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sun, shall be obscured; when the church, as well as the moon, shall be turned into blood, through the abundance of persecutions; and when they, who, for the brightness of their doctrines and the purity of their lives, shone as the stars, through the prevalence of iniquity and temptation, shall fall away from their integrity, minding earthly things, and worldly interests. Consternation and perplexity unutterable shall seize and distract the hearts of men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the changes about to happen.

And now, the voice of that trumpet, which was once heard from the top of Sinai, shall again be heard from heaven; and the judge of all the earth shall make his entry with power and great glory, having in his retinue an innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of the righteous. Thus attended, he shall descend towards us, riding upon the clouds of heaven, and take his seat on the throne prepared for him. There he shall be seen, in the form and fashion of a man, exceeding glorious, clothed with the robes of majesty and honour, from whence we may suppose him opening his commission, in those words of his own; “ All power is given unto me, in

; “ heaven and in earth. The Father judgeth no man, * but hath committed all judgement unto the Son.” The apostles are placed around him; the court is set; and all things are prepared for him to “judge " the world in righteousness." The nature and manner of this judgement call for our strictest attention.

Let us, therefore, transfer our thoughts from a

temporary tribunal to the throne of eternal judgement. And here it must be considered that, as the whole world is become guilty before God, so we must all appear before the judgement-seat of Clirist; not only they who shall be found alive at his coming, but they also who shall have been detained by death in the prisons of earth and sea. For, at the sound of the last trumpet, the prison door shall be opened, and all that are within shall come forth to judgement. I saw the dead," saith the well-beloved John, “I

saw the dead, both small and great, stand before “ God.” All the senates that ever were convened, and all the assemblies that ever met upon business or pleasure; all the armies that were ever conducted into the field, and all the generals who conducted them; all the kings and princes who ever swayed a sceptre, and all the multitude of the nations that were ever in subjection to them; in a word, all the men and women that shall have lived, from the first pair to their last born son and daughter, are to appear together, and to take their respective trials at the day of the great assize. High and low, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, will then be distinguished only by their virtues and their vices; so that the whole world shall perceive and acknowledge that God is no respecter of persons.” The injured virgin, the afflicted widow, and the oppressed orphan, shall then see those, face to face, who have spoiled them of their innocence, their reputation, or their substance. There men shall meet all those who have seduced them, or whom they have seduced into the ways of sin; and all those who have directed and encouraged them, or whom they have directed and encouraged, to proceed in the paths of righteousness. From the former they shall turn away with shame and fear; the latter they shall behold with joy and rejoicing. There they shall view the wisdom of religion in the persons of the righteous, and wonder why they did not see it before, and give themselves up to the study of it; there they shall clearly behold the folly of irreligion in the persons of the wicked, and be astonished at their insensibility in following so hard after it. Amidst all this unimaginable multitude, there shall not be one idle and unconcerned spectator; not one that shall have leisure to trouble himself with the affairs of his neighbour. Every man will have a cause to be heard, and how will he be straightened until it be determined !

The prisoners, thus brought to the bar, are to be judged concerning the counsels of their hearts, the words of their lips, and the works of their hands, which will be found registered against them in the volumes of their consciences. These volumes, indeed, are often closed during the present life, by the hands of negligence and forgetfulness; but at the last day they shall be unfolded to all the world. These, perhaps, are the books, which, as Daniel and St. John inform us, shall be opened before the throne of Christ, that men may be judged out of those things which are written therein. The dust shall be wiped away from these important writings ; each obliterated character shall be renewed and restored; and a light shining from above shall make them legible to every eye. There is nothing now hidden,

which shall not then be known; nothing spoken or done in the secret chambers, which shall not be proclaimed in public. Conscience shall then do the work perfectly, which, through our own faults, it doth at present imperfectly; and we shall know, as

? we are known; we shall know ourselves as God knoweth us. But besides this, the great Accuser shall stand forth at the last day in his proper character, and aggravate with all his malice the sins to the commission of which he tempted the ungodly. “ These wretches," may he say to the judge, my

power never created, nor my providence sustained; “ I never was incarnate, nor did I ever hang three "hours upon the cross for them; I gave them no

grace, and promised them no glory. Yet, by their

own choice, they have forsaken thee, who didst all “ this for them, and voluntarily yielded themselves " servants to me. Mine therefore they are, and "s with me shall be their portion.” They who have beheld the countenance of a malefactor, when suddenly confronted by an accomplice appearing as an evidence against him, may form some idea of that confusion which shall overwhelm the sinner, when conscience, awaking out of sleep, shall witness his iniquity to his face; when the very thoughts of his heart shall be made manifest, and the tempter shall be his accuser.

Nor shall the faithful escape the malice of him who is styled the accuser of the brethren; but he shall accuse them also before their God; alleging against them the follies of their youth, and the infirmities of their old age ; their fruitless repentances, and frequent relapses; their excesses in the pleasures of sense, and their deficiencies in the duties of religion ; the wanderings of their prayers, and the coldness of their charity. And, alas ! if God should be extreme to mark what is done amiss, who could stand? But for those who believe, upon the preaching of the Gospel, who lay hold on the benefits of that act of grace, and come in upon the easy terms of the Christian covenant, for them there is ITaçanartos, an advocate ready to appear, even the Spirit, which now “ maketh intercession for them," and shall do the same at the last day against the allegations of Satan, pleading the merits of the Redeemer, and the promised pardon made effectual by grace; what he wrought for his people, and what he wrought in them; the groans and the tears of the penitent, the fastings and the watchings, the prayers and the alms of the faithful ; the weakness and imperfection of which shall be forgiven, and they shall be accepted, not for their own sake, but for the sake of the beloved; through whose blood all shall be saved who depart in the faith and fear of God, notwithstanding their relapses, through infirmity, in the days of their flesh. These, therefore, go to the portion on the right hand, because the Lord their God doth answer for them. They shall hear the joyful sound of pardon and peace : the angels who ministered to them, and often rejoiced at their repentance, shall place them in everlasting habitations of pleasure and glory; while the wicked, forsaken by their guardians, and con

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