a longer, or shorter season, he knows it; and not only so, he knows why they deviate from the path of duty. He knows that they never forsake him, but for the sake of some inferior worldly object. He sees what mere vanities attract their attention and attachment, and draw them away from him. Of this they are often unconscious. They do not perceive how often, or how much, they suffer their thoughts and affections to wander from him. The world and the things of the world imperceptibly occupy their thoughts

, and turn them aside from their designed and habitual walk with God. But he always sees all their sinful deviations from the path of duty; and of consequence they appear much more sinful in his view, than their own. Hence says the apostle John, “ If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” These numerous deviations and departures from God, which are highly displeasing to him, are the reasons why those who do sometimes walk with God receive no more peculiar tokens of his favor, and so many tokens of his displeasure. They have always reason to expect, when they forget and forsake him, that he will be displeased, and some way or other manifest his displeasure towards them, and continue the manifestations of it, until they return to him and walk with him.

4. If God will walk with those who walk with him, then we may justly conclude that he will cause all those who once sin. cerely walked with him, to continue walking with him, till they leave the world, and enter into eternal rest. He caused Enoch to walk with him three hundred years, before he translated him to heaven. And there is reason to believe that he caused Adam, and Seth, and Enos, and Cainan, and Mahalaleel, and Jared, and Methuselah, and Lamech, and Noah, to walk with him seven or eight hundred years, though iniquity abounded, and the love of many waxed cold and died. God gives all his sincere friends some peculiar tokens of his favor, which he never gives to those who are not cordially reconciled to him. And one of these peculiar favors is his gracious presence with them, which effectually guards them against both their visible and invisible enemies; so that they cannot cause them to fall away finally. This assurance of final perseverance Christ gave to his true disciples. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of

my

Father's hand.” God keeps his eye constantly fixed upon those who once walk with him, and sees all the evils and dangers to which they are exposed from the things of the world, the cares of the world, the business of the world, the men of the world, and from their great moral imperfection and subtle adversary; and he determines to preserve them, and keep them by his almighty

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power, through faith, unto salvation. And if God be for them, who can be against them? Upon this solid foundation, the apostle confidently declares, “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5. It appears from the nature of walking with God, that those who walk with him in a day of degeneracy, do peculiar service and honor to religion. The world had been gradually degenerating from Seth to Enoch ; and had it not been for them, and the other patriarchs who walked with God and maintained his cause, the world would have been destroyed much sooner than it was.

This is evident from one single consideration, that God did not destroy it till there was but one man in it who walked with him. Seth, Enoch, and the other pious patriarchs, were the salt of the earth, and the light of the world, till they were taken out of it. Good men have a peculiar opportunity, in a time of great degeneracy, to display the beauty, reality and importance of religion, and to restrain the corruptions of the times. It was evidently owing to the dark times in which Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David and Daniel lived, that they did so much good, and became so celebrated and distinguished in the world. When iniquity abounds, and the love of many nominal saints waxes cold, it tends to fill the minds of those who walk with God with a holy zeal, fortitude and resolution to triumph over all opposition, and to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the service of the Lord. A day of degeneracy is a trying day to all who profess to walk with God; and, if they are sincere, will make them shine with

peculiar lustre. It is really a more trying time to professors than a time of revival of religion. Then insincere professors are naturally, though reluctantly, carried along with the current. But in a time of degeneracy, they are pleasantly and insensibly led astray from God. Though the world be not so universally corrupt now, as it was about the time of Enoch, yet it is more deeply corrupted. Wherever the gospel does not purify, it corrupts the hearts of men. The Christian world is far more corrupt than the heathen world. And though the hearts of many individuals, at this day, are softened and sanctified, yet a vast many more are hardened and corrupted, especially in some places; and in none, perhaps, more than in this. How small is the number of those who walk closely and constantly with God, and, like the patriarchs, condemn the world!

6. This subject calls upon all who have professed to walk with God, to inquire whether they have walked worthy of the

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vocation wherewith they are called. Have you received and given evidence of this? Enoch, who walked with God, received testimony that he pleased him; and he gave testimony to the world, that he walked with God, and they saw and hated his testimony. If God gives some tokens of his favor to those who walk with him, you ought to inquire whether he has given any of these tokens to you. Has he given you that peace which the world cannot give? Has he given you the assurance of hope? Has he kept you near to himself, and not suffered you to wander from him? Have you given evidence to the world that you have walked with God, not only in his special ordinances, but in your daily concerns and intercourse with the world? Have the world claimed you, or opposed you? It is impossible for any to walk closely and constantly with God, and not manifest it, in a greater or less degree, to the world. The men of the world do not feel indifferent to those who forsake, and condemn, and oppose them. If you have walked with God, he has given you evidence of it; and the world have given you evidence of it. Be entreated to ascertain what evi. dence you have, for you, or against you. You may and ought to do this, for your present and future peace.

Finally, This subject exhorts all who have not hitherto walked with God, to walk with him. He commands you to walk with him. He invites you to walk with him. He promises you

the highest tokens of his favor, if you will walk with him. He will protect you from your visible and invisible enemies; he will give you inward peace and tranquillity; he will prepare you for a peaceful death, and a blessed immortality. But if you refuse to walk with him, he has threatened to banish you from his presence. And he has recorded, for your warning and admonition, his awful treatment of those who have refused to walk with him. The old world refused, and were swept away by the besom of destruction. Sodom and Gomorrah refused to walk with him, and he set them forth as ensamples, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. The Jews in Christ's day refused to follow him, and walk with him, and he destroyed them by most exemplary judgments. And God still says,

, “ Vengeance is mine; I will repay." Are you prepared to meet such tremendous consequences of divine wraih! Turn, turn ye, therefore, for why will ye die?

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