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Ijhoun, Mr Martyn was so incessantly occupied, that
.is health began to yield. Still he felt unwilling to real in his eiertions. He devoted much of his time to lie translation of the Scriptures into Hindoostanee and Persian,—an employment which seems to have afforded tin peculiar delight. "The time fled imperceptibly," fce observes, " while so delightfully engaged in the translations; the days seemed to have passed like a moment. Blessed be God for some improvement in the ianJitages! May every thing be for edification in the Church I What'do I not owe to the Lord, for permitting roe to take part in a translation of his Word; never did 1 see such wonder, and wisdom, and love, in that blessed book, ai since I have been obliged to study every exirewm; and it is a delightful reflection, that death cannot liepriftosofthe pleasure of studying its mysteries."
While thus engaged, however, in his Master's work, it pleased Him with whom all wisdom dwells, to visit him with a severe trial, in the death of his eldest sister, the intelligence of which affected him with the most pungent sorrow. "O my heart, my heart," he exclaimed, " is it, can it be true, that she has been lying so many months in the cold grave 1 Would that 1 could always remember it, or always forget it; but to think (or a moment of other things, and then to feel the remembrance of it coming, as if for the first time, rends my heart asunder. When I look round upon the creation, and think that her eyes see it not, but have closed upon it hr ever,—that I lie down in my bed, but liar she has lain down in her grave,—Oh! is it possible! I wnder to find myself still in life ;—that the same tie which united us in life, has not brought death at the same moment to both. O great and gracious GodI what should I do without Thee 1 But now thou art manifesting thyself as the God of all consolation to Jf soul; never was I so near thee; I stand on the brink, and long to take my flight. There is not a thing a tie world for which I could wish to live, except the iope that it may please God to appoint me some work. And bow shall my soul ever be thankful enough to thee, U thou most incomprehensibly glorious Saviour, Jesus I 0 what hast thou done to alleviate the sorrows of life 1 ad how great has been the mercy of God towards my Uf, in saving us all 1 How dreadful would be the separation of relations in death, were it not for Jesus 1" Acutely as Mr Martyn suffered under this afflicting dispensation, he omitted the prosecution of his various du* for only one day, devoting himself in season, and «t at season, to the work which his Master had asajned him. It was not so much by preaching, in the ur-t instance, that he hoped to reach the hearts of the "Mves, but by the institution of schools, and the distribution of the Scriptures. Anxious to try the effect of this mode of carrying on his missionary work, he resisted the earnest solicitations of his friends at Calcutta, »ho were urgent with him to accept the Mission Church "■ :be Presidency. Mr Martyn preferred the retirement "Dinapore, with the hope of benefiting the natives, "A, therefore, though the application was made to him through his much esteemed friend, Mr Brown, he counted it his duty to decline the offer. In a short mw, however, his present situation was rendered much l« agreeable, by the removal of the only family with thorn he had lived on terms of Christian intimacy, and to whom he had been the instrument of first imparting *riora impressions. And another circumstance which fcessed his mind not a little, was the temporary suspension of public worship on the Sabbath, in conscience of the state of the weather. Application had been made to the governor-general for the erection of a church, and meanwhile Mr Martyn opened his own house as a place of worship. No exertions were spared to nslnL as an hireling, his day; " the early morning, « weu as the closing evening, found him engaged in bis delightful labours." At length he succeeded in ac
complishing his great work,—ihe version of the New Testament in Hindoostanee.
In the early part of the year 1809, Mr Martyn was removed from his station at Dinapore to Cawnporc, where his duties varied little from those to which he had already been accustomed. Soon after his arrival at his new station, intelligence reached him from Europe, first of the dangerous illness, then of the death of that sister who had taken so deep an interest in his spiritual welfare. This threw a deep gloom, for a time, over Mr Martyn's mind, but still he persevered in labouring for souls, as one who must give an account. He now commenced his public ministrations among the heathen, preaching the Gospel to a crowd of mendicants who assembled on a stated day before his house, for the purpose of receiving alms. This motley congregation of beggars,of all descriptions, increased to the amount of even eight hundred, to whom an opportunity was thus afforded Mr Martyn of preaching the glad tidings of salvation.
In the midst of these exertions Mr Martyn's health began to fail. An attack of pain in the chest, accompanied with fever and debility, excited considerable alarm in the minds of his friends. But it was with extreme difficulty that he was prevailed upon to spare himself; providentially, however, he obtained no small assistance and relief by the arrival of his dear friend, Mr Corrie, who happened to stop at Cawnpore on his way to Agra. Notwithstanding this seasonable aid, Mr Martyn's health became so precarious that he was recommended either to try the effect of a sea voyage, or to return to England for a short time. The latter alternative he at last, though with reluctance, resolved to adopt. Still anxious, however, to carry forward his missionary work, he decider1 upon going into Arabia and Persia, for the purpose of having the Persian and Arabic translations of the New Testament revised and corrected by some of the most learned men. At Shiraz, in Persia, where he resided for some time, he excited great interest by the success with which he conducted discussions with the Moollahs and the Sootic doctors. After a stay of ten months he completed the Persian New Testament, and also the version of the Psalms in
Persian, "a sweet employment," to use his own words,
"and which caused six weary moons that waxed and waned since its commencement, to pass unnoticed."
Having finished the translation, which was the object of his journey, he set out from Shiraz, with the design of laying the work before the king of Persia; but, finding that from some informality, he could not obtain an audience, he proceeded to Tebriz, where the British minister resided, and from whom he expected to receive the necessary introduction to the king. After having completed this tedious journey, Mr Martyn was attacked with a severe fever, which compelled him to give up all idea of presenting the New Testament in person. It was now becoming everyday more evident that alonger residence in the East would prove speedily fatal to our missionary; and, accordingly, ten days after his recovery from the fever, he set out on his journey homewards. His design was to reach England by way of Constantinople i and accompanied by a Tartar guide, whose inhuman barbarity seems to have caused Mr Martyn's death, he had reached no farther than Tocat, when, on the 16th October 1812, he breathed his last. The special circumstances of his death are unknown, but one thing is certain, that, whatever these circumstances were, he has reaped a rich reward of all his labours, toils, and privations in the cause of the Redeemer. "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
FLEMISH MARTYRS IN 1556. In the reign of Charles V. of Spain, who was monarch of the Netherlands also, the Gospel spread to a great extent. The city of Lille receive^ it with especial favour, in spite of the Moody edicts made against heretics. The Reformed ministers preached in private houses, in woods, in caves, and for a time the truth mightily prevailed. But when the Church at Lille had increased and was flourishing, Satan stirred up his instruments. One evening, in 1556, the provost of the town, with all his assessors, resolved to go forth and search every house, to see that there were no assemblies held. This was on a Saturday; and the first house which they assailed was that of a respected citizen, Robert Oguier. They instantly seized him and his son, Baudichon, and led them to prison, because they were found in the act of instructing the children and servants in the fear of God and the knowledge of his Word.
A few days after, these two excellent men, father and son, were tried before the magistrates. They boldly confessed the Reformed faith, and were put to the torture, in order to extort the names of all who frequented their meetings; but they firmly refused to name any one. They were then condemned to die. When the day of execution arrived, they separated the son from the father. On this, the son, as he left the prison, said, "I beseech you support my poor father, and do not trouble him; he is an aged man, and very feeble; do not try to hinder him from receiving the crown of martyrdom." One of the Franciscans hereupon broke out, "Away with you, wretch! it is all your fault that your father is now ruined." And then turning to the executioner, said, " Go, do your office, for we are losing our pains; they are possessed by the devil, and it is impossible to gain them over." Baudichon was undressed in a chamber, and as they put the bag of powder on his breast, one present said to him, " Were you my own brother, I should sell all I had in order to get fagots to burn you: you are too well treated." The martyr replied, "I thank you, my friend; may the Lord shew you mercy." Meanwhile, those around the old man were trying to persuade him to take the crucifix, at least, in his hands, that the people might not be provoked, and they tied an image of wood between his hands; but his son, seeing what was dqne, hastily snatched it away, and threw it down, saying, "Let none be offended because we will not have a Christ of wood j for we carry Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, within us in our hearts; and we have the words of his Holy Scriptures in the bottom of our hearts."
They would not permit them to make any confession of their faith; but when the son was bound to the stake, he began to sing Psalm xvii., on which a monk cried aloud, "Listen to the wicked errors which they teach to the people!"
In binding the father, the executioner struck him on the foot with a blow of the hammer. The old man asked, '* My friend, you have wounded me; why do you use me so inhumanly?" "Ah," cried out one of the monks, "they wish to have the name of martyrs, and if we just touch them, they roar out as if murdered." The son of the old man calmly replied, that if they feared death and its torments, they should not have come thither; and added " O God, our everlasting Father, accept this sacrifice of our bodies for the sake of thy Son." One of the priests vociferated, "You lie; God is not your father; you have the devil for your father." The martyr made no reply to this insult, but,
lifting his eyes to heaven, and speaking to his aged father, said, "O father, look up; I see the heavens open, and thousand thousands of angels around us, rejoicing at our confession before men. Let us be glad,
for the glory of God is revealed" "Hell is open,"
cried one of the monks, "and thousand thousands uf devils are here waiting for your souls!" Just at this moment, one from the crowd cried aloud, "Courage, Oguier, endure to the end; your cause is the truth; 1 am one of yours," and then plunged into the multitude, and escaped undiscovered.
Fire was put to the wood; and the last words heard from the martyrs was the son encouraging bis father as the fire burnt their feet: "Be of good comfort, father: but a moment more, father, and we are in the everlasri.*;mansions!—Jesus Christ, we commend our spirits to Thee."
By The Rev. Robert Menzies,
Minister of Hoddam.
"For as the lightning comcth out of the east, and
shineth even unto the west; so shall also the
coming of the Son of man be," &c Mat. xxiv.
It is unnecessary to enter minutely into the critical arguments by which it has been clearly demonstrated, that these verses refer solely and exclusive!. to the future advent of our Saviour. Such a discussion, even if it could be rendered generally interesting, and embraced within the narrow limits of a discourse, might not, perhaps, be greatly conducive to edification; suffice it merely to sav, th:.: the opinion of those who contend that our blessed Saviour continues here to prosecute the subject of the preceding context, and fills up, with some additional touches, the picture he had been drawing of the destruction about to overwhelm the state and capital of the Jews, can only be maintained at the expense of doing great and unwarrantable violence to the language; besides, it is not justified, as is erroneously supposed, by any necessity. What has proved the stumbling-block of the critics, i> the word "immediately" at the commencement of the twenty-ninth verse, which seemed to connect in close union, with respect to time, the new train of circumstances which the Saviour proceeds tit foretell, beginning with the darkening of the sun and moon, with those foretold by him already, and here referred to as the tribulation of those da\ >. But there is the best reason for supposing, that this word "immediately" is an error, which the Greek interpreter has introduced into the text hv mistranslating the original word used by the evangelist, who wrote his Gospel in the Syro-Chaidaic, Instead of "immediately" there ought to stand "suddenly;" and if, accordingly, we substitute the one for the other, it will be seen, that there is no necessity for supposing the new train of circornstances to be immediately connected with the former. They are, indeed, predicted as about to take place suddenly ; and also, subsequently to the tribulations of Jerusalem, but whether they are to follow in close or remote succession is left altogether untold.
Upon these, in addition to many other grounds, we hold that the verses from the twenty-seventh to the thirty-first inclusive, treat of the final and glorious coming- of our Lord to judge the world, and we now proceed to enquire what the passage tells us of this momentous event.
First then, we learn that it is to he preceded and announced to mankind by certain preternatural appearances in the material world. These are enumerated in the twenty-ninth verse. "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," the heavenly bodies, both Enail and great, " shall be shaken." St. Luke in the parallel passage adds, "and the sea and the waves roaring.''
The prophets of the Old Testament, on several different occasions, employ a language precisely similar to this of our Saviour. Isaiah does so in foretelling the doom of Babylon; Ezekiel in foretelling that of Egypt. There are many other examples, but we shall cite only one. In denouncing- the divine judgments against the nations which had oppressed Israel, the prophet Joel thus speaks: "The earth shall quake before them, the heavens shall tremble, the sun and moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." It will be felt by every one, that it would be altogether discordant with the lofty tone of the prophetical phraseology' in these places, to suppose that they referred to phenomena of so ordinary a nature and of such frequent occurrence as eclipses of the sun aid moon, the accumulation of dark clouds in the sky, meteors, shooting stars, and earthquakes. The sacred penmen must have had before their minds changes of a loftier, more awful, and preternatural character. We do not know that any such por■sntous events accompanied the manifestations of iivine wrath alluded to, and hence, if the impressions are to be inteqjreted literally, they must be regarded as notices of a remoter and more universal judgment blending itself in the prophet's •nraptured fancy with the nearer and more confined inflictions which formed the immediate subject of bis song, and as thus looking forward to events which are yet in the womb of time and not to be disclosed until the last day; in short, as anticipations of the Saviour's prophecy now under review. Perhaps, however, they are justly considered, according to the common opinion, as symbolical descriptions of political revolutions, and ■*hich have had their accomplishment in the subversion of the particular states with respect to which they were pronounced. But this is far from being certain. We speculate doubtfully on a subject which God appears to have intentionally concealed. It is our duty to restrain unsanctified curiosity, and patiently endure our ignorance until the day arrive in whose light we shall behold all the mysteries of providence unravelled, and all the darkness which now rests on the field of prophecy for ever done away.
Even were the symbolical character of these ancient predictions certain, it is difficult to see how
this should impose a necessity, or even how it should lay a sufficient ground for a similar interpretation of the words of our Saviour. No, my brethren, when our Lord here tells us, "that the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, that the stars shall fall from heaven and all the powers of heaven shall be shaken," he means just what he says. A day is coming when the inhabitants of the world shall awake; but "behold the darkness is not yet passed." Struck with amazement and alarm, they shall raise their eyes aloft, but shall perceive no sun, or see it, perhaps, shorn of its beams, and diffusing a pale and ominous dawn. In vain shall they expect the moon to dispel the gloom of the uncertain night. The whole "firmament shall be shaken;" the stars shall quit, or seem to quit their places, and shoot at random athwart the obscure vault; and on earth the ocean will share the general convulsion of nature, and with the roaring of its waves make awful music congenial with the terrors of the scene.
By what means these appalling prodigies shall be brought about we are not told, and cannot divine. Luther hazards the conjecture, that they will be effects of the decay of nature—irregularities in the worn out machinery of a world, which having served the end for which it was made, is soon to be destroyed, and compares them to the dim eye, the fitful pulse, and convulsive agonies, which precede dissolution in the human body. Perhaps they may be consequences of that hidden and mysterious sympathy which subsists between the natural and moral universe—throes of a creation weary of its long subjection to vanity and sin, and indignantly struggling for its approaching emancipation,—the last and severest pangs of that agony of nature, of which St. Paul speaks, when he says, "that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body."
But to whatever cause conjecture may attribute them, there can be no doubt with respect to their end and design. They are the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens, intended to presage and announce his approach, and warn the inhabitants of the world to prepare for his reception. And oh, my brethren, how impressive it is "to think," and here I use, the magnificent language of Calvin, "to think," I say, "that all the creatures, both above and below, shall thus be made the heralds to summon mankind before that awful tribunal which, sunk in criminal indulgence, they have despised until the last day!"
Again, we learn from this passage that the return of Christ to the earth shall be visible and glorious. Nothing could surpass the humbleness of his first appearance here below. He laid aside his essential glory; no halo beamed around his head; no ray of uncreated beauty beamed from his countenance, to tell who he was, and awe beholders into adoration. He was above the glittering pomps and vanities with which the great and wealthy of this world court the gaze of the multitude. Undistinguished in person, of humble condition, poor in his circumstances, and meek and lowly in his demeanour, was the blessed Jesus; born in a stable and cradled in a manger, the whole tenor of his future life corresponded with the humbleness and penury of his birth. He made no display, he courted not observation, he sought not honour from men, and he received none. Once, and only once, did he permit the celestial glory of his person to shine through the veil of flesh which he had assumed, but this manifestation took place on a lonely mountain, was confined to three eye-witnesses, and brief in its duration; once, too, he condescended to let the people bear him in a sort of triumphal procession into Jerusalem; but then, as if in mockery of worldly pomp, the Son of David rode upon an ass. Even to shield himself from insult and cruelty, never did our Lord reveal his heavenly greatness; and oh! adorable patience, he who could have summoned to his rescue a host of angels, petrified his tormentors with a glimpse of his divinity, or commanded the fire of heaven to consume them in the twinkling of an eye, allowed himself to be reviled, spit upon and scourged, crowned with thorns, and nailed upon a cross!
Our Saviour paid a second visit to the earth, and on this occasion he came, not as he had done before, concealed beneath the mask of a human form, encompassed with the infirmities and burdened with the sufferings of mortality; but he came charged with the high commission, and armed with the authority and the power to execute the vengeance of heaven upon his guilty countrymen, in the very place where they had so contemptuously rejected and so cruelly slain him. Christ was present in person at the destruction of Jerusalem. The several evangelists designate that tragical event as "the coming of the Son of Man," and "the coming of Christ in his kingdom." But although present, ho was present unseen. There were many who said, "Lo, here is Christ, and lo, there," but no where the eye could perceive hira. He was sought in the desert, he was sought in the secret chamber, but in both he was sought in vain. With an invisible arm did he wield the scourge. Shrouded in a veil of mystery, did he let loose war, famine, pestilence, and murder upon the guilty inhabitants. They fondly expected the Messiah as a Saviour; never could they dream that he was actually there, the executioner of divine wrath against them. If his presence was recognised at all, it was only by the poor remnant of his disciples who remained within the walls, and treasuring his words in their heart, and marking the traces of his hand, were not afraid amidst all the horrors which surrounded them.
We look for another return of the Son of Man to the earth, and his advent on this occasion, as we are assured by his own prediction now under review, shall neither be invisible, like the vindictive visitation of Jerusalem, nor inglorious, like his first appearance in the flesh.
That it will be obvious to human sense, is im
plied in the twenty-seventh verse, v, here it is compared to a flash of lightning, travers; iig the heavens, attracting and fixing every eye. INay, we are expressly told in the thirtieth, that "all the tribes of the earth shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven." Wherever in the New Testament the event is Epoken of, it is stated in words which involve the same idea, viz. that Christ is to be revealed to the sight of men. It is called his "appearing "—his " revelation;" and what else can mean the language of the angels, who consoled the mourning disciples at his ascension: "While they beheld him," it is written, "he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight;" and while they looked stedfastly towards heaven as he went up, "Behold two men stood by them in white apparel, which also said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven. This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
Nor will this manifestation be visible only: it will be glorious and sublime. Men shall not merely behold the Saviour, but be dazzled and amazed by the brightness of his presence, and the glory and majesty which encompass him. Our text says, "they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory." Our dark and feeble minds, it is true, are unable to form an adequate conception of the excellent majesty of the Son of Man on the great day of his appearing; but if this were possible, it would be done by the glowing language which Scripture employs upon the subject: He shall be 6een descending from heaven; troops of angels shall attend him as a retinue; he shall be surrounded with a radiance bright as flame; and the sound of trumpets shall peal through the air. These are but a few traits gathered from St Paul's descriptions of the scene, who never speaks of it but his mind kindles into a holy rapture, and hi* language assumes a magnificence of tone which cannot fail to thrill every reader who has tbe slightest pretensions to the possession of a pure and sanctified taste.
And well may we believe that the glory of the Redeemer will justify on that day the prophetic raptures of his apostle. If, when transfigured on Mount Tabor before the three favoured disciples, his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was glistening and white as the snow, so that the glories of the vision dazzled the beholders, and made them afraid, how overpowering will it be when, with a majesty increased in proportion to the dignity of the scene, he shall present himself to the gaze of the world he is about to judge, confounding his foes with celestial radiance, and substantiating his claims to the love and adoration of his saints! Ah, my brethren, if when he tabernacled upon earth, it was hard to discern beneath the human form which he wore, and all the penurv, neglect, and suffering with which he was encompassed, the lineaments of the Son of God, who on that day, when he wears the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his per«.->n. shall be able to recognize the Son of Man,— •lie once poor and houseless wanderer of Judea,— the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,— the despised, the insulted, and murdered Jesus!
Again, from this passage we learn, that the future alvent of our Saviour will be of an universal chancier, t. e. its manifestation will be perceived, and iis effects experienced over the whole world. The «»ns in the heavens by which his advent is to be r>re*aged, are such as the revolution of the globe will make apparent to its inhabitants, on whatever corner of it they may dwell. Is it not compared to a gleam of lightning traversing the firmament from the east even to the west? Nay, it is exprewly said, "all the tribes of the earth shall see the Son of Man coming in power and great glory." At his first coming, our Saviour chose the land of Juiea as the place of his abode, and the scene of his labours; hence only his countrymen, or the strangers whom some happy fortune brought up to Jerusalem, enjoyed the enviable privilege of looking upon his ble«sed countenance. Not so when he shall come again,: "Behold," it is written, "he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him." When, again, involved in mysterious secrecy, and imperceptible by human sense, he revisited the earth for the purpose of inflicting a just retribution on those who had despised and murdered him, the effects of his vengeance, consistently with this design, were confined to the scene of their crime: <rithln the walls of Jerusalem did he send forth war, famine, and pestilence, like birds of prey to devour the guilty inhabitants. How different shall it be »ben he comes again!—Then shall the whole earth, to her farthest ends, both see and feel it;— then, wherever the carcass is, there shall the eagles of vengeance be gathered together;—then, in whatever corner of the globe unbelievers and impenitent sinners may dwell, the wrath of the despised Redeemer shall find them out. The ministers of his wrath shall visit every shore. Hence it is written, "All the tribes of the earth shall mourn." Nor will the saints feel the blessed fifects of this event less extensively than its vengeful consequences shall be experienced by the unsndlv; for " He shall send his angels with a groat sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather his elect irom the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
We also learn from this passage, that the last advent of Christ shall be sudden, unexpected, unforeseen. "Various and striking are the images employed in Scripture to illustrate this particular quality of our Saviour's advent. It is compared to a flash of lightning, the moment of whose issue from the clouds, human science cannot predict. Again, it is compared to the flood, which surprised the inhabitants of the Old World, supine in sloth, and careless of the approaching danger. Sometimes it is the assault of a thief, who comes br stealth at the darkest hour, when all are fast asleep. It is a snare which entraps the heedless bird. It is the sound of bridal mirth, breaking nt
midnight on the ear of sleepers, and announcing to them that the bridegroom is already at the door. With these similes correspond the admonitions which Christ and the apostles give to their disciples on this subject. "Watch," is the word, which denotes the attitude we maintain towards events which we are sure will come, but of the time of whose coming we are uncertain.
There is something exceedingly impressive in the mystery which Scripture has allowed to hang over the time of our Lord's advent. While in every page the early converts are summoned to watch and prepare for it, as if it were close at hand, they are, at the same time, discouraged and prohibited in the strongest manner from inquiring when it was actually to happen. Our Saviour employed the last words he uttered upon the earth for this purpose; for the farewell admonition which he gave to the witnesses of the ascension was, "It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power." The example which he gave in this respect, was faithfully imitated by the apostles, who carefully warned believers away from this subject, as one on which it was equally vain and unprofitable for them to speculate. Now, surely, as this mystery must have been intentional on the part of Him whose book the Bible is, it ought to be considered sacred and inviolable by man. It is true that a multitude of circumstances, some of a political, others of a moral and religious description, are mentioned in Scripture, as indicative and premonitory of the approach of the latter days; and these doubtless, when present, will fulfil the intention for which they have been recorded, and spread far and wide among men some general expectation of the day of the Lord, like that which prevailed over the world at his first advent. Especially
may it be believed, will his faithful followers, who
wait for his appearing, devoutly study the Word, and mark the ways of Providence,—deeply feel this presentiment, as it will derive vigour from their wishes and brightness from their hopes. But even among them, it is probable it will ever be mingled with much doubt and uncertainty; and when strongest, be but like the old man's anticipation of death, which he feels to be drawing on, while it is kindly concealed from him in what precise year or month it is appointed to take place. Upon the unbelieving and impenitent children of this world, it will come with all its appalling preludes, sudden and startling like a peal of thunder, just as the flood overwhelmed the inhabitants of the Old World, while they were "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage."
And finally, we may remark, that this advent of the Saviour, which such awful prodigies are to presage, which is to be accompanied with such pomp and glory, which all the tribes of the earth are to witness and feel, and over whose date, amidst the multifarious assurances afforded by Scripture of the fact itself, such a veil of mystery has been left, must be intended, it is clear, to ac■corjplish some high and important design. Why