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not coming hastily upon us, is that which makes us so apt to be careless. This our Saviour intiinates, C. 2.4. 43. If the good Man of the House bad known in what Watch the Thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his House to be broken up, and v.48. If the Evil fall say in his Heart, my Lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to smite his fellow Servants, and to eat and drink with the Drunken: Some say, where is the promise of his coming? Hence they walk after their own lifts, 2 Pet. 3. 4. This seeming delay hath this ill Effect, in fome pieasure, both on Good and Bad.
1. The Good endeavour to live in a constant
expectation of his Coming, and labour daily he delay of
to be prepared for it; but because ofic, tho' the Spirit be willing, yet the Flesh is weak. Mat. 26. 41. and because of that they fometimes sleep, do what they can. For they find many Crosses and Troubles, and Patience sometimes grows weak, and will not hold out; they see their Perfecutors the Wicked, prosper while they suffer; and because Christ does not come to revenge them so speedily as they with, this sometimes frets and galls them too much; however they are but Men, and the longer they live, meet with the more Temptations, and sometimes are laid alleep by them; and the Multitude of even necessary Worldly Business diverts them often too much from the care they fhould be taking to their ways. An uninterrupted Vigilance is hardly posible to Mortals. 2. The Bad by the delay of Christ's Coming to Judgment, harden themselves in their confidence, either that he approves of their ways, because he comes not to execure fome Judgment upon them, or, that all they hear of his coming
Cause Chrilt profper while Ice their perfi
lignifies nothing, and that he will not come ; of . that yet they shall have time enough, his Coming is not so near, but that they may have time enough to prepare for it. It will be then time enough to awake out of Sleep, when they think his coming is near at hand: Old Age, or Sickness, or something will give them warning enough to make ready for him.
Thus are Men apr to drive off their Dury, and Heep on ftill, as long as they think Chrift: drives of his Coming. And they will think he drives it off, as long they see him not, because they have a mind he should do so, and they would sleep quietly in their Sins, and enjoy the pleasure of their idle Dreams as long as they can. This is our great Folly and Madness, to put the thing which is of greatest concernment, and requires all the hafte we can make, to the last and most uns certain time of all other..
4. Which is the last thing to be observed, the unreasonableness of Sleeping, because the Brides groom tarrieth. And this appeareth on this twa told Account. 1. Thar his carrying is no Arguinent that he will not come. 2dly, That the time of his tarrying is uncertain, and zdly, Thac it is quite to a contrary end.
1. The Bridegroom's tarrying is no Argument that he will not come. He hath allured us on the contrary, that he will certainly come, but he neVer told us, that he would come at such a time. Had he done so, and that time, fet by him, had buen palt, we might begin to doubt he would not come. We argue well against the Jews for our Saviour's first coming in the Fiesh: He promised to come within such a time as the Temple was standing, and the Sceptre not quite du parted
from 7udab; but the Teinple is long since des stroyed, and the Sceptre departed, therefore Christ is already come. But because he never set any cinie for his second coming, therefore we cannot argue thus, because he hath tarried till now, he will not come. It is not then safe Neeping, be- . cause Christ carrieth hitherto. Nay, yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not carry. Heb. 10. 37.
2. His carrying is uncertain as to the time of it, he hath hid it from us, and hath often told us so, that we neither Can nor must know it, till it be come. Now how absurd a thing is it in any one to sleep, and prefume of the Lord's tarrying yet longer, when he hath hid the time of his coming from us, that we might presume on no such thing, bur live in a continual expectation of it, as of a thing which may be to day, or to Morrow, or at any other time, for ought we can know of it.
3. His tarrying is to a quite contrary end, as himself hath taught, that is to make us very vigilant and watchful, to keep us from sleeping; yea, ’tis in mercy to us, and much long suffering that he tarries, that we may have time enough to do our Duty in, nor to sleep but to work, to repent of our fleeping so long, and to redeem the time that we have lost. Now should not the Riches of God's Goodness and Forbearance and long-suffering, lead us to repentance? Rom. 2. 4. Or should we Deep on till that day come upon us 'unawares; and whild we sleep treasure up Wrath unto our selves, to make it a Day of fierce Wrath and Fiery Indignation to us?
Having seen how unreasonable a thing it is to encourage ourselves by the Lord's carrying to slumber and deep. Let us rouze up our selves ar length,
'tis late enough, and trim up our Lamps, that we may be ready to enter in with the Lord into Light eternal, Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory.
Verse 6. And at Midnight there was a crie made, behold,
the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him. T TEre in this Verfë our Saviour gives a timely 11 warning to all Christians what to expect, Thewing us, withal, how dangerous a thing it is to encourage our felves by Christ's Long Suffeing and Patience (which we may understand by his carrying ) to sleep on, and grow careless in our way of living. For when we least of all think of it, he will come, The Virgins all tļumbered and slept, because of the Bridegroom's long tarrying; yet did not this prevenc his coming, but at last he came, a cry was made that awak'd Them out of theịr Sleep, and open'd their Eyes; Behold the Bridegroom cometh, he is at Hand, make halt : Yea, and when they least thought of iç, suddenly ac Midnight. These then are the things that we are to learn from this verse, and they are weighty matters of greatest Concernment to every one of us.
1. The Bridegroom, that is, Christ Jesus will come.
2. The time of his coming will be sudden, when least expected.
3. A cry thall then awake us all to meet him.
1. Christ Jesus the Bridegroom will certainly come. He is once come to espouse the World to himself, and being afcendcd again into Heaven, the Heavens must receive him till the time of Refticution of all things, which God hath spoken
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by the Mouth of his Holy Prophets, since the World began. “ Act. 3. 21. i. e. Till all things be fulfilled, which the Prophets have foretold thall be before his return. Before he departed, he told his Apostles, that he would see them again, nor only after his Resurrection for a while. 7oh. 16. 16. But faith he, I will come again and receive you unto my felf, that where I am, there ye may be also. Foh. 14, 3. And, indeed, the work that he hath yet to do, and the promise that he hach made, assure us both that it is fit he should come, and that certainly he will come,
1. The Work which he hath yet to do, fpraks it fic that he should come. He hath done bur part of his work as Mediator between God and Man. He hath done the work of a Prophet, in Revealing his Father's Will to the World; he haih done ic in Person, and he is yer doing it by his Ministers, to whom he hath committed the word of Reconciliation. . 2 Cor. 5. 18. Who pray us in Christ's stead, that we would by betrothing our felves to Christ, be reconcil'd unto God, and nor receive this inestimable Grace and Favour of God in vain. He hash done the work of an High Priest, in offering himself a perfect facrifice for the Sins of the World, and hath recon. cil'd us to God by his own Blood, and he is ftill doing it, for being by his Blood enter'd in the holiest of all, even the highest Heavens there he appeareth in the presence of God for Us. And is our Advocate with the Father, ever living to make intercession for us. 1. 7oh. 2. I. He is doing the Office of a King, he hath given Laws to his Church, and is ruling them by. thole Laws, and over-ruling his, and her Enemies, and must Reign, till they all be put under his