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the counsels of God, for the restoration of that people to their ancient seats. This whole period will probably be a period of affliction, not to the Jews only, but also in some degree to the Christian church: for not before the expiration of it will the true church be secure from persecution from without, from corruption, schism, and heresy within. But when this period shall be run out,-when the destined time shall come for the conversion and restoration of the Jewish people, immediately shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, i. e. great commotions and revolutions will take place among the kingdoms of the earth.-Under the image of these celestial disorders, the overthrow of some wicked nations in the last ages is predicted; probably of some who shall pretend to oppose, by force of arms, the return of the chosen race to the holy land, and the reestablishment of their kingdom."
It is the general opinion of our Divines that the restoration of the Jews will consist in their conversion to the Christian faith, and their re-admission into the Divine favour, and that their return to their native land, in addition to those spiritual blessings, is also to be expected.
READER.-Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven.The belief of our Lord's coming, so explicitly foretold, is an article of no
little moment in a Christian's creed.
It is true that the expectation of a future retribution is what ought, in the nature of the thing, to be a sufficient restraint upon a wise man's conduct, though we were uninformed of the manner in which it will be brought about, and were at liberty to suppose that every individual's lot would be silently determined, without any public entry of the Almighty Judge, and without the formality of a public trial. But, our merciful God hath been pleased to ordain that the business shall be so conducted, and the method of it so clearly foretold, as to strike the profane with awe, and to animate the humble and the timid. He hath warned us,-and let them who dare to extenuate the warning ponder the dreadful curse with which the book of prophecy is sealed, "If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life," God hath warned us that the inquiry into every man's conduct will be public, -Christ himself the judge, the whole race of man, and the whole angelic host, spectators of the awful scene. -As no elevation of rank will then give a title to respect, no obscurity of condition shall exclude the just from public honour, or screen the guilty from public shame.-The sentence of every man will be pronounced by him who cannot be merciful to those who shall have willingly sold themselves to that abject bondage from which he came to purchase their redemption,- who, nevertheless hav
ing felt the power of temptation, knows how to pity them that have been tempted; by him on whose mercy contrite frailty may rely, whose anger hardened impenitence must dread. To heighten the solemnity and terror of the business, the Judge will visibly descend from Heaven, the shout of the archangel and the trump of God will thunder through the deep,-the dead will awake,-the glorified saints will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air,-while the wicked will in vain call upon the mountains and the rocks to cover them. Of the day and hour when these things shall be, knoweth no man; but the day and hour for these things are fixed in the eternal Father's counsels. Our Lord will come; he will come unlooked for, and may come sooner than we think.
God grant that the thought and expectation of that glorious advent may be so fixed in our hearts, that by constant watchfulness on our part, and by the powerful succour of God's holy Spirit, we may be found of our Lord, when he cometh, without spot and blameless ! HORSLEY.
And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.-This will be the glory of that day, to see the visible appearance of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven, attended with myriads of angels to his throne of glory, where he sits encircled with the heavenly host, and all mankind standing before his tribunal, expecting their final
doom from his mouth.—Who can possibly conceive the joy and exultation of that day, when good men shall see their Lord coming in the clouds of heaven, clothed with a human body, but bright and glorious as the sun; a body which still retains the marks of his sufferings and the tokens of his love! How will it transport us to see him whom our soul loveth! to see him whom we have so ardently longed and desired to see! To see him, I say, not as the shepherds did, a poor helpless infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger; to see him not arraigned as a malefactor, nor hanging in a shameful manner upon the cross, but to see him in all his majesty and glory, to see him a triumphant conqueror and judge, to see him with crowns and laurels in his hands, and in him to see the certainty of our faith, the completion of our hopes, the rewards of our patience and sufferings, and our final conquest over death and hell. O joyful day, when this royal bridegroom shall come in the glory of his Father to meet his spouse the church, to conduct her to his Father's house, there to see and to partake in his glory, never to part more! Methinks I see holy and devout souls, in the highest raptures and ecstacies of joy, embracing and comforting one another at the appearance of their Lord. Here comes the blessed Jesus, it is he himself, the true image of God, the very brightness of his Father's glory! This is that very day we have so
long expected and hoped for. Let us go forth, and meet him. He is come to judgment; but let those tremble at judgment who are afraid of the judge. We are his he has bought us with his blood; he has renewed and sanctified us by his Spirit; and now he is come to own us in the presence of men and angels, to bestow a kingdom on us, to receive us to himself, that where he is we may be also, and behold his glory.
But then, on the other hand, consider, I beseech you, what a terrible sight it will be to bad men who have laughed at the history of a crucified Jesus, and mocked at a future judgment. And is he come, will such a sinner say, and must I be judged at last, when I thought myself so secure of judgment? What terror is there in his looks! How do his eyes flame with vengeance! Who can abide the day of his wrath! How can I appear before him as my judge whom I would not have for my Saviour? What account can I give of my actions, who never expected to be called to an account for them? What plea can I make for myself, who would never believe, never be persuaded? How can I bear his presence, and yet whither can I flee from him? When he condemns me, to whom can I appeal from the Judge and Saviour of the world?
Let these thoughts then make a deep impression upon our minds, before that day comes. Let us remember that the Son of man will be our judge, he who laid down
his life for us, he who now invites us to repentance, he who now promises pardon and forgiveness to true penitents. Let this teach us to reverence his laws, to imitate his example, to put our whole trust in his merits and intercession, that when he cometh again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and dead, we may rise to the life immortal, as our church teaches us to pray.-SHERLOCK.
Great God, what do I see and hear?
On clouds of glory seated! The trumpet sounds, the graves restore The dead which they contain'd before : Prepare, my soul, to meet him!
The dead in Christ shall first arise At the last trumpet's sounding, Caught up to meet him in the skies,
With joy their Lord surrounding. No gloomy fears their souls dismay; His presence sheds eternal day
On those prepar'd to meet him.
But sinners, filled with guilty fears,
For they shall rise, and find that tears
The day of grace is past and gone; Trembling they stand before the throne All unprepar'd to meet him.
Great God, what do I see and hear?
watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 "Therefore be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
o Mark xiii. 32. Zech. xiv.
Acts i. 7. 1 Thes. v. 2. 2 Pet. iii. 10. Gen. vi. 3, 4, 5; & vii. 5. Luke xvii.
43 'But know this, that if 26. 1 Pet. iii. 20.- Luke xvii. 34, &c.-s ch. xxv. 15.
the goodman of the house had
Luke xxi. 36.- Luke xii. 39. 1 Thes. Rev. ii. 3: & xvi. 15.-u ch. xxv. Luke xii. 42. Acts xx. 28. 1 Cor. Rev. xvi, 15.- ch. xxv. 21, 23.
Mark xiii. 33, &c. v. 2. 2 Pet. iii. 10. 13. 1 Thes. v. 6.iv. 2. Heb. ii. 5.
known in what watch the thief Luke xxii. 29.- Or, cut him off.-a ch. viii. 12; & xxv.
would come, he would have
READER. As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. They knew not until the flood came, and took them all away. -The one shall be taken and the other left. Those who are under the power of sin are in a state of death; and if they die before they have a principle of new life in them, they fall under the power of death, that is, into that state of misery and punishment which is appointed for such dead souls.-If death arrests us while we are in a state of sin, we must die for ever; but if our souls are alive to God, by a principle of grace and holiness, before our bodies die, they must live for ever. A dead soul must die with its body, that is, sink into a state of misery, which is the death and the loss of the soul. A living soul survives the body in a state of bliss and happiness, and shall receive its body again, glorious and immortal, at the resurrection of the just. But this change of state must be made while we live in these bodies; a dead soul cannot revive in the other world, nor a living soul die there and therefore this life is the day of God's grace and patience, the next world is the place of judgment.SHERLOCK.
Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your lord doth come.— Since the time of our death is so unknown and uncertain to us, we ought always to live in expectation of it; to be so far from promising ourselves long life, that we should not promise ourselves a day, and the reason for this is plain and
necessary, because we are not sure of a day.-To live always in expectation of dying does not signify a belief that we shall die to day, but only that we may. And such an expectation as this has nothing of dread and terror in it, but only prudence and caution. Men may live very comfortably and enjoy all the innocent pleasures of life, with these thoughts about them. To expect death every day is like expecting thieves every night, which does not disturb our rest, but only makes us lock and bar our doors and provide for our defence. Thus to expect death is not to live under the perpetual fear of dying, but to live as a wise man would do, who knows not that he must, but that he may, die to day. That is, to be always prepared for death, not to defer our repentance and return to God one moment; not to commit any wilful sin, lest death should surprise us in it; not to be slothful and negligent, but to be always employed in our master's business, according to our Saviour's counsel, "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord, when he cometh shall find so doing."-SHERLOCK.
Every good man can watch always. And, that we may not be deceived in this, let us know, that the running away from a temptation is a part of our watchfulness, and every good employment is another great part of it, and a laying in provisions of reason and religion. beforehand is yet a third part of this watchfulness. And the conversation of a Christian is a per