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The word, we admit, is used for a limited time, when applied to many things in this world, because every thing merely relating to this visible world must pass away; but when applied to eternity, it always signifies unlimited duration.
2. The fact is, there will be no saving remedy for the damned. The scriptures invariably teach the impossibility of salvation without a Mediator. Christ noré acts in that capacity, and is the Saviour of all who comply with the terms of mercy i but in the end of the world, he will give up his mediatorial kingdom, and God will be all in all. There is no intimation of his mediation for the damned. The moment in which the sentence of final condemnation is passed upon them, they are abandoned to black despair. And who will plead their cause? Who will deliver them? When Christ gives them up, they are lost for ever.
3. Many have attempted to prove universal, restoration, and the opinion gains ground; but it is built upon detached scraps of scripture, and far-fetched criticism. A plain man, guided by common sense, and an honest mind, would never find this doctrine in the book of God. It is as dangerous as it is false. It is dangerous, not only as it leads to carelessness about eternal things; but as it leads to a plan of interpreting the scriptures, which, if followed up, may end in the most serious consequences. Sound criticism will always be esteemed by judicious men; but the plan of criticism followed by these men, has a direct tendency to bring the scriptures into disgrace.
Let us often reflect upon this awful sentence. Those who are banished from Christ have lost the world, which was their god : they have lost all peace and joy: and their souls are lost. How dreadful is their lot! Banished from Christ, under a curse; tormented in fire, and no prospect of deliverance! They are filled with bitter reflections, plagued with horrid companions, and terrified with doleful prospects! And shall we, for a few fleeting and unsubstantial pleasures, plunge ourselves into endless misery? My dear friends, be wise. You are now warned, you are now entreated to accept of life and salvation. O delay not to accept
of your God! Rejoice that your doom is not yet fixed. Bless God for his long forbearance. Renounce sin, and embrace Christ upon gospel terms. Give your hearts to God, and walk in his ways: then this awful sentence will never be pronounced upon you.
Saints Invited to Glory.
MATT. XXV. 34. Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
THE friends of Jesús will live and reign with him for ever. In this world a kingdom of grace is set up in their hearts; and in the day of judgment they will be invited to a kingdom of glory. Who can describe the happiness of that moment, when the Judge shall say to them, “Come ye blessed of my Father?"
Let us first examine the character of the persons invited to the kingdom; and, secondly, the purport of the invitation.
I. THE CHARACTER OF THE PERSONS INVITED TO THE KINGDOM.
1. In the preceding account they are called sheep. “He shall set the sheep on his right-hand.” This is an appellation which the inspired writers frequently give to good men, on account of their harmlessness, meekness, and usefulness. “My sheep
(says Christ) hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. They attend to his calls both inward and outward, and they follow him in the way of cheerful obedience. Those who are deaf to his calls, and who disobey his commands, cannot belong to his flock, whatever professions they make, or whatever privileges they enjoy.
2. In our text they are called blessed. They are blessed in this life with a gracious call to repentance, faith, and salvation. When they obey the call, they are blessed with pardon, peace, and holiness; and, amidst all their afflictions and temptations, they can say by sweet experience, “ Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways." They are blessed in death. That awful hour, so much dreaded by the wicked, is to them an hour of triumph; for they die in the Lord, they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them. They shall be blessed at the resurrection of the just with glorified. bodies, and a happy meeting in the air with Christ the Lord. They shall be blessed in the great day. The Judge will smile upon them, and heaven, with all its glories, will open to their view.
3. They are blessed by the Father. The Father is the fountain of being, and of
blessedness. Every blessing which we receive through the mediation of Christ, must be ascribed to the Father's love; be
his Son to redeem, and his Spirit to renew our guilty and polluted souls. “ All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.”. He pardons, accepts, and adopts believers. In the day of judgment they will be blessed with peculiar tokens of his love. He will own them as his children before an assembled world, permit them to behold his glory, and grant them access to his throne.
II. THE PURPÓRT OF THE INVITATION. The invitation implies three things: the saints are to remain with Christ-they are to inherit a kingdom and the kingdom was prepared for them before the foundation of the world. * 1. The saints are to remain with Christ. Seated
upon the great white throne, and arrayed in the glory of his Father, he invites his church to come to him. The church, which is his bride, stands before him, and appears “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing." As a bridegroom, he presents her to himself, or places her in his presence, that he may survey her beauty. Marriage implies a peculiar union, and this strong figure is applied to Christ and his