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never was until latter days a Christian Jewish Missionary Society, but there is now. There never were so many sincerely converted Jews as we have now. Christ does not speak of the fruit, but of the bud, not of the full formed branch, but of the tender branch; know that summer is nigh.” And as the passover was not the perfection of the fig tree, and as the putting forth of its leaf was before the Saviour's coming, there will not be the conversion of the Jewish nation, but the reception of a certain amount of divine life, putting forth its buds and sending out its green

leaves. effort we make to bring the Jew to the knowledge of Christ is an effort towards hastening the bringing back of Christ to this world, for it is only a converted Jewish remnant that shall say, “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down,” that Christ shall come back again, and he shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives.

VI. And this brings me, in the last place, to what he here promises, "then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven,” the Lord Jesus Christ coming in his glory." He shall come and bring all his saints with him; he who is now at the right hand of God shall have accomplished his mediatorial work; that he shall come to that only part of his creation which is his birth-place; he shall come to this world which we can rejoice in looking upon as the native place of Christ's manhood, to that rational creation of his who are bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh, and he shall bring down with him the spirits of just men made perfect, and bring their bodies out of the graves, and renew that body, soul, and spirit, that same perfected, glorified resurrection body which shall be indeed the light of the world and the glory of the nations of the

earth. That time is described in the 21st chap. of Revelation, where the Apostle John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, for he declares of that city in the 23rd verse, “ And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it, and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day, for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Brethren, let us pray that we may learn the parable of the fig-tree; and, in looking for the signs of the times, may we be instructed by the blessed Spirit in the holy truths of scripture; that we may escape the pollutions of the world ; that we may attain to the holiness of the Spirit, and be enabled with our loins girt about, and our lamps burning, to be like men that wait for the Lord and be found watching. May we become a blessed people in that day when he shall come to be glorified in his saints: and be admired in all them that believe.




St. MATTHEW xxv., 1 & 2 1.-" Then shall the King

dom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise and five were foolish.How very

different is the wisdom of this world from the wisdom of God. If we were to ask a thousand indifferent persons, who do you

think is a wise man ? the great majority of answers would be—the man who is prudent and skilful; who managed his worldly business well; who brought up his family respectably; who honourably advanced himself in life and left his family well off at his death. That would, in the great majority of instances, be the answer which we should get to that question, who is a wise man? If we were to ask our blessed Saviour who is a wise man, we have his answer here,—the man that is ready to meet the Saviour at his coming, not with the eye of a worldly mind fixed wholly upon the well paved roads of this world, that he might have a good earthly prospect, but the man whose eyes look before him and upward to that day which is to be the entrance to the eternal day. We have here brethren, our Lord's description of the wise and the foolish, not of the world,


but of the virgins; the wise among those whom he had made virgins, and the foolish among those whom he had made virgins. It therefore is a lesson not speaking so much to the world as to the church. It was given under peculiar circumstances: the Jews were not the men who were about him, not the Scribes and the Pharisees, nor the Herodians; the apostles alone were with him. It was not in public in the temple, but in private on the Mount of Olives that he delivered this most instructive parable, which is the only one that has a note of time appended to it, then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins." Prophetically it speaks of a very peculiar time of the Kingdom of Heaven, of the time when the Lord shall have come shall be immediately about to come, for it is part of the discourse which we had in the preceding chapter where He speaks of the events which should take place when the Son of man should come,—that at that time—at midnight there should be a cry heard, “ behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.” As a prediction we have to consider this parable with reference to that peculiar note of time ; as a moral instruction, solemn in its admonitions, holy in its teaching, and bright and heart-cheering in its encouragements, it belongs to no time because it belongs to all time.

The two parables which are in this chapter, in connection with the close of the chapter as representing the Son of man coming, combine together to give us a most complete view of our duty, our position, our responsibilities, as men who hope for eternal happiness, and who would dread the thought of everlasting woe.

Brethren, let us pray that the blessed Spirit of God may be amongst us this morning, that we may receive

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