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dream-awake you to everlasting damnation to weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, to all eternity!
12. CONSIDER this, ye fwearers, blafphemers, drankards, and all the herd of unclean wretches---ye pilfering thieves, liars, and all who bear the mark of the devil in your foreheads ; confider, I say, if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the finner appear? Now you can drink, swear, trifle with death, despise damnation, yea, and falvation too ;--but which of you can endure everlasting burnings? Who among you can abide devouring fire ? * The great day of his wrath is come, and who fall be able to stand? † I warn you to flee from the wrath to come. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wafteness and defolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. Neither their silver, nor their gold, shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath ; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of bis jealousy : for he hall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the earth. I
Great God, what maoner of persons ought we to be, in all manner of conversation and godliness? How dead to the world! How much alive to Him who died for us! O, may our loins be girt, and our lamps burning, so that we may be ready, left that day should overtake us as a thief! That we may be of that happy number--who shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air-and may inhabit the New Heavens, and New Earth, wherein will dwell Righteousness for evermore ! Isa. xxxiii. 14. + Rev. vii. 17.
1 Zeph. i. 15-18.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;
and the books were opened ; and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
THETHER the Grand Conflagration, or the Ge
neral Resurrection, will take place first, is a cir. cumftance which is not very clear from the Scriptures ; nor is it very material for us to know. I have supposed, in the preceding sermon, that the earth will be burnt up first ; or, very probable, both may happen in the very same point of time, that is, in a mome:it, in the twinkling of an eye; for the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God may be the general fignal for each of these awful events ! fo that the final ruin of the world, the resurrection, and the fammons to judgment, may be at the same inftant. However, be that as it may, the world must burn, and the dead be raised, before the Day
of judgment. For as foul and body were associates, and mutually engaged, either in rebellion or obedience, in faith or unbelief, it is reasonable that they should be reunited again to hear their final doom. And, as it is said, Many of them that feep in the dust of the earth fhall awake, fome to everlasting life, and some to fame and everlafting contempt. So our Lord assures us, that the hour is coming when all that are in their graves shall bear his voice, and come forth ;-they that have done good, to the resurrection of life ; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation *.
1. It is supposed that the region of the air will be the scene of this most awful transaction ; and, considering the texture of raised bodies, I see nothing inconsistent with their changed nature at all. And confidering the vast concourse of all that have lived, all that do live, and all that will live, it seems the present earth would be far too small : For, I apprehend, the magnitude of the bodies will be the same as when they were composed of Aesh and blood, and, therefore, must want a large space, wherein to stand, to hear the final doon. Awful scene-tremendous thought !
How shall I leave my tomb ?
With triumph or regret
A curse, or blessing, meet?
fully * John v. 28, 29.
fully investigated, we might suppose it would take far more time than the world has existed, seeing God will bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil *.
4. But, then, his ways are not our ways; He can lay open the whole scene in an instant, and unravel every circumstance, let it be ever so intricate, seeing one day is, with the Lord, as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
It is time now to attend unto the text, in which, according to the prophetic stile, the Apostle speaks of it as a thing already past, I saw ihe dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, &c. From whence it
proper to observe, First, The Judge. Secondly, The Persons to be judged. 7 birdly, The Books by which they are to be judged.
And Firft, I am to consider the Judge. Who this august Personage Mall be, we are at no great loss to know, seeing he himself hath explicitly told us :-When the Son of Man fhall come in his glory, and all bis baly angels with bim, then fhall be fit upon the throne of his glory : and before him fall be gathered all nations : and he shall separate shem one from another, as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goals. And he shall set the fheep on his right hand, but the goats on bis left t. In like manner, the Apostle obferves, We must all appear before the judgment-feat of Chriß I. ' And, as our most blessed Lord lived for us and
* Eccl. xii. 14. Mett, XXV. 31–35. I Rom. xiv. 10.--2 Cor. V. 10
died for us, so he will appear, in the same human nature, to judge us ; hence it is said, God hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance to all
inen, in that he hath raised him from the dead * It seems a very equitable law, in all civilized states, that all cri. minals should be judged by their Peers; that is, by those who are in the same rank with themselves; Noblemen are judged by the Nobles, and a Commoner by the Commons ; so, in this most awful trial, we Mall meet with our Judge in our nature, in which he hath lived, suffered, and died. Hence our Lord says, ---The Father judgeth no man, but hatb committed all judgment to the Son ; that all men should bonour the Son even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which fent him t.
2. But, then, it is to be observed, that he will not appear in the form of a servant: 0, no ;-when he comes in the clouds of heaven, it is in his glory, and in the glory of the Father, and all his angelic attendants, and shall fit upon the throne of his glory, and before him all nations shall be gathered. This our Lord declared before the high-priest, and the Jewish Sanhedrim,--Hereafter fall ye see the Son of Man-fitting at the right hand of power-and coming in the clouds of heaven.
3. Perhaps we may form a small conception of this awful Judge, if we consider the form in which he appeared to the beloved disciple, which had such an over-powering influence, that he fainted away. He tells us he heard a
great # Acts xvii. 31. f John v. 22, 23.