Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow.” But the spark and the tow shall both burn together, the worker and the work. Revelations xix. 20, presents a full, clear, and concise view of the last clause in our text. “ And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”

Ought we not with holy rapture, and devout gratitude, to prostrate before the Redeemer of men, to adore him for his abundant goodness, for his especial kindness to us, in/thus irra. diating our understandings, by that light which bringeth salvation, giving us to see by the luminous torch of faith, the wide spreading family of man, encircled in the arms of universal, of never failing goodness?

Fourthly, And none shall quench them. There is no figure in the Bible so frequently introduced, and so variously applied, as fire. God himself is represented under this figure. Our God is a consuming fire. Jeremiah xxiii. 29, “ Is not my word like as a fire, saith the LORD.” The ministers of God are said to be as flames of fire. They shall be saved so as by fire. The Apostle tells us this fire which results in salvation shall try every man's work. If his work abide the test, he shall be rewarded, if not, his work shall be burned, and he shall suffer loss ; nevertheless, he himself shall be saved, so as by fire. Isaiah ix. 18, “For wickedness burneth as a fire; it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the listing of the smoke.” Fire is frequently spoken of in the sacred volume as a purifier; indeed what element is so thoroughly cleansing, what particle of dross can endure its caustic heat? What saith the royal Psalmist? Psalm xii. 6, “ The words of the LORD are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Jehovah saith, Isaiah i. 26, “ And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin." Isaiah iv. 4, “ When the LORD shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." Malachi iii. 2, 3, “ But who may abide the

[ocr errors]

day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap. And he shall set as a purifier and refiner of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” Matthew iii. 12, “The baptist, speaking of the Redeemer, impressively says, “ Whose fan is in his hand, that he may thoroughly purge his floor, and that having gathered his wheat into his garner, he may burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."| The total and unextinguishable destruction of every thing which originated with the adversary, and finally of the adversary himself, will be the salvation of that nature in which the enemy hath sowed the seeds of every species of impurity. With this murderous foe, evil of every description commenced, and every evil shall end where it began. The auspicious period hastens, when the vision recorded in Revelations xviii. 20, shall be realized. And we shall see and hear the mighty angel, who grasping a massy stone, like a great millstone, shall cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be no more found. Compare this passage with the testimony given, Revelations xvii. 5, " And upon her forehead.” Whose forehead ? Upon the forehead of this Babylon, “was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS EARTH.” It is, consequent upon the destruction of Babylon, and its offspring, that John learned that there was to be no more

OF

THE

Revelations xxii. 3, That he learned that God would wipe away all tears from their eyes, that there should be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, that the former things were done away, and all things were become new. And that he heard every creature which was upon the earth, and which was in heaven, and such as were in the sea, and all that were in them, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.

curse.

SKETCH LXVII.

Isaiah ü. 5.

First, What is intended by the house of Jacob? By a house we understand, First, a place of residence. Secondly, The persons dwelling in the house. Acts x. 2, Cornelius feared God with his whole house. Hebrews xi. 7, By faith Noah prepared an ark to the saving his house.

Secondly, Jesus Christ, of whom Jacob was a figure, in whose person, both Jews and Gentiles are collected, the middle wall of partition being broken down, who is as much greater than the figure, as the whole is greater than a part, is the luminous substance of this figure.

Thirdly, The Gentiles were of this house before they were called. Galatians iv. 6, “ And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” It is God that calls upon his own house.

Fourthly, Hebrews iii. 4, “For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” It ought to be recollected, and with pious gratitude, that Joshua, speaking by the spirit of God, and being himself an illustrious type of Christ, decidedly declares, As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. If the words of the spirit of truth are to be received with firm confidence, nothing doubting; if we yield full credit to the divine testimony; 1 Timothy v. 3, “If any man provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel :" I say, if we accept this decision, we shall rest assured, that Christ Jesus will indeed provide for his own house.

Fifthly, The master of the housc invites every one of the family to walk in the light of the Lord. Isaiah viii. 20, “ To the law, and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Psalm viï. 19, “ Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance." Psalm cxix. 105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my

.

path." John viii. 12, “ Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world.” Jesus is the true light of the LORD, because God so loved the world, he gave them his Son; therefore, it is in this true light we are admonished to walk. Colossians ii. 6, “ As ye have received the Lord Jesus, so walk ye in him.” Let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Lastly, We are admonished to walk in him, to walk in the light of the LORD, not to sleep in him; when once we are in the way, we must walk on. The christian walks by faith, he does not sleep by faith. Say to the people that they go forward ; be not weary; or if you be weary, lean upon the Beloved.

SKETCH LXVIII.

Isaiah ii. 6-8.

First, God had forsaken his people. Romans xi. 12, “ Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness.”

Secondly, Why hath God forsaken his people? “Because they be replenished from the east.” The prophet Ezekiel, viii. 16, will aid us in comprehending what is intended by the east. “ And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the cast; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.”

Thirdly, And they please themselves in the children of strangers. Strangers were distinguished from the worshippers of the true God. Nehemiah ix. 2, “ And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.” The Gentiles were considered as strangers. Ephesians ii. 12, “ That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promVol. III. 24

ise, having no hope and without God in the world.” But God's people pleased themselves in these strangers to the covenant of promise.

Fourthly, God's people loved money, silver and gold; in fact, they loved the world, and the things of the world: their characters, and the consequences, are admirably described by the prophet Hosea, ii. 8, “For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold which they prepared for Baal.”

Fifthly, Their land is full of idols ; of this fact our evangelical prophet speaks, chapter lvii. 5, “Inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys, under the clifts of the rocks.” Jeremiah i. 28, “ But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee. Let them arise if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble ; for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah."

Lastly, God's people worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made. Revelations ix. 20, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood; which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk."

SKETCH LXIX.

ISAIAH xiii. 9-12.

First, What are we to understand by the day of the Lord? We will inquire at the sacred oracles. Malachi iv. I, “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.”

Secondly, What re we to understand by the destruction of the sinners of the land ? on this head also we will draw our information from a sacred, from an infallible source. Psalm civ. 35, “Let the

« VorigeDoorgaan »