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in his wrath, you shall never enter into his kingdom, you shall never taste of the provisions of his grace, you shall never be partakers of the blessings purchased with his blood, Heb. ii. 18. “ I sware in my wrath,” saith the Lord, they shall not enter into
Oh the dreadful state of sinful creatures, who continue in such obstinacy, who waste away the means of grace and the seasons of hope, week after week, and month after month, till the day of grace and hope is for ever at an end with them! Hopeless creatures ! Under the power and the plague of sin, under the wrath and curse of a God, under the eternal displeasure of Jesus who was once the minister of his Father's love; and they must abide under all this wretchedness through a long eternity, and in the land of everlasting despair. But I forbear that theme at present, and proceed.
5. At the moment of our death the Time of our preparation for the hour of judgment, and for the insurance of heaven and happiness shall be no longer.' Miserable creatures that are summoned to die thus unprepared! This life is the only time to prepare for dying, to get ready to stand before the Judge of the whole earth, and to secure our title to the heavenly blessedness. Let my heart inquire, Have I ever seriously begun to prepare for a dying hour, and to appear before the Judge of all? Have I ever concerned myself in good earnest to secure an interest in the heavenly inheritance, when this earthly tabernacle shall be dissolved? Have I ever made interest for the
favour of God and a share of the inheritance of the saints, by Jesus the great Mediator while he afforded life and time?' Death is daily and hourly hastening upon us: Death is the king of terrors,' and will ful. fil all his name to every soul that is unprepared. It is a piece of wisdom then for every one of us, since we must die, to search and feel whether death has lost its sting or no: Whether it be taken away by the blood of Christ? Is this blood sprinkled on my conscience by the humble exercise of faith on a dying Saviour? Are the terrors of death removed, and am I prepared to meet it by the sanctifying influences of the blessed Spirit ? Have I such an interest in the covenant of grace as takes away the sting of death, as turns the curse into a blessing, and changes the dark scenes of death into the commencement of a new and everlasting life? This is that preparation for dying for which our time of life was given us; and happy are those who are taught of God to make this use of it.
Judgment is making haste towards us; months and days of divine patience are flying swift away, and the last great day is just at hand: Then we must give an account of “ all that has been done in the body whether it has been good or evil:" And what a dismal and distressing surprise will it be to have the Judge come upon us in a blaze of glory and terror, while we have no good account to give at his demand? And yet this is the very end and design of all our time, which is lengthened out to us on this side the grave, and of all the advantages that we have enjoyed in this life,
that we may be ready to render up our account with joy to the Judge of all the earth.
Heaven is not' ours by birth and inheritance, as lands and houses on earth descend to us from our earthly parents. We as well as they are by nature unfit for heaven and children of wrath; but we may be born again, we may be born of God, and become heirs of the heavenly inheritance through Jesus Christ: We may be renewed into the temper and spirit of heaven; and this life is the only season that is given us for this important change : Shall we let our days and years pass away one after another in long succession, and continue the children of wrath still? Are we contented to go on this year as the last, without a title to heaven, without a divine temper, and without any preparation for the business or the blessedness of that happy world?
6. When this life comes to an end, the time of all our earthly comforts and amusements shall be no more.' We shall have none of these sensible things around us, to employ or entertain our eyes or our cars, to gratify our appetites, to sooth our passions, or to support our spirits in distress. All the infinite variety of cares, labours and joys, which surround us here, shall be no more; life, with all the busy scenes and the pleasing satisfactions of it dissolve and perish together: Have a care then that you do not make any of them your chief hope, for they are but the things of time, tliey are all short and dying enjoyments.
Under the various calamities of this life we find a variety of sensible reliefs, and our thoughts and souls are called away from their sorrows by present business, or diverted by present pleasures; but all these avocations and amusements will forsake us at once, when we drop this mortal tabernacle; we must enter alone into the world of spirits, and live without them there.
Whatsoever agonies or terrors, or huge distresses, we may meet with in that unknown region, we shall have none of these sensible enjoyments to soften and allay them, no drop of sweetness to mix with that bitter cup, no scenes of gaiety and merriment to relieve the gloom of that utter darkness, or to sooth the anguish of that eternal heart-ake.
O take heed, my friends, that your souls do not live too much on any of the satisfactions of this life, that your affections be not set upon them in too high a degree, that you make them not your idols and your chief goocl, lest you be left helpless and miserable under everlasting disappointment, for they cannot follow you into the world of souls: They are the things of time, and they have no place in eternity. Read what caution the Apostle Paul gives us in our converse with the dearest comforts of life; 1 Cor. vii. 29. “ The time is short;” and let those who have the largest affluence of temporal blessings, who have the nearest and kindest relatives, and the most endeared friendships, be mortified to them, and be, in some sense, 'as though they had them not,' for ye cannot possess them long. St. Peter joins in the same sort of ad
vice, 1 Pet. iv. 7. “The end of all things is at hand, therefore be ye sober,” be ye moderate in every enjoyment on earth, and prepare to part with them all, when the angel pronounces that · Time shall be no longer:' His sentence puts an effectual period to every joy in this life, and to every hope that is not eternal.
Thus we have taken a brief survey, what are the solemn and awful thoughts relating to such mortal creatures in general,' which are contained in this voice or sentence of the angel, . That Time shall be no longer.'
In the second place let us proceed further, and inquire a little what are those terrors which will attend sinners, impenitent sinners, at the end of time."
1. A dreadful account must be given of all this lost and wasted time. When the Judge shall ascend his throne in the air, and all the sons and daughters of Adam are brought before him, the grand inquiry will be, •What have you done with all the time of life in yonder world ? You spent thirty or forty years there, or perhaps seventy or eighty, and I gave you this time with a thousand opportunities and means of grace and salvation; what have you done with them all? How many Sabbaths did I afford you? How many sermons have ye heard? How many sea. sons did I give you for prayer and retirement, and converse with God and your own souls? Did you improve time well? Did you pray? Did you converse with your souls and with God? Or did you