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heavenly. And so he conquered my heart. And so, Christians, he has conquered yours, and we will by truth and overflowing love seek to overcome others on this Gospel plan. Thus shall innumerable souls be saved and accepted, and we ourselves welcomed in the day of his appearing.
THE MOTIVE TO THESE DUTIES IN THE PROSPECT OF
THE LORD'S COMING.
The certainty and the nearness of the Lord's coming and the duty of waiting for it, are now, blessed be God, much more generally acknowledged and realized. I trust that the hearts of Christians are becoming more and more established, in this solemn reality. That it is not a mere careless repetition of words when they say, We believe that thou shalt come to be our Judge ; and when they say in the creed, He sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty ; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. Doubt not of the fact at all. Be expecting it, and be waiting for it ; earnestly desire to be ready and prepared for it. Lord, we believe ; help thou our unbelief. Oh, may we live more and more in the light of this coming judgment, and accustom ourselves to view everything with constant reference to it. The bringing near of the final judgment, and the realizing of the wrath then to descend on the wicked, and the promised glory then to be bestowed on the righteous, are full of weighty influence on all our duties. The solemnities and infinite magnitude of the judgment, its irreversible issue, and its eternal decision of our future state, as inhabitants of hell or of heaven, and the assurance that the Judge now standeth at the door, cannot fail to quicken every one who receives God's testimony in simple faith.
The speedy coming and kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ speak powerfully in various ways.
1. FRESH LIGHT IS AFFORDED TO THE CONSCIENCE.
Let us but set the light of that day before us, and how many delusions it will banish. How vain the pleas for national Atheism when the King of nations returns to judgment ! How wicked will national indifference to the word of God be seen to be, when He who in tender mercy gave us as a nation that light from heaven, gathers us among all nations to give account, according to that word, of all our privileges and advantages, of the way we received them, and of the use which we made of them. How dreadfully infatuated will be found to be the neglect of the poor, when the Judge before whom all stand shall account it as neglect of himself according to his own fore-warning ; and the rich and the poor meet together before the judgment-seat, and the Lord the Maker of them all, gives sentence upon
both without respect of persons. Place all things in the presence of the judgment to come. Thus a new light will be thrown on our duties, as we think of rulers and subjects, lawgivers and judges, princes and people, all standing together before the one great Judge, and rendering account to him of all they have done. All policy short of a reference to this is the policy of short-sightedness and folly. This alone will lead to what is truly disinterested, noble, generous, upright, wise, and enduring. God give us as individuals, and as a nation, this character and this glory.
A POWERFUL APPEAL IS THUS MADE TO OUR FEAR. The descriptions in God's Word as to the judgments that shall then descend on the wicked are some of the most awful and awakening parts of Scripture. Terrible is the doom pronounced on rebellious and ungodly nations. A large part of Scripture records it. I will quote a passage from the Old, and another from the New Testament. God thus speaks by Isaiah xxxiv. 1, Come near, ye nations, to hear ; and hearken, ye people : let the earth hear, and all that is therein : the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies : he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll. God also thus speaks by the Apostle John, in the New Testament: I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse ; and he that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns, and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations ; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron ; and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. We have, then, an account of the fearful supper of the great God for all the fowls of heaven. God has revealed in his word these tremendous scenes of judgment on the wicked at the return of our Lord from heaven. The wicked, by a hard and impenitent heart, treasure up to themselves wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Oh that this revelation of coming wrath may fill our hearts with godly fear; may lead us all to flee from the wrath to come, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance by pursuing the conduct which Daniel (iv. 27.) has pointed out.
THE PRECIOUSNESS OF TIME becomes manifest as we realize the coming and the kingdom of Christ. As it was in the case of Nineveh, when Jonah preached, Yet
forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed; so it is now ; there is but a very short season of grace left. There is a pressing need to urge upon our country the duty of national repentance, that if possible God's judgments may be averted from our country. There is urgent need that all should be exhorted to press into the kingdom of heaven, lest they finally be found among those who seek to enter in and shall not be able. The time is at hand. Prophetical dates, given us in the Word of God for our instruction, are closing. We dare not, indeed, fix precise times ; but a waiting, watching spirit, is ever to be cultivated. The gathering clouds in increasing blackness are suspended over us. Oh, let us at last turn to the Lord our God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. Who knoweth if he will return and leave a blessing behind him? Oh, how precious is the present time! What would those who neglect this season give for the present hours hereafter ! And if it be impossible to save our country from Divine judgments, yet, by protesting against evil and promoting the truth with all our power, we shall unquestionably help to save many, as well as to deliver our own souls. THE BLESSED
KINGDOM Christ may well finally animate us to these duties. We have riches, honour, and life before us, infinitely surpassing all that this world can boast of. We have a lively hope of an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled,