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Shall it always continue thus, we fay within ourselves, fhall it always continue thus in a world that is governed by God? Shall oppreffed righteoufnefs never be taken into the protection of Providence, and triumphant wickednefs never fall under his cenfure? Shall the cry of the innocent, of the oppreffed, and of the perfecuted, never reach the throne of justice? Are the wrongs and grievances of the good and the righteous, the wrongs and griev ances which they fuffered in the cause of goodness and of righteousness, never to be redreffed? Is wick. edness finally to triumph over oppreffed virtue; to triumph over the laws of nature; to triumph over the providence of Heaven? Will the time never come when the Almighty fhall rife from his throne to adjust and rectify the affairs of the moral world? If not in this, certainly in some future state, he will affume the part of a Judge, to reward the juft, and to take vengeance upon the wicked.
All this has at last been fully revealed. It was referved to the divine Prophet who came from the bosom of the Father, to bring life and immortality to light by his Gofpel. He taught that God had appointed a day in which he was to judge the world; that the dead were to be raised, and all that ever lived upon the earth to appear at his tribunal. Of this doctrine he gave affurance unto all men by his own refurrection from the dead; and as furely as he arofe, fhall we at the time appointed arise. When the mystery of God is finished, the last trumpet will found. The voice of the Son of God will pierce the caverns of the tomb, will be heard over the kingdoms of the dead, will reanimate the afhes of thousands of gene.
rations, and fift an affembled world at the feat of judgment. By the unalterable appointment of Heaven, every thing has its period. The cedar of Lebanon fades away like the leaf upon its top. Lebanon itself decays in the course of years. empires have their day, like mortal man. fet to time, and the world has its last hour. generations more having paffed away, the day comes which God hath appointed to judge the world; the great day for which all other days have revolved. When this period approaches, heaven opens wide. its everlasting doors, and behold the Judge comes forth he comes in the glory of his Father; in the effulgence of unveiled Divinity he comes, attended with all the hoft of heaven! Before him the harbinger of his appearance, the destroying angel of nature defcends, cloathed with a cloud, having his face like the fun, and his feet like pillars of fire. He fets his right foot upon the fea, and his left foot upon the earth; he lifts up his hand to heaven, and fwears "by him that liveth for ever and ever, that "time shall be no more!" As the doom of nature is denounced, the thunders of heaven for the last time utter their voices; the laws of nature are diffolved; the stars fall from the firmament; the moon is turned into blood; and that fun, whofe beams you now behold, finks in the darkness of eternal night; the earth hears its laft fentence, and shakes to the centre; the four corners of the world hear it; all that are alive hear it; all the dead hear it, and live; from the prefence of their Creator, the heavens depart like a fcroll rolling itself together; the earth vanishes, and there is no place found for it; every mountain and ev. G G
ery ifland is fled; creation fades away to give place to uncreated glory; the great tribunal is erected; the books are opened; the Judge defcends; the world is affembled; the fentence is pronounced; the fentence is executed down to the prifon of darkness and despair, the habitation of unquenchable and everlasting fire, the wicked are driven, where, bound in chains, they feel the torment of the worm that never dies, and fuffer in the flames of the lake whofe fmoke afcendeth up for ever and ever; whilft enthroned in glory above, and adorned with the beauties of immortality, the righteous afcend with their Lord, and, approaching to the fountain of life, partake of those pleasures at the right hand of God, which shall occupy and animate the praises of eternity.
Let me now ask you, my brethren, Do you believe what you have now heard? Do you believe that there is a judgment to come, and that each of you fhall bear a part in that tremendous fcene? I appeal to a witnefs that cannot lie. I appeal to your own conduct. Do you live and act in fuch a manner as becomes thofe who have one day to anfwer for their lives and their actions? Is your converfation in Heaven, from whence you look for the Saviour and the Judge? Are your loins girt about, your lamps burning, and you yourselves like unto men who wait for the coming of their Lord? Were the general judgment now to begin, were these heavens to open, and the fign of the Son of Man to appear over head, could you face his tribunal? Could you lift up your heads with confidence and joy amidst the ruins of nature, and the crash of a diffolving world? If not, I call upon you to repent, and to reform your
lives. You are ftill under the administration of grace, and have the hope of glory fet before you. Heaven and immortality are in your offer. God graciously calls you to repentance and newness of life. The Spirit helps your infirmities, and ftrives to conquer the stubbornness of your spirits. But he will not always thus wait to be gracious. Your day of grace does not laft for ever. If mercy reclaims you not, you are delivered over to the hands of juftice. If you reject the golden fceptre when it is held out to you, a rod of iron fucceeds to deftroy the children of difobedience. Repent you must, in one form or other. If your fins affect you not with forrow and contrition here, they will fill you with unavailable remorfe and despair hereafter. You must either be affected with the kindly emotions of that repentance which is unto life, or be tormented with the stings of the worm that never dies.
Knowing these terrors, we endeavour to perfuade men. Happy for men, if they would endeavour to be perfuaded! If these things, my brethren, which you have been now hearing, be true; if it be true that we shall be raised up at the last day; that the day of judgment fhall as furely arise as this morning arofe, in obedience to laws which can no more fail to bring it forth than the fun could this morning refuse to rise at the command of its Creator; if it be true that all of us who are here affembled fhall be affembled again around the judgment feat of God; if it be true that this is our only state of probation, and that life and death are now in our choice, that heaven and hell are now fet before us; if these things be true, (and true they are, otherwife this