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ye have been faithful over a few things, I will make you rulers over many things enter ye
into the joy of your
My brethren, can you conceive the rapture which will thrill through the heart of every regenerate sinner, when the voice of the Son of Man shall sound these gracious words? Yet even this shall be but a prelude to the full chorus of unutterable joy, which shall then rise, and swell and prolong its deepest tones of absorbing harmony: when they shall actually be made partakers of their Redeemer's blessedness; they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more ;
neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters : and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. The language of man cannot express more-the heart of man cannot conceive more-the eternal God as an affectionate Parent, wiping away the tears from the eyes of his dear children ; tears, shed under a deep sense of their unworthiness of such a Father!
Poor trembling Christian, whose best services are unprofitable, whose holiest thoughts are sinful, who dare scarcely venture to imagine yourself a child of God; is it possible that this reception awaits you, that this joy and glory
" He ever
shall be yours? Yes, if you be a Christian indeed, it is more than possible, it is sure, it is irreversibly certain : for, “ if when you were dead in sins, you were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, you shall be saved by his life.” liveth to make intercession for
and because he liveth, you shall live also.” that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn.”* Not a feeling of Christian compassion shall be overlooked; not an excercise of Christian kindness shall be forgotten; “not a cup of cold water given in the name of Christ, shall lose its reward.”+
“ No weapon
IV. Consider finally, the time of this judgment. Most men look upon it as removed beyond an indefinite series of years, and the effect which ought to be produced by its acknowledged importance is dissipated in the distance. Effects ought to be strong or weak in proportion to the magnitude of the causes which produce them. Is there any comparison between the importance of a Physician's judgment upon the alarming disease of my friend, or my child; and the judgment of the Son of Man, upon assembled millions of immortal souls in the last day? None whatever: and yet the former excites my liveliest anxiety, and agitates my warmest feelings, while the latter dwells as a dead inoperative acknowledgment in my understanding. Why? because the one is at hand ; now is the time : the other is supposed to be far distant, a thousand, perhaps two or three or ten thousand years may intervene.
* Rom. v.
8, 9, 10. Heb. vij. 25. John xiv. 19. Isa. liv, 17. + Mark ix. 41.
But is it indeed far distant ? Such is the general sentiment, and the general assertion : but where is the proof?
On this subject, the Scripture affords no proof whatever.
“ 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 be broken up. Therefore, be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.” " Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” And what is this uncertainty intended to inculcate ?
“ Take ye heed; watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man, is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch
know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly, he find you sleep
ing." Yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh, as a thief in the night.” “Let no man deceive you with vain words:" it is the love of sin which makes you wish the judgment afar off; and because in the long-suffering forbearance of God, sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily; therefore this love of sin is fostered, and leads you to believe what you so strongly wish. Yet come it will : and the intervening period, at the longest, will dwindle into nothing, when compared with the eternity which is to follow. And, “ though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know,” saith the wise man, “ that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him. But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God." “ Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God, and keep his commandments : for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
ON THE SUDDEN COMING OF THE SON OF MAN.
LUKE XVII. 26.
“ And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be
also in the days of the son of man.”
Facts produce more effect than principles : example has always been considered a more efficient mode of instruction than precept: and it is one of the great excellencies of the book of God, that the most important truths therein revealed are either given in the tangible form of historical facts, or illustrated and enforced by some historical example. All the truths connected with the first coming of Christ are set before us, not in elaborate metaphysical discourses, but in a simple history of facts; (commented
indeed afterwards with sound speech, and vindicated against every objection both of the narrow minded, prejudiced, selfrighteous Jew, and of the vain boasting philosophizing Greek ;) but in the first instance plainly and simply stated as matters of fact. The incarnation, miracles, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord