CCLXXXIV. The Way of Cain.

JUDE II. “The way of Cain.”

IN the first joy of her motherhood, Eve seems to have
imagined that the promised deliverer had already come,
and gave her son a name which expressed gratitude for
his birth, and hope for his life. But she was doomed to
disappointment, for in the after conduct of her eldest born
she had one of the bitterest experiences of the evil nature
and awful consequences of sin. Cain stands before us as
the embodiment of that which we may call selfism. He
was wise in his own conceit, and wedded to his own way.
I. The selfism of Cain appears in his refusal to offer to
God the appointed sacrifice for sin. There are many lines
of proof all converging toward the conclusion that God had
specially appointed the offering of animal sacrifices by
men. The strongest proof is given in Hebrews: “By faith
Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than
Cain.” Faith has always respect to a testimony borne by
God, or a command enjoined by Him. If there had been
no Divine prescription of animal sacrifices, Abel’s offering
could not have been the result of faith.
Cain’s unbelief was manifested in preferring his own
way, and bringing only the fruits of the ground. The
spirit of Cain is manifested by all who refuse to accept
redemption through Christ’s blood, of which Abel’s offering
was the primal type.
II. The selfism of Cain appears in his enmity toward
Abel, and in its tragic result.
In all cases of self-sufficiency there are two distinguish-
able phases; undue appreciation of one’s self, and undue
depreciation of others. The one is vanity, the other is
envy.
The sin of murder sprang originally from the root of
wounded self-esteem.
We have not now murderings of individuals for their
faith, but still the selfists in the land are full of envy
toward the sincere followers of the Lord, and wherever
tokens of acceptance with the Most High are seen, they
will try to murder the reputation, or seek to destroy the
business when they dare not touch the life. These are
going in the way of Cain.
III. The selfism of Cain appears in his disregard of the
warning given him by God.
Jehovah said: “Why art thou wroth? If thou doest
not well, sin is a croucher at the door, and its desire is
against thee, but thou shouldst rule over it” (literal trans-
lation). But Cain could take care of himself. He had
firmness enough to resist temptation. He went on de-
fiantly in self-confidence, and was at length hurried to the
murder of his brother.
The man who is dallying with strong drink is following
in the way of Cain. So is the covetous man whose heart
is set on gold.
IV. The selfism of Cain appears in his repudiation of
responsibility for Abel. His motto was, let every man
take care of himself. He was utterly careless about his
brother.
Multitudes around are growing up in ignorance and
vice. Do you feel any responsibility resting on you to do
something for their reformation? If not, you are in the
way of Cain.
V. The result of this selfism. Cain was to be a lonely
fugitive. He was left to himself. Enter on the way of
Jesus, and so find happiness and home.
W. M. Taylor, D.D.

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