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can hear the voice of the Holy One who hath the key of David, “behold I come quickly.”
The last (poor Laodicea) is wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked! Now
you will soon have my views of the Gentiles, at the dawn of the day of Messiah's glory.
And first, I shall observe, that the Gentiles, who, in time past, had not believed God, (that is prior to the first advent) did, by obedience to the word of reconciliation, held forth by apostles of the Lord, obtain mercy; Paul says through Jewish unbelief. They have stood upon an eminence, indeed, that has afforded them a prospect of the heavenly land. This eminence is faith, even the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not
They had at their commencement apostolic teaching; they have had it ever since.* Not only so, but Moses and the prophets are theirs; and by the very mouth of the Holy Lamb, too, they are instructed, admonished, warned and reproved. His ordinances have been entrusted to their keeping; and upon them God hath shed abundantly the influences of the Holy Ghost. Beside all these heavenly gifts, the God of Israel becomes the God of the Gentiles, and makes them equal to his ancient church, in prophecy; for to the Gentiles is given their whole history, in the last canonical book of Holy Scripture, called “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants, things which must shortly come to
“And he sent, and signified it, by his angel, to his servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.”
* I allude to the Acts and Epistles in the New Testament.
How have the Gentiles behaved?
1. I shall notice the church of God among the Gentiles.
She has rent the seamless garment of her Saviour; she has lost the pledge of sacred unity, by adopting other names than the original one, even Christian.
In the first instance, she left her first love. In the second she played the harlot with the state,' changed the ordinance,* and broke the covenant of her Lord.t
She has often promised reform; and as often broken her vows. In her proceedings, we may see “Israel's contrary walk” again. Like Israel she has long been a streacherous wife." She has departed from her husband.
Examine her in doctrine. [Remember I am writing of the church of God among the Gentiles.” I mean that body which holds the forms of Christianity.]
Doctrine. Some of her branches deny the reality of universal redemption by Jesus Christ
. He is represented as a hard master, reaping where he has not sown; and gathering where he has not strewed.
Others take the opposite extreme of predestination and deny the word of our Lord thereby.
Some separate faith from works; and others pretend to join them together in their belief, but reject both in their discipline over the church, and their ordinary lives and conversation in the world.
*I mean the Sabbath. +His personal advent to reign upon the earth, over his first Church.
Must I proceed through all the dark chambers of Gentile imagery? Must I draw every dark feature, and present the full portrait?
I have not time.
Suffice to say, that false doctrines, unscriptural modes, usages, and disciplines, have wounded the Blessed Redeemer afresh, in the house of his Gentile friends. And among false doctrines I must say, that I think that which denies his Godhead, is the most devilish of all!!! It amounts to blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, at the first instance. I proceed no farther, than to say, it is deism lettered by the name of christianity. God will avenge the affront!!! "I will repay saith the Lord.”
I come now to say, that the falling away of the Gentiles is to be consummated by the rise and reign of open infidelity; and that from the bottom to the top of the Gentile ladder, I see apostacy, apostacy, apostacy, marked against them, or murder, murder, murder. By these dreadful expressions, I mean that apostacy from God commencing with Annanias, and Sapphira, and ending with the last name that shall join the Beast from the bottomless pit, shall mark the Gentile era with crucifying the Son of God afresh, in doctrine, in custom, and habits of life.
While the church of God among the Gentiles, (bear it in mind that I am speaking of it as nominal) are thus fallen (as a body, composed of a vast variety of Wisms,”') and lying in her blood, there are some, even in Laodicea, who are still objects of divine love: these, the Amen, the faithful and true witnesses, the beginning of the creation of God, He will rebuke and chasten. He will punish, nay, He will command the enemy to buffet them, that they may learn, in the fires of spiritual tribulation, not to blaspheme the Holy Name into which they
were baptized, when persecution shall wax hot against it. For it is against the name of God and of Christ, that Antichrist will oppose his image, his mark, and the number of his name. It is expressly said by the Holy Ghost, through Paul, that the man of sin shall do this; and the Apostle has very plainly set forth his opportunity that it is embraced by the removal of the mystery of iniquity. As the Apostle Paul says, “mystery of iniquity," and calls that mystery “he," I think no person can deny but it means a false church, a counterfeit of christianity; and I therefore call no name in particular; but leave the designation to Paul to be proved true by the event.
Thus I have given my views of the Gentile church, which ends in Laodicea.
The non-professing part, come also under consideration. They present a mixed multitude. None of them publicly and by open form acknowledged the Lord Jesus Christ, and confess that he is the Saviour of the world.
I look over the mixed multitude. Are they all unbelieving and unregenerate? May be not. Time will shew.--I have known instances of persons living for years, in a pardoned state, without making a public profession of religion. The divisions and sub-divisions of the Gentile church, that have distributed the precious doctrines and ordinances of Christ's gospel, about from pillar to post, are stumbling blocks. They are at a loss which sect to join, and are afraid of the effect of visible union with any, or either party: They pray, they give alms. They believe all that is written, and love the scriptures. But these characters are scarce.
The most part are careless, indifferent, and unbelieving. The scriptures are of less consequence in their estimation,
than a newspaper or an almanac; and prayer is a subject of ridicule and reproach. As to preaching, it is at the best like a song; and ordinances entirely useless. I am looking over the most harmless part of the irreligious throng; the Gallios that care for none of these things. But I am not to stop yet. No.-I am to speak of a class that are complete in infidel scholarship, and are armed cap a pie for the scene that shall even be coeval with the dawn of the day of the Lord. And I have shuddered at the sight of the tall, nodding plumes that wave around the heads of men, trained for the army of the brass covered warrior, who is coming out of the land of the uncircumcised Philistines, to defy the power of the true God and Saviour. I mean professed deists, and atheists. It is no secret, but it is a great shame, that North America exhibits no small number of them. It cannot be denied that the recruiting officers of the Beast have passed through the land, and enlisted a numerous band of blaspheming opposers to the precious Lamb.
As the Gentiles will not attend to the voice of mercy or of judgment, and refuse to repent and reform, they must be removed out of the way, at the opening of that glorious era, called the acceptable year, or if you please, the reign of righteousness upon the earth. Christ and Belial, light and darkness, piety and ungodliness never can, and never will, assimilate, and govern at one time. One or the other must give back. The Appollyon principle will be exerted to the very uttermost; and this exertion will arrive at its acme of strength and power at the opening of the great day of the Lord.
Now behold the Gentiles—They rise up against the Lord and against his anointed, saying let us