By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous…
About the middle of the seventeenth century, the venerable John Flavel was settled at Dartmouth, where his labours were greatly blessed. On one occasion he preached from these words: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema, maranatha." The discourse was unusually solemn. At the conclusion of the service, when Mr. Flavel arose to pronounce the benediction, he paused, and said, "How shall I bless this whole assembly, when every person in it who loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ is anathema, maranatha?" The solemnity of this address deeply affected the audience, and one gentleman, a person of rank, was so much overcome by his feelings, that he fell senseless to the floor. In the congregation was a lad named Luke Short, then about fifteen years old, a native of Dartmouth, who, shortly after the event just narrated, entered into the seafaring line, and sailed to America, where he passed the rest of his life. Mr. Short's life was lengthened much beyond the usual term; and when a hundred years old, he had sufficient strength to work on his farm, and his mental faculties were very little impaired. Hitherto he had lived in carelessness and sin; he was now a "sinner a hundred years old," and apparently ready to "die accursed." But one day, as he sat in his field, he busied himself in reflecting on his past life. Recurring to the events of his youth, his memory fixed upon Mr. Flavel's discourse, already alluded to, a considerable part of which he was able to recollect. The affectionate earnestness of the preacher's manner, the important truths which he delivered, and the effects produced on the congregation, were brought fresh to his mind. The blessing of God accompanied his meditations; he felt that he had not "loved the Lord Jesus Christ"; he feared the dreadful "anethema"; conviction was followed by repentance, and at length this aged sinner obtained peace through the blood of Christ, and was found "in the way of righteousness." He joined the Congregational church in Middleborough, and till the period of his death, which took place in his one hundred and sixteenth year, he gave pleasing evidence of true piety.
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
WEB: By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous, God testifying with respect to his gifts; and through it he, being dead, still speaks.