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We have seen wonderful and alarming phenomena of darkness of the sun and moon. And in the earth there have been most sudden and surprising changes and revolutions of nations and kingdoms—"famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes”-strange commotions of the elements; “the sea and the waves roaring :” whirlwinds have lately been driven over the earth, in a manner the most wonderful and astonishing. We have heard nothing so much resembling the sound of the trump of God, as these whirlwinds; and we have seen nothing so much resembling nature's final doom, as the paths of these his chariots. The world appears
« To toll the death-bell of its own decease,
But the philosopher, so called, will doubtless explain all these things fully to the satisfaction of an unbelieving world; for, none of the wicked shall understand.” Means are ever at hand-a Magus, Jannes, Jambres, or Elymas-to blind the minds of the willingly ignorant-them that believe not.
The manner of the appearing of our Savior we cannot describe or conceive. Whilst here, conversant with mortal things, we have neither thoughts, words, nor comparisons any way commensurate to such scenes: yet infinite wisdom in the Scriptures has given us many descriptions of this, as well as of other heavenly things, which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man.” We are assured, he will come in the glory of his Father-a glory surpassing the sun in its greatest radiancy. He will be revealed from heaven, as he was received into heaven, in a cloud-amidst angels--with a shout, and sound of a trumpet. He will appear as God upon his throne, robed in heaven's light, in clouds; not dark, obscuring clouds, but such as compose the scenery of the courts above-as dress the throne of glory.
The Jews expected, in the times of the kingdom, i. e. the millennium, the return of "the cloud of the Lord,” in which he appeared “ upon the mercy-seat”-the cloud of divine presence, called the Shekinah. And when the new Jerusalem was come down, John said, “ And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." The same word was used, by the same author, to express the proper presence of the Lord; when he was in the world, and dwelt among the chil. dren of men, incarnate ; "the word was made flesh, and Eoxnywoey--tabernacled among us, and we beheld his glory.” And the Hebrew Shekinah is said to come from a word of like sound and signification with the Greek aunun here used. All this corresponds with the idea of a cloud or clouds, which is almost ever suggested in the prophetic descriptions of the appearing of our Lord.
This will be the very presence of his glory, and every eye in all the earth shall see him as really and as properly as Paul saw him after he had entered into his glory; and as Stephen, when he looked into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
At mount Sinai, the ancients of Israel went up unto the Lord. “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet, as it were a paved work of a sapphire-stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness-they saw God, and did eat and drink.” This was his proper presence: and this most glorious vision is referred to in a prophecy of the millennium, to give an idea of the blissful vision of the King of glory, that will then open to his people.
• Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients, gloriously.”
To conclude; if the things we have noted be not the sign of the Son of Man that shall
appear and give the warning to his people of his coming ; what is ? The sign of the Son of Man, and the midnight cry, spoken of by Matthew, are doubtless one. When these things come to pass, "the wise shall understand," and lift up their heads, and rejoice. Therefore is the time come to look for the final destruction of Antichrist-for the conversion of the Jews for the battle of that great day of God Almighty, and for the natural signs and omens of his second advent? Yea, do these things begin to come to pass ? Then, open the ear of wisdom, and hear the cry at midnight, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!”
“Come then, and, added to thy many crowns,
the crown of all the eartb,
For these they live, they sacrifice to these,