*Pastor’s Note: I was looking through my Bible software on the subject of our “Redemption Draws Near” and I became intrigued with the subject by this past great Scottish preacher and thought it would be a great addition and one my readers might enjoy and be blessed by. Now think of this; he died in 1800 and yet he was able to preach on a subject that is alive to us today! Again, it is longer than my usual posting for these great Preachers, but I have broken the article into four parts. Again, God bless you for your patience, but be blessed! – Pastor Roland
Hugh Blair (April 7, 1718 – December 27, 1800) was a Scottish minister of religion, author and rhetorician, considered one of the first great theorists of written discourse. He was part of prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Society at Edinburgh (FRSE). Blair was born in Edinburgh into an educated Presbyterian family. His father was John Blair, an Edinburgh merchant. He was great great-grandson of Rev. Robert Blair of St Andrews, Scotland.
As a minister of the Church of Scotland, and occupant of the Chair of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres at the University of Edinburgh, Blair’s teachings had a great impact in both the spiritual and the secular realms. Best known for Sermons, a five volume endorsement of practical Christian morality, and Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, a prescriptive guide on composition, Blair was a valuable part of the Scottish Enlightenment.
On the Dissolution of the World
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” – 2 Peter 3:10
I know it will occur, that the prospect of that day cannot be expected to have much influence on the present age. The events of which I have treated, must needs, it will be said, belong to some future race of men. Many prophecies yet remain to be fulfilled. Many preparatory events must take place, before the word is ripe for final judgment. -Whether this be the case or not, none of us with certainty know.-But allow me to remind you, that to each of us, an event is approaching, and not far distant, which shall prove of the same effect, with the coming of the day of the Lord. The day of death is, to every individual, the same as the day of the dissolution of the world. The sun may continue to shine; but to them who are laid in the grave, his light is finally extinguished. The world may remain active, busy, and noisy; but to them, all is silence. The voice which gives the mandate, Return again to your dust, is the same with the sound of the last trumpet. Death fixes the doom of everyone, finally and irrevocably. This surely is an event which none of us can remove in our thoughts to a remote age. To-morrow, to-day, the fatal mandate may be issued. Watch therefore; be sober and vigilant; ye know not at what hour the Son of Man cometh.
Having now treated both of the creation and dissolution of the world, I cannot conclude, without calling your thoughts to the magnificent view, which these events give us, of the kingdom and dominion of the Almighty. With reverence we contemplate his hand in the signal dispensations of Providence among men; deciding the fate of battles; raising up, or overthrowing empires; casting down the proud, and lifting the low from the dust. But what are such occurrences to the power and wisdom, which He displays in the higher revolutions of the universe; by his word, forming, or dissolving worlds; at his pleasure, transplanting his creatures from on world to another; that he may carry on new plans of wisdom and goodness, and fill all space with the wonders of creation! Successive generations of men have arisen to possess the earth. By turns they have passed away, and gone into regions unknown. Us he hath raised up, to occupy their room. We too shall shortly disappear. But human existence never perishes. Life only changes its form, and is renewed. Creation is ever filling, but never full. When the whole intended course of the generations of men shall be finished, then, as a shepherd leads his flock from one pasture to another, so the great Creator leads forth the souls which he has made, into new and prepared abodes of life. They go from this earth to a new earth, and new heavens; and still they remove, only from one province of the divine dominion to another. Amidst all those changes of nature, the great Ruler himself remains, without variableness or shadow of turning. To him, these successive revolutions of being are but as yesterday when it is past. From his eternal throne, he beholds worlds rising and passing away; measures out, to the creatures who inhabit them, powers and faculties suited to their state; and distributes among them rewards and punishments, proportioned to their actions.-What an astonishing view do such meditations afford of the kingdom of God; infinite in its extent; everlasting in its duration; exhibiting, in every period, the reign of perfect righteousness and wisdom! Who by searching can find out God? Who can find out the Almighty to perfection? Great and marvelous are all thy works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are all thy ways, thou King of saints!