Изображения страниц

mation of all those other Arguments from Rea fon and Scripture, that God will judge the World.


The Manner and Circumstances of CHRIST's Appearance, and the Awful Solemnities of Judgment.

ET us now confider the Manner and Circumstances of Chrift's Appearance, and the Awful Solemnities of Judgment. I have upon feveral Occafions hinted at most of these things already; but the Order of my Difcourfe requires that I fhould fay fomething particularly, though briefly to them.

Now our Saviour tells us, 16 Matth. 27. That the Son of Man fhall come in the glory of his Father, with his Angels. 9. Luke 26. That the Son of Man fhall come in his own glory, and in his Fa ther's, and of the holy Angels. That the Lord Jefus fhall be revealed from Heaven, with his mighty Angels, in flaming fire; taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the GoSpel of our Lord Jefus Chrift, 2 Theff. 1. 7, 8. That the Lord himself fhall defcend from Heaven with

fhout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God; which shall awaken the dead, and raife them out of their Graves; but the dead in Chrift fhall rife first: then we which are alive; that is, whoever fhall then be alive at Chrift's coming to Judgment, fhall be caught up together


with them in the Clouds, to meet the Lord in the Air: and fo fhall we ever be with the Lord, 1 Theff. 4. 16, 17. That when the Son of Man cometh in his glory, and all his holy Angels with him then fhall be fit upon the Throne of his glory; And before him fhall be gathered all Nations; and he shall feparate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his Sheep from the Goats, 25 Matth. 31, 32. Or as it is defcribed in St. John's Vifions, 20 Rev. 11, 12, 13. And I faw a bite Throne, and him that fat on it; from whofe face the earth and beavens fled away, and there was no place found for them. And I faw the dead, fmall and great, ftand before God; and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. This gives us a general Profpect of the Order and Solemni ty of the laft Judgment, which is very Pompous and Glorious, and very Terrible: There never was any thing like it; all the Roman Triumphs, in comparison with this, were but like the Sports, and Apish Imitations of Children; let us then particularly, but briefly confider the fevel ral Parts of it.net


¥ 10.72



Christ shall come in his own Glory, and in his Father's and of the holy Angels. 1 doiw.. i In bis own glory that muft fignifie the Glory of his Perfon, that is the Glory of an Incarnate God: His Body will be bright and glorious as the Sun: So it was when he was transfigured before them on the Mount, His face did fhine like the fun, and bis raiment was white as the light, 17 Matth. 2. And if there be any new degrees of Glory and Majefty,


[ocr errors]

we may be fure he will appear in it all, when he comes to Judgment. The Scripture affures us, that Chrift is now clothed with a glorious Body; and that at the Refurrection 3 Phil. 12. be shall change our vile bodies, that they may be like to his own most glorious body and he himself 13 Mat 43. tells us, At that day the righteous fhall fhine forth like the fun in the Kingdom of their Father: And if he bestows fuch Glory on his meaneft Members, how glorious will the Head be? for St. Paul affures us, That there are very different degrees of Glory; There is one glory of the fun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the ftars; for one ftar differeth from another Star in glory. So alfo is the refurrection of the dead, 1 Cor. 15.41,42. With what Glory then will our Lord appear, when he comes to Judgment? If the Righteous fhall fhine forth like the Sun, how bright will the Sun of Righteousness himfelf be? If meer Creatures fhall appear fo glo rious, what will the Glory of an Incarnate God be? for he will not then appear as a glorious Creature, but as a vifible God; as I obferved before, his Godhead will fhine through his glorified Humanity, as vifible as our Souls do through our Bodies: And how glorious muft that Body be, in which the Deity appears! a Glory which diftinguishes a God from the moft glorious Creaturés.

But he muft appear in the Glory of his Father alfo: that is, as I understand it, with the Authority of an Univerfal Judge: this is a great Glory; for Authority and Power carries Reverence and Majefty with it: Whatever Mens perfonal Qualifications are, though upon all other

[ocr errors]

other accounts they are much inferior to their Neighbours; yet the Character of a Judge makes them Venerable, efpecially to those who must be judged by them. Authority is an invisible Character, but yet gives a visible Majefty; it is apt to impofe upon our Judgments of Perfons, that we hardly think them the fame men when they are in Authority and out of it: And if an ordinary Judge of Affize be lookt on with so much Reverence and Awe, What is the Glory and Majefty of an Univerfal Judge? How will all the World fall, and bow, and tremble before him, who with the · Word of his mouth can fentence them to Eternal Life or Death? This is bis Father's glory, for he is the Natural Lord and Judge of the World, and from him he receives this Authority to judge the World; The Father judgeth no man, but bath committed all Judgment to the Son: That all men fhould honour the Son, even as they honour the Father, 5 John 22, 23. To this Glory he is now advanced; and we must now Obey, and Reverence, and Adore him as our Judge, but it will give a visible Majefty to him, when he thus comes in the Glory of his Father; when the aftonishing Glory of his Perfon is ftill made more Glorious and Majestick by the Authority of a Judge.

But his Retinue is very glorious alfo, and adds to the Terror and Majefty of his Appearance; for he fhall come attended with Myriads of holy Angels, bright and glorious Beings, who incircle his Perfon, and are the Witneffes and Ministers of his Justice.



[ocr errors]

We know a fplendid Retinue adds greatly to the Glory of a Prince or Judge: a Multitude has fomething great and awful in it, efpecially when this Multitude are all his Dependants, Servants, and Ministers; and more ftill, when every one of this Multitude are most excellent and glorious Creatures, the Beauty and Perfection of the Creation, whofe fingle Glories we cannot now bear the fight of, without great Apprehenfion and Amazement: And what a mighty Prince is he, who comes attended with the whole Hoft of Heaven, who leave their Heavenly Mansions to wait upon their Lord, and to adorn his Triumphs !


But this glorious Retinue of Angels is not meerly for Pomp and State, but they are the Ministers of his Juftice, and therefore are

called his mighty Angels, or the Angels of his Mel' Aye- Power, 2 Theff. 1. 8. And what a powerful Av Jud Judge is he, who has all the Powers of Heaven μεως ἀντέ attending him to execute his Vengeance on Men and Devils?

This glorious Judge fhall at the last Day come down from Heaven, for thither he afcended after his Refurrection from the Dead, and there he must continue till he comes to judge the World But then the Lord himself fhall defcend from Heaven with a fhout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the Trump of God, 2 Theff. 4. 16. I fee no reason why this fhould not be understood literally, of an audible Voice and Shouting, and an audible found of the laft Trumpet to fummon all Mankind to Judgment; for this makes the Appearance more folemn and awful; and thus God defcended

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »