Page images


Sinners, and make them confefs their own Guilt and Deserts, will make the Flames of Hell so furiously rage and devour.

So that it is necessary that the last Judgment should be executed by a visible Judge, that it may not be thought the Effect of Chance and Accident, or Fate, but the Result of the Divine Wisdom and Counsel; that the World may see and know, that God is come to judge them, and to take Vengeance on all the Workers of Iniquity; and this also makes the Son of Man a very proper Judge of Mankind, because he is a viand as visibly judge the World, as any earthly Prince or Judge when he ascends the Judgmentfeat.

This will be the Glory of that Day, to see the visible Appearance of the Son of Man in the Clouds of Heaven, attended with Myriads of Angels to his Throne of Glory, where he sits encirculed with the Heavenly Host, and all Mankind standing before his Tribunal, expecting their final Doom from his mouth: Good Lord ! How will fuch 4 Sight as this affect us! Could we but paint a lively Image and Representation of Judgment upon our Fancies, how would it warm our Hearts! How would it disparage all the pompous Pageantry of this world! how would it revive the Spirits of Good Men, inspire them with Courage and Resolution, with Zeal and Adivity in serving Christ, looking for that blesfed bope and glorious appearance of the Great God, and our Saviour Jefus Chrift! What terror would


[ocr errors]

the Thoughts of it strike into "Sinners ! how would it cool the Heat of Luft! how would it make their Countenance change, and loosen the Joynts of their Loyns, and make their Knees knock one against another, like the Hand-writing upon the Wall, while they are carousing in their full Bowls, and drinking away the Thoughts of God and Judgment !

Who can poslibly conceive the Joy and Exultațion of that Day, when Good Men Shall see their Lord coming in the Clouds of Heaven, clothed with a Humane Body, but bright and glorious as the Sun; a Body' which still retains the Marks of his Sufferings, and the Tokens of his Love!

How will it transport us, to see him whom our Souls loveth! to see him whom we have so passionately longed, and desired to see ! to see him whom we love, though we have not seen him! To see him, I say, not as the Shepherds did, a poor helpless Infant, wrapped in Swadling-Clouts, and lying in a Man, ger; to see him 'nor arraigned for a Malefactor, nor hanging in a Thameful manner upon the Cross, but to see him in all his Majesty and Glory, to see him a Triumphant Conquerour and Judge, to see him with Crowns and Laurels in his Hands, and in him to see the Certainty of our Faith, the Completion of our Hopes, the Rewards of our Patience and Sufferings, and our final Conquest over Death and Hell ! O joyful Day, when this Royal Bridegroom hall come in the Glory of his Father, to meet his Spouse the Church to conduct her to


R 4


his Father's House, there to see, and there to partake in his Glory, and never to part

Methinks I fee holy and devout Souls in the highest Raptures and Ecstasies of Joy, embracing and comforting one another at the Appearance of their Lord : Here comes the Blessed Jesus, it is he himself, the true Image of God, the very Brightness of his Father's Glory : This is that blessed Day we have so long expected and hoped for ; let us

forth and meet him ; let us haften into the Embraces of our Saviour: He is come t Judgment, but let those tremble at Judgment, who are afraid of the Judge: We are his, he has bought us with his Blood; he has renewed and fanctified us by his Spirit, and now he is come to own us in the presence of Men and Angels, to bestow a Kingdom on us, to receive us to himself, that where he is, we may be also, and behold his Glory. :

But then, on the other hand, consider, I beseech you, what a terrible Sight this will be to Bad Men, who have laughed at the Fable of a Crucified Jesus, and mocked at a Future Judgment : And is he come, will such a Sinner lay? and must I be judged at last, when I thought my self so fecure of Judgment! Behold I see him, and can be an Infidel no longer: Lord, what Terror is there in his Looks? How do his Eyes flame with Vengeánce! Who can abide the Day of his Wrath ! How can I appear before him as my Judge, whom I would not have for my Saviour ! What



Judge of the World: And of this St. Paul tells

account can I give of my Actions, who never It expected to be called to an account for them!

What Plea can I make for my felf, who would never believe, who would never be perswaded! How shall I bear his Presence, and yet

whither can I fly from him! When he condemns me, to whom can I appeal from the Judge and the saviour of the World ! O Wretch that I


who would never believe, never think of this Day, and now I must be condemned by the Saviour of the World!

Let these Thoughts then make a deep impresfion upon our minds, before that Day comes; let us remember that the Son of Man will be our Judge, he who laid down his Life for us, he who now invites us to Repentance, he who now promises Pardon and Forgiveness to true Penitents ; let this teach us to reverence his Laws, to imitate his Example, to put our whole Trust and Confidence in his Merits and Intercession, That when he cometh again in bis glorious Majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise with him unto life immortal; as our Church téaches us to pray:

Secondly, Let us now consider what Assurance we have, that the Man Christ Jesus shall be the

us, That God hath given assurance'unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

But you'll say, How does the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, prove that he is made the Judge of the World ? For that any Man rifes from the dead, does not prove that he is


Judge of the World! We fhall all rise again the last Day; but not to judge, but to be judged This is very true, and therefore if we knew no more of Christ

, but only that he rose again from the Dead, this would not prove him to be the Judge of the World.

But, we must confider, 1 That the Resurrection of Christ is a great and irresistible Proof of his Doctrine which he preached : This our Saviour himself appeals to, as the last Proof of his Divine Authority Deffroy this. Temple, and in three days will I raise it up: - And thus his Resurrection from the Dead, proves that he is the Judge of the World, for this he exprefly taught his Disciples, That God had committed.all judgment into his hands; that the Son of Man fhall come in the Glory of bis Fatherz: with bis Angelsand then shall be reward query. Man according to his works. So chat opr Saviour plainly

declared, That God had made him the Judge of the World ; and God has confirm ed his Testimony by raising him from the Dead.

2. We must consider also, that the Resura rection of Christ was his visible Advancement into his Kingdom: Then his Kingdom began, when he rose from the Dead, then all power was committed to him both in Heaven and in Earth, 28 Match. And that God has thus advanced him, was visible to all Men in the Effusion of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, on the Day of Pentecost, and in those wonderful Miracles which they wrought in his Name,

Thus St. Peter tells the Jews, that the miraculous Effusion of the Spirit was a visible Proof,


« PreviousContinue »