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of the covering cast over all be able to judge of the justness people--swalloweth up death in of the application of the provictory and wipeth away tears phecy. . from off all faces. Chap. xxv. Verses 3-6. The faithful are 69. The only question is to encouraged to trust in the Lord what part of the gospel dispen- in troublous times : for before sation this strong language can the city of God shall be encomapply. Some of it appears. to passsed with salvation, Babylon, be too strong to agree with events the antichristian city, must be which have yet occurred, and destroyed ; which will be attendtherefore has been generally un- ed with such calamities, that derstood of the latter-day glory, peace will in a manner be taken when jews and gentiles shall from the earth, " Thou wilt keep embrace the gospel to a far him in perfect peace whose mind greater extent than has hitherto is stayed on thee : because he been seen.
With this accords trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the the language at the close of chap. Lord for ever: for in the Lord xxiv, and which seems to glance Jehovah is everlasting strength. at the conversion of God's an- For he bringeth down them that cient people. “ Then the moon dwell on high; the lofty city he shall be confounded, and the layeth it low, even to the ground; sun ashamed, when the Lord of he bringeth it even to the dust. Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion The foot shall tread it down, even and in Jerusalem, and before his the feet of the poor, and the steps ancients gloriously.” With this of the needy. also accords the whole xxvth. Verse. 7. The church, plead. chapter, which describes the ing with God, takes encouragetriumph of the church over her ment, from his regard to righteenemies; and to have been com- ousness, that he will not always pleat, should, I conceive, have suffer her enemies to triumph included the first two verses of over her,—"The way of the just the xxvith, where the city of God is uprightness : thou, most upis represented as having salvation right, dost weigh the path of the for walls and bulwarks ; and as just.” throwing open her gates, and Ver, 8, 9, The grievous perinviting the faithful to enter in. secutions which she had borne
But as certain parts of the during the long and dark night xxvth. chapter refer to the con- of antichristian domination, are flicts which precede the triumph, viewed as divine chastisements 80 does the remainder of the or“ judgments beginning at the xxvith. and the first verse of the house of God;" under which xxviith. Now it is in these pro- she declares her feelings, and phecies referring to times which hopes for deliverance. --- Yea, precede the millenium, that we in the way of thy judgments, O shall find the events of our own Lord, have we waited for thee ; times. By giving what appears the desire of our soul is to thy to be the meaning of every verse, name, and to the remembrance accompanied by a quotation of of thee. With my soul have I the verse itself, the reader will desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I Ver. 13, 14. She recounts her seek thee early.”
persecutions, cleaves to Christ, Verse 9. latter part. The and anticipates the fall of her ground of this hope is, not only persecutors. “() Lord our that God has punishments in re- God, other Lords besides thee serve for her enemies, but that have had dominion over us; but the calamities which the inflic- by thee only will we make mention of these punishments will tion of thy name. They are briug upon the world shall be dead, they shall not live, they are made subservient to her increase. deceased, they shall not rise:
“ For/when thy judgments are therefore hast thou visited and abroad in the earth, the inhabi- destroyed them, and made all tants of the world will learn their memory to perish.” righteousness."
Ver. 15, 16.
After the fall Verses 10, u. The adherents of the anti-christian powers the of Antichrist will not profit by church will be increased, and these events : but being given God will be glorified ; especially up to perverseness and blindness, by, the conversion of the Jews, neither mercies nor judgments who under the chastizing band wilt : humble them : that how- of God shall be brought to pray ever which was unaccomplished unto him.-“Thou hast increased .by forbearing goodness shall be the nation, O Lord, thou hast accomplished by the strong arm increased the nation: thou art of justice--they shall be hum- glorified: thou hadst removed it bled, and consumed in fires of far unto all the ends of the earth. their own kindling.
kindling. - "Let Lord, in trouble, have they visitfavour be shewed to the wicked, ed thee: they poured out yet will he not learn righteous- prayer when thy chastening was ness : in the land of uprightness upon them.” will he deal unjustly, and will not Ver. 17, 18. She laments behold the majesty of the Lord. her ineffectual and abortive laLord, when thy hand is lifted up 'bours, for ages preceding, in subthey will not see : but they shall duing the world to Christ. see, and be ashamed for their “Like as a woman with child, envy at the people : yea, the fire that draweth near the time of her of thine enemies shall devour delivery, is in pain, and crieth them."
out in her pangs; so have we Verse 12. The church ex- been in thy sight, O Lord, we presseth her confidence that have been with child, these calamities, though they been in pain, we have as it were should take peace from the earth, brought forth wind! we have not yet shall contribute to her pros wrought any deliverance in the perity : for all that she hath earth; neither have the inhabiwrought, it is God that hath tants of the world fallen.” wrought it in and by her; and he Ver. 19. To these complaints will not forsake the work of bis of the Church God graciously own hands.--"Lord, thou wilt answers by promises of better ordain peace for us : for thou also times. “Thy dead shall, my bast wrought all our works in us.” deceased,* they shall arise : awake
and sing, ye that dwell in dust: faith in Jesus Christ. Death is for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, a journey; and preparedness and the earth shall cast out the supposes that our loins are girded, dead.”
our staff and sandals at hand, and Ver. 20, 21. and ch. xxvii. i. that provision is possessed for the He answers farther, by inviting way. It is a flood's, and to her to retire into her chambers, be ready, is to have our ark conas for shelter from the storm. structed. It is the demolishing There will be no need for her of a habitation. He only is ready to fight in this battle, but to pray for the shock, who has another in secret ; it will be soon over: dwelling into which he can pass. the blood of the martyrs must be The body is an inyesting garment. avenged, and the anti-christian In death we are unclouthed. At power, that great leviathan; that this momeņt, the good man finds piercing and crooked serpent, himself dressed in the garment must be slain by the "sore and of salvation; but alas! for the great and strong” sword of Jeho- sinner, he is foupd nakedyine vah. Then the church of Christ Divines have frequently disshall shine forth in all her millen- tinguished readiness for death nial glory." In that day sing ye - and eternity, into hubitual and unto her, a vineyard of red wine. , actual, Habitual preparation I the Lord do keep it, I will wa- referring to the state of the subter it every moment : lest any ject: and actual to the affections hurt it, I will keep it night and of the mind, on the contemday!” xxvii. 2, 3. GAIUS. plation, or perception of death's
approach. A fleet is, habitually ready for sea, whose timbers
are strong, whose ammunition PREPARATION is ample, whose crews are cou
rageous, and well officered; but FOR DEATH AND ETERNITY. it is actually ready, when its Therefore be ye also ready; for in ing, its anchors weighed, and the
also ready: for in sails are unfurled, its colours Aysuch an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh, Matt. xxiv. 44. air rending with the parting shout.
He is habitually ready for a passa I am entered on a new year, age into eternity, whose heart is which to me may prove the last regenerated, whose hope is the in this world. How important Redeemer, and whose life is holitherefore the enquiryyn "Am ness to the Lord; but he is acI ready for ideath and eternity?" tually ready, when in the exercise In this the mind may be assisted of united faith and desire he can by attending to the figurative re- say, presentations of dying, given us Dear Sovereign, break these vital in the sacred word.is :: strings,
Death is a sleep; and readiness That bind me to my clay, Aupposes the work of the day. Take me Ureal on thy wings, completed, and a calmness of
"And stretch, and soar away. Ha spirit enjoyed, which is produced. Instead, however, of pursuing the by no deceiving opiate, but by distinction, let us view.preparedVol. VII.
ness for death and eternity, a past offences, and much less mistaken, or real.
deserve everlasting felicity. In Mistakes here are of the most the heavenly world all the honour serious consequence. Conceive of salvation is offered to the not that you are safe, because you Lamb that was slain. can contemplate death and eter- Many, we fear, rest their hopes nity with unconcern. A false and on the expected visit of a minisindurating philosophy may have ter of God, and the feelings of taught some that it is folly to an expiring hour. Can earth and fear an uncertainty, or to fly from ashes produce that renovation rethat which is inevitable. But quisite to prepare for heaven are you sure it is uncertain, that which the scripture describes as the wicked shall be turned into the work of God alone? Is it hell, with all the nations that less than the presumption of forget God? Have no injurious madness, to expect salvation by propensities, or prejudices, with a few ceremonies on a death bed, held
you from a careful enquiry - after the prime of existence has after evangelical truth, and mąde been devoted to the service of you blind to the grand cure of - Satan? O be not deceived ; God mortality, which the gospel pro- is not mocked, for whatsoever a poses ? Can you conceive a
a man soweth, that shall he also Hame was happy, when, with reap. Vain hope, as in Bunyan's death entering his chamber, he pilgrim, may carry ignorance ámused himself at whist, and agreeably over the river ; but he sought entertainment from the soon found that there is way dialogues of Lucian and the to hell from the gates of heaven, ferryman of Hell ? Are you happy as well as from the city of desyourselves ? Heroes in the crowd, truction.” are you not cowards in solitude ?
Our young friends may be O reflect, while reflection can tempted to found their hopes of profit you; " Who hath hardened final glory on their connection himself against God, and hath with pious parents. Bless God prospered ?"
that he has given you such, and Some imagine, that their good make it your ambition to be their works performed, will secure a consolation and glory; but retitle to the society of Angels. It member they have no oil in their is really astonishing, that men vessels to spare. Religion is a professing to read and approve personal concern. You are to the New Testament, can for a see God for yourselves. Withmoment snppose, that heaven out vital piety, your natural conshall be the recompense of human nexions will no more secure your virtues. It is there distinctly and salvation, than 'could the relationrepeatedly stated, that we are ship to Abraham, claimed by the saved, not by works, but by grace; voluptuary in hell, prevent him not by the deeds of the law, but from being tormented in flame. by the compassions of a Mediator. We will state to you in what All our best actions are staineel real preparedness for dying conwith pollution ; if they were not, sists. The only obstruction which they yet could never atoue for unfits us for death is sin. This
is the asp that lies hid among our Lord teaches when he says, 'marblossoms ; this the poison that vel not that I say unto you, ye destroys us.
must be born again. Except a O if my threatning sins were gone,
man be born again, he cunnot see And death had lost his sting; the kingdom of God. Without a I could invite the angel on;
new creation of the heart, you And chide his lazy wing.
can never exercise any of those Our iniquity must be pardoned, graces which distinguish the or it will sink us to ruin. Now christian. Repentance and hu. we are assured, that without the mility, hope and love, patience and shedding of blood, there is no zeal, joy and peace, are graces remission, and equally so, of the of heavenly origin. Flesh and inefficacy of the blood of bulls blood can never produce them. and goats, of the blood of our In heaven, the triumphant bands tenderest connections, and of our are beholding the glory of the own blood. Look then away Lord, not with the senseless stare from worldly altars, from your of an eagle at the sun, but with fellow men, and from yourselves; judgments enlightened, with a and behold the Lamb of God. high reverence for the divine chaHe was wounded for our trans- racter, and a persuasion of their gressions, and bruised for our interest in his favour. All are iniquities. He, as the substitute changed into the image of Christ, of his church, has assumed, sus- and are passing from glory to glotained, and borne away the load
who are inconvert. of her offences. The robes of the ed, bear the image only of the armies in heaven have been made earthly. The divine excellency white in the blood of the Lamb. offers no charms to your benightIn this they have overcome, and ed understandings, and your conthis is the burden of their exalted sciences forbid you from contem. and everlasting anthems. Are plating the God you have offend. you alarmed at perceiving that - ed in any other light, than as a you are indebted to the law and righteous judge, and terrific avenjustice of God, ten thousand ger.
. The happiness of heaven is talents, and that you have nothing as pure as it is exalted. Nothing to pay ?
that defileth, or maketh a lie, has “Pay! Trust in Christ and all is paid."
ever passed, or shall pass into the
holy city. Unto the pure, all Believing in his name, you can things are pure ; but unto them never come into, condemnation. that are defiled and unbelieving, His blood answers the claims of is nothing pure; but even their divine government, presents a mind and conscience is defiled. complete atonement for sin, and Were any of you, 'who are unrecan purge from the conscience generated, introduced into heaven, every stain.
you would be as restless and afa To fit us for heayen, the views Hicted as are nocturnal animals, of a carnal heart must be changed, when placed in the lustre of the its aversions 'subdued; and its sun; you would fly back from the aims, pursuits, and propensities ranks of the righteous, and seek take a new direction. This our for relief in the coverts of eter