Page images
PDF
EPUB

people, and will provide them with a refuge from the desolating storm.*

We see, then, the particulars of which the promised Blessedness will consist; and needs it to be remarked, on a review of these particulars, what a new and powerful motive is thus given to the Christian to excite and quicken his exertions in the great work which lies before him? Is he called in a more especial manner, in the prospect of those aweful judgments with which God is about to visit his apostate church, to “watch and keep his garments ?” Let him not be discouraged at the difficulties before him. Let him “not be weary in well doing. In due time he shall reap, if he faint not.” His “ labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.” Let him listen to the consolatory assurance so

The following extract from a sermon of Bishop Horseley so strongly confirms the view which the writer has here given of the predicted security of God's people in the Time of Trouble, that he cannot refrain from setting it before his readers. “In the end of his discourse, (Luke, xvii. 20—37.) our Lord foretells some extraordinary interpositions of a discriininating providence, which shall preserve the righteous in situations of the greatest danger, from certain public calamities, which, in the last ages of the world, shall fall upon wicked nations. Of two men in one bed, the one shall be taken, and the other left; two women shall be grinding together, the one shall be taken, and the other left; two men shall be in the field, the one shall be taken and the other left. »

seasonably vouchsafed, that there is a Blessedness in store for him; that in the Time of Trouble he shall be preserved; that the desolation, which is about to fall upon the ungodly, shall not overwhelm him; that the fire, instead of hurting him, shall only purge away his dross; that in the midst of those tremendous visitations, which the Lord is preparing for his enemies, his people shall “ have a place of safety, and shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." They shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings and in quiet resting-places, when it shall hail, coming down on the forest."

When the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the flood of waters was poured in upon the world of the 'ungodly, an ark was prepared for Noah and his family. When fire and brimstone were rained out of heaven on the cities of the plain, a refuge was provided for Lot. When Egypt was laid desolate by plagues, the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was exempt from the visitation. When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, a way of escape was

to the Christians hold the Lord is now coming” (again) "out of his place” (his mercy-seat) “to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity:" but He has left upon record this most gracious invitation, in

laid open

66 Be

cluding a promise to his Church, “ Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut the doors about thee: hide thyself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

198

CHAP. VII.

INQUIRY INTO THE PROBABLE DESTINY OF ENGLAND DURING THE APPROACHING PERIOD

OF UNPRECEDENTED TROUBLE.

The writer having thus detailed, according to his view of the indications of prophecy, as explained by the events of the times, the Prospects and Duties of the Christian Church at the present period, proceeds to enter on an Inquiry, which, though not of equal importance to the Church at large with the investigation pursued in the preceding pages, cannot fail of presenting to his readers a subject for very serious and highly interesting meditation.

In order to bring before them, in the most impressive manner, the Inquiry of which he speaks, he will briefly recapitulate the particulars of that aweful Crisis, respecting which it has been the object of the foregoing discussion to prove that it is now arrived.

In conformity, then, to the conclusion in which this discussion has terminated, the Christian Church is now waiting in anxious expectation for the coming of her Lord, - looking forward in hope and trembling to that season of unprecedented trouble; which, in fulfilment of the sure word of prophecy, at the appointed hour, will suddenly put an end to the state of apparent calm and tranquillity which the nations of Christendom are at this moment enjoying. The precise hour, indeed, in which this season will commence, is not revealed: but the “ Signs of the Times” concur with the predictions of Scripture, in indicating that it is at no great distance. Preparations are, obviously, going forward among the kingdoms of the Beast, which threaten some portentous explosion; and when the day of vengeance is come, then will the judgments which have already begun at the house of God, be awefully renewed, and will recommence, with redoubled fury, their work of desolation. When these kingdoms - by their continued impenitence, and resistance to the King of kings; by their wilful rejection of evangelical light, which is now so rapidly increasing around them; and probably by some overt acts of opposition, by which their enmity to this light will be still more clearly developed, - shall have filled up the measure of their sins, then will that great voice come out of the temple of heaven from the throne, saying, “ It is done;" then will that great earthquake - such as was not since

« PreviousContinue »