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mention, and we cannot close with anything more blessed :—It renders more lovely to us the precious character of our God and Father.
It sets forth the exuberance of His love in its most gracious aspect. He might have given us the least glory, and the boon would have been infinite: or He might have given us infinite glory, without any act on our part in connexion with it. Instead of that, He gives all glory in infinite grace, and yet at the same time rewards all duty as in infinite righteousness. He even puts His reward on the ground of remembering favours : and thus, instead of every act being obligatory and compulsory, gives room for spontaneous and cheerful service. “Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power ?” With what you have, you may in one sense do as you like: He has nowhere said, “Give me so much," much less, “all of your property:" for He loveth a cheerful giver; but if in the warmth of your affection, and the devotedness of your heart, you throw all at His feet, you shall find it through His mercy in that day, when the very cup of cold water shall appear not to have been spilt upon the ground. Be not prejudiced, then, against the doctrine of degrees in glory, but meditate on it and make use of it. Let the redemption of Jesus be increasingly
precious: for to Him you owe all—and in Hini you receive all—the coming glory. Let His example, also, be increasingly precious, for the nearer you can approach to that, in holiness, in love, in devotedness, in suffering, the fuller your cup of glory, the brighter and better your crown. Be not, therefore, weary in well-doing; for, in due season, you shall reap, if you faint not. You shall take your place in His kingdom, rich in the clusters of your well-earned fruit, and clothed in the glory of your full reward: while, still amidst it all, the chorus of your resurrection-song shall be, “ Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name be the praise for ever, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth's sake : Amen.”
THE FUTURE PERSONAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST
BY THE REV. E. LILLINGSTON, B.A., RURAL DEAN, AND PERPETUAL CURATE OF ALL SAINTS', DERBY.
ZECHARIAH II. 10.
“ Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion : for, lo, I
come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.”
In entering upon the consideration of the subject which these words present to our view, it may be well to remind you of a well-known, but at the same time most important principle, with reference to the reception of the truths of revelation generally, and one which also bears particularly on those parts of the Divine testimony which relate to events still future ; and it is this, to ascertain, as far as possible, what God has been
pleased to reveal; and on this, to rest our faith and to exercise our hope, without for a moment attempting to weigh the probabilities, or possibilities, which our finite judgment might suggest; so that even though to us, there should be apparent contradictions in different statements in the inspired volume ; yet they are to be received by us in humble faith, with the simplicity of children who, conscious of their own ignorance and inferiority, believe implicitly what their parents say, expecting, as they grow in years, understanding, and knowledge, to see the agreement of things apparently opposed. “What saith the Lord ?" is our great and legitimate inquiry, the rest we must leave " to Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. i. 11), and “who doeth according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth : and none can stay his hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou?" (Dan. iv. 35,) assured that what we know not now we shall know hereafter.
I have been led to make these remarks, because they seem to bear so forcibly upon all the general arguments which are brought against the Premillennial Advent of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and his personal reign upon the earth. Is it said, How can Christ come with all his
saints, if sinners are to be converted after His appearing? Or, again, is it inquired, How can Christ exercise his saving offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, while reigning personally upon the earth? Or, again, is it asked, How can there be risen saints with glorified bodies upon the earth, while others are still in mortal flesh? Or, again, is it argued, that it would be derogatory to the dignity of Christ, to descend from heaven, and to reign upon earth? To these, and similar objections, we reply, “ What saith the Lord ?” and if the Scriptures clearly state the points just alluded to, and if they be established, not merely by some isolated passages, but by the general testimony and distinct declaration of the inspired writers, then, into what do all such objections resolve themselves but into this ?-we cannot see how these events can take place, and therefore we do not believe that they will ever occur. Now, surely, we must see that this is putting human reason and judgment in opposition to revelation : it is striving to bring Scripture down to our faith (or rather, I might say, to our unbelief), instead of seeking to have our faith raised, to lay hold of all that is revealed.
Bearing, then, this point in mind, that the exercise of faith is, to receive all that is contained