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knew it, being asked the question by his disciples, where Lord? told them only, “Wherefoever she body is, thither will che eagles be “ gathered together," Lukt xvii. 37. After which answer, it is too much for men to renew the queltion. As for the time when it Mall be; in vain do mon search for what the Lord has purposely kept secret, Acts i. 8. "le is not for you to know the times or the fea“ fons, which the Father has put in his own power.” The Apostle Paul, after having very plainly described the second coming of Christ, 1 Thesl
. iv, 16, 1.7. adds, (chap. v. 1, 2.) “ But of the times “ and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. " For yourfelves koow perfectly, that the day of Lord so cometh, “ as a thief in the night." Nevertheless, tome in several ages, have made very bold with the time; and several particular years, which are now paft, have been given out to the world, for the time of the end, by inen who have pried into the secrets of God. Time has proclaimed to the world their rashness and folly: and jt is likely they will be no more happy in their conjectures, whose determinate time is yet to come. Let us reft in that he cometh. God hath kept the day hid from us, that we may be every day ready for it, Matth: xxv. 13. " Watch therefore, for ye know “ neither the day nor the hour, wherein the Son ot man cometh." And let us remember, that the last day of our life will determine our state in the last day of the world: and as we die so shall we be judged.
I mall now shut up this subject, with some application of what has been faid.
Use I. Of comfort to all the saints. Here is abundance of con. folation to all who are in the face of grace. Wha ever be your Afflictions in the world, this day will make up all your losses.
Though you have lain among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold,” Pral. lxvii. 13. Though the world reproach, judge and condemn you ; the Judge will, at that day, abtolve you, and bring forth your righteousnefs as the light. The world's fools will then appear to have been the only wise men who were in it. Though the cross be heavy, you may welt bear it in expectation of the crown of righteousness, which the righteous Judge will then give you. If the world do despise you, and treat you with the utmost contempt, regard it not: the day cometh wherein you fhall fit with Christ in his chrone. Be not discouraged, by reason of manifold tempo tations; but refift the devil, in confidence of a full and complear victory; for you thall judge the tempter at last. Tho'you have had wrestling now with the body' of fin and death; yet ye fhall get all your enemies under y ur feet, ac length, and be presented faulilefs before the presence of his glory. Let not the terror of that day difpi. rit you, when you think upon it: let these who have fighted the
Judge, and continue enemies to him, and to the way of holiness, droop and hang down their heads, when they think of his coming: but lift ye up your heads, with joy, for the last day will be your best day. The Judge is your Head and Husband, your Redeemer, and your Advocate. Ye must appear before the judgment feat, but ye fhall not come into condemnation, John v. 24. His coming will not be against you, but for you. He came in the flesh, to remove the lawful impediments of the spiritual marriage, by his death, he came in the gospel to you, to espouse you to himself: he will come, at the last day, to solemnize the marriage, and take the bride home to his Father's house. Even so come, Lord Jesus.
Use II. Of terror to all unbelievers. This may serve to awaken a secure generation, a world lying in wickedness, as if they were never to be called to an account for it; and fighting the Mediator, as if he were not to judge them. Ah! how few have the lively imprefsions of the judgment to come! most men live, as if what is Taid of it, from the word, were but idle tales. The profane lives of many, speak the thoughts of it to be far from their hearts, and in very deed make a mock of it before the world, saying, in effect, Where is the promise of his coming? The hypocrisy of others, who blind the eyes of the world with a splendid profession, being in ap. pearance Christ's sheep, while they are indeed the devil's goats, is an evidence, chat the great separation of the sheep from the goats is very little laid to heart. How do many indulge themselves in fecret wickedness, of which they would be ashamed before witneffes: not considering that their most secret thoughts and actions will, at that day, be discovered, before the great congregation! how eagerly are mens hearts set on the world, as if it were to be their everlasting habitation! the solemn afsemblies, and public ordinances, wherein the Judge is upon a transaction of peace with the criminals, are undervalued: mens heart, will swim like feathers in the waters of the sanctuary, that will sink, like stones, to the bottom, in cares of this life: they will be very serious in trifles of this world, and trifle in the most serious and weighty things of another world. But O! consider the day that is approaching, in which Christ shall come to judgment; the world shall be summoned, by the found of the last trumpet, to compear before his tribunal. The Judge shall fit on his throne, and all nations thall be fisted before him; the separation shall be made betwixt the godly and the wicked, the books opened, and the dead judged out of them, one party thall be adjudged to everlasting life, and the other to everlasting fire, according to their works.
li would be a sight of admirable curiosity, if thou couldft wrap up thyself in fome dark cloud, or hide thyself in the cleft of some high rock, from whence thou mightest elpy wicked kings, princes, judges, and great ones of the earth, rising out of their marble tombs, and brought to the bar, to answer for all their cruelty, injustice,
oppression, and profanity, without any marks of distinction, but what their wickedness puts upon them: profane, unholy and unfaithful church-men, pursued with the curses of the ruined people, from their graves to the judgment-leat, and charged with the blood of fouls, to whom they gave no faithful warning: mighty men Standing trembling before the Judge, unable to recover their wonted boldness, to out-wit him with their subcilities, or defend themselves by their strength: delicate women caft forth of their graves, as abominable branches, drogged to the tribunal, to answer for their ungodly lives : che ignorant, suddenly taught in the law, to their colt; and the learned declared, before the world, fools and laborious triflers; the athieft convinced, the hypocrite unmasked; and the profane, at long-run, turned serious about his eternal ftate: secret murders, adulteries, thefts, cheats, and other works of darkness, which scorned all human search, discovered and laid open before the world, with their most minute circumstances: no regard had to the rich, no picy shewn to the poor: the scales of the world turned; oppressed and despised piety set on high ; and prosperous wickedness ac lan brought low: all, not found in Chrift, arraigned, convicted, and condemned without respect of persons, and driven from the tribunal to the pit; while chese found in him, at that day, being absolved before the world, go with him into heaven. Nay, but thou canst not fo escape. Thyself, whosoever thou art, not being in Chrift, muft bear a part in this tragical and frightful action.
Sinner, that same Lord Christ, whom thou now despisest, whom thou woundest through the sides of his messengers, and before whom thou dost prefer çhy lults, will be thy Judge. And a neglected Saviour will be a severe Judge. O! what mountain, what rock wilt thou get to fall on thee, and hide chce from the face of him that sicteth on the chrone? Thou hast now a rock within thee, a heart of adamant, fo that thou canst count the darts of the word as stubble, and laugh at the shaking of the spear : but that rock will rent, at the sight of the Judge; that hard heart will then break, and thou Malt weep and wail, when weeping and wailing will be to no purpose. Death's bands will fall off; the grave will vomit thee out; and the mountains shall skip from thee; and the rocks refuse to grind thee to powder. How will these cursed eyes abide the fight of the Judge! behoid he cometh! where is the profane swearers, who tore his wounds? The wretched worldling, now abandoned of his god? The formal hypocrite, who killed him, and betrayed him? The despiser of the gospel, who sent him away in his neffengers groaning, profaned his ordinances, and trampled under foot his precious blood? O murderer, the sain man is thy Judge: there is he whom thou didli fu maltreat; behold the neglected Lamb of God appearing as a lion against thee. How will chine lears endure the darts of his fiery looks! that rocky heart now kept out against him, shall then be blown up: that face, which refuseth to blush now, shall then gather blackness: arrows of wrath shall pierce, where arrows of conviction cannot enter now. What wilt thou answer him, when be riseth up, and chargeth thee with thy unbelief and impenitency? Wilt thou say, thou wast not warned? Conscience within thee will give thee the lie: the fecret groans and weariness of thofe, who warned thee, will witness the contrary. If a child or a fool did tell you, that your house were on fire, you would immediately run to quench it; but, in matters of eternal concern, men will first fill their hearts with prejudices against the messengers, and then cast their message behind their backs. But these lilly shifts and pretences will not avail, in the day of the Lord. How will these cursed ears, now deaf to the call of the gospel, inviting finners to come to Christ
, hear the fearful sentence, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the duvil and his angels? No sleepy hearer Mall be there: no man's heart will then wander: their hearts and eyes will then be fixed on their misery, which they will not now believe. O that we knew in this our day, the things that belong to our peace.
Lastly, Be exhorted to believe this great truth; and believe it fo as you may prepare for the judgment betimes. Set up a secret tribunal in your own breasts, and often call yourselves to an ac. count there. Make the Judge your friend in time, by closing with him in the offer of the gospel; and give all diligence, that ye may be found in Christ, at ibat day. Cast off the works of darkness, and live, as believing you are, at all times, and in all places, under the eye of your Judge, who will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. Be fruitful in good works, knowing that as ye low, ye shall reap. Study piery towards God, righteousness and charity towards men. Lay up in store plenty of works of charity and mercy, towards them who are in distress, especially such as are of the houshold of faith, that they may be produced that day as evidences, that ye belong to Chrift. Shut not up your bowels of mercy, now, towards the needy; left ye, then, find no mercy. Take heed, that in all your works, ye be single and sincere; aiming, in them all, at the glory of your Lord, a testimony of your love to him, and obedience to his command. Leave it to hypocrites, who have their reward, to proclaim every man his own goodr.css, and to found a trumpet, when they do their alms. It is a base and unchristian fpirit, which cannot nave fatisfaction in a good work, unless it be exposed to the view of others: it is utterly unworthy : of one, who believes that the last trumpet shall call together the
whole world; before whom the Judge himself fall publifh works truly good, how secretly soever ihey were done. Live in a believe ing expectation of the coming of the Lord. Let your loins be al. ways girt, and your lamps burning : fo when he comes, whether in the last day of your life, or in the last day of the world, ye
shall be able to say with joy, Lo, this is our God, and we have waited for him.
The Kingdom of HE A V E N.
MATTH. XXV. 34. Then Mall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come
ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for
you from the foundation of the world, HA
AVING from this portion of scripture, which the text is a
part of, discoursed of the general judgment; and being to speak of the everlasting happiness of the saints, and the everlasting misery of the wicked, from the respective sentences to be pronounced upon them, in the great day; I thall take them in the order wherein they ly before us; the rather that, a sentence is first paft upon the righteous, so the execution thereof is first begun, though possibly the other may be fully executed before it be compleated.
The words of the text contain the joyful sentence itself, together with an historical introduction thereto, which gives us an account of the Judge pronouncing the sentence; the King, Jesus Chrilt: the parties on whom it is given, them on his right hand: and the time when, then, was soon as the trial is over. Of these I have spoken already. It is the sentence itself we are now to consider, Come ye blefjed of my Father, &c. Stand a-back, Oye profane goais; have away all unregenerate souls, not united to Jelus Chrift: this is not for you. Come, O ye faints, brought out of your natural state, into the state of grace; behold here the state of glory awaiting you. Here is glory let down to us in words and Tyllables; a lookingglass, in which you may see your everlasting happiness; a scheme (or draught) of Christ's Father's house, wherein there are many manfians.
This glorious sentence bears two things. (1.). The compleat happiness to which the faints are adjudged, the kingdom. (2.) Their folema admiffion to it, Come je blessed of my Father, inherit, &c. First, Their compleat happiness is a kingdom. A kingdom is the top of worldly felicity; there is nothing on earth greater than a king: dom: therefore the hidden weight of glory in heaven is held forth to us under that notion. But it is not an ordinary kingdom, it is the kingdom; the kingdom of heaven, furpassing all the kingdoms of the earth in glory, honour, profit and pleasure, infinitely more than they do in these excel the low and inglorious condition of a beggar