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shall these things be ?” occupies the first twenty-eight verses of the chapter, clearly foretelling that tremendous visitation, which the pages of history have since so faithfully verified. Our Lord then answers the latter question,

- What is the sign of thy coming ?” in these words : “ Immediately after the tribulation of those days,"

'-a tribulation, be it remembered, which, though it commenced with the destruction of Jerusalem, has not even yet run the whole of its terrific course-- “ the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

The mind in its present state of imperfection, much as it cannot but desire to see the day of the Son of man, shrinks from the scrutiny of such a vision. That we shall all one day behold, face to face, the Saviour of whom we now speak, and hear, and read, and think ; that we shall see with our own eyes the print of the nails, and the mark of the Roman spear; that we shall indeed look upon him, “whom having not seen we love,” is as certain as the promises of God can render it—a certainty to which the heart of the true believer turns with “joy unspeakable and full of glory ;'s and never does he say, “thy kingdom come,” without rejoicing that Time is winging

way his rapid flight, and hastening the wheels of his chariot.

Most naturally then did Peter ask, “What shall be the sign of thy coming ?” Most naturally does the church, as if with one voice and one heart, reiterate the inquiry. Upon such a subject we would not presume to dogmatize; great injury

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81 Pet. i. 8.

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has been already done to the cause of truth, and to the minds of inquiring Christians, by an attempt to speak plainly and positively, where God himself has intentionally spoken obscurely. We doubt not that “ the day of the Lord,' come when it may, “shall,” to

so come as a thief in the night;" and that, therefore, when the world in general, is least anticipating it, there is the greatest probability of its arrival. But of this also we feel assured, that as no great event, no remarkable revolution has ever happened in the history of the world without having been distinctly foreseen by many reflecting, thoughtful, penetrating intellects ; so no great event has happened, or ever will happen in the church of Christ, which will not have been "looked for and hasted unto by many among his prepared and expecting people. We would say therefore to you, with

9 1 Thess. v. 2.

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reference to this great event, what our Lord has said unto all, “ WATCH,

, ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” The book of prophecy is in

your hands; the remarkable events of the days in which our lot is cast, are forming a rapid commentary upon the most ambiguous of

pages. Suffer not these things, to be without their practical influence upon your hearts. Fix an humble eye upon the signs of the times; search the Scriptures of truth with reference to the return of your Redeemer, which, from the continual allusions to it in the writings of the New Testament, was never intended to be overlooked ; and although it is our firm conviction that you will not find sufficient evidence to attach you to any of the numerous theories at present rife, we believe you will find sufficient, fully sufficient, to make you seriously thoughtful, sufficient to make you

" seek” more 11 Thess. v. 4.

earnestly " those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God,”? and more ardently to long, and more faithfully to look, for “ the coming of the Son of man.”

In conclusion, let me endeavour briefly, but practically, to apply this portion of the subject. Are you, my brethren, waiting for the coming of your Lord ? Have you ever considered it a Christian's duty to make this inquiry? Do you really believe that he shall come? And are you anxiously expecting that solemn event? As Christians you assuredly are ; you read it in your Bibles, you

acknowledge it in your creeds. Let me then ask, how are you evincing by your life and conversation, that this is indeed an article of your faith, an object of your hope ?

Observe for a moment the manner in which we act under similar circumstances in the common affairs of life. The friend you most love has gone to some far distant

2 Col. iii. 1.

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