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But when He shall appear again, although He will retain the same human form, that He may be recognised as the same Person, who was crucified through weakness, and may be known as such, both by His believing people, and by His enemies; yet He will not then appear in weakness, He will not appear as a sufferer, He will not come to be treated as a malefactor, He will not be the object of ridicule, the scorn and contempt of His enemies, as He was before; but they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. For the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, and then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. The splendour of the glory and majesty which He will then display, none can conceive. Three of His disciples were favoured with a glimpse of it, when He was transfigured before them in the holy mount, and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light; and they were so overpowered with it, that they fell on their face and were sore afraid. The beloved disciple St. John had again a view of it when he was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ; and it affected him so deeply that when he saw Him he fell at His feet as dead. The prophet Isaiah had a
43 2 Cor. xiii. 4. 44 Mat. xxv. 31. 45 Mat. xvii. 2,6. 46 Rev.i.9, 17.
vision of it also, when he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and it made him cry out, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." This language of the prophet, on his vision of the King of glory, may lead us to consider,
Secondly, The effect which will be produced upon the people of the world in general by the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn.
will cry out, Woe is me! for I am undone. behold He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so. Amen.48 But what will be the reason of their wailing and mourning? It will be because before Him shall be gathered all nations ; and He shall separate them one from another, each individual from his neighbour, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.49 And He will take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power 50 The success of Satan and his emissaries in deceiving the whole world that
47 Isa. vi. 1,5. 48 Rev. i. 7. 49 Matt. xxv. 32. 50 2 Thess. i. 8, 9.
lieth in wickedness, will then appear to have been great indeed. And the awful consequence will be, that the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, will endeavour to hide themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains; and say to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?51 Oh! what lamentations, and mourning, and woe31⁄2 will then fill the inhabitants of the earth, that they should have despised and rejected the Saviour of sinners; that they should have refused to come unto Him for life and salvation, when they were graciously invited to partake of these blessings freely, without money and without price.53 Those who would not be won by His love, will then be terrified by His power. Those who would not rejoice in His salvation, will then mourn over their own condemnation. Those who have not mourned over their sins here, will then mourn over the consequences of them; but their mourning will be of no avail, their distress will be without remedy; for they shall go away into everlasting punishment, and be banished from the blissful presence of the Son
51 Rev. vi. 15-17. 52 Ezek. ii. 10. 53 Isaiah lv. 1. 54 Mat. xxv. 46.
of man, to take up their dire abode in the blackness of darkness for ever.55
With what seriousness of mind does it become us to hear these solemn truths of the word of God. When the Lord Jesus Christ shall appear in His glory, then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn. They shall mourn from a consciousness that they had despised and rejected Him, that they would not have Him to reign over them. Let us bring the subject home to our own consciences, and ask ourselves, What will be our condition in this great and awful day of the Lord? Were our souls this night required of us, should we be prepared to meet Him? Have we humbled ourselves before Him? Have we sought His mercy? Have we received Him as the Saviour of sinners, the Saviour of our souls? Have we sought for the pardon of our sins and reconciliation with God, and the enjoyment of the Divine favour, through His humiliation, and death, and intercession? None of those who in that great day cannot recognise Him as the Redeemer in whom, through His grace, they have put their trust for pardon and salvation, will be able to endure the sight of Him when He shall appear with power and great glory. They will be conscious that they have slighted His mercy and grace, and
55 Jude 13.
that they have therefore to look for the wrath of the Lamb. And when the great day of His wrath is come, who shall be able to stand? His wrath will be insupportable by those who have rejected His mercy and despised His grace. It is our wisdom in this our day of His merciful visitation, in which we are graciously invited to believe in Him that we may be saved, to seek after the things which belong to our peace, that they may not be for ever hid from our eyes. May we be numbered among those who are now looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.56 While the door of mercy is yet open, may we flee from the wrath to come. The text sets before us,
Thirdly, The purpose for which most especially the Son of man will come; and that is, to gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. For as the Apostle says, Unto them that look for Him, shall He appear the second time, without sin unto salvation.57 Then He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.58 And therefore our Lord directed His disciples, When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.59 Such being the blessedness which awaits believers in the Lord
56 Jude 21. 57 Heb. ix. 28. 58 2 Thess. i. 10. 59 Luke xxi. 28.