the earth that from Cain to Lamech, and Lamech to the flood was a rising crescendo of violence, till in mercy God put 'finis' to this tale of man's inhumanity to man, and swept away the ungodly into destruction. Yet two things should be considered at this point: the institution of a long line of blood sacrifices that was to end at Calvary; and the picking out of a few friends whose loyalty withstood all attacks.
Just as the rainbow was to bring to God's memory His covenant with Noah, so this constant repetition of animal sacrifices must have spoken continually to the Son of God of that human sacrifice which was to take their place; so that again He daily took up His Cross in His heart, and slowly moved toward His own execution. Not otherwise could He have asked Peter to undertake a ministry that was to end in tragedy, and cast its shadow across the light of every day. The Son of God, too, knew from experience what it meant to live in the constant expectation of suffering and death.
To balance this debit side, however, was the beginning of a long line of friends, who by their confidence in Him would warm His heart, and heal the wounds inflicted by the treachery of others. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Job stood as pure gold in the midst of dross. The history of the human race was to prove the value and the rarity of gold: but here were the beginnings of that company who would repay Him for the travail of His soul, and the sorrows of His experience. To Enoch at least was imparted some knowledge of the course of history which was to bring to earth the Son of God with ten thousand of His Saints. To Job was given the inestimable honour of shouting into the heart of Satan those triumphant words 'Though He slay me yet will I trust Him'. What music in Christ's ears! What ointment to mollify His wound at Adam's hand!
The Scriptures say that at this time the long-suffering of