« AnteriorContinuar »
cation than the accustomed time for one sermon will admit, it must be deferred till another opportunity; and the present discourse shall be closed with a few words of application.
You have heard, my brethren, of the certainty of the judgment; and of the character of the judge, and the manner of his appearance. At the appointed time Jesus will come to judge the world in righteousness. You and I, and the whole race of Adam, must stand at his judgment seat, and receive due reward, either to endless felicity, or to everlasting woe. And will you make no preparation for this the most momentous event, in its nature and consequences, which can possibly take place during the period of your existence, in time and eternity 1 Will you spend the short time of your probation here in the service of folly and sin? Will you consume it in the cares of this world, or in setting your hearts upon the deceitfulness of riches? Will you waste it in taking thought for your life, what ye shall eat and what ye shall drink ?—and for your body, what ye shall put on? Will you not reflect on the termination and the final issue of the limited period appointed for your life in the present state, which—if it should amount to threescore years and ten, or fourscore years—compared with the eternity entailed upon you, is less than an hour, less than a minute, placed in comparison with a million years? The continuance of your life here is altogether uncertain: you know not what a day may bring forth. But this much you know, that your life at the longest is short. "For what is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." Death is insensibly, but rapidly, stealing upon you. He will soon execute his appointed commission. And after death comes judgment. Are you then prepared to stand at the judgment-seat of Christ? If you should this night hear the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, calling the living and the dead to judgment, what sensations would it produce in your breast? Are you in the number of those who '' love the appearance of Christ?" What reason or evidence have you to suppose that you would be found in him, washed in his blood, clothed with his righteousness, and sanctified by his Spirit? Have you sought an interest in his mercy, grace, and love? Or have you considered the awful consequence of dying without an interest in the Saviour, in an unholy, impenitent, and unbelieving state? Alas! all who die thus, must be cast and condemned in the judgment. They must for ever be banished from the presence of God, the fountain of all happiness, the fellowship of the holy angels, and the society of all the excellent of the earth. May the God of all grace, grant that you, my dear hearers, may escape this dreadful doom, which, alas! will be the portion of multitudes; for Jesus, who is to be the judge, has declared that "broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat;" and that many will say to him in that day, "Lord, Lord," to whom he will address the tremendous words, "Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you." Oh how dreadful will be the state of those, who hearing the gospel of Christ, receive this grace of God in vain, and die in their sins! who depart out of life unconverted, unrenewed, without a saving interest in Jesus, and consequently unprepared for his judgment-seat! May the Holy Spirit, my brethren, lead you to an impartial examination as to the foundation of your hope! May he deeply convince you of your sin and danger! May he take of the things of Christ, shew them unto you, and lead you to a reliance on the blood and righteousness of this all-sufficient Saviour! The same Jesus who will hereafter appear seated upon a throne of judgment, is at present seated upon a throne of grace. O may you now look to him, as your prophet to teach you; as your priest to atone for your sins, to intercede for you and bless you; and as your king to reign over you in righteousness, to subdue your sins, to conquer your enemies; and as the captain of your salvation to lead you through difficulties and dangers to the promised inheritance in his kingdom and glory. Found in him, and depending on his merits, righteousness and grace, you may triumphantly challenge all accusers. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died ; yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
I trust that some of you, dear brethren, who are now in the presence of God, have a good hope through grace of an interest in the blood and righteousness of Jesus your Saviour, who is hereafter to be your judge. As far, Christians, as your hope in the Saviour is well founded, and lively in its exercise, so far you will look for and love the appearing of Jesus. And " to those who look for him, he will appear the second time without sin, unto salvation. There is laid up a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give at that day unto all them that love his appearing." O let it be your concern to be actually as well as habitually ready at all times to meet your Lord in the hour of death, and at the last judgment. May "you have your lamps trimmed and oil in your vessels, that whenever the bridegroom cometh, ye may go forth to meet him with confidence and joy. Let your loins be girt about and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching." Therefore watch and pray. "Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure." Endeavour to keep "a conscience void of offence towards God, and towards man." Pray for grace that you may so spend your remaining days, that your hearts may not condemn you while you live; nor your consciences when you die. "Be stedfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."