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ST. MATTHEW xxvi. 64.
Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right
hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven.
E here learn, from our Saviour himself,
the certainty of that great event which every Christian expects, as the completion of all his hopes ; and every pious heart is prepared to answer,
“Even so come, LORD JESUS.' In discoursing on a subject which is so far above the reach of our weak understandings, it is my intention carefully to avoid saying any thing which is not revealed in scripture. It shall be my humble endeavour to collect from the Word of God, what is told us concerning the judgment of the great day, and the happiness or misery to which every human being will then be sentenced.
If ever there was a subject worthy to fix the attention of a reasonable creature, it is that on which I am now to speak. All the little distinctions of this world shrink to nothing in comparison with it. All the studies which have employed the learned, all the glories which attend the conqueror, appear unworthy of regard. We know and feel that all are vanity and vexation of spirit. This is a subject in which we can gain no information, except from the revealed Word of God. Of this the heathens knew nothing, and frequently wished for instruction. They committed the bodies of their friends to the earth, or to the flames, and knew not that they were ever to rise again. They resigned their souls to God, without any sure and certain hope that He would make them for ever happy. All human prospects end with death, and the eye of reason can pierce no farther.
None ever returned to tell the secrets of the invisible world. Little remained of that light which God had given to our first parents. The hopes of the best men were mixed with doubt and uncertainty, and it was only by death they were taught those glorious truths which every Christian knows ; it was only by death thev were taught that there
is a reward for the righteous, that there is a God who judgeth the earth.
But to us, my brethren, the Gospel has brought life and immortality to light. There we learn, that when our blessed Lord had ascended into Heaven in the presence of his disciples, and a cloud received him out of their sight; two men stood by them in white apparel, who said,
Why stand ye gazing up into Heaven ? This same Jesus, which is taken
into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into Heaven."* Our Saviour in my text informs us, that we shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven. He tells us, that or when the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the Holy Angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered all nations.”+
“ Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him."* Such is the language of scripture, and such is the firm belief of every Christian.
Christian. Of the day and the hour knoweth no man; but we all know that the day of the Lord will come ; and blessed is he whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching!
* Acts i. 11. + Matt. xxv. 31.
* Rev. i. 7.
“ He cometh indeed, but how changed! How different his appearance to what it once was ! How shall we be able to conceive of it as it deserves; to raise our thoughts from the voice of the tender Babe in the manger, bewailing our sins that brought him thither, to the voice of the Son of God, from which the heavens and the earth shall flee away, and no place shall be found for them any more for ever ? Yet so it is. Behold, He who came in swaddling clothes, cometh with clouds. He who came to preach the day of salvation, cometh again to proclaim the day of vengeance. He who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, leads his ten thousands to the prey, as the lion of the tribe of Judah. He who cried not, nor lifted up his voice against his enemies on earth, thunders with the glorious voice of his excellency against them from heaven. He who quenched not the smoking flax, extinguishes the great lights of the world, darkens the sun, and turns the moon into blood ; commands the stars from their stations, and the dead from their graves ; shakes the powers of Heaven, and