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the miraculous preservation and existence as a distinct people, of a less numerous, but not less interesting race— a plant which grew up under the mighty cedar of Israel, but was destined to flourish when that proud tree was levelled to the earth.' (Quarterly Review, No. 75, p. 142.) •Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.' (Jer. xxxv. 19.) The Beni Rechab, sons of Rechab, still exist, a distinct and easily distinguishable' people. They boast of their descent from Rechab, profess pure Judaism, and all know Hebrew. Yet they live in the neighbourhood of Mecca, the chief seat of Mahometanism, and their nuniber is stated to be sixty thousand. The account given of them by Benjamin of Tudela, in the twelfth century, (Basnage's Hist. p. 620,) has very recently been confirmed by Mr. Wolff; and, as he witnessed, and heard from an intrepid • Rechabite cavalier,' there is not wanting a man to stand up as a son of Rechab.

CHAPTER VIII.

The Seven Churches of Asia.

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BRIEF and incomplete as has been the summary view, given in the foregoing pages, of the Evidence of Prophecy, yet do not the joint clearness of the prophecies themselves, and the profusion of precise facts which show their literal fulfilment, bid defiance to the most subtle sceptic to forge or feign the shadow of a just reason to prove how they could all have been spoken, except by inspiration of God? The sure word of prophecy has indeed unfolded many a desolation which has come upon the earth ; but while it thus reveals the operation, in some of its bearings, of the mystery of iniquity,' it forms, itself, a part of the ' mystery of godliness:' and it is no less the testimony of Jesus, because it shows, as far as earthly ruins can reveal, the progress and the issue of ihe dominion of 'other lords' over the hearts of the children of men. The sins of men have caused, and the cruelty of men has effected, the dire desolations which the word of God foretold. Signs and tokens of His judgments there indeed have been, yet they are never to be found but where iniquity first prevailed. And though all other warnings were to fail, the sight of His past judgments, and the sounding of those that are to come, might teach the unrepenting and unconverted sinner to give heed to the

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threatenings of His word, and to the terro. s of the Lord, and to try his ways and turn unto God, while space for repentance may be found, ere, as death leaves him, judgment shall find him. And may not the desolations which God has wrought upon the earth, and that accredit his word, wherein life and immortality are brought to light, teach the man whose God is the world, to cease to account it worthy of his worship and of his love, and to abjure that • covetousness, which is idolatry,' till the idol of mammon, in the temple within, shall fall, as fell the image of Dagon before the ark of the Lord in which the testimony was kept ?

But naming, as millions do, the name of Christ, without departing from iniquity, there is another warning voice that may come closely to them all. And it is not only from the desolate regions where heathens dwelt, which show how holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; but also from the ruins of some of the cities where churches were formed by apostles, and where the religion of Jesus once existed in its purity, that all may learn to know that God is no respecter of persons, and that He will by no means clear the guilty. 'He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.'

What church could rightfully claim, or ever seek, a higher title than that which is given in scripture to the seven churches of Asia, the angels of which were the seven stars in the right hand of Him, who is the first and the last-of Him

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that liveth and was dead and is alive for evermore, and that hath the keys of hell and of death; and which themselves were the seven golden candlesticks in the midst of which he walked ? And who that hath an ear to hear, may not humbly hear and greatly profit by what the Spirit said unto them. Rev. ii. and iii.

The CHURCH OF EPHESUS, after a commendation of their first works, to which they were commanded to return, were accused of having left their first love, and threatened with the removal of their candlestick out of its place, except they should repent. (ch. ii. 5.) Ephesus is situated nearly fifty miles south of Smyrna. It was the metropolis of Ionia, and a great and opulent city, and (according to Strabo) the greatest emporium of Asia Minor. It was chiefly famous for the temple of Diana, ‘ whom all Asia worshipped, which was adorned with 127 columns of Parian marble, each of a single shaft, and sixty feet high, and which formed one of the seven wunders of the world. The remains of its magnificent theatre, in which it is said that twenty thousand people could easily have been seated, are yet to be seen. (Acts xix. 29.) But a few heaps of stones, and some miserable mud cottages, occasionally tenanted by Turks, without one christian residing there,* are all the remains of ancient Ephesus.' It is, as described by different travellers, a solemn and most forlorn spot. The Epistle to the Ephesians is read throughout the world ; but there is none in Ephesus to read it

* Arundel's Visit to the Seven Churches of Asia, p. 27.

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now. They left their first love, they returned not to their first works. Their candlestick has been removed out of its place; and the great city of Ephesus is no more.

The Church OF SMYRNA was approved of as • rich,' and no judgment was denounced against it. They were warned of a tribulation of ten days, (the ten years' persecution by Dioclesian) and were enjoined to be faithful unto death, and they would receive a crown of life. (ch. ii. 8— 11.) And, unlike to the fate of the more famous city of Ephesus, Smyrna is still a large city, containing nearly one hundred thousand inhabitants, with several Greek churches; and an English and other christian ministers have resided in it. The light has indeed become dim, but the candlestick has not been wholly removed out of its place.

The CHURCH OF PERGAMOS is commended for holding fast the name of the Lord, and not denying his faith, during a time of persecution, and in the midst of a wicked city. But there were some in it who held doctrines, and did deeds, which the Lord hated. Against them He was to fight with the sword of his mouth ; and all were called to repent. But it is not said, as of Ephesus, that their candlestick would be removed out of its place. (ch. ii. 12–16.) Pergamos is situated to the north of Smyrna, at a distance of nearly sixty-four miles, and was formerly the

· metropolis of Hellespontic Mysia.' It still contains, at least, fifteen thousand inhabitants, of whom fifteen hundred are Greeks, and two

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