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children of Israel only that were preserved from the plague of frogs, so now in these last days it is God's spiritual Israel that shall be preserved from unclean spirits, that, like frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast. Hence we never hear of a poor sinner who has felt his need of Jesus, and who has been brought by the Spirit of God to a saving knowledge of Divine grace, going over to Romanism or other forms of error. No; Rome's ranks are being increased from the multitude of professors who have a name to live, and yet are dead; and it is marvellous what such will believe. Men of intelligence and sense upon every other point, yet led easily to receive the most foolish vagaries, because made to assume a religious garb. We can only account for it, in the fact that they must be “ given over to believe a lie." And further, among the teachers of error in the present day, we are told that the Atheists in London are engaged in attempts to imitate or parody the forms of Christianity. Infants are being baptised into the Atheistic body, forms for ceremonies at burials and marriages are being circulated by their leaders, and an attempt is being made to form a Sabbath-school of little Atheists. O my God, when shall the end of these things be? Surely Thou canst not much longer stay Thy wrath against such enemies of Thy beloved Son.
Well, to our mind these things all plainly point to the approach of the end. And, then, the last signs of the times that our space will allow us to draw attention to, are
IV. THE SOLEMN WARNINGS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE
in fulfilment of the words of our Lord --" And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." And are not the news of every week bearing witness to this; and can we forget the famine of late years in Ireland and in Lancashire, and the pestilences in the form of cholera among the people, and disease among the cattle? It has been vain work to try and trace these things to secondary causes ; we may depend upon it, God's hand has been therein, and should be acknowledged. And then
EARTHQUAKES IN. DIVERS PLACES.” And is it not so? In our boyish days we would hear of Mount Vesuvius and Mount Etna having opened new craters and poured their lava streams over cultivated land, and, folding our arms in a supposed security, we thought, “Ah! we are safe enough from all that sort of thing." But now, not merely do we receive accounts that the West Indies have been shaken by a tremendous convulsion-Peru, the Sandwich Islands, and California and many other parts of the world—but, here, in our supposed snug little island, we can scarcely take up a paper without reading accounts of shocks of earthquakes having been unmistakably felt, and we cannot tell how soon it might be God's will to rend the crust of our hitherto highlyfavoured land and reduce to fragments our boasted works of man's ingenuity. Certainly, nationally, we are doing enough to cause God to pour out His wrath upon us, but for the sake of the few righteous that are therein we pray before Him that it may not be so.
But it must be plain to all who will observe that we are, in a remarkable way, witnessing the fulfilment of this prophecy- ." There shall be earthquakes in divers places ;" as one has truly observed, “Our poor mother
earth is assuredly in trouble, something is sadly wrong with her, she labours and groans under her pains and seems as if she would almost burst her stony heart in her throes.”
She is in trouble, and are we not driven to the belief that her trouble arises from the fact that God is offended with the people upon her surface who are sinning against Him and doing wickedly?
Well now, beloved, are not these things so? Is not Popery making rapid strides in these days ? Is there not a great falling away from the simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus? are not false teachers swarming our land, and solemn warnings constantly occurring that tell us that the end draweth near? Are we mistaken in our judgment? or do these facts commend themselves to your hearts, drawn, as they are not, from man's imagination, but from God's revelation ? If we are right, remember the words of our blessed Lord, " When these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh."
We know it may be said, "Ah, but there are many things yet to be fulfilled before the end comes, which must take many years to accomplish.” For instance, our Lord said, “And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be published in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.” We reply, Some run away with the silly idea that all the world are to be converted before the coming of Christ; but this is an imagination of man's brain, and not in accordance with the teaching of God's word; but that the Gospel is to be published in all the world for a witness is clearly predicted. Now, this seems to be the work which our missionaries, under God, are accomplishing to a certain extent, but this is but a slow process, and cannot our Lord, by some other means, much more rapid in its operation, and suitable to the spirit of the age, accomplish the fulfilment of His purpose ? Are not changes in these days taking place with remarkable rapidity ? and that some such means will be taken by Him seems to agree with the statement in the Revelation, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." Mark, it was an angel that was to preach, and that angel was to fly. But whether our Lord very soon bursts from His chamber in the skies upon us, or whether He tarrieth for a few years longer, the Christian's position is plain, namely, to live in the daily preparation for their beloved One's return.
In anticipation of this glorious event, they might take the following as a motto for their guidance, drawn, as it is, from the injunctions of the Scriptures :
WORK.' Watch.—“For of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels in heaven, but my Father only; watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.” Wait.—“All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
Walk.—“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be, in all holy conversation and godliness.” "See that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, redeeming the time because
the days are evil.” Alas! how painful it is to see "heirs of glory' led away by the frivolities of the age.
Work.-Not for salvation. This was accomplished solely and entirely by our Saviour on the cross; but live warning others—testifying of a precious Christ-spreading His name and fame; in this way 66 work while it is called day, for the night cometh wherein no man can work.” Yes, “the night cometh,” but believer in the Lord Jesus; think of the glorious and eternal day it will usher in-a morning without clouds—an entrance “within the veil,” beholding Jesus as He is, no more to be separated. Come, Christian, look up and sing with us the sweet notes of one of God's watchers :“I know joy-bells are ringing
With hope of a summer clime: High in the upper air;
Saint unto saint repeating,
How love makes life sublime.
I believe that Satan rages
Because his time is brief; A wreath for His bride to wear.
One thought my fear assuages, I see that the clouds are swooping
Though every fiend engages,
Cheered by his fiendish chief:
And desperate battle rages-
Jesus will bring relief.
My weary soul is watching,
That before the sun they flee. My ear each sound is catching,
Like swallows in autumn-time; Mine eye, though dimmed with
tears, And I know that their hearts are Glimpses of joy is snatching, beating
For the day of glory nears.” Beloved, may the Lord keep us " looking" for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and honour, power and dominion, now and for evermore. Amen.
G. O. Ilford.
ON A CHRISTIAN'S DEATH.
From sorrow and suffering free,
What a heaven must thine be to thee!
The moment the signal was given,
And soar'd with swift pinion to heaven.
No more in earth's desert to roam,
(Continued from Vol. III., page 254.) Sept. 4, 1868.-"Poor and needy.” How much in the Gospel of the Lord Jesu Christ for such! Never did I desire truly Gospel food till the blessed Spirit created an appetite in my soul for it. I have been trying to ask the Lord to deliver me in every respect from the power of Satan. I fear of late that I have often been assailed with Satan's injections into my mind, causing me to come to wrong conclusions about the dealings of God with my soul. The enemy works on my carnal reason, and then for a while faith in God is not in exercise. I feel that the things of God, and the way in which He deals with me, cannot be rightly seen and acquiesced in by carnally reasoning about them. To believe spiritually in the Lord is more than I can do of myself. The faith the Lord gives, He increases; but it is usually by trying it. How many enemies there are in me to true and living faith! How many friends to carnal reason! What reason calls crooked, faith calls straight; what reason calls right, faith calls wrong; what reason calls wrong, faith calls right; what reason says is against me, faith says is for me. There is falsehood in the former; there is truth in the latter. Where one person walks by faith, how many walk by sight! “He that believeth shall be saved.” What, then, will become of him who reasons, and believes not? (See Mark xvi. 16.)
Sept. 6.-Have been trying to-day to examine myself. It was suggested to my mind to do it according to Bible law, Bible Gospel, Bible invitations, Bible petitions, Bible precepts, and Bible promises. Examining myself according to Bible law, which says, "Thou shalt have no other gods but me," I find I am guilty, inasmuch as I have preferred the world—the pleasures of sin," self, and many other evil things, such as my own ways and heart-idols—to the Lord. Again, the law says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,” &c. But this I have not done, but hated Him. Then the law curses all who continue not in all things written therein to do them. Therefore, as I have not continued to do all the law requires, I am by nature under the curse, and am "condemned by the law as a transgressor."
Then, if I examine myself according to Bible Gospel, which speaks of a Saviour, of justification by His blood and righteousness, of pardon, peace, life, salvation, mercy, and grace, as being “a joyful sound,” I cannot say but that in many times past Bible Gospel has been glad tidings to my soul, inasmuch as it has just suited my case, bringing everything I need freely, “without money and without price."
Then, if I examine myself according to Bible invitations, such as, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters;" “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden ;” “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth ;” “Follow me;" and such like; bless the Lord that there has been in my heart, through the Holy Spirit, a response to these invitations. There has been a coming to Jesus through the drawings of the Father; there has been, while suffering from the bite or sting of the "old serpent,” a looking to Jesus for healing and salvation; there has been felt a soul following hard after the Lord.
Then, if I examine myself according to Bible petitions or prayers, there has been the cry, as Jabez, for a blessing “indeed”—cries similar to David's for mercy, pardon, healing, help, deliverance, protection, guiding; and such as Peter's, "Lord, save me;' the publican's, “God, be merciful
, to me, a sinner;" and the poor woman's cry, “ Lord, help me."
Then, if I examine myself according to Bible precepts, such as, “ Love one another, ,” “Do this in remembrance of me," there have been times when with truth I could feelingly say, “We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren;" and when my soul has felt it good to meet around the Lord's table with His people to observe Christ's ordinance in remembrance of Him.
Then, if I examine myself by Bible promises of strength, clothing, feeding, peace, the Lord's presence, blessing, cleansing, directing, delivering, upholding, &c., there have been seasons when the precious promises have been applied by the Holy Spirit with power to my soul, healing and comforting it, and making me feel, that though poor and needy, yet the Lord thought upon me.
If I examine myself, “the old man,” the only conclusion I can come to is, “Behold, I am vile;" and as Paul, “In me (that is, in my flesh] dwelleth no good thing." So that I cannot come to the same conclusion about myself as Pilate did when he examined Jesus, “I find no fault in Him;" but quite the contrary.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith.” Well, this is the faith I am in, and the faith in me—that in myself I am undone; but in the Lord Jesus Christ I am, I trust, through the doings of the Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity, saved for ever, being “saved with an everlasting salvation.” “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name.”
Sept. 10.-Oh, what a foolish creature I am! It seems as if I shall never be anything here but a changeable, frail, vain, and sinful worm of the earth. Worms spend a good deal of time in the dark, under ground. So it is with me. Let a man call the worms out of their holes, their hidingplaces, and will they obey him ? No. What will bring them out ? Why, the Lord's sending the gentle dew from heaven; this will bring them out of their dark holes. So with my poor soul. I feel there is nothing can bring it out of dark underground places, holes and corners, but the blessed Spirit's dew sent down from heaven, and gently distilling on my soul. Lord, let it come now, Oh for the dew, the gentle refreshing dew. I can't make it come, O Lord. Let Thy doctrine drop on my soul as the rain, and distil as the dew. When doctrine comes in this way to my soul, I then feel it is not what is called “dry doctrine,” but “wholesome." How precious the promise, “ Fear not, thou worm Jacob; I will help thee." I have sometimes thought of the fact that no one likes to give house-room to worms. People will find house-room for cats and dogs, birds, &c., but none to poor worms. But such is the great love and condescension of the Lord Jesus Christ, that He graciously protects and finds room in His affections for poor sinful worms, even those who are made to feel so by the teaching of His Holy Spirit.
Sept. 25.-How near I feel sin to be! How far off salvation! Yet the presence of sin does not, thank God, prevent me desiring the salvation of the Lord, to whom it belongs. Sin belongs to me, "salvation belongeth to the Lord.". The blessed Spirit has shown me my sin, and I hope to be shown God's salvation. Sin is my burden, yet the dear