Imatges de pÓgina

he looks behind, he discovers a cheating world, which now retires from him ; if he looks before, he meets with nothing but a dismal eternity. Within he feels the intolerable stings of a guilty conscience and on all sides he per ceives an army of hideous monsters his own sins, more terrible to him now than the furies of hell. Good God! deliver me from ever having any share in such a scene of misery.

Consider, sixthly, that in order to prevent the judgment of God from falling heavy upon us after death, we must take care to judge and chastise ourselves, by doing serious penance in this life for thus, and thus only shall we disarm the justice of God enkindled by our sins. Let us follow the advice of him who is to be our judge, who calls upon us to watch and pray at all times, that so we may be found worthy to escape these dreadful dangers, and stand with confi dence before the Son of Man. Luke xxi. 36. Ah! let this judgment be always before our eyes: let us daily. meditate on this account that we are one day to give. Let us never forget


that there is an eye above that sees all things; that there is an ear that hears all things; that there is a hand that writeth down all our thoughts, words, and deeds, in the great accounting book; and that all our actions pass from our hands to the hands of God; that what is done in time, passeth not away with time, but shall subsist after all time is past. O that men would bewise, and would understand these truths and provide in earnest for their last end! Deuter. xxxiii.

On the great accounting Day.

that can

be conceived more terrible than the prospect which scripture gives us of the last accounting day, with all the prodigies that shall go before it. The sun darkened, the moon red as blood, the stars without light, and seeming to fall from the firmament! the earth shaken with violent earthquakes, the sea swelling and roaring with unusual tempests, the elements all in ' confusion, and whole nature in disor der. The day of the Lord, says the prophet

phet Joel, chap. i. a day of darkness and obscurity, a day of clouds and whirlwinds. Before it's fate devouring fire, and behind it burning flames. The earth shall tremble at the appearance of it, and the heavens be moved at it's sight. The sun and moon are darkencë, and the stars have withdrawn all their light.And the prophet Sophonias, chap. i. cries out, That day, a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and anguish, a dag of calamity and misery, a day of dark ness and obscurity, a day of mist and whirlwinds. Can any thing be more frightful than these descriptions? Ah! what will then be the thoughts of sinful man, who sees himself threatened by all these signs. Alas he shall per fectly wither away with fear, in ex pectation of that tragedy which must follow these dreadful preludes.

Consider, secondly, that the last day being come, fire raging like an impetuous to rent, shall, by the com mand of God, consume the whole surface of the earth, and all that is there on nothing shall escape it. Where, Oworldlings, will then be all your stately palaces, pleasant seats, gardens,


fountains, and grottoes; where your gold, silver, and precious stones, &c. Alas! all that you set your hearts on in this world, shall in a moment be reduced to ashes; to shew you the vanity of the things you loved, and your own folly in placing your affec tion upon such glittering shadows upon such painted bubbles. Learn then, my soul, to despise this world, with all its, goods, since all must end in smoke and ashes, and lay up to thy. self treasures in heaven, which alone will be out of the reach of this last fire:

Consider, thirdly, that the final end of this world being now come, the archangel shall sound the last trumpet, and raise his voice with a Surgite mor tui: Arise ye dead and come to judgment: a voice, that shall at once be heard over all the universe, that shall pierce the highest heavens, and penetrate down to the lowest aby s of hell: at this voice, in an instant, by the al mighty power of God, all the children of Adam, from the first to the last, shall arise from the dust, and each soul, be united again to its respective body

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body never more to be separated for: eternity. O my soul, let this last trumpet always echo in thy ears! O! take care to prevent the terrors of this summons by hearkening now to another summons of the great trumpet of the Holy Ghost, who calls upon thee by the mouth of the apostle, Arise thou that sleepest, and rise from the dead, that is, from the death of sin, and Christ shall enlighten thee, Eph. v. It is thus by having part in the first resurrection, thou shalt provide in` time against that dreadful hour, when time shall be no more, Apoc. x. It is thus thou shalt escape the second death.

Consider, fourthly, the wonderful difference there will be at the time of this general resurrection between the bodies of the just and the wicked. The just shall arise in immortal and impas-r sable bodies, more pure, more beautiful than the stars, and more resplen dent than the sun: but the wicked shall arise in bodies suitable to their deserts, foul, black, hideous, and in every other respect loathsome and insupportable; immortal, it is true, but


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