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Delivered February 27.



MATT. xi. 23, 24.

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee.


But I say unto

idle word that men shall

MATT. XH. 36, 37. that you, every speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

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For the Father judgeth no man ; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.

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And if any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him : the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

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Because he (that is God) hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that

man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.


ACTS xxiv. 25.

And as he (St. Paul) reasoned of righteousness, tempcrance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled; and an swered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient scason I will call for thee.

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But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou sel at naught thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.


2 Cor. v. 6, 9, 10, 11.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body re are absent from the Lord. Wherefore we labor that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every man may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.

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And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.


WHEN St. Peter says, “We have a more sure word of prophecy," he represents it as a light that shines in a dark place." It, therefore, justly demands proper heed and attention. If it prove to our dark under

standings, a mystery, obscure and desultory, instead of deserving the title of a light, it could not with propriety be recommended as an object of our regard, however "sure" it might be in its final accomplishment. But if it be no clearer than the early dawn of the morning or the twilight of the evening, it may be easily discerned, for nothing appears more plain in the dark than light. Prophecy is, therefore, described as one would naturally expect, not of a private, but of a plain and lucid interpretation, according to the natural import of words. For it "came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake, as they were moved by the holy Ghost." We who now see through a glass darkly, may walk in this light of prophecy, till the perfect day dawn, and the day-star arise in our hearts.

Nothing appears more unreasonable, than to suppose our heavenly Father would give us an account of certain future events, which are for our interest to know, and cause them to be couched in such language as to sport with our ignorance, and render fruitless all our attempts to gain the knowledge of his will. Such is prophecy when we adopt a mystical interpretation, which may appear in as many shapes as there are interpreters. On the other hand, if the words of the Lord plainly express his meaning, we have a straight account and a true one. That prophecy is more rich in meaning than it appears to our

dark understanding is not to be doubted. But this argues nothing of obscurity. That some are not easily explained may likewise be admitted. But this arises from our ignorance of the circumstances, connexions and nature of the things pointed out, and not from obscurity in the language of prophecy itself.

Some seek a figurative sense to most of the prophecies, according to certain rules of philosophy which they deem the best calculated to convince the Deist of the truth of revela tion. This method, which is as much employed in those scriptures that treat of the punishment of the wicked as any, they adopt to make them appear more reasonable; and of course, more agreeable to what they conclude, is according to the moral government of God. But, are such governed by the word of scripture? or do they mean to govern that? Are they searching for what the scripture does mean? or for what it should or must mean, according to their rules?

True philosophy and scripture beyond all dispute agree; but men may err in philosophy as well as in religion. And when in religion they would be governed by philosophy, they would do well to remember the Lord has said, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

It is evident revelation is of but little use, unless it teach us something we could not otherwise attain. And all this desired in

struction is lost, when plain instructive expressions are considered to be only figures or allegories. For no figure or allegory can be explained by any one who is not well acquainted with the things to which it alludes, and likewise the plain letter of the subject designed to typify the object in view. Therefore to adopt a figurative sense of scripture to accommodate it to certain ideas, men have in philosophy, we have every reason to believe makes two Deists where it convinces one. These figurative interpretations vary so much, they are led to conclude the Bible is like an instrument, on which any tune may be played that the performer pleases. In order to convince the Deist of the truth of prophecy, it must be fulfilled according to the plain import of language. This is the voice of reason, and the language of revelation. Hath the Lord spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Having offered these prefatory remarks, we will now search for the doctrine of the scriptures that have been just read in your hearing, and are placed at the head of this Lecture. In these we read of a time called the day of judgment, and of appearing before the judgment-seat of Christ. Let the inquiry first be made, when it is. Are all these scriptures fulfilled in this life, or in a state beyond? In the first passage before us, we find a comparison of Capernaum with Sodom. Both are arraigned in the day of judgment; and the judgment of Sodom is as much represent

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