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finners, in their grace and in their glory: with refpect to them, it is of grace; with respect to Chrift, and to his fatisfaction and righteoufnefs, it is of justice; and so it is given and rendered according to both.
3. The time when the apoftle expected the crown, at that day; a phrase used by him in other places in this epiftle, as in chap. i. 12, 18. that famous day, that well-known day, looked for by all the faints; even the day of Christ's appearing to take his kingdom, and to judge the dead; which is the day of his fecond coming, as is clear from ver. 1. then he, in his whole perfon, foul and body, he believed, should enjoy the everlasting happiness, fignified by the crown of righteousness.
Thirdly, The apostle adds, by way of encouragement to all believers in Christ, and lovers of him in common, that this crown was laid up for, and would be given to, not him only, and fuch as he, eminent for gifts and usefulness, but all them alfo who love his appearing; the appearing of Chrift. In this there is a difference between the crown given to the runner in the Grecian races, the apostle has a respect unto; that crown was given to one only, this to many; of which the apoftle thus fpeaks, Know ye not that they which run in a race, run all; but one receiveth the prize? but they which run in the chriftian race, every runner therein, every one that is tried and endures temptation, every one that is faithful unto death, every one that endures to the end, every perfevering faint, every overcomer, receives the crown of life; every one that loves the appearing of Chrift, be their gifts, their grace, their usefulness, what they may. It will be proper to inquire,
ift, What is meant by the appearing of Chrift; his fecond appearance is intended: he appeared once in the end of the world; in the end of the Jewish world, their state, civil and ecclesiastic, when he became incarnate, to put away fin by the facrifice of bimfelf; which having done, he is gone to heaven again; where he indeed appears in the prefence of God for his people, as their advocate and interceffor; but to them that look for him, shall he appear the fecond time without fin unto falvation: and this is the appearing which is here meant, when he will come to judge the quick and dead; which will be at his appearing and his kingdom, as fays the apostle in ver. 1. of this chapter; then the dead in Christ will arise, and their bodies be united to their fouls, Chrift will bring with him: and the living faints will be changed; and both will be caught up together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and this will be a virtual judgment of them, and a declaring them to be the happy perfons to whom the crown belongs: as there will be alfo a judging of the wicked then found alive, who will perish in the general conflagration, when the earth, and all therein, fhall be burnt up; and when Christ will enter upon his perfonal reign and kingdom, which will continue a thousand years; at the clofe of which all the wicked will be raised, and
4 H 2 Heb. ix. 24, 26, 28.
da Cor. ix. 24.
ftand, finall and great, before the judgment-feat, and will be adjudged to the lake which burns with fire and brimftone. This appearance of Chrift will be a glorious one; his first appearance was mean; he had no form nor comeliness defirable by men; he appeared in the likeness of finful flesh, and in the form of a fervant: but his fecond appearance will be without fin, and any finless infirmities; it will be a glorious one: he will come in bis own glory; in the glory of his divine nature, the perfections of which will be gloriously displayed; and in the glory of his human nature, being in it crowned with glory and honour; and in the glory of his office, as mediator: and in his Father's glory; the fame with his own, as a divine perfon, as the only begotten of the Father; and clothed as a Judge, with authority and power by him, to judge the quick and dead; and in the glory of his holy angels, as attendants on him, and ready to obey his commands: this appearance of Chrift will be perfonal; he himself in person shall defcend from heaven; not by another, by a deputy, or by the effufion of the Spirit, but he himself in perfon; in like manner as he went up to heaven at his afcenfion, will he come down from thence at his fecond coming: and this appear. ance will be visible; he will be feen in the air by all the rifen and living faints; and he will be feen in the clouds of heaven; every eye fhall fee him, even all the kindreds of the earth.
2dly, This appearance of Chrift is to be loved, and is loved by fome: to fome indeed it will be the great and dreadful day of the Lord; which will burn like an oven, and confume the wicked root and branch; on fight of him, and even of the fign of the Son of man in heaven, all the tribes of the earth will mourn; and perfons of the highest rank and clafs will flee to rocks and mountains, to hide them from his face, the great day of his wrath being come, and at which alfo the devils will tremble; but he shall appear to the joy of faints, when others will be ashamed and confounded.
Now fuch may be faid to love his appearing, who pray for his appearing and kingdom, or that his kingdom may come, and he appear in his glory; who look earnestly and wiftly for the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jefus Chrift; who long for it, and haften in their affections, defires, and petitions for it; and fay, "Come, Lord Jefus, come quickly;" as it fhews love to a man and his prefence, when one most preffingly defires it, and most earnestly and ardently wishes and longs for it: and there are many reasons to be given, why the appearance of Chrift should be loved by his faints.
1. Because then they fhall fee the perfon whom they love, in all his beauty, glory and excellencies; now whom having not feen, they love; they have not feen him with their bodily eyes, and yet having heard and known much of him, their affections are towards him; but then they fhall fee him in the flesh, and with their eyes behold him, and not another: now fometimes they lofe fight of
f Luke ix. 26.
& Rev. i. 7.
b1 Peter i. 8.
him in a spiritual fenfe; he withdraws himself from them, and they know not where he is, and they go in quest of him, faying to one and another, faw ye bim whom my foul loveth? but now he will be always in view, and they will fee him, of whom they have often faid, whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none on earth that I defire befides thee* !
2. Because they will then fee him who has fo loved them; fo loved them, as to become incarnate for them; fo loved them, as to lay down his life for them; fo loved them, as to wash them from their fins in his blood; fo loved them, as to bear their fins, and all the punishment due unto them, to fuffer, the just for the unjust; so loved them, as to be delivered into the hands of jus tice and death for their offences, and to rife again for their juftification; the appearance and fight of fuch a perfon, muft needs be loved by those to whom he has fhewn fo much love.
3. Because his appearance will be a glorious one, as before obferved, and therefore to be looked for gladly, to be loved and longed for; looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Chrift'.
4. Becaufe when Chrift fhall appear, his faints shall appear with him; their fouls will be brought along with him, and their bodies will be raised, and both re-united, and they all appear in glory" with him, with a glory both on their fouls and bodies: when he shall appear, they shall be like him, for they shall fee bim as be is"; fee him in his glory, and be conformed unto him, and changed into the fame image and likeness, so far as they are capable of; and then shall they be completely fatisfied, and not before; as for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; 1 shall be fatisfied, when I awake in thy likeness: and it is not to be wondered at, that fuch perfons fhould love the appearing of Chrift.
5. Because the faints at Chrift's appearing fhall not only fee him, and be like him, but they fhall receive much from him; much grace they have received from him now, but they will then receive it in its full perfection; wherefore they are exhorted to gird up the loins of their mind, be fober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto them at the revelation of Jefus Chrift: and when alfo they fhall receive from him the crown of life and righteousness; for when the chief fhepherd fhall appear, not only the under-fhepherds that are faithful, but even all the fheep themfelves, that hear the voice of Chrift, and follow him, fhall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away".
6. Because then the faints will be put into the poffeffion of their complete falvation; for to them that look for him, will Chrift appear the fecond time without fin unto salvation: when he came the first time, falvation was wrought out by him for them, he became the author of it; and it is brought home to them by
i Cant iii.1.
Pfalm lxxiii.25. ̧·
m Col. iii.4. 9 1 Peter v. 4.
n 1 John iii. 2. Heb. ix. 28.
the Spirit of God at conversion, and applied unto them, and they are fhewn their intereft in it; but as yet are not in the full enjoyment of it; though now is their falvation nearer than when they first believed, and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto falvation, ready to be revealed in the last time'; that is, when Chrift shall appear, and reveal it to them, and put them in the full poffeffion of it.
7. The appearing of Chrift is to be loved by the faints, because they shall be with him, and be for ever with him, and never part more: here they have a vifit from Chrift now and then, and this but fhort; he is like a wayfaring man that tarries for a night; but when he shall come again from heaven, with all the faints, the dead raised, and the living changed, they fhall be caught up to meet him, and so shall they be ever with the Lord'; with which words they may comfort one another now, whilft they are looking and longing for the appearing of Chrift.
Thus have I confidered this paffage of fcripture, as briefly as I well could, at the request of the furviving relative of the deceased; of whom it may be expected I should give some account: his perfon, doctrine, and manner of life, were known to many, if not most of you; fome things I may be able to say, not known by you, or but by a few.
The Reverend Mr WILLIAM ANDERSON was called by the grace of God under my ministry, between forty and fifty years ago; for I find on fearch, that he was baptized by me on a profeffion of his faith, Jan. 1, 1723-4, near forty-four years ago and foon after was received into fellowship with this church, with which he walked very honourably and comfortably as a private member for feveral years and in procefs of time, it being perceived and thought by fome that he had a gift for public usefulness, he was called by the church to the exercife of it; and after fufficient trial, he was regularly fent forth to preach the gofpel, where God in his providence might call him; and for fome time he preached occafionally among the churches, with good liking and approbation; and in a course of time, I am not able to say exactly how long, he was invited by a small destitute people in Westminster, to preach unto them; which he accordingly did, to their great fatisfaction; and after fome time they chofe him to be their pastor, and gave him a call to take upon him that office, which he accepted of; and was ordained, May 12, 1743, upwards of twenty-four years ago. This charge he undertook, not with any finifter and worldly views, the people being few, and for the most part poor, and were far from being capable of providing a proper maintenance for him; and certain it is, he left a very lucrative employment to ferve them, and the interest of Christ among them, on
Thefs. iv. 17, 18.
Rom, xiii. 11 1 Peter i. 5.
which his heart was fet; and it pleafed God to blefs his labours, both for edification and converfion, fo that there was an increase both of audience and members; and he laid himfelf out indefatigably to-ferve them, both as to their temporals and spirituals: by his means, and through his intereft, a commodious houfe for worship was built, which they greatly wanted; and he also brought them to be one of the churches in the fund, for the affiftance of poor minifters and churches in the country; in fhort, he was the inftrument of railing them. from a low and mean condition, to a greater degree of credit and reputation. among the churches than they ever had before: and thus they went on comfortably and harmoniously for many years; but of late a fad retaliation has been made him for all his work and labour of love! the walls of that house, built by him, through his intereft, and the pulpit in it, out of which he was kept, will be ftanding witneffes against the people that meet in the one, and the man that fills the other, for their unparallelled ingratitude to him; I fay, unparallelled, for I am perfuaded, that neither the memory of any man living, nor perhaps the history of any age, can furnish an inftance fimilar to this cafe; that a worthy minister of the gospel fhould be divefted of his office, and turned out of his place, when no charge, neither of immorality nor of falfe doctrine, was laid against him. Such hard ufage did this faithful minifter of Chrift meet with! these were the wounds he received in the house of those he once thought his friends; the pain of which went to his heart, and the anguish thereof drank up his spirits. Nevertheless he ceafed not from his Master's work; and which he performed with more vigour, comfort and chearfulness, than could have been expected, among thofe few that cleaved unto him, and abode with him; and fo he continued till his laft illnefs feized him, which it seems was in this pulpit a few weeks ago. This affliction he bore with great patience; though his bodily pains were fometimes fo great, as caufed him to cry out in the extremity of them, and to pray and defire his friends to pray for him, that the God of patience would give him more: not a murmuring word against the hand of the Lord was heard from him throughout the whole; nor did any worldly concerns, or any others, diftrefs his mind; nor was the enemy of fouls fuffered to buffet him, which he thought a great mercy. He expreffed the inward joy and comfort he felt, to various perfons at different times: to one, that the doctrines he had preached to others, he now found to be the comfort of his foul:-to another, that he faw Chrift to be his foundation, and doubted not of his interest in him; and in the presence of several declared, that Chrift was the only bottom he had to reft on; and that he was precious to him, had been, and would be fo:-to another, that the indiffoluble union between Chrift and his people, was his great fupport; but wanted to find himself in a more waiting pofture:-to another, who faid to him, Sir, you have almost finished your courfe; he answered, Yes; but I know, faid he, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which he