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SAD CHANGES AT THE JUDGMENT.
There is, then, no need of arguments to prove that it is wisdom to prepare for the judgment. We know we are sinners. We cannot escape death and the Judgment. As sinners out of Christ we cannot abide the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of Almighty God. Then surely we should now acquaint ourselves with Him, and be at peace.
VIII. Will there not, then, be many awful changes in human conditions-many awful disappointments at the Judgment-seat of Christ ? We cannot judge of men's condition after death from their condition here. The parable of Lazarus and the rich man is a picture of most striking contrasts. Every thing was reversed. Here Lazarus had his evil things: there he was comforted. Here the rich man had his good things: there he was tormented. We cannot, then, always judge of a man's true character from his present circumstances. A man's true character is what he really is in the sight of God. It is the way of his life and of his heart towards his Maker and towards his fellow-men. This is not fully known to any but the All-seeing Eye. But a man's circumstances, his status and condition in this world, are affected by the dispensations of Divine Providence towards him in things material, or of the earth, earthy. And hence worldly prosperity is not always a sure indication that we are in a state of grace, nor is worldly adversity a proof that God does not love us.
On the contrary, adversity is more friendly to a heavenly disposition and the laying up of treasures in the skies than prosperity. It is believed that worldly prosperity destroys more happiness, and ruins more immortal souls, than adversity. Chastisements are evidences of our Divine sonship. Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth. The branches of the true vine are pruned that they may bring
forth more fruit. Alas! that many who are first will then be last—first in promise and expectation, in gifts and opportunities-shall then be found rejected, reprobate, lost! To what a height of glory will the meek then be raised up, and to what a depth of woe will many of those who have been so prosperous in this world be then consigned! And, ah! if such disappointments as these were all. But to think of the divisions that will take place in that day between Pastors and their flocks, Sabbath-school teachers and their pupils, parents and their children. Ah! there will be mourning in the judgment, when the wicked go away into everlasting punishment.
Will not the young think on these things ? Will not the impenitent consider? How can any of you abide in this awful day! The year is drawing towards its close. You have been often, very often invited to come to Christ and live. And some of you, I see from the almond blossoms on your heads, are already far advanced in the way to the house appointed for all living. Are you ripening for heaven, or are you far down in the broad and crooked way, which leads to destruction? Do you not know that it is appointed unto you once to die and after death the judgment? How do you expect to feel and conduct yourself amid the astonishing scenes just referred to ? When you die, you expect to be buried. You do not believe your soul will be in your coffin. Where will it be? Will not your body rise from that grave? Will you not, with these very ears of yours, hear the archangel's trumpet much more distinctly and effectively than you hear my voice? And will not your eyes see the Judge and the great white Throne, and the gathering millions of millions, and the books opened? And then what sentence will you hear ? And what will become of you then? Which way will you go from the Judgment?
THE PALACE IN THE SKIES.
Will you ascend with the glorious Redeemer to reign with him, or be sent down with evil angels and ungodly men to perdition ? And do these things make any impression on you? Does your heart tremble? Then to-day seize the offer of mercy. Cry unto God for pardon. Accept the Gospel's gracious offer. Now Jesus says, Him that cometh unto me I will in nowise cast out.
“ Thea grant us, Saviour, so to pass our time trembling here,
That when upon the clouds of heaven Thy glory shall appear
may rise, And enter, with Thine angel train, Thy palace in the skies."