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indignation of the most high God under which they must labour through everlasting ages. “ The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” This being done, the persons to be judged must now appear. Which is the last ihing to be considered. And here it will be necessary to be a little more particular.
* Thousand thousands minister unto him." These na doubt are the angels of God, who will attend our Lord on this extraordinary occasion : as he himself informs us, that be will come in the clouds of heaven, and all bis holy angels with bim, 0 how unlike the inan of sorrows doth he now appear! Now he ass'ümes all the majesty and grandeur of a God; and appears with all that astonishing pomp and inconceivable splendour which shall strike terror into'tbe hearts of all his enemies. " And ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him." These doubtless signify the persons to be judged. A certain is put up for an uncertain number. But St. John speaks with greater propriéty, and informs us, that he saw the dead both small and great arise and stand before God. That is to say, he saw all the sons and daughters of Adam. All that ever did live, all that do now live, and all that ever shall live, till time itself shall be no more, gathered together before the tribunal of God. And () what an immense multitude! Never was there such a concourse of people since the foundation of the world was laid as this ! And perhaps some very ignorant person may say, The multitude will be so great that per: haps I may hide myself among them, and escape the notice of God. O foolish man that thou art. Escape the eye of the omniscient God! 0) no; nor if thou wast entombed in. the centre of the earth, or hid at the bottom of the sea. He will cause all, to appear at his bar, and not one shall be left behind.
We are told that the dead in Christ, or the righteous shall rise first; but notwithstanding, we will consider the con: duct of God, at this great day, towards the wicked first, and then afterwards his conduct towards the righteous. And in order to set this in as clear a light as may be, it will be necessary to speak as if that most tremendous day was already come. We will then suppose that this is the case, and a mighty angel descends from heaven, and stands with one foot upon the sea and the other upon the earth, and he lifts up his right hand towards heaven, and swears by him that liveth for ever and ever, that there shall be time no longer. O what an awful word is this. Time is
bricked then start shall be de
How come to a final end; and all mankind shall enter upon an eternal state. He is succeeded by another mighty angel; who flies through the midst of heaven and sounds the last Trumpeti And he speaks with a voice, which all the ends of the earth; which all the dead throughout the world in the same instant shall hear; and immediately arise. The wicked then hear the voice of the Archangel, and the sound of the trumpet of God, and in a moment they start into sudden life. '() yes, they now awake to shame and ever Jasting contempt. Inconceivable fear, and an horrible dread immediately seizes upon them, and looking up they see the heavens rending over their guilty heads, and the elements melting with fervent heat ; and at the same time the Sun is turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, and the earth is all in flames around them. Every person, and every thing they belold only increases their distress; but most of all, when they see the Judge of quick and dead coming in the clouds of heaven in order to doom them to' everlasting destruction ; for I make no doubt but they already feel the forebodings of the vengeance of God, which is about to fall upon their devoted heads. However reluctant, they are caught up to meet the Lord in the air; and are constrained to appear before his dread tribunali Arid he whose eye penetrates the deepest and darkest recesses of the human heart, will clearly distinguishi between the righreous and the wicked; and accordingly he will place the latter' at his left hand. Behold, how they tremble! For will they not remember the word of the Lord, and will not the remembrance of it pierce them to the heart? Will not every one be ready to cry out for anguish of spirit, Alas for me that ever I was born; I am placed among the Goats. Cursed be the day that I neg. lected tne salvation of God; I am everlastingly undone, for I am upon the left hand of the Judge, among the wretched sons of wickedness." ;
The books are now opened. And first the book of God's omniscience is opened ; and herein all their most ungodly and unrighteous deeds are recorded, not one of them is forgotten. God fulfils his own word, and brings every work into judgment. That which was done in midnight dark. ness is brought to open day-light: and that which was committed in the most secret place, shall be exposed to view before God, angels, and men. Many there are who bless themselves, if they can only hide their crimes from their poor' fellow-creatures, and greatly rejoice when they bave
reason to think that no one hath seen or heard them. But, alas, their laughter is turned into everlasting heaviness, and their mirih into eternal sorrow. Many labour hard to forget their crimes; and vainly think that, because they have forgotten them, God has forgotten them also. But now they shall see thąt all these things are noted in his book. O what a black, what a dismal catalogue is here! All their.. wicked purposes, all their sinful desires, all their ungodly words, and their abominable actions, are brought to light. What an Ezekiel's roll is this ! written within and without with lamentation, and mourning and woe! - But the book of conscience will also then be opened, and this shall exactly tally with the book of God. There shall not be the shadow of a jar between them. However men may have bribed conscience; however they may have stilled its voice, and slighted its warpings : "however they may have laboured to lull it to sleep: yet now conscience will be found to have been a faithful register, and will appear against the sinner himself as the upright witness of God; so that every one will be condemned by his own conscience, as well as by the righteous judgment of God.:
Then will the Judge, with terrible majesty in his countenance, turn to these poor unhappy creatures, and say, "I was bungry, and ye gave me no meat; thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick and in prison, and ye visited me not." But they, not understanding our Lord's meaning, reply, “Lord, when sew we thee hungry, and did not feed thee? When saw wę thee-thirsty, and gave thee no drink? Or naked, and did not clothe thee?" and the like. And he shall reply to their everlasting confusion. 6 Forasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these my Brethren, ye have not done it unto me." Behold, they are condemned for that which they least of all expected : their want of love for, and kindness to, the children of God. Our Lord seems, in pronouncing the sentence, to pass by all the dreadful crimes which they had committed against himself, and only to take notice of their neglect of his saints and servants, But in his words more is implied, than is expressed. : It iş as if our Lord had said, Ye have already been proved 19 be deeply guilty, and your own consciences testify against you. But I will now give you to understand, that I judge of your temper and disposition of mind towards me, by that which you have always manifested towards these my Disciples. You well know, that you never cordially loved
to paredi Our Lf love for
them. The enmity of your carnal minds would not suffer you to delight in them. You never could bring your proud and haughty spirits to think of uniting in holy fellowship with them. If you did not hate and persecute them; if you did not despise and condemn them ; yet you treated them with neglect and disregard.' And this fully proves that you never embraced the offers of mercy which I' so fiequently made to you'; nor have you experienced the renewing power of my grace in your minds. You are therefore carnal, unholy, and unclean, and cannot be ad.. mitted into my kingdom ; nor could you be happy there, as you are not made meet for the enjoyment of it. There fore, depart from me,'ye 'corsed. But O whither shall they depart! In whiát dark and 'desolate region shall these miserable wretches take up their everlasting abode!. Depart from me into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels. O dreadful sentence! Depart from me! From the gracious presence, and from the enjoyment of God. From the blest society of angels and glorified happy spirits. From the enjoyment of heaven and all that is good or wise. Depart from me into everlasting fire. They are now eternally abandoned of God; and therefore may we not suppose that ten thousand Devils immediately seize upon them, and drag them away, and down they cast them headlong, ten thousand times ten thousand fathom deep, into the dark and dismal regions of eternal night. Here they lie under adamantine chains of everlasting darkness. Overwhelmed with the wrath, and curse, and vengeance of God. Here their worm dieth not, and the fire of God's indignation is not quenched. They have no rest through one eternal night, but the sinoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever. And will this be the portion of the wicked! Then, o' my soul, come not thou into their secrét*; with their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united. But there we will leave them, to weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth,' for bitter anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage, into which they have bronght themselves. And we will turn our eyes to a bright and glorious scene, and consider the conduct of God towards the righteous." • But in order to set this in a clear light, we must go back a Jittle, and consider how differently these will be affected, when they hear the voice of the Archangel, and the Trumpet of God. They hear it, and in an instant arise from the dead. That' which was sown in dishonour iş now raised in
g'ory. A spiritual body is prepared for each happy soul : and these are now so united that they shall part no more for ever. In how many, justances will it. so happen that the wicked and lhe righteous shall arise out of the same grave, But O how astonishingly different the one from the other! The righteous look up with inconceivable joy, and see the Lord of Life and Glory coming in the clouds of heaven; pot so much to judge them, as to receive them lo himself for ever. Will not each one be ready to cry out in holy triumph; O'tis my Saviour, my Jesus, my Lord and my God; who having redeemed me with his precious blood, will now glorify me with hiurself for ever. With what inexpressible joy do they meet him in the air, where they soon find themselves placed among the sheep on his right hand; the consideraţion of which must needs fill them with unut terable happiness; as no doubt they will remember the word of the Lord, which is now happily fulfilled in them. No books are opened against them. Ono; only the book of Jife, in which their names are found written. And although the righteous may have a lively remembrance of their past sins, and may see as they never did before, from what a depth of sin and misery the Lord hath saved them; yet this shall have no tendency to condemn, or to raise in their minds the least degree of fear; but, on the contrary, shall cause them the more to admire the mercy and loye of God, which has been already abundantly manifested towards them. Yes, the mercy and love of God in Christ Jesus was manifested to them in the present world, so that even then they could rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And what is still Inore, an innumerable number of them have been for agęs upon ages in heaven already, as happy disembodied spirits. What then can either of these have to fear? Verily, nothing at all.. Will not our blessed Lord, with a heavenly smile upon his countenance, turn towards these his beloved Dis ciples, and say: 'Come, ye blessed Children of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was liungry, and ye gave me meat; · I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was naked, and ye
clothed me; I was a stranger, and ye took ine in; sick and : in prison, and ye yisited me. But the righteous, well
knowing that they are wholly saved by grace, and that they · are infinitely indebted to the precious blood of the Lamb, by · which they were redeemed to God. And far from feeling
the least desire to take any glory to themselves; overpow. ered with the consideration of the goodness of God toward