Page images

the inhabitants thereof.... Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate ; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left....Fear and the pit and the snare are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage ; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be vi. sited. Then the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously.” Is. xxiv. 1-23. “Now, therefore, be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong; for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption even determined upon the whole earth.Is. xxvii. 22.

In this work of tremendous destruction with which the Millennium is to be ushered in, Israel and Judah shall be made powerful instruments in the hand of the Lord; and their land appears to be the destined spot for the great and final overthrow. 66 When I have bent Judah for me," saith the Lord, “ filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. And the Lord shall be seen over them, and His arrows shall go forth as the lightning, and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south; the Lord of hosts shall defend them.” Zech. ix. 13, 14. “ But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou


[ocr errors]

whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, thou art my servant; I have chosen thee and not cast thee away

... Behold I will make thee a new sharp thrashing instrument having teeth; thou shalt thrash the mountains and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff.” Is. xli. 8, 9, 15. 66 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau, for the Lord hath spoken it.” Obad. ver. 18. “ The portion of Jacob is not like them; for He is the Former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance; the Lord of hosts is His name. Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war; for with thee will I break in pieces the nations; and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; and with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider ; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; with thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid; I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers." Jer. li. 19-23. “Now also many nations are gathered against thee, [Zion;] that say, let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither understand they His counsel; for He shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. Arise and thrash, O daughter of Zion; for I will make thine horn iron,'and I will make thy hoofs brass; and thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth.” Mic. iv. 11-13. “ And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who, if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can


deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up' upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.... And I will execute vengeance in anger, and fury upon the heathen, such as they have never heard.” Micah v. 8, 9, 15. Behold I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people around about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people ; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." In ihat day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment and his rider with madness; and I will smite every horse of the people with blindness..... In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own plaee, even in Jerusalem. ...In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusasalem.” Zech. xii. 2-9. “ Behold the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle ; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into eaptivity, and the residue of the peo. ple shall not be cut off from the city.... And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem ; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they

. shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neigh.

[ocr errors]

bour. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem ; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together.. gold and silver, and apparel in great abundance.” Zech. xiv. 2, 3, 12, 13, 14." And it shall come to pass at the same time, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face..... Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are on the face of the earth shall shAKE AT MY PRESENCE. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God; every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain and great hailstones, fire and brimstone." Ezek. xxxviii. 18—22. 6 The nations shall see, and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hands upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth; they shall be afraid of the Lord our God, and shall fcar because of thee.” Mic. vii. 16, 17.

Let the unbeliever tremble when he reads the de. nunciations of God's wrath, speedily to be inflicted on guilty nations ! The contemplation of such calamities being just about to overtake and overwhelm a secure though guilty world, is enough to melt the hardest heart into compassion. Truly “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Heb. x. 31. Why will the wicked refuse to forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts? It is still " the accepted time and day of salvation." Let him therefore “ return to the Lord and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Is. lv. 7. Oh why should he delay in applying to the blood of sprinkling until compelled in the bitterness of unavailing remorse to exclaim, “ The harvest is past, the summer .is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. viii. 20. Let him betake, then, to Him who alone shall be a covert from the storm and a hiding-place from the tempest.

Let Christians also attend to the injunction of the apostle, and “ despise not prophesyings.” 1 Thess. v. 20. But while they rejoice in the prospect of a speedy meeting, in glorified humanity, with their Lord and Saviour, (for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed,") they ought to " rejoice with trembling." The state of the church demands their persevering prayers; the opposition made to truth by their friends and brethren in Christ may occasion deep sorrow; and the objects of impending judgments call for their commiseration. There is, too, in the dangers to which they are themselves exposed, ground of fear and humility. These are indeed perilous times in which our lot is cast. Seducing spirits are abroad, of whose wiles we ought to take heed. The present aspects of society are ominous. Infidelity and indifference to spiritual things is obtaining ground in the professing christian church. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we be on our guard against unbelies,“ the sin which doth so easily beset us." Alas! for the present prevalence of a false liberality, which is ever willing to sacri. fice Revelation at the shrine of Human Reason. We boast of this liberality, regarding it as an attainment; although in many cases it is only another name for licentiousness. Únbelief may be displayed in various forms, and still retain its essential character of opposition to the revealed will of God. We characterize the age as “ enlightened,” but is there displayed a greater relish or desire for the illuminations of the Holy Spirit? Intellectuality has usurped the seat of faith. The power of Christianity is little felt. and many of its precious truths are lightly prized. This nation has been eminently favoured with religious privileges; but what is the improvement we now make of them ? Every characteristic of the last days as given by the apostle Paul, (1 Tim. iii. iv.) seems fully applicable to the present times. And the worst feature of our case is, the great


« EelmineJätka »