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whilst gorging a richer plunder : but at the last its iniquity shall find it out, and it shall not go unpunished : the “ decreers of unrighteous decrees,” the General Assemblies and Presbyteries that have cast out the people of God; and the" writers of grievousnesses," the blasphemers of the Holy Ghost, the deniers of God's character of universal love, the rebels against the kingdom of Jesus on the earth ; shall now come up for judgment. Woe unto them that decree decreés. . to turn aside the needy from judgment;" who, by expelling the true servants of God from their churches, have prevented those who need instruction from receiving it ; "and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.” The right of the poor is no less than the throne of Immanuel, and the indwelling of the Person of God the Holy Ghost: of this their right the priests have robbed them; and the robbers are now brought up to suffer for their misdeeds. The widows, who are widows indeed, who do truly lament for their absent Husband, and who long for his return, have been their prey; and it is they who have God for their Father, though they are ignorant of Him through the treacherous dealing of their teachers; whom they have robbed, and whose Father now appears to take vengeance for His children. “What will ye do in the day of visitation ?- what excuse will the Church of Scotland have to make? is she to be unpunished for this? “What will ye do in the desolation that cometh from afar ? ” it is from the bottomless pit of infidelity that her desolation comes : “to whom will ye flee for help, and where will ye leave your glory? without Me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain.” The whole world is at this time gone after the beast, and are led captive by him at his will: the Church of Scotland has not made God her stay, but, while the Church of England has trusted to her wealth and power, has relied upon being the very reverse,-poor, and helpless. The poverty of the one shall be found as unavailing as the wealth of the other. “ Strong is the Lord that judges her:" the infidel who comes upon her is the rod of God's anger, and the staff with which he smites is the indignation of Jehovah. “ For all this His anger is not turned away, and His hand is stretched out still."

These are the punishments upon the earth of the rulers of the earth ; but there is still another day, when, raised in new and imperishable bodies, they shall stand to abide the award of a more fearful judgment; when the new mystery shall be unfolded of the wrath of the dumb and silent Lamb; the vengeance of a sorrowful Man ; the fierceness of the gentle Dove. The lion, the god of war, and the eagle will break out on the mockers of the Holy Ghost : the doom assigned will be eternal: no place left for more iniquity, for their cup will have been filled : human

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depravity can manifest itself in no more malevolent form. The companionship of infernal spirits is the reward, as it has been the choice, of the scoffers at unknown tongues and prophecy; the harvest of the seed they have sown; the standing memorial throughout ages of ages of the righteousness and holiness of Jehovah.

THE BRIDE, THE LAMB'S WIFE. The oneness of understanding, of affections, and of sufferings, in Christ and in his church ; our perfect conformity to him,

1; and his perfect sympathy with us; is a doctrine of the greatest practical importance, though scarcely ever practically felt. The sufferings of Christ in the days of his flesh are often used as an argument for patience under our sufferings in the flesh, and his meritorious agony and crucifixion are pointed to as our hope and comfort ; but the necessity and the seemliness in the sight of God, shewn in Scripture, for the crucifixion of all flesh, is seldom adverted to. We fear to degrade our now exalted and glorified Redeemer by making him actually sympathize with, and really partake of, the sufferings of his church in the flesh; and we fear to lessen the sole meritorious sacrifice of the cross, by pressing upon the church a necessity for her passing through a baptism of suffering similar to that which her Lord hath gone through ; however necessary it be that the wife should become in all respects a fit partner for the Husband; or that by conformity to the likeness of his death we may be ready to be planted in the likeness of his resurrection.

It may be amply demonstrated from Scripture, that Christ at the incarnation became one in all respects with the brethren; and at his ascension bestowed upon the church the Holy Ghost, to conform her by suffering patiently to his life, and prepare her for transformation into the glorious image which he now wears. Christ, our elder Brother, glorified his Father's name upon earth; leaving us an ensample, that we should follow his footsteps. He died for the sins of the whole world, that he might open the kingdom of heaven to his followers. By his meritorious death fallen manhood was recovered, and we became admissible into the presence of God. And by the Holy Ghost, shed down from heaven on the day of Pentecost, the disciples were empowered to become confessors and martyrs to his name; He, the Head, supporting and sympathizing with every member of his body; and they filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in their flesh for his body's sake, which is the church; yet having their conversation continually in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; “ who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, gives unto his church the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, for the acknowledgment of him. He enlightens the eyes of their understanding to “know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints; and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of the might of his power which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also that which is to come. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus .. to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord .. who loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word ; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing ; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” “So ought men to love their wives as their bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself; for no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church : for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife ; and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery : but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Eph. i. 17—v. 32).

The Apostle, feeling as a man for his fellow-men, who could scarcely believe in the possibility of oneness with Jesus at the right hand of God, uses such comparisons as could not be misunderstood by them, but would express, beyond the possibility of mistake, complete oneness of nature; all the identity between two persons which it is possible for language to convey. We are one in nature with him, as members of the same body, of his flesh and of his bones : we are loved by him as a man loveth himself-no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church : we have the same community of all things with Christ-of mind, of affections, of possessions which a wife has with her husband. Yea, a greater oneness and community; for the form of expression


implies that the mystery concerning the union of Christ and the church is the real and perfect union; as real as that between a man and his own flesh, as perfect as that in the members of one body; and that the union between man and wife should be conformed, as nearly as is possible in two bodies, to that more perfect union which subsists in the one body of which Christ is the head and the church the members.

Christ as our Head, as the Husband of the church, hath fulfilled, and will fulfil, his part of the contract; and the practical inquiry is, to know how we may fulfil our part; what duties the contract imposes on us, and what ability we have to perform those duties. Our Lord is at present the nobleman gone into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. He hath committed the care of his inheritance, his vineyard, his household, his talents, his pounds, to his betrothed the church, saying, Occupy till I come. He hath given to her his whole authority: he hath made her regent in his seat during his absence; saying, " Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” And this promise he fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when he endowed his chosen bride with the ample powers which, having ascended up on high and led captivity captive, he received for men, to bestow even on the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them. And these endowments were specially and expressly “ for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come, in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ....and grow up into him in all things which is the Head, even Christ" (Eph. iv.)

The duties of the bride fall under the two divisions of occupation during the absence of her Lord, and preparation for his return. We have frequently enlarged on the first of these heads, on the negligent manner in which the church has administered the power entrusted to her by her absent Lord; and this time is now nearly expired : we would therefore now turn all our attention to the second head, and press upon the church the urgent, the immediate necessity of preparation for her Lord's return; for the day of her espousals, for eternal union with him in the heavenly city.

The cry hath gone forth, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh-our King is about to return triumphantly to reign—the crisis of the universe draweth nigh, when the sin-oppressed and groaning creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, and start with more than renovated, with unprecedented, beauty into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, there to abide for ever in eternal bloom. The coming of Christ in glory, to set up his

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kingdom on the earth, is the turning point in the world's history; is that event in the purpose of God for displaying which all things were created ; in preparation for which Christ came in humiliation to suffer and to die, leaving us an ensample that we should follow his steps during our present time of humiliation; promising, that when his kingdom shall be revealed, all those who are contented to take up their cross daily, and follow him till he cometh, shall then sit with him in glory, sharing his throne;

shall shine as the sun in the firmament, and as stars for ever and ever.

The end proposed to the bride, is participation of the glory and blessedness of her Lord ; and this Lord is now seated on the right hand of the Majesty on high, and exercising all power in heaven and in earth. The means by which this end is attained are, present conformity of the bride to the mind, will, and desires of her Lord; dependence upon Him in all things; diligent preparation for his return, but patient waiting for the time; keeping the word of his patience, that he may keep her from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth; and expecting the fulfilment of the promise, Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no

I man take thy crown.”

Knowing that her absent Lord is seated at the right hand of God, she knoweth that nothing happeneth but according to His will, who loveth her more tenderly than any husband-loveth her as his own flesh. She knoweth, also, that no temptation shall come upon her, but such as is common to man; none which her Lord in the days of his flesh had not felt and overcome : that her loving Lord will not suffer her to be tempted above that which she is able to bear: that he doth not willingly afflict the children of men : that His grace shall be sufficient for her, and His strength shall be made perfect in her weakness. She will therefore, not merely contentedly, but joyfully, endure all affliction: she will not merely bear, but even glory in, tribulation; glory in the cross of Christ.

But let her be quite sure, that the cross she bears is the cross of Christ, and not a cross of her own making : that when she is buffeted it is not for any fault, not provoked by her, not courted as meritorious by her: and then, having done nothing amiss, and being buffeted, and taking it patiently, great is her reward in heaven: so persecuted they her Lord.

And the same Lord which hath appointed and overruleth continually the trials and sufferings of his bride, doth from his throne of glory sympathize with all her sufferings; as the head suffers in the sufferings of the least member of the body, or the members with each other.

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