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392 Reflextions on the Day of CHRIST's coming to Judgment. Sect. 162. felf, tho’ so much fuperior to them, but my Fa- ( but my Father only.) m ther alone, or the indwelling Godhead, from Mark XIII.

whom nothing can be concealed: And as he 32.

does not think fit to disclose it, let it be your
Care to improve this Uncertainty, as an Engage-
ment to the most diligent and constant Prepara-
tion for its Coming.

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IMPROV E M E N T.
T ET us now raise our Comtemplations to that awful Day, when all
L that was figuratively spoken of the Destruction of Jerusalem, shall
be literally accomplished; and let us consider our own intimate Concern

in it. Where will our Hope and Comfort, our Light, and our Safety be, Mat. xxiv. when the Sun shall be darkened, and the Moon hall not give her Light,

when the Stars Thall fall from Heaven, and the Powers of the Heavens Ball be shaken? Where indeed, unless the Almighty GOD, the Everlafting Fehovah, by whose Voice they were created, and by whose Hand they shall be dashed in Pieces again, shall condescend to be our Light,

and our Salvation? (Psal. xxvii. 1.) And if He indeed be so, then we Luke xxi. 28. may lift up our Heads with Joy; as knowing, that our compleat Redemp

tion draweth nigh, even that long-expected Day, which, with all its solemn Horrors, has still been the brightest Object of our Faith and

our Hopes. Mat. xxiv. Then shall the Son of Man indeed come in the Clouds of Heaven, with 30, 31. Power and great Glory, and send bis Angels to summon bis Elect, and

to assemble them from one End of Heaven to the other : For the Lord bimself mall descend from Heaven with a Shout, with the Voice of the Archangel, and with the Trump of GOD. (1 Theff. iv. 16.) May we hear the Summons with Joy, and stand in our Lot among his Chosen

Ones! What tho’ the Day and Season be unknown? It is enough for us 32. that we know, that all these interposing Days and Years, be they ever

so numerous, will at length be past ; for the Promise of the great Redeemer is our Security, and he will haften it in its Time. (Isa. Ix. 22.)

These visible Heavens shall be rolled together as a Scroll, and the Earth Ver. 31. shall be removed out of its Place; but the sure Word of his Promise shall

never pass away; even that Promise, which is engaged for the Salvation of his People. Let us often review it; let us firmly realize it to our Souls; and seeing we look for such Things, let us serioully consider what manner of Persons we ought to be in all holy Conversation and Godliness, (2 Pet. iii. 11, 14.)

SECT.

The Coming of the Son of Man shall be as the Days of Noah.

393

SECT. CLXIII.

Our LORD urges the Suddenness of his Appearance, as an

Engagement to constant Watchfulness, repeating several
Things which he had formerly said on that Subječt. Mat.
XXIV. 37, to the End. Mark XIII. 33, to the End.
Luke XXI. 34,----36.

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MAT. XXIV. 37.

Mat. XXIV. 37. BUT as the Days of Noe O UR Lord having told them in the preced- Sect. 163. D were, so shall also the

ing Words, that tho' the Time of h Coming of the Son of Man

pearance to the general Judgment was uncertain, Mat.
yet the Destruction of Jerusalem should happen 37.
before that Generation of Men was passed away,
went on with his Discourse, and added, But this
I will in general inform you, that as sudden and
unthought-of as the Deluge was, which came upon
the World in the Days of Noah, so unexpected

and surprizing also all the Coming of the Son of
38 For as in the Days Man, to execute his Vengeance, be. For as in 28
that were before the Flood, the Days which were before the universal Deluge,
they were eating and drink-
ing, marrying and giving they were so inconsiderate and secure, that they
in Marriage, until the Day went on with all their usual Business, and spent
that Noe entred into the their time in Entertainments eating and
Ark,

marrying Wives, and giving their Daughters in
Marriage, thinking of nothing but present Indul-
gence and future Settlements in the World (a); and
went on thus, in Contempt of every serious Ad-
monition, even until the very Day that Noah en-

tered into the Ark; And knew not, nor suf-20
39 And knew not, until
the Flood came, and took pećted, that any Evil was approaching, till the
them all away; so shall also Deluge came with an irresistible Violence, and
the Coming of the Son of bore them all away with a Torrent of Destruction :
Man be.
So also shall the coming of the Son of Man be, and

tho'

(a) They were eating and drinking, &c.] Dr. Woodward (in his Theory of the Earth, pag. 98.) thinks, these were modest Expressions, to fignify their giving themselves up to all the Extravagancies of Riot and Luft; and Wolfius (in loc.) has most learnedly proved, that gaucat al is often used in a very criminal Sense. But how great Reason foever there may be to believe, that the Antediluvian Sinners did to, these Words may be intended to express no more, than the Security and Gaiety, with which they pursued the usual Employments and Amusements of Life, when they were on the very Brink of utter Destruction. Vod. II.

Ddd

(6) Two

394 We pould take heed, he do not come upon us unawares : Sect. 162.tho' Men have been so frequently and plainly

w warned of it, yet Multitudes shall be surprized Mat. XXIV. in an unprepared State. (Compare Luke xvii. 39.

26, 27. pag, 189.) 40 I formerly told you with relation to the 40 Then shall Two be in Temporal Desolation of your Country, and I the Field, the one thall be

taken, and the other left: now repeat it; that of Two Men who shall then

be at work together in the Field, the one hall be 41 seized, and the other dismissed (6): And that of 41 Two Women fhall be

Two Women who hall be grinding Corn at the grinding at the Mill, the
fame Mill, the one mall be seized, and the other one thall be taken, and the

De unic Jhun OC Jerzeu, unu WC ODC! other left.
dismissed: (Compare Luke xvii. 35, 36. pag. 191.)
And I may say the like with respect to this im-
portant Event; many who have been engaged
in the same Station and Employments, and most
intimately conversant with each other, shall be
found exceedingly different in their Characters
and States ; and some of them shall be made the
Prisoners of Divine Justice, while others shall
not only be spared, but in a very singular Man-

ner favoured by God. Luke XXI. . And therefore, that no Calamities of Life, LUKE XXI. 34. And or Solemnities of Judgment, may be dreadful take heed to yourselves, lelt

at any Time your Hearts be to you, take heed to yourselves, lest at any Time overcharged with Surfeiting, · your Hearts be overloaded (c), and your Rational

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and Powers

(b) Two shall then be in the Field, &c.] Thoʻin the Paraphrase, for its better Connection, I have introduced these Words incidentally, and hinted how they may allusively be accommodated to the Day of Judgment; yet I doubt not, they originally refer to the Deftruction of Jerusalem, to which alone they are properly applicable. After this Paragraph, there is not a Word peculiar to that; but many Circumstances are introduced, which refer to the Day of Judgment, (and of Death, as transmitting to it,) and which can only be thus understood. I therefore hunibly conceive, that the grand Transition, about which commentators are so much divided, and so generally mittaken, is made precisely after these Two Verses.

Our Lord in the following Verses of Matthew and Mark, directs their Thoughts to that final Solemnity, in which they are so highly concerned, by repeating, almost in the same Words, the Cautions and Advices he had formerly given Luke xii. 35, & feq. Seet 114. in which whole Context (as I there observed, Note (f), pag. 121.) there is no Reference to those Temporal Calamities that were coming on the Yews, which have been here the subject of almost the whole preceding Discourse. And the Remembrance of what had passed on the former Occasion, might more easily lead them into the distinct understanding of what was now added. Tho'it may not be improper to recollect, that the same pious Care in their Temper and Conduct, which would be a Preparative against National Judgments, and entitle them to the special Protection of Providence in them, would also secure them from any unwelcome Surprize by a Call to the Tribunal of God.

(c) Tour Hearts be overloaded.] The Word Excurgeon properly signifies burthened, or preljed down; and so, very elegantly and strongly exprelles the hateful Consequences of Intemperance, and the Load which it brings on those Rational Faculties, which are the Glory

395

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For we know not the Hour when our Lord comes. and Drunkenness, and Cares Powers depressed and stupefied, by Gluttony and Sect. 1633 of this Life, and so that Day Drunkenness, or distracted with worldly and secular w come upon you unawares. Cares; and by this Means that awful and impor

c_ Luke XXI. tant Day of which I have been speaking, should34. 35 For as a Snare shall it come unexpected upon you. For the Character of 35. come on all them that dwell the Generality of Mankind at that Time will be on the Face of the whole Earth.

such, that it mall come on the greatest Part of all
them that dwell on the Face of the whole Earth (d),
as a Snare upon a thoughtless Bird, which in the

midst of its Security finds itself inextricably taken.
36 Watch ye therefore, (Compare Ecclef. ix. 12.) Let me theref
[MAR. take ye heed,] and

address this most serious Exhortation to you
pray always; that ye may be
accounted worthy' to escape an Earnestness proportionable to its Importance,
all these Things that fall Watch ye against every Temptation to Negli-
come to pass, and to stand gence and Sin, take heed of every Thing which
before the Son of Man: [for
ve know not Mar. when might lull you into a dangerous Security, and
the Time is,] or what Hour pray always with the most fervent Importunity;
your Lord doth come. ] that thro’ Divine Grace you may be accounted
(Mat.XXIV.42. MARK
XIII. 33.]

worthy to escape all these calamitous and destruc-
tive Things, which mail assuredly come to pass just
as I have described them, and may be happily
enabled, even in the Day of his univerfal judg-
ment, to stand forth with Courage and Accept-
ance before the Son of Man(e); for you know not
when the Time of him Appearance is, [or) at what
Hour your Lord does come to summon you before
him.

But

of the Human Nature. The Reader will observe, that Luke's Account of this Discourse is very short, in comparison with that of Matthew and Mark, for this obvious Reason ; that he had given us ihe chief Heads of it before, partly in a Discourse of our Lord's laft Coming, which was delivered to a very numerous Assembly in Galilee, (Luke xii. 35,-48.

Sect. 114.) and partly in another Discourse, relating only to the Destruction of Jerusalem, which was delivered in his Journey thither at the Feast of Dedication: (Luke xvii. 20,-37. Sect. 128.) Here therefore he chuses to omit what had been inserted on either of those Occasions; as John, who probably wrote after the Accomplishment of this Prophecy, entirely omits it, as already lo largely recorded by the former Three ; from whom, considering the Circumstance of Time, it came with infinitely better Grace, than it could afterwards have done from him.

(d) It mall come on all them that dwell &c.] The Exhortations that are connected with this Clause limit the Extent of the Word [all] to a considerable Number; for were it to be taken otherwise, there could have been no Room to offer them.

(e) To fand before the Son of Man.] I do not apprehend, that this is merely the Counterpart of escaping the Things spoken of before. There were Thousands of the Jews, that by one Providence or another escaped Temporal Destruction, who could with no Propriety be laid to fand before the Son of Man at his Coming. I have therefore paraphrased this latter Claufe as an Advance upon the former, which gives this Context a greater Connection, and jufter Distinction, than the Order in which most Harmonies place these Verses.

D d d 2

0) Happy

396

The faithful Servant shall be greatly rewarded : Sect. 163. · But this you know, and would do well to con- MAT. XXIV. 43. But lider it, that if the Master of a House that has at kn

know this, that if the Goode Mat. XXIV.

Man of the House had known 'any. Time been plundered by Robbers, had known in what Watch the Thief 43.

exactly in what Watch of the Night the Thief would come, he would have would have come, he would undoubtedly bave watched, and would not have

suffered his House to be browatched then ; and would have taken Care to be ken provided for him, and not have suffered his House to be broke open, or have left the Thief to make.

his Advantage by coming at an unexpected Time. 44 And therefore as it is of so much greater Consea ' 44. Therefore be ye also quence that you should be prepared against an un- ready: for in such an Hour

as you think not, the Son of seasonable Surprize, be ye also ready, and learn from

Man cometh,

i
such a common Occurence to be upon your Guard;
for I tell you again, that at an Hour when you think
not of it, the Son of Man cometh; and Multitudes,
of People will be as much surprized, as if they
had never heard in their whole Lives, that he
would come at all. (Compare Luke xii. 39, 40...es

pag. 120.) Mark XIII. (For the Son of Man is) in this Respect as a MARK XIII. 34: For 34. Man travelling to a distant Country, who, as he was the Son of Man is as a Man. leaving his House, gave Authority to his Head-Ser- left his House, and gave Au

taking a far Journey, who
vants to direct and oversee the rest in their Bu- thority to his Servants, and
finess, and assigned to every Man in the Family to every Man his Work,
his proper Work, and particularly commanded the at
and particularly commanded ths and commanded the Porter

to watch.
Porter to watch, and to see to it that the Doors
were properly secured, and ready to be opened

to him at his Return. Mat. XXIV. And who now, do you my Apostles suppose, Mat. XXIV. 45. Who is the faithful and prudent Servant, of whom his then is a faithful and wilę

Servant, whom his Lord hath. Lord has so good an Opinion as to have appointed made Ruler over his Househim Ruler over the rest of his Houshold, to give hold, to give them Meat in them (theirproper Portion of Food in due Sea- due Season? fon? You must easily apprehend, that the Expreffion may with the utmost Propriety be applied, to that high Office with which you are

invested, and to the Confidence placed in your
46 Integrity and Wisdom. And to excite you to 46 Blessed is that Serrant,

discharge this Office with the greatest Fidelity, whom his Lord when he
let me add, Happy indeed is that Servant, whom cometh, lhall find so doing.
bis Lord when he cometh, Mall find thus employed
in the proper Duties of his important Office,
distributing to each his Portion in a proper Man-

ner.

45.

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