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must be regarded as not only unscriptural but impossible. It has been objected to the doctrine of the personal coming and reign of Christ on earth, that its adherents and advocates are like the apostles of old, "unlearned and ignorant men," of humble station and of small repute; and that their conclusions are hence unworthy of confidence and respect.

But the Gospel takes mankind as they are. Not many mighty or noble are called; "the poor in this world, rich in faith," are chosen to be heirs of the kingdom; and any doctrine which is beyond the reach of the common mind, gives little evidence that it pertains to that Gospel which of old was preached to the poor, and which is especially adapted, not to the exceptional few who have learning, wealth, and fame, but to the common people who heard the Saviour gladly, and who still make up the vast majority of the Church of Jesus Christ, and the world of mankind.

But we have no more need to be ashamed of the men who now hold this "faith once delivered to the saints," than we have to blush for that noble army of elect souls who have believed and published it in years gone by. Can we find more eminent preachers than Chalmers, and Krummacher, and Cumming, and Charles H. Spurgeon, and Newman Hall, and S. H. Tyng? Can we find evangelists more laborious than D. L. Moody, and D. W. Whittle, and E. P. Hammond, and Henry Varley, and their associates and helpers? Can we point to philanthropists more devoted than Lord Shaftesbury and George Müller of Bristol? Can we find commentators more learned than Lange, and Alford, and Fausett? Can we find sacred poets more fervid than Bonar, and Bliss, and Denny? Can we find critics who have studied to better purpose than Tregelles, and Kelly, and Craik, and Hudson? Can we find singers that have sung the songs of Zion in sweeter strains than Sankey, and Bliss, and their fellow-singers? Can we, in their several departments, find men more honored of God, or less tainted with folly and fanaticism than these? And yet, we believe every one of them has been taught by the grace of God to live "looking for that blessed hope," and waiting" for the Son of God from heaven;" and that every one of them holds the personal coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign over the earth, as a personal and a precious faith.

Is it not time to drop such objections as these? "Have any of the rulers... believed on him?" is an old question, but it savors

EDITOR'S PREFACE.

of the old man, rather than the new.

xxvii

The fact that the foremost men of the Church in all ages, the present included, unite their testimonies in favor of this faith, while it is not urged as a proof of the truth of that which the Word of God alone can establish, may perhaps serve as an answer to those who would reject the teaching of inspiration because ignorant or erratic people have unhappily mingled their own errors with the teachings of divine revelation. And the fact that these representative men, with many others that might be found, hold and declare these truths unchallenged, simply indicates that the heart of the church of God gravitates towards this ancient faith. The multitudes throng to listen to the utterances of men like these, because they believe their testimony, and because the "gospel of the kingdom" is no less glad tidings to the saints, than "the gospel of the grace of God" which saves them from their sins is to sinners. In their faith they link together the cross and the crown, "the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow;"and while they proclaim "the acceptable year of the Lord," they also proclaim "the day of vengeance of our God."

In a conversation with the late P. P. Bliss, at his residence in Chicago, in the autumn of 1875, the writer, who had recently returned from attending the special religious services in London, conducted by the American Evangelists, referred to the stirring Gospel Hymns which he had heard sung with such effect by the vast assemblies congregated in the London Tabernacles; and expressed his gratification at the prominence with which the ancient hope of the church, the coming of the Lord, was set forth in those sacred lyrics.. The sweet singer replied substantially as follows:

"God has seemed to set special honor upon those hymns which speak of Christ's second coming. The hymns that have gone around the world, are those that refer to that event, such as:

'Hold the fort, for I am coming,

Jesus signals still.'

'Down life's dark vale we wander,

Till Jesus comes.'

'When he cometh, when he cometh

To make up his jewels.""

How near this subject lay to his heart, was well known to all his acquaintances, and his latest hymns show that his love for Christ's appearing glowed with a still intenser ardor, as he

drew near his journey's end. His friend and co-worker, D. W. Whittle, in a large assembly in Boston, declared that, during the last year of his life every hymn he wrote, had in it something on this great subject. Thus he sang:

And again:

"When he comes, our glorious King,

All his ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!"

"Children of the living God, take courage;
Your great deliverance sweetly sing;
Set your faces toward the hill of Zion,
Thence to hail our coming King!"

"Are your windows open toward Jerusalem,

Though as captives here a 'little while' we stay?

For the coming of the King in his glory,

Are you watching day by day?"

And finally, the last production he sent to the press, before he went down in the fiery wreck of Ashtabula, had these words as its burden:

"Thy Saviour is coming in tenderest love,
To make up his jewels and bear them above:
Oh, child, in thy anguish, despairing or dumb,
Remember the message, 'Hold fast till I come.'

Hold fast till I come, Hold fast till I come;

A bright crown awaits thee; Hold fast till I come."

In giving to the world these hymns of grace and glory, this evangelist of song not only poured forth his own personal aspirations and desires, as did Watts, and Wesley, and Dodridge, and many others, but he also voiced the emotions of ten thousand glowing hearts in every quarter of the globe. It is by no mere accident that those hymns that speak of Christ's glorious appearing "have gone round the world," stirring the souls of multitudes, and winning their way to every land; but it is because they strike those deep, grand chords the church so longs and loves to hear, and give expression to the glad anticipations of those who, having the first fruits of the Spirit, wait for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body; and to whom the grace of God that bringeth salvation has appeared, teaching them that, denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, they should live "soberly, righteously and godly in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus ii.12, 13.

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Not only now, but through all past ages, has this tremendous theme been the burden of some of the grandest songs of the universal church. It has been one of the mightiest inspirations of those who prepare praises for the Most High, and give voice to the deepest emotions of the human heart. From the solemn judgment hymn of unknown antiquity, quoted by the Venerable Bede more than twelve hundred years ago,

"At last the great day of the Lord shall arise

As a thief in the night to dismay and surprise,"

down through the strain of St. Bernard, beginning with,
"The world is very evil, the times are waxing late,
Be sober and keep vigil, the Judge is at the gate,"

and rolling on until, having run its tossing current through the rugged scenes of sin and judgment, it sweeps out at last in the glad sunshine of

"Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blessed;"

and also in the awful majesty of "Dies Iræ," that noblest hymn of the ages,

"Day of wrath, that day of burning,

All shall melt, to ashes turning;"

and in that midnight hymn of the Greek church:

"Behold, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night,

And blest is he whose loins are girt, whose lamp is burning bright;" as also that ancient Greek hymn of Theodore of the Studium, "The day is near, the judgment is at hand:

Awake, my soul! awake and ready stand!"

likewise in the rich treasury of German hymnology, where so many precious hymns proclaim that day, such as the judgment hymn of Ringwalt :

"Surely at the appointed time,

The Son of God in glory

Shall come to judge the human kind,
The sinful and the holy"-

and Philip Nicolai's solemn Wachet Auf:

"Wake! the startling watch-cry pealeth,
While slumber deep each eyelid sealeth;
Awake! Jerusalem, awake!"

and Laurentius Laurenti's beautiful hymn, commencing,

"Rejoice, all ye believers,

And let your lights appear;"

and in others, far too numerous to mention, in the Greek, Latin, Syrian, German, French, and other churches, this thought of the coming judgment, sudden, awful, and impending, rings its solemn cadence through all the ages and generations.

The grandest songs of Christendom are upon this theme; and the sweetest singers swell these solemn hymns. Watts exclaims,

Wesley sings,

"When shall thy lovely face be seen,
When shall our eyes behold our God?"

"Lo, he comes, with clouds descending!"

Heber lifts up the song,

"The Lord shall come, the earth shall quake."

Milman chants,

"The chariot, the chariot, its wheels roll in fire,
As the Lord cometh down in the pomp of his ire;"

and thus through all the years, rings this deep and solemn strain of those who, like the Psalmist, say, "I will sing of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I sing."

We offer no array of names as evidence of the correctness of a position, nor do we seek to sustain by reference to authority a cause which cannot be maintained by argument. But when men heap opprobrium upon a truth because it is accepted and advocated by men who are, like Christ's first disciples, ignorant and unlearned, it becomes necessary to show that there stand among the advocates of this ancient faith, men the latchet of whose shoes some of its despisers might count themselves honored to stoop down and unloose.

There is probably no living author whose hymns are more widely and justly prized than those of Dr. Horatius Bonar. In glancing over the latest and choicest Hymnals prepared for various churches, we find no other living writer so fully represented as he; several recent collections containing more than a score of Bonar's hymns, many of which have taken their place among the permanent hymnology of the English tongue.

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