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but as the interpretation of Scripture is to be proved

the event, it does not appear necessary, in a practical treatise, to speculate on the subject. To be always attending on a preacher of righteousness, to be always waiting with devout and holy hearts, for the second appearance of our Lord, to be continually prepared for the great and dreadful day of universal account, is the only solid proof that any man can give of his happy progress in the faith of Christ. Are we assured that Christ will come as he has promised? Let us look for him, as an anxious friend expects his benefactor. Are we assured that he will come in the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him, not only his cruel enemies that led him to the cross, but we, who have crucified him afresh by our sins? Let the awful apprehension become the preparation for our conversion, lest he should come and smite the earth with a curse1.

There is no doubt but, as the time approaches, signs and wonders will proclaim the great event; and that those who shall be alive and remain, will need no other interpreter than the book of prophecy in their hands, and the signs of the times which will be before their eyes. Our situation is somewhat different. As the blessed Redeemer died once for all, the same offering could only be made before those who were

1 Mal. iv. 6.

2 εpaña, not once only, but once for all. Rom. vi. 10.

witnesses of the event. If miracles were performed as personal evidences only, those who were present could alone be benefited by the application. But here is the bond of union, the connection which gives the value; namely, that of faith. In this sense Christ was sacrificed from the foundation of the world; and in this sense he will continue to be sacrificed till the Lord himself shall come to judgment. The second advent will corroborate the faith of every age. It will unite the pious of the last age of the world, with the holy sons of Seth, when the world itself was young.

It is unnecessary to be more particular in considering the restoration of Israel and Judah, the return of the ten tribes, or the final conversion of the Gentiles that are scattered abroad, though they are highly interesting and deserving the attention of the theological student; neither is it here expedient to enlarge on the glories of the Millenium, which have led too many into the inexplicable intricacies of mysticism. Our purposes are with ourselves: and as the Gospel details facts as far as they are applicable to the salvation of man, let us cleave to them, and endeavour, through the grace of God, to derive from them that instruction of the heart which it is their blessing to bestow.

Our attention at present rests upon the second advent of our Lord. This is an express doctrine of the Gospel, established as an uncontrovertible fact by every true believer. "God hath appointed a day in the

which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained 1." "The Father judg

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eth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; and hath given him authority to execute this judgment, because he is the Son of man". That is, to use the words of a learned commentator, "because of the three persons which are God, he only is man, and therefore for his affinity with our nature, for his sense of our infirmities, for his appearance to our eyes, most fit to represent the greatest mildness and equity amidst the severity of the most just and impartial judgment"." As the Almighty cannot be called upon for reasons, we must be satisfied with what he is pleased to reveal. Almighty mercy and Almighty justice stand in array before us. The intervention of the Son of man softens the bitterness of expected punishment. Mercy and truth have met together [in him], righteousness and peace have kissed each other *."

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"Behold! he who came in swaddling clothes, cometh with clouds; he who came to proclaim the day of salvation, cometh again to proclaim the day of vengeance. He who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, leads his ten thousands to the prey, as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He who cried not, nor lifted up his voice against his enemies on earth, thunders with the glorious voice of his excellency against them from

1 Acts xvii. 31.

S Bp. Pearson in locum.

2 John v. 22. 27.

4 Psalm lxxxv. 10.

heaven. He who never brake a bruised reed, rules the nations with a rod of iron, and breaks them in pieces like a potter's vessel. He who quenched not the smoking flax, extinguishes the great lights of the world, darkens the sun, and turns the moon into blood; commands the stars from their stations, and the dead from their graves; shakes the powers of heaven, and the foundations of the earth, and all hearts that are not fixed on him "

The awful circumstance of the second coming of Christ, when all the sons of men shall be convened before him, strikes the mind in a manner impossible to be expressed. But what shall we say, or how shall we act or think, when we reflect that the hand which writes this, and the eye which reads it, shall both witness the amazing scene; not looking upon it merely as a spectacle in which friends and neighbours are concerned; not regarding it even as an assembly of men of other nations, varied by their tribes and professing an infinity of characters, passions, and opinions; not beholding judgment executed upon others, but hearing an irrevocable sentence, either of happiness or misery passed upon ourselves. When rising from the bed of death under such circumstances as these, oh! how shall we appear? How indeed, in any sense of the word, if we rested on our own righteousness! But see! the sign of the Son of Man in heaven! He

1 See Bp. Horne's beautiful discourse, The King of Glory.

who emptied himself of his divinity, and came into this abject world as our Redeemer, comes again to be our Judge. But let not this deceive us in the present stage of human life. It is true, all the blessed servants of Christ are redeemed by him from the penalty of sin; but before we can esteem ourselves freed from punishment due to iniquity, we must be well assured that we form part of that blessed society. It is not for man in the house of his pilgrimage to draw the line of mercy. If not in deed, it must be more than in intention to receive salvation on the Lord's own terms. And how backward we are to do this, let every man declare. David was not allowed to build a solemn temple to Jehovah because he was a man of blood; but as the word of the Lord said, that it was in his heart to build an house for the name of the Lord, the will was accepted for the deed.

O God! who knowest the hearts of men, and drawest them that they may follow Thee, be pleased to sanctify our hearts by the influence of thy Holy Spirit, that our imperfect endeavours may be acceptable in thy sight; and grant, that the sign of thy blessed Son in heaven may be a sign of salvation to thy unworthy servants on earth, for the sake of the same, thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

12 Chron. vi. 7.

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