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Foor, but this is not yet done. In yain had he
tin Laws, and appointed Officers under him, 35 he hath done to see thein obfervd, if he would never come to call Men to account, and judge them by those Laws, rewarding his Obedient Subjects, and punishing the Rebellious. His Spouse the Church is yet in an obscure condition, and a very changeable one and imperfect; but he hath proinised to make her a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Eph. 5, 27. She is now ofren under a Cloud and driven into the Wilderness, and groaning under persecution, and 'tis but fit and a righteous thing with God to Recompence Tribulation to them that trouble her, and to her that is troubled, Rest, when the Lord Jesus shall be reveal'd from Heaven. 2 Thef. 4, 6, 7. Yea, 'cis very fir, that the Lord of Glory, who came in all Humility, abafing himself, and making himself of no Reputation, being in the form of a Servant, defpiled of : Men, and set at naught; should once shew himfelf to the World in Glory and Majesty, appear like himself the great and glorious God, and Reign in Glory and Power, saying, Those mine Enemies who would not that I should Reign over them, bring them forth, and flay them before me, Luk. 19.27.
2. And his promise hath allured us that he shall certainly come, and come in greatest Glory, and with most terrible Majesty, when he will make every proud and prosperous Sinner tremble, and call to the Mountains and the Rocks to fall on them, . and cover them from the wrath of the Lambenom finding, that he hath but been merrily trcasuring up unto himself wrath against that day of wrath, • and Revelation of the Righteous Judgment ce God. Rom. 2. 5. Before he went away, he Com
received hihen he cof quick'ch was ore people.
manded his Apofles to preach unto the People, and to restify, chat it is he which was ordain'd of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. A£. 10. 42. And when he went up in the Clouds, which received him out of the Apoftles light, cwo Men j. e. Angels stood by 'em in white Apparel, which also said, ye Men of Gallilee, why stand ye gazing up unto Heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye bave seen him go into Heaven. / Act. 1. 10, 11. He shall come in the Clouds of Heaven with Power and great Glory. Mat. 24. 30. Bebold be cometh with Clouds, and every Eye shall see him, and they also which pierced bim, and all Kindreds of the Earth shall wail because of him, even so, Amen. Rev. 1. 7. Then shall be come to execute Righteous Judgment upon all, as it was of old Prophesied by Righteous Enoch, the 7th from Adam. Bebold the Lord cometb with ten thousands of his Saints to execute fudg. ment upon all. Jude 14. 15. I shall add no more of this now, but proceed to the second Point.
2. His coniing shall be very sudden, and when least expected, even at Midnight, whilst the Vir: gins are slumbering and sleeping. It is not meanc that Christ's coming will be in the Night, and much less, just at such an hour of the Night. Ic is a Parable we are explaining, and the words are not to be taken literally, but figuratively. The Midnight, therefore, being (as we say) the dead
time of the Night, when Men are usually in their • soundeft sleep, all things are husht, and in deep filence, and no body thinking of any thing that is then done, fignifies to us, that the coming of our Blessed Saviour shall be very sudden and unexpected, and will surprize the World when Men are most secure, and think of no such thing. And
this we are very plainly taught, ift. That the time of his Coming is an unknown thing to the World. Secondly, Thaç it shall be very surprizing to the most.
1. Christ's Coming, as the time of it is unknown to the World. Nothing so certain as that he will come, nothing more uncertain than when he will come. Tho' our Saviour in the 24th Chap. of St. Matthew does, without all difpure speak chiefly of his coming to take vengeance on the Fews his Crucifiers, either in the whole Chapter, or the greatest part of it; yet he speaks of it so, as to intimate it to be a Type and Figure of his last Coming to Judgment, seeing he is answering that Question of his Disciples. v. 3. What shall be the sign of thy Coming, and of the end of the World? And v. 36. He tells them thus. But of: that Day, and that Hour knoweth no Man, no not the Angels of Heaven, bur the Father, and V. 42. Watch therefore, for ye know not, what Hour your Lord will come. And Mar. 13. 35. ye know not when the Master of the House cometh, at Even, or at Midnight, or at the Cockcrowing, or in the Morning. And AEt 1. 7. he thus rells his Disciples, It is not for you to know the Times and the Seasons which the Father hath put in his own power:
2. The Coming of Christ shall be very sudden and surprizing tothe most. This we are frequently taught by our Blessed Saviour. Whilst all are secure, and at rest, even at Midnight, then suddenly the Bridegroom cometh. He comparech his coming with that of a Thief in the Night, who to be sure gives no notice beforehand of the çime he will come, but takes such an Hour for it,
as the Master of the House least expects him in, Mat. 24. 43. So in an Hour when ye think not, the Son of Man cometh., V. 44. Again, ke compareth himself with a Master taking a long Journey, who hath fer our to every one of his Servants the Work which he is to do in the mean time, but tells them not at what Day he will return, but commanded the Porter to watch, Watch ye therefore, for ye know not when the Master: of the House cometh. Mar. 13. left coming suddenly be find you feeping. v. 35. 36. In a Day when he looked not for him, and in an Hour, that he is not aware of. Mat. 24. 50. So to the Church of Sardis, Rev. 3. 3. I will come on thee as a Thief, and thou shalt not know what Hour I will come upon thee. 2 Pet. 3. 10. The day of the Lord will come as a Thief in the Night. And i Thef. 5.1.2. Of the times and Seafons, Brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you; for your Jelves know perfe&tly that the Day of the Lord fo cometh, as a Thief in the Night. For when they Shall say, Peace and Safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as Travail upon a Woman with Child, and they shall not escape. : . . ** 3. A Cry shall be made, which will awaken us all to go out tó meer Christ Coming. The whole World of Mankind how foundly foever they shall sleep, yea, even they that feep in death, and in their Beds of Duft, fhall by the Cry which then shall be made, be all rouzed, and go forth of their Graves to meet the great Judge of the Quick and Dead. For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven, with a Shout, and with the Voice of the Arch-angel, and with the Trump of God. And the Dead in Christ shall rise firt, and they that are alive and remain, Tall be caught up together with them in the Clouds, to meet the Lord in the Air. I Thef. 4 16. He hall send his Angels with tobe Sound of a
Trumpet, and they shall gather bis Elect from the four Winds, from one End of Heaven to another, All that are in the Graves shall bear bis Voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good to the Rea Jurre&tion of Life, and they that have done Evil, unto the Refurre&tion of Danination. Joh. 5. 28. For. We muft all appear before the Judgment Seat of Chrift, that overy one may receive the Things done in his Body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad, 2 Cor. 5. 10.
I have spoken altogether yer of Christ's last Coming to Judgment, as the 'Thing principally meant in the Text. But now I would have what I have said, be also applied by: every one to the time of his own Deach, for there is nothing betwixt that and Judgment that makes any change in our Cafe, but look how we are prepared for Death, fuch so are we for Judgment too. Death will certainly come, that needs no proof; and the time when, is uncertain, and it will strangely surprize all that it finds alleep, or living carelelly, whenever it comes. As we meet the Lord then, so shall we meet him in Judgment. Ifour Lamps do nor then burn, there is no Lighting of them afterwards, as we are then prepared or unprepared to meet the Bridegroom, so muft we for ever be. And therefore in the application of this Do. Etrine we must have respect to the Hour of Death, as well as to the Day of Judgment. ..
4. The Use of this Doctrine is very obvious.
1. Will Christ certainly come, and that to Judge all Men impartially according to our Works? Then this shews us what too many of us are at this Day. We fay, as often as we repeat our Creed, that we believe this, that Christ Thall come to Judge the Quick and Dead. I ask