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the day of vengeance for his redeemed shall come, numbers shall fly to the church as doves to their windows; the language of numerous converts-numerous as the drops of morning dew, shall be, We will go with you,
for we perceive that God is with you. And in a degree infinitely more astonishing, and in a sense more completely comprehensive, shall the final destruction of Zion's foes, be the prelude of that vast accession to be made to her numbers; and shall precede the period of her destined perfection on earth. “ And after these things " I heard a great voice of much people in heaven,
saying, Alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honor, “ and power, unto the Lord our God, for true and $« righteous are his judgments : the voice of the “ great multitude was as the voice of many wa“ ters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings,
saying, Alleluia : for the Lord God omnipotent
reigneth."* Immediately from the humiliations of the grave, that field which God hath blessed, sprang up, though they were as good as dead, the mighty host of such as are blessed and holy, and have part in the first resurrection. They are priests of God and of Christ, and they reign with him a thousand years.t
2. It is pleasant to see the strength and establishment of Sion resulting from the demolition of those schemes which were formed for her ruin ; and that her abundant prosperity proceeds from their overthrow, who are trodden down even as straw for the dunghill.
* Rey, xix. 1, 7.
+ Rev. XX. 6.
The power and policy of hell are confederate for her destruction; nor can it be denied, but anticipations the most gloomy, desponding, and disa honorable to God, often as threatening clouds passing over some well cultivated and fruitful field, hover over her prospects and nearly obliterate her hopès.
The church, like Hezekiah its representative in elder times, appears at such seasons clad in sackcloth; and all classes unite in saying, “ This is “ a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphe
my ; for the children are come to the birth, and " there is not strength to bring forth.”* Their heart is moved as the trees of the wood are-moved with a mighty wind; at length, when God arises, their foes and fears are put to flight; the gates of hell do not prevail against her; He, who alone is able, defends the hallowed city, to save it for his own sake, and for his servant David's sake: And on this subject, glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God! “I will make mention of Rahab “ and Babylon,”-places where signal interpositions of the almighty arm of God, in defence of his church, were manifested. “ Behold Philistia, and “ Tyre, and Ethiopia ; this inan was born there; “ and the Highest himself shall thus establish • Zion.t”
* Isaiah, xxxvü. 3.
“ Let mount Zion rejoice, let the • daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy
judgments. Walk about Zion, and go round « about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye “ well her bulwarks, consider her palaces, that ye
may tell it to the generation following."I
Finally. The rich and abundant fruitfulness of the church, the field which God blesseth, is advanced by these displays of his vindictive wrath, Those important lessons, those serious and solemn impressions which are the grand source of personal sanctity, are never so fully learnt and so vigorous in their operations, as when by these acts of his power, the command is repeated, “ Be still, 66 and know that I am God.”
Looking around us and contemplating the desolations he has made in the earth, seeing some who “ did feed delicately, desolate in the streets; and
they that were brought up in scarlet, embracing
+ Psalm lxxxvii. 5.
Psalm xlviii. 12, 13.
" dunghills,"* we most readily admit that there is a God that judgeth in the earth; that sin has introduced by its awful demerits, universal misery; that rich is the love and sovereign the mercy which has made us to differ, and exempted us from like terrible acts of righteous vengeance; and that invaluable indeed is that protection which is afforded in the divine chambers, until the indignation be overpast. When, but in such seasons, I would ask, do we live most seriously affected with the impressions of our own personal guilt, the infinite value of Him who is " a Strength to the poor, a Strength to the needy “ in his distress, a Refuge from the storm, a sha“ dow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible " ones is as a storm against the wall ?"|
When are those tempers most prevalent in our hearts and lives, which tend to the divine glory-a separation from the world, a love to the brotherhood, a willingness to communicate, a disposition to renounce every forbidden pleasure, a persuasion that here we have no continuing city, and a sincere and zealous search for one that is to come ? but when there are “ signs in the sun, and in the
moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth disa * tress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and
“ the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them “ for fear, and looking after those things which
are coming on the earth: for the powers of hea6. ven shall be shaken. And then shall they see “ the Son of man coming in a cloud, with power “ and great glory. And when these things begin “ to come to pass, then look up,
up your “ heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
In the intended improvement of this subject, we are taught to whose culture we are exclusively indebted, if these fruits of righteousness are in our case, the results of beholding God's judgments.
Manure spread on the ground, will only render weeds, its natural product, of more luxuriant and disgusting growth; nor will the Divine judgments, but for the subsequent care and cultivation of the Great Husbandman, promote the salutary change which is desired.
AMictions in our own persons, or heavy providential visitations on others, cannot naturally, create or cherish other feelings than impatience, discontent, rebellion ;-where sufferings are most severe and anguish the most acute, “they gnaw
* Luke, xxi. 25.-28.