Given at the Mildmay Prophetic Conference in 1886.
THE portion that comes to one's mind, in reference to these meetings, is in the Second Epistle of Pet. i. 16-20: "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father, honour and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ And this voice which came from Heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation." ''Take heed;" just that word "take heed," I would say a word or two upon. We have been praying we might have the spirit of forbearance, of love. of endurance with any view of the truth of prophecy which may be expressed contrary to our own. We want to recognize our one with one another as members of the same mystical body.
Now the exhortation here, "take heed," has been much neglected. That blessed hope has been put aside too long and too generally. Let us take that injunction in connection with our blessed Lord's words in Mark xiii., where we have the expression, four times over, "take heed”----
"Take heed what men shall do to you; or, as in Luke viii., "Take heed how ye hear."
"Take heed ye be not deceived."
"Take heed; I have foretold you all things."
So that the Lord Himself would have our attention drawn to the subject, and He adds at the end of the chapter----
"Take heed; watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is.''
Take heed; the Son of Man has taken His journey, but He has left to every man his work. And as in Peter, we are exhorted to take heed to the sure word of prophecy; so here we are exhorted to increased diligence in occupying the place assigned us "till He come." For having given every man his work and commanded the porter to watch, He adds, "Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning, lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. What I say unto you I say unto all----watch."
If we keep our eye on the Lord Jesus Christ, we will not be found sleeping. With our minds directed to Him, waiting for Him, we shall be watching for His appearing.
Let us approach the subject in the spirit of the exhortation of the apostle in Eph. iv. 1-3 "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing ·one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." May God give us the spirit of love, the spirit of forbearance, the spirit of joy in Himself, that we may go from these gatherings to reflect the light we have received from Him, making the coming of the Redeemer more attractive to the fellow members of His mystical body, the Church.