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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,
And by the voice of all its elements
To preach the gen'ral doom. When were the winds
Let slip with such a warrant to destroy?
When did the waves so haughtily o’erleap
Their ancient barriers ?-
Fires from beneath, and meteors from above,
Portentous, unexampled, unexplained,
Have kindled beacons in the skies; and the old
And crazy earth has had her shaking fits
More frequent, and foregone her usual rests.
The pillars of our planet seem to fail,
And nature with a dim and sickly eye
To wait the close of all."

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,
Receive yet one,

the crown of all the eartb,
Thou who alone art worthy! it was thine
By ancient covenant, ere nature's birth,
And thou hast made it thine by purchase since,
And overpaid its value with thy blood.
Thy saints proclaim thee King; and in their hearts
Thy title is engraven with a pen
Dipt in the fountain of eternal love.
Thy saints proclaim thee King; and thy delay
Gives courage to their foes, who, could they see
The dawn of thy last advent long desired,
Would creep into the bowels of the hills,
And flee for safety to the falling rocks.
The very spirit of the world is tired
Of its old taunting question, asked so long,
Where is the promise of your Lord's approach ?
The infidel has shot his bolts away,
Till, his exhausted quiver yielding none,
He gleans the blunted shafts that have recoiled,
And aims them at the shield of truth again.
The veil is rent, rent too by priestly hands,
That hides divinity from mortal eyes;
And all the mysteries to faith proposed,
Insulted and traduced, are cast aside,
As useless, to the moles, and to the bats.
They now are deemed the faithful, and are praised,
Who, constant only in rejecting thee,
Deny thy Godhead with a martyr's zeal,
And quit their office for their errors' sake,
Blind, and in love with darkness! yet even those,
Worthy, compared with sycophants, who kneel,
Thy name adoring, and then preach thee man.
So fares thy church. But how thy church may fare,
The world takes little thought; who will may preach,
And what they will. All pastors are alike
To wandering sheep, resolved to follow none.
Two gods divide them all, pleasure and gain :

For these they live, they sacrifice to these,
And in their service wage perpetual war
With conscience, and with thee. Lust in their hearts,
And mischief in their hands, they roam the earth
To prey upon each other; stubborn, fierce.
High-minded, foaming out their own disgrace:
Thy prophets speak of such ; and noting down
The features of the last degenerate times,
Exhibit every lineament of these.
Come then, and, added to thy many crowns,
Receive yet one, as radiant as the rest,
Due to thy last, and most effectual work,
Thy word fulfilled, the conquest of a world.”

CowPER.

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