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It will, indeed, be comparing great things with sinall, if I attempt to illustrate this sublime idea, by local customs, which obtain in this kingdom. At a time of affize, when the judges, to whom the administration and guardianship of our laws are entrusted, are making their entrance, expectation is awake, and a kind of reverence and awe is felt, even by those who are not immediately concerned in their inquest. The digrity of their office, the purpose for which they come, the concourse of people, the order of the procession, and the sound of the trumpet, all concur in raising an emotion in the hearts of the spectators. Happy are they then, upon whom the inflexible law has no demand ! But who can describe the terror, with which the found of the trumpet is heard, by the unhappy criminal; and the throbbings of his heart, if he be already convicted in his own conscience, and knows or fears, that there is sufficient evidence at hand, to fix the fact upon him, and to prove his guilt? For foon the judge will take his seat, the books will be opened, the cause tried, and the criminal sentenced. Many circumstances of this kind are alluded to in the scripture, to assist us in
forming some conception of what will take place, when all the race of Adam, small and great, shall stand before the sovereign Judge, the one Law-giver, who is able to save and to destroy. But the concourse, the folemnity, the scrutiny, the event, in the most weighty causes that can come before a human judicature, are mere fhadows, and trivial as the sports of children, if compared with the business of this tremendous tribunal, The Lord himself will descend with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God. What a trumpet will that be, whose found Thall diffolve the frame of nature, and awaken the dead? When the Lord is seated upon his great white throne *, the heavens and the earth shall flee from his presence ; but the whole race of mankind shall be assembled before him, each one to give an account of himself, to him, from whose. penetrating knowledge, no secret can be hidden, and, from whose unerring, inflexible sentence, there can be no appeal. Where then shall the wicked and the ungodly appear?
But it will be a joyful day to believers, They Thall be separated, as the wheat from ; : * Rev. xx. 11,
the tares, and arranged at his right hand. When the Lord shall come, attended by his holy angels, his redeemed people will re-affume their bodies, refined, and freed from all that was corruptible ; and those of them who shall be then living, will be changed, and caught up to meet him in the air. He will then own them, approve and crown them, before assembled worlds. Every charge that can be brought against them will be overruled, and their plea, that they trusted in him for salvation, be admitted and ratified, They will be accepted and justified. They will shine like the sun in his train, and attend, as assessors with him, when he shall pass final judgment upon his and their enemies. Then he will be admired 'in and by them that believe. Their tears will be for ever wiped away, when he shall say to them, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world *.
Beloved, if these things are so, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness of ? Should we not give all diligence to make our calling and election * Matt. xxv. 34. † 2 Pet. iii. 11. .
fure, that we may be found of him in peace ? He who will then be seated upon the throne of judgment, is, to us, made known as feated upon a throne of grace. It is time, it is high time, and blessed be God it is not yet too late, to seek his mercy. Still the gospel invites us to hear his voice, and to humble ourselves before him. Once more you are invited, some of you, perhaps, for the last time; how know you, but fickness, or death, may be at the very door? Consider, Are you prepared ? Examine the foundation of your hope-and do it quickly, impartially and earnestly, lest you should be cut off in an hour when you are not aware, and perisht with a lie in your right hand.