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WORLD TO COME.
THE END OF TIME.
Rev. x. 5, 6.
And the angel, which I saw stand upon the sea, and
upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, That there should be time no longer.
HIS is the oath, and the solemn sentence of a
mighty angel, who came down from heaven, and by the description of him in the first verse, he seems to be the angel of God's presence, in whom is the name of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ himself, who pronounced and sware, that time should be no longer; for all seasons and times are now put into his hand, together with the book of his Father's decrees; Rev. v. 7,9. What special age or period of time, in this world, the prophecy refers to, mau not be so easy to determine ; but this is certain, that it may be happily applied to the period of every man's life ; for whensoever the term of our continuiance in this world is finished, our time, in the present circumstances and scenes that attend it, shall be no
more. Weshall be swept off the stage of this visible state into an unseen and eternal world : eternity comes upon us at once, and all that we enjoy, all that we do, and all that we suffer in time, shall be no longer.
Let us stand still here, and consider, in the first place, what awful and important thoughts are contained in this sentence, what solemn ideas should arise to the view of mortal creatures, when it shall be pronounced concerning each of them, that time shall be no more.
1. The time of the recovery of our nature from its sinful and wretched state shall be no lɔnger. We come into this world fallen creatures, children of iniquity, and heirs of death; we have lost the image of God, who made us, and which our nature enjoyed in our first parents; and, instead of it, weare changed into the image of the devil, in the lusts of the mind, in pride and malice, in self-suficiency and enmity to God ; and we have put on also the image of the brute, in sinful appetites and sensualities, and in the lusts of the flesh; nor can we ever be made truly happy, till the image of the blessoal God be restored upon us, till we are made holy, as he is holy, till we have a divine change passed upon us, whereby weare created anew, and reformed in heart and practice. And this life is the only time given us for this important change. If this life be finished, before the image of God be restored to us, this image will never be restored ; but we shall bear the likeness of devils for ever; and perhaps the image of the brute too, at the resurrection of the body, and be further off from God, and all that is holy, than ever we were here
Of what infinite importance is it then, to be free quently awakening ourselves, at special seasons and periods of life, to inquire, whether this image of God is begun to be renewed, whether we have this glorious
change wrought in us, whether our desires and delights are fixed upon holy and heavenly things, instead of those sensual and earthly objects, which draw away all our souls from God and heaven. Let it appear to us as a matter of utmost moment to seek after this change; let us pursue it with unwearied labours and strivings with our own hearts, and petual importunities at the throne of grace, lest the voice of him who swears that there shall be time no longer, should seize us in some unexpected moment, and lest he swear in his wrath concerning us, Let him that is unholy be unholy still, and let him that is filthy be filthy still,” Rev. xxii. 11.
2. When this sentence is pronounced concerning us, the season and the means of restoring us to the favour and love of God shall be no longer. We are born children of wrath, as well as the sons and daughters of iniquity ; Eph. ij. 3. We have lost the original favour of our Maker and are banished from his love, and the superior blessings of his goodness ; and yet, blessed be the Lord, that we are not at present for ever banished beyond all hope; this time of life is given us to seek the recovery of the love of God, by returning to him according to the gospel of his Son; now is pardon and peace, now is grace and salvation preached unto men, to sinful wretched men, who are at enmity with God, and the objects of his high displeasure ; now the voice of mercy calls to us, This is the accepted time, this is the day of salvation; 2 Cor. vi. 2. To day if ye will hear his voice, let not your hearts be hardened to refuse it; Heb. iii. 15. Now the fountain of the blood of Christ is set open to wash our souls from the guilt of sin; now all the springs of his mercy, are broken up in the ministrations of the gospel ; now God is in Christ, reconciling sinners to himself; 2 Cor. v. 19. and he has sent us his ministers to intreat yori in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God; and we