« הקודםהמשך »
us sinning, suffering, groaning, dying daily, and will he come no more to us? It cannot be. This is like our unkind Dealing with Christ, who, when we feel ourselves warm in the World, care not for coming to him: But this is not like Christ's Dealing with us. He that would come to suffer, will surely come to triumph. He that would come to purchase, will furely come to poffefs. Where else were all our Hopes? What were become of our Faith, our Prayers, our Tears, and our Waiting? What were all the Patience of the Saints worth to them? Were we not left of all Men most miserable (k)? Christian, hath Christ 'made us forsake all the World, and be forsaken of all the World? to hate all, and be hated of all? and all this for him, that we might have him instead of all? And will he, think you, after all this, forget us, and forlake us himself? Far be such a Thought from our Hearts! But why stayed he not with his People while he was here? Why? Was not the Work on Earth done? Muft he not take Possession of Glory in our Behalf? Must he not intercede with the Father, plead his Sufferings, be filled with the Spirit to send forth, receive Authority, and subdue his Enemies? Our Abode here is thort. If he had stayed on Earth, what would it have been to enjoy him for a few Days, and then die! He hath more in Heaven to dwell among; even the Spirits or many Generations. He will have us live by Faith, and not by Sight.
$ 3. 0 Fellow. Christians, what a Day will tha: be, when we, who have been kept Prisoners by Sin, by Sinners, by the Grave, shall be ferched out by the Lord himself? 'It will not be fuch a Coming as his forft was, in Poverty and Contempt, to be spit upon, and buffeted, and crucified again. He will not come,
*C (k) Cor, XV, 19.
O careless World! to be sighted and neglected by you any more, Yet that Coming wanted not its Glory. If the heavenly Hof, for the Celebration of his Nativity, must praise. God (1); with what Shout. ings will Angels and Saints at that Day proclaim Glory to God, Peace and Good-will towards Men? If a Star must lead Men from remote Parts of the World to come to worship a Child in a Manger (m); how will the Glory of his next Appearing constrain all the World to acknowledge his Sovereignty? If, riding on an Afs, he enter Jerusalem with Hoannas (n); with what Peace and Glory will he coine toward the new Jerusalem? If, when he was in the Form of a Servart(o), they cry out, what Manner of Man is this, that even the Winds and the Sca obey him (p)? What will they say, when they shall see him coming in his Glory, and the Heavens and the Earth obey him? Then shall all the Tribes of the Earth mourn (9). To think and speak of that Day with Horror, doth well beseem the impenitent Sinner, but ill the believing Saint. Shall the Wicked behold him, and cry, “Yon“ der is he whose Blood we neglected, whose Grace
we resisted, whose Counsels we refused, whose Go“ vernment we cast off!' And shall not the Saints, with inconceivable Gladness, cry, “ Yonder is he “ whose Blood redeemed us, whose Spirit cleansed
US, whose Law did govern us, in whom we trusted, « and he hath not deceived our Trust; for whom we 6 long waited, and now we see we have not waited. «:in vain! O cursed Corruption that would have; « had us turn to the World, and present Things, 6s and say, Why should we wait for the Lord any longer (r)? « Now we see, Blessed are all ihey that wait for him (s).'
And now, Christians, Mould we not put up that Petition heartily, Thy Kingdom come? The Spirit and the
Bride faz, Come: And let him that heareth, and readeth, fay, Cme.
Our Lord himself fays, Surely I come quickly. Amen, even fo, come Lord Jesus (t).
§ 4. (2) Another Thing that leads to Paradise is, that great Work of Jesus Christ, in raising our Bodies from the Duft, and uniting them again unto the Soul. A wonderful Effect of infinite Power and Love! Yea, wonderful indeed, says Unbelief, if it be true. What, fall all these scattered Bones and Dust become a Ma!? -Let me with Reverence plead for God, for that Power whereby I hope to arife. What beareth the malli Body of the Earth? What limits the vast Ocean of the Waters? Whence is that constant Ebbing and Flowing of the Tides? How many Times bigger than all the Earth is the Sun, that glorious Body of Light? Is it not as easy to raise the Dead, as to. make Heaven, and Earth, and all of Nothing?-Look not on the dead Bones, and Dust, and Difficulty, but at the Promise. Contentedly commit thefe, Carcasses to a Prifon, that Inall not long contain them. Let us lie down in Peace, and take our Reft; it will not be an everlasting Night, nor endlcis Sleep. If uncloathing be the Thing thou feareft; it is that thou mayst have better Cloathing (u). If to be turned out of Doors be the Thing thou feareft; remember, that when the earthly House of this Tabernacle is diffolved, thou halt a Building of God, an House not maile westli Hands, eternal in the Heavens (w). Lay down chear'a fully this Lump of Corruption; thou shalt undoubtedly receive it again in Incorruption. Lay down freely. this terreftrial, this natural Body; thou thalt receive it again a celestial, a spiritual Body. Tho' thou lay it down with great Dishonour; thou shalt receive it in
C 2 1) Rev. xxii, 17, 20.
(u) 2 Car, Vo fuo
(w) 2.Cor. Ve s.
Glory. Tho' thou art separated from it thro' Weaknejs; it shall be raised again in mighty Power. In a Momeri, in the Twinkling of an Eye, at the last Trump; for the Trumpet fall found, and the Dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed(x). The Dead in Chrif pall rise firjl
. Then they which are alive and remain, fall be caught up together with them in the Clouds, to meet the Lord in the Air (y). Triumph now, O Christian, in these Promises; thou thalt hortly triumph in their Performance. This is the Day which the Lord will make, we fall rejoice and be plad in it(z). The Grave, that could not keep our Lord, cannot keep us. He arose for us, and by the fame Power will cause us to arise. For if we believe that Jefus died, and rose again, evin jo thein also which peep in Jesus, will God bring with him (a). Let us never look at the Grave, but let us see the Relursection beyond it. Yea, let us be stedfuf, imm:veable, always abounding in the Work of the Lord, forafmuch as we know cur Labour is not in rain in the Lord(b).
$ 5. (3) PART of this Prologue to the Saint's Rest, is the publick and folemn Process at their Judgment, where they shall firit themjeives be arquitted and 4}ti fid, and then quith Christ judge the IVorld. Young and old, of all Estates and Nations, that ever were from the Creation to that Day, must here come, and receive their Doom. O terrible! O joyful Day! Terrible to those that have forgot the Coming of their Lord! Joyful to the Saints, whore Waiting and Hope was to lee this Day! Then fhall the world behold the Goodress and severity of God; on them which perish, Severity; but to his chosen, Goodness (c). Every one
ex) Cor. xv. 42 --44, 52.
(y) • Theff. iv, 16, 17,
must give an Account of his Steward; hip (d). Every Talent of Time, Health, Wit, Mercies, Afflictions Means, Warnings, must be reckoned for. The Sins of Youth, those which they had forgotten, and their fecret Sins, shall all be laid open before Angels and Men. They shall see the Lord Jesus, whom they neglected, whose Word they disobeyed, whose Minifters they abused, whose Servants they hated, now fitting to judge them. Their own Consciences shall cry out against them, and call to their Remembrance all their Mi?doings. Which Way will the ivretched Sinner look? Who can conceive the terrible Thoughts of his Heart? Now the World cannot help him; his old Companions cannot; the Saints neither can, nor will: Only the Lord Jesus can; but, there is the Mix sery, he will not. 'I'ime was, Sinner, when Cirrift would, and you would not; now, fain would you, and he will not. All in vain, to cry to the Mountains and Rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the Face of him that fitteth upon the Throne (e); for thou hast the Lord of Mountains and Rocks for thine Enemy, whose Voice they will obey, and not thine. I dag? the
therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Chriji, w'io * Mall
judge the Quick and the Dead, at his Appearing, and his Kingdom (t), that thou let thyself seriously to ponder on these "Things.
$ 6. But why tremblest thou, O humble gracious Soul? He that would not lose one Voah in a common Deluge, nor overlook one Lot in Sodom; nay, that could do Nothing till he went forth; will he forget thee at that Day? The Lord knoweth bow to deliver the Godly out of Temptations, and to reserve the Unju! unts the Day of Judgment to be punished (g). He knoweth how to make the same Day the greatest Terror to C3
his (d) Luke xvi. 2.
(e) Rev. vi. 16. (0) 2 Tim. iv. (8) 2 Pet, ii. 9.