ePub 版


the character of a single “ Man of sorrows,” but as the pre vailing principle, the constant disposition, the ruling thought of an innumerable, peaceful, and adoring throug. There, on a throne “established in righteousness, reigns a righteous king over all the earth” There the people

“all righteous, they inherit the land forever.” Thero the "righteous flourish." There the work of righteous ness is peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.” There the pilgrim finds his home, the Christian his rest,

martyr his


and the mourner his joy, in that “ new heavens and new earth, wherein dwell. eth righteousness."

This, then, is a brief, a faint and an imperfect sketch of those tremendous scenes that go to fill up, and add grandeur and importance to the “great and terrible day of the Lord." It is this day, concerning which the church of God are not in darkness;" it is this day which shall not come upon

them "

as a thief.” It is this day that shall be put far off by a dreaming world, and which, coming suddenly, shall find them sleeping, and overwhelm them with consternation and despair. It is this day for which the church of God are to look, it is this day for which the chil. dren of Satan will not look. It is this day for which the church of God should watch—it is this day for which the children of Satan will not watch. It is this day for which the church of God seek to prepare-it is this day for which the wicked will not prepare. This day will bring deliverance to the saint and perdition to the sinner. WHAT WILL IT BRING TO YOU ?

In further illustration and proof of the main proposition before us, namely: That the people of God are not and should not be " in darkness" concerning the coming of that

day, w? may cite the recorded occurrences of ages past, alle "written for our learning" in the Book of God.

Reasoning from analogy, we conclude that God will be just. because he has been in time past; that he will be mer, ciful, because he has been in days gone by; that he will hear the cry of sincere penitence, because he has always done so; that he will care for the interests of his people, because his care for them has marked with many a monument the track of ages past. And so in the present argument, if we look to the dealings of God with his church and with the world, we shall find that in every dispensation of mercy and judgment which has proceeded from the Almighty in days gone by: the same principle has been attended to and acted upon by the Most High, the Unchangeable God.

Wego back, then, and witness the consequences of primeval transgression, as exemplified in the first universal and total revolt of rebellious humanity from their allegiance to the God of heaven.

Go, stand with me upon the yet undeluged world. Gaze upon the Eden-like beauty of the wide-spreading landscape. Paradise has been closed and the curse has fallen, but still the earth retains its primitive form, and to a great extent its pristine glory. Earth, though cursed, still is glorious beyond description. In that healthful climate, old age comes slowly on, and numerous centuries are the measure of human existence. But wickedness abounds-defilement prevails—-violence fills the earth. Men's hearts in all their purposes are at war with the Almighty. Muttered blasphemies and outspoken words of defiant impiety are hcard on every hand.

The altar-fires have ceased to burn, and with a single except on, houses and families of prayer seema to be unknown.


One voice amid all this transgression is raised in reproof. One venerable patriarch learns, from lips that can. not lie, that this world-wide iniquity cannot long remain unpunished. To him is revealed the solemn fact that earth's probation is limited, and that within the space of one hundred and twenty years man must repent or perish,

That patriarch raises his voice in warning and expostulation. To the gathering multitudes around him, who have hitherto known him as a “just man,” he becomes" preacher of righteousness." The world are thus shut

up“spirits in prison"_"prisoners of hope" if penitent, of despair, if they will not repent. Time rolls on, the Spirit strives; by it Christ, through the instrumentality of Noah faithfully admonishes a sinful race, but it is in vain: the heed not the warning, they despise the entreaty, they moch the reproof.

And now Noah's heart is sad. There is no hope of the world's repentance, and the fear of its ruin broods heavily on his soul. “Moved with” this “fear,” he seeks to escape. Looking round on his wife and the children that gathered by his side, he “prepared an ark for the saving of himself and house."

Exposed to fresh insults by his obedience to God, he commences and continues to rear the mighty structure. Bearing their jeers, enduring their scoffs, submitting to all their mockery, beneath his assiduous hand the future ark arose and approached completion. By faith he prepared it. Faith in God, “in things not seen as yet," in things disbelieved and unheeded by the world, this was the spring of action. Faith hewed each timber, faith laid each plank, faith fastened each bolt, faith finished with pitch the mighty structure, and then sat down to calmly wait the issue.

Behold the edifice! The world denominate it “Noah's folly ;" the fruit of insensate and blind fanaticism; the work of an idiot, a lunatic; the strange hobby of a croak. ing fool; the result and end of all his paltry religion, his fanatical preaching and praying. But faith calls it Noah's ARK prepared for the saving of himself and his house."

How the world mocked and scoffed and sneered at that ark I cannot tell. How oft they tried to raise a smile upon the melancholy countenance of that sad old man, I know not—and how sadly, yet eloquently, he besought them to seek with him a refuge from impending destruction, I cannot determine. This much I know, they heeded it not.

The last week of human probation commenced. The beasts of earth and the fowls of heaven had found their way into the ark, but the sinners passed heedlessly by. And now the day of destruction has dawned. They eat, they drink, they buy, they sell, they fear no evil. Noah is within the ark. The hand of God has shut the door. He is safe. And now earth reels and rocks with mighty throes, floods burst forth from the pent up caverns of the depths beneath, and above, one sheet of lurid flame lightens the angry clouds, the thunders mutter and swell, and roll, and lo! all the floodgates from on high are opened on a ruined world. O! what a wail goes up from the impious host of the enemies of God. The distant horizon is one mass of rushing waves-onward and still onward the surging waters sweep; the ark sways heavily above the swelling tide; the waves rush on—they sweep away the fleeing enemies of God; descending torrents flood the loftiest hills, and drench each sinner there. Night comes on.

The darkness is thick, and still the dread roar of heaven's artillery is heard ; stil the awful clouds ride madly o'er the boiling

deep; still the vivid lightning plays and dashes along the darkened sky, or hisses amid the swelling waves. The morning dawns, but no sunbeam gilds the scene of despair; still descending and ascending waters meet, and borne upon their heaving bosom, the ark glides safely away.

Thus for forty days did these rains descend, and for forty nights did those waters accumulate, till the last man upon the topmost summit of the highest mountain had met his fate-the race was destroyed-earth was one shoreless ocean and the light that faintly gleamed from the window of that storm-tost, heaven-guarded ark, was the only token of hope to a sinful and a ruined race.

The sun shines once more. The angry clouds once more disappear in the distant horizon. The waters assuage.— The swelling waves sleep silently beneath the sky. The ark grates on the towering summit of Ararat, and its tossings and its swayings cease. The "dove" and the "olive leaf" tell the tale of God's returning favor, and are consecrated for ever as the emblems of peace. The patriarch leads forth his family upon the surface of the emerging earth-the altar is erected-the sacrifice smokes thereon, the rainbow spans the heaven with its arch of glory-God's covenant is made once more with man, and a new probation is granted to the fallen race.

In this transaction we observe these prominent facts.FIRST: Noah was previously warned of the approaching danger. SECOND: He faithfully warned the world around him, giving them as favorable an opportunity as he himself had to know and escape the danger. THIRD: The world did not and would not know the truth. FOURTH: Noah was ready-was not in darkness, that up him a a thief," and he was saved.


it should come FIFTH : They


« 上一頁繼續 »