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From whatever quarter that woe of the earth may spring, its character we know; such as cannot but drag down heaven upon its head. Do you ask, what? Infidelity; that disease of which the world already is sick beyond a cure; a world of infidelity. Hear this, all ye people: 6 There have been FALSE PROPHETS among this people (the Jews) even as there shall be FALSE TEACHERS among you (the Christians) who PRIVILY shall bring in damnable heresies, denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction; SHALL FOLLOW THEIR PERNICIOUS WAYS.” Hear and beware. . This wretched Cain himself, branded as he is with the mark of God, for his infidelity and murder, and ever since everywhere a wanderer; even he shall no longer, nowhere, be remembered as a warning: belike, on account of his new-built city, the standing miracle being no
Yes, and even the Church of Christ, by reason of her adversary and floods of ungodliness, why she, even she herself, suddenly withered into the widow of the parable, and crying in vain for vengeance; even her religious faith, the very life-blood of society, shall sink to so feeble and fluttering a pulse as to be questionable and the question is the Lord's): Whether, when the Son of man cometh,
shall he find faith upon earth ? Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall ! Remember the Lord's apostles; some bought and sold him, others denied and foreswore him, but all forsook him and fled. This state of things when it shall arrive, as arrive it shall; this, with its consequent falsehood and violence, shall be 6 the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men.” “Behold, Jehovah cometh as a fire, and his chariot as a whirlwind ;" and may we not almost hear the thunder of his wheels?
But what ears of flesh and blood may endure that dreadful blazon of the prophetic roll? Everywhere an ulcerated world of lepers. Rivers? Yea, seas of blood. Above, the red glare of the simoom, and blasphemy below ; darkness, and blasphemies, and pains; kings in full march, and demons in full employ; false miracles, false Messiahs; the gathering-cry to the battle, of that great day of Almighty God, that Ar-mageddon, and blood to the horse bridles: the shout of an archangel ! voices, and thunders, and lightnings—and ever and anon, the trump of God, still waxing louder and louder still. And then, at last, that earthquake, so mighty and so great, as was never since men were upon earth, every island fled away, and the mountains not to be found: then that hail, the
hail-plague of an avenging God; he gave them hailstones, fire, and brimstone; the whole artillery of all the hosts of heaven itself in arms. The Dragon, that Serpent of old, is seized, bound, cast down, shut, and sealed up in the abyss.
Such is the warning of the great prophecy to us Gentiles; such the catastrophe of the fall of man; the havoc of hell and Satan; the vengeance due to a crucified, and for ever insulted Redeemer, God manifested in the flesh.
Yet courage! Even though these things should happen in our day (which who can tell?), the summer flies indeed will have vanished at the first scowl of the storm, (Blessed Lord, for thy grace !) nevertheless, let every Israelite indeed, every one that shall be found written in the book, lift up their heads, for their redemption draweth nigh, saith the Lord. Pray for your country. Whatever is, is best; fear God, and fear nought. A cloud of witnesses hang over the battlements of heaven, the well-wishers of our faith; and one there is, the author and finisher of our faith, (author on the cross, and finisher on the throne,) a man, that shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the storm. “ Peace, be still.” Out of so outrageous a chaos, can he, or can he not, call forth a new heaven and a new earth ? He both can and will instate you in a seat therein; bright, for ever bright, with the meridian sun of his own presence and glory. Thence, shall you look back with delight, on every danger past.
Then let the scoffers come, walking after their own lusts and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? Where? Why here. They ask, and it is the Lord that replies; the Lord himself: 6 Behold, I stand at the door and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”
Where we began, there let us end; remembering the solemnities of this season. And God help us poor sinners, and be merciful unto us; for the Jews and others, after all, were but accessaries to the death of our Lord; we are the principals, and sin alone is the murderer. The guilt of a felon world, hath been imputed to him. “ He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. All we like sheep have gone astray ; we have turned every one to his way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all ;-ALL, ALL.—Whether those who have transfixed him with a spear, or those who have betrayed him with a kiss. Wretched sinners as we are, may his grace then pierce our hearts also; may we live, while we live, mourning