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Walking With God
AUTHOR: Whitefield, George
PUBLISHED ON: April 3, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN
PUBLISHED IN: Sermons

George Whitefield  Sermon 2

Walking With God

Genesis 5:24, “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took
him.”

    Various are the pleas and arguments which men of corrupt minds
frequently urge against yielding obedience to the just and holy
commands of
God. But, perhaps, one of the most common objections that they make is
this, that our Lord’s commands are not practicable, because contrary
to
flesh and blood; and consequently, that he is `an hard master, reaping
where he has not sown, and gathering where he has not strewed’. These
we
find were the sentiments entertained by that wicked and slothful
servant
mentioned in the 25th of St. Matthew; and are undoubtedly the same
with
many which are maintained in the present wicked and adulterous
generation.
The Holy Ghost foreseeing this, hath taken care to inspire holy men of
old,
to record the examples of many holy men and women; who, even under the
Old
Testament dispensation, were enabled cheerfully to take Christ’s yoke
upon
them, and counted his service perfect freedom. The large catalogue of
saints, confessors, and martyrs, drawn up in the 11th chapter to the
Hebrews, abundantly evidences the truth of this observation. What a
great
cloud of witnesses have we there presented to our view? All eminent
for
their faith, but some shining with a greater degree of luster than do
others. The proto-martyr Abel leads the van. And next to him we find
Enoch
mentioned, not only because he was next in order of time, but also on
account of his exalted piety; he is spoken of in the words of the text
in a
very extraordinary manner. We have here a short but very full and
glorious
account, both of his behavior in this world, and the triumphant manner
of
his entry into the next. The former is contained in these words, `And
Enoch
walked with God’. The latter in these, `and he was not: for God took
him’.
He was not; that is, he was not found, he was not taken away in the
common
manner, he did not see death; for God had translated him. (Heb. 11:5.)
Who
this Enoch was, does not appear so plainly. To me, he seems to have
been a
person of public character; I suppose, like Noah, a preacher of
righteousness. And, if we may credit the apostle Jude, he was a
flaming
preacher. For he quotes one of his prophecies, wherein he saith,
`Behold,
the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment
upon
all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their
ungodly
deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard
speeches,
which ungodly sinners have spoken against him’. But whether a public
or
private person, he has a noble testimony given him in the lively
oracles.
The author of the epistle to the Hebrews saith, that before his
translation
he had this testimony, `that he pleased God’; and his being
translated, was
a proof of it beyond all doubt. And I would observe, that it was
wonderful
wisdom in God to translate Enoch and Elijah under the Old Testament
dispensation, that hereafter, when it should be asserted that the Lord
Jesus was carried into heaven, it might not seem a thing altogether
incredible to the Jews; since they themselves confessed that two of
their
own prophets had been translated several hundred hears before. But it
is
not my design to detain you any longer, by enlarging, or making
observations, on Enoch’s short but comprehensive character: the thing
I
have in view being to give a discourse, as the Lord shall enable, upon
a
weighty and a very important subject; I mean, WALKING WITH GOD. `And
Enoch
walked with God.’ If so much as this can be truly said of you and me
after
our decease, we shall not have any reason to complain that we have
lived in
vain.
    In handling my intended subject, I shall,
    FIRST, Endeavor to show what is implied in these words, WALKED
WITH
GOD.
    SECONDLY, I shall prescribe some means, upon the due observance
of
which, believers may keep up and maintain their WALK WITH GOD. And,
    THIRDLY, Offer some motives to stir us up, if we never walked
with God
before, to come and walk with God now. The whole shall be closed with
a
word or two of application.
    FIRST, I am to show what is implied in these words, `walked with
God’;
or, in other words, what we are to understand by WALKING WITH GOD.

    And FIRST, WALKING WITH GOD implies, that the prevailing power of
the

enmity of a person’s heart be taken away by the blessed Spirit of God.
Perhaps it may seem a hard saying to some, but our own experience
daily
proves what the scriptures in many places assert, that the carnal
mind, the
mind of the unconverted natural man, nay, the mind of the regenerate,
so
far as any part of him remains unrenewed, is enmity, not only an
enemy, but
enmity itself, against God; so that it is not subject to the law of
God,
neither indeed can it be. Indeed, one may well wonder that any
creature,
especially that lovely creature man, made after his Maker’s own image,
should ever have any enmity, much less a prevailing enmity, against
that
very God in whom he lives, and moves, and hath his being. But alas! so
it
is. Our first parents contracted it when they fell from God by eating
the
forbidden fruit, and the bitter and malignant contagion of it hath
descended to, and quite overspread, their whole posterity. This enmity
discovered itself in Adam’s endeavoring to hide himself in the trees
of the
garden. When he heard the voice of the Lord God, instead of running
with an
open heart, saying Here I am; alas! he now wanted no communion with
God;
and still more discovered his lately contracted enmity, by the excuse
he
made to the Most High: `The woman (or, this woman) thou gavest to be
with
me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat’. By saying thus, he in
effect
lays all the fault upon God; as though he had said, If thou hadst not
given
me this woman, I had not sinned against thee, so thou mayest thank
thyself
for my transgression. In the same manner this enmity works in the
hearts of
Adam’s children. They now and again find something rising against God,
and
saying even unto God, What doest thou? `It scorns any meaner
competitor
(says the learned Dr. Owen, in his excellent treatise on indwelling
sin)
than God himself.’ Its command is like that of the Assyrians in
respect to
Ahab _ shoot only at the king. And it strikes against every thing that
has
the appearance of real piety, as the Assyrians shot at Jehoshaphat in
his
royal clothes. But the opposition ceases when it finds that it is only
an
appearance, as the Assyrians left off shooting at Jehoshaphat, when
they
perceived it was not Ahab they were shooting at. This enmity
discovered
itself in accursed Cain; he hated and slew his brother Abel, because
Abel
loved, and was peculiarly favored by, his God. And this same enmity
rules
and prevails in every man that is naturally engendered of the
offspring of
Adam. Hence that a averseness to prayer and holy duties which we find
in
children, and very often in grown persons, who have notwithstanding
been
blessed with a religious education. And all that open sin and
wickedness,
which like a deluge has overflowed the world, are only so many streams
running from this dreadful contagious fountain; I mean a enmity of
man’s
desperately wicked and deceitful heart. He that cannot set his seal to
this, knows nothing yet, in a saving manner, of the Holy Scriptures,
or of
the power of God. And all that do know this, will readily acknowledge,
that
before a person can be said to walk with God, the prevailing power of
this
heart-enmity must be destroyed: for persons do not use to walk and
keep
company together, who entertain an irreconcilable enmity and hatred
against
one another. Observe me, I say, the prevailing power of this enmity
must be
taken away; for the in-being of it will never be totally removed, till
we
bow down our heads, and give up the ghost. The apostle Paul, no doubt,
speaks of himself, and that, too, not when he was a Pharisee, but a
real
Christian; when he complains, `that when he would do good, evil was
present
with him’; not having dominion over him, but opposing and resisting
his
good intentions and actions, so that he could not do the things which
he
would, in that perfection which the new man desired. This is what he
calls
sin dwelling in him. `And this is that Fronhma sarko”, which (to use
the
words of the ninth article of our church,) some do expound the wisdom,
some
sensuality, some the affectation, some the desire, of the flesh, which
doth
remain, yea, in them that are regenerated.’ But as for its prevailing
power, it is destroyed in every soul that is truly born of God, and
gradually more and more weakened as the believer grows in grace, and
the
Spirit of God gains a greater and greater ascendancy in the heart.
    But SECONDLY, Walking with God not only implies, that the
prevailing
power of the enmity of a man’s heart be taken away, but also that a
person
is actually reconciled to God the Father, in and through the
all-sufficient
righteousness and atonement of his dear Son. `Can two walk together,
(says
Solomon, [actually Amos 3:3]) unless they are agreed?’ Jesus is our
peace

as well as our peace-maker. When we are justified by faith in Christ,
then,

but not till then, we have peace with God; and consequently cannot be
said
till then to walk with him, walking with a person being a sign and
token
that we are friends to that person, or at least, though we have been
at
variance, yet that now we are reconciled and become friends again.
This is
the great errand that gospel ministers are sent out upon. To us is
committed the ministry of reconciliation; as ambassadors for God, we
are to
beseech sinners, in Christ’s stead, to be reconciled unto God, and
when
they comply with the gracious invitation, and are actually by faith
brought
into a state of reconciliation with God, then, and not till then, may
they
be said so much as to begin to walk with God.
    Further, THIRDLY, Walking with God implies a settled abiding
communion
and fellowship with God, or what in scripture is called, `The Holy
Ghost
dwelling in us’. This is what our Lord promised when he told his
disciples
that `the Holy Spirit would be in and with them’; not to be like
wayfaring
man, to say only for a night, but to reside and make his abode in
their
hearts. This, I am apt to believe, is what the apostle John would have
us
understand, when he talks of a person `abiding in him, in Christ, and
walking as he himself also walked’. And this is what is particularly
meant
in the words of our text. `And Enoch walked with God’, that is, he
kept up
and maintained a holy, settled, habitual, though undoubtedly not
altogether
uninterrupted communion and fellowship with God, in and through Christ
Jesus. So that to sum up what has been said on this part of the first
general head, WALKING WITH GOD consists especially in the fixed
habitual
bent of the will for God, in an habitual dependence upon his power and
promise, in an habitual voluntary dedication of our all to his glory,
in an
habitual eyeing of his precept in all we do, and in an habitual
complacence
in his pleasure in all we suffer.
    FOURTHLY, WALKING WITH GOD implies our making progress or
advances in
the divine life. WALKING, in the very first idea of the word, seems to
suppose a progressive motion. A person that walks, though he move
slowly,
yet he goes forward, and does not continue in one place. And so it is
with
those that walk with God. They go on, as the Psalmist says, `from
strength
to strength’; or, in the language of the apostle Paul, `they pass from
glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord’. Indeed, in one sense,
the
divine life admits of neither increase nor decrease. When a soul is
born of
God, to all intents and purposes he is a child of God; and though he
should
live to the age of Methuselah, yet he would then be only a child of
God
after all. But in another sense, the divine life admits of decays and
additions. Hence it is, that we find the people of God charged with
backslidings and losing their first love. And hence it is that we hear
of
babes, young men, and fathers in Christ. And upon this account it is
that
the apostle exhorts Timothy, `to let his progress be made known to all
men’. And what is here required of Timothy in particular, by St. Peter
is
enjoined on all Christians in general. `But grow in grace, (says he),
and
in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’. For the new
creature
increases in spiritual stature; and though a person can but be a new
creature, yet there are some that are more conformed to the divine
image
than others, and will after death be admitted to a greater degree of
blessedness. For want of observing this distinction, even some
gracious
souls, that have better hearts than heads, (as well as men of corrupt
minds, reprobates concerning the faith) have unawares run into
downright
Antinomian principles, denying all growth of grace in a believer, or
any
marks of grace to be laid down in the scriptures of truth. From such
principles, and more especially from practices naturally consequent on
such
principles, may the Lord of all lords deliver us!
    From what then has been said, we may now know what is implied in
the
words, `walked with God’, viz. Our having the prevailing enmity of our
hearts taken away by the power of the Spirit of God; our being
actually
reconciled and united to him by faith in Jesus Christ; our having and
keeping up a settled communion and fellowship with him; and our making
a
daily progress in this fellowship, so as to be conformed to the divine
image more and more.
    How this is done, or, in other words, by what means believers
keep up
and maintain their walk with God, comes to be considered under our
second
general head.

    And, FIRST, Believers keep up and maintain their walk with God by

reading of his holy word. `Search the scriptures’, says our blessed
Lord,
`for these are they that testify of me’. And the royal Psalmist tells
us
`that God’s word was a light unto his feet, and a lantern unto his
paths’;
and he makes it one property of a good man, `that his delight is in
the law
of the Lord, and that he exercises himself therein day and night’.
`Give
thyself to reading’, (says Paul to Timothy); `And this book of the
law,
(says God to Joshua) shall not go out of thy mouth’. For whatsoever
was
written aforetime was written for our learning. And the word of God is
profitable for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in
righteousness, and every way sufficient to make every true child of
God
thoroughly furnished unto every good work. If we once get above our
Bibles,
and cease making the written word of God our sole rule both as to
faith and
practice, we shall soon lie open to all manner of delusion, and be in
great
danger of making shipwreck of faith and a good conscience. Our blessed
Lord, though he had the Spirit of God without measure, yet always was
governed by, and fought the devil with, `It is written’. This the
apostle
calls the `sword of the Spirit’. We may say of it, as David said of
Goliath’s sword, `None like this’. The scriptures are called the
lively
oracles of God: not only because they are generally made use of to
beget in
us a new life, but also to keep up and increase it in the soul. The
apostle
Peter, in his second epistle, prefers it even to seeing Christ
transfigured
upon the  mount. For after he had said, chap. 1:18. `This voice which
came
from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount’; he
adds,
`We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that
ye
take heed, as unto a light shining in a dark place, until the day
dawn, and
the day-star arise in your hearts’: that is, till we shake off these
bodies, and see Jesus face to face. Till then we must see and converse
with
him through the glass of his word. We must make his testimonies our
counselors, and daily, with Mary, sit at Jesus’ feet, by faith hearing
his
word. We shall then by happy experience find, that they are spirit and
life, meat indeed and drink indeed, to our souls.
    SECONDLY, Believers keep up and maintain their walk with God by
secret
prayer. The spirit of grace is always accompanied with the spirit of
supplication. It is the very breath of the new creature, the fan of
the
divine life, whereby the spark of holy fire, kindled in the soul by
God, is
not only kept in, but raised into a flame. A neglect of secret prayer
has
been frequently an inlet to many spiritual diseases, and has been
attended
with fatal consequences. Origen observed, ‘`hat the day he offered
incense
to an idol, he went out of his closet without making use of secret
prayer’
It is one of the most noble parts of the believers’ spiritual armor.
`Praying always’, says the apostle, `with all manner of supplication.’
`Watch and pray’, says our Lord, `that ye enter not into temptation.’
And
he spake a parable, that his disciples should pray, and not faint. Not
that
our Lord would have us always upon our knees, or in our closets, to
the
neglect of our other relative duties. But he means, that our souls
should
be kept in a praying frame, so that we might be able to say, as a good
man
in Scotland once said to his friends on his death-bed, `Could these
curtains, or could these walls speak, they would tell you what sweet
communion I have had with my God here’. O prayer! Prayer! It brings
and
keeps God and man together. It raises man up to God, and brings God
down to
man. If you would there, O believers, keep up your walk with God;
pray,
pray without ceasing. Be much in secret, set prayer. And when you are
about
the common business of life, be much in ejaculatory prayer, and send,
from
time to time, short letters post to heaven upon the wings of faith.
They
will reach the very heart of God, and return to you again loaded with
spiritual blessings.
    THIRDLY, Holy and frequent meditation is another blessed means of
keeping up a believer’s walk with God. `Prayer, reading, temptation,
and
meditation’, says Luther, make a minister.’ And they also make and
perfect
a Christian. Meditation to the soul, is the same as digestion to the
body.
Holy David found it so, and therefore he was frequently employed in
meditation, even in the night season. We read also of Isaac’s going
out
into the fields to meditate in the evening; or, as it is in the
margin, to
pray. For meditation is a kind of silent prayer, whereby the soul is
frequently as it were carried out of itself to God, and in a degree
made

like unto those blessed spirits, who by a kind of immediate intuition

always behold the face of our heavenly Father. None but those happy
souls
that have been accustomed to this divine employ, can tell what a
blessed
promoter of the divine life, meditation is. `Whilst I was musing’,
says
David, `the fire kindled.’ And whilst the believer is musing on the
works
and word of God, especially that work of works, that wonder of
wonders,
that mystery of godliness, `God manifest in the flesh’, the Lamb of
God
slain for the sins of the world, he frequently feels the fire of
divine
love kindle, so that he is obliged to speak with his tongue, and tell
of
the loving-kindness of the Lord to his soul. Be frequent therefore in
meditation, all ye that desire to keep up and maintain a close and
uniform
walk with the most high God.
    FOURTHLY, Believers keep up their walk with God, by watching and
noting his providential dealings with them. If we believe the
scriptures,
we must believe what our Lord hath declared therein, `That the very
hairs
of his disciples’ heads are all numbered; and that a sparrow does not
fall
to the ground, (either to pick up a grain of corn, or when shot by a
fowler), without the knowledge of our heavenly Father’. Every cross
has a
call in it, and every particular dispensation of divine providence has
some
particular end to answer in those to whom it is sent. If it be of an
afflictive nature, God does thereby say, `My son, keep thyself from
idols’:
if prosperous, he does, as it were by a small still voice, say, `My
son,
give me thy heart’. If believers, therefore, would keep up their walk
with
God, they must from time to time hear what the Lord has to say
concerning
them in the voice of his providence. Thus we find that Abraham’s
servant,
when he went to fetch a wife for his master Isaac, eyed and watched
the
providence of God, and by that means found out the person that was
designed
for his master’s wife. `For a little hint from providence’, says pious
Bishop Hall, `is enough for faith to feed upon.’ And as I believe it
will
be one part of our happiness in heaven, to take a view of, and look
back
upon, the various links of the golden chain which drew us there; so
those
that enjoy most of heaven below, I believe, will be the most minute in
remarking God’s various dealings with them, in respect to his
providential
dispensations here on earth.
    FIFTHLY, In order to walk closely with God, his children must not
only
watch the motions of God’s providence without them, but the motions
also of
his blessed Spirit in their hearts. `As many as are the sons of God,
are
led by the Spirit of God’, and give up themselves to be guided by the
Holy
Ghost, as a little child gives its hand to be led by a nurse or
parent. It
is no doubt in this sense that we are to be converted, and become like
little children. And though it is the quintessence of enthusiasm, to
pretend to be guided by the Spirit without the written word; yet it is
every Christian’s bounden duty to be guided by the Spirit in
conjunction
with the written word of God. Watch, therefore, I pray you, O
believers,
the motions of God’s blessed Spirit in your souls, and always try the
suggestions or impressions that you may at any time feel, by the
unerring
rule of God’s most holy word: and if they are not found to be
agreeable to
that, reject them as diabolical and delusive. By observing this
caution,
you will steer a middle course between the two dangerous extremes many
of
this generation are in danger of running into; I mean, ENTHUSIASM, on
the
one hand, and DEISM, and DOWNRIGHT INFIDELITY, on the other.
    SIXTHLY, They that would maintain a holy walk with God, must walk
with
him in ordinances as well as providences, etc. It is therefore
recorded of
Zachary and Elizabeth, that `they walked in all God’s ordinances, as
well
as commandments, blameless’. And all rightly informed Christians, will
look
upon ordinances, not as beggarly elements, but as so many
conduit-pipes,
whereby the infinitely condescending Jehovah conveys his grace to
their
souls. They will look upon them as children’s bread, and as their
highest
privileges. Consequently they will be glad when they hear others say,
`Come, let us go up to the house of the Lord’. They will delight to
visit
the place where God’s honor dwelleth, and be very eager to embrace all
opportunities to show forth the Lord Christ’s death till he come.
    SEVENTHLY and LASTLY, If you would walk with God, you will
associate
and keep company with those that do walk with him. `My delight’, says
holy
David, `is in them that do excel’ in virtue. They were, in his sight,
the
excellent ones of the earth. And the primitive Christians, no doubt,
kept

up their vigor and first love, by continuing in fellowship one with

another. The apostle Paul knew this full well, and therefore exhorts
the
Christians to see to it, that they did not forsake the assembling of
themselves together. For how can one be warm alone? And has not the
wisest
of men told us, that `As iron sharpeneth iron, so doth the countenance
of a
man his friend?’ If we look, therefore, into church history, or make a
just
observation of our own times, I believe we shall find, that as the
power of
God prevails, Christian societies, and fellowship meetings prevail
proportionably. And as one decays, the other has insensibly decayed
and
dwindled away at the same time. So necessary is it for those that
would
walk with God, and keep up the life of religion, to meet together as
they
have opportunity, in order to provoke one another to love and good
works.
    Proceed we now to the third general thing proposed: to offer some
motives to excite all to come and walk with God.
    And, FIRST, walking with God is a very honorable thing. This
generally
is a prevailing motive to persons of all ranks, to stir them up to any
important undertaking. O that it may have its due weight and influence
with
you in respect to the matter now before us! I suppose you would all
think
it a very high honor to be admitted into an earthly prince’s privy
council,
to be trusted with his secrets, and to have his ear at all times and
at all
seasons. It seems Haman thought it so when he boasted, Esther 5:11,
that
besides his being `advanced above the princes and servants of the
king;
yea, moreover, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king
unto
the banquet that she had prepared, but myself; and to-morrow am I
invited
unto her also with the king’. And when afterwards a question was put
to
this same Haman, Chap. 6:6. `What shall be done unto the man whom the
king
delighteth to honor?’ he answered, verse 8. `Let the royal apparel be
brought which the king used to wear, and the horse that the king
rideth
upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head; and let this
apparel
and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble
princes,
that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honor,
and
bring him on horseback through the street of the city and proclaim
before
him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to
honor.’
This was all, then, it seems, that an ambitious Haman could ask, and
the
most valuable thing that he thought Ahasuerus, the greatest monarch
upon
earth, could give. But, alas, what is this honor in comparison of that
which the meanest of those enjoy, that walk with God! Think ye it a
small
thing, sirs, to have the secret of the Lord of lords with you, and to
be
called the friends of God? And such honor have all God’s saints. The
secret
of the Lord is with them that fear him: and `Henceforth(says the
blessed
Jesus) call I you no longer servants, but friends; for the servant
knoweth
not the will of his master’. Whatever you may think of it, holy David
was
so sensible of the honor attending a walk with God that he declares,
`he
had rather be a door-keeper in his house, than to dwell even in the
tents
of ungodliness’. O that all were like-minded with him!
    But, SECONDLY, As it is an honorable, so it is a pleasing thing,
to
walk with God. The wisest of men has told us, that `wisdom’s ways are
ways
of pleasantness, and all her paths peace’. And I remember pious Mr.
Henry,
when he was about to expire, said to a friend, `You have heard many
men’s
dying words, and these are mine: A life spent in communion with God,
is the
pleasantest life in the world’. I am sure I can set to my seal that
this is
true. Indeed, I have been listed under Jesus’ banner only for a few
years;
but I have enjoyed more solid pleasure in one moment’s communion with
my
god, than I should or could have enjoyed in the ways of sin, though I
had
continued to have gone on in them for thousands of years. And may I
not
appeal to all you that fear and walk with God, for the truth of this?
Has
not one day in the Lord’s courts been better to you than a thousand?
In
keeping God’s commandments, have you not found a present, and very
great
reward? Has not his word been sweeter to you than the honey or the
honeycomb? O what have you felt, when, Jacob-like, you have been
wrestling
with your God? Has not Jesus often met you when meditating in the
fields,
and been made known to you over and over again in breaking of bread?
Has
not the Holy Ghost frequently shed the divine love abroad in your
hearts
abundantly, and filled you with joy unspeakable, even joy that is full
of
glory? I know you will answer all these questions in the affirmative,
and
freely acknowledge the yoke of Christ to be easy, and his burden
light; or

(to use the words of one of our collects), `His service is perfect

freedom’. And what need we then any further motive to excite us to
walk
with God?
    But methinks I hear some among you say, `How can these things be?
For,
if walking with God, as you say, is such an honorable and pleasant
thing,
whence is it that the name of the people of this way is cast out as
evil,
and every where spoken against? How comes it to pass that they are
frequently afflicted, tempted, destitute, and tormented? Is this the
honor,
this the pleasure, that you speak of?’ I answer, Yes. Stop a while; be
not
over hasty. Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous
judgment, and all will be well. It is true, we acknowledge the `people
of
this way’, as you, and Paul before you, when a persecutor, called
them,
have their names cast out as evil, and are a sect every where spoken
against. But by whom? Even by the
enemies of the most high God. And do you think it is disgrace to be
spoken
evil of by them? Blessed be God, we have not so learned Christ. Our
royal
Master has pronounced those `blessed, who are persecuted, and have all
manner of evil spoken against them falsely’. He has commanded them `to
rejoice and be exceeding glad’, for it is the privilege of their
discipleship, and that their reward will be great in heaven. He
himself was
thus treated. And can there be a greater honor put upon a creature,
than to
be conformed to the ever-blessed Son of God? And further, it is
equally
true that the people of this way are frequently afflicted, tempted,
destitute, and tormented. But what of all this? Does this destroy the
pleasure of walking with God? No, in no wise; for those that walk with
God
are enabled, through Christ strengthening them, to joy even in
tribulation,
and to rejoice when they fall into divers temptations. And I believe I
may
appeal to the experience of all true and close walkers with God,
whether or
not their suffering times have not frequently been their sweetest
times,
and that they enjoyed most of God when most cast out and despised by
men?
This we find was the case of Christ’s primitive servants, when
threatened
by the Jewish sanhedrin, and commanded to preach no more in the name
of
Jesus; they rejoiced that they were accounted worthy to suffer shame
for
the sake of Jesus. Paul and Silas sang praises even in a dungeon; and
the
face of Stephen, that glorious proto-martyr of the Christian church,
shone
like the face of an angel. And Jesus is the same now as he was then,
and
takes care so to sweeten sufferings and afflictions with his love,
that his
disciples find, by happy experience, that as afflictions abound,
consolations do much more abound. And therefore these objections,
instead
of destroying, do only enforce the motives before urged, to excite you
to
walk with God.
    But supposing the objections were just, and walkers with God were
as
despicable and unhappy as you would represent them to be; yet I have a
third motive to offer, which if weighed in the balance of the
sanctuary,
will over-weigh all objections, viz. That there is a heaven at the end
of
this walk. For, to use the words of pious bishop Beveridge, `Though
the way
be narrow, yet it is not long: and though the gate be strait, yet it
opens
into everlasting life’. Enoch found it so. He walked with God on
earth, and
God took him to sit down with him for ever in the kingdom of heaven.
Not
that we are to expect to be taken away as he was: no, I suppose we
shall
all die the common death of all men. But after death, the spirits of
those
who have walked with God shall return to God that gave them; and at
the
morning of the resurrection, soul and body shall be for ever with the
Lord;
their bodies shall be fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body, and
their
souls filled with all the fullness of God. They shall sit on thrones;
they
shall judge angels. They shall be enabled to sustain an exceeding and
eternal weight of glory, even that glory which Jesus Christ enjoyed
with
the Father before the world began. `O gloriam quantam et qualem’, said
the
learned and pious Arndt, just before he bowed down his head, and gave
up
the ghost. The very thought of it is enough to make us `wish to leap
our
seventy years’, as good Dr. Watts expresses himself, and to make us
break
out into the earnest language of the royal Psalmist, `My soul is
athirst
for God, yea, for the living God. When shall I come to appear in the
presence of my God?’ I wonder not that a sense of this, when under a
more
than ordinary irradiation and influx of divine life and love, causes
some
persons to faint away, and even for a time lose the power of their
senses.

A less sight than this, even the sight of Solomon’s glory, made
Sheba’s

queen astonished; and a still lesser sight than that, even a sight of
Joseph’s wagons, made holy Jacob faint, and for a while, as it were,
die
away. Daniel, when admitted to a distant view of this excellent glory,
fell
down at the feet of the angel as one dead. And if a distant view of
this
glory be so excellent, what must the actual possession of it be? If
the
first fruits are so glorious, how infinitely must the harvest exceed
in
glory?
    And now, what shall I, or, indeed, what can I well say more to
excite
you, even you that are yet strangers to Christ, to come and walk with
God?
If you love honor, pleasure, and a crown of glory, come, seek it where
alone it can be found. Come, put ye on the Lord Jesus. Come, haste ye
away
and walk with God, and make no longer provision for the flesh, to
fulfill
the lust thereof. Stop, stop, O sinner! Turn ye, turn ye, O ye
unconverted
men, for the end of that way you are now walking in, however right it
may
seem in your blinded eyes, will be death, even eternal destruction
both of
body and soul. Make no longer tarrying, I say: at your peril I charge
you,
step not one step further on in your present walk. For how knowest
thou, O
man, but the next step thou takest may be into hell? Death may seize
thee,
judgment find thee, and then the great gulf will be fixed between thee
and
endless glory for ever and ever. O think of these things, all ye that
are
unwilling to walk with God. Lay them to heart. Show yourselves men,
and in
the strength of Jesus say, Farewell, lust of the flesh, I will no more
walk
with thee! Farewell, lust of the eye, and pride of life! Farewell,
carnal
acquaintance and enemies of the cross, I will no more walk and be
intimate
with you! Welcome Jesus, welcome thy word, welcome thy ordinances,
welcome
thy Spirit, welcome thy people, I will henceforth walk with you. O
that
there may be in you such a mind! God will set his almighty fiat to it,
and
seal it with the broad seal of heaven, even the signet of his holy
Spirit.
Yes, he will, though you have been walking with, and following after,
the
devices and desires of your desperately wicked hearts ever since you
have
been born. `I, the high and lofty One’, says the great Jehovah, `that
inhabiteth eternity, will dwell with the humble and contrite heart,
even
with the man that trembleth at my word.’ The blood, even the precious
blood
of Jesus Christ, if you come to the Father in and through him, shall
cleanse you from all sin.
    But the text leads me to speak to you that are saints as well as
to
you that are open and unconverted sinners. I need not tell you, that
walking with God is not honorable, but pleasant and profitable also;
for ye
know it by happy experience, and will find it more and more so every
day.
Only give me leave to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance,
and to
beseech you by the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, to take heed to
yourselves, and walk closer with your God than you have in days past:
for
the nearer you walk with God, the more you will enjoy of him whose
presence
is life, and be the better prepared for being placed at his right
hand,
where are pleasures for evermore. O do not follow Jesus afar off! O be
not
so formal, so dead and stupid in your attendance on holy ordinances!
Do not
so shamefully forsake the assembling yourselves together, or be so
niggardly or indifferent about the things of God. Remember what Jesus
says
of the church of Laodicea, `Because thou art neither hot nor cold, I
will
spew thee out of my mouth’. Think of the love of Jesus, and let that
love
constrain you to keep near unto him; and though you die for him, do
not
deny him, do not keep at a distance from him in any wise.
    One word to my brethren in the ministry that are here present,
and I
have done. You see, my brethren, my heart is full; I could almost say
it is
too big to speak, and yet too big to be silent, without dropping a
word to
you. For does not the text speak in a particular manner to those who
have
the honor of being styled the ambassadors of Christ, and stewards of
the
mysteries of God. I observed at the beginning of this discourse, that
Enoch
in all probability was a public person, and a flaming preacher. Though
he
be dead, does he not yet speak to us, to quicken our zeal, and make us
more
active in the service of our glorious and ever-blessed Master? How did
Enoch preach! How did Enoch walk with God, though he lived in a wicked
and
adulterous generation! Let us then follow him, as he followed Jesus
Christ,
and ere long, where he is there shall we be also. He is not entered
into
his rest: yet a little while and we shall enter into ours, and that
too

much sooner than he did. He sojourned here below three hundred years;
but

blessed be God, the days of man are now shortened, and in a few days
our
walk will be over. The Judge is before the door: he that cometh will
come,
and will not tarry: his reward is with him. And we shall all (if we
are
zealous for the Lord of hosts) ere long shine as the stars in the
firmament, in the kingdom of our heavenly Father, for ever and ever.
To
Him, the blessed Jesus, and eternal Spirit, be all honor and glory,
now,
and to all eternity. Amen, and Amen.

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