صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

“tions, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roar

ing; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for “ looking after those things which are coming on the “ earth ; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man “ in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the “ earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man “coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and

great glory.” At this most awful and tremendous hour, when the Son of man shall display his banner, the cross, in the clouds; when the sea and the waters of the great deep shall roar; when the destroying angel shall again go forth at midnight into the land of Egypt, and there shall be a great cry throughout all the land, because of death and judgement; then shall be brought to pass that which is written in the Reve: lation : “ I beheld when the kings of the earth, and “the great men, and the rich men, and the chief

сарч “tains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, “ and every freeman hid themselves in the dens, and “ in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the moun “ tains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the “ face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the

wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath “ is come, and who shall be able to stand ?"

A view of the terrors of the Lord has by this time, perhaps, made us all ready to join in asking this last question, “ Who' shall be able to stand?” And we cannot help taking up our parable with Balaam;

Alas! who slall live, when God doth this?" But, thanks bel to God, an answer will be abundantly

is

[ocr errors]

same.

ministered unto us by a consideration of the

III, And last point proposed, namely, the faith and hope of the church, who wishes for Christ's manifestation, notwithstanding all the terrors that are to attend it, as appears by the reinaining words of my text-"Even so, Amen."

For these are not the words of St. John only, but they carry in them the prayers and sighs of Christians, sent up to the throne of grace through him. It is not“ the Spirit” alone, speaking by him, that says “Come;” but “the bride,” or church, also says

the “ How long," O Lord, “holy and true,” is the voice of the departed spirits, resting from their labours, under the altar in heaven, and waiting for the completion of their glory, at the day of their Redeemer's triumph? And that part of the church which is still militant, and sojourns in the wilderness, may be heard earnestly joining in the same expostu-' lation, in the lxivth chapter of the prophet Isaiah : “O that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou “ wouldest come down, that the mountains might “ flow down at thy presence; as when the melting “ fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil;

to make thy name known to thiné adversaries, that “ the nations may tremble at thy presence! When

formerly thou didst terrible things, which we looked

not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed “ down at thy presence.” Nay, we ourselves, every one of us, daily put up the very same petition to God, when we pray that “ his kingdom may come;", for his kingdom of glory cannot come, till all these

things shall have been brought to pass. And again, when, standing at the grave's mouth, we have before our eyes a plain proof, that “ man, who is born of "a woman, hath but a short time to live" in this world; we earnestly beseech the Father of spirits, “ that it would please him of his gracious goodness

shortly to accomplish the number of his elect, and “to hasten his kingdom.” Thus the coming of that day, in which “ all the kindreds of the earth shall “wail,” is the constant subject of the wishes and prayers

of the sons of God. A sound Christian faith gives them confidence towards God, and teaches them, without hypocrisy, to pray for the second advent of Christ. For although in that day "he cometh “ with clouds,” yet God's promise is, that whenever “ he brings his cloud” over the earth, his “bow « shall be in the cloud,” the sure token of the "ever

lasting covenant of mercy between him and all “flesh.” And accordingly, when Ezekiel and St. John saw Christ upon his terrible throne, he appeared encompassed with a RAINBOW, to teach us that even the throne of judgement is encircled by mercy, which rejoices against judgement. All the cries of despairing nations, the thunders of heaven, and the horrible noises of the perishing earth, shall not keep those who have been indeed the disciples of Jesus, from hearing a voice say unto them, “Come up hither.” Yea, and they who in faith and patience have waited for the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah speaks, “shall then renew their strength,

they shall mount up as eagles.” They shall ascend to meet their Redeemer in the air, and the eye of faith shall steadfastly behold the glories of the Sun of Righteousness, Marvel no longer, then, that the church so passionately desires the manifestation of Christ. Maryel not that she should say, COME! when the advent of him to whom she speaks is to be the day of her espousals, and the day of the gladness of her heart; the end of her Saviour's sufferings, and her faith ; a day of triumph and everlasting felicity. Let the men of the world lament, for their joy is ended, and their sorrows beginning; but let the redeemed be glad, for their sorrows are at an end, and their joys beginning. Let the “tribes of

the earth mourn,” but “let Israel rejoice in him " that made him, and let the children of Sion be "joyful in their king.” For the trumpet which proclaims the destruction of the ungodly, declares at the same time the salvation of the righteous. When that trumpet sounds throughout the land, the eternal jubilee is begun. There is liberty, for the captives, and the opening of the prison doors, even the gates of the grave, for those to come out who lie there in darkness and in the shadow of death; and every child of God is free to return to bis possession and inheritance, and to the family of his heavenly Father. When they who have loved the world, instead of him whom the world crucified, and trusted in the false glory and riches of earthly Babylon, shall s stand

weeping and wailing, to see the smoke of her " burning, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that

was clothed in purple, and fine linen, and scarlet, "and decked with gold and precious stones; how " in one hour is so great riches come to naught!"

What saith the Spirit to the church ? " Rejoice over

her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and pro“phets, for God hath avenged you on her.” And what saith the church herself? “ The kingdoms of -65 this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord " and his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and “ ever." “ Halleluiah, for the Lord God omnipotent

reigneth. Let us be glad, and rejoice, and give “ honour to him : for the marriage of the Lamb is

come, and his wife hath made herself ready.”

And now, my brethren, whose heart does not burn within him, when he hears the inelody of the ce lestial choir chanting forth the praises of their victorious Redeemer, round his glorious throne ? Is there a single person here, whose soul has not a desire and longing to enter into the courts of the Lord, and to bear his part in the never-ending chorus? But know, Oman, whosoever thou art, that hast this desire and longing, know thou must be a penitent upon earth, before thou canst be a saint in heaven. Thou must be holy in time, if thou wouldest be glorious in eternity. Acquaint now, therefore, thyself with God, and be at peace with him, thyself, and all mankind; thereby, and thereby only, shall good come untò thee at thy latter end. Stop not thine ears, and harden not thine heart against instruction, when it is the day of trial and probation in the wilderness. Receive now, I pray thee, the law of the Most High; retire, and meditate upon it, and lay up his words in thy heart; nor suffer the world to rob thee of that wisdom whieh is more precious than rubies, and to which all the things

« السابقةمتابعة »