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and in only one other connexion is it translated fulfilled, but is a word which signifies “ progression "—" accomplishing”" not completed;" and here signifies that before that age or gen. eration should pass away, the chain of events spoken of should commence their accomplishment.
Once more: the expression may signify, that the generation living when the last mentioned signs, viz., those connected with the sun, moon, stars, &c., should begin, should not pass away till the whole of the signs there spoken of were fulfilled and Christ should come. Those signs commenced in 1780, and are now all fulfilled. What are we to look for next? The Lord Jesus Christ “ in the clouds of heaven."
Verse 36. This verse is supposed to form another objection: and we not unfrequently hear persons say, "Christ has said no man shall EVER know anything about his coming." And we are told that those of us who pretend to know anything about the time, “ give Christ the lie."
We will see presently who it is “ gives the lie" to inspiration, we or our opponents. Our Lord says, "Of that day and hour knoweth [in the present time; not 'never shall know '] no man," &c. Of what day and hour? Clearly the day and hour when the Son of Man will be revealed. Well, I know of no man that pretends to know the day or hour of Christ's appeari am sure I do not. “ But, do you not believe the world will come to an end in 1843?". Certainly I do: but I believe also that our Lord will appear before the end of the world; for there, must be some time after the Bridegroom comes for the wicked to cry for mercy and find none, before the final conflagration of the world. Hence Christ may appear now any hour I know not how soon.
But again: let the objector be true to his principles; do not let him flinch when he is tried. He says, "Our Lord's words authorize him in saying that no man shall ever know anything about Christ's appearing till he actually comes as the lightning." Very well; now let him carry out his principles, and he proves that Christ himself will never know anything about it till he finds himself here!! For our Lord says, Mark xiii. 32, “ Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels in heaven, NEITHER THE SON." If the objector is now afraid to follow out his principles, let him acknowledge he is mistaken in his interpretation of the words “ no man knoweth;" for if it is true that no man ever shall know, it is equally true that the “ Son" never shall know. Nor can he escape from the difficulty by saying, "Christ did not know it as man," for it is the "Son of Man" that is to appear “ in the clouds of heaven;" and I ask again, if he is never to know anything about the time of his appearing, till he finds himself here? The fact is, the time was given of the end of the world in the book of Daniel, but Daniel was commanded, chap. xii. 4,“ shut up the words, and seal the book, to the time of the end;" and at the 9th verse Daniel is told, “ The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end;" and then it is added, verse 10th, “ Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand: but the wise shall understand"—when? In "the time of the end." That time has come. And besides, our Saviour says, "When ye see all these things, [viz., the signs he had given them,] KNOW that it is near, at the doors." Now, who gives - Christ the lie," we, who have seen all the signs, and hence believe our Lord's words, and “ know it is at the door," or our opponents, who declare we can know nothing about it? Let the candid judge.
Verses 37—39. " But as the days of Noe were, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, inarrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be."
Who “ knew not?" Not Noe; for he was “ warned of God" 120 years before, and being "moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house," because he believed God. But why did not the wicked world know it? Not because they had not been warned, but because they did not believe. Noe had warned them, and done it practically too, by building the ark; but they doubtless counted him a fanatic, a fool, a madmancalled his notions all “ moonshine," and a "humbug:" and the philosophers, doubtless, reasoned wisely, at least in their own estimation, and made it clear as the sun that there was not water enough in the world to " cover the tops of the highest mountains ;'' and Noe was an "ignoramus," or he would not talk such“ nonsense;" and then they would laugh at him when the time had passed by. Thus men were deluded the flood came and took them all away and they knew it not till it was upon them; so will it be when Christ is revealed. Alas! deluded mortals, you will be undone, and you will not know it till it is too late for help. Your teachers cannot save you in that day! No, they themselves will cry in vain, “ Lord, Lord, open unto us;" but they, too, cry too late. All is lost—and their eyes are open only to see their ruin, and the ruin of their deluded hearers. That awful day will surely come—laugh and scoff as you may--it will overtake unbelievers as a thief.
Verses 40 and 41: “ Then two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken and the other left. Two shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken and the other left."
Luke xvii. 34—36, it is said, "I tell you in that night there shall be two in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left."
Thus it appears it will be night in some parts of the earth, and day in others. There, a pious wife, who has endured the scoffs of a wicked husband, will be taken, and he will be left; or a pious husband will be taken and a persecuting wife will be left:—there, a pious brother is taken and a wicked sister left -or a pious sister is taken and a scoffing brother left:--there, a godly parent, whose prayers, counsels, and entreaties have all been disregarded, is taken, and the wicked child left—or pious children are taken and ungodly parents left:—there, the little babes,—for they will go up in that day,—are taken from their wicked parents' arms, and those parents are left!—left!! LEFT!!! Left to what? Not to the next cars, for the last train, that will ever run for glory, has gone—gone—GONE
for ever!!! Left to what?—Left to the burning day: “ For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." Yea, “ The slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground." See Mal. iv. 1, and Jer. xxv. 33. “ Left!" O ye who are sensible that you are not prepared for that burning day, why will you persist in a cold neglect of the call of God? "Prepare to meet thy God." If you persist in sin, remember the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it, Isa. xxxiii. 12: "The people shall be as the burnings of lime; as thorns cut up shall they be BURNED IN THE FIRE."
Verses 42 to 44. These verses are an exhortation to duty--to “ watch"—to "be ready." Some apply this to “ Christ's coining at death." But the Scriptures nowhere speak of Christ's coming at death. They speak only of two comings of the Lord Jesus; once to seek and save that which was lost, by dying for us and rising again; and,“ to them that look for him shall he appear the SECOND time without sin [a sin offering] unto salvation." They teach us to look for no other coming of Christ than this. For this, we are exhorted to watch and be ready.
Verses 44 to 47. In thiese verses the happiness of the faithful servant is set forth. He is a “ wise servant"—understands his Lord's words. [See Daniel xii. 10: “ The wise shall understand." When? In "the time of the end," verse 9.] He not only understands, but imparts knowledge; “ gives meat in due season;" warns the people; "hears the word at" God's "mouth, and warns them from" him. "Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing." He will be gloriously rewarded: “ Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods."
Verses 48 and 49. Here the evil servant is described. First: He "says in his heart [dare not at first speak it out,] "My Lord delayeth his coming "—" Where is the proinise of his coming!"—" Can't come yet” — "Must be a gathering of the Jews first "—" Must be a temporal or spiritual millennium” _" Can't come these thousand years yet." At last he speaks out; he says: “ No scholar in the world can believe that the world is coming to an end next April. It is utterly impossible! If it does, the ALMIGHTY has told the greatest LIES that were ever uttered!" [See Dr. Brownlee's sermon, as reported in the New York Herald, November.] What next? « Begin to sinite fellow-servants;" call them “ fools," "fanatics;" they are preaching - moonshine," "humbug," &c. Then what? “ Eat and drink with the drunken." Perhaps not literally. They have too much respect for their characters to do that; but they furnish just such moral food as wicked, ungodly men love; and they feed on it themselves. The wicked crowd to hear such ministers, and come away extolling them. A multitude of examples might be given of this; one must suffice: A minister in Massachusetts, by the name of S. B. H- , who had once been a temperance lecturer, was invited to preach against Christ's coming and the end of the world at hand, by some Universalists. After he got through, they were so well pleased, one of them gave him a ten dollar bill; another, after praising the minister, said to him, “ I have no money to give, but if you will go to the tavern with me, I will treat you just as long as YOU CAN DRINK." Thus these evil servants furnish food for wicked, rum-drinking men, and as truly eat and drink with the drunken as though they sipped the intoxicating bowl. You never heard of a sinner awakened by a sermon preached against the doctrine of Christ's coming and the end of the world in 1843. But many who had been aroused from their sinful slumbers by the “ terror of the Lord's coming, have been lulled to sleep again by these evil servants, and will most likely sleep on till the thunders of the last trump will awake thein to see that they have “ believed a lie that they might be damned," because they received "not the truth" that they might be saved, "but had pleasure in unrighteousness." See 2 Thess. ii. 10—12.
Verses 50 and 51. These verses contain the doom of those evil servants who furnish food for wicked men, and partake of it themselves. "The Lord of that servant shall come in a
day WHEN HE LOOKETH NOT FOR HIM, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his PORTION with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Now, reader, this is perhaps the last address I shall ever give you. I feel that our Lord standeth at the door. Beyond a doubt, in my mind, the next great prophetic event is the sounding of the last trumpet, the coming of Christ to raise his sleeping saints, change his living ones, o melt the elements with fervent heat, the earth also;" and burn up the works therein. That will be "the DAY OF JUDGMENT AND PERDITION OF UNGODLY MEN!”