« PreviousContinue »
break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us!
The question then is, what shall their end be? For an end must follow. I will tell you. “Behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and THE DAY THAT COMETH shall burn them up saith the Lord of hosts, and shall leave them neither root nor branch.-For, in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the *wine is red, it is full of mixture (plagues, viz: war, pestilence, famine, fiery serpents, dreadful tempests, and earthquakes, mighty thunderings, Gomorrah lightnings, and a great hail,) and He [the Lord] poureth out of the same; and all the wicked of the earth shall wring out the dregs thereof and drink them.”
Do you ask, will all the Gentiles perish? I answer, all the wicked shall be destroyed—and their name shall rot, while the 1000 years of peace are going their joyful round!-All, every one, that refuse to have the man Christ Jesus to reign over them, are destroyed with a sore destruction, at his coming the second time.
But what of Laodicea? Why that is the object of Antichrist's first degree of vengeance at his rise to reign over all the children of pride.” Laodicea first, and then Jerusalem.
Philadelphia is beyond his reach somehow. The promise to her from the "Holy and True;" He that hath the key of David, who openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth,” is, that
*The wine is red! it means the wrath of the Lamb! It is the wine cup of his fury which all nations shall drink, even Jerusalem, the city of the great King-she shall be redeemed (not with money, and by missionaries) with judgment-But the King of Sheshach shall drink last, i. e. he shall drain the very dregs.
she shall be kept by Him from the hour of temptation, that shall come upon the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
The words "shall come,” and “upon all the world," are powerful and marked expressions to my view. Philadelphia is promised deliverance, from "that hour of temptation,” that is decreed for all the world, that is sent to try them that dwell upon the earth."
The question may be asked, of this favoured church, where is she now? I answer, she is a probationer, and will be so, till she proves her obedience to the Lamb, by "holding fast her faith, and watching unto unceasing prayer, that no man take her crown;" and her location is visible only to Him who holdeth the stars in his right hand; and any angel or angels to whom he will shew her. It seems to me that Philadelphia is to "fulfil the works,” that Sardis hath not; and that her “keeping the word of his patience,” who is Holy and True, means her faith in the everlasting covenant of God with Christ, that he shall have the throne of his father David, and reign over the house of Jacob for ever, which kingdom shall never end. By faith she understands, that the suffering Lamb on Mount Calvary, shall reign upon earth in his glorified manhood, and godlike sovereignty, until he shall put all his enemies under his feet; and that then he will sit upon a great white throne, with his grand jury before him, (the Books; "and the Book”] to give a last sentence to the dead, small, great; and to death and hell also. It seems to me, that this church receives no credit or honour for her testimony until the very hour is near at hand, or may be, the first pendulum strikes its commencement, when she is delivered. It seems she is afflicted by false professors, probably Sardi
sian, (as much as by the lukewarm and self-righteous, and her strength is small; but the Lord loves her, and counterfeit Jews shall know it.
But the question arises, "how, or in what way shall she escape the dreadful hour, in which the Beast has his dominion completed by the accession of ten kingdoms? I answer it in this way, that, according to the word, she is “made a pillar in the temple of God,” which to me implies, that this earth is her dwelling no more in the flesh; and it is very probable she may not taste of death in her pass
age to rest.
That such a church (not nominal in all the world that I know of) is on probation before God, at this time, I do not believe; but I do not pretend to know her, among the children of men; for I cannot search hearts, or prove spirits. But God knows her; and her angel (i. e. messenger) and her members, if they obey the command, "Hold fast,” &c., shall not lose the crown of their rejoicing, which is their faith in the true covenant, but are like to overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony. -I tremble for America. I fear that this land of boasted freedom, both civil and religious, (nominally,) has but little, nay, very little, of the Philos Delphos spirit in her borders, that glows with zeal for him who holds the Key of David, (Israel's redemption, and is about to descend, to unlock their prison, and say to the prisoners, "Go forth," and to the Ten Tribes, "show yourselves.” -Ungrateful country, thy exaltation in privileges is bounded only by Heaven! Oh! the handwriting on the wall!!!
I return to Laodicea. A large church-very large at the rise of Antichrist. It seems her character is developed by the faithful and true witness at his
epiphany, during the reign of terror. Sardis is stripped of her glory; and Laodicea is visible in rags, or nakedness. Yet she knows not her condition. She fancies herself rich, and increased with goods; and has need of nothing. She is blind, and cannot see the signs of the times” yet.
She is, however, in a more hopeful condition than Sardis; for Sardis is “dead;" but Laodicea is lukewarm and blind. She is wretched, having no joy-miserable, by the triumph of infidelity's scorn, and rage; poor, having no faith; blind, not discerning the time and
season; and naked, having no righteousness. She is 3 reproved by her King, and threatened, too. She is exhorted, and directed what to do.
1. To buy gold-Faith. Formerly it was, "ask, and ye shall receive-seek and ye shall find;" but at the most trying of all times in the Gentile church,
she (poor Laodicea) is notified that it is necessary * for her to buy-buy gold-it must be tried in the
fire-it must come from mines of persecution; and this gold will make her rich in a short time. Nor is this all. She must buy herself a white robe, a wedding garment, or she cannot be a guest at the Lamb's nuptials.' Her blindness must be cured. She must anoint her eyes with eye salve, that she
may see. She must do it herself. Formerly Christ 3. performed the meanest drudgery for mortals; but
now he bids Laodicea nurse and work for herself. While he is mediator, advocate, and intercessor, all who come to the Father, by him, shall have all they want, just for asking. Give me faith, give me holiness, give me discernment. "It is but ask and have.” But the case is very different when the office of “Priest in the presence of God for us,” is changed for “King of Kings and Lord of Lords," come to earth, upon David's throne to reign. Lap.
dicea must buy. But she is poor-she does not appear able to buy any thing; for the Lord declares her poverty first of all. However, poor as she is in the Lord's sight, he counsels her to trade with him, and seems to offer to sell her (what she might once have obtained without price) a passport to his kingdom. Surely he is not speaking ironically to this miserable object. Surely he does not sport with her deplorable condition. No, No! He announces to Laodicea that she must (even in her extremity) "be zealous and repent;" and intimates that he loves her still.—But she ought to have gold and white raiment: she will be ruined except she does obtain them.
Now, Laodicea, thou hast nothing to buy with, but thy poor, naked, miserable house of clay—thy little breath-a few drops of thy unfaithful heart's blood: this will purchase thee a badge well known in Heaven, “white raiment.” Arise! Laodicea, quickly arise from thy lukewarm state, and fight one or two, or more of the Beast's recruiters, who ask thee to wear his riband, and I will pay thee a rich bounty, even Faith, to trade upon yet more, and thou shalt win the day, even the day that is called Millennium. Oh! Laodicea, thou must suffer if thou wouldst reign! If thou deniest me before infidels, I will reject thee before angels-yea, I will disown thee for ever; and it were good for thee, in that case, thou hadst never been born. By falling (so far) upon the stone, the chief corner-stone, thou art broken; but if, after this call, this offer, and warning, it shall fall upon thee, it will grind thee to powder. For I say unto thee, O Laodicea! that thou art lukewarm, and I would that thou wert otherwise: thou art vain, and proud, and self-sufficient, and believest not that I will reign upon earth