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Lord Himself using this language, “I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the People there was none with Me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury: and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the Day of Vengeance is in mine heart, and the
redeemed is In like manner, in the forty-sixth chapter of Jeremiah, we meet with the fol. lowing passage:
- For this is the Day of the Lord God of Hosts, a Day of Vengeance, that He may avenge Him of his adversaries." And so again in the fifty-first chapter, “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul : be not cut off in her iniquity: for this is the time of the Lord's Vengeance ; He will render unto her a recompense.
To adduce more passages on this subject would be superfluous. Not only the Prophetical Writings, but the Scriptures throughout confirm the same truth. They all with one voice speak of an appointed Period, by whatever name it may be called, whether as in the text, “ the Day of Vengeance, or as in other places, “the Day of Wrath," the “ Day of Recompense,
,” the 6. Day of Indignation,” the “ Day of the Lord;" in which the Almighty will arise to Judgement, and will avenge Himself upon His enemies. Such a Period, Christ, accord.
ing to the text, was anointed to proclaim. Such a period He did proclaim. He distinctly predicted two events, in which these denunciations of Judgement would be awefully accomplished. One was the Destruction of Jerusalem and the overthrow of the Jewish Church and State. For a season the Jews would hear the joyful sound of the Jubilee Trumpet. The acceptable year of the Lord would be proclaimed, the Gospel would be preached to them. But when, by their persevering rejection of Christ and of His offered blessings, they should have filled up the measure of their sin, then wrath would come upon them to the uttermost. “ These,” says Christ speaking of this time of unprecedented calamities, “these are the Days of Vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” * The other event, which Christ predicted, was that consummation of wrath which at the last days are to be poured out on the corrupt and apostate part of the Christian Church; which, having long abused and at length having rejected the Grace of the Gospel, is to be visited with the most tremendous Judgements. This will, indeed, be a Day of Vengeance, and was proclaimed by Christ in a subsequent part of the same prophecy, when He declares that the times of the Gentiles being fulfilled, 66 there shall
* Luke, xxi. 22.
be signs in the sun and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity ; the sea, and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth : for the powers of Heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
These are two instances in which Christ proclaimed “ the Day of Vengeance of our God ;” and thus so far complied with the prediction in the text. But these instances form not the only accomplishment of the Prophecy. It was not in proclaiming these • periods of vengeance only, that Christ would have fulfilled the spiritual office assigned to Him. There was another period to be proclaimed by Him: a period, which may most emphatically be styled “ the Day of Vengeance of our God:” a period, in comparison with which the temporal calamities which have been inflicted on the Jewish, or are to be inflicted on the Christian Apostate Church, are objects of no consideration : a period, the consequences of which will be so tremendously aweful, that the greatest extremities of suffering in this world, will appear to have been only types and shadows of them. And what is this period, but the
Day of Judgement,” “ the Day of the
« Ask then and
shall have, that your joy may be full.” But, it may be, that
fears arise from another quarter.
You not only feel that your ignorance is great : but you are also conscious that it is far greater than it ought to be.
You are sensible that it has been much increased by your own past neglect. You have failed to make use of the means vouchsafed to you. Had you duly improved them, you had not now been so uninformed, You have let slip many opportunities of procuring religious wisdom and can you now dare to hope that God will bestow it on you? Yes, you may dare to hope it.
“ He giveth liberally and upbraideth not." He does not reproach any with their ignorance or past neglect. He mercifully overlooks and forgets their sin. How kind and gentle was our Blessed Saviour in teaching his Disciples! How patiently did he bear with their dulness and mistakes ! How graciously did He condescend often to repeat the same instructions ! We find Him upbraiding the people, for their obstinacy and impenitence, in having seen His miracles without being convinced by them. We find Him upbraiding his Disciples for their unbelief and hardness of heart, in not receiving the testimony of those, who had seen Him after he was risen from the dead. But we never find Him
upbraiding any humble, serious Enquirer with his ignorance, or dulness. To such He was always mild and condescending. He received them kindly, and gave them the most gracious encouragement. Lay aside then your fears. Though ignorant, though heretofore negligent, you will not meet with reproaches. Go boldly to the throne of grace. Pray for wisdom : lift up your voice for understanding. You may condemn yourself; but God will not condemn you. You may be filled with self-upbraidings, but God is a God of mercy. He upbraideth not.
But after every thing which has been said, you may still have some secret grounds of distrust and fear. You may still think that there is reason to doubt whether God will hear your prayers.
You may yet fear that He will not give you Wisdom. But your doubts and fears are certainly groundless. For in answer to every objection which you can urge, it is expressly said, “ It shall be given him."
Now the promise standeth sure. What God hath promised, He will most certainly perform.
“ If any man lack Wisdom, let him ask of God and it shall be given him.” No imperfection or infirmity in the manner of asking, no previous guilt in him who asks, no secret decree of God shall prevent him from receiving this blessing. It shall be given him.” For as our