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bear witness within, what room for doubting? Why, this voice of the Spir. it, is the very voice of God; hark then, inquire O my soul! if thou hast this testimony of the Spirit, thou art sure enough. Soul, Ob, that it were thus with me! Oh, that the Spirit would even now give me to drink of the wells of salvation! oh that the Spirit would testify it home! oh that he would shine upon, and enlighten all those graces which he hath planted in me! fain would I come to the highest pitch of hope; oh that I could look upon the things hoped for, as certainly future. Person, Thou sayest well, O my soul! and if these wishes be real, then pour out thyself unto God in prayer; this was the apostle's method, “ Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost,” Rom. 15:13. Let this be thy practice, pray as he prayed, pray thou for thyself, as he prayed for others; if an earthly father will bearken to his child, “How much more will God the Father give the Spirit to them that ask the Spirit of him?” Luke 11:13. Soul, Why, if this be it; to thee, Lord, do I coine, O! give me the Spirit, the witness of the Spirit, the first-fruits of the Spirit, the sealing of the Spirit, the earnest of the Spirit. O! give me the Spirit, and let the Spirit give me this hope. “O the hope of Israel, and Saviour thereof, in the time of trouble, Why shouldst thou be a stranger in my sonl, and as a way.faring inan that turneth aside to tarry for a night? Come, o come! and dwell in my soul, Come and blow on my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out.” Come and fill me with a lively hope, yea, Lord, excile, and quicken, and stir up my soul to act this hope, yea, so enlight. en, or shine upon my hope, that I may know that I hope, and know that I joyfully expect, and wait for the coming of Christ; O let me hear thy voice! “Say unto my soul, I am, and will be thy salvation," Psal. 35:3. Person, Well now, thou hast prayed, O my soul! come, tell me, Dost thou feel nothing stir? Is there notbing at all in thee, that assures thee of this assurance of hope? Is there no life in thy affections! No spark that takes Hold on thy heart to set it on flame! No comfort of the Spirit, no joy in the Holy Ghost? Soul, Yes! inethinks I feel it now begin to work, the Spirit that hath breathed this prayer into me, comes in as a Comforter. Oh! now that I realize Christ's coming, and my resurrection, I cannot but conclude with David, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory re. joiceth, and my fesh also shall rest in hope," Psal. 16:9. Oh what an earnest is this! what a piece hath the Spirit put into my hand of the great som promised? not only that he, in great mercy promised me heaven, but because he doth not put me into a present possession, he now gives me an earnest of my future inheritance. Why, surely all is sure, unless the earnest deceive me: and, what, shall I dispute the truth of the earnest? Oh, God forbid! the stamp is too well known to be mistrusted; this seal cannot be counterfeit, because it is agreeable with the word; I find in myself a hope, a true, sincere hope, though very weak; I find upon trial, that I am regenerate, that I look and long for the second coming of Jesus, that I love his appearance even before hand; that my works, though im. perfect, are sincere and true; that I believe on the name of the Son of God, and flesh and blood could never work these duties, or these graces in ine, it is only that guod Spirit of my God, wbich hath thus sealed me up to the day of redemption. Away, away despair, trouble mne no longer with amusing thoughts; I will henceforth, (if the Lord enable,) walk confidently and cheerfully in the strength of this assurance, and joyfully ex. pect the accomplishment of my happy contract from the hands of Christ, “ The Lord is my portion, therefore will I hope in him; the Lord is good
to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him; it is good that I both hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord, Lam.3:24,25,26. It is good that I hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brougbt unto me at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” i Pet. 1:13.
Sect. v. Of believing in Jesus in that respect. 5. Let us believe in Jesus as carrying on the great work of our galvation in his second coming. Now, this believing in Christ, is more than hoping in Christ: faith eyes things as present, but hope eyes things as fu. ture; and hence the apostle describes faith to be “the substance of things hoped for," Heb. 11:1. It is the substance, foundation, or prop which upholds the building; or it is the substance, essence, and existence of a thing hoped for, and consequently absent and afar ott, to be a firin appre. hension of the believer, as already present and real. And this is as ne. cessary as the former; Oh, if we could but see things now, as they shall appear at that last general day of judgment! how mightily would they work upon our souls? I verily think the want of this work of faith is the cause almost of all the evil in the world; and the acting of faith on this subject, would produce fruits, even to admiration. If we could but see that glory of God in Christ, and these glorious treasures of mercies that shall then be communicated; if we could but see those dreadful evils that are now threatened, and shall then be fulfilled; would not this draw the hardest heart under heaven? Come, let us act faith this day; as if this day were the last day; a thousand years are but as one day to faith, it takes hold upon eternal life, whensoever it acts; it takes present possession of the glorious things of the kingdom of God even now.
O then! let us believe in Jesus, as in reference to his second coming to judgment.
But how should we believe? What directions to act our faith on Jesus in this respect? I answer:
1. Faith must directly go to Christ. 2. Faith must go to Christ, as God in the flesh. 3. Faith must go to Christ, as God in the flesh, made under the law.
4. Faith must go to Christ, made under the directive part of the law by bis life, and under the penal part of the law by his death.
5. Faith must go to Christ, as put to death in the flesh, and as quick. ened by the Spirit.
6. Faith must go to Christ, as going up into glory, as sitting down at God's right hand, and as sending down the Holy Ghost.
7. Faith must go to Christ, as interceding for his saints, in which work he continues till his coming again. Of all these before.
8. Faith must go to Christ as coming again into this nether world, to judge the quick and the dead; this is the last act of faith in reference to Christ, “ from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead." The coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the change of the living, the last judgment, and the glory of Christ with his saints to all eternity, is that transaction which must be despatched at the end of the world: now, this is the object of faith as well as the former, Christ's work is not fully perfected till all these be finished, nor is our work of faith fully completed, till it reach to the very last act of Christ in saving souls. Oh! what an excellent worker is Jesus Christ! he doth all his works thoroughly and perfectly: the greatest work that ever Christ undertook, was the work of our redemption: that work would have broken men and angels, and yet Jesus Christ will carry it on to the end, and then will he say, not only prophetically, but expressly, “I have finished the work which thou ga vest me to do," John 17:4. Now, faith should eye Christ as far as he goes; if Christ will not have done till he come again, and re. ceive us to himself, and settle us in glory; no more should faith, it should still follow after hiin, and take a view of all his transactions from first to last: what, will Christ come again? Will he summon all the elect to come under judgment? Will he sentence or judge them to eternal life? Will he conduct them into glory, present thein to bis Father, and be their all in all to all eternity? Why then, let our faith act itself upon all these pronii. ses; or, If I may instance in one for all, Christ's coming is the most comprehensive of all: and is not the coming of Christ very frequently meo. tioned in the proinises, as the great support, and stay of his people's spirits till then? Do not the apostles usually quicken us to duty, and encourage uz to waiting, by the mentioning of this glorious coming of Jesus Christ! Why then let us act our faith on this glorious object; Christians! what do we believe, and hope and wait for, but to see his coming? This was Paul's encourageinent to rejoicing, and to moderation, “ Rejoice in the Lord always." —And let your moderation be known to all men, the Lord is at hand, Phil. 4:4,5. To think and speak of that day with horror, doth well beseem the impenitent sinner, but doth ill beseem the believing saint; such may be the voice of an unbeliever, and it may be of a believer in desertion or temptation, but it is not the voice of faith. O! believe on Christ, as carrying on our salvation at his coming again; “ for yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry," Heb. 10:37.
9. Faith must principally and mainly look to the purpose, design, intent and end of Christ in his second coming to judgment. Now the ends are,-1. In respect of the wicked, that they may be destroyed, for “ he must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet.” He shall come with Aaming fire, and then he will “take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and froin the glory of his power, 2 Thess. 1:8. O miserable men! now it is God's design to be revenged on you. This is the day when the wicked shall suddenly start out of sleep, and meet with ghastly amazed. ness at the mouth of their sepulchres; above them stands the judge con. deinning, beneath, hell gaping, on the right hand, justice threatening, on all sides, the world burning; to go forward is intolerable, and to go back. ward is impossible, to turn aside is unavailable; which way then? heaven's gates are shut, hell's mouth is open, where they must end their endless miserv; the last torment lasteth ever. O the shrieks of the wicked at every passage of this day! wben the prophet Joel was describing the for. midable accidents of this day, he was not able to express it, but stammered like a child, or an amazed imperfect person, A. A. A. for the day of the Lord is at hand. We translate it “ Alas, for the day of the Lord is at hand," Joel 1:15. But, Lyra, Ribera, the vulgar Latin, and others trans. late it, A. A. A. in Hebrew it is but one word, and sounds as Aha, which howsoever so written, yet it is pronounced without any aspiration as Aha. ron is pronounced Aaron. The best critics would have it one word, and so they wrote it, A-a-a. “ for the day of the Lord is at hand;" thus they that stainmer, and cannot suddenly speak, say, A-a.a. it is not sense at first, the prophet was so amazed, that he knew not what to say; the stam. mering tongue that is full of fear, can best speak that terror, which will make all the wicked of the world to cry, and shriek, and speak fearful accents; ob the shrieks! oh the fearful sounds, that will then be heard, sure that noise must needs be terrible, when millions of men and women, at the same instant, shall fearfully cry out, and when their cries shall mingle with the thunders of the dying and groaning heavens, and with the crack of the dissolving world, when the whole fabric of nature shall shake into dissolution and eternal ashes, “ Now consider this ye that for. get God, lest he tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver you,” Psal. 50:22. Shall not the consideration of these things awake your spirits, and raise you from the death of sin? What, do you believe these things, or do you not? If you do not believe these things, where is your faith? If you do believe them, and sin on, where is your prudence, and where is your hopeBut enough of this, it belongs to the wicked.
2. In respect of the godly, that they may be saved. Now this contains several steps, As,
1. They must be regenerated. It is true, they partake of this grace before, but now is the full perfection and manifestation of it; and there. fore the last day is called " the day of the regeneration,” Matth. 19:28.
2. They must be redeemed. So they are in this life. Paul could tell his Colossians, “ That Christ had delivered them from the power of darkness; and that in him they had redemption through his blood,” Col.1:13,14. Yet the scripture calls the day of judgment, in a peculiar and eminent manner, the day of redemption, “ And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption,” Eph. 4:30.
3. They must be adopted. It is true, they are adopted in this life, .“ We are now the sons of God, (saith the apostle,) yet it doth not appear what we shall be," i John 3:2. the glory which Christ will put upon us at the last day is so far transcendent and superlative to what now we are, that we know not what we shall be: sons, and more than sons; and therefore the apostle calls the last day," the day of adoption," Rom. 8:23.
4. They must be justified. I know they were justified by faith before, and this justification was evidenced to some of their consciences: but now They shall be justified fully by the lively voice of the Judge himself; now shall their justification be solemnly and publicly declared to all the world: the Syriac word to justify, is also to conquer; because, when a man is jus. tified, he overcomes all those bills and indictments which were brought in against him: now this is manifestly done in the day of judgment, when Christ shall, before men and angels, acquit and absolve his people: Oh! what a glorious conquest will that be over sin, death and hell, when the Judge of the whole world shall pronounce them free from all sin, and from all those miserable effects of sin, death, hell, and damnation?
5. They must inherit the kingdom prepared for them, so is the sen. tence at that day, “Come ye blessed, inherit the kingdom,” Matth. 25:34. Not only are they freed from hell, but they must inherit heaven. Now herein is a high step of salvation, and a great part of the design of Christ's coming to bring his saints into heaven; he went thither before to prepare it for them, and now he comes again to give them the possession of it, “Come, enter into heaven.” Heaven! what is heaven? Surely it is not one single palace, but a city, a metropolis, a mother city, the first city of God's cieation; when the angel “ carried John in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, he showed him the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God," Rev. 21:10,11. But a city is too little, therefore it is more, it is a kingdom, “ Fear not little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom:” and at the last day be bids his saints to “ inherit the kingdom," Luke 12:32. Or if a kingdom be too little, it is called a world: “ The
children of this world marry, and are given in marriage, but they which shall be accoun ted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage, neither can they die any more," Lu ke 20:34,35,36. There is another world besides this, and for eminency it is called " the world to come,” Heb. 6:5. O the breadth, and largeness of that world! as the greater circle must contain the less, 80 doth the world contain this; alas! all our dwellings here are but as caves under the earth, and holes of poor clay in comparison. In the bo. son of that heaven is many a dwelling place; “ In my Father's house are miny mision19," John 14:2. There lodge many thousands of glorious kings; 0) what fair fields, and mountains of roses and spices are there! surely the gurdens of length and breadth above millions of miles are nothing in comparison. ( the wines, the lilies, the roses, the precious tre is that grow in Immanuel's land! an hundred harvests in one year are nothing there. The lowest stones in every mansion there, are precious stones; the very building of the wall about it is jasper, and the city is pure gold, like unto clear glass, Rev. 21:18. O glorious inheritance! tell ine Christians, in what city on earth do men walk upon gold, or dwell within the walls of gold? Though none such here, yet under the feet of the inhabitants of heaven there is gold; all the streets, and fields of that city, kingdom, world, are pure gold, as it were transparent glass, Rev. 21:21. But, alas! what speak I of gold, or glass? All these are but shadows; indeed and in truth there is nothing so low as gold, or precious stones; there is nothing so base in this high and glorious kingdom, as gardens, trees, or roses; comparisons are but created shadows, that come not up to express the glory of the thing. I shall therefore leave to speak this, because unspeakable.
6. They must live with Christ in heaven; they must see, and enjoy Christ there to all eternity. This is a main end of Christ's coming, “I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also, John 14:3. And Father, I will, that those whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold the glory which thou hast given me," John 17:24. O let faith eye this above all the for. mer! What! will my Saviour come again? And shall I see his face? Oh! what a pleasant sight will this same be! if heaven, if the inheritance be such a wonder to the beholders, what a beauty is that which is in the samplar! Oh, what a happiness to stand beside that dainty, precious prince in heaven! to see the King on his throne; to see the Lamb, the fair iree of life, the flower of angels, the spotless rose, the crown, the garland, the joy of heaven, the wonder of wonders for eternity! Oh, what a life to see that precious tree of life! to see a multitude, without quantity of the apples of glory! to see love itself, and to be warmed with the heat of imme. diate love that comes out from the precious heart and bowels of Jesus Christ! 01, what a dearness to see all relations meet in one! to see the Saviour, the good Shepherd, the Redeemer, the great Bishop of our souls, the Angel of the covenant, the Head of the body of the church, the King of ages, the Prince of peace, the Creator of the ends of the earth, the song of angels and glorified saints! not only must they see Christ, but they shall enjoy him whom they see; they fly with dove's wings of beauty after the Lumb, and in flying after him, they lay hold upon him, and they will not leave him; they can never have enough of the chaste fruition of the glorious prince Immanuel, and they never want his inmost presence to the full; they suck the honey and the honey.comb; they drink of the floods of eternal consolations, and fill all empty desires; and, as if the