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clime, but he has promised to return; you believe his promise, the time is fixed, and is unquestionably certain, but he has not mentioned to you the day. During the interval, in what manner do you conduct yourselves ? As the term of his long absence wears away, does he not engross every thought, and occupy every feeling, and form a prominent part in every arrangement? You recollect every thing which used to afford him pleasure, and you prepare it for his reception; you remember every thing that gave

him pain, and you most cautiously, most scrupulously avoid it; you think no sacrifice too great, no recollection too minute, if it may but enable you to minister to his delight, and to gratify him on his arrival. Your heart is so occupied with his promised return, that it is far less delightful to you to associate with others, than to think of and remember him. Every morning sees you at the throne of

grace, praying that another sun may not set before your anticipations have been realized, and you are not, you cannot be, satisfied with any thing short of the fulfilment of this prayer.

Now, my Christian brethren, I would ask you to apply this to the state of

your minds with respect to the promised return of your Lord ? Do

you
know

any thing of such feelings as these? Do you in any respect so feel, and so think, and so act, with regard to his arrival? If not, what further proof do we require that either you do not believe him, or you do not love him as you ought? If you

believed him, you would live as those who were expecting his coming; if you

loved him, you would live as those who longed for it. In every act of your life there would be a reference to this wished-for event. In your most sorrowing hours, you would “weep as though you wept

"3 and in your most joyful hours, * rejoice as though you rejoiced not ;” in

3 1 Cor. vii. 30.

not ;

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your busiest hours, you would " buy as though you possessed not;” and every day and every hour, you would “use this world as not abusing it.” You would be careful to allow yourselves in no posture of mind, in no indulgence of tempers, in no occupations or amusements, in which you would blush to be found by your Lord.

You acknowledge, you cannot but acknowledge, that all this is perfectly true if applied to the return of any earthly friend : what argument then will

you use to prove that it does not and ought not to be applicable to the return of that “ friend who sticketh closer than a bro

Will
you say

that

you such love for him, who so loved you as to give himself for you ; that the Bible requires no such love, that his people have never felt such love, that you cannot be expected to desire his presence with the same feelings with which you desire

4 Prov. xviii. 24.

ther ?"4

have no

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the
presence of those

you

love on earth. So saying, you would only demonstrate that at least one of the signs of our Lord's return is sufficiently visible—“the love of many shall wax cold.” It was not so with the holy men of old; it was not so with David, for he expressly said, “there is none upon earth whom I desire in comparison of thee.” Although the mutual love between him, and Jonathan, was, as he himself expresses it, “ wonderful, passing the love of women,” it was as nothing, and less than nothing, in comparison of his love to God. In this love, be assured, every true child of God, in every age, has partaken; in this desire for the Saviour's return, his true people have in all ages united; in this anxiety to keep themselves unspotted from the world against his wished-for coming, all his redeemed servants sympathize. Try then the state of your spiritual affections by this test; observe what would be the effect

5 Matt. xxiv. 12.

6

upon your heart, and mind, and expectations, if

you were assured that the day of the Lord was even now about to dawn upon you; if the reply to your inquiry, - What is the sign of thy coming ?” were to be, “ Behold, I come quickly,"would it sound the knell of your departing pleasures, of all in which your hearts, and minds, and thoughts are now engaged; or could you really welcome it as the fulfilment of every prayer, the completion of every hope ? Could you reply from your heart,

even so come, Lord Jesus,” this is the hour which I have prayed for, hoped for, lived for, “even so come, come quickly.”

This, and this alone, is the reply of those who with their loins girded and their lamps burning, are waiting for the return of their Lord. This, then, be assured, is the reply of all those who shall

go

in with him to the wedding, and shall sit down for ever at the marriage

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6 Rev. xxii. 20.

7 Ibid.

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