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her, and became unfit to advance her interests, were laid in the grave by a resistless hand.
“Look at the space covered by these fulfilled predictions—Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, the empire of Cyrus, and of Alexander and Rome, Judea and its peculiar people, with all their strange, deathless history, and all the lands and people bordering upon that land; and since the coming of the Son of God, the church in all lands, and that great usurpation, or parody of the church, the shadow it should cast on the depravity of man, and the malignity of the Devil. Take these from the map of the world, and what would be left? Take these from human history, and what would history be? It is most manifest that the central current of human history has flowed over these lands, and through these channels of national life. Then the broad, stupendous fact is, that all these vast affairs have been moulded and controlled by the spirit and power of prophecy. In the path of that prophecy lie the graves of these greatest of earthly powers and dominions, speaking in eloquent death and ruin to all coming generations. It is the march of God through the ages we see thus opened before our eyes, and the graves of nations, and the tombs of cities are the luminous steps of his course and his judgments, where the light of his presence still lingers. What is a man, a city, a nation, in the presence of such a God, and in the way of his purposes ? What is there that stands safe, and has charter to life and continuance in the coming ages, but his church, and whatsoever shall minister to her glory and expansion ? Who is safe but within her? From God she came—to heaven she is bound—like the ark of Noah, bearing all of life that is to live from the old world to the
Great God, whose universal sway
And pride and rage prevail no more.
With power he vindicates the just,
As rain on meadows newly mown,
THE SUBLIMITY AND ETERNAL RECOMPENSE OF IMPLICIT
FAITH AND OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S WILL, AND OF
LABOURING FOR MISSIONS UNDER GREAT DISCOURAGE
Of all possible exercises of faith, implicit faith in this decree of God, and in this commission of his church, is the most noble, because the objects of it, the heathen and the uttermost parts of the earth, are invisible --out of sight-distant—unworthy in them
selves considered-indifferent, and even opposed to the requisitions and character enjoined by the gospel. It is written, “ blessed are they who, having not seen, nevertheless believe.” And Abraham is the father and pattern of all believers, because he obeyed, and he went out not knowing whither he went. He hoped against hope. Therefore sprung there of one, and him as good as dead, as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the seashore innumerable.
Of all the manifestations of such implicit obedience now possible to the believer, a faithful, persevering, and zealous compliance with this will of God is the most grateful and emphatic manifestation of the spirit and temper of a loving child, a devoted servant, a loyal subject, and a valiant and successful soldier. And the reasons are these; because this obedience is rendered against the interposing claims of self, and kindred, and home, and church, and country; because it is exhibited in the midst of unbelieving and perhaps opposing friends, and of too many unbelieving and lukewarm professors of religion. “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you,” and in
“That great, that awful day, When man to judgment wakes from clay," he that, in this life, hath forsaken father or mother, or houses, or lands, or fortune, or the favour of men; yea, who has given even a cup of cold water for Christ's sake and the gospel's, shall receive an hundredfold, and be encircled with a crown of righteousness, amidst the welcoming plaudit of his approving King and Judge. “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee.”
“The man that offers humble praise,
Declares my glory best;
Shall my salvation taste.”