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ness," &c. Continuing the subject, he adds in the next chapter, "Walk in love, as Christ hath loved us:" and then, speaking of some particular sins, he says, verse 6, "Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience: Be not ye therefore partakers with them." Does not this afford a plain intimation, that they who believe in Jesus, and confess unto his name, shall not escape without stripes, if they follow after their own devices, and are so found when he cometh? So in Colossians iii. the apostle says, "when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth."-Is not, then, this mortification necessary?. Again, in 1 Thess. iii. Paul says, "The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, to the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." Something to the same effect is repeated in chapter v. and he there concludes his exhortation with a prayer, that "their whole spirit, soul, and body, may be preserved: blameless unto the coming of our Lord." 2 Thess. i. 6-12, is equally explicit: and in his first epistle to Timothy vi. 11-14, he charges him to keep the com→
mandment unto good works "without spot, unrebukable unto the Lord's appearing." The apostle James, v. 8, exhorts the Church, "Be ye patient; stablish your hearts," adding as a motive, "for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." And so Peter, in 1 Pet. i. 7, speaking of temptations, observes, that this "trial of their faith will be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Christ." And in 2 Pet. iii. 11, after mentioning the second advent, he asks, most significantly, what manner of persons ought we then to be, looking for and hasting unto the coming of that day?”
It is written, Rom. xiv. 10, "We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Again, 2 Cor. v. 10, "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, whether they be good or evil. Jude 14, 15, is to the same purpose. It is also written, Matt. vii. 1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.” And 1 Cor. xi. 31, "If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged; but when we are judged we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." These things are addressed to the Church. The Lord's revealed purpose is "to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous
of good works.""They are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." They are made "the temple of the living God"-the promise is, "my grace is sufficient for thee," and God hath said, "I will dwell in them and walk in them." The works, therefore, which are pleasing to the Lord, are his own works in his people. His promise to them is, unto good works: and unless their faith fail, they shall surely abound therein. We who believe, shall acknowledge that "He hath wrought all our works in us." The parable of the sheep and the goats, Matt. XXV. describes the judgment of Messiah, when he sits upon the throne of his glory, at the second advent. It is there represented as a judgment according to works, and it will certainly be found, in that day, that the Lord's elect are the only ones, by whom good works have at any time been wrought; for to them, and to them only, does he give "to will and to do of his good pleasure." Let it not in any wise be imagined, that the view here taken, militates in the most remote degree, against the doctrines of free and sovereign grace; every part of Scripture is alike a portion of God's truth; it is only as we understand them not, that we think one part seems opposed to the other.
This subject is of vast importance as a matter of interest to each individual, and therefore it will be
profitable that Christians should inquire for themselves, searching the Scriptures whether these things be so; seeking, through the Spirit of God, the knowledge of his truth in this matter. It is only as they know not the Scriptures, that men do err concerning divine things, and we have a sure word of promise, that he who seeketh shall find. And, moreover, it is written, "If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him."
The In-gathering of the Church.
The gathering of the Lord's remnant in the flesh, from out of the nations of the earth, has been described in Rev. vii. The four angels, who stand upon the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, are commanded not to hurt the earth till all the servants of God are sealed. But they are not only to be sealed-to receive the Lord's mark of adoption-but they must also be brought forth from the world that lieth in the wicked one, whose end is to be burned.
It has been already seen, that when the Son of Man cometh in the clouds of heaven, he shall send forth his angels to gather his elect-his sealed ones. The elect to be thus gathered cannot, therefore, be they who are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, for such will at once form part of his triumphant army. As this prophecy is future, who or what may be the angels who shall be sent forth, remains to be seen in that day.