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light; a truth which in this sense of prophecy. I am far from inGod may be said to have revealed sinuating, that we are not justly unto us by his Spirit.
so regarded ; and it is only with a Mrs. H. More, whose admirable view of enabling myself to underEssay on the Writings of St. Paul stand those principles better, that I (independently of other circum. beg leave to submit to any of your stances) entitles her judgment on correspondents, who are learned in such a subject to respectful con- this controversy, two questions for sideration, in her short but excel. my own instruction and that of any lent treatise on the Spirit of Prayer other of your readers who may be (p. 215), without discussing the in the same predicament with mypoint in question, favours the ap- self. plication contended for. She says: I am told, that the expectation
“ It is a glorious part of the pro- of a personal advent at the apmised bliss, that the Book of Pro- proaching crisis, is rested by its adphecy shall be realised; the Book vocates on the following máxims of Providence displayed; every as its foundation ; namely, that, mysterious dispensation unfolded, wherever a future advent or prenot by conjecture but by vision. sence, napovoia, of our Lord is In the grand general view of Reve, foretold in Scripture, the same adlation, minute description would be vent is uniformly intended, and that below our ideas; circumstantial de consequently, if in any one place tails would be disparaging; they the advent intended be plainly a would debase what they pretended personal advent, the same conto exalt. Those sublime negatives, struction must be put upon all. I • Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, shall therefore be much gratified, neither have entered into the heart if any of your correspondents will of man, the things which God hath take the trouble to inform me, wheprepared for them that love him,' ther this be indeed the basis of the fill the soul with loftier conceptions whole scheme of interpretation alof eternal joys than all the elaborate luded to; and if so, on what proofs but degrading delineations which the rule of construction laid down have been sometimes attempted. in it is asserted and applied. We cannot conceive the blessings
D.D. prepared for us, until he who has prepared reveal them."
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
In the earnest desire and hope that Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
an attention to the inquiries of your
correspondent 12 in reference to the The religious public are now much pumber of the beast (Rev. xiii
. 18), divided in their sentiments on the may induce some of your learned subject of the second advent of our readers to cast the light of their Saviour. I perceive, that the be, knowledge and research upon the lievers in a personal advent before important subject; İ venture to the commencement of the Millen- offer a few remarks for insertion in nium, regard those who, like my.. your valued publication. self, doubt, whether the personal The Prophet Daniel informs us, advent of our Lord is to precede that “the time, times, and an half” the dissolution of the world, and begin to elapse, when “the saints the final adjudication of the righ. are delivered up into the hand of teous and the wicked to their re- the little horn" (chap. vii. 25), and spective destinations, as persons " from the time that the daily sawho are manifestly ignorant of the crifite shall be taken away, and first principles of the interpretation the abomination of desolation " (or
“ which astonisheth,” margin) set courge very long before this time : up” (chap. xii. 1I); clearly inti- for, even in the days of St. Paul he mating, as appears to me, that it was in existence (2*Thess. ii. '7); þut, was on the full development and I believe, he was not revealed” in establishment of the power and the plenitude of his abominations, abominations of the papal anti- nor rose as the beast of the ApocaChrist, that the 1260 years were lypse, the ten kings having unitedly to begin their course.
given their power and strength to Now history, I believe, informs him (Rev. xvii
. 13, 'the true era, I us, that it was in the year 666 that believe, of the forty-two months), the daily service was taken away, until the year which the letters of to give place to the Latin service. his name lateivoc import.— I will History also tells us, that image- only add, that if the number of the worship was revived and fully esta- beast be also the symbol of its rise, blished by Pope Vitalian in the and this be taken as the era of the same year: and, that the doctrine commencement of the prophetical of transubstantiation was intro- years, the Prophet Daniel's last duced between the years 654 and number brings us into the first year 666.
of the seventh or sabbatical millenary. Are not, then, these circum. “ And blessed is he that waiteth stances in the papal history suffi- and cometh to the thousand three ciently striking and important to hundred and five and thirty days." be regarded as marking the time, (Dan. xii. 12.)
R.G. in the view of prophecy, of the establishment of the power and authority of the little horn, or, in other words, of the rise of the Apoi family SERMONS.-No.CCXXIII. calyptic Beast (Rev. xiii. 1); and Psalm cxix. 57.- Thou art my poras, in a peculiar manner, answer
tion, O Lord. ing to the prophet's characteristic signs of the time when the prophe- The inspired Psalmist speaks, in tic years begin their course? For these words, the sentiment of every what could be a more complete true servant of God. This world surrender of the mind and con- is not his portion ; and he does not science of the saints into the hands wish it to be so : it could not satisfy of the “ little horn ; ” what a more his desires if he possessed it;'and entire removal from the churches when the hour arrived that he must of the daily sacrifice of prayer and quit it for ever, it would prove but praise, than the universal establish- a worthless exchange for those ment, in the ten western kingdoms, eternal glories which he must have of the Latin service, and the seal. sacrificed to gain it. For to unite ing up of the Bible in the Latin the service of the world with that language? And do not the intro- of God, is impossible: we may make duction of the strangely irrational our choice between them, but we doctrine of transubstantiation, and cannot devote ourselves to both. the revival and establishment of Now it is a most important obimage-worship, fully and strikingly ject of the word of God to shew us answer to “ the setting up of the on which side our true interest lies, abomination which astonisheth ?" and to urge us to pursue it. For
Milner, in his History of the this purpose it sets before us the Church, is decidedly of opinion, and portion of the wicked, and that of shews from the state of things in the righteous. The former, attracthe western world, that Popery was tive as it may appear for a time, is not fully established before the year shewn to be, even in the midst of 666, if even so early as that period. enjoyment, full of bitterness : and The “man of sin " indeed began his the end of it is the way of death.
The prodigal son, before his peni- the Almighty that we should serve tential return to his father, sought him ? and what profit should we his portion in this life : he wished have, if we pray unto him?" But to follow his own devices, removed the same inspired book shews from the presence of paternal au- the end of their unhappy choice : thority and revelling in every evil “ What portion is there from God work. But he obtained no true above? and what inheritance of the repose; his giddy mirth was soon Almighty from on high? Is not extinguished: he was reduced to a destruction to the wicked ? and a state of poverty, wretchedness, and strange punishment to the workers of famine ; and had he not discerned iniquity?” And what this destrucin time his guilt and folly, and re- tion and punishment are, we also turned to his father to seek forgive- find from various parts of the same ness, and a shelter, however hum. book; where, after the most fearful ble, beneath his roof, he had perish- descriptions of misery, both of body ed for ever in his transgression. The and soul, after being told that, rich man also mentioned in our
in the fulness of his suffiLord's parables, who sought his ciency, the wicked shall be in portion in worldly affluence and straits,” and that “ God will not gratifications; who was building hear his cry when trouble cometh barns and storehouses to contain upon him," it is added, “ This is his treasures, and determining to the portion of a wicked man from eat, drink, and be merry, found, God, and the heritage appointed when that night his soul was re- unto him by God.” Well then quired of him, that he had made might the Psalınist Asaph, after a fatally wrong choice: he had sa- being for a time tempted to envy crificed eternity to time, and the the portion of the ungodly, come enjoyments of heaven to the gra- to a more just conclusion, when he tification of his covetousness, his had gone into the sanctuary and vanity, and his corrupt appetites. understood their end; and well So also, to another rich man spoken might he rejoice that he himself of in the Gospel, when“ in hell he had been led to choose a better lift up his eyes, being in torments," portion. The wicked, he says, proit was said, '“ Son, remember that sperous as they may appear for a thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy time, “ are brought into desolation good things, and Lazarus evil things; as in a moment ;” but he adds, “ I but now he is comforted, and thou am continually with thee ; thou art tormented.” The Psalmist David hast holden me by thy right hand. in like manner had seen the wicked Thou shalt guide me with thy in great power, and spreading him- counsel, and afterwards receive me self like a green bay tree; in pos- to glory. Whom have I in heaven session of the portion he had chosen, but thee? and there is none upon and appearing perhaps for a time earth that I desire beside thee; my satisfied with it; but, adds the in- flesh and my heart faileth, but spired writer, “ He passed away, God is the strength of my heart, and, lo, he was not : “ the trans- and my portion for ever.” gressors shall be destroyed to- These mournful considerations gether, and the end of the wicked on the bitterness of the portion of shall be cut off.” In the Book of those who seek for nothing beyond Job we find the men who make what the present world can give, this world their portion, described should lead us to inquire respecting as deliberately rejecting the only that better portion which is the lot truly valuable inheritance of the of those who are willing to suffer soul : “ They say unto God, Depart affliction with the people of God, from us; for we desire not the rather than to enjoy the pleasures knowledge of thy ways
What is of sin for a season. And happy for us is it, considering our sin and highest privilege to do so? Where frailty, and the temptations which then is our hope, and what are our surround us, that in making this in- expectations of spiritual and eternal quiry we shall find at every step the enjoyment, if we despise bis offers most ample cause to choose God for of mercy, and obstinately keep at our portion. It is only the darkness a distance from him ? of our understandings, the depra- But perhaps we have hitherto vity of our hearts, and the corrupt viewed religion only as it involves, state of our affections, combining self-denial; as it enjoins taking up with the allurements of the world, our cross, and following our Rethe flesh, and the devil, that can deemer, whether through good or make us for one moment prefer evil report. We have thought of it the things that are seen, but which only as commanding us to cut off are only temporal, to the things the right hand, and to pluck out the which are unseen but are eter- right eye. We have viewed it exnal. We have but to open our clusively in its prohibitions and its eyes to the truth ; we have but to threatenings to the impenitent and listen to the word of God, and to unbelieving. We have regarded our seek the guidance of his Holy Creator only as a consuming fire, Spirit, in order to come to an in- and not as a merciful Father in finitely more just, and safe, and Christ Jesus, and the rewarder of holy determination; the determi- all that diligently seek him. But nation of those who in the lan. when we really make him our porguage of your text can truly say, tion, we shall find that we were “ Thou art my portion, O Lord.” utterly deceived in thinking his
It will be the object of the re- ways to be rugged, or his commainder of this discourse, first, to mands burdensome. No-his yoke shew the blessedness of making is easy, and his burden is light; the God our portion; and, secondly, ways of wisdom are ways of pleato apply the subject practically to santness, and all her paths are several classes of persons.
Even the privations and may He who alone can order the conflicts of the Christian life bring wills and affections of mep lead with them their own reward. We each one of us to form, and, by enter a service which, harsh as it his grace enabling us, to keep, the may appear to those whose hearts resolution of making his glory our have not been renewed to embrace aim, his favour our happiness, his it, is perfect freedom. It is not a eternal presence our highest object service of terror, but of affection. of expectation and desire.
We love God because he first loved First, we are to shew the bless- us; and this love casteth out the edness of making God our portion. fear which has torment, and subThis will appear if we reflect upon stitutes in its place a fear of Joly his character, and the relationship reverence ; so that to enjoy his which we bear to him. Did he presence and to walk in the way create us? In whom then can we of his commandments, even when be really happy, but in him in the path lies through humility and whom we live, and move, and have self-denial, is found practically to our being? Have we offended him be the only source of true happiby our sins? How can we be safe, ness upon earth, as it is a neces. if he be not propitiated to us? Has sary preparative for the enjoyment he promised the pardon of those of heaven. sins, upon our returning to him in In every aspect in which we can virtue of the meritorious sacrifice contrast the portion of the true beof his blessed Son; and has he liever with that of the man who invited and commanded us to give makes this world the supreme obhim our hearts, and made it our ject of his desires, we shall see the
infinite superiority of the former. for thou art with me; thy rod and "The Lord's portion," said Moses, thy staff comfort me.". Of what “ is his people; Jacob is the lot of other portion can we say that it is his inheritance. He found him in a unmixed; that it has no alloy of desert land, and in the waste howling bitterness; that it has no frailty, wilderness ; he led him about; he no imperfection? Of what other instructed him ; he kept him as the portion can we say that it is sufapple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth ficient for every want, and suitable up hernest, fluttereth over her young, to the necessities of every heart? Of spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh what other portion can we say, not them, beareth them on her wings; only that it is thus satisfying and so the Lord above did lead him, and applicable to every case, but that it there was no strange God with him.” never changes, never fails? Of what Therefore, adds he, with reference other portion can we say, that noto those who choose other refuges, thing can tear it from our embrace? “ Their rock is not as our rock, “ But wlio shall separate us from even our enemies themselves being the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, judges.". Are we in the depths of or distress, or persecutior, or famine, afliction? The world may not know or nakedness, or peril, or sword? of our distress, but God knows it; Nay, in all these things we are more or the world may forsake us under than conquerors through Hinu that it, but God will not. “ The Lord loved us. For I am persuaded that will be a refuge for the oppressed, neither death, nor life, nor angels, à refuge in time of trouble."
nor principalities, nor powers, nor hast known my soul in adversity.” things present, nor things to come, “ In the time of trouble he shall hide nor height, nor depth, nor any other me in his pavilion; in the secret of creature, shall be able to separate his tabernacle shall he hide me." He us from the love of God which is in is also every where present; so that, Christ Jesus our Lord.” And, above when no other aid can penetrate, all, of what other portion can we say his arm is still the defence of his that it is eternal in its duration; people. He was with Daniel in the that when heaven and earth and all den of lions; with Shadrach, Me- created blessings shall fade away, it skach, and Abednego in the fiery shall remain for ever unshaken and furnace; and with Jonah in the unimpaired? But he who has chosen depths of the sea. In spiritual dis- this good part, has “the Eternal for tresses, in particular, he alone can his refuge, and underneath him are prove a refuge to the soul; for who the everlasting arms." He has in čan pardon sin but God alone? who prospect “ an inheritance incorrupcan speak peace to the guilty con- tible, undefiled, and that fadeth not science, or cleanse the heart from away,” reserved for him in the kingthe dominion of sin, or blot out the dom of God, and secured to him by terrors of futurity, but he who gave the promise of Him who “ changeth his Son to die for our transgressions, not,” but is the same " yesterday, and has promised his Holy Spirit to to-day, and for ever.” create us to newness of life? In the Having thus endeavoured to shèw hour of pain and sickness, and, above the wisdom and blessedness of all, at the approach of death, what choosing God for our portion, we other portion can be of any avail; proceed to apply the subject pracfor who can sustain our fainting tically to several classes of persons. spirit, when all that this world has 1. And first, we must address those to give is melting away from our who do not even wish to make God grasp ? Yet, even in this extremity, their portion. For, alas! many such God is still a present help: “ Though there are ; many there are who say, I walk through the valley of the “Who will shew us any good ?" that shadow of death, I will fear no evil, is, any temporal good; any increase