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this dignity is denied by the world, and sometimes obscured to themselves: but then God will own and publish it before all the world, and the matter will be put beyond dispute. Their bodies then shall be as much more glorious than those of the wicked, as their souls are now more gracious than theirs. And as Christ was, by his resurrection, declared to be the Son of God with power,' so shall his humble followers be. Rom. viii. 19-23.
Thus we have taken a distant view of the future world, of which so many useful hints are suggested in the text. Let us daily walk as expectants of another world. Let us remember it will be a great matter to obtain that world. Let us recollect what that worthiness is, which is requisite to the obtaining of it, namely, the righteousness of Christ, and the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. Let us remember, that human relations and connexions, however useful and comfortable at present, will cease at death; and that death itself shall also be abolished. Let us enjoy the thought of being holy, happy, and spiritual, like the blessed angels; and try to resemble them now in our cheerful and active obedience. Finally, in the prospect of a glorious resurrection, let us be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Loid: forasmuch as we know that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.'
TEACH US, O Lord, so to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Turn away our eyes from beholding vanity. Help us to look, not on things which are seen, but at things which are not seen; because the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Q that we may be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead! On the solemn morning of the last day, when all that are in the dust of
death shall rise, and some to shame and everlasting contempt, may it be our happiness to rise, with all the redeemed to everlasting life. To this end grant us, O Lord, both the title to Heaven, and the fitness for it. We acknowledge that, shouldst thou deal with us after our sins, and reward us according to our iniquities, Hell and not Heaven would be our portion. We therefore pray to be found in Christ, not having our own righteousness, which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith. And O make us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. As that world is a holy world, make us holy, that we may be prepared for it.
Have mercy, Lord, on those who have their portion in this life, who are often saying, What shall we eat? what shall we drink? and wherewithal shall we be clothed? but never say, How shall we escape the damnation of Hell?-May they remember that there is but a step betwixt them and death; and that after death is the judgment. May they seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and give all diligence to make their calling and election sure.
GENESIS Vii. 1.
Come thou, and all thy house, into the Ark.
THIS is the gracious invitation which God gave to
Noah, just before the flood came upon the world of the ungodly. The world had been formed about 1600 years, and the number of mankind was greatly multiplied; but wickedness also greatly increased, until the wrath of God was dreadfully kindled, and he determined upon the general destruction of sinners. And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth, for it repenteth me that I have made him.' But Noah, who, amidst the general depravity, was righteous and pious, found grace in the eyes of the Lord.' To him he made known his design an hundred-and-twenty years before the flood: and directed him to build an immense vessel, like the hulk of a ship, in which himself and his family should be preserved. Noah believed and obeyed. The Ark was ready, and the deluge was at hand. Then the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou, and all thy house, into the Ark.' Noah entered. The Lord shut him in. The flood prevailed. Mankind was destroyed. Noah and his family continue a year in the Ark in safety, are then released from their confinement, and become the founders of a new world.
There is much instruction to be gathered from this affecting history; and it affords a lively type, or nmblem, of the salvation that is in Christ for perishing sinners. It is still the determination of the holy God to punish the ungodly. He gives them warning, and allows them time and space for repentance. He has also provided an ark for the preservation of those who foresee their
danger; and, by the gospel, he invites sinners to fly to this refuge. Happy they, who like Noah, believe and obey, and are saved! For the sake of order and of memory, we shall divide our discourse into three parts, and observe,
I. There is a deluge of wrath coming upon sinners.
I. There is a dreadful deluge of wrath coming upon the ungodly. Sin only was the cause of the flood in Noah's time, and sin will bring upon every impenitent unpardoned soul a more dreadful punishment. By one man sin entered into the world,' and that man lived long enough to witness its rapid growth: he lived to see the world peopled with men, and overrun with wickedness. But in the family of Seth, from which it was designed that the Saviour should come, the fear and worship of God was long preserved. While these continued separate from the posterity of Cain, there was a seed to serve the Lord; but at length this distinction ceased for the sons of God (the children of Seth) saw the daughters of men (the posterity of Cain) that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose.' The professors of religion married the profane; they were unequally yoked with unbelievers :' and what was the consequence? Iniquity increased faster than ever. 'The bad will sooner debauch the good, than the good reform the bad.' Wickedness became triumphant, and many seem to have been giants in sin as well as in size. 'And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.' The earth, also, was corrupt before God; and the earth was full of violence, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.' The Lord, who saw all this, was greatly displeased; and, speaking after the manner of men, he repented that he had made man, and it grieved him at his heart.' The blessed God cannot be disturbed by an uneasy passion; but these expressions signify his extreme displeasure against sin and sinners
they shew that sin is most odious to his holiness, and sinners most obnoxious to his justice. Being thus provoked to anger, he said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh; that is, wholly fleshly, carnally minded, entirely sensual, sunk in fleshly lust. He therefore determined on the utter destruction of all mankind by an universal deluge. Yet he is pleased to give warning of it, and suspend the threatened ruin for one hundred-and-twenty years, which, as men then lived about nine hundred years, was such a reprieve to them as nine or ten years would be
Men and brethren, sin is the same evil and destructive thing now that it was then. God is equally angry with sinners; and though he does not generally execute his wrath upon them in this world, yet he will assuredly do it in the world to come. Hear what the holy, fiery law of God saith to every transgressor, (Gal. iii. 10) Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. The condition of life by the law is personal, perpetual, perfect obedience to all its commands, doing all things required, and doing them always, without one transgression. A single failure, even in thought, spoils a whole life of obedience, and incurs the curse. You will say then, Upon these terms, who can be saved? We answer, none. By the deeds of the law shall no flesh living be justified. It is a vain thing therefore to look for life by the law, or our good works, as they are called; if ever we escape the curse, it must be though faith in Jesus Christ, who hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.' The whole book of God is full of threatenings against sin. It declares that the wicked shall be turned into hell;' that 'If the wicked turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow and made it ready; he hath prepared the instruments of death.' Psalm vii. 11, 12. What awful words are these! You tremble to see a criminal just ready for execution: behold, the instruments of eternal death are ready; and this is your own case at this very moment, if you are yet in your sins. "The wrath of God abideth upon