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white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened ; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
You now see, my brethren, the singular import of the promise of the text to the conquering Christian. His name shall stand for ever on the pages of the book of life; not on the book of remembrance, for the names of all shall be there, but on the pages of the book of life. "And I will not blot out his name.”. Nothing can then occur to change the relationship in which he stands; he has come off a conqueror and more than å conqueror, through Him who loved him and gave himself for him, and his eternity of bliss is secured; it can never be altered, for his name is written in the book of life.
The third particular of the promise to the conquering Christian was—“And I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”
I need not occupy your attention, brethren, in pointing out to you the period to which this more particularly alludes. It refers to the public honour, if
I may so speak, which will be given to the real disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, at that day when before the throne of eternal judgment shall be gathered the one great family of the human race; and when the last great separation shall be made between the righteous and the wicked. It is the period so solemnly discoursed on by our Saviour in the 25th chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew—“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; Then shall 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 : Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” What a distinction this, my brethren, to be confessed of Christ at a period pregnant with consequences of such eternal moment. Then where will be the sounding titles of the guilty great; of the proud, and empty, and cold professor of religion; or of the self-complacent follower of the world? Who will stand
up then, to vindicate their claims to eternal glory, and to pronounce them blessed? Who will stand up for them and say, Touch not mine anointed, and give not mine heritage to reproach? But to the conquering, let him be who he may, and let his earthly circumstances have been ever so degraded, there will be one who will confess his name. Yes, methinks I see, as the Gospel vision takes in the time when the kingdoms of this world shall become the
kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ-methinks I see the great assembly, and hear the omnipotent Saviour as before the universe he declares—These are mine, the purchase of my blood, the achievements of my grace, the jewels of my crown. They confessed me on earth, and I now confess them. They were not ashamed of me before men, and I am not ashamed of them before my Father which is in heaven. They have loved and served me; they have set their affections on things above; they are mine. By you, ye proud, ye high ones of the earth, ye careless, ye negligent, they have been despised and set at nought and persecuted, but your day of triumph is over, and there remains for you indignation and wrath, and tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil. But their triumph is begun. Erect your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, and let the ransomed of the Lord return and
go to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.
Brethren, splendid considerations of this kind render it impossible to protract the discourse. Have you a Gospel prospect—here is a matter of eternal moment, for multitudes live on hopes as pale and sickly and dead, as their religion is cold and languishing—have you a Gospel prospect of inheriting this glory? I beseech you, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and as ye love your salvation, that you
would rest your souls on nothing short of this. What a deep solemnity hangs even on the possibility of a deception—a deception which then will be the loss of your immortal souls. I cannot stop to point out to you the Gospel requisitions; they have been "line upon line and precept upon pre
cept,” the burden of every public effort. But oh, be not deceived, for God is not mocked. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also
Brethren, I do from my inmost soul, covet for each of you the rich blessings of this promise ; for what can there be in all the blessings which appertain to the present life, compared with the happiness and glory of the Christian prospect? What are all the gaudy habiliments in which so many of you delight to see yourselves attired, compared with that white raiment, spotless emblem of the purity of that region into which nothing can enter that defileth, and which, as the high gift of the Redeemer, bought and purified by his blood, will be the robe of state in which the children of God shall stand before the throne of the Eternal Majesty ? What is the temporal condition in which you may be, compared with the blessedness of a name enrolled, not on the perishable records of time, but on the pages of the book of life? What the estimation in which you may be held by the world, compared to that enrapturing recognition from the Saviour of men, which will meet the conquering Christian when his name shall be confessed before the universe of men and angels -Ye are mine, burst asunder the bars of light and let my servants enter into the joy of their Lord. But, brethren, these visions of glory, these anticipations, almost too overpowering for mortal thought, this award is for him that “overcometh.” It is for him who, instead of having a mere name to live, shall indeed have been brought from the death of sin. It is for him who, in the place of mere attachment to the forms and ceremonies of religion, has the reality of the matter in his heart; burnt in, if I
may say so, by the living fire of the Spirit. It is for him whose religion, instead of being cold and languishing, and dull and dying, is warm and animated, lively and energetic, full of health, full of life, and full of immortality. It is for him who will live godly in Christ Jesus, though friends and foes unite in opposition; who will keep his garments undefiled; and with a holy resolution and a quenchless ardour, press towards the mark.
Brethren, one thought strikes me with exceeding force. There is one solemn period coming to each, in which every one who hears me will at least once be clad in white raiment. I mean the sad and solemn vestments of the tomb. The frail body, from which the living spirit shall have departed, will be wrapped in a vesture vying in whiteness with the driven snow; but alas! then it will but canopy the worm who will make his pillow on your bosom, and the chambers of your heart his hiding place. And that vesture, no matter how pure and white, will soon have its feeble texture dissolved and be undistinguishable from the earth in which it was laid. But that white raiment in which the conquering Christian shall be clad, when mortal shall put on immortality, and corruption be swallowed up by life, shall be the vesture of a being raised to imperishable youth. To each and every one of you
the time is coming, when your name shall be blotted from the book of life, so far as your mortal existence is concerned ; and your name and your memory will perish, save from the bosoms of some dear friends, who, for a few short years, shall carry along a fading recollection, but which, at length, like the last gleamings of the vernal iris lost in the expanse of ether, shall