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deavour to gain such knowledge, by praying for the influences of the Holy Spirit; and by your godly faith, you will then inherit an heavenly kingdom, whose maker and builder is God. You will then, like Noah, by faith being warned of God that the day will come, move with fear, prepare an ark to the saving of your immortal soul, by the which you may condemn that part of the world which worketh wickedness, and become heir, not only of the righteousness which is by faith, but likewise enjoy the sunshine of his eternal presence!
THE SECOND ADVENT.
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand."
13th chap. Romans, 1st part of 12th verse.
We have arrived at that period of time when the Church has completed another ecclesiastical year in the christian cite, and commemorates our Lord's coming on earth, and looks forward to his re-appearing when "in his glorious majesty he shall judge both the quick and dead."
It is much to be lamented in the present day that whatever is not easily understood is considered important, sometimes beautiful, simply because it is not understood; whilst those things which are quickly believed and readily acknowledged, fall short of making that due impression upon our hearts and minds and consequent course of living, which would be the inevitable result were it contrariwise. The second coming of our blessed Lord is a fact no one will dispute, but where is the preparation for him? When he dwelt among the sons of men, he witnessed their follies and vanities, and to a very great extent; he not only saw their incredulity, but their deceit and also their pride, he saw that pride was one of their greatest evils, that their hearts were stubborn and disobedient, envious among themselves, some wanting power, others popularity, but he told them that humility was an ornament; and when his disciples asked him, Who was the greatest? he set a little child in the midst! All these things were then more than 1800 years ago! Is there any difference now? Is there any improvement spiritually or morally? Is not pride as visible as it was then, and now frequently arising under the cloak of religion, which renders it much more despicable? Are we not all seeking our own benefit, our own advantage, and not the things which belong to Christ? (2nd Phil. 21.) The Jews were envious for power, which led them to crucify Jesus. Are we not also seeking power, and so to be thought great among men? To exceed one another in dress, magnificence, talent, or charity? Alas ! we are no better than the rest, Christ may truly say of us as he did of the Scribes and Pharisees of old. "What do ye more than others'?" Is not this an overwhelming idea when we reflect upon Christ's sufferings for us, his excellent teaching and admonitions? Men are unmindful of their christian privileges, and proceed indifferently in their spiritual warfare, doing as the bias of their feelings lead them. And what is the remedy? A proper consideration of our present position in this world with respect to the next, and as I said before, a holy course of living which would be the result. To induce such is the intention of these pages.
What every body knows soon becomes stale—singular notions or curious things arrest the attention almost in a moment; the air we breathe is a mercy, the light of the sun also, but they are both common to us, and we soon forget to be thankful for them. It is the same with doctrines, what more out of our daily thoughts than that Christ is coming to judge us, that he is at the threshold of our doors even now, the cry of " Surgite mortui, Sec.—Arise, ye dead, and come away to judgment V* is tingling loud in our ears! That " the night is far spent, the day is at hand." The coming of our Lord a second time is foretold throughout the New Testament. In the 1st Epistle of Peter, we read " But the end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." In Saint John's Gospel also, " As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Our Saviour also foretells it himself in his conversation with Nathaniel, "Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree; believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. Verilyr, verily, I say unto you, hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." A man may one day resolve to leave his business and his worldly cares, and devote a little time to God; but how often is he led astray, for religion is every day work, and the man of this world soon finds that he cannot serve " God and Mammon," though he perhaps sometimes wishes that he could. "But behold, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
With respect to the place where Christ shall re-appear again and hold his awful assize. The Jews have thought in the valley of Jehoshaphat near Jerusalem, according as the 3rd of Joel, and 2nd verse has been expounded by them ; others conjecture the whole surface of the earth; some think in the air, (1 Thes. iv. 170 and this latter to me appears the most probable. (.1 Cor. xv. 42—45.) Concerning the time of his coming, Christ declared "of that day and hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (24 Mat. 36.) He declared also his own ignorance. (13 Mark, 32.) "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?" Death frequently removes envy. "Extinctus amabitur idem,"— "The same person who was envied while alive, shall be loved when dead." It brings us all to our level, and removes every earthly distinction. "The dust," that is the body, returns to the earth, and " the spirit," that is the soul, returns unto God who gave it; there is no neutral state for the soul, when it has quitted its earthly tabernacle; it slumbers not, (as some have erroneously
imagined it does,) this made St. Paul desire to " depart hence and to be with Christ which is far better, "for to me," says he, "to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Though the careless-minded may argue that the second coming of our Lord is far off, and that their day of final account is equally far distant; yet sinners arouse yourselves, and know that at the day of thy death, thou hast judgment passed upon thee, and that angels will either wing thy soul into Abraham's bosom, or cast thee into everlasting torments. And thou knowest not how near thou art eternity. "There is but a step between me and death." (1 Sam. xx. latter clause 3rd v.) Every day, yea, every moment is hastening our Saviour's coming, and bringing us nearer to the never-ending presence of God, or the miseries of the cursed. And as every day in our calculation is bringing it nearer, let us gird up our loins, and trim our lamps and be ready to go out to meet the Bridegroom. "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serv ethem. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants." The crown of glory is reserved for the righteous, and they that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life. As the morning cometh quickly, so doth the night, all is gathering to a crisis, for " the night is far spent, the day is at hand." Consider, one and all, how you have individually spent that " Past" which you can now not recall. Have you been preparing, and still preparing for his coming? In his kingdom there shall be no night. There will be a continuing sun, and thy God will be thy glory! The prophet Isaiah even foretold his re-appearing. "Behold thy salvation cometh! behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him." He has left us to fight the battle with sin, like a soldier, or as a sailor struggling in a storm. The five virgins were found slumbering and sleeping, but the christians were ready. The five former virgins were foolish and careless, but the christians remembered the words of the