the counsels of God, for the little moment in a Christian's creed. restoration of that people to their - It is true that the expectation of ancient seats. This whole period a future retribution is what ought, will probably be a period of affliction, in the nature of the thing, to be a not to the Jews only, but also in sufficient restraint upon a wise some degree to the Christian church: man's conduct, though we were unfor not before the expiration of it informed of the manner in which it will the true church be secure from will be brought about, and were at persecution from without, from liberty to suppose that every indivicorruption, schism, and heresy with dual's lot would be silently deterin. But when this period shall be mined, without any public entry of run out,—when the destined time the Almighty Judge, and without shall come for the conversion and the formality of a public trial. But, restoration of the Jewish people, our merciful God hath been pleased immediately shall the sun be dark- to ordain that the business shall be ened, and the moon shall not give so conducted, and the method of it her light, i. e. great commotions and so clearly foretold, as to strike the revolutions will take place among the profane with awe, and to animate kingdoms of the earth.—Under the the humble and the timid. He image of these celestial disorders, hath warned us,-and let them who the overthrow of some wicked nations dare to extenuate the warning ponin the last ages is predicted; proba- der the dreadful curse with which bly of some who shall pretend to the book of prophecy is sealed, “ If oppose, by force of arms, the return any man shall take away from the of the chosen race to the holy land, words of the book of this prophecy, and the reestablishment of their God shall take away his part out kingdom.”

of the book of life," - God hath It is the general opinion of our warned us that the inquiry into Divines that the restoration of the every man's conduct will be public, Jews will consist in their conver -Christ himself the judge, the whole sion to the Christian faith, and race of man, and the whole angelic their re-admission into the Divine host, spectators of the awful scene. favour, and that their return to As no elevation of rank will then their native land, in addition to give a title to respect, no obscurity of those spiritual blessings, is also to condition shall exclude the just from

public honour, or screen the guilty from public shame.—The sentence of every man will be pronounced by

him who cannot be merciful to those READER.-Then shall appear the who shall have willingly sold themsign of the Son of man in heaven.-- selves to that abject bondage from The belief of our Lord's coming, so which he came to purchase their reexplicitly foretold, is an article of no demption,— who, nevertheless hav

be expected.

ing felt the power of temptation, doom from his mouth.—Who can knows how to pity them that have possibly conceive the joy and exbeen tempted; by him on whose ultation of that day, when good mercy contrite frailty may rely, men shall see their Lord coming whose anger hardened impenitence in the clouds of heaven, clothed must dread. To heighten the solem- with a human body, but bright and nity and terror of the business, the glorious as the sun; a body which Judge will visibly descend from still retains the marks of his sufferHeaven,—the shout of the archan- ings and the tokens of his love! gel and the trump of God will thun- How will it transport us to see him der through the deep,—the dead whom our soul loveth! to see him will awake,—the glorified saints will whom we have so ardently longed be caught up to meet the Lord in and desired to see! To see him, the air,—while the wicked will in I say, not as the shepherds did, a vain call upon the mountains and poor helpless infant, wrapped in the rocks to cover them. Of the swaddling clothes, and lying in a day and hour when these things manger; to see him not arraigned shall be, knoweth no man; but the as a malefactor, nor hanging in a day and hour for these things are shameful manner upon the cross, fixed in the eternal Father's coun- but to see him in all his majesty sels. Our Lord will come; he will and glory, to see him a triumphant come unlooked for, and may come conqueror and judge, to see him sooner than we think.

with crowns

and laurels in his God grant that the thought and hands, and in him to see the cerexpectation of that glorious advent tainty of our faith, the completion may be so fixed in our hearts, that of our hopes, the rewards of our by constant watchfulness on our patience and sufferings, and our part, and by the powerful succour final conquest over death and hell. of God's holy Spirit, we may be O joyful day, when this royal bridefound of our Lord, when he cometh, groom shall come in the glory of his without spot and blameless ! - Father to meet his



church, to conduct her to his FaAnd they shall see the Son of man ther's house, there to see and to coming in the clouds of heaven with partake in his glory, never to part power and great glory. This will be more! Methinks I see holy and the glory of that day, to see the devout souls, in the highest raptures visible appearance of the Son of and ecstacies of joy, embracing and man in the clouds of heaven, at- comforting one another at the aptended with myriads of angels to pearance of their Lord.

Here his throne of glory, where he sits comes the blessed Jesus, it is he encircled with the heavenly host, himself, the true image of God, the and all mankind standing before very brightness of his Father's glory! his tribunal, expecting their final This is that very day we bave so long expected and hoped for. Let his life for us, he who now invites us go forth, and meet him. He is us to repentance, he who now procome to judgment; but let those mises pardon and forgiveness to true tremble at judgment who are penitents. Let this teach us to reafraid of the judge. We are his : verence his laws, to imitate his exhe has bought us with his blood; ample, to put our whole trust in he has renewed and sanctified us by his merits and intercession, that his Spirit; and now he is come to when he cometh again in his gloriown us in the presence of men and ous majesty to judge both the quick angels, to bestow a kingdom on us, and dead, we may rise to the life to receive us to himself, that where immortal, as our church teaches us he is we may be also, and behold to pray.-SHERLOCK. his glory.

HYMN. But then, on the other hand, consider, I beseech you, what a terrible

Great God, what do I see and hear? sight it will be to bad men who The end of things created ! have laughed at the history of a

Behold the Judge of man appear

On clouds of glory seated ! crucified Jesus, and mocked at a

The trumpet sounds, the graves restore future judgment. And is he come, The dead which they contain'd before : will such a sinner say, and must I Prepare, my soul, to meet him ! be judged at last, when I thought

The dead in Christ shall first arise myself so secure of judgment ? At the last trumpet's sounding, What terror is there in his looks! Caught up to meet him in the skies, How do his eyes flame with ven

With joy their Lord surrounding.

No gloomy fears their souls dismay; geance! Who can abide the day

His presence sheds eternal day of his wrath! How can I appear On those prepar'd to meet him. before him as my judge whom I

But sinners, filled with guilty fears, would not have for my Saviour ?

Behold his wrath prevailing ; What account can I give of my For they shall rise, and find that tears actions, who never expected to be And sighs are unavailing. called to account for them ? The day of grace is past and gone ;

Trembling they stand before the throne What plea can I make for myself,

All unprepar'd to meet him. who would never believe, never be persuaded ? How can I bear his Great God, what do I see and hear?

The end of things created ! presence, and yet whither can I flee

Behold the Judge of man appear from him? When he condemns

On clouds of glory seated ! me, to whom can I appeal from the

Low at his cross, I view the day Judge and Saviour of the world ? When heav'n and earth shall pass away,

And thus prepare to meet him. Let these thoughts then make a deep impression upon our minds,

LUTHER (translated). before that day comes.

Let us remember that the Son of man will be our judge, he who laid down


unto you,

watched, and would not have V LXXVIII.

suffered his house to be broken CHAP. XXIV. 36–5).


44 " Therefore be ye also Because the day and hour of the judg. ready : for in such an hour as ment is unknown, we ought to watch like


think not the Son of man good servants expecting every moment our master's coming.


45 Who then is a faithful 36 | But of that day and and wise servant, whom his lord hour knoweth no man, no, not has made ruler over his housethe angels of heaven, ” but my hold, to give them meat in due Father only.

season! 37 But as the days of Noe 46 Blessed is that servant were, so shall also the coming whom his lord when he cometh of the Son of man be.

shall find so doing. 38 . For as in the days that 47 Verily I say were before the flood they were That - he shall make him ruler eating and drinking, marrying over all his goods. and giving in marriage, until 48 But and if that evil serthe day that Noe entered into vant shall say in his heart, My the ark,

lord delayeth his coming ; 39 And knew not until the 49 And shall begin to smite flood came, and took them all his fellowservants, and to eat away; so shall also the coming and drink with the drunken ; of the Son of man be.

50 The lord of that servant 40 ' Then shall two be in the shall come in a day when he field ; the one shall be taken, looketh not for him, and in an and the other left.

hour that he is not aware of, 41 Two women shall be grind- 51 And shall cut him asuning at the mill; the one shall der, and appoint him his portion be taken, and the other left. with the hypocrites: "there

42 Watch therefore : for shall be weeping and gnasbing ye know not what hour your of teeth. Lord doth come.

43 'But know this, that if 26. 1 Pet. iii. 20. - Luke xvii. 34; &c. --- ch. 17. 18. the goodman of the house had

Heb. lii. 5.-y Rev. xvi. 15.- ch. xxv. 21, 29. known in what watch the thief Luke xxii. 29. Or, cut him of:-a cb. viii. 12; & Iv. would come, he would have

o Mark xiii. 32. Acts i. 7. 1 Thes. v. 2. 2 Pet. ii. 10. -p Zech. xiv. 7.-9 Gen. vi. 3, 4,5; & vii. 5. Luke xvii. Mark . 33, &. . 39. . v. 2. 2 Pet. iii. 10. Rev. iii. 3: & xvi, 15.--uch. Fly.

1 Thes. v. 6.-r Luke xii. 42. Acts xx. 28. 1 Cor. iv. 2.



READER. As the days of Noe were, necessary, because we are not sure so shall also the coming of the Son of of a day.—To live always in exman be.They knew not until the pectation of dying does not signify flood came, and took them all away. a belief that we shall die to day, but

- The one shall be taken and the other only that we may. And such an left.Those who are under the expectation as this has nothing of power of sin are in a state of death; dread and terror in it, but only and if they die before they have a prudence and caution. Men may principle of new life in them, they live very comfortably and enjoy all fall under the power of death, that the innocent pleasures of life, with is, into that state of misery and these thoughts about them. To punishment which is appointed for expect death every day is like exsuch dead souls.—If death arrests pecting thieves every night, which us while we are in a state of sin, we does not disturb our rest, but only must die for ever; but if our souls makes us lock and bar our doors are alive to God, by a principle of and provide for our defence. Thus grace and holiness, before our bodies to expect death is not to live under die, they must live for ever. A the perpetual fear of dying, but to dead soul must die with its body, live as a wise man would do, who that is, sink into a state of misery, knows not that he must, but that which is the death and the loss of he may, die to day. That is, to be the soul. A living soul survives the always prepared for death, not to body in a state of bliss and happi- defer our repentance and return to ness, and shall receive its body God one moment; not to commit again, glorious and immortal, at the any wilful sin, lest death should resurrection of the just. But this surprise us in it; not to be slothchange of state must be made while ful and negligent, but to be always we live in these bodies ; a dead soul employed in our master's business, cannot revive in the other world, according to our Saviour's counsel, nor a living soul die there : and “Blessed is that servant, whom his therefore this life is the day of lord, when he cometh shall find God's grace and patience, the next so doing."-SHERLOCK. world is the place of judgment. Every good man can watch alSHERLOCK.

ways. And, that we may not be Watch therefore, for ye know not deceived in this, let us know, that what hour your lord doth come.

the running away from a temptation Since the time of our death is so is a part of our watchfulness, and unknown and uncertain to us, we every good employment is another ought always to live in expectation great part of it, and a laying in of it; to be so far from promising provisions of reason and religion ourselves long life, that we should beforehand is yet a third part of not promise ourselves a day, and this watchfulness. And the conthe reason for this is plain and versation of a Christian is a per

« ElőzőTovább »