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of a momentary state ? He is waiting for that season of deliverance wherein all troubles shall be ended, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away
He learns, therefore, to be moderate in such respects ; in hope, in joy, in sorrow, in all his earthly feelings, moderate.
2. Again : he who is rightly waiting for the coming of his Saviour, is diligent in the performance of Christian duties. Seeing then,” says an apostle, “ that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ?” (2 Peter iii. 11, 12.) The servant who is spoken of in our Saviour's parable as beginning to beat the men servants and maidens, and to eat and drink and be drunken, is set before us also as having said within his heart, “My Lord delayeth his coming. And that is a description of the character of one who is not waiting for the arrival of his master; a plain and striking intimation, that if we are occupied in sin, or immersed in the cares or pleasures of the world, we are not in the temper and posture of the Christian who is waiting for the Lord from heaven. The picture that is given of such an one presents fea
tures directly the reverse. It is a picture of dutiful conduct, of industry, of diligence.
« Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding, that when he cometh, and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.” Behold here a beautiful display of the harmony that subsists between Christian principle and Christian duty! Behold here one great instrument whereby the Holy Spirit renews and sanctifies the soul, and makes it meet for the inheritance of eternal bliss ! The gospel proposes, it is true, a high standard of morals, but it furnishes, at the same time, its own powerful motives, and promises grace sufficient to all who will receive it. The message which has been sent from heaven enjoins men to be holy, to be diligent, to be watchful ; and these are no slight injunctions to fallen men, in the midst of a wicked and ensnaring world ;-- but then it forewarns them also of that which may incite them to holiness, may quicken their diligence, and may keep their watchfulness alive; it tells them of the coming of One who searches all hearts, who watches all actions, who will utterly destroy the workers of iniquity, will disown the negligent and careless, and will crown the faithful and obedient with happiness and glory,—at that awful
moment when the heavens and the earth shall flee away
before him, and the living and the dead shall be summoned to his presence.
“ Blessed are those servants whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” (Luke xii. 37-40.)
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.
REVELATION i. 7.
Behold, he cometh with clouds ; and every eye
shall see him.
WHEN Jehovah came down to deliver the Israelites out of the hands of their oppressors, and the angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush, then, we are told, the servant of God fixed his attention, and resolved to turn aside, and see that great sight. And when Moses had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, saying, “ Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” From that portion of sacred history let us now take a lesson for ourselves. Let us resolve to consider, with the deepest and most serious attention, the solemn spectacle which is set before us in the text;--even the revelation of the Son of man from heaven, coming down to visit all nations, and kindred, and people, because, as Isaiah speaks, the day of vengeance is in his heart, and the year of his redeemed is come. (See Isa. lxiii. 4.) Let us also remember that the scene which we are about to contemplate is on most holy ground; and let us not venture, but with unfeigned humility and reverence, to look forward to that awful moment in which Christ shall be revealed from heaven.
Our text reminds us of the circumstances which will attend the second coming of our Lord, and declares that all men will be summoned to the presence
of their Judge. Let us attend, now, to the latter portion of this momentous subject. In humble dependence on divine aid, let us seek to derive some practical admonition from the recorded fact, that when our glorified Redeemer shall come again in the clouds of heaven, all men, without any exception, will appear at his tribunal. None will be exempted; none will be overlooked; all alike, small and great, will stand before God. “ Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him.”
Holy Scripture, we may remember, distributes this whole multitude into two classes, and no more. God, says St. Paul, “ will render to every man ac