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“ them be the reconciling of the world, what “ shall the receiving of them be, but life from “ the dead ?” (Romans xi. 15.) Besides, let the prosperity, to which the Jews are destined in their earthly Canaan be ever so great, still they must always have reason to desire “ a better, i. e.

a heavenly country.” Here they will not be suffered to continue by reason of death, and the most excellent country under heaven must, at the last, inevitably be burned up. Here, therefore, they can have no such abiding city as shall remove their occasion to seek one to come. After all, admitting the brightest circumstances which can be conceived consistently with the unalterable facts, that man must needs die, and that the place of his habitation must be destroyed, they that are wise will never cease from looking upward, to the endless peace and glory reserved for the righteous in the realms above.

Exalted to those everlasting habitations, then, indeed, men shall no more call on the name of the Lord, as their deliverer from this or that temporal calamity. Rather, with triumphant voices will they exclaim,-" The Lord liveth, “ who hath redeemed us to God by His blood “ out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, “ and nation; and hath sent His angels, and

gathered us together from the four winds, " from the one end under heaven unto the 66 other. This shall be our rest for ever : here “ at length it is good eternally to dwell; for in His presence is fulness of joy, and at His

right hand are pleasures for evermore.(Revelation v. 9; Matthew xxiv. 31; Psalm xvi. 11.)

66

SERMON XXIV.

DANIEL xii. 8, 9, 10. And I heard, but I understood not: then said 1, 0

my Lord, what shall be the end of these things ? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall under

stand. THE former part of this book of Daniel contains some highly interesting narratives of transactions, which took place in the ancient days. With respect to the circumstances recorded in it concerning the writer, and his captive companions in Babylon, so plainly and impressively are they described, that it is scarcely possible either to mistake, or to disregard them. And, in fact, no part of the Old Testament is probably better remembered, and apprehended by all classes of mankind, who receive the Scriptures. Very few, it may be presumed, of those unto whom the word of God hath come, are unacquainted with the histories of the three

Confessors in the burning fiery furnace, and of Nebuchadnezzar, who had his dwelling seven years with the beasts of the field, and of the handwriting on the wall against Belshazzar, and of Daniel cast into the lions' den, because he would make his prayer unto the God of Israel, not regarding a certain contrary decree. High and low, rich and poor, young and old, all, in short, of any religious turn, are wont, with one consent, to lay up these striking deliverances and dispensations, and occasionally to revolve them in their minds.

On proceeding, however, to the latter part of this same book, we are presented with scenes of a less perspicuous character. Whereas all before, generally speaking, appeared plain, now perhaps, all, or, at the least, the greater part, unto the end, appears obscure, and difficult to be understood. This alteration is to be accounted for, by a transition of the subject from the past to the future time. After having declared, in his six first chapters, events which had already taken place, the inspired writer comes, in his six last, " to visions and revelations “ of the Lord,” touching things which should thereafter be. Accordingly, a vail of darkness and perplexity seems thenceforward to envelope his descriptions, except those which we can perceive to have been since fulfilled. What he writes is chiefly in parables,—“ the wisdom of “God in a mystery,” remaining strange to human apprehensions, notwithstanding some occasional explanation. And the difference between stating occurrences with which himself was well acquainted, and events which were not at all to be brought to pass during the years of many succeeding generations, was felt no less sensibly by the Prophet, than it is by us who read him. Especially, he wished, yet was unable, to discover the times and the seasons, when the

wonders,” which he had been writing, should have their accomplishment. One, indeed, told them to another in his hearing, but in terms which he knew not how to interpret. Daniel relates in my text,-“I heard, but I under“ stood not : then said I, O my Lord, what “ shall be the end of these things ?” Still, however, his curiosity was not satisfied; the heavenly messenger only replied,—“Go thy way, “ Daniel ; for the words are closed up and “ sealed,” which is to say, the meaning of them is to be kept secret,“ till the time of the " end ;” and upon that, by way of admonition, he subjoined,—“Many shall be purified, and 6 made white, and tried ; but the wicked shall “ do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall is understand, but the wise shall understand.”

I design, my brethren, from this solemn pas

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