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knowledge, and holiness, and joy of the millennial day, he was filled with grief and anguish.
The reason why the apostle was ordered to receive and digest the instructions given to him, is added; "Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." Though he had foretold many important events, his work was not finished. He was to receive still more important prophecies, that were to be communicated to many in different countries, of various tongues, and of every condition in life and to be the means of supporting and comforting the people of God in all ages of the church.
The chapter that we have explained, presents to us many practical lessons. Let us dwell for a short time on a few of them.
1. Behold how glorious is the Redeemer, the mighty Angel of the covenant; uniting in himself every thing that is august and every thing that is tender; all that is awful and all that is endearing; possessed of unlimited power to punish his enemies, yet never forgetting his covenant engagements to his children. Christian, he is thy friend, gracious to pity thee; mighty, almighty, to defend, to protect, to comfort, to save thee! There are "secret things which belong unto God," into which we cannot pry, which have been sealed up; but the excellences, the loveliness of thy Redeemer, are not among these secret things no voice from heaven forbids thee to read them, or to communicate them to others: they are declared in tones louder than the voice of the seven thunders, yet in accents sweeter than the harps of seraphs: meditate on them profoundly; dear and precious at first, they will not afterwards, like the mystic book of the prophet, become bitter; but will
be thy consolation through life, the ground of thy triumph in death, the subject of thy song throughout eternity. Impenitent man, this glorious Being is neglected by thee! He entreats thee to be happy, and thou contemnest him: but he will not always thus entreat thee: and if thou die in thy present state, thou shalt shudder at that majesty which gives joy to the pious, and be crushed by that crowns and glorifies the Christian.
2. Often remember that there is an appointed period when time shall be no longer. It once did not exist there was a year, a day, a moment, that was the first; and there shall be a year, a day, a moment, that will be the last: an eternity preceded the birth of time, an eternity will succeed its death: the visible frame of nature, these heavens and this earth, shall then be no more; changes and seasons shall be no more: when the sun shall be torn from the heavens, when the moon shall be changed into blood, there will remain only a state of immutable joy in heaven, of unceasing wretchedness in hell! Do you say we shall not live till those great events occur? We shall be reposing in our graves before the voice of the archangel and the trump of God shall be heard. It is true; but still remember that for you, individually, time will soon have an end, and that then you will be placed in that state, in which you shall be found at the consummation of all things temporal: soon, very soon, he who has the keys of death, shall declare, that for you, time shall be no longer; the time of securing the favour of God through the Redeemer; the time of being fashioned in the divine image; the time to serve God or man, or to exercise the Christian graces; the time of hope, and of preparation for judgment and heaven. Trifle a little lon
ger, careless mortals, and nothing will be left you but the agonizing remembrance of mispent time, and the bitterness of unavailing remorse, while sinking under the indignation of the holy God. Friend of Jesus! time for thee shall soon be no longer the time of darkness and of difficulty, of bereavement and trial, of combat with indwelling sin, and conflict with thy spiritual adversaries, of distance from God, of desertion, of wicked society; and thou shalt enter upon an eternity of thanksgiving and praise, of unsullied holiness and unintermitted rapture. Brethren, since such is our situation, why do we not more look above and beyond this passing world? why are not our hearts more fixed upon eternity? why are our thoughts, and pursuits, and affections, principally devoted to the occupations of this little span of time upon earth, which, though of inconceivable importance, as it decides our everlasting state, is yet in itself nothing, absolutely nothing in comparison with eternity? Why do we not more live as pilgrims and strangers, feeling that this is not our home; regarding the sublimity of our destination; employing life for the great purposes which should occupy it: to repent, to believe in Christ, to obtain a deliverance from the state of sin, and an admission into the state of grace, to glorify God, to extend the kingdom of the Redeemer, and to promote the temporal and spiritual good of our fellow-men? Happy they who thus live; the termination of time will be to them the period of their triumph, the consummation of their joy.
3. Finally: it is delightful to remember, that hereafter the mystery of God will be finished. There are many things in providence and grace inexplicable to us while we are on earth; but then, believers shall find the fulfilment of the words of our
Saviour, "What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." They shall perceive, that every thing which occurred to them, or the church, was consonant to the divine perfections; was demanded by infinite wisdom, justice, and goodness; was necessary for their eternal joy and consolation. "Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now we know in part, but then shall we know even as also we are known." Reading over the whole history of the conduct of God to our world, retracing every step of our lives, we shall shout, Clouds and darkness were often round about him; but justice, mercy, and faithfulness, were ever the habitation of his throne, and the source of his conduct.' In the anticipation of that day, calmly trust in God: if you find mysteries that you cannot solve in nature, in scripture, in providence, remember that God is infinite; that his plans extend from eternity to eternity; that you" are but of yesterday, and know nothing;" but that the period is hastening when in God's light you shall see light." Wait with filial trust and adoring confidence till it pleases him to remove the veil; and secure the happiness of that man of whom the Saviour speaks, "Blessed is he, whosoever is not offended in me." dearest hopes are blasted, when your fondest expec tations are withered, when your schemes for usefulness are frustrated, when all around you is dark and perplexing: still, instead of murmuring or censuring Providence, cry, I will not repine while infinite wisdom and mercy preside over the universe, and over me; while the throne of my God is established in the heavens; while the Redeemer has all authority in heaven and on earth. Blind and ignorant, I often wish for those things that would be injurious to me,
and to the cause that is dear to me; I rejoice in the superintendence of the All-Perfect; the Lord reigneth, and I will rejoice. His mystery will hereafter be fulfilled; darkness shall be dissipated; and in the light and glory of heaven, I shall hereafter cry, with adoring wonder and thankfulness, “He hath done all things well."
LECTURES ON THE APOCALYPSE.
REVELATION, CHAP. XI. 1-13.
WE remarked, in our last lecture, that the whole of the tenth, and the first fourteen verses of this chapter, constituted a parenthesis thrown in between the sixth and seventh trumpets. This was necessary to render the seventh trumpet intelligible. By this trumpet, the destruction of the antichristian system is announced; but this system had not hitherto been explained to the apostle; the preceding prophecies of this book referring to the state of the world as it affected the church; and it was therefore proper that a general view of this corruption of Christianity