« PreviousContinue »
hour of serious reflexion is the time, when things appear in their true colours and proportions. And happy and wise is he, who draws rules from this serious season to guide and controul him in the gayer and more tumultuous scenes of life!
I Shall add but one argument more. That the libertine might not call these things mere arbitrary reasoning and wild conjecture, that he might not have the least room to plead doubts and uncertainties in so important a point, it has pleased God to support the witness of nature by the express revelation of his will. When he has declared himself in such aweful terms as these; all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that be bath done, whether it be good or bad. ii. Cor. v. i o. All that are in the graves Jhall hear his voice and Jhall come forth; they that have done good unto the refurreSiion of life, and
they they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. John v. 28. And these jhall go away into everlajiing punishment, and the righteous into life eternal. Mat. xxv. 46.
I Say, when God has in this clear and authoritative manner revealed the awful secrets of his future kingdom, what room is there for disbelief or disobedience? what has man to do, but to humble himself before his Maker, to receive his commands with reverence, and to obey them without reserve?
If, in short, man is not accountable, it must be, because God either wants the will or the power to bring him into judgment.
His will is clear from the foregoing observations: he has declared his intention ; "and he is not a man that he should repent. But may he not, you will say, want the power—what ? He, that planteth the ear, Jhall he not hear? He, that formeth the eye, Jhall he not fee? He, B that that teacheth man knowledge, Jball he not knows Psal. xciv. 9. He, by whose command, the heavens and earth arose out of nothing, and by whose command they shall vanish again, shall he want power to chastise those creatures, who have trampled upon his laws, and set his authority at defiance? In vain shall they hope to sleep in the dust for ever: the power, that first formed them, shall awaken them to their doom. In vain shall they cry to the mountains and to the rocks to fall on them and sttreen them from his wrath: those rocks and mountains arose at his command, and by his command are vanishing with the whole machine of nature. There is no subterfuge; no alternative: Every One
SHALL GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF
To God. Resistance is vain; for the Judge is omnipotent: all artifices are vain; for he is omniscient and knoweth all things: all prayers are vain; for he is now no longer a Saviour, but a Judge.
The tfhe holy angels (says the scripture) Jball gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; but the righteous pall jhine forth like the fun in the kingdom of their Father. Mat. xiii. 41, &c.
The conclusion is short r since this life, then, is only introductory to another, let us form a consistent plan. We generally provide in youth for the wants of age: to neglect this is generally thought imprudent, because of the connexion between these two stages of life. Alas ! this connexion is not inseparablel the young may not live to be old; the gay libertine tells you he intends not to be old. But young and old alike must die and go into the other state. The connexion between these two states is inscperable. As sure as we now live, we must be judged. Let us then in this time provide for the wants of eternity. Innocence of manners generally is as happy here as it desires; it will inB 2 fallibly fallibly make us happy hereafter. If it leads into trials and distresses—they can be but temporary; the happiness of futurity will make us an abundant compensation. And as we are exposed to numerous temptations in our passage, let us ever remember that we are accountable creatures; and that will be our security.
"he, that will be my judge, is al"ways about my path and about my "bed, and spieth out all my ways; and "how can I commit this sin in his aw"ful presence? Or, if I have fallen in «« the weakness of my nature, I will re"pent.—He who is to be my judge, is "in this life my Saviour, accepteth of "my repentance, and blotteth out all "my transgressions."