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ones of the earth, rising out of their marble tombs, and brought to the bar, to answer for all their cruelty, injustice, oppression, and profanity, without any marks of distinc. tion, but what their wickedness puts upon them : Profane, unholy and unfaithiul churchmen, pursued with the curses of the ruined people, from their graves to the judgmentseat, and charged with the blood of souls, to whom they gave no faithful warning: Mighty men standing trembling before the Judge, unable to recover their wonted boldness, to out-wit him with their subtilties, or defend themselves by their strength : Delicate women cast forth of their graves, as abominable branches, dragged to the tribunals to answer for their ungodly lives : The ignorant, suddenly taught in the law, to their cost; and the leamed declared, before the world, fools and laborious triflers; the atheist convinced, the hypocrite unmasked ; and the profane, at long run, turned serious about his eternal state: Secret murders, adulteries, thefts, cheats, and other works of darkness, which scorned all human search, discovered and laid open before the world, with their most minute circumstances : No regard had to the rich, no pity shewn to the poor : The scales of the world turned ; oppressed and despised piety set on high ; and prosperous wickedness at last brought low : All, not found in Christ, arraigned, convicted, and condemned without respect of persons, and driven from the tribunal to the pit ; while these found in him, at that day, being absolved before the world, go with him into heaven. Nay, but thou canst not so escape. Thyself, whosoever thou art, not being in Christ, must bear a part in this tragical and frightful action.

Sinner, that same Lord Christ, whom thou now despisest, whom thou woundest through the sides of his mes. sengers, and before whom thou dost prefer thy lusts, will be thy Judge. And a neglected Saviour will be a severe Judge. 0! what mountain, what rock wilt thou get to fall on thee, and hide thee from the face of him that sitteth on the throne ? Thou hast now a rock within thee, heart of adamant, so that thou canst count the darts of the world as stubble, and laugh at the shaking of the spear: But that rock will rent, at the sight of the Judge; that hard heart will then break, and thou shalt weep

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and wails

when weeping and wailing will be to no purpose. Deaths bands will fall off; the grave will vomit thee out ; and the rocks refuse to grind thee to powder. How will these cursed eyes abide the sight of the Judge ! Behold he cometh! Where is the profane swearers, who tore his wounds? the wretched worldling, now abandoned of his God; the formal hypocrite, who kissed him, and betrayed him ? the despiser of the gospel, who sent him away in his messengers groaning, profaned his ordinances, and trampled under foot his precious blood ? O murderer, the slain Man is thy Judge! There is he whom thou didst 90 maltreat! Behold the neglected Lamb of God, appearing as a lion against thee! How will thine heart endure the darts of his fiery looks! That rocky heart now kept out against him, shall then be blown up! That face, which refuseth to blush now, shall then gather blackness! arrows of wrath shall pierce, where arrows of conviction cannot enter now. What will thou answer him, when he riseth up, and chargeth thy unbelief and impenitency ? Wilt thou say, thou was not warned ? Conscience within thee, will give thee the lie: The secret groans and weariness of those who warned thee, will witness the contrary. If a child or fool did tell you your house were on fire, you would immediately run to quench it; but in matters of eternal concern, men will first fill their hearts with pre. judices against the messengers, and then cast their message behind their backs. But these silly shifts and pretences will not avail, in the day of the Lord. How will these cursed ears, now deaf to the call of the gospel, inviting sinners to come to Christ, hear the fearful sentence, “ Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels ?” No sleepy hearer shall be there : No man's heart will then wander: Their hearts and eyes will then be fixed on their misery, which they will not believe. Othat we knew in this our day, the things that belong to our peace.

Lastly, Be exħorted to believe this great truth; and be lieve it so, as you may prepare for its judgment betimes. Set up a secret tribunal in your own breasts, and often call yourselves to an account there. Make the Judge your · friend in time, by closing with him in the offer of the gospel ; and give all diligence, that ye may be found in

Christ at that day. Cast off the works of darkness, and live, as believing you are, at all times, and in all places, under the eye of your Judge, who will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing. Be fruitful in good works, knowing that as ye sow, ye shall reap. Study piety towards God, righteousness and charity towards men. Lay up in store plenty of works of charity and mercy, towards them who are in distress, especially such as are of the household of faith, that they may be produced that day" as evidences, that ye belong to Christ.

Shut not up your bowels of mercy, now, towards the needy; lest ye, then, find no mercy. Take heed, that in all your works, ye be single and sincere ; aiming, in them all, at the glory of your Lord, a testimony of your love to him, and obedience to his command. Leave it to hypocrites, who have their reward, to proclaim every man his own goodness, and to sound a trumpet, when they do their alms. It is a base and unchristian spirit, which cannot have satisfaction in a good work, unless it be exposed to the view of others; it is utterly unworthy of one who believes that the last trumpet shall call together the whole world; before whom the Judge himself shall publish works truly good, how secretly soever they were done. Live in a believing expectation of the coming of the Lord. Let your loins be always girt and your lamps burning ; so when he comes, whether in the last day of your life, or in the last day of the world, ye shall be able to say with joy, Lo, this is our God, and we have waited for him.

HEAD V.

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

MAT. XXV. 34.

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.

AVING, from this portion of Scripture, which the

text is a part of, discoursed of the general judgment; and being to speak of the everlasting happiness of the saints, and the everlasting misery of the wicked, from the respective sentences to be pronounced upon them in the great day; I shall take them in the order wherein they lie before us; the rather, that a sentence is first past upon the righteous, so the execution thereof is first begun, though possibly the other may be fully executed before it be completed.

The words of the text contain the joyful sentence itself, together with an historical introduction thereto, which gives us an account of the Judge pronouncing the sentence; the King, Jesus Christ; the parties on whom it is given, them on his right hand ; and the time when, then, as soon as the trial is over. Of these I have spoken already. It is the sentence itself we are now to consider, Come.ye bleseed of my Father, &c. Stand a-back, O ye profane goats ; have away all unregenerate souls, not united to Jesus Christ; this is not for you. Come, O ye saints, brought out of your natural state, into the state of grace ;

behold here the state of glory awaiting you. Here is glory let down to us in words and syllables; a looking-glass, in which you may see yopr everlasting happiness; a scheme (or draught) of Christ's Father's house, wherein there are many mansions.

This glorious sentence bears two things. (1.) The complete happiness to which the saints are adjudged, the kingdom. (2.) Their solemn admission to it, « Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit;" &c. First, their complete happiness is a kingdom. A kingdom is the top of worldly felicity; there is nothing on earth greater than a kingdom ; therefore the hidden weight of glory in heaven, is held forth to us under that notion. But it is not an ordinary kingdom, it is the kingdom ; the kingdom of heaven, surpassing all the kingdoms of the earth in glory, honour, profit and pleasure, infinitely more than they do in these excel the low and inglorious condition of a beggar in rags and on a dunghill. Secondly, There is a solemn admission of the saints into this their kingdom, “ Come ye, inherit the kingdom.” In the view of angels, men and devils, they are invested with royalty, and solemnly inaugurated before the whole world, by Jesus Christ the heir of all things, who hath all power in heaven and in earth. Their right to the kingdom is solemnly recognized and owned! They are admitted 'to it, as undoubted heirs of the kingdom, to possess it by inheritance or lot, as the word properly signifies; because of old, inheritances were designed by lot, as Canaan to Israel, God's first-born, as they are called, Exod. iv. 22. And because this kingdom is the Father's kingdom, therefore they are openly acknowledged in their admission to it, to be the blessed of Christ's Father; the which blessing was given them long before this sentence, but is now solemnly recognized and confirmed to them by the Mediator, in his Father's name. It is observable, he says not, Ye blessed of the Father; but, Ye blessed of my Father ; to shew us, that all blessings are derived on us from the Father, the fountain of blessing, as he is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we are blessed, Eph. i. 3. And finally they are admitted to this kingdom, as that which was prepared for them, from the foundation of the world, in God's eternal purpose, before they, or any of them were ; that all the world may see eternal life to be the free gift of God.

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