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in the ecstacy of passion, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” The faithful Israelite, under the Jewish dispensation, was characterized by his earnest expectation of the first coming of the Messiah; and the true Christian is designated by his firm belief and joyful hope of his second coming—by his looking, longing, waiting, preparing, and praying for it. When our Lord comes again, it will be to judge the world, and to reward every man according to his works. As the apostle writes to the Christians at Thessalonica, who suffered persecution for the gospel, “It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels; in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe:” that is, when he shall come to be glorified in the eyes of the whole world, in the punishments inflicted on the final and irreconcileable enemies of God and true religion; and in the glorious and happy circumstances of those who have sincerely embraced the truth, and lived under its power and influence. Christ will come on the clouds, with an innumerable company of angels, and all the glorified souls in heaven in his train; and many awful appearances there will be to increase the grandeur and solemnity of that day. But now more especially, there will be a display of the glory of his own person, suited to his real dignity, and the great characters he sustains, of Head of the Church, and Judge of the world. Once when he was on earth, in the days of his humiliation, he was gloriously transfigured and transformed in the view of his disciples Peter, James, and John ; his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment became white as the light. The description given of that one transient glorification, may help us to some imperfect ideas of the present glory of the human nature of Christ, in his state of exaltation, and of that in which he will appear when he comes again. But though we cannot now distinctly conceive of it, we may be sure it will be such as will excite the wonder of all, and afford every believer a most pleasing surprise and extatic joy. Each saint will have a glory of his own, with which he will be perfectly satisfied; but all the many millions of believers will admire and be delighted with the transcendent personal glory and majesty of Christ, their common Lord and Head. When Christ comes again, the happy and advantageous circumstances of the saints will reflect honour and lustre on his mediatorial character and work. The perfection of their holiness. They will be owned, acquitted, and applauded by Him, as such as had believed in him, and served him faithfully in this world, and their graces and virtues, which here had some imperfections, will there evidently appear completed. Then shall appear the bright scene, which the apostle Peter represents as the final event of sore trials, when their faith has been tried in the fire of tribulation, and is “found more precious than gold,” it shall shine “to the praise, and honour, and glory” of the saints, and especially of Christ himself, at his appearing. The “Church” which “he loved,” and for which “he gave himself, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” will then be presented to himself a glorious church, not hav2 D

ing spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, “being holy and without blemish.” O what an almighty arm is this, shall believers say, that has borne up so many thousands of poor sinking creatures, and lifted our heads above the waves | The measure of grace that existed many years in a flood of temptation, and was not quenched, shall then appear very conspicuous to the glory of Christ, who implanted and maintained it in their hearts, and at last perfected it. The evternal glory of the saints, or lustre of their persons, their bodies being then raised up immortal, and no more liable to death or disease, will reflect honour on Christ at his appearing. Soul and body being then united, will be for ever free from all the infirmities of weak and mortal flesh. They will have enlarged capacities, fitted for the noblest services of celestial minds, and bodies that will no longer be clogs or burdensome weights to the soul in its divine employments, but made fit for a partnership with it, in uninterrupted and endless praise and happiness. The representations which are given us in the Scriptures of this glory of the bodies of the saints, are such as these—“It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory ;” and “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” “We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” The apostle says, “It does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him;” and if like him, we shall be very glorious. It is said of the saints, that they “shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” A representation of which, as we have already noticed, our Saviour gave us in his transfiguration on the mount, when his face was bright as the sun, and his raiment white as light. In a word, the saints will appear in that day as so many images of his person, and as so many significant monuments of the success of his office. * The great multitude of his saints will do honour to Christ likewise. Our Saviour once spake of his disciples as a “little flock,” and then it, indeed, was so. There were but few who believed in him, fewer still who had the courage to own him publicly in the face of the world. Most men, while he was among them, were ignorant of him, or offended at him ; and oftentimes his visible followers have made but a small and inconsiderable appearance, in comparison of the rest of mankind. But in that day, the number of the saints will appear to be a great multitude: when all who have held the faith of Jesus, or died in the lively hope and confident expectation of him, in any age, shall be gathered together from all the ends of the earth, shall come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, to meet their triumphant Redeemer. The apostle John, in the book of the Revelation, says, “I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindred, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” If the followers of Christ should not then appear to be so numerous as those of his enemies, who would not submit to his authority and doctrine in this world; yet they may, may certainly will, be a great number, exceeding what the contracted charity of some now admit of and suppose. There may be many among

the saints in that day, not only out of all nations, but also out of all parties; there will be many of all ranks, and of different gifts and attainments; some of distinguished learning, and exalted capacity, who prefer the knowledge of Jesus Christ and him crucified above all other science, as best suited to secure the practice of holiness and advance it to the greatest perfection, and to support the mind under all the afflictions of this life. Others there will be of meaner capacities, who were not able, in their present circumstances, by the exercise of their own powers, to trace out the principles and obligations of religion and virtue; who, from the doctrines, miracles, example, conspicuous and well-attested death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, have learned the nature and obligations of true religion, as consisting in the love of God and of their neighbours, and the certainty of future recompence, and have been engaged thereby to perfect holiness in the fear of God. Some there will be in the number of the saints, who had gone far from God, and been great sinners. The apostle brings forward a catalogue of the blackest crimes, committed by the children of iniquity, who at last were made heirs and possessors of heaven, 1 Cor. vi. 9–11. Such they were in the days of their ignorance and heathenism, but they were, through the rich grace of God, washed from their sins in the blood of Christ, and renewed by his Spirit, and shall appear in white garments of holiness and glory at the last day. There will be a great number who here on earth were despised of men, lived in a mean condition, who will be owned by Christ at his appearing for his people, as having been resigned, contented, and thankful in the circumstances allotted them by Divine Providence. Again; there will be many who had honoured the Lord

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