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REASON AND SCRIPTURE.
It will be recollected that our first volume con-
Upon this solemn summons, rolling from the
angelic trombone through the infinite space of heaven's eternal arch, its loftiest legions wing their rapid flight unto the general standard; for in this blessed region all list under the same banner-all serve with the same leader. Celestial charioteers, myriads of high, strong, mighty angels, princedoms, authorities, dominions, powers,
, and highest potentates of highest heavens, form the resistless ranks of that almighty armament, over which the glorious Captain of all captains, the Captain of salvation, is vested sole commander. The shout of royalty bursts in ten thousand thunders forth from out this mightiest host. The Lord Jehovah is in the midst of them, as in the holy place of Sinai. And if the ministration of condemnation was made glorious, how much more will the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory! (2 Cor. iii. 9.) How glorious will be the universal jubilee! But imagination cannot soar unto the glorious glory of the King of glory—unto the glorious glory of manifested glory, blazing resplendent in the holiest of holies. Millions of high archangels' trumpets sounding at once with an exceeding loudness through heaven's majestic squadrons the awful signal for prompt readiness to attend their supreme Leader-sounding in long reverberated peals of still augmenting loudness-waxing still louder and louder still, at the command of that tremendous voice which sounds like many waters; instant precipitate with their almighty head, on paradisaic plains. Here, peacefully abiding in their fragrant bowers, myriads of happy spirits await in joyful hope the
consummation of their promised bliss : in charge of blessed cherubic bands, who, camped on neighbouring hills, alternate vigils keep.
But, though the portentous destination of this terrific armament bodes nothing less than crushing of creation into its native atoms, it here gives no alarm. The serene inhabitants of this tranquil realm are stranded where no fear can ever enter; these formidable warriors here assume no hostile aspect; beautiful upon these holy mountains are the feet of those who come with joyful tidings of great joy-the joyful tidings of salvation nigh; that publish peace, that bring good tidings of good, that publish salvation, that say unto Zion, Thy God reigneth. (Isaiah lii. 7.) “ Benignant are their looks—their salutation peace.”
The Captain of all captains, sovereign King and Judge, inspireth here no terror; He sustains many characters, as well as many crowns; He is no stranger to the happy shades reposing on these meads; they view in him their merciful High Priest, their faithful good chief Shepherd; they know his blessed voice: It is I, be not afraid. I am the resurrection, I eternal life. I go to awake my friends from out the sleep of death. You, gentle spirits, I re-consign to the same watchful guardians, who bore you in their arms unto this peaceful clime, downward to reconvey, ere I thrust in my sickle ; (Rev. xiv. 15;) “ for the harvest is fully ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in
the valley of decision : for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel iii. 13, 14.) “But the righteous shall live for evermore ; their reward is with the Lord, the care of them is with the Most High; therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord's hand; for with his right hand shall He cover them, and with his arm shall He
(Wisdom of Solomon, v. 15, 16.) Those that have been sowed in dishonour, I now will raise in glory; those that have sowed in tears, will now soon reap in joy. The common laws of nature, by me upheld no longer, now begin to fail. Adhesion, and cohesion, attraction, gravitation, magnetic and electric influence, forces centripetal, centrifugal, now cease to perform their functions, and anarchy prevails; the powers that are in heaven are consequently shaken. The hearts of the dismayed inhabitants in yonder nether heavens, failing them for fear, already see terrific signs of swift approaching judgment. Suns darkened ; suns from their centres flung ; (for the stars shall fall from heaven;) worlds lost in all directions; the eccentric comets flying in wild disorder, add ample fuel to the spreading conflagration.
For this tremendous day that burneth like an oven, will be revealed by fire. (1 Cor. iii. 13.) And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in worlds beneath ; all elements let loose, the sea and waves loud roaring shall rage against the unwise; floods cruelly shall drown them. (Wisdom of Solomon, v. 22.) Blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke precede this notable great day. (Acts ii. 19, 20.)
Evil and adulterous generations long have sought for signs; they now will see great are my signs ; mighty are my wonders. (Daniel iv. 3.) Soon will these lower heavens, rolled up like as a scroll, depart with a great noise : elements melting with fervent heat; the heavens themselves on fire; the globes that once in them revolved, will now be all burnt up, these hosts be all destroyed. For all these hosts shall be dissolved, and fall as leaves from vines, and figs from trees. (Isa. xxxiv. 4; 2 Pet. iii. 10.) The mouth of the Lord has spoken it. And my sword shall be bathed in heaven ; and it shall come down upon the people of my curse to judgment. (Isa. xxxiv. 5.) I have taken my jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature my weapon to revenge me on my enemies. I have put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet. I have taken holiness for my invincible shield ; and with my severe wrath have I sharpened my sword. (Wisdom of Solomon, v. 17-20.) Soon will the mourning tribes beneath behold the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. But who will abide this day? and who will stand when I appear? For I am like a refiner's fire, and like to fullers’ soap. And I shall sit as a refiner, and purifier of silver, that I may offer unto the Lord offerings in righteousness. And I will come near to them to judgment : and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and