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the world, but “the Spirit which is of God; that they might know the things that are freely given to them of God;" that is, “the things God hath prepared for them that love him;" but which “the natural man receiveth not....for they are foolishness unto him.” We thus find that the doctrine of “repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead *, and of eternal judgment,” are not expressed by the term meat ; for Paul calls these the “first principles" of the Gospel ; and those requiring them, he says, “have need of milk, and not of strong meat." (Heb. v.) For every one that useth milk hath no experience in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe; but strong meat belongeth to them that are perfect. From all this it is evident that the "meat in due season" is not ordinary doctrine, nor such as can be received by those who dwell continually, as their only privilege, on the above-enumerated" word of the beginning of Christ (margin). It is the constant preaching and the continual hearing of the same thing over and over and over again, which has brought the church into its present sickly state, so that it cannot be fed with meat, but only with milk : and, lying in this helpless, weak condition, it will eventually fall a prey to those enemies by whom it is perpetually assaulted. To this agrees the word of God in Isaiah xxviii. : - Whom shall he teach knowledge, and whom shall he make to understand doctrine ? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts :" but as for those who would not hear of “the rest,” to“ cause the weary to rest,” nor of the refreshing,the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept ; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might

; go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

Those who have, with their Lord,“ suffered, being tempted,” will know that a word in season from the armoury of God has strengthened their drooping spirits, and at length put the enemy to flight. Just so the church at large has had its periods of peculiar necessity, requiring some suitable doctrine in the day of danger, wherewith she might overcome the many devices of her wily foe. This Christ has ever given by the hands of his chosen servants; and this reproduction or revival of Scripture truth in the day of need is, in a measure, meat in due seasonnourishment to invigorate the church and nerve her for the conflict. Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and others, have each performed


* It is worthy of remark, that the doctrine of the resurrection is here called a first principle, or “milk;" while elsewhere it is styled a mystery, or strong meat : because here is expressed the doctrine of the general resurrection, and of eternal judgment, which all admit; but elsewhere, as a mystery, it is the doctrine of the first resurrection and a partial judgment, at the coming of the Lord, which men weak in the faith cannot receive.

his several office; and the word they delivered accomplished that whereunto it was sent. It was the value of these great truths which caused them to be idolized, and held by different sects to the almost total exclusion of other glorious portions of that word, given as a whole for the perfecting of the saints. Thus, with many, justification by faith is the all-absorbing doctrine, and they neither know nor care to inquire what is revealed concerning the resurrection of the body at the coming of the Lord. With others, predestination and election hold the only place; and they know as little about the redemption of all mankind by the work of Christ, as if no such doctrine were in the Scripture, or worthy of reception : whilst a large party talk only of good works, and man's ability to come to Christ, not remembering that it is written “ No man can come to me, except the Father, which hatlı sent me, draw him.” Now the danger particularly pointed out to which the church would be exposed in the last days (the time especially referred to in the passage under consideration), is sleepiness, or inattention to her duty of watching for her Lord ; and the injunction to “ watch” is so frequently and earnestly pressed upon all, not only to teach us the importance of thus watching, but to warn us against the unwearied efforts which it might be expected the adversary would use to draw men from this all-important duty. This, alas ! he has accomplished ; and we are now enabled to perceive the device by which he has effected his purpose : he has warily approached through the natural fear and pride of the human heart, and beguiled men from “ looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” by persuading them that they need but be watching for their own death, on the one hand; and on the other, even in the face of almost universal apostasy, that their zealous exertions will bring about a blessed millennium; the personal appearance of Christ not being at all necessary to the completeness of that state, any more than the presence of those departed saints, to whom the promises appertain as much as they do unto us or our children. Therefore it is they appropriate to themselves all those glorious predictions which belong alone to Christ, who shall himself establish his kingdom in righteousness at his appearing, when “ the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Seeing this to be the case, and that men have forgotten “ that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night;” but are saying “Peace and safety,” when sudden destruction is about to come upon them; what is the remedy provided by the Lord; what the word of power to rouse the church from her slumber, and bring forth a chosen band to fight the good fight of faith?



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but the cry

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh!what but the words « The Lord is at hand?what but the sound of “ the everlasting Gospel...Fear God, and give glory to him ; for the hour of his judgment is come?In this will be shewn “who then is a faithful and wise servant;" for this is the real " meat in due season,” To prepare the household for “the great and terrible day of the Lord;” and teach men that “ unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.” We obtain a further light on this truth from the parallel passage in Mark xiii., where, after warning us to watch and pray because we know not when the time is, it continues; “ For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey; who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded THE PORTER to watch.Here, one styled the porter is particularly required to watch, in order that he might give the household timely notice “ when the Master of the house cometh ;” and whose peculiar duty must therefore be to study the signs of his being nigh. Why is he to watch ? Because it is clearly intimated that the household would be drowsy, ignorant of his approach, and require rousing to receive him ;

lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.” And although no excuse will avail those who are then unprepared-as Christ says, " What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch '--yet he who vo

I luntarily takes upon himself the office of “ porter, steward,” is more especially answerable for the faithful discharge of the duty of a watchman: and stands in that responsible situation, that if the Lord of that servant " come in a day when he looketh not for him,” he “ will cut him off, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”

That there may remain no doubt respecting the correctness of this interpretation given to the phrase "meat in due season," we will now refer to the charge brought against him whose conduct we may conclude is represented as the very reverse of what it should be: and we find the first thing pourtrayed in the character of the "evil servant” is, saying in his heart “ My Lord delayeth his coming :" whence we infer, that the words of wisdom would be, ' My Lord doth not delay his coming;' as it is just to suppose that the conduct of the faithful servant should be, in all respects, contrary to that attributed to the evil servant as the cause of his condemnation. If it be said that the condemnation is in consequence of his “smiting his fellow-servants, I reply, Granting this, what condition of the heart led to this outrageous act? This is the important question ; for "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts... pride...Foolishness,” &c.; and he who knew what was in man hath declared that from the heart of the evil servant proceeded the idea “ my Lord delayeth his coming;" and the act of smiting was only an open manifes


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tation of the man. But, further, the words are, “But if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming, &c. the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him," &c. Here is instruction, if men will receive it! let them take warning: let them say, with Paul, “ Our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:" let them “ watch" the signs of his approach, and lift up their voices to give the household notice : let them dispense the “meat in due season;" for “ blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.

There are so many denying the coming of the Saviour, and men are so self-righteous and so angry when told of their errors, that the plain production of even the sacred words of Scripture is sure to give offence, and incur the heavy displeasure of the religious world. If men were really zealous for the truth, would this be so ? If they equally loved every word of God, would they feel vexed when told that the leading mark of apostasy in the last days is the denial of Christ's coming? For this is also clearly and distinctly affirmed by Peter, who, when he would stir up the minds of those he addressed, by way of remembrance, that they might be “mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy Prophets, and of the commandment of the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour," says, knowing this FIRST, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming ?" This is the charge, that men shall not only be putting off the time, but even questioning the existence of any promise or sign of his coming. Now let every man judge for himself

, “ by the word of the Lord,” in which class he is standing ; whether looking for Christ, or slighting the promise of his coming. But we are told, seriously told, that all religious men are expecting the coming of Christ, only they differ regarding the time, by putting it off to a distant period ! Strange, that they do not read their condemnation; for just so said the evil servant, “My Lord delayeth his coming :" and they may rest assured, that to deny the promise or to postpone the period are equally culpable, being equally deprecated in Scripture, and equally a manifestation of the predominant spirit of the last days. Then let men go boldly forth and preach “ the everlasting Gospel unto them that dwell on the earth;" I mean, the words of the everlasting Gospel mentioned in Rev. xiv. 7, prior to the destruction of Babylon and the harvest at the end of the age: let them give unto the household meat in due season ”-faithful tidings of the coming of the Son of Man—that they may wait "in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and HASTING Unto the coming of the day of God :" and let them cry, with

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Peter, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent, that ye may be found of him in peace. ”

There are two other places where “ meat in due season” is mentioned ; and as the language of our blessed Lord was ever in accordance with Scripture, it will be as well to refer to those passages where it occurs: these are, in Psa. civ. and Psa. cxlv. The latter Psalm appears a song of praise peculiarly suited to those who would rejoice in Christ The King: “ I will extol thee, my God, O King ;" for those who see him to be literally a King as well as really God. In ver. 5 it says, " Thy saints

. shall bless thee : they shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.Here is the church described speaking of his kingdom, talking of his power, and testifying thereof to the sons of men-as I conceive, for a witness against them. The next two verses mention the durability of the kingdom, and of despised ones being under the care of the Lord : then follows (ver. 15), “ The eyes of all thy people wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season. In strict reference to the context, I consider “ meat in due season” here specifies the comfort and consolation of knowing the kingdom of heaven to be at hand ; and the following verse says, " Thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest

the desire of every living thing :” or, as it is in Rom. viii. 19, The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God:” for the destruction of the rule of Satan, and the kingdom of Christ and his saints, has been the one desire since the

Fall. This Psalm concludes as we might expect : “ The Lord preserveth all them that love him; but all the wicked will he destroy." The civth Psalm, under choice imagery, appears to shew forth the purpose of God from the beginning to the end of time. To ver. 5. the creation is set forth : vers. 6—9, the deluge, and the subsiding of the waters;

overspreading of iniquity, and its destruction: vers. 10–14, the call of Abraham, and the election of the Jews as a people : ver. 15, the full glory of the kingdom of Israel : vers. 16–18, the building of the temple, and the subsequent results : vers. 19-21, the decline of the Jewish church, and spread of Satan's power: ver. 22, the advent of Christ, and (23) preaching of the Gospel : vers. 24,25, the Gentile dispensation, with (26) its great apostasy: after the exhibition of which it is said, “ These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season." These words are almost the same as in Psalm cxlv.

15, and

with 2 Thess. ii., that the day of Christ should not come “ except there come a falling away first :” so, after the Leviathan is here exhibited, those that wait upon God receive“ meat in due season,” tidings of the kingdom. Ver. 28, the church receives


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