labours, Mr Martyn was so incessantly occupied, that complishing his great work,--the version of the New is bealth began to yield. Still he felt unwilling to re- Testament in Hindoostanee. ar in his exertions. He devoted much of his time to In the early part of the year 1809, Mr Martyn was the translation of the Scriptures into Hindoostanee and removed from his station at Dinapore to Cawnpore, Persian,--an employment which seems to have afforded where his duties varied little from those to which he tim peculiar delight. “ The time fled imperceptibly,” | had already been accustomed. Soon after his arrival he observes," while so delightfully engaged in the at his new station, intelligence reached him from Europe, translations; the days seemed to have passed like a first of the dangerous illness, then of the death of that moment. Blessed be God for some improvement in the sister who had taken so deep an interest in his spiritual languages ! May every thing be for edification in the welfare. This threw a deep gloom, for a time, over Church! What do I not owe to the Lord, for permitting Mr Martyn's mind, but still he persevered in labouring me to take part in a translation of his Word; never did for souls, as one who must give an account.

He now I see such wonder, and wisdom, and love, in that bless commenced his public ministrations among the heathen, ed book, as since I have been obliged to study every ex- preaching the Gospel to a crowd of mendicants who aspression; and it is a delightful reflection, that death cannot sembled on a stated day before his bouse, for the purdeprive us of the pleasure of studying its mysteries.” pose of receiving alms. This motley congregation of

While thus engaged, however, in his Master's work, beggars, of all descriptions, increased to the amount ofeven it pleased Him with whom all wisdom dwells, to visit eight hundred, to whom an opportunity was thus afforded him with a severe trial, in the death of his eldest sister, Mr Martyn of preaching the glad tidings of salvation. the intelligence of which affected bim with the most In the midst of these exertions Mr Martyn's health pungent sorrow. “O my heart, my heart,” he ex- began to fail. An attack of pain in the chest, accomclaimed, “ is it, can it be true, that she has been lying panied with fever and debility, excited considerable 50 many months in the cold grave! Would that i alarm in the minds of his friends. But it was with excould always remember it, or always forget it; but to treme difficulty that he was prevailed upon to spare himthink for a moment of other things, and then to feel the self; providentially, however, he obtained no small asremembrance of it coming, as if for the first time, rends sistance and relief by the arrival of his dear friend, Mr my heart asunder. When I look round upon the Corrie, who happened to stop at Cawnpore on his way creation, and think that her eyes see it not, but have to Agra. Notwithstanding this seasonable aid, Mr closed upon it for ever,—that I lie down in my bed, but Martyn's health became so precarious that he was rethat she has lain down in her grave,-Oh! is it pos

commended either to try the effect of a sea voyage, or sble! I wonder to find myself still in life ;-that the to return to England for a short time. The latter alsame tie which united us in life, has not brought death ternative he at last, though with reluctance, resolved at the same moment to both. O great and gracious to adopt. Still anxious, however, to carry forward his God! what should I do without Thee! But now thou missionary work, he decided upon going into Arabia and art manifesting thyself as the God of all consolation to Persia, for the purpose of having the Persian and Arabic my soul ; never was I so near thee; I stand on the translations of the New Testament revised and corbrink, and long to take my flight. There is not a thing rected by some of the most learned men. At Shiraz, in the world for which I could wish to live, except the in Persia, where he resided for some time, he excited hope that it may please God to appoint me some work. great interest by the success with which he conducted And how shall my soul ever be thankful enough to thee, discussions with the Moollahs and the Soutie doctors, O thou most incomprehensibly glorious Saviour, Jesus í After a stay of ten months he completed the Persian O what hast thou done to alleviate the sorrows of life l New Testament, and also the version of the Psalıns in and how great has been the mercy of God towards my Persian,—“a sweet employment,” to use his own words, family, in saving us all! How dreadful would be the “ and which caused six weary moons that waxed and separation of relations in death, were it not for Jesus ! " waned since its commencement, to pass unnoticed.”

Acutely as Mr Martyn suffered under this afflicting dis- Having finished the translation, which was the object pensation, he omitted the prosecution of his various du- of his journey, he set out from Shiraz, with the design ties for only one day, devoting himself in season, and of laying the work before the king of Persia ; but, find. out of season, to the work which his Master had as- ing that from some informality, he could not obtain an signed him. It was not so much by preaching, in the audience, he proceeded to Tebriz, where the British first instance, that he hoped to reach the hearts of the minister resided, and from whom he expected to receive natives, but by the institution of schools, and the distri- the necessary introduction to the king. After having bution of the Scriptures. Anxious to try the effect of completed this tedious journey, Mr Martyn was attacked this mode of carrying on his missionary work, he re

with a severe fever, which compelled him to give up all sisted the earnest solicitations of his friends at Calcutta, idea of presenting the New Testament in person. It who were urgent with him to accept the Mission Church was now becoming every day more evident that a longer at the Presidency. Mr Martyn preferred the retirement residence in the East would prove speedily fatal to our of Dinapore, with the hope of benefiting the natives, missionary; and, accordingly, ten days after his recovery and, therefore, though the application was made to him from the fever, he set out on his journey homewards. through his much esteemed friend, Mr Brown, he His design was to reach England by way of Constanti. counted it his duty to decline the offer. In a short nople; and accompanied by a Tartar guide, whose intime, however, his present situation was rendered much human barbarity seems to bave caused Mr Martyn's less agreeable, by the removal of the only family with death, he had reached no farther than Tocat, when, on whom he had lived on terms of Christian intimacy, and the 16th October 1812, he breathed his last. The to whom he had been the instrument of first imparting special circumstances of his death are unknown, but serious impressions. And another circumstance which

one thing is certain, that, whatever these circumstances distressed his mind not a little, was the temporary sus- were, he has reaped a rich reward of all his labours, pension of public worship on the Sabbath, in conse

toils, and privations in the cause of the Redeemer. quence of the state of the weather. Application had

“ Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into been made to the governor-general for the erection of a

the joy of thy Lord.” church, and meanwhile Mr Martyn opened his own house as a place of worship. No exertions were spared

FLEMISH MARTYRS IN 1556. to fulfil, as an hireling, his day; " the early morning, In the reign of Charles V. of Spain, who was monarch of as well as the closing evening, found him engaged in the Netherlands also, the Gospel spread to a great extent. his delightful labours.” At length he succeeded in ac- The city of Lille received it with especial favour, in “ Hell is open,

[ocr errors]

spite of the bloody edicts made against heretics. The | lifting his eyes to heaven, and speaking to his aged Reformed ministers preached in private houses, in woods, father, said, “O father, look up; I see the heavens in caves, and for a time the truth mightily prevailed. open, and thousand thousands of angels around us, reBut when the Church at Lille had increased and was joicing at our confession before men. Let us be glad, flourishing, Satan stirred up his instruments. One for the glory of God is revealed "evening, in 1556, the provost of the town, with all his cried one of the monks, " and thousand thousands of assessors, resolved to go forth and search every house, devils are here waiting for your souls!” Just at this to see that there were no assemblies held. This was ori moment, one from the crowd cried aloud, Courage, a Saturday; and the first house which they assailed was Oguier, endure to the end; your cause is the truth; I that of a respected citizen, Robert Oguier. They in- am one of yours," and then plunged into the multitude, stantly seized him and his son, Baudichon, and led and escaped undiscovered. them to prison, because they were found in the act of Fire was put to the wood; and the last words heard instructing the children and servants in the fear of God from the martyrs was the son encouraging his father aj and the knowledge of his Word.

the fire burnt their feet: “Be of good comfort, father ! A few days after, these two excellent men, father but a moment more, father, and we are in the everlasting and son, were tried before the magistrates. They boldly mansions !-- Jesus Christ, we commend our spirits to confessed the Reformed faith, and were put to the tor- Thee.” ture, in order to extort the names of all who frequented

DISCOURSE. their meetings; but they firmly refused to name any one. They were then condemned to die. When the

BY THE Rev. ROBERT MENZIES, day of execution arrived, they separated the son from

Minister of Hoddam. the father. On this, the son, as he left the prison, “ For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and said, “I beseech you support my poor father, and do

shineth even unto the west ; so shall also the not trouble him; he is an aged man, and very feeble ;

coming of the Son of man be," &c.—Mat. xxiv.

27-31. do not try to hinder him from receiving the crown of martyrdoin.” One of the Franciscans hereupon broke It is unnecessary to enter minutely into the critiout, Away with you, wretch ! it is all your fault that cal arguments by which it has been clearly demonyour father is now ruined.” And then turning to the strated, that these verses refer solely and exclusively executioner, said, “ Go, do your office, for we are losing to the future advent of our Saviour. Such a disour pains ; they are possessed by the devil

, and it is im- cussion, even if it could be rendered generally inpossible to gain them over.” Baudichon was undressed teresting, and embraced within the narrow limits in a chamber, and as they put the bag of powder on his of a discourse, might not, perhaps, be greatly conbreast, one present said to him,

“ Were you my own

ducive to edification ; suffice it merely to say, that brother, I should sell all I had in order to get fagots to the opinion of those who contend that our blessed burn you: you are too well treated.” The martyr re

Saviour continues here to prosecute the subject of plied, “I thank you, my friend ; may the Lord shew the preceding context, and fills up, with some you mercy.” Meanwhile, those around the old man additional touches, the picture he had been drawwere trying to persuade him to take the crucifix, at ing of the destruction about to overwhelm the state least, in his hands, that the people might not be pro- and capital of the Jews, can only be maintained at voked, and they tied an image of wood between his the expense of doing great and unwarrantable viohands; but his son, seeing what was done, hastily lence to the language; besides, it is not justified, snatched it away, and threw it down, saying, “ Let as is erroneously supposed, by any necessity. What none be offended because we will not have a Christ of has proved the stumbling-block of the critics, is wood; for we carry Jesus Christ, the Son of the Liv- the word “ immediately” at the commencement of ing God, within us in our hearts; and we have the the twenty-ninth verse, which seemed to connect words of his Holy Scriptures in the bottom of our in close union, with respect to time, the new train hearts."

of circumstances which the Saviour proceeds to They would not permit them to make any confession foretell

, beginning with the darkening of the sun of their faith ; but when the son was bound to the and moon, with those foretold by him already, and stake, he began to sing Psalm xvii., on which a monk here referred to as the tribulation of those days. cried aloud, " Listen to the wicked errors which they But there is the best reason for supposing, that teach to the people!”

this word “ immediately” is an error, which the In binding the father, the executioner struck him on Greek interpreter has introduced into the text bv the foot with a blow of the hammer. The old man mistranslating the original word used by the eranasked, “ My friend, you have wounded me; why do gelist, who wrote his Gospel in the Syro-Chaldaic. you use me so inhumanly?" * Ah,” cried out one of Instead of “immediately” there ought to stand the monks, “they wish to have the name of martyrs, suddenly ;" and if, accordingly, we substitute the and if we just touch them, they roar out as if murdered.” | one for the other, it will be seen, that there is no The son of the old man calmly replied, that if they necessity for supposing the new train of circumfeared death and its torments, they should not have stances to be immediately connected with the come thither; and added “ O God, our everlasting Fa- former. They are, indeed, predicted as about to ther, accept this sacrifice of our bodies for the sake of take place suddenly ; and also, subsequently to the thy Son." One of the priests vociferated, You lie; tribulations of Jerusalem, but whether they are to God is not your father ; you have the devil for your follow in close or remote succession is left altofather.” The martyr made no reply to this insult, but, gether untold.

Upon these, in addition to many other grounds, this should impose a necessity, or even how it we hold that the verses from the twenty-seventh should lay a sufficient ground for a similar interto the thirty-first inclusive, treat of the final and pretation of the words of our Saviour. No, my glorious coming of our Lord to judge the world, brethren, when our Lord here tells us, “that the and we now proceed to enquire what the passage sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give tells us of this momentous event.

her light, that the stars shall fall from heaven and First then, we learn that it is to be preceded and all the powers of heaven shall be shaken," he announced to mankind by certain preternatural means just what he says. A day is coming when appearances in the material world.

These are the inhabitants of the world shall awake; but “beenumerated in the twenty-ninth verse. “ The sun hold the darkness is not yet passed.” Struck with shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her amazement and alarm, they shall raise their eyes light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the aloft, but shall perceive no sun, or see it, perhaps, powers of the heavens," the heavenly bodies, both shorn of its beams, and diffusing a pale and oninsmall and great, “shall be shaken.” St. Luke in the ous dawn. In vain shall they expect the moon parallel passage adds, “and the sea and the waves to dispel the gloom of the uncertain night. The roaring.”

whole “ firmament shall be shaken ;" the stars The prophets of the Old Testament, on several shall quit, or seem to quit their places, and shoot different occasions, employ a language precisely at random athwart the obscure vault; and on similar to this of our Saviour. Isaiah does so in the ocean will share the general convulsion of foretelling the doom of Babylon ; Ezekiel in fore- nature, and with the roaring of its waves make telling that of Egypt. There are many other awful music congenial with the terrors of the examples, but we shall cite only one. In denounc- scene. ing the divine judgments against the nations which By what means these appalling prodigies shall had oppressed Israel, the prophet Joel thus speaks: be brought about we are not told, and cannot " The earth shall quake before them, the heavens divine. Luther hazards the conjecture, that they shall tremble, the sun and moon shall be dark, and will be effects of the decay of nature-irregularities the stars shall withdraw their shining.” It will be in the worn out machinery of a world, which havfelt by every one, that it would be altogether dis- ing served the end for which it was made, is soon ccrdant with the lofty tone of the prophetical to be destroyed, and compares them to the dim phraseology in these places, to suppose that they eye, the fitful pulse, and convulsive agonies, which referred to phenomena of so ordinary a nature and precede dissolution in the human body. Perhaps of such frequent occurrence as eclipses of the sun they may be consequences of that hidden and and moon, the accumulation of dark clouds in the mysterious sympathy which subsists between the sky, meteors, shooting stars, and earthquakes. The natural and moral universe throes of a creation sacred penmen must have had before their minds weary of its long subjection to vanity and sin, and changes of a loftier, more awful, and preternatural indignantly struggling for its approaching emancharacter. We do not know that any such por- cipation, the last and severest pangs of that tentous events accompanied the manifestations of agony of nature, of which St. Paul speaks, when divine wrath alluded to, and hence, if the impres- he says, “that the whole creation groaneth and sions are to be interpreted literally, they must be travaileth in pain, waiting for the adoption, to wit, regarded as notices of a remoter and more uni- the redemption of the body." versal judgment blending itself in the prophet's But to whatever cause conjecture may attribute enraptured fancy with the nearer and more con- them, there can be no doubt with respect to their fined inflictions which formed the immediate sub- end and design. They are the sign of the Son of ject of his song, and as thus looking forward to Man in the heavens, intended to presage and anevents which are yet in the womb of time and nounce his approach, and warn the inhabitants of not to be disclosed until the last day ; in short, as the world to prepare for his reception. And oh, anticipations of the Saviour's prophecy now under my brethren, how impressive it is “ to think,” and review. Perhaps, however, they are justly con- here I use, the magnificent language of Calvin, sidered, according to the common opinion, as sym- “ to think,” I say, “ that all the creatures, both above bolical descriptions of political revolutions, and and below, shall thus be made the heralds to sumwhich have had their accomplishment in the sub- mon mankind before that awful tribunal which, version of the particular states with respect to sunk in criminal indulgence, they have despised which they were pronounced. But this is far from until the last day!” being certain. We speculate doubtfully on a sub- Again, we learn from this passage that the reject which God appears to have intentionally con- turn of Christ to the earth shall be visible and cealed. It is our duty to restrain unsanctified glorious. Nothing could surpass the humbleness curiosity, and patiently endure our ignorance until of his first appearance here below. He laid aside the day arrive in whose light we shall behold all his essential glory; no halo beamed around his the mysteries of providence unravelled, and all the head; no ray of uncreated beauty beamed from darkness which now rests on the field of prophecy his countenance, to tell who he was, and awe befor ever done away.

holders into adoration. He was above the glitterEven were the symbolical character of these ing pomps and vanities with which the great and ancient predictions certain, it is difficult to see how wealthy of this world court the gaze of the multitude. Undistinguished in person, of humble plied in the twenty-seventh verse, where it is comcondition, poor in his circumstances, and meek and pared to a flash of lightning, travers ng the heavens, lowly in his demeanour, was the blessed Jesus ; attracting and fixing every eye. Nay, we are exborn in a stable and cradled in a manger, the pressly told in the thirtieth, that “all the tribes whole tenor of his future life corresponded with of the earth shall see the Son of Man coming in the the humbleness and penury of his birth. He made clouds of heaven.” Wherever in the New Testano display, he courted not observation, he sought ment the event is spoken of, it is stated in words not honour from men, and he received none. which involve the same idea, viz. that Christ is to Once, and only once, did he permit the celestial be revealed to the sight of men. It is called his glory of his person to shine through the veil of “ appearing ”-his. revelation;" and what else flesh which he had assumed, but this manifestation can mean the language of the angels, who contook place on a lonely mountain, was confined to soled the mourning disciples at his ascension: three eye-witnesses, and brief in its duration; “ While they beheld him," it is written, “he once, too, he condescended to let the people bear was taken up, and a cloud received him out him in a sort of triumphal procession into Jeru- of their sight ;" and while they looked stedsalem; but then, as if in mockery of worldly fastly towards heaven as he went up, “ Behold pomp, the Son of David rode upon an ass. Eve two men stood by them in white apparel, which to shield himself from insult and cruelty, never did also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing our Lord reveal his heavenly greatness ; and oh! up into heaven. This same Jesus, which is taken adorable patience, he who could have summoned up from you into heaven, shall so come in like to his rescue a host of angels, petrified his tor- manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” mentors with a glimpse of his divinity, or com- Nor will this manifestation be visible only: manded the fire of heaven to consume them in it will be glorious and sublime. Men shall not the twinkling of an eye, allowed himself to be re- merely behold the Saviour, but be dazzled and viled, spit upon and scourged, crowned with thorns, amazed by the brightness of his presence, and the and nailed upon a cross !

glory and majesty which encompass him. Our Our Saviour paid a second visit to the earth, text says, “ they shall see the Son of Man coming and on this occasion he came, not as he had done in the clouds of heaven, with power and great before, concealed beneath the mask of a human glory.” Our dark and feeble minds, it is true, are form, encompassed with the infirmities and burden- unable to form an adequate conception of the exed with the sufferings of mortality ; but he came cellent majesty of the Son of Man on the great charged with the high commission, and armed with day of his appearing ; but if this were possible, it the authority and the power to execute the ven. would be done by the glowing language which geance of heaven upon his guilty countrymen, in the Scripture employs upon the subject : He shall very place where they had so contemptuously re- be seen descending from heaven; troops of angels jected and so cruelly slain him. Christ was present shall attend him as a retinue ; he shall be surin person at the destruction of Jerusalem. The rounded with a radiance bright as flame; and the several evangelists designate that tragical event as sound of trumpets shall peal through the air. “the coming of the Son of Man,” and “the coming These are but a few traits gathered from St Paul's of Christ in his kingdom.” But although present, descriptions of the scene, who never speaks of it he was present unseen. There were many who but his mind kindles into a holy rapture, and his said, “ Lo, here is Christ, and lo, there, but no language assumes a magnificence of tone which where the


could perceive him. He was sought cannot fail to thrill every reader who has the in the desert, he was sought in the secret cham- slightest pretensions to the possession of a pure ber, but in both he was sought in vain.

and sanctified taste. invisible arm did he wield the scourge. Shrouded And well may we believe that the glory of the in a veil of mystery, did he let loose war, famine, Redeemer will justify on that day the prophetic pestilence, and murder upon the guilty inhabitants. raptures of his apostle. If, when transfigured on They fondly expected the Messiah as a Saviour ; Mount Tabor before the three favoured disciples, never could they dream that he was actually there, his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was the executioner of divine wrath against them. If glistening and white as the snow, so that the his presence was recognised at all, it was only by glories of the vision dazzled the beholders, and the poor remnant of his disciples who remained made them afraid, how overpowering will it be within the walls, and treasuring his words in their when, with a majesty increased in proportion to heart, and marking the traces of his hand, were the dignity of the scene, he shall present himself not afraid amidst all the horrors which surround- to the gaze of the world he is about to judge, coned them.

founding his foes with celestial radiance, and subWe look for another return of the Son of Man stantiating his claims to the love and adoration of to the earth, and his advent on this occasion, as his saints! Ah, my brethren, if when he taberwe are assured by his own prediction now under nacled upon earth, it was hard to discern beneath review, shall neither be invisible, like the vindic- the human form which he wore, and all the penury, tive visitation of Jerusalem, nor inglorious, like neglect, and suffering with which he was encomhis first appearance in the fiesh.

passed, the lineaments of the Son of God, who on That it will be obvious to human sense, is im- that day, when he wears the brightness of this

With an

Father's glory, and the express image of his per- | midnight on the ear of sleepers, and announcing son, shall be able to recognize the Son of Man, to them that the bridegroom is already at the door. the once poor

and houseless wanderer of Judea — With these similes correspond the admonitions the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,— which Christ and the apostles give to their disthe despised, the insulted, and murdered Jesus ! ciples on this subject. “ Watch," is the word,

Again, from this passage we learn, that the future which denotes the attitude we maintain towards advent of our Saviour will be of an universal cha- | events which we are sure will come, but of the racter, i. e. its manifestation will be perceived, and time of whose coming we are uncertain. its effects experienced over the whole world. The There is something exceedingly impressive in the signs in the heavens by which his advent is to be mystery which Scripture has allowed to hang over presaged, are such as the revolution of the globe the time of our Lord's advent. While in every will make apparent to its inhabitants, on whatever page the early converts are summoned to watch and corner of it they may

dwell, Is it not compared prepare for it, as if it were close at hand, they to a gleam of lightning traversing the firmament are, at the same time, discouraged and prohibited from the east even to the west ? Nay, it is ex- in the strongest manner from inquiring when it pressly said, “ all the tribes of the earth shall see was actually to happen. Our Saviour employed the Son of Man coming in power and great glory.” | the last words he uttered upon the earth for this At his first coming, our Saviour chose the land purpose ; for the farewell admonition which he of Judea as the place of his abode, and the scene gave to the witnesses of the ascension was, “ It of his labours ; hence only his countrymen, or the is not for you to know the times and the seasons, strangers whom some happy fortune brought up to which the Father has put in his own power.” The Jerusalem, enjoyed the enviable privilege of looking example which he gave in this respect, was faithupon his blessed countenance. Not so when he fully imitated by the apostles, who carefully warned shall come again, : “ Behold,” it is written, " he believers away from this subject, as one on which cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him.” it was equally vain and unprofitable for them to When, again, involved in mysterious secrecy, and speculate. Now, surely, as this mystery must imperceptible by human sense, he revisited the have been intentional on the part of Him whose earth for the purpose of inflicting a just retribution book the Bible is, it ought to be considered saon those who had despised and murdered him, the cred and inviolable by man. It is true that a effects of his vengeance, consistently with this multitude of circumstances, some of a political, design, were confined to the scene of their crime : others of a moral and religious description, are within the walls of Jerusalem did he send forth war, mentioned in Scripture, as indicative and premonfamine, and pestilence, like birds of prey to devour itory of the approach of the latter days; and these the guilty inhabitants. How different shall it be doubtless, when present, will fulfil the intention when he comes again!—Then shall the whole for which they have been recorded, and spread far earth, to her farthest ends, both see and feel it ;- and wide among men some general expectation then, wherever the carcass is, there shall the eagles of the day of the Lord, like that which prevailed of vengeance be gathered together;- then, in over the world at his first advent. Especially whatever corner of the globe unbelievers and im- may it be believed, will his faithful followers,—who penitent sinners may dwell, the wrath of the des- wait for his appearing, devoutly study the Word, pised Redeemer shall find them out. The minis- and mark the ways of Providence,-deeply feel this ters of his wrath shall visit every shore. Hence presentiment, as it will derive vigour from their it is written, “ All the tribes of the earth shall wishes and brightness from their hopes. But even mourn." Nor will the saints feel the blessed among them, it is probable it will ever be mingled effects of this event less extensively than its venge- with much doubt and uncertainty; and when ful consequences shall be experienced by the un- strongest, be but like the old man's anticipation of godly; for “ He shall send his angels with a great death, which he feels to be drawing on, while it sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect is kindly concealed from him in what precise year from the four winds, from one end of heaven to or month it is appointed to take place. Upon the the other."

unbelieving and impenitent children of this world, We also learn from this passage, that the last it will come with all its appalling preludes, sudden advent of Christ shall be sudden, unexpected, un- and startling like a peal of thunder, just as the foreseen. Various and striking are the images food overwhelmed the inhabitants of the Old einployed in Scripture to illustrate this particular World, while they were “eating and drinking, marquality of our Saviour's advent. It is compared rying and giving in marriage.” to a flash of lightning, the moment of whose issue And finally, we may remark, that this advent from the clouds, buman science cannot predict. of the Saviour, which such awful prodigies are to Again, it is compared to the flood, which sur- presage, which is to be accompanied with such prised the inhabitants of the Old World, supine pomp and glory, which all the tribes of the earth in sloth, and careless of the approaching danger. are to witness and feel, and over whose date, Sometimes it is the assault of a thief, who comes amidst the multifarious assurances afforded by by stealth at the darkest hour, when all are fast Scripture of the fact itself, such a veil of mystery asleep. It is a snare which entraps the heedless has been left, must be intended, it is clear, to acbird. It is the sound of bridal mirth, breaking at | couplish some high and important design. Why

« VorigeDoorgaan »