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COME.

unto him against that day."k Is it them he speaks of?_"He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Does he include himself with them? then he says: “the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed;-we, which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."

The greatest and most ordinary objects of religious interest and expectation are also deferred for their completion unto this time. Is it grace?--though given now; still, as to its consummation, “it is to be brought unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”n Is it rest?-it is “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels." Is it salvation?-in numerous instances it is described, “as ready to be revealed in the last time.p “Finally, the Spirit and the Bride [the universal Church and the Holy Ghost in her,] say,

And let him that heareth say, Come.“He which testifieth these things saith, surely I come quickly:" and one who was in the Spirit responds—“Amen, even so come, Lord Jesus.” Rev. xxii. 17, 20.

I shall now, by way of shewing the practical tendency of the second Advent, and the consequent importance of this truth to every christian who desires edification, bring forward some of those testimonies, to which I adverted in the former essay, when I pledged myself to show the use which the writers of the New Testament make of it.

We have already seen, that they apply it, as the legitimate source of consolation, to those who mourn for the dead; what they may not sorrow, as those who have no hope" of seeing their friends return.9

We have likewise seen an apparent limitation of the reward to them that love his appearing;'an application of the subject, which, if it be not to be insisted on to its full extent, is nevertheless calculated to awaken heartsearchings. In regard to those passages which remain, I shall, to avoid circumlocution, only quote them at length; so heading them, as to point out the evangelical duties and graces to which they call us, and consequently the practical use made of them.

As a call to Repentance, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send Jesus Christ, &c." Acts iii. 19, 20.

k 2 Tim. i. 12. 1 Phil. i. 6. m 1 Cor. xv. 52; 1 Thess. iv. 17. 1 Pet. i. 13. 2 Thess. i. 7. p 1 Pet. i. 5. 41 Thess. iv, 13–18. r 2 Tim. iv. 8; Heb. ix. 28.

n

to love Christ; “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha;" which, being interpreted, is, “Let him be accursed-our Lord cometh.1 Cor. xvi. 22.

to love one another, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another, and toward all men, even as.we do toward you: to the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." 1 Thess. iii. 13.

to the mortification of earthly lusts; “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry;" &c. Col. iii. 4, 5.

“The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us--that denying ungodliness and unworldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present evil world; looking for that blessed hope, [even] the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.' Titus ii. 11-13.

to general Obedience and Holiness;“For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Matt. xvi. 27.

"And now, little children, abide in him, that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming." 1 John ii. 28.

“We know that when He shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as He is pure.” Ibid. iii. 2, 3.

“Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. xxii. 12.

to Spirituality of mind; “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, &c. Phil. iii. 20, 21.

to Works of mercy; When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall divide them one from another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

clothed me;

for I was hungry, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye

I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Matt. xxv. 31–36.

to Watchfulness;“Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to have been broken up. Therefore, be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.Matt. xxiv. 42, 44.

«Watch therefore: for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.Matt. xxv. 13.

“Let your loins be girded 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 to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching.” Luke xii. 35, 37.

“Behold I come as a thief: blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Rev. xvi. 15.

“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief: ye are all the children of light and of the day: we are not of night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as do others: but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thess. v. 4, 6.

“Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this Book.” Rev. xxii. 7.

to Patience and Long-suffering; “We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure; which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, &c.” 2 Thess. i. 4—7.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise: for yet a little while and He that shall come will come and will not tarry.” Heb. X. 36, 37.

“Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient-stablish your hearts -for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.James v. 7, 8. “Wherein (in the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time) ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. i. 6, 7.

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Pet. iv. 12, 13.

to Moderation and Sobriety;“Let your moderation be known unto all men: the Lord is at hand.''

Phil. iv. 5. "Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.i Pet. i. 13.

to ministerial Fidelity and Diligence. “Who is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” Matt. xxiv. 46.

“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, at his coming?" i Thess. ii. 19.

“I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things; and before Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Tim. vi. 13, 14.

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and doctrine." 2 Tim. iv. 1, 2.

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be rerealed: feed the flock of God which is among you; taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock: and when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 1 Peter y. 1-4.

Against censorious Judgment. “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord

1 Cor. iv. 5.

come, &c.

I reserve those passages which practically improve the doctrine of the Resurrection of the saints, until I come to treat more fully on that subject: in the mean while I earnestly beseech the reader, especially if he be a minister, dispassionately to consider what has been already advanced. It may be that in regard to some five or six texts, he may differ from me, as to their interpretation and consequent pertinence: but the great mass of evidence is such, as I am persuaded cannot be successfully controverted.

I would therefore humbly but seriously ask, Is the general tone or style of preaching consistent with these extracts? Has not the wisdom of man substituted its own invention for the wisdom of God? I grant that to the natural man an object of sense will always appear better suited to exercise a practical influence, than an object of faith; and therefore, to press home upon the thoughtless the certainty of death, of the truth of which event they have daily evidence, will seem a more likely method of awakening them, than to plead an Advent and a Resurrection. But to act thus is surely inconsistent in the spiritual man, who is the minister of a Gospel that especially addresses itself to the eye of faith: and a ministry thus conducted must be proportionably less fruitful, than one which more implicitly relies on what is written.

I say not that death is altogether an unscriptural subject of exhortation, but that it is a truth not to be compared, in regard to its prominency, with the Advent, Resurrection, &c. I admit, also, that so far as the mere determination of a man's future condition is concerned, the day of his death is virtually to him as the day of resurrection or judgment: but without entering into the proof, that it is not so influential in other respects, it ought to be enough for every christian mind to know, that it is not the Scripture mode of stating these truths. It is very proper as a private opinion, or in the way of additional argument; but the reverse is acted upon: this private opinion has ejected the testimony of the Spirit from its place in the pulpit; and the Advent and Resurrection and Kingdom of Christ are degraded to the private station.

May the voice of the betrothed spouse of Christ again be heard, crying, with the Spirit, COME! May those who have the first fruits of the Spirit be found in every instance “groaning within themselves, and waiting for the adoption,-to wit, the redemption of their body!

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