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“ round about. His lightnings enlightened the world, “ &c.”Open your eyes then, at last, ye infatuated men, and shake off that torpor which has hitherto enchained you. This is that very Jesus, whom you have so basely neglected and contemned; whose word you have despised; whose servants you have derided, and affronted; whose subjects you have oppressed; whose grace you have wantonly rejected; and of whom you have said, “ We will not have this man to reign over us." This same Jesus sits on the magnificent throne of the la Divine Majesty; and, having taken possession of an eternal kingdom, holds in his hand an iron rod, with which he will consume the whole earth. How strong soever with brass and iron, how splendid soever with gold and silver, he will break it in pieces like a potter's vessel; he will beat it like dust before the wind, and reduce it to powder like the mire of the streets. Ac. knowledge and adore the majesty of so great a King, and be afraid out of your close places. « Serve the “ LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss “ the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the “ way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.”p
XXXVII. As for us, in fine, who believe with the heart, that Christ sits at the right hand of the Father, the glory of so illustrious a King ought to generate the following sentiments in each of our breasts. 1. Holy reverence. If some faint rays of this splendour, sbining, so to speak, through inconsiderable chinks, struck pious beholders with so much amazement ;9 what profound reverence may we be expected to feel, who are in a manner surrounded with that inaccessible light in
r Ps. ü. 11, 12.
• Ps. xcvii. 1-5.
all its brightness! If, with a steady eye of faith, we behold him as clothed with that majesty, in which he appeared to John, it will be strange, if we too do not fall down at his feet, full of sacred dread. 2. An earnest concern that he who reigns so gloriously in heaven, may also reign in our hearts. O with what alacrity ought the gates of our cities, of our houses, of our souls, to be opened to him!s 3. A contempt of earthly, and a desire of heavenly objects. We see in Christ our Head," what is the hope of his calling, and what the * riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints," &c. Is it right that a man who has so great rewards set before him, and who, in that Spirit of glory which is given him, has now the pledge and the first-fruits of those rewards—is it right that such a man should childishly employ himself about the paltry trifles and delusive shadows of this world ? Ought we not rather, with a noble elevation of mind, to despise the unsubstantial and transitory equipage of a present world, as exhibiting nothing worthy our ambition ; and to aspire and pant after that celestial prize, that unfading Crown of glory, which will encircle our heads, whilst we shall sit together at the right hand of Jesus our King, in a state of everlasting rest and triumph ? Ought we not also, by our prayers, to anticipate and accelerate that glorious manifestation of the reign of Christ, so often promised in the sacred oracles, and those happy times, in which,
The golden age, the age of peace, returns ;
Religion pure, and love for human kind,
Lift high their head, and rule in every mind.* Or, rather, to adopt the language of a sacred poettimes, in which “ The mountains shall bring peace to “ the people, and the little hills by righteousness;" when “ He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, “ as the showers that water the earth ;” when, in fine, “ the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace “ so long as the moon endureth.”u
- Redeat concordia, virtus, Cumque fide pietas, alta cervice vagetur.
u Ps. lxxii. 3, 6, 7.
ON CHRIST'S COMING AGAIN TO JUDGMENT.
1. ETERNAL JUDGMENT is numbered by the Apostle among the first principles and fundamental articles of our holy Religion. And since this is the last act of the reign of Christ, the brightest manifestation of his Divine glory, the anchor of Christian hope, a powerful antidote against carnal security, a check to raging lusts, and an incentive to conscientious piety, -we ought surely to examine it with no less care and diligence than all the other articles of the Christian faith.
II. There are four public and universal judgments of the human race, mentioned in Scripture. The First took place in paradise, when the common parents of mankind were judged ;b the Second was passed on the antediluvian world;c the Third, on the nations assembled in the plains of Shinar, to carry into effect the daring enterprise of the tower of Babel.d The Fourth, is the last Judgment, of which we now speak; which
* Heb. vi. 2.
o Gen. iii. 8, &c.
will be the most universal, extending to all men without exception, to the dead as well as to the living.e
III. That God will at last judge all mankind and every individual, may be collected, 1st, From the book of common Providence. The fortunes of good and bad are here blended together, and similar events befal them. Nay, whilst wickedness reigns and flourishes, virtue not only misses her rewards, but is even trampled under foot by the profane, and suffers the punishments due to vice.8
Those mis’ries dire, which guilt alone should share,
Worth, that in public view might well have shone,
It is necessary, therefore, to the vindication of Divine justice, that sooner or later the state of things should be altered, and that a day should arrive which will demonstrate, in a light clearer than liquid fire, the vast difference betwixt the godly and the wicked. “Then “ they that feared the LORD spake often one to ano.
- Premit insonteis
Crimen iniqui. e 2 Tim. iv. i.
| Eecles. ix. 2. & Ps. lxxiii. 3.