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And, by the same word, the present heavens and eart are reserved for the Day of Judgment, and perdition ungodly men. It is not that the Lord is slack concern ing the promise of His return, but that He is still exer cising, grace, not wishing any to perish, but that al should come to repentance. And a thousand years ar to Him but as a day, and a day as a thousand year But the day of the Lord shall come, in which all thing will pass away, and the elements shall melt with ferven heat, and all that is on the earth shall be consumed Solemn consideration for the children of God, to main tain them in complete separation from evil, and froin al that is seen, looking for and hasting the day in which the heavens shall be dissolved, and the elements shal melt with fervent heat. Everything on which the hope of the flesh are founded shall disappear for ever.
Nevertheless, there shall be new heavens and a nev earth, in which righteousness shall dwell. It is not her said, “shall reign," which would be the thousand year of the Lord's dominion; here it is the eternal state, in which the government, that has brought all things int order, will terminate, and unhindered blessing will flor from God, the kingdom being given up to God th Father.
It is in following out the ways of God in governmen that the apostle carries them on to the eternal state, i which the promise will be finally accomplished. Th Millennium itself was the restitution, of which the pre phets had spoken; and, morally, the heavens and 'th earth had been changed by the imprisonment of Sata and the reign of Christ. See Isa. Ixv. 17, 18, Jerusaler having been made a rejoicing. But, materially, th dissolution of the elements was necessary for the renew of all things.
It will be observed, that the Spirit does not speak her of the coming of Christ, except to say that it will t scoffed at in the last days. He speaks of the day God, in contrast with the trust of unbelievers in th stability of the material things of creation, which do pends, as the apostle shows, on the word of God. Any in that day, everything on which unbelievers rested, an will rest, shall be dissolved and pass away. This will not be at the commencement of the day, but at its close; and here we are free to reckon this day, according to the apostle's word, as a thousand years, or whatever length of period the Lord shall see fit.
So solemn a dissolution of all that the flesh rests upon should lead us so to walk as to be found of the Lord, when He comes to introduce that day, in peace, and blameless; accounting that the apparent delay is only the Lord's grace, exercised for the salvation of souls. We may well wait, if God makes use of this time to rescue souls from judgment, by bringing them to the knowledge of Himself, and saving them with an everlasting salvation. This, the apostle says, had been taught by Paul, who wrote to them (the Hebrew believers) of these things, as he did also in his other epistles.
It is interesting to see that Peter, who had been openly rebuked before all by Paul, introduces him here with entire affection. He notices that Paul's epistles contained an exalted doctrine, which they who were unstable, and not taught of God, perverted. For Peter, in fact, does not follow Paul in the field on which the latter had entered. This, however, does not prevent his speaking of Paul's writings as forming a part of the Seriptares; “as also the other scriptures," he says. This is an important testimony; which, moreover, gives the sanne character to the writings of one who is able to bestow this title on the writings of another.
Let Christians, then, be watchful, and not allow themselves to be seduced by the error of the wicked; but strive to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory, both now and for ever, Amen!
WORDS IN SEASON.
EVERYTHING is beautiful in its season, and truth healthful to the soul, when ministered in season and i measure.
New wine must be put into new bottles. The Lor had many things to say to His disciples, while He wa with them; but they could not bear them then, and therefore, He did not say them. When the Spirit o Truth came, they received those things in His teaching together with a power to bear them.
All this may show us, how the fitting time and pro portion are to be observed, when the ministry of th word of God to the soul is waited on.
And this suggest to me the remembrance of Apollos at Corinth; for it ha long been my impression, that his ministry there di mischief.
His qualities as a teacher suited the Grecian or Corinthia taste, and the Corinthian saints were attracted. Pau was among them a little before Apollos, and Apollos eloquence seems to have fascinated the natural, huma mind of those Grecians; so that Paul, “rude in speech, came to be somewhat undervalued. Not that there wa any wrong purpose in Apollos. But he may have gon to Corinth a little hastily, or without due advisement a before God; for we read simply," that he was dispose to pass into Achaia.” It was a disposition of his min that led him to Corinth; and then we may gather, fror Paul's 1st epistle to the Corinthians, that he had capt vated the minds of many there, and that there ensue division and mischief (Acts xviii. xix.).
Thus, with right desires, we may be very unwise i conducting our ministry. With the Lord, however, a a minister (as I need not say), all was perfect; and it i refreshing to mark such perfection, as it is all Hi glories.
The link between Him and His disciples, in the days of His sojourn among them, was that which personal sitraction formed. They had no such knowledge of Him through the light and understanding of scripture, as would have bound them to Him. He had, the rather, to rebuke them again and again, for making many a mistake through ignorance of it. Their gathering round His
empty sepulchre, among other circumstances, witDesses this to us. Had they been acquainted with the word, they would not have been there; for they would have known that He was not there. But they were there, just because they clung to Himself by strong personal attraction, and just because they knew not the scripture, that He must rise from the dead.
The remembrance of Him was more to them than Converse with all beside. The dead body of her Lord was much more to the heart of Mary Magdalene than a crowd of living associates; yea, than the angelic glories of Heaven, as John xx. will tell us. How might such a loving heart breathe out that beautiful epitaph: “O quam minus cum aliis versari, quam tui meminisse.” And when we ponder this for a moment — when we think of God forming a personal link between Himself and us, what
grace shines before us! what a secret is disclosed ! The Lord would have our hearts to know Him as an object; and surely, by that, He lets us know that He has Es as His objects, and what crowning grace is that!
But though, during the days of His abiding with them, the disciples were thus kept by Him through force of personal attraction, yet, when He had risen from the dead, and rejoined them, “ He opened their understandings, that they might understand the Scripture;” and then He gave them (as we speak) a lecture upon scripture, saying to them, “ Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” This was the forming of a new link between Him and them. Personal attractions, as we said, have already formed one; Scripture, and the knowledge of it, was now to form another.
What beautiful and well-ordered husbandry, under th ministry of Christ, this is! All was in season; the earl and the latter rain doing their service to the soul.
We may also notice the way of the Spirit's wisdom a Teacher in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
In the day of their illumination, the Hebrew sain were willing to take joyfully the spoiling of their good They were happy under a fresh apprehension of Chris and joy, as it always does, proved to be their strengt But with all this, they were not established in truth, an thus were shaken, as the whole of the Epistle lets y learn; and the apostle has to bring truth to them, the they might have whereby to stand, and wherewith ti meet the seduction that was threatening thein. The had been already happy and confident the truth h brings was that which gave them title to be so; for th Spirit, through him, would lay firmer foundations tha the joy which waited on the day of illumination; the was beginning to betray its insufficiency.
And so with the Galatians.
They were so happy; their “blessedness” had bee such, that they would have given their eyes to th apostle. But in time, like the Hebrews, they also wei shaken. Nay, more; they were “ bewitched," seduce from the truth of the Gospel, though their first estal had been so full of blessedness; and the apostle has feed them with truth, tell them afresh of the grace an liberty of the Gospel, as though the whole work had 1 begin again.
Surely all this has a voice in our ears. It tells us thi the Spirit of God does not commit the saints to me “illumination” or “ blessedness." Such conditions soul have to be confirmed by truth and instruction. Th infant blossom of the soul was beautiful; but it had t be sustained by further husbandry, ripened into strengt and fruitfulness.
Now all this,'I surely judge, has a voice in the ear this day, through which we are passing. Many, man souls are
now freshly awakened under a ministr that attracts, rather than instructs. The joy of “illu mination" and of blessedness" is abroad. But all th