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GOD'S WITNESSES, THE EVERLASTING CONFUSION OF ALL INFIDELS, AND THE EVERLASTING COMFORT OF ALL BELIEVERS.
IT is no small token of divine love, when from divine teaching, the child of God is enabled to bless God, for what God is in himself; independent of what he hath done, and is doing, and will to all eternity do, for his church and people. Such a frame of mind can only come from God, because it leadeth to God; and manifest great grace given of the Lord. And we are warranted from scripture to say, that God is well pleased, when at any time his children from his sweet influences in their hearts, can and do "bless the Lord in all places of his dominion,” Ps. ciii. 22. The Lord takes it kind when they put their hearty amen to his glory. For so the Lord saith himself, "Whoso offereth me praise, glorifieth me," Ps. 1. 23.
But the child of God adds another sweet note to this hymn of praise, when in the contemplation of the Lord's goodness to his Israel, he celebrates the love tokens of God in his song, and saith, “the Lord taketh pleasure in his people, and beautifieth the meek with salvation." Hence the children of God in their hallelujahs are said to “sing aloud upon their beds, and the high praises of God are in their mouths," Ps. cxlix. 1, 6.
And yet higher and louder still the note of praise swells in their song, when from the same divine source they are enabled to become witnessess for God, "in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom they shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life," Phil. ii. 15, 16.
Perhaps this is among the highest dignities, to which any of God's children can be exalted during the time state of the church upon earth. And it is as distinguished as it is honourable, when the Lord makes his chosen ones to be his witnessing ones, amidst those pestilent seasons when infidels swarm like hornets in the corrupt atmosphere. (See Exodus xxxii. 26.) And beyond all doubt nothing tends to demonstrate the sovereignty of Jehovah in more striking characters, than when the Lord thus accomplisheth the purposes of his will, in producing great events by slender means, and choosing" foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty," 1 Cor. i. 27. Now this is what in the unequalled majesty of holy scripture is called "taking the wise in their own craftiness," Job v. 13. God is then said to" frustrate the tokens of the liars, and make the diviners mad. He turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish," Isa. xliv. 25.
Holy scripture abounds with instances of the kind, but perhaps in none more than in that sublime part of the word of God where the Lord is represented as coming forth to manifest his self-existence and sovereignty, distinguished from all the creature idols. Under the similitude of a tribunal of judicature, Jehovah appears as convening an assembly and demanding an audience from his creatures. Men have their courts of justice; and God will have his. And as in those transactions among men, the opening of all trials is introduced with the proclamation of Oyez! Oyez!
Oyez! where all persons interested are required to attend: the Lord of Hosts will not be outdone by his creatures in granting both time and opportunity for a fair hearing; but will both summon an auditory and command attention: yea, God will be heard and acknowledged too; for the knee that will not bow to the sceptre of his grace, shall break under the iron rod of his justice.
And the Lord himself thus makes proclamation in open court; "Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears! Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses that they may be justified, or let them hear, and say it is truth. Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen," Isa. xliii. 8-10.
Let the reader figure to himself such an assembly! Let his imagination bring before him (if the thought be not too vast for the human mind to grasp) the congregated multitude. Not a chancery of earth, but the chancery of heaven; not a court like that of Westminster, where a few hundreds or a few thousands may sometimes be crowded in together; but where millions upon millions are brought, even all the human race that ever have been, or shall be, in all ages of the world! Let the reader have his mind also deeply impressed with the awfulness of such a scene where every individual is alike interested in the event, and all waiting the solemn decision from God. A tribunal not where man is opposed to man; but where the infidel of every description and character is confronted before God. Not where human opinion hath the least avail, and where bad actions are sometimes varnished over with fair colouring; but where divine judgment becomes the only standard; where every character is fully and faithfully developed and made known; and