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blessed filling their bodies with the four gifts of glory, shall make them more resplendent than the sun, and with the gift of agility shall join themselves with those just, who remain alive in the air in their passible bodies; which being yet mortal, and therefore not able to endure these vehement affections of the heart, of joy, desire, reverence, love, and admiration of Christ, shall then die, and in that instaut behold the Divine essence, after which their souls shall be again immediately united to their bodies, before they can be corrupted, or so much as fall unto the ground, and thenceforward continue glorious; for in the moment wherein they die, they shall be purified from those noxious humours and qualities wherewith our bodies are now infected.

And therefore it was convenient they should first die, that being so cleansed from all filth, they might, by the restitution of their blessed souls, receive gifts of glory. Who can express the joy of those happy souls, when they shall take possession of their new, glorious, and beautiful bodies, which were long since eaten by worms or wild beasts, some four, some five thousand years ago turned into dust and ashes? What thanks shall they give unto God, who, after so long a separation, hath restored them to their ancient companions? But the souls of the damned, how shall they rage and curse their own flesh, since, to please and pamper it, hath been the occasion of their torments and eternal unhappiness!

The reprobates being then in the valley of Jehosaphat”, and the predestinate in the air, the Judge shall appear above Mount Olivet, unto whom the clouds shall serve as a chariot, and his most glorious body shall cast forth rays of such incomparable splendour, as the sun shall appear but as coal; for even the predestinate shall shine as the sun, but the light and brightness of Christ shall far exceed them, as the sun doth the least star; the which most admirable sight shall be yet more glorious by those thousand millions of excellent and heavenly spirits which shall attend him, who, having formed themselves aerial bodies of more or less splendour, according to their hierarchy and order, shall fill the whole space betwixt heaven and earth with unspeakable beauty and variety.

b Zac. c. 1.

The Saviour of the world shall sit upon a throne of great majesty, his countenance shall be most mild and peaceable towards the good, and, though the same, most terrible unto the bad; out of his sacred wounds shall issue beans of light towards the just, full of love and sweetness; but unto sinners full of fire and wrath, who shall weep bitterly for the evils which issue from them: so great shall be the majesty of Christ, that the miserable damned, and the devils themselves, notwithstanding all the hate they bear him, shall yet prostrate themselves and adore him, and, to their greater confusion, acknowledge him for Lord and God; and those who have most blasphemed him, shall then bow before him, fulfilling the promises of the eternal Father, that all things should be subject unto him, that he would make his enemies his footstool, and that all knees should bend before him: here also shall the sinners behold him in glory, whom they have despised for vain trifles of the earth.

What an amazement will it be to see him King of so great majesty, who suffered so much ignominy upon the cross, and even from those, whom he redeemed with his most precious blood! What will they then say, who in scorn crowned the sacred temples of the Lord with thorns, put a reed in his hand for a sceptre, clothed him in some old and broken garment of purple, buffeted and spit upon his blessed face? I know not how the memory of this doth not burst our hearts with compunction!

There shall be thrones for the apostles, and those saints who, poor in spirit, have left all for Christ, who, sitting now as judges with their Redeemer, and condemning by their good example the scandalous lives of sinners, shall approve the sentence of the supreme Judge, and declare his great justice before the world, which with the wicked shall remain confounded and amazed: the tyrants who have afflicted and put to death the holy martyrs, what will they now say, when they shall see them in this glory? Those who trampled under foot the justice and right of the poor of Christ, what will they do when they shall behold their judges? how confounded shall be the kings of the earth, when they shall behold their vassals in glory? and lords, when they shall

e Psal. cix. 1 Cor. xv. Phil. ii.

see their slaves amongst the angels, and themselves in equal rank with devils? The good he shall place upon his right hand, elevated in the air, that all the world may honour them as holy; and the wicked shall stand far at his left, remaining upon the earth to their own confusion, and scorn of all.

Immediately the books of all men's consciences shall be opened, and their sins published to the whole world; the most secret sins of their hearts, and those filthy acts which were committed in private, shall all, to their great shame and confusion, be then discovered; the virtuous actions of the just, how secretly soever performed, their holy thoughts, their pious desires, their pure intentions, their good works, which the world now disesteems as madness, shall then be manifested, and they for them be honoured by the whole world.

Nothing shall be of greater confusion unto sinners, than to behold those who have committed equal and greater sins than themselves, to be there in glory; because they made use of the time of repentance, which they despised and neglected. This confusion shall be augmented by that inward charge, which God shall lay against them of his Divine benefits, unto which their angel-guardians shall assist, by giving testimony how often they have dissuaded them from their evil courses, and how rebellious and refractory they have still been to their holy inspirations. The saints shall accuse them, that they have laughed at their good counsels; and shall set forth the dangers whereunto they themselves have been subject by their ill example.

The just Judge shall then immediately pronounce sentence in favour of the good, in these words of love and mercy, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom which was prepared for you from the creation of the world." O what joy shall fill the saints! And what spite and envy shall burst the hearts of sinners! But more, when those miserable wretches shall hear the severe Judge say, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into eternal fire, prepared for Satan and his angels:" with this sentence they shall remain for ever overthrown, and covered with eternal sorrow and confusion. "Depart from me!" Alas! dread Sovereign, whither shall they go to avoid thy displeasure! art thou not in heaven, in hell, and everywhere? Dost thou not fill heaven

and earth? Dost not thou hold the universe in thy hands? And doth not thy power comprehend all things? To whom shall they betake themselves? Art not thou he who hast the words of eternal life, who art even thyself life everlasting? Whither wilt thou have these miserable creatures to retire themselves? Do what they can, they cannot go out of thee, since in thee all things have motion, being, and life. Begone, barren trees, twice dead, rooted out of the blessed earth, and are only fit to be cast into the fire; you are not worthy to take up place in the paradise of heaven, where no trees are planted but such as bear good fruit.

At that instant, the fire of that general burning shall invest those miserable creatures; the earth shall open, and hell shall enlarge its throat to swallow them for all eternity, accomplishing that malediction, "Let death come upon them, and let them sink alive into hell";" snares, fire, and sulphur shall rain upon sinners: but the just shall then rejoice, singing that song of the Lamb related by St. John, "Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Omnipotent! just and righteous are thy ways, King of all eternity! Who will not fear thee, O Lord, and magnify thy name?" With thousand other anthems of joy and jubilee they shall ascend above the stars in a most glorious triumph, until they arrive in the imperial heaven, where they shall be placed in thrones of glory, which they shall enjoy for an eternity of eternities.

In the meantime, the earth, which was polluted for having sustained the bodies of the damned, shall be purified in that general burning; and then shall be renewed the earth, the heavens, the stars, and the sun, which shall shine seven times more than before: and the creatures, which have been here violated and oppressed by the abuse of man, shall then rejoice to see themselves freed from the tyranny of sin and sinners; and, joyful of the triumph of Christ, shall put on mirth and gladness.

This is the end wherein all time is to determine; and this the catastrophe, so fearful unto the wicked, where all things temporal are to conclude: let us therefore take heed how we use them, and that we may use them well; let us be mindful

f Apoc. xv.

d Psal. liv. VOL. II.

e Psal. x.


of this last day, this day of justice and calamity, this day of terror and amazement; the memory whereof will serve much for the reformation of our lives: let us think of it, and fear it; for it is the most terrible of all things terrible, and the consideration most profitable and acceptable to cause in us a holy fear of God, and to convert us unto him. While I live, I will therefore ever preserve in my memory this day of terror, that I may hereafter enjoy security for the whole eternity of God. Above all things, I will keep before my eyes the last of all days; and all the moments of my life I will think, and for ever think, of eternity.

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