Page images
PDF
EPUB

tion will rack his foul, when he finds himself deferted in thefe circumftances and no where to escape; while he fees the true believer, one perhaps he formerly knew and defpifed as a weak and ignorant hypocrite, kindly attended with a heavenly guard, and fafely conducted cut of the general uproar. Jefus will fend his angels to gather his faints, and to place them as the molt glorious affembly ever beheld on his right hand.-Who can develope the comfort of having a kind angel near to fupport the timirous fpirit and frengthen it by his presence, and fuftain it by his mighty arm. But,

Secondly, the believer will receive a fentence of acceptance and approbation, will be crowned with the honours of the gof pel, and all the promifes of grace will be fulfilled to him; while the unbeliever will have the final fentence of condemnation paffed upon him, and be punifhed with all the calamities and curfes of a broken law and defpifed grace and mercy; all the threatnings of the facred volume will be executed upon him. How great the difference which will then take place between the believer and the unbeliever. Your eyes, my brethren, fhall be hold it. You and I will be prefent at this grand folemnity.And is there not awful danger it may be a time of forrow with fome of us. I tremble for myfelf; I fear for you. When this day fhall open and come to país, then we fhall all know that this is the truth of God, and that though now you may refuse to hear, and be too callous to feel, then you fhall both hear and feel forever; though your hearts will not foften and relent, yet then you fhall be broken upon a thousand wheels. What a different fenfibility will then be awakened in every foul, when the laft fentence thall be pronounced? How infinitely varient will your future from your prefent feelings be? How will the finner, who can now trifle with God, his foul, and all the folemnities of eternity, then ardently with for one of thofe opportu nities of mercy and feasons of grace, which he now enjoys and flights? Hear him pouting forth the lamentable and despairing

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

moan, "O that I had one Lord's day more in the divine fervice, one of thofe afternoons when I heard as tho' I heard not, behaved as tho' God faw me not, and the matter was no con cern of my foul. How would I now improve the hour, how carefully would I hear, how fervently would I pray, and im plore the pardon of heaven and feek divine mercy and grace. But, alas, it is now too late; once I had good things, but now I must fuffer evil things forever. I remember I was often admonished and told, this would be the cafe, but then I was careless, ftupid and fecure; but now I care, I feel, and am tormented. O that all my fenfes were locked up in everlasting infenfibility; O that my being might be taken away; O that I was at once tormented out of exiflence, overborne and deftroyed by a fudden cruth of God's almighty arm.

But allow me to comfort the poor, feeble and affrighted believer. Be not alarmed and diftreffed, O chriflian, this fhall never be your cafe. The Saviour is your judge, and God is your friend. You now go mourning, jealous of the divine. favour, and often filled with mifgivings of heart left your fins are not pardoned. You weep, and floods of tears flow from your eyes in fecret places, on this account. But let faints lift up their heads and look forward to the all important day, when every thing fhall terminate in their favour, and they fhall have all their defires, and be ever with the Lord. Your forrows will then ceafe, your fears will vanifh away, your distress pass off like an afflicting dream of the night, your tears will be dried up, and you fhall find yourfelves in the perfection of hap. piness.

A word of exhortation will finish the prefent difcourfe :

Let finners tremble, and faints rejoice at the approaching profpect. To the former it will be the completion of your mif. ery, and to the latter the confummation of your blifs. The difference between faints and finners in this world is apparently

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

very inconfiderable, but in the great day it will be as manifeit
as between heaven and hell. Let not the terrors of the awful
feafon affright the fincere penitent and the true chriftian. Ee
not afraid with any aftonishment, only let it be recommended
to you to watch and be fober. Continually be putting on the
Lord Jefus Chrift and make no provifion for the flesh, to fulfil
the lufts thereof. "Seeing then that all thefe things fhall be
"diffolved, what manner of perfons ought ye to be in all holy
"converfation and godliness; looking for and haftening to the
"coming of the day of God, when the heavens being on fire
"fhall be diffolved, and the elements fhall melt with perfect heat.
"Little children, abide in Chrit, that when he fhall appear, ye
"may have confidence, and not be ashamed at his coming.-
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness
"in the day of judgment. Fear God and give glory to him,
"for the hour of his judgment is come, and worship him that
"made heaven and earth and the fountains of waters."
But
what shall I fay unto you, O finners. "Behold the day of the
"Lord that fhall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and
"all that do wickedly fhall be ftubble, and the day that com-
"eth fhall burn them up faith the Lord of hofts. Who may
"abide the dayof his coming, and who fhall ftand when he ap-
❝peareth, for he is like a refiner's fire and fuller's foap." Let
us all, my hearers, prepare for the folemn day. Let the awful
fcene recommend to us a speedy retreat from the storms of
divine vengeance under Immanuel's wings.
influenced by this fentiment, "that we must all appear before
the judgment feat of Chrift."

Let us ever be

SERMON XL.

Every one in the general Judgment rewarde according to his works.

Rev. 20. xii. And the dead fall be julged out of thofe things which were written in the books, according to their works.

A FUTURE and general judgment after the refurrection has already been proved, as alfo the exceeding great difference in the views and feelings of mankind now and hereafter, and the wonderful diftinction which will at that time appear between faints and finners. We fhall now attend to the fubject in a dif ferent way, or rather confider another branch of it. The apostle John, after he had been led by the fpirit of God to give a prophetic hiftory of all the important affairs, which relate to the church militant, the deftruction of the antichriftian powers, the binding Satan a thoufand years, the latter day glory, his being loofed again, his deceiving the nations and the great wickedness and perfecution which fhall again prevail on the earth, by Gog and Magog, and then when there will be no religion, and fcarcely faith to be found on the earth, opens

the general judgment fuddenly and unexpectedly. He informs us, that he faw in his vifion of futurity, a great white throne even the magnificent throne of judgment, the whiteness of which holds forth its fpotlets purity, and the perfectly righte ous and impartial judge who fat thereon, even the Lord Jesus Chrift, before whole refulgent glory, the earth and the heavens fled away, the elements diffolved and melted at his appearance, and the prefent frame of things to entirely vanished, that there was found no place for them. And then he beheld the affembled univerfe of angels and men, and the folemn process of the final judgment was intituted. Hence he fays, "I faw the "dead small and great and before God, and the books were "opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of "life." Here he beheld all, both righteous and wicked, both high and low, young and old, all who have exifted from the beginning to the end of time, collected in one immenfe affembly, which no man can number. And the books likewife were opened. By books is undoubtedly intended, the record of all the conduct of intelligent creatures, and the rules by which they are to be tried and judged. These two things are absolutely neceflary to be produced in judgment, the facts, and the rule according to which there facts are to be tried.

The books are here mentioned in the plural number, which evidently teaches us that there will be more than one. There will be the book of divine omnilcience-the book of confcience, and the book containing the rules of judgment.

The book of divine omniscience containing a perfect record of all the thoughts, words and actions of every intelligent creature that ever has exifted. The book of confcience, which is in the breat of every one, will perfectly anfwer to the entry. It will bear irrefiftible teftimony, that all the things recorded therein are accurate, jut and true. Men in this life forget the greatest portion of their condus, yet in that grand day

« PreviousContinue »