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name's sake. Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save. We are called by thy name, leave us not.” Jer. xiv. 7, 9. Equally marked was his ZEAL FOR HIS COUNTRY'S GOOD. Always ready to help them, he preferred to abide with the remnant in their sufferings, to an honourable station in Babylon (Jer. xl.); and sought the best good of that remnant amidst all their ill usage and ingratitude. Oh how certainly will a true knowledge of God's purposes, produce in a mind under the teachings of his grace, a patriotic as well as a holy course of conduct! To pray and labour to [258] the very last for the good of all around us, is the spirit of the true servant of God.

Then, observe his joyful anticipation of future times of triumph, as set before us in chapters xxx. to xxxiii. in the midst of which we have that rich expression of God's purposes of love: “I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul;" with its effect on the mind of Jeremiah: “upon this I awaked, and beheld, and my sleep was sweet unto me.” Jer. xxxi. 25, 26.

Now this is the spirit which I pray God largely to give to all, who from his scriptures anticipate future judgments before the day of millennial glory. Oh how contrary to this is that spirit of bitterness which is exhibited, on the one hand, in receiving the statement of faults of our dissenting brethren, with feelings of amusement and pleasure; or, on the other hand, in delighting to expose the opposite faults of ministers in our establishment; or in speaking bitter things against millenarians, as enthusiastic and wild, or anti-millenarians, as infidel and apostate! The faults of others are the true Christian's grief and burden.

We must “not rejoice in iniquity, but in the truth,” i Cor. xiii. 6; and God eminently distinguishes those, not who bring railing accusations against others, nor who are interested and amused by the detail of the faults of those who differ from them, but who “sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst of our land," Ezek. ix. 4.

It must, however, be admitted, that there was a sad mixture of human infirmity even in Jeremiah himself. Heavily tried, opposed, and persecuted, human corruption breaks forth, (see Jer. xv. 10; xx. 14—18,) in irritable, angry, and impatient expressions. [259] It is true that the ingenuousness with which he lays open his own feelings is exemplary, and the very badness of those feelings is profitable and humbling. Let not any despise God's truth because of the infirmities of his servants announcing that truth. Let not any despair of themselves because of inward corruptions. Let us all give the glory to God for the graces which he gave to Jeremiah; and let us learn les


sons of humility and human corruption, in the outbreakings of nature amidst his excellencies.

There is ANOTHER EXAMPLE in the scripture full also of holy instruction. It is not that of the apostle Paul as set before us in Rom. ix., X., xi., or in the Epistle to the Hebrews; nor the plain practical faithfulness of the apostle James as set before us in his Epistle; but it is one without fault; that of OUR DIVINE Lord himself. What a spirit was his! What peculiar and unequalled faithfulness in reproving sin! Matt. xxiii. What tenderness in his feelings towards the sinner! "When he was come

he beheld the city and wept over it.” Luke xix. 41–44. Again and again in the spirit of ardent love to his people, he would have gathered the children of Jerusalem together under his wings, but they would not. Matt. xxiii. 37. When the women bewailed and lamented him on his way to crucifixion, his sympathizing heart turned at once from his own sufferings to the sorrows coming upon them; (Luke xxiii. 28,) and his prayer when nailed to the tree, was for his murderers: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Luke xxiii. 34. In short he made himself one entire offering and sacrifice for the sins of others, that he might procure for those who rejected and crucified him everlasting salvation. Oh unequalled [260] love! Oh glorious example! Blessed Jesus! give to all thy disciples grace to tread in thy steps, and with thy faithfulness, sympathy, love and self-sacrifice, to look at all thy purposes towards thy church. But it was not merely in the dark prospect of judgment that our Saviour furnishes such a lesson for us in these daysbut also in the bright prospect of glory yet to come, he bids us lift up our heads. How sweet and rich the promises which open his sermon on the mount! How enlarged the spirit of prayer which he taught us daily to use-hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven! How often did he present the richest glories of that kingdom as an animating object of hope! Matt. v. 2-10; xiii. 43; xix. 28; Luke xxii. 28–30. And when he arose again and was seen of his apostles forty days, the subject of his intercourse during that period was the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Acts i. 3. Oh may we never despise, or slight, or neglect that glorious hope which occupied the mind and engaged the converse of our divine Lord and his apostles, during that most interesting period which intervened between his resurrection and ascension!

Our prevailing views as Christians should be cheerful, hopeful, and joyful:-“Lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke xxi: 28. The present state of the world is full of sin and full of misery, "the whole world lieth in wickedness,” [or in the wicked one,] (èv tý tevnpm) 1 John v. 19, "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain until now;" Rom. viii. 22, but this state shall not long continue; the word of God leads us to anticipate, after the throes and pains of these last days, “the manifestation [261] of the sons of God:” and the creation itself delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God,” ver. 19, 21.

While, then, we sigh over the sins which we witness, and with all earnestness, pity, and sympathy, like Noah of old, testify to the worldly and the wicked their danger, and the aggravated condemnation of those who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Rom. i. 18. we cannot but rejoice in the conviction that the time is short; i Cor. vii. 29. soon the Saviour returns, and though it be first to punish the wicked, yet, beyond that dark scene, all is light and love, glory and blessednesss, to the church of the living God, and ultimately to the whole world.

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[262] The present state of the Christian church is, in many respects, peculiar. We see two apparently quite opposite things taking place, much open and daring wickedness, and yet wide diffusion of the truth. With many affecting features of that wickedness which marks the last days: we see on the other hand a remarkable profession of truth, and extension of zeal in the same country and in the same place. Just as, before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the Jewish state was ripening for judgment (i Thess. ii. 16,) at the very same time the Christian Jewish church was in its full activity and diffusiveness.

This state of things was to be expected from the plain declarations of prophecy; and it may be profitable to consider it more particularly as an animating motive for increased watchfulness and zeal, and furnishing many encouragements to God's servants. Two harvests are before us, a harvest of tares for the burning, and a harvest of wheat for the garner. Two reapings mark the great day of tribulation, the [263] harvest for the Son of Man to gather to his glory, the vintage for the Son of Man to tread in his wrath. Rev. xiv. 19. The painful part of the subject we have already sufficiently noticed. Blessed be

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God there is in our world another work going on; and to be perfected in the day of tribulation.

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS also RIPENING FOR ITS GLORY. From age to age God has been gathering and completing the number of his elect. There has manifestly been in the churches of Christ, at large, in our day, in Britain, America, and in some degree in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, &c., a blessed revival of the church and an enlargement of exertion, that have filled the hearts of believers with thankfulness; and though these may not have the depth of other periods, and the nature and extent of this revival and God's design in it may have been misunderstood, it is a subject of richest hope and joy. God is ripening his church for its full glory. He has been scattering the seed for 1800 years, and especially in our days, and preparing all the materials for a future harvest to be gathered in.

We have an account in the 7th of Revelation of the 144,000 sealed and preserved from the last judgments; and in the 14th we have the same company in their holy character set before

They were with the Lamb—they have his Father's name on their foreheadthey are undefiled by antichristian pollutions, being virgins—they follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth-in their mouth is found no guilethey are without fault before the throne of God. Here is a people prepared for the Lord. The following verses connect with them the very works which we now see accomplishing, of the diffusion of the gospel, and the [264] testimony of Babylon's fall, and the danger of receiving her mark. These are those fully prepared for the Lord's coming.

It appears from Ezekiel ix. compared with Revelation vii. that this sealed class are preserved from those judgments which come upon false professors.

In several of the parables we have a similar distinction. In that of the ten virgins, the wise virgins, having oil in their vessels, and ready for their Lord, enter in with him to the marriage. In that of the servants waiting, the faithful and wise servant, giving meat to the household in due season, is pronounced blessed, and rewarded; the wise, turning many to righteousness, are to shine as the brightness of the firmament; and our Lord will


the second time without sin unto salvation, to those who love his appearing. These form the first-fruits unto God and the Lamb. They will be completely delivered from all the evil of the days of the great tribulation, (Isaiah xxvi. 20; Matt. xxv. 10.) and preserved in that season of temptation which shall come upon all the world, (Rev. iii. 10.) though we may not be able to tell the mode of their preservation.

Among professors of religion there are, however, vast numVOL. II.-65

bers in an intermediate and very dangerous state; the lukewarm of Laodicea; the foolish virgins of the parable; the many whose love waxes cold, because iniquity abounds; those who have ihe name to live, and are dead. They are little to be distinguished outwardly from decided Christians; they associate with them; they profess perhaps the same doctrines; they think they are right, that they are rich, increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and yet continuing in this state, they will assuredly be left [265] in the terrors of the great tribulation. May all such be zealous and repent.

But, as in the Laodicean state, there were those who were invited to hear the voice of Christ, and to open the door to him, and promised that, if they did, he would come in to them, and sup with them, and if they overcame they were to sit down with him on his throne, so may we hope that multitudes may yet hear the gracious invitations of Christ.

The analogy of the last gatherings in the Jewish dispensation, as recorded in the Acts; the promises of the latter rain as well as the former (Joel ii. 23; Zech. x. 1.); the literal assurance that God will, in the last days, pour out of his Spirit upon all flesh, (Joel ii. 28.); the reason of the delay in the coming of the day of Christ, (2 Peter iii. 9, 10.) may well strengthen these hopes.

The prediction in Rev. vii. especially brings this vast HARVEST, YET TO BE GATHERED, within the time of the great tribulation. The prophecy alludes to the feast of tabernacles, called the feast of ingathering, when the harvest of the earth was fully completed, and which was to be observed in memorial of the deliverance from Egypt. The passover and the Pentecost have had their antitypes; that of the Tabernacles is yet to be observed (Zech. xiv. 16.); and its glorious Antitype will be exhibited in this extended conversion out of all nations to Christ; "a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes and having palms in their hands." But we are expressly told, These are they which came out of great tribulation. The original is still more emphatic [266] (ex tâs Grátsws tûs leszánpes) out of the tribulation, even the great one. There is but one such tribulation, and it is yet to come. Hence we may conclude that the great harvest will then be gathered.

In his sermon before the European Missionary Society, the author thus stated his sentiments:

“It is, in my view, a mistake to suppose that God will at once, and in the first instance, send exterminating judgments on all the false professors of the gospel; on the other hand, it

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