From Eternity Past


Chapter 6—Seth: When Men Turned to God

This chapter is based on Genesis 4:25 to 6:2.

To Adam was given another son to be the heir of the spiritual birthright. The name Seth, given to this son, signified “appointed,” or “compensation”; “for,” said the mother, “God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” Seth resembled Adam more closely than did his other sons, a worthy character following in the steps of Abel. Yet he inherited no more natural goodness than did Cain. Seth, like Cain, inherited the fallen nature of his parents. But he received also the knowledge of the Redeemer and instruction in righteousness. He labored, as Abel would have done, to turn the minds of sinful men to revere and obey their Creator. EP 43.1

“To Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah.” The distinction between the two classes became more marked—an open profession of loyalty to God on the part of one, contempt and disobedience on the part of the other. EP 43.2

Before the Fall, our first parents had kept the Sabbath, which was instituted in Eden, and after their expulsion from Paradise they continued its observance. They had learned what every one will sooner or later learn, that the divine precepts are sacred and immutable and that the penalty of transgression will surely be inflicted. The Sabbath was honored by all who remained loyal to God. But Cain and his descendants did not respect the day upon which God had rested. EP 43.3

Cain now founded a city, calling it after the name of his eldest son. He had gone out from the presence of the Lord to seek his possessions and enjoyment in the earth, standing at the head of that great class of men who worship the god of this world. In that which pertains to mere earthly and material progress, his descendants became distinguished. But they were in opposition to the purposes of God for man. To the crime of murder, Lamech, the fifth in descent, added polygamy. Abel had led a pastoral life, and the descendants of Seth followed the same course, counting themselves “strangers and pilgrims on the earth,” seeking “a better country, that is, an heavenly.” Hebrews 11:13, 16. EP 43.4

For some time the two classes remained separate. The race of Cain, spreading from their first settlement, dispersed over the plains and valleys where the children of Seth had dwelt. The latter, in order to escape their contaminating influence, withdrew to the mountains and there maintained the worship of God in its purity. But in the lapse of time they ventured to mingle with the inhabitants of the valleys. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair.” The children of Seth displeased the Lord by intermarrying with them. Many of the worshipers of God were beguiled into sin by the allurements constantly before them, and they lost their holy character. Mingling with the depraved, they became like them. The restrictions of the seventh commandment were disregarded, “and they took them wives of all which they chose.” The children of Seth went “in the way of Cain.” Jude 11. They fixed their minds upon worldly prosperity and enjoyment and neglected the commandments of the Lord. Sin spread abroad in the earth. EP 44.1