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be that in which the saints will be shut up in the ark, previous to the judgments. “ Blessed is he that watcheth!"

It is the fulfilment of these portions of Scripture, in the overturning of the governmeuts of the earth, and in the setting up of the beast, the infidel power, to whom all the kings of the earth shall give their strength, which is especially to direct us in our expectations of the coming of the Lord; and if we do not attend to these passing events, carefully comparing them with the sacred Scriptures, we shall have nointimation of his near approach, and shall assuredly be taken by surprise, as the foolish virgins were. For though this prophecy (namely, Luke xxi. 25–27, and Rev. vi. 12—17) shall receive a still more literal fulfilment when the sun and moon and stars in the firmament (Gen. i. 14-16) shall withhold their shining ; when God shall clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering; yet this will not be TILL AFTER OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO THE LORD. This is a very important point ; and I would earnestly call the attention of all God's waiting people to it, at this interesting period.

There are three things particularly to be noticed in our Lord's advent: First, Our gathering together unto him * (1 Thess. iv. 17; Matt. xxv. 10; Luke xviii. 34–37): Secondly, His epiphany, or coming in the clouds of heaven, and all his saints with power and great glory (Ps. xviii. 9-15; Matt. xxiv. 30): Thirdly, His parousia, or visible presence (2 Thess. ii. 8; Rev. i. 7; Zech. xii. 10). The visible signs in the heavens will not precede our gathering together unto the Lord, but will be subsequent to it. There shall be no more outward manifestations of Christ's coming than there are at present; no darkening of the heavens, no change in the sun or moon: men shall go forth unto their labour, and be occupied in the business and pleasures of life, up to the very eve of the Lord's appearing. If any proof is wanting of this, we have it in the prophetic history of Noah and Lot. Neither Noah nor Lot had any outward visible sign that the judgments of God would descend on their generation. God had said what he would do; and Noab, believing it, builds the ark (Heb. xi. 7), and Lot prosecutes his journey to Zoar, although there was no visible sign of the coming destruction. They had God's word for it, and that was enough for them. Not till Noah and his family were safely seated in the ark were the -windows of heaven opened, or the foundations of the great deep

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* If the question should be asked, “How shall the Lord manifest himself unto us, and not unto the world?” I think it may be answered by referring to the history of his appearing unto Paul. By comparing Acts ix. 7 with xxii. 9, it appears, that though the men that were with him beard a voice, they understood it not; and though they saw a light, they saw not the Saviour. But Paul both saw him and understood his voice.

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broken up; nor till Lot was in Zoar did the fire of heaven fall upon the guilty cities of the plain : “The sun rose upon the earth as Lot entered into Zoar:” “Even so shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” When God's waiting and believing people are gathered unto him, safe up into that cloud, of which the ark and Zoar were types; then, and not till then, shall that passage in Matt. xxiv. 29, 30, and its parallel text in Luke, receive a literal, as they have already received a symbolical, fulfilment. Its symbolical fulfilment, in the shaking of the kingdoms of the earth, &c. at the close of the Papal period in the year 1792, and which is now advancing towards its consummation, is God's message to us that his coming is at hand. His people know the truth and force of this declaration ; but the

1 world cannot receive it; or, to use the language of Scripture, “ None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (Dan. xii. 10). “ Prophecy serveth not for them that believe not, but for them that believe;" whereas " a sign is not to them that believe, but to them that believe not" (1 Cor. xiv. 22): “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.But as the unbelieving Jews, who crucified the Lord of glory, had no other sign granted them “ than the sign of the prophet Jonas,” in Christ's actual resurrection from the dead, after being three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,

by which he was proved to be the Son of God with power:” so I believe that the unbelieving of the present generation will have no other sign given them, whereby they shall be able to discern the Lord's coming, but his actual epiphany. Hence it is called “the sign of the Son of Man" (Matt. xxiv. 30). The cloud in which he conducted the Israelites through the wilderness, in which he ascended after his resurrection, and in which he appeared to St. Paul in his way to Damascus, will be the sign to an ungodly world of the coming of the Son of Man *.

This portion of prophecy, therefore, is not yet exhausted, viewing it in its final and ultimate fulfilment. It speaks of those things which shall occur after God's waiting people are gathered unto him, when that determined to be poured upon the Jews shall be accomplished. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, &c.

Not only will God's people be delivered from the judgments which are coming on the earth, but they shall come with Christ to execute them. They will be in that cloud with Christ from which shall proceed hail-stones, and coals of fire (Psa. xviii.

* This cloud, containing Christ and his saints, is, I believe, the same as the glory” in Isa. lix. 19; the same as the “ensign” in v. 26, xi. 10, 12, xxxi. 9, xviii. 3; and the same as the cloud in ver. 4, and in Rev. xiv. 14. Notice the context in all these places, and compare them with the parallel passages, especially Isa. xviii. 5, 6, with Ezek. xxxix. 17-20, and Rev. xix. 17–21.

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7-15; Dan. vii. 13, 10; Rev. xvii. 14 ; xix. 11-21), which

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up his enemies on every side; as it is also written in the cxlix th Psalm, “ This honour have all his saints.” Concerning which also, Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “ Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all; and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed ; and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14, 15). In like manner does our Saviour encourage us in our conflict with the powers of darkness : “ He that overcometh,and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessel of a potter shall they be broken to shivers ; even as I have received of my Father” (Rev. ii. 26, 27).

The manner also in which this glorious period shall be ushered in, is worthy of observation : “ The Lord will come,” it is said,

AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT.' Not only will the world be in gross darkness respecting the season of the Redeemer's advent; but he will come, even to those who are waiting and expecting him, at an hour that they think not : for such were the words our blessed Lord addressed—not to the world, be it remembered, but-to his disciples : “Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour the Lord doth come (Matt. xxiv. 42). The sudden and unexpected manner in which God's people will be gathered unto himself

, previous to his epiphany, or manifestation unto the world, is thus described : “In that night, two shall be in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two shall be in the field ; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Now this language seems to imply that there shall be no outward or visible sign of the separation about to take place; that men will be engaged in their various occupations in life as they now are. In one part of the world the sun will have sunk beneath the horizon, and men will have retired to rest : in another part it will have risen upon the earth, like as when lot entered into Zoar, and the people will be following their respective callings; when, lo! on a sudden the great separation is effected ; one will be taken, and another left. God's people will not be found, for he will have taken them!

In reference to this gathering, I believe the disciples asked the question, “Where, Lord ?” and Jesus replied, «'Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together" (Luke xvii. 34-37). The rapid Aight of the eagle to the carcase fallen in the wilderness, and the certainty and ease with which she finds it, shews us with what swiftness and unerring certainty we shall direct our way to the Lord in the day of his appearing. “ Wherefore,” saith Christ, “if they shall say unto you, Behold, be is in the desert; go not forth : Behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not. For as the lightning which cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matt. xxiv. 26–28).

Such are the events in which the church is becoming daily more and more interested ; and_which therefore may well be called the church's expectation. But her views are not bounded by these events. After these things are come to pass, she expects the fulfiloent of all those promises which speak of the reign of Christ with his saints on this earth. Yea, on this very earth, where their names have been cast out as evil, shall they be glorified with Christ. “And the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given unto the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Dan. vii. 27). Then shall be fulfilled that which was

) spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets respecting the Kingship of Christ ; for he is King, the Anointed One though he has not yet been manifested in his kingly character. Though now “ all power is given into his hands,” and he holds the keys of death and of hell, and openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth ;" yet is he within the vail, as our Advocate with the Father; but he shall ere long come forth from the most holy place, clad in royal robes, after the order of Melchizedec; " which in his time he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, King of kings and Lord of lords." And we, his happy though despised followers, shall reign with him ; shall be made unto our God kings and priests. Oh, blessed prospect! oh, glorious expectation !

266 to think of this is heav'n! 'Tis extasy! Roll on, ye lingering hours,

And bring Millennian bliss.' This is that which is spoken of by Isaiah: “Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment .....and the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever: and my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places” (xxxii. 1, 17, 18).

But I must not now enlarge on this head. Respecting the church's expectation subsequent to the coming of Christ I refer to a former paper, in the second volume of the Morning Watch, which speaks of " Messiah's Reign on the Earth. And now, “ may the Lord direct our hearts into the love of God, and into a patient waiting for Christ;" that we may be so filled with this blessed hope, as not only to watch and pray for it, but to endure patiently our trials in the prospect of it; knowing that the trial of our faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth though it be tried with fire, will be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. This is the true meaning of a patient waiting for Christ, and not an easy indifference about it as some would have it (James v. 7,8; 1 Pet. i. 6, 7). “ HERE IS THE PATIENCE AND FAITH OF THE SAINTS ; HERE ARE THEY WHICH KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AND THE FAITH OF JESUS" (Rev. xiv. 12).

JOHN HOOPER.

ON THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH.

There is no point of doctrine in the whole range of theology in which we find so much seeming agreement, and so much real difference of opinion, as the Unity of the Church. The Papal doctrine of one true church, stripped of its revolting accessaries of exclusiveness and intolerance, will be found, in its substance, a component part of every orthodox creed ; while scarcely any two persons are exactly agreed as to the mode in which that unity is to be expressed, or the degree in which it is to be required. In the Papacy, their unity is an empty boast; for while they insist on perfect oneness of doctrine, of worship and of discipline, in general terms, yet when required to come to particulars no such agreement can be found, authorities clash continually-age against age-Pope against Pope, and Council against Council. The Papal doctrine is one vast series of innovations which had nothing like consistency, not even a fixed form till the sixteenth century, when the Council of Trent, in order to give any plausible appearance of unity to the Roman Church, was under the necessity of adding twelve new articles to the Nicene Creed, the first of which fixed the many novelties in the Papal Church, by boldly assuming to it infallibility in the fullest sense and in all respects.

Infallibility does belong to the true church, as we shall shew from the Scriptures; but never was an imposition more gross, never was pretension more absurd, than that of palming upon an ignorant and credulous multitude infallibility as a characteristic of the Roman Church, as her priests so impudently do even to the present day. The shifts by which they manage their cause are these : They maintain that infallibility belongs to the church, and assume it as a settled point to be believed and not to be discussed : and many an attack is parried, and many an

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