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the respect of angels, and reflect honour upon Christ in that
IV. This text will give us also two hints of caution,
First, “ You that are rich in this world, or wise, or mighty, dare not ridicule vor scoff at those poor weak christians, in whom Christ shall be admired and glorified in the last day." You that fancy you have any advantages of birth or beauty of mind or body bere on earth, dare not make a jest of your poor pious neighbour that wants them, for he is one of those persons whom Christ calls his glory, and he himself has given you warning, lest you incur his resentment on this account; Mat, xviii. 6. Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Perhaps the good man has some blemish in his outward form, or it may be his countenance is dejected, or his mein and figure awkward and uncomely; perhaps bis garments sit wrong aud unfashionable upon hiin, or it inay be they hang in tatters.; the motions of his body, perhaps, are ungraceful, bis speech inproper, and his deportment is simple and unpolished; but he has shining graces in his soul, in which Christ shall be admired in the last day, and how darest thou make him thy laughing, stock? Wilt thou be willing to hear thy scornful jest repeated again at that day when the poor derided christian has his robes of glory on, and the Judge of all shali acknowledge him for ove of his favourites?
The second hint of caution is this, “ you that shall be the glory of Christ in that day, dare not do any thing that way dig. honour him now." Walk answerable to your character and your hope, nor indulge the least sinful defilement. · Say within yourselves. “ Am I to make one in that splendid retinue of my Lord, where every one must appear in robes of holiness, and shall i spot my garments with the flesh ? When I am provoked to anger and indignation, let me say, doth wrath and bluster become a follower and an attendant of the meek and peaceful Jesus ? When I am tempted to pride and vanity of mind, will this be a beauty or a blemish to that assembly, that shines in glorious humility ? Or perlaps, I ain wavering, and ready to yield, and become a captive to some foolish temptation ; but how then can I expect a place in that holy triumph, which is appointed for none but conquerors? And how shall I be able to look my blessed General in the face on that day, if I prove a coward under his banner, and abandon my profession of strict holiness, at the demand of a sinful and threatening world?”
V. The last vise I shall make of the text, is matter of consolation and joy to two sorts of christians.
First, To the poor, mean and despised followers of Christ, and in whom Christ himself is despised by the ungodly world. Read my text and believe, that in you Christ shall be glorified and admired, when with a million of angels he shall descend from heaven, and make his last appearance upon earth ; mean as you are in your own esteem, because of your ignorance and your weakness in this world, you shall be one of the glories of Christ in the world to come: Little and despicable as you are in the esteem of proud sinners, they shall behold your Lord exalted on his throne, and you sitting among the honours at his right-hand, while they shall rage afar off and gnash their teeth at your glory: When the eye of faith is open, it can spy this bright hour at a distance, and bid the mourning christian rejoice in bope.
Secondiy, There is comfort also in my text to those who mourn for the dishonour of Christ in the world ; those lively members of the mystical body, who sympathize with the blessed head under all the reproaches that are cast upon him and his gospel, who groaa under the load of scandal that is thrown upon Christ in an infidel age, as though it were personally thrown upon themselves. It is inatter of lamentation indeed, that there are but few of this sort of christians in our day, few that love our Lord Jesus with such tenderness; but if such there be among you, open your cyes and look forward to this glorious day. This day to which Enoch the first of all the prophets, and John the last of all the apostles, directs our faith. Read their own, words; Jude 14, 15. Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all the hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Rev. i. 7. Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shalt see him, and they also which pierced him. And all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Bear up your hearts ye mourners, and support your hopes with the promise of our Lord. Again, a little while and ye shall see me ; John xvi. 17. shall see the Son of man sitțing on the throne of his glory." Mat. xxv. 31. “ Then shall your heart rejoice in Inis honours and in your own, and this joy no man taketh from you ;" John xvi. 19, 22. And while he repeats this promise with his last words in the bible, Surely, I come quickly, let' every soul of us echo to the voice of our beloved, Amen, even so come, Lord Jesus.
ET DISCOURSE V.-The Wrath of the Lamb.
great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and
WHEN some terrible judgment or execution of divine vengeance is denounced against an age or a nation, it is some. times described in the language of prophecy by a resemblance to the last and great judgment-day, when all mankind shall be called to account for their sins, and the just and final indignation of God shall be executed upon obstinate and unrepenting criminals. The discourse of our Saviour in the xxiv. chapter of Matthew, is an eminent example of this kind; where the destruction of the Jewish nation is predicted, together with the final judgment of the world, in such uniform language, and similar phrases of speech, that it is difficult to say, whether both these scenes of vengeance run througla the whole disa course, or which part of the discourse belongs to the one, and which to the other. The same manner of prophecy appears in this text.
Learned interpreters suppose these words to foretel the universal consternation which was found amongst the heathen idolaters and persecutors of the church of Christ, when Constantine the first christian emperor, was raised to the throne of Rome, and became governor of the world. But whether they hit upon the proper application of this prophecy or not, yet still it is pretty evident that this scene of terror is borrowed from the last judgment, which will eininently appear to be the day of wrath, as it is called ; Rom. ii. 5. It is the great day of divine indignation in so eminent a manner, that all the tremendous desolations of kingdoms and people, from the creation of the world to the consummation of all things shall be but as shadows of that day of terror and vengeance.
I shall therefore consider these words at present, as they contain a solemn representation of that last glorious and dread. ful day; and here I shall enquire particularly.
I. Who are the persons whose aspect and appearance shall then be so dreadful to sinners.-II. How comes the wrath which discovers itself at that time to be so formidable; and,-III. How
vain will all the shifts and hopes of singers be in that dreadful day to avoid the wrath and vengeance.
First, Who are the persons that appear elothed in so much terror ?
Answer. It is he that sits upon the throne and the Lamb? It is God the Father of all, the great and almighty Creator, the supreme Lord and Governor of the world, and the Lamb of God, that is, our Lord Jesus Christ his Son, dwelling in human nature, to whom the judgment of the world is committed, and by whom the Father will introduce the terrible and the illustrious scenes of that day, and manage the important and eternal affairs of it. It is by these names that the apostle John, in this prophetical book, describes God the Father, and his Son. Jesus; Rev. iv. 10. and v. 6—13.
If it be enquired why God the Father is described as the person sitting on the throne, this is plainly agreeable to the other representations of him throughout the scripture ; where he is described as first and supreme in authority, as sitting on the throne of majesty on high, as denoting and commissioning the Lord Jesus, his well-beloved Son, to act for him, and as placing bim on his throne to execute bis works of mercy or ven. geance. Rev. iii. 21. He that overcometh shall sit down with me on my throne, saith our Saviour, even as I have overcome, and am set down with the Father on his throne. Jolin v. 22 27. The Father has committed all judgment into the hands of his Son. It is true, the godhead or divine essence is but one, and it is the same godhead which belongs to the Father, that dwells in the Son, and in this respect, “ Christ and the Father are one, he is in the Father, and the Father in bim; John X. 30, 38. yet the Father is constantly exhibited in scripture with peculiar characters of prime authority, and the Son is represented as receiving all from the Father ; John v. 19, 20, 22, 26, 27.
If it be farther enquired, Why Christ is called the Lamb of God, I shall not pursue those many fine metaphors and similes, in which the wit and fancy of men have run a long course on this subject, but shall only mention these two things :
1. He is called the Lamb, from the innocence of his behaviour, the quietness and meekness of his disposition and conduct in the world. The character of Jesus among men was peaceful and harmless, and patient of injuries ; when he was reviled, he Teviled not again, but was led as a Lamb to the slaughter with submission and without revenge: This resemblance appears, and is set forth to view in several scriptures, wherein he is compared to this gentle creature ; Acts viii. 32. 1 Pet. i. 23.
2. He is called the Lamb, because he was appointed a sacri