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caught up and echoed from the press and heard in columns devoted chiefly and properly to secular interests. The Bride expects and longs and prays for His advent. She hath “made herself ready.” She hears a voice which is not a stranger's, “Behold, I come quickly ;” and from her inmost heart she answers, “Even so come, Lord Jesus,” “Looking for that blessed hope” is the attitude of increasing thousands. It is the expectation that loosens and detaches human hearts from earthly interests, and worldly attractions, and mean and ignoble pursuits, rendering time's bitterest troubles sweet, and the world's frown welcome, and neither to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed nor much felt in the presence of the hope it inspires. This increasing body of preachers of the advent is in itself a sign of its nearness, a Baptist-like preparation of the way of the Lord, a warning cry deepening in force every day amid the world's Babel sounds, and breathing in music on heavy hearts, and in the midst of this world's winter assuring numbers that watch and wait that “summer is nigh at hand.” As sure as Christ suffered once for all, He will come again. He died for the sins of men, expiating their guilt, and He will come again, no longer a sacrifice for sin, but the righteous Judge, rewarding every man according to his works. He came bearing the load of a world's transgressions, the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief, making expiation for sin. When Christ comes again it will be when His atonement is completed,
His intercession finished—to separate the tares from the wheat, and to assign each irreversible retribution.
“He will appear to them that look for him.” A Christian's attitude is that of looking for Christ. He looks back to Him, His sacrifice; he looks forward for Him appearing the second time without sin unto salvation. His trust is in the atonement finished ; his hope is in the glory that is to be revealed. When He appears again the earth that has groaned under all its sorrows shall be emancipated, and share in the elevation of believers. When Christ comes all who have fallen asleep in Him, according to His own blessed promise, He will bring with Him. Hence the apostle writing to his converts, says: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ”-that is, Christians who have died in the past—" shall rise first. Then we"-Christians which are alive and remain—"shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.”
AMID DISBELIEF OF THE ADVENT.
CHRIST will come at a time when the world will almost universally disbelieve in His advent. It is of the world that it is written, “In such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Of mere professors it is written, “Evil servants shall say in their hearts, My Lord delayeth his coming.” “They will shout Peace and safety when sudden destruction cometh upon them.” “As in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Thus the very apathy we see around us and lament; the utter disbelief, which vents itself in charges of fanaticism against all that teach and preach the coming of the Lord, the spurious, but to them conclusive, reasoning that all things continue as they were, and will therefore continue as they are; the worldliness, that protests against being disturbed in its pursuits and pleasures, and the avarice, that begs it may not be hindered in its gains; are all predicted tokens of the approach of that day. “All things,” they say, "continue as they were, and will continue as they are for ever.” Is
this even bistory? Where is Babylon, the lady and the glory of kingdoms ? Thebes, with its hundred gates? Palmyra of the desert? Jerusalem, once the joy and the beauty of the whole earth ? Where is Athens, the university of Europe, the eye of Greece, the resort of the learned, the idol of intellect? Where is Rome, that sent forth its conquering legions to the uttermost ends of the earth, and constituted the fourth great and universal empire ? All are changed. From their graves these buried capitals protest against the logic of the scoffing sceptic, and declare that all things have not continued as they were. They are discrowned, and their glory is buried in the dust, and they have ceased to be. All things have not continued as they were, for great changes and convulsions have occurred. The earth, from Noah to Napoleon, has undergone changes that have made it almost another world. Were a monk to rise from his grave beneath the floor of Westminster Abbey; and to see an electric telegraph, or to witness the express train sweep past him, or to see the “Great Eastern," he would infer he fell asleep in another orb, and that by some mistake or chance he must have been wafted to a grave in a new world; he could not believe or conceive that the world is now what it was; and did he rise from the dead he would be the very first to say, if this world was proved to be the one in which he read his breviary, and preached, if ever he preached at all—“What absurdity to say all things continue as they were since I fell asleep. The face of the world
is so altered that I cannot recognize it as the same old, weary world in which I lived so long, and did penance and feasted and fasted, and fell asleep, and died, and was buried.”
Christ's advent will be sudden ; unexpected by the masses of mankind; like the lightning flash that leaps from the bosom of the black cloud, sweeps through the sky, and completes its journey in a second. So instantaneous shall the coming of the Son of man be. No telegraphic announcement, no roll of drums, no boom of cannon, no peals of bells will announce His advent. Unexpected by the world, there shall burst upon the world the brightness of His coming, closing the age in which we have so deep a stake, and commencing that glorious era in which we may have a blessed reversion. No premonitory signs will satisfy a material and sceptic world. It will always have its scientific solution for every event. The lightning leaps always from the black bank of cloud. The dark cloud careering on the winds, and overspreading the heaven, warns us that the thunder is about to roll and the lightnings to flash forth upon the earth. So will there be signs and premonitory warnings of the approach of that last lightning-like advent. On seeing these premonitory signs, and hearing our interpretation of them, some will say, “ Your interpretations are ridiculous; the whole thing can be explained on the principles of natural science. To expect that the great black cloud, which has risen from the horizon and overspread the sky, is