« הקודםהמשך »
Judge, and continue enemies to him, and to the way of holiness, dropp 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.seat, but : ye shall not come into condemnatios, John. v. 24. Piis coming will not
be against you, but for you. He came in the flesh, to reinove the : Tawful 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 folemnize the marriage, and take the bride home to his • Father's house. Even so come, Lord Jesus. 1 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 impressions 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 fplendid profession, being in apo' pearance Christ's Meep, while they are indeed the devil's goats, is an evidence, that 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 witnes.
fes: 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 assemblies, and public or. i dinances, 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 e 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 Mall come to judgment; the world shall be summoned, by the sound of the last trumpet, to compear before his tribunal. The Judge shall fit on bis throne, and all nations Thall be filted before him; che separation shall be made betwixt che godly and the wicked, the books opened, and the dead judged out of them, one party shall be adjudged to everlasting life, and the other to everlasting fires according to their works.
li would be a sight of admirable curiosity, if thou couldit wrap up thyself in fome dark cloud, or hide thyself in the cleft of some high rock, from whence thou mighteft efpy 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-feat, and charged with the blood of souls, to whom they gave no faithful warning: mighty men Handing crembling before the Judge, unable to recover cheir wont, ed boldness, to our-wit him with their subtilities, or defend them
selves by their strength: delicate women caft forth of their graves, as abominable branches, drogged to the cribunal, to answer for their ungodly lives: the ignorant, suddenly taught in the law, to their colt; and the learned declared, before the world, fools and laborious criflers; the achielt convinced, the hypocrite unmasked; and the profane, at long-run, curned 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 picty set on high ; and prosperous wickedness ac last 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 chat day, being absolved before the world, go wich him into heaven. Nay, but thou canst not so escape. Thyself, whosoever thou art, not being in Christ, mult bear a part in this tragical and frightful action.
Sinner, that,fame Lord Christ, whom thou now despisest, whom thou woundelt through the sides of his mefsengers, and before whom chou dost prefer thy 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 sitteth on the throne? Thou hast now a rock within thee, a heart of adamant, so that thou canst count the darts of the word as stubble, and laugh at the shaking of the spear : buc that rock will rent, at the light of the Judge; that hard heart will then break, and thou shalt weep and wail, when weeping and wailing will be to no purpose. Deach's bands will fall off; the grave will vomie 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! behold he cometh! where is the pro. fane [wearers, who core 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 a way in his meffengers groaning, profaned his ordinances, and trampled under foot his precious blood? O murderer, the slain 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 t'ic darts of his fiery looks! chat rocky heart
borted to be long
now kept out against him, shall then be blown up: that face, which refuseth to blus now, shall then gather blackness: arrows of wrath Mall pierce, where arrows of conviction cannot enter now. What wilt thou answer him, when he riseth up, and chargeth thee with thy unbelief and impenitency? Wilt thou say, thou walt not warned? Conscience within thee will give chee the lie: the secret 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 con cern, men will first fill their hearts wich prejudices against the messengers, and then caft their message behind their backs. But these lilly shifts and pretences will noc' 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 shall 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 chat we knew in this our day, the things that belong to our peace.
Lastly, Be exhorted to believe this great truth; and believe it so 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. Cart 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 25 ye sow, 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 Christ. 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; aim ing, in them all, at the glory of your Lord, a tellimony of your love to him, and obedience to his command. Leave it to hypocrites, who have their reward, to proclaim every man his own goodress, and to found a trumpet, when they do their alms. It is a base and unchristian fpirit, which cannot nave facisfaction 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 fhall call together the whole world; before whom the Judge himself mall publish 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: so when he comes, whether in the last day of your life, or in the last day of the world, ye
'fhall be able to say with joy, Lo, this is our God, and we have waited
. MATTH. XXV. 34. .. Then mall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come
ye blesed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world
L AVING from this portion of scripture, which the text is a 11 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 chat, a sentence is first part upon the righteous, so the execution thereof is first begun, though poslibly the other may be fully executed before it be compleated.
The words of the text contain the joyful fentence 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, .as soon as the trial is over. Of chefe I have spoken already. It is the sentence itself we are now to consider, Come ye blelled of my Father, &c. Stand a-back, 0 ye profane goais; have away all unregenetare fouls, not united to Jesus Chrift: this is not for you. Come, 0 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 777ansians.
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 ye 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 carth 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 kingdon, it is the kingdom; the kingdom of heaven, surpasling 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 brggar
in rags and on a dunghill. Secondly, There is a folemn admillion cf the saints unto this their kingdom, Come ye, inherit the king dom. In the view of angels, men and devils, they are invelled with royalty, and folemnly inaugurated before the whole world, by Jesus: Christ the heir of all things, who hath all power in heaven, and in earth. Their right to the kingdom is folemnly recognized and owned! They are admitted to it, as und ubied heirs of the king. dom, lo possess ii by inheritance or lot, as the word properly figni. fies; because of ol), inheritances were disigned by lot, as Canaan to Ifrael, God's first-born, as they are called, Exod. iv, 22. And because this kingdom is the Father's kingdom, therefore they are openly acknowledged in their admission to it, to be the blaffed of.. Chrill's Father : the which blessing was given then long bifre this sentence, but is now folemnly recognized and confirmed to them by the Mediator, in his Father's n me. It is observable, he says.' not, Ye blefied of the Father, but Ye bleffed of my Father;'to thew us, that all blessings are derived u: 03 us from the Father, the fountain'of blessing, as he is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we are blessed, Eph. i. 3. And finally, they are admitted to this kingdom, as that which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, in God's eternal purpoie, before they, or any of them were; that all the world may see eternal life to be the free gift of God.
:... DoctRINE, .! The Saints shall be made compleatly happy in the Pollellion
of the Kingdom of Heaven.,
Two things I fall here inquire into, (1.) The raiure of this kingdom. (2) The adıniffion of the saints there!o. Aod then I Ihall make some practical improvement of the whole ; - FIRST, As to the nature of the kingdom of heaven, our knowledge of it is very imperftet; for "eye hath not seen, nor ear 66 beard, neither have eniered into the heart of man, the things " which God hath prepared for them that love him.” i Cor. ij. 96 As, by familiar. resemblances, parents instruct their little children, concerning things, of which otherwise they can have po tolerable notion: fo our gracious God, in contemplation of our weakness, is pleased to represent to us heaven's happiness, under fimilitudes taken from earthly things, glorious in the eyes of men; si ce naked discoveries of the heavenly glory, divelled of earih y resemblances, would be too bright for our weak eyes, and in them we would but lose ourselves.' Wherefore now, one can but speak as a child of these things, which the day will fully discover.
Tie state of glory is represented under ile notion of a kingdom ; a kingdom among men, being that in which the greatest number of