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for which the means of grace have been instituted shall be obtained. All that effect which was intended to be accomplished by them shall now be accomplished.
THUS I have shown how the success of Christ's redemption has been accomplished during the continuance of the Christian church under the means of grace. We have seen what great revolutions there have been, and are to be, during this space of time ; how the great wheels of providence have gone round for the accomplishment of that kind of success of Christ's purchase, which consists in the bestowment of grace on the elect: And we are, in the prosecution of the subject, come to the time when all the wheels have gone round; the course of things in this state of it is finished, and all things are ripe for Christ's coming to judgment. -
You may remember, that when I began to discourse of this third proposition, viz. That from the resurrection of Christ to the end of the world, the whole time is taken up in procuring the success and effect of Christ's purchase of redemption, I observed, that the success of Christ's purchase is of two kinds, consisting either in grace or glory ; and that the success consisting in the former of these, is to be seen in those works of God which are wrought during those ages that the church is continued under the means of grace ; and that the success, consisting in the latter, will chiefly be accomplished at the day of judgment.
Having already shown how the former kind of success has been accomplished, I come now, in the second place, to the latter, viz. that kind of success which is accomplished in the bestowment of glory on the church, which shall chiefly be bestowed on the church at the day of judgment. And here I would mention two or three things in the general concerning this kind of success of Christ’s purchase. 1. How great the success of Christ's purchase is, chiefly appears in this. The success of Christ's purchase does summarily consist in the salvation of the elect. But this bestowmentof glory is eminently called their salvation: Heb. ix. 28. “To them that look for him, shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation.” So it is called redemption, being eminently that wherein the redemption of the church consists, So in Eph. iv. 30. “Sealed unto the day of redemption;” and Luke xxi. 28, and Eph. i. 14. “Redemption of the purchased possession.” 2. All that is before this, while the church is under the means of grace, is only to make way for the success which is to be accomplished in the bestowment of glory. The means of grace are to fit for glory; and God’s grace itself is bestowed on the elect to make them meet for glory. 3. All those glorious things which were brought to pass for the church while under the means of grace, are but images and shadows of this. So were those glorious things which were accomplished for the church in the days of Constantine the Great; and so is all that glory which is to be accomplished in the glorious times of the church which are to succeed the fall of Antichrist. As great as it is, it is all but a shadow of what will be bestowed at the day of judgment: And there. fore, as I have already often observed, all those preceding glorious events, by which God wrought glorious things for his church, are spoken of in scripture as images of Christ's last coming to judgment. But I hasten more particularly to show how this kind of success of Christ's purchase is accomplished. 1. Christ will appear in the glory of his Father, with all his holy angels, coming in the clouds of heaven. When the world is thus revelling in their wickedness, and compassing the holy city about, just ready to destroy it, and when the church is reduced to such a great strait, then shall the glorious Redeemer appear. He through whom this redemption has all along becn carried on, he shall appear in the sight of the world; the light of his glory shall break forth ; the whole world shall immediately have notice of it, and they shall list up their eyes and behold this wonderful sight. It is said, “Every eye shall see him,” Rev. i. 7. Christ shall appear coming in his human nature, in that same body which was brought forth in a stable, and laid in a manger, and which afterwards was so cruelly used, and nailed to the cross. Men shall now lift up their eyes, and see him coming in such majesty and glory as now is to us utterly inconceivable. The glory of the sun in a clear firmament, will be but darkness in comparison of it; and all the glorious angels and archangels shall attend upon him, thousand thousands ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand roundabout him. How different a person will he then appear from what he did at his first coming, when he was as a root out of a dry ground, a poor, despised, afflicted man How different now is his appearance, in the midst of those glorious angels, principalities, and powers, in heavenly places, attending him as his ordinary servants, from what it was when in the midst of a ring of soldiers, with his mock robe and his crown of thorns, to be bufsetted and spit upon, or hanging on the cross between two thieves, with a multitude of his enemies about him triumphing over him f This sight will be a most unexpected sight to the wicked world : It will come as a cry at midnight: They shall be taken in the midst of their wickedness, and it will give them a dreadful alarm. It will at once break up their revels, their eating, and drinking, and carousing. It will put a quick end to the design of the great army that will then be compassing the camp of the saints: It will make them let drop their weapons out of their hands. The world, which will then be very full of people, most of whom will be wicked men, will then be filled with dolorous shrieking and crying; for all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, Rev. i. 7...... And where shall they hide themselves How will the sight of that awful majesty terrify them when taken in the midst of their wickedness? Then they shall see who he is, what kind of a person he is, whom they have mocked and scoffed at, and whose church they have been endeavoring to overthrow..... This sight will change their voice. The voice of their laughter and singing, while they are marrying and giving in marriage, and the voice of their scoffing, shall be changed into hideous, yea hellish yelling. Their countenances shall be changed from a show of carnal mirth, haughty pride, and contempt of God’s people ; it shall put on a shew of ghastly terror and amazement; and trembling and chattering of teeth shall seize upon them. But with respect to the saints, the church of Christ, it shall be a joyful and most glorious sight to them : For this sight will at once deliver them from all fear of their enemies, who were before compassing them about, just ready to swallow them up. Deliverance shall come in their extremity : The glorious Captain of their salvation shall appear for them at a time when no other help appeared. Then shall they lift up their heads, and their redemption shall be drawing migh, Luke xxi. 28. And thus Christ will appear with infinite majesty, and yet at the same time they shall see infinite love in his countenance to them. And thus to see their Redeemer coming in the clouds of heaven, will fill their hearts full of gladness. Their countenances also shall be changed, but not as the countenances of the wicked, but shall be changed from being sorrowful, to be exceeding joyful and triumphant. And now the work of redemption will be finished in another sense, viz. that the whole church shall be completely and eternally freed from all persecution and molestation from wicked men and devils. 2. The last trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised, and the living changed. God sent forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, to gather together his elect from the four corners of the earth in a mystical sense, before the destruction of Jerusalem ; i.e. he sent forth the apostles, and others, to preach the gospel all over the world. And so in a mystical sense the great trumpet was blown at the beginning of the glorious times of the church. But now the great trumpet is blown in a more literal sense, with a mighty sound, which shakes the earth. There will be a great signal given by a mighty sound made, which is called the voice of the arch
“ For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” On the sound of the great trumpet, the dead shall be raised every where. Now the number of the dead is very great. How many has death cut down for so long a time as since the world has stood | But then the number will be much greater after the world shall have stood so much longer, and through most of the remaining time will doubtless be much fuller of inhabitants than ever it has been. All these shall now rise from the dead. The graves shall be opened every where in all parts of the world, and the sea shall give up the innumerable dead that are in it, Rev. xx. I3. And now all the inhabitants that ever shall have been upon the face of the earth, from the beginning of the world to that time, shall all appear upon earth at once ; all that ever have been of the church of God in all ages, Adam and Eve, the first parents of mankind, and Abel and Seth, and Methuselah, and all the saints who were their contemporaries, and Noah, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets of Israel, and the saints in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and all that were of the church in their times; and all the holy apostles of Jesus Christ, and all the saints of their times; and all the holy martyrs under the ten Heathen persecutions; and all who belonged to the church in its wilderness state, during the dark times of Antichrist, and all the holy martyrs who have suffered under the cruelty of the Popish persecutions; and all the saints of the present time, and all the saints who are here in this assembly among the rest; and all that shall be from hence to the end of the world......Now also all the enemies of the church that have or shall be in all the ages of the world, shall appear upon the face of the earth again; all the wicked killed in the flood, and the multitudes that died all over the world among God’s professing people, or others; all that died in all the Heathen nations before Christ, and all wicked Heathens, and Jews, and Mahometans, and Papists, that have died since ; all shall come together. Sinners of all sorts; demure hypocrites, those who have the fairest and best outside, and open profane drunkards, whoremasters, heretics,