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stillness prevails. From some of her watch-towers the note of alarm has indeed been heard, in solemn warning of approaching judgments, but how few of the ministers of Jesus have yet lifted up their voice to proclaim their Master's speedy coming, or to call for thankfulness on account of it!* When formerly Christ tabernacled on earth, we are told, (Mark xii. 37,) that "the common people heard Him gladly," while the Scribes and Pharisees were his implacable foes. Yet these were most familiar with the Scriptures, and were also faithful in their injunctions with regard to legal observances: "All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe," said the Saviour, (Mat. xxiii. 3,) "that observe and do." They also knew the time when, and could tell the place where, the Messiah should be born, yet with awful infatuation did they reject and persecute to the death the Lord of glory, entailing ruin upon themselves and upon those who trusted in their false interpretations.
But neither the silence nor the opposition of any of the ministers of Christ should prevent Christians from making a proper improvement of the exemplary punishment inflicted on the Jews, by examining for themselves the scriptures of truth, and watching with care against that spirit of unbelief which will assuredly involve many in a catastrophe still more awful. Not a few who now wonder at the blindness with which the Jews were visited, and the infatuation they displayed in overlooking evidence so full, so various, and so unambiguous, are themselves wilfully shutting their eyes against the clearest light. While we lament that darkness which so beclouded the moral vision of God's ancient people, and prevented their perceiving the promised Messiah in the meek and lowly Jesus; and while we reprobate
* Since the publication of the former edition, the Millenarian cause has indeed received large accessions, both in England and Scotland, from all denominations. Neither the ribaldry and ridicule of the profane, nor what, to a mind rightly exercised, is more painful by far the indifference and disbelief of the church itself, have prevented the acknowledgment of these truths; and did the strength of our cause depend in any degree on the opinions of men, the names of not a few might be exhibited, of long-acknowledged and distinguished talent, who have enrolled themselves under the Millenarian banner. The expression of regret in the text has, however, been left unaltered, as the number of those by whom these doctrines are taught from the pulpit in Scotland is still, comparatively, "few."
their criminality in His rejection and accursed death, it becomes us to inquire whether there may not be the tendency to a similar spirit in our unwillingness to believe the predictions of his future glory. Guilt may perhaps be as really contracted by having our attention so completely engrossed by the sufferings and death of Christ that we disregard or discredit the testimony of God by his prophets concerning the Redeemer's glorious reign, as in being so dazzled by its splendour as not to perceive the necessity of His death for the redemption of a lost and guilty world, and the glorious display which was thus made of the divine perfections. If Jewish infidelity, with respect to the humiliation of Christ, has been visited by a punishment so severe, Christians would do well to consider whether there be not an approximation to Jewish glosses in our explanations, (if such they can be called,) of predictions concerning the glory that should follow. May not we be as guilty as the Jews, who rejected Him who came to redeem them from the power and consequences of sin, should we be found among those who say in their hearts, "We will not have this man to reign over us," in the manner and at the time He has been pleased to appoint? "Be not high-minded, but fear, for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee." Rom. xi. 21. Israel is not finally cast off by God. A remnant is still preserved, to whom His grace shall yet be manifested and by whom His power is yet to be signally displayed. But the day of their restoration will be one of awful destruction to their enemies-the enemies of God, and the enemies of men.
DESTRUCTION OF ANTICHRISTIAN NATIONS.
CONTEMPLATING the period when Judah, now dispersed into every land, by all oppressed, shall be visited by the day-spring from on high; and when Israel, long left to wander in the vain imaginations of their own hearts, outcast from the favour of God and the knowledge of men, shall be cleansed from their iniquity and brought into the land
of their fathers, which is promised them for an everlasting possession,-anticipating with delight the glories of that blissful day, the Christian will exclaim with the Psalmist, "Oh! that the Salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad." Ps. xiv. 7. But, before this glorious consummation, that people have much to do and much to endure. At the time when Michael the prince shall stand up for the children of Daniel's people, "there shall be a time of trouble such as
never was since there was a nation even to that same time;" (Dan. xii. 1.) "For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." Matt. xxiv. 21, 22. While men delude themselves with the idea of a peaceful introduction to the Millennium, the Scriptures represent it as being immediately preceded by one of the most awful catastrophes with which the earth has yet been visited. "For, as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." Matt. xxiv. 38, 39. "Likewise, also, as it was in the days of Lot, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all; even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed." Luke xvii. 28-30. "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess; a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it even to the years of many generations.... Before their face the people shall be much pained; all faces shall gather blackness....The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble; the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall
withdraw their shining; and the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great; for He is strong that executeth His word; for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible, and who can abide it ?” Joel ii, 1-11. "The great day of the Lord is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly; that day is a day of wrath and day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; and their blood shall be poured out as dust and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy; for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land." Zeph. i. 14—18. "The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war; He shall cry, yea, roar; He shall prevail against His enemies....I will destroy and devour at once.” Is. xlii. 13, 14. Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His word; your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy and they shall be ashamed. A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the Temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompense to His enemies....And the hand of the Lord shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward His enemies. For, behold! THE Lord WILL COME with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many." Is. lxvi. 5—16. To this last prediction, the apostle Paul evidently alludes, when, addressing the church at Thessalonica, he says of the coming of Christ, "it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance
on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe." 2 Thess. i. 6-10. "Behold the Name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy; His lips are full of indignation and His tongue as a devouring fire....And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of His arm with the indignation of His anger and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering and tempest and hailstones." Is. xxx. 27-30. "Therefore, wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." Zeph. iii. 8. "For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." Mal. iv. 1.. " And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots and those that ride in them: and the horses and their riders shall come down every one by the sword of his brother." Hag. ii. 22. "For behold, in those days and in that time when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people, and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and parted my land....Behold I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head.... Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plough-shares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves and come all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about; thither cause thy mighty ones to