Page images
PDF
EPUB

"fold, they planted they builded. But the “ same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rain" ed fire and brimstone from heaven, and de

stroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in “ the day when the Son of man is revealed,” Luke xvii. 26.-30. " Yourselves know per

fectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as “ a thief in the night. For when they shall

say, Peace and safety : then sudden destruc« tion cometh upon them; as travail upon a “ woman with child; and they shall not ef“ cape," i Theff. v. 2, 3.

« There shall come “ in the last days fcoffers, walking after their

own lusts, and saying, where is the promise “ of his coming ?” 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4.

From these passages, it appears, that the day of judgment comes upon the world unexpected. ly, as a thief in the night, consequently the greater number of that generation are not real Chriftians; for of these the Apostle says, “ But

ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that “ day should overtake you as a thief,” 1. Theil. v. 4. Again, the men of that generation are compared to those of very corrupt times. In the days of Noah, “all fleih had corrupted their

way.” In the days of Lot, the inhabitants of the plain were monstrously wicked, “ the

cry of Sodom and Gomorrah was great, and “ their sin was very grievous.” Further, it is

expressly

expressly said, that they promise themselves

peace and safety :” that is, in defiance of the remonstrances and threatenings of God's word. They indulge their lawless passions, and ridi. cule the notion of a future judgment. In a word, what the deluge was to the old world, and the fulphureous shower to the inhabitants of the plain, the coming of the Son of man shall be to the great body of the men of that generation, the signal of their destruction. All these circumstances evince a general corruption of manners, and consequently a great deviation from the purity of the Millennial state.

Corruption following after the purity and happiness of the Millennium, ferves to prové, fully what had been shewn partly before, that unfanétified human nature cannot bear profperity, because it leads men to resist God's authority, to gratify their own lusts, at the expence of violating his laws, and defacing the beauty and order of his creation ; that all the ordinary means of grace, that all the common and extraordinary dispensations of divine Providence which the wisdom of God devised, and his long suffering patience exercised for the reformation of the human race, are ineffectual to reform the whole, and that the malignant distemper of sin requires a more violent remedy. Accordingly, the world now ripe for destruction, and the

church

church for eternal salvation, God fets his throne for the last judgment.

SECTION III.

The Great Day of Judgment.

The scripture account of that folemn and awful event follows.

While wicked men are eagerly intent on their worldly schemes, and the gratification of their lawless passions, scoffing at the notion of ever being called to account for their conduct; while Christ's faithful followers then on earth, are ready to faint, their faith being almost staggered by the delay of the judgment, and the progress of increasing wickedness in the world : In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the Judge appears,

si the Lord himself shall de's scend from heaven with a fhout, with the “ voice of the archangel, and with the trump “ of God," 1 Theff. iv. 16. 66 The Lord Je. “ sus shall be revealed from heaven, with his “ mighty angels, in flaming fire," 2 Theff. i. 7,8. He fets his throne in the air, (within the region of the clouds, 1 Theff, iv. 17. In that situation, it is visible of course to the upper

hemisphere, and most likely, by some medium re

fracting

3 O

fracting the light, it shall be visible to the low- . er hemisphere also'.

The appearance of the Judge, his throne and attendants shall be glorious beyond conception; “ The Son of man shall come in his glory, and “ all the holy angels with him, and shall fit upon

the throne of his glory,” Matth. xxv. 31. Even on the mount of transfiguration, where Christ Thewed a faint gleam of his heaven. ly glory, “ his face shined as the sun, and his “ raiment white as the light,” Matth. xvii. 2. How transcendently bright must his appearance be, when he shines in all his glory! The throne must be splendid, suitable to the digni

ty

(1) Water refracts the rays of light, so that when the ocean is the horizon, the body of the sun is visible, after it is beneath the level of the horizon. When “ the sun “ stood still in the midst of heaven, and halted not to go “ down about a whole day," Joshua x. 13. we are not to suppose the diurnal motion of the earth was stopped, but most probably some medium, created by the Almighty, refracted the light so powerfully, that the body of the fun was visible, when in the opposite meridian, and the refracting power proportioned to the distance of the fun from the meridian of the place, would make the sun appear to stand still. By whatever means the sun was made visible and stationary, after it was actually set, we may reasonably expect that the fame divine power, on fo folemn an occafion as the last judgment, will make the Judge, his throne, and attendants visible to the whole earth.

ty of the person who fits on it. A faint representation of such a throne was seen by Moses, Aaron, and the elders of Israel. “They saw " the God of Israel ; and there was under his « feet, as it were a paved work of sapphire“ stone, and as it were the body of heaven in « his clearness,” Exod. xxiv. 10. The attendants of the throne are “ all the angels," an innumerable hoft, “the chariots of God are twen“ ty thousand, even thousands of angels,” Psal. lxviii.

17:;

and of various ranks,“ thrones, do“ minions, principalities, and powers.” We may conceive this innumerable and glorious hoft, ranged according to their ranks, on each side of the throne, in the form of a crescent. Most probably in a similar form behind the throne, and the host of angels, is arranged that

flaming fire,2 Theff. i. 7. designed as the instrument of punishing the wicked. Close by the throne stands “ the archangel, bearing the trump

of God.” The Judge being set, and his attendants arranged, he issues his mandate to the arch. angel, who sounds the trumpet. In an inftant, “the dead in Chrift," from righteous Abel, to the last of those who expired on the earth, shall rise from their graves; “ the dead in “ Christ shall rise first," i Theff. iv. 16. and receive fpiritual and incorruptible bodies.

“is

66 It

« PreviousContinue »