« ElőzőTovább »
in the 18th verse,
“And there were voices, and thunders, and lightenings, and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” Here we have then the fall of the nations predicted, and this a fall after a great gathering together of the nations. And we have much reason to hope, brethren, that our beloved kingdom and empire will be saved from that very judgment that is here spoken of. It depends upon our Protestantism whether we shall
escape or whether we shall not: it depends upon our own maintenance of bible truth, upon our testimony to the blood of the Lamb, and our testimony against the abominable idolatries and gross superstitions of the corrupted church of Rome. From that very indication of the kings of the east, in connection with the declaration made in the 38th chap. of Ezekiel, the merchants of Tarshish joined with Sheba and Dedan in opposing the antichristian confederation, we have scriptural grounds to hope that we ourselves are raised up of God to be the witnesses of his truth, to be the maintainers of his gospel, and to support the testimony of his Son while all the world around remains in darkness. ·
V. But Christ speaks not only of the fall of the nations but of the budding towards the summer, when the fig-tree has yet her branches tender, and but beginning to put forth her spiritual life,
" then know that summer is near, even at the doors.” And although the Jew be not yet brought back to Jerusalem, yet the Jewish people are now more than ever attending to the truth of Christ. There
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; “then we 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. Indeed every 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
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.
THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGI)OM.
THE TEN VIRGINS.
St. MATTHEW xxv., 1 & 2 v.- -“ Then shall the Kingdom 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,
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,