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a coward under his banner and abandon my profession of strict holiness at the demand of a sinful and threatening world ?"
V. The last use / shall make of the text is matter of consolation and joy to two sorts of Christians.
First, To the poor, mean, and despised followers of Christ, and in whom Christ himself is despised by the ungodly world ; read my text and believe that in you Christ shall be glorified and admired, when with a million of angels he shall descend from heaven and make his last appearance upon earth; mean as you are in your own esteem because of your ignorance and your weakness in this world, you shall be one of the glories of Christ in the world to come : little and despicable as you are in the esteem of proud sinners, they shall behold your Lord exalted on his throne, and you sitting among the honours at his right hand, while they shall rage afar off and gnash their teeth at your glory : when the eye of faith is open, it can spy this bright hour at a distance, and bid the mourning Christian rejoice in hope.
Secondly, There is comfort also in my text to those who mourn for the dishonour of Christ in the world ; those lively members of the mystical body who sympathize with the blessed head under all the reproaches that are cast upon him and his gospel, who groan under the lead of scandal that is thrown upon Christ in an infidel age, as though it were personally thrown upon themselves. It is matter of lamentation indeed that there are but few of this sort of Christians in our day, few that love our Lord Jesus with such tenderness ; but if such there be among you, open your eyes and look forward to this glorioas day. This day to which Enoch the first of all the prophets, and John the last of all the apostles directs our faith. Read their own words, Jude xiv. 15. Rev. i. 7. Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoke against him. Behold he cometh with clouds and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him : and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Bear up your hearts, ye mourners, and support your hopes with the promise of our Lord. Again a little while and ye shall see me; ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the throne of his glory.” Matt. xxv 31. Then shall your heart rejoice in his honours and in your own, and this "joy no may taketh from you." John xvi. 19, 22. And while he repeats this promise with his last words in the Bible, “ Surely I come quickly," let every soul of us echo to the voice of our heloved, Amen. “ Even so come Lord Jesus.”
THE WRATH OF THE LAMB.
Rev. vi. 15, 16, 17.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free.man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains ; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb : For the great day of his wrath is come ; and who shall be able to stand ?
HEN some terrible judgment or execution of
diyine vengeance is denounced against an age or a nation, it is sometimes described in the language of prophecy by a resemblance to the last and great judgment-day, when all mankind shall be to account for their sins, and the just and final indignation of God shall be executed upor obstinate and unrepenting criminals. The discourse of our Saviour in the 24th of Matthew, is an eminent example of this kind, where the destruction of the Jewish nation is predicted, together with the final judgment of the world, in such uniform language and similar phrases of speech, that is difficult to say whether both these scenes of vengeance run through the whole discourse, or which part of the discourse belongs to the one, and which to the other. The same manner of prophecy appears in this text.
Learned interpreters suppose these words to foretel the universal consternation which was found amongst the heathen idolaters and persecutors of the church of Christ when Constantine the first Christian emperor was raised to the throne of Rome and became Governor of the world. But whether they hit upon the proper application of this prophecy or not, yet still it is pretty evident that this scene of terror is borrowed from the last' judgment, which will eminently appear to be the “day of wrath,” as it is called, Rom. ii. 5. It is the great day of divine indignation in so eminent a manner, that all the tremendous desolations of kingdoms and people from. the creation of the world to the consummation of all things, shall be but as shadows of that day of terror and vengeance.
I shall therefore consider these words at present as they contain a solemn representation of that last giorious and dreadful day ; and here I shall inquire particularly, (1.) Whe are the persons whose aspect and arpearance shail then be so dreadful to sinners. (2.) How comes the wrath whieh discovers itself at that time to be formidable'; and (3.) How vain will all the shifts and hopes of sinners be in that dreadful day to avoid the wrath and vergeance
First, Who are the persons that appear clothed in so much terror.
Answer. It is he that sits upon the ihrone and the Lamb: it is God the Father of all, the great and Almighty Creator, the supreme Lord and Governor
of the world, and the Lame of God, i. e. our Lord Jesus Christ his Son, dwelling in human nature, to whom the judgment of the world is committed, and by whom the Father will introduce the terrible and the illustrious scenes of that day, and manage the important and eternal affairs of it. It is by these names that the apostle John in this prophetical book describes God the Father, and his Son Jesus. Rev iv. 10. and v. 6-13.
If it be inquired, why God the Father is described as the person sitting on the throne, this is plainly agreable to the other representations of him throughout the scripture, where he is described as first and supreme in authority, as sitting on the throne of majesty on high, as denoting and commissioning the Lord Jesus bis well-beloved Son to act for him, and as placing him on his throne to execute his works of mercy or vengeance. Rev. iij. 21. “ He that overcometh shall sit down with me on my throne, saith our Saviour, even as I have overcome and am set down with the Father on his throne." John v. 2227. “ The Father has committed all judgment into the hands of the Son." It is true, tlie Godhead or divine essence is but one, and it is the same Godhead which belorgs to the Father that dwells in the Son, and in this jespect“ Christ and the Father are one, he is in the Father and the Father in him," John X. 33,38 ; yet the Father is constantly exhibited in scripture with peculiar characters of prime authority, and the Son is represented as receiving all from the Father. John v. 19, 20, 22, 26, 27.
If it be further inquired, why Christ is called the Lamb of God, I shall not pursue those many fine metaphors and similies in which the wit and faney of men have run a long course on this subject, but shall only mention these two things.
1. He is called the Lamb, from the innocence of his behaviour; the quietness and meekness of his