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Son of man will appear in his glory, in the clouds of heaven, and all his holy angels with him, to judge all the kindreds of the earth.
All these three manifestations have the most inti. mate reference to each other, and the one always points to the other.
On the first Jewish Pentecost, in the Old Testament, the law of fear was given them, from Mount Sinai, written, with the finger of God, on tables of stone. In the second manifestation, on the Pente. cost of the New Testament, the law of grace and love was given, written in the hearts of believers by the Holy Spirit, as by the gracious finger of Deity. The last great day of the manifestation of the Divine Majesty will show, when the Lord shall judge according to the law, which each one shall have had, whether and how he has lived and acted aecording to it. Paul clearly teaches this in the 2nd chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, where he thus writes, in the 9th, 10th, and following verses,“ Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man, that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile. But glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
Now it might be said, what have we to do with
the first day of Pentecost, when God gave the law from Mount Sinai ; for that law has been abolished ? It is true, that in so far as it has reference to mere ceremonies, this law is abolished, and has no reference to us, as members of the New Testament; for Christ has torn asunder the handwriting that was against us on the cross. But the essential part of the Sinaitic law, instead of being abolished by Christ and his Spirit, is intended to be established in our hearts, by the faith of Christ. Now, the essential part of this law consists in this, that we should fear the Lord our God, walk in all his ways, and love him with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our strength. (Num.
(Num. X. 12.) This command, as the substance of the law and the prophets, together with all other moral precepts, which are contained in the Ten Commandments, are also given to us. The Lord must render imperative upon us, upon every soul in particular, the law of fear. This commonly takes place at the commencement of conversion, when the Lord quickens and stirs up the law in our consciences and hearts, places before our eyes, on the one hand, its righteous and severe demands, and on the other, gives us clearly to know our departure from it, and entire inability to fulfil it; at the same time impressively convincing us of our damnable condition, namely, that according to the strict and blameless requirements of the law, we must inevitably be condemned, and that without mercy. Now when such a salutary terror is produced in the individual, respecting the state of his soul, and the sins he had
previously committed; when he begins to see that the law is spiritual, but that he is carnal, and, as it were, sold under sin, and the law, with all its claims, presses itself upon him, with its perfect justice, then it is that the Lord proclaims the law from Mount Sinai, the law of fear. It then fares with such persons as it did with the children of Israel; they could not endure the voice of the Lord ; there was nothing in them but terror, trembling, and quaking before the Majesty of God, which caused them to make the greatest promises. “All things," said they, “which the Lord hath spoken to us, we will do.” Such is also the case with those, who are inwardly touched, convinced, and reproved by God, through the law. O, the individual then forms the fairest resolutions ! he will now act in a better maaner, he will now most assuredly lead a different life, and a better course; but it is never acco
ccomplished. The most sacred resolutions are never carried into effect ; and, in the meantime, the mind remains disturbed, and the conscience is never satisfied. There must therefore be a new Pentecostal day, in order that men may be saved, namely, the Pentecost of the New Testament, in which the Holy Spirit, and with it, the love of God is shed abroad in the heart, in which the law is given in his heart, and written in his mind, and the man is thus entirely born again. Therefore, says Paul, “ What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might
be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Rom. viii. 3, 4. Paul intends to say by this, that the law is of no avail to a man, whose conscience is disturbed, whose heart tells him that he is condemned, that he cannot stand before God, at the day of judgment; and though he make a thousand good resolutions, and vow and promise ever so much, in order to pacify his conscience; yet God is, with all this, not satisfied, nor is the disturbed conscience pacified and appeased by it; but the only consolation is, that God has sent his Son. The precious blood of Christ slain on the tree of the cross, is alone able to satisfy the disturbed conscience, and to blot out and atone for all our sins. And it is not only contained in the words now quoted, but the following also necessarily belong thereto :-" That the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” It is therefore a deception, and a shameful error, if we stop short at the first motions to repentance, and suppose that all is now well, that God has already forgiven our sins, that the blood and righteousness of Christ recompences for every thing, even though the individual continues to sin afresh, upon such a misplaced confidence in the blood of Christ. By so doing, he treads under foot the precious blood of Christ, accounts it as unclean, and makes Christ the minister of sin. O, it is by no means sufficient, that Christ has paid the debt of our sins with his blood ! he must also take sin itself away from us, entirely destroy it, as the work of the devil, in our hearts,
and redeem us from all unrighteousness and iniquity; he must give us to experience a Pentecostal day, and send his Holy Spirit into us—write, by his means, as the finger of God, his laws in our hearts--impart to us a true love to them, and make such people of us, as walk in his commandments from their own voluntary and loving impulse. In a word, if we are to be made partakers of his merits, he must make us partakers of his divine nature, and also fulfil in us, by his Spirit, the righteousness of the law, even as he fulfilled it out of us.
Now, if we are not thus sanctified by his Holy Spirit, renewed into his most sacred image, and made partakers of his divine nature, nor have celebrated the Pentecost of the New Testament, in spirit and in truth, how shall we be able to stand before him in that great day of the third general manifestation ? when he will judge us according to the law he has given us, and when it will certainly not be indifferent to him, whether he has white or black souls before him; but he will surely separate the sheep from the goats, and place the former at his right hand, and the latter at his left. Then it will truly be said, “ Whose image and superscription is this?" Hence we may also clearly infer, how indispensably necessary it is, for every one of us to keep a pentecostal day. Not that we merely outwardly commemorate the remembrance of the great miracle, which occurred with the apostles and the other believers; but we must likewise wait for and experience such a day, in which the Holy Spirit shall descend upon