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“the sea shall give them up;" “ death” also shall surrender up the bodies that have long since mouldered into dust, and “shades,”(or the invisible world, shall deliver up the souls that have long abode in happiness or misery. All who have ever lived upon the earth, whether“ small or great shall stand before the tribunal of their God.” The God that formed them out of nothing will collect with ease their scattered atoms, and reunite them to their kindred souls. Every one shall appear in his own proper body, nor shall he be able either to withstand the summons, or elude the search. The king and the beggar, the sage philosopher and the child that died ere it saw the light, shall be no otherwise distinguished, than as they are classed with the righteous or the wicked.] III. The rule of judgment

[Various “ books shall then be opened" to serve as grounds of the divine procedure. The book of God's law, originally inscribed on the hearts of our first parents, and still not wholly effaced even from the minds of heathens, will be the rule by which they shall be judged, who never saw the light of revelation. The book of the gospel, wherein the mysteries of redemption are unfolded to our view, will be the touchstone by which our faith and practice shall be tried. The book of conscience too, which now omits many things, or grossly misrepresents them, will then give a fairer testimony to our conduct: for then it will be a perfect transcript of another book that shall be opened, namely, the book of God's remembrance. In this, every action, word, and thought was faith. fully recorded by the unerring hand of God himself: and every purpose, desire, or motive shall have an influence on his decision to enhance our happiness or augment our misery.

There is yet another book, particularly specified in the text, " the book of life.This is none other than the book of God's decrees, wherein were written from the foundation of the world the names of his elect. And as the other books will be opened in order to vindicate the equity of his decisions, so will this, in order to display the sovereignty of his grace. Twice is this book mentioned in the text; but twice also is it declared, that all“ shall be judged according to their works;" while therefore we honour God's electing love, we must carefully dismiss every thought that may disparage his remunerative justice.] IV. The sentence that shall be executed

[Nothing is expressly mentioned in the text respecting the sentence of the righteous; though it is evidently implied, that they, having their names written in the book of life, shall have a very different end from that of the ungodly. Yes; to them there is no condemnation; they shall never perish, but shall have eternal life. If indeed God should judge them by the strict tenor of his law, they must perish: but he views them as clothed in the Redeemer's righteousness; and accepts, for his sake, not their persons only, but their services, treasuring up their tears in his vial, and noticing their very desires in order to a future recompence.h

d Dan. vii. 9, 10.

e Rom. ii. 14, 15.

fr Cor. iv. 5.

As for those whose names are not written in the book of life, their state will be inexpressibly awful. They, together with “ death and hell,” the present receptacles of the damoed, shall be cast into the lake of fire;" in order that, except in that place, there may not remain any vestige of sin or misery in the whole creation. This is emphatically called “the second death;” because the pangs of dissolution and the consequent separation of soul and body, are no more than a faint emblem of the torments that shall be endured in that state of separation from God.

Nor will these have reason to complain that their names were not written in the book of life, since they never desired to be there registered, nor regarded the Lamb of God, who only could inscribe their names therein.] INTER 1. How needful is it to secure an interest in Christ!

(We all are hastening to his judgment seat; nor will any thing avail us there but an interest in his blood and righteousness. By the law we are all condemned: but by the gospel we may all have life. Let us then not waste all our time in seeking the things that perish with the using; but rather sea cure an inheritance that shall never fade, and that shall conti. nue when all earthly things shall be dissolved.]

2. How carefully should the professors of religion take heed to their ways!

[All must be judged according to their works, the quantity of which as well as the quality, will make an essential difference in our state. Every hour as it passes, wings its way to heaven, and records the manner in which it was spent. Let us then frequently ask ourselves, what the last hour has recorded respecting us, and whether we shall be glad to see the transactions of it brought forth as evidences at the bar of judgment? God help us to bear this in mind; and so to pass our few remaining hours, as we shall wish we had passed them,' when we stand naked before his tribunal!)

6 Rom. viii. 1. John x. 27, 28. i Gal. vi. 8. 2 Cor. ix, 6.

b Mal. ii. 16, 17.


Zech. ix. 17. How great is his goodness, and how great is his

beauty! THE glory of Christ is manifested throughout all the holy scriptures

This is attested both by the apostles and by our Lord himself

In the New Testament he shines like the sun in an unclouded atmosphere

In the Old, though generally veiled, he often bursts forth'as from behind a cloud with astonishing beauty and splendour

Such a view of him is exhibited in the chapter now before usb

Nor could the Prophet himself forbear exclaiming with wonder and admiration, “ How great is his goodness! &c.

We cannot have our minds more delightfully occupied than in contemplating 1. The goodness of our Lord

In the context he is set forth as the God of providence

and of grace

And in order to behold his goodness we must view him in both respects 1. As the God of providence

[As all things were created, so are they upheld and governed by him

To him we owe the preservation of our corporeal and intellectual powers

| We are continually fed by his bounty, and protected by his arm

The meanest creature in the universe has abundant reason to adore him

a Acts x. 43. Luke xxiv. 27. John v. 39.

b After foretelling the preservation of the Jews amidst the destruction of surrounding nations, the prophet called their attention to Christ, as their lowly but triumphant king (ver. 9.) who should redeem them by his blood (ver. 11.) be a strong hold to all who should turn unto him (ver. 12.) and save them with an everlasting salvation (ver. 16.)

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His own people in particular may discern unnumbered instances of his goodness in his dispensations towards them

His most afflictive as well as his more pleasing dispensations afford them much occasion for gratitude and thanksgiving] 2. As a God of grace

[Jesus is the one fountain of spiritual blessings to his church · Neither prophets nor apostles had any grace but from hime

To him must we ascribe every good dispositìon that is ir our hearts

What reason then have his faithful followers to bless his name!

How thankful should they be that he called them by his grace!

That he so distinguished them, not only from the fallen an gels, but from multitudes of the human race!

With what gratitude should they acknowledge his continued kindness!

Though they have often turned back from him, he has not cast them off

Yea rather, he has “healed their backslidings and loved them freely”

Surely, every blessing they receive, and every victory they gain, should fill them with admiring thoughts of his goodness

Let every soul then comply with that injunction of the Psalmisth

And, like him, repeat the wish, which a sense of his mercies must inspire]

If we have just conceptions of his goodness we shall be more able to behold II. His beauty

The world behold“ no beauty nor comeliness in” the face of Jesus

But the saints of “old saw his glory as the glory of the only begotten of the Father” — This we also may see, if we survey

him 1. In his divine character

[“ We cannot by searching find out the Almighty to perfection"

c Ps. cxix. 75.
f Phil. ii. 13. Heb. xii. 2.
i Ps. cvii. 8, 15, 21, 31.

d Eph. i. 22.
g 2 Cor. ii. 14.

e John i. 16.
Ps. cxlv. 7.

Little do we know of the greatness of his majesty, or the thunder of his powerk

We cannot comprehend his unsearchable wisdom, his unspotted holiness, his inviolable truth and faithfulness

We can scarcely form any idea of the inflexibility of his justice, the extent of his mercy, or the heights and depths of his lovel

We know that Jesus is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his personm

But when we attempt to delineate that image, we only “ darken counsel by words without knowledge”_

His glory is more than the feeble language of mortality can express-] 2. In his human character

[Here we look at him, 'as the Jews at Moses when his face was veiled

And can contemplate him more easily, because he shines with a less radiant lustre

Doubtless while he lay in the manger the virtues of his mind beamed forth in his countenance

Nor is it to be wondered at that the Jewish doctors were so filled with admiration at him while he was yet a childo

But principally must we view him during the course of his ministry

What marvellous compassion did he manifest to the souls and bodies of men!

Not one applied to him for bodily or spiritual health without obtaining his request

And when many were hardened in their sins he wept over them

Yea, he even pleaded the cause of those who mocked and reviled him on the crossHis zeal for God was ardent and unremitted

" his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father”

Nor could any thing for one moment divert or deter him from the prosecution of his work

His meekness, patience, fortitude were altogether invincible

Whatever was amiable and excellent in man abounded in himi

He was not merely virtuous, but virtue itself incarnate

It was

k Job. xxvi. 14. In Job xxxviii. 2.

a Luke xxiii. 34.

1 Eph. iii. 19.
• Luke ii. 46, 47.
r Ps. xlv. 2.

m Heb. i. 3.
P Luke xix. 41.

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