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Lord's people, abiding in brotherly love, from the time of the Reformation to the end. That any particular sect or party should be intended, is very much to be doubted. The United Brethren (the Moravians) bear a name somewhat similar to Philadelphia in its signification, but this name was probably intended to designate a much larger portion of the Church, including generally those, who, being not the mere supporters of human establishments, but sitting loose to such worldly rudiments, using them however to profit, hold the unity of faith in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life: and who, coming out of the world, and separating themselves from the ungodly, walk in blessed communion with their honoured and beloved Lord. The door of eternal life has been thrown wide open to all such as these ; the Lord himself has opened, and no man can prevail to shut it: they have the unspeakable privilege of enjoying his more immediate presence ; for he reveals himself unto them as he does not reveal himself to the world ; they see him, they know him, they rejoice in him, and they live upon him, to their great and their endless comfort. These children shall be honoured in the day when their glorious Master is made manifest, for he has promised to confess them before men, that they may receive praise from those who before despised them. The promise that they shall be kept from the great hour of temptation, reveals the awful truth, that in these last times a temptation cometh upon all the world, to try all the dwellers upon earth. And it is even so at this day! “ They cry, peace and safety.” They say, “ Where is the promise of his coming ?” They build, they plant, they marry, and they are given in marriage. And although the signs of the times denote the Lord of glory to be at hand, even at the doors, so powerful is the temptation of unbelief, that the cry of fool, idiot, methodist, enthusiast, and fanatic, issues in a moment from all quarters, against every one who endeavours to awaken their attention to the consideration of this tremendous truth. But from these things the chosen ones shall be preserved, and they shall rejoice in the day of the Lord Jesus.
The seventh and last address, which is to the Church of the Laodiceans, is couched in these words :
“ These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked : I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed ; and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear : and anoint thine eyes with
eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Rev. iii. 14---21.
The city of Laodicea was not far distant from Colosse; and it will be seen by Coloss. iv. 13, 16, that there was also a flourishing church in that city in the apostolic times. The judgments here denounced, have been literally fulfilled upon Laodicea; for the city has been totally destroyed; and even its very ruins are deserted, and become a mere receptacle for wild beasts. The type represents the gospel church of the last day-the time of the judgment of the nations, as the word imports; which church, at Messiah’s coming, must necessarily pass away, to give place to a better dispensation. Awful, indeed, is the language, in which the Holy Ghost describes the spiritual condition of that church. They, even of the true seed, are neither bot. nor cold. And is it not so at the present day? Are not many of the Lord's dear children well inclined to support the pretensions of Popery, upon false notions.of liberality? Are not many of them living in part to the world, and in part only to the Lord-lukewarm in doctrine, lukewarm in
profession, lukewarm in principle, lukewarm in practice ; maintaining the truth with an inạifference most lamentable; esteeming themselves to have attained, and as having need of nothing; wise in their own conceit; puffed up with fancied graces ; seeking a holiness in the flesh ; denying many precious truths ; and speaking evil of those, who are more spirituallyminded than themselves? To such (and it may be feared the number is great and increasing) the exhortation is here given, to buy the true gold of the gospel, that they may be rich indeed ; and to anoint their eyes with eye salve, that they may see more clearly, and that they may no longer stumble, like blind men, upon the dark mountains of unbelief, speaking unkindly of those who are led to prefer the light. The near approach of Messiah is declared, in express terms, in the prophecy now under consideration; and the chastening of those who are his, is the peculiar dispensation of the time. The reason is doubtless this, that they may be made partakers of his holiness; and that being separated from fleshly and worldly rudiments, they may be kept waiting and prepared for their Lord. Ordained, not to pass through death, but to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air : (1 Thes. iv. 13–17.) it is peculiarly important that their walk should be such as becometh dear children, cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and giving no
occasion to the adversary: for the Lord cometh, to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in them that believe; and there is no truth plainly insisted upon throughout the Sacred Volume, than that, at his coming, they, and they only, who shall be found walking worthy of him, will be allowed to escape the judgments which shall then come upon the earth. But the Lord speaketh "peace unto his people ;” and “it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be delivered, for in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."
In thus considering these types, we may trace the spiritual progress of the gospel church of Christ, through the seven great periods of her warfare, from "the first to the second advent. The
The accuracy with which the types adapt themselves to the passing events of each age, and to the condition of the church in each age, is sufficient to mark their signification; and it is found, as in those of the Old Testament, that the names assist the explanation : in both Testaments, indeed, names are prophetical representations of what must assuredly come to pass.
It has been observed by the learned Bishop Newton, that if the map of Asia Minor is inspected, it will be found that the seven