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Saviour. It is thus, moreover, that times of the restitution of all things," Christ himself speaks, “ Behold I do not, we apprehend, refer to the stand at the door and knock, if any final act of Jesus delivering up the man hear my voice and open the kingdom to the Father ; but they door, I will come into him, and sup denote the whole period of his present with him, and he with me,” Rev. iii. reign. The phrase is similar in im20, most gracious words, which just port to the expression, “ The time of mean, that when the waiting, en- the reformation,” Heb. ix. 10; and treating Saviour is received, he im. “ The dispensation of the fulness of parts the blessings of his intimate times,” in which all things are friendship and communion to the gathered together in Christ, Epli. i. heart, and this is called a coming of 10. Thus viewed, the word renChrist into the soul. Again, as dered “ until” signifies “ during,” deillustrative of the same figurative noting, as it often does, the continumode of expression, intimating the ance of time up to a certain period. abiding fellowship of the Lord with See Heb. iii, 13; Acts xxiii. 1, &e. his disciples, he declares to them on The meaning, then, of the passage his departure from earth, “ I will not is, that “the heavens must receive leave you comfortless, I will come Jesus Christ-he must dwell in unto you.” He explains what he heaven during the times of the means by this coming, when he says restoring of all things, which God “ The Comforter, who is the Holy hath spoken by the mouth of his Ghost, he dwelleth with you, and holy prophets since the world began;" shall be in you.” He that keepeth that is, of all things included in his my commandments, I will love him, revealed purposes and promises, as and manifest myself unto him.” This to be restored. What, then, it is asked, is the promised coming of Jesus is the bearing of this on the promises, Christ. Where Jesus' Spirit is sent which immediately precede? We in the truth believed, there he him- answer, this important truth is stated self is sent; and where Jesus' sal- by the apostle to prevent the Jews vation comes, there he himself comes from imagining that the sending of to abide in the life and love of that Jesus Christ, just promised, is a unspeakable gift for ever. Thus visible or personal coming of the considered, there is a close parallel Lord. They clung with the greatest between the promise here revealed as tenacity to this long cherished notion a persuasion to repentance, and that that Messiah would reign personally unfolded in Peter's Pentecostal ser- among them; Peter has declared,
Between all the other parts Jesus the Christ will be sent to them of these two remarkable discourses, if they repent and believe the gospel. we cannot fail to discern a striking But lest they should, under the influresemblance; and thus too in the ence of that deeply-rooted false idea, promise, as there, so here, there is suppose that this would be a visible an assurance given of the Spirit's coming to reign among them as an being imparted, to bless believing earthly prince, the apostle here cuts souls with revival and rest, and of off all ground for such a carnal hope the Lord's being ready to aid, and to by affirming, “Christ must dwell in enter all hearts that call on him. heaven during the times of the res
The truth of these remarks derives, titution of all things.” if we mistake not, strong confirmation This
passage, as has been intimated from the manifest connexion thus in the outset, has been often appealed suggested between the part of the to by millenarians in support of their passage just considered, and that theory that the Lord Jesus will which immediately follows. “The
“ The return and reign personally on earth
during the thousand years of the is declared, that the Saviour must Church's future prosperity. But dwell in heaven during these times, viewed thus, in their true light, the what is this but confirming the truth words of the apostle present a clear most surely believed among us, that and irresistible refutation of that our exalted Lord shall abide personhypothesis. In confirmation of this, ally in heaven, until the hour when we cannot but observe that the words all that are in their graves—the just were spoken in the presence of the and the unjust-shall hear his voice, first expectants of a personal reign of and come forth, and the whole family the Redeemer on earth ; they were of God shall be gathered into the addressed to those, indeed, who were family habitation in the better land. the fathers of millenarianism in all We conclude, by remarking, how past and modern times—to those who desirable it is to enjoy these promised cherished this notion in substance, times of refreshing from the presence before they renounced Judaism, and of the Lord. There are no weariness many of whom it is to be lamented, and wounds, like those felt by souls brought it with them, when they en- separated from God, the fountain of tered the Christian Church. Where life, and often consumed by the terrors then, in scripture, should we expect of an accusing conscience. What a to find this theory supported by clear blessing for such to hear the great proof, if not by such a preacher, Peacemaker ushering in times of joy addressing such hearers ?
and rest, by that welcome word, far from confirmation, the hypothesis " Thus saith the Lord, thy warfare of a personal reign of our Lord on is accomplished, thine iniquity is earth during the millenium receives pardoned, -I am pacified towards its decided confutation ; for just in thee for all that thou hast done.” order to prevent any from supposing This happy privilege, then, is enjoyed, that the promised coming of Christ is when, as a penitent suppliant for a visible appearance in body, the mercy, any sinner calls on the name apostle declares in this sense, the of the Lord. “It is written he shall heavens must retain him during the deliver the needy when he crieth; times of restitution of all things. And the poor also, and him that hath no if it is affirmed that thus long Jesus helper.” And this refreshing comes must dwell in heaven, what could not only in the hour of conversion at give a more forcible refutation to the first; but when spiritual backsliding notion of a personal advent to reign and decay render repentance, and here during the thousand years ? turning to the Lord anew, needful, This clear and powerful declaration this same blessing of revival and rest cannot be divested of its force by any is as available as it is essential for misty and unsupported reasonings, the soul's comfort and life. Such is regarding a future dispensation of the exhortation addressed to backthe kingdom of grace on earth. The sliding Israel, “O Israel, return unto “all things " promised are not re- the Lord, for thou hast fallen by thine stored until every chosen soul is iniquity;” and this is the promise, brought into the family of God, and meeting and encouraging that penithe whole affections of every believer tent return, from a sinful way, “I raised supremely to the Father. The will be as the dew to Israel, he shall times of the restitution of all things grow as the lily and cast forth his during which the Lord dwells above, roots as Lebanon," A great and run their courses and are not fulfilled growing multitude of sinners, thus till the whole of the redeemed are flying to Christ as clouds, and as perfected and meet for the inheritance doves to their windows, and of saints of the saints in light. Since, then, it returning to dwell under and be revived by his shadow-this shall on him, as he cometh the second time constitute pre-eminently times of re- to judge the quick and the dead, if freshing, for which the Church looks you do not now in this day of saland waits and prays. And, reader, vation, welcome him as your
Saviour write this truth on your memory, that in reconciling you to God. Hear, it is the accepting of Jesus, as here then, this word of gospel exhortation promised to be sent into your heart and promise, as binding, and applithrough the opened door of faith, cable, and free to you, as it was to that gives effect and welcome to all those who heard it eighteen hundred his other manifestations. Of what years ago, “Repent and be converted avail is it for you that he came in for the blotting of your sins, that the flesh to bear our sins if you are times of refreshing may come from not yet washed from your iniquities the presence of the Lord, and that he through trust in his blood ? What may send Jesus Christ, before preached lasting advantage do you derive from unto you, whom the heaven must the Lord's coming near you with his receive during the times of the restioffered righteousness and salvation, tution of all things, which God hath in the gospel, if up to this hour you spoken by the mouth of all his holy have refused to be gathered to his prophets since the world began.” fold by his saving grace. And will
W. P. it not be awful indeed for you to look
FRENCH PROTESTANT MARTYRS.
The following pages contain sketches and win the crown of martyrdom, of some of the most remarkable cir- like those of whom we speak; but cumstances attending the persecution unless you have the spirit of a martyr, , of the French and Italian Protestants
you cannot be a true Christian. at the close of the seventeenth cen- May the following memorials lead tury. Without entering minutely in- you
you to inquire, “Am I also ready to to the ecclesiastical history of that resign whatever the service of my period, it is our wish rather to enlist God and Saviour demands at my the feelings of the reader in favour hands ?” And may the consideration of the sufferers of those times, and of of the subject be blessed alike to the the holy cause they espoused, by de- reader and the writer. tailed accounts of a few of the most If, as many believe, a day of pecustriking instances of faith and con- liar trial to the members of the stancy.
Church of Christ, by whatever name Such records of the past may distinguished, is at hand, such an exteach us to appreciate more justly amination of the foundation of our our own privileges, while we behold hope is especially needful. Whether the privations of others; and it will it be that persecution, because of surely tend to elevate our views of the word,” is again to arise, or some the love and mercy of God in Jesus other heavy chastisement is to fall on Christ, when we see how the weak- Christendom, “ Are we ready?” is a ness of man is made strength in the question all would do well to ask day of trial, through the might of themselves. But whether the signs Him who can cause the wrath of man of the times do really indicate the to praise him.
near approach of the tribulation foreReader, you may not be called on told by the voice of prophecy or not, to endure & great fight of afflictions, we are at least certain, that seasons
of temptation and days of calamity, ing for themselves and their families, will come upon us all. Are we ready and from holding any office whatever to meet them ?
which might give them weight and Let it be remembered, none can influence in society! It was soon stand in the day of battle who have found that flight to a foreign land was not put on the whole armour of God, the only earthly refuge for the sufferso beautifully and forcibly described But here, again, difficulties by the apostle : and all who are so beset them wherever they turned. arrayed shall overcome, because the By a most perverse cruelty, while strength of Omnipotence is on their they were deprived of the means of side. However long and fearful the living in their own country, they conflict may be, they will be enabled
were not permitted to seek an alleviato end the warfare with this trium- tion of their misery by retiring to a phant song of praise, “ Thanks be to foreign land. The greatest advanGod who giveth us the victory, tage which the most fortunate could through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
hope to obtain, was the mournful The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. privilege of becoming fugitives and ex-The Protestants of France had iles. Though multitudes were unable long suffered from the oppressive con- to succeed in removing themselves duct of the government under which and their families from their native they lived. Louis XIV., and the country, many overcame every obofficers of his court, were filled with stacle. Various parts of the contienmity against them, an enmity fed nent were open to them, and our and fostered by the Jesuits, who had own favoured island offered them a obtained almost unbounded influ- shelter from the fury of the oppressor.
Half a million of the most virtuous From time to time, during more than and industrious subjects of the King twenty years, vexatious regulations of France withdrew to other counand tyrannical laws were devised, tries, which they enriched by the arts tending to restrict their religious and and manufactures they carried with political liberty. These oppressions them. had been gradually gaining ground, Of the miseries occasioned by the until, in the year 1685, the king was proceedings against the members of prevailed on to sign the Revocation the Reformed Church, we can form of the Edict of Nantes. This edict very little idea from a cursory view was the glorious law of Henry IV., of the subject. All the ministers by which he secured to the Protest- were commanded to leave the kingdom ants in his dominions, the free exer- within fifteen days after the act of cise of their religion, and a full share Revocation was published, unless in the privileges due to them as sub- they would abjure their religion, and jects.
conform to Popery. Living, as we do, in peace and se- With regard to the children of the curity, so far removed from the times reformed, all private schools for their when the fury of religious persecu
instruction were to be suppressed ; tion desolated the land, we and it was commanded, that those scarcely imagine the distress and who should hereafter be born, should alarm of the Protestants when this be baptized by the curés of the parunrighteous decree was passed. Not ishes in which their parents resided, only was the exercise of their religion, and should afterwards be educated in in public and in private, forbidden, but the Roman Catholic faith. To such they were interdicted from following Protestants as were out of the kingany trade or profession, by which dom at the time the decree was passthey might procure the means of liv- ed, the king allowed a delay of four
months, to give them time to return from them under false pretences; and and resume possession of their pro- they were left to proceed, with their perty. If they did not return within wives and their little ones, to a foreign that time, the whole was to be confis- land, with all the miseries of penury cated. At the same time, it was for- added to their other distresses. There bidden to any of the reformed to leave were multitudes, of course, who found the country, except the ministers, it impossible to save any thing. In with their wives, and such of their the distracted state of the country, it children as were under seven years was, in many instances, perfectly
useless to attempt to collect debts, or The situation of these ministers to convert houses or land into money was most distressing. Unless they in the few days allowed them to preabjured their faith, they had to choose pare for flight; and this was the only between exile or the galleys. If they time in which they could doit, as, after resolved to leave the country, they that period, whatever property remust separate themselves from all mained, was seized by the commiswho were dearest to them, except sioners and confiscated without mercy. their wives, and children of the speci- That which above all affected the fied age.
All above this age, together sincere and pious among the miniswith friends, relatives, and servants, ters, and at first decided them to rewere forbidden to be included in main in France at every risk, was their passports.
Even when they the consideration, that if they went arrived at the coast with the scanty into exile, they would be as sheptrain permitted, they were often ob- herds abandoning their flocks to the liged to submit to further delays ; wolf at the very moment when their while their oppressors demanded
assistance was most peculiarly necesproof that the persons they brought
sary to them.
They said within with them were really their wives and themselves, "Jesus Christ, the good their children, and that the children shepherd of his people, will one day were really under the age of seven. expect at our hand an account of the Far from all who knew them, it was flocks confided to our care. How often impossible to bring the proof shall we appear before him to render required ; and, in default of it, many up our accounts with joy, if we dewere arrested and thrown into prison. sert them in the hour of need ?" Some found it impossible, with their They determined to remain, and by utmost efforts, to arrange their af- every possible means seek to console fairs, and reach the coast in fifteen and strengthen their persecuted peodays, and these were seized and im- ple: pouring the wine and oil of heaprisoned, on the ground of having venly comfort into the wounded exceeded the time allowed for their hearts of the sufferers, strengthening departure.
the weak, confirming the feeble, and They were often required to estab- striving to build up all in their most lish their right to every species of holy faith, which the adversaries were property which they carried with attempting by every means to unthem, whether books, money, or other dermine. The fierce storm of persethings, and to prove that they did cution was abroad in the land ; and - not belong in any way to the churches the Roman church was set forth as they had served, as every thing of the only covert from the tempest. this sort reverted to the crown. Thus, Prosperity was to be the lot of those not only was the time consumed by who entered her portals; adversity, vexàtious delays, but the little they severe, and pitiless, was decreed had been able to save from the wreck to those who refused her offers. of their property, was often wrested Too many felt themselves unable to