THE LORD'S JEWELS.
BY H. GRATTAN GUINNESS.
The Christian Church as a witness for God in the world has failed, like the Jewish nation, and become apostate. There is a little flock, there is a true Church, but its members are scattered abroad and almost invisible in the great Babylon; they are the seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal, they are the called and chosen and faithful who follow the Lamb, they are those who have turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven; they are those who have not the form only, but the power of godliness, those who keep themselves unspotted from the world, and overcome through faith. They are found in every section of the professing Church, and the Lord knoweth those that are his--"They shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in the day when I make up my jewels."
But for the rest--for the vast professing body which bears the name of Christ, it has not continued in the goodness of God, it has turned his grace into licentiousness, its sentence is gone forth, it must be "cut off." The long suffering of God has been abundantly manifested, it is right that his holy severity should be again revealed. The professing Church has long been unworthy of the sacred name it bears, and of the high and holy responsibility of being God's witness on earth, which belongs to it; it is time it should cease to hold the position it has so fearfully forfeited. Instead of being the instrument of spreading the truth of the Gospel among men, it is the worst hindrance to their attaining that knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ whom he has sent, in which life eternal lies. Like the Pharisees of old it stands as the great obstruction, neither entering itself into the kingdom, nor suffering those who would, to enter in. The name of God is blasphemed among the nations, by reason of the corruption of the professing church; the light that should have been in it, is become darkness, and great is that darkness! The church is confounded with the world, and the true saints are strangers in its society; It is no longer the pillar and ground of the truth, it is the hotbed of heresy, false doctrine, and corruption of every kind. What contrast can be more complete, than that between the church as Christ intended it to be, and the church as it now exists in the world! An end must come to all this! Not only does the Word of God predict it, not only does our own sense of righteousness demand it, but the solemn analogies of history distinctly intimate it. Let the undeniable fact that past apostasies brought down the judgment they deserved, forewarn men what must be the end of the existing apostasy of the professing people of God. Babylon must come in remembrance before God, who will give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath, for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.