Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

shall not prosper in them: my anger shall not rețurn until I have performed the thoughts of my heart; in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I will deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, and though ye cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear you, -The wicked shall be driven away in his wickedness.-I am slow to anger and great in power, and I will not at all acquit the wicked.- The day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.--I will lay the axe to the root of the trees, and every tree that beareth not good fruit, shall be hewn down, and cast into the fire.--I will purge my floor-and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.--I will send forth my angels, and they shall gather out of my kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and they shall cast them into a furnace of fire, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth; for, unless ye be converted, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.-Woe unto you that outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within are full of hypocrisy and iniquity; ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? He that believeth not the gospel shall be damned Whosoever will save his life shall lose it.--Ye that have seen my mighty works and have not repented, though ye are exalted unto heaven, ye shall be thrust down to hell; for except ye repent, ye shall all perish.—The hour is coming when all that are in their graves shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.--Your hearts are waxed gross, and your ears are dull of hearing, and your eyes have ye closed; lest ye should see with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and understand with your beart, and should be converted, and I should heal you.-My judgment is according to truth against such as commit such things, and ye shall not escape.-Ye despise the riches of my goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that my goodness leadeth you to repentance. After the hardness and impenitency of your hearts, treasure ye unto yourselves wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of my righteous judgments.-) will render unto every man according to his deeds ; to them who patiently continue in well doing-eternal life : but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and-anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil." Such is the language of Holy Scripture to those that

persist in their impenitency; and it evidently expresses his determination to punish every unhumbled, guilty offender: and if we consider the inestimable value of that unspeakaible gift, the Lord Jesus, and the base ingratitude discovered in rejecting him, what else can be expected? What words can ever set forth the tremendous vengeance that is due to the despisers of that precious and almighty Saviour? It is on account of his incomparable excellency, that the goodness of God towards us is so eminently displayed in acts of the richest grace and mercy, when we cordially receive him; and that such severity follows the wickedness, obstinacy, and perverseness of sinful men. This present state, notwithstanding its numerous afflictions, is not properly, a state of punishment; even those judgments which shew themselves here do not always cut men off from hope, since while life remains there may be repentance: but we must look beyond the grave for their accomplishment, and there they are as horrible as they are lasting. As this is a subject of such vast importance, I shall produce other declarations of the same import, and which loudly call upon the ungodly to turn from their evil ways.

“ The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on thein that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory

of his power."

“ The mystery of iniquity doth already work. That wicked (one) shall be revealed, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

““ That which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.”

And concerning apostates it is said, “If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but a fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses's law died without mercy, under two or three witnesses; of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the Spirit of grace.

“ There were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruc'tion."

“ The Lord knoweth how to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished. These speak evil of the things they know not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.-These are wells without water; clouds that are carried with a tempest, to whom is reserved the mist of darkness for ever."

“ There shall come in the last days scosfers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming ? But the heavens and the earth which are now are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judg"ment, and perdition of ungodly men."

[ocr errors]

« Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have - ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

« Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so. Amen."

“ Whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.”

Here, then, we see what is determined against those who go on frowardly in the way of their own hearts, and that follow their own vain devices, and it is thus brought to our view, that being thus seriously and timely warned, we may fly for refuge, and lay hold of the hope set before us in the gospel, and thus escape the gathering storms of Divine wrath, whose contents will be poured with unabating fury upon all impenitent souls without exception. The necessity of conversion appears also from the serious consideration of

DEATH.

There is no subject more interesting or important to us than death, because it not only concludes this transicnt state of being, but introduces us into another that is fixed and eternal; and yet the love of life, among the generality of persons, so greatly predominates as almost to obliterate from the memory all serious thoughts of their dissolution. But neither this nor any of the artifices made use of to banish the thoughts of death, can add one day to their lives, or prevent them from becoming a prey to that insatiable adversary. “It is appointed for men once to die--for dust we arr und to dust we must return.-Death, (or the sentence of death) hath passed upon all men ;” so that all must die, or pass through a change equivalent to death. It cannot be avoided, and no sober-minded person will ever expect to be exempt from the universal decree. Since this is the sity

ation of all men, it well becomes us to reflect upon this solemn-affair, and seek not how much we may forget, but rather how we may meet it without terror, and find it to be in reality the commencement of that state of blessedness which may properly be called life. None are pronounced blessed but such as “die in the Lord ;” and to die in him, it is necessary to be converted, as without this we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Why should our thoughts and attention be wholly. engrossed by worldly concerns, as though we had no other interests than those of the body? Or why should our precious moments pass away with eter. nity in view, as though our existence extended only to the grave ? When our eye-lids are weighed down with the shadow of death how trifling will all the activity, bustle, and anxiety of this world appear to us; how unimportant all its prosperity and appearances; and how vain all its pursuits and speculations! We shall regard the whole scene with indifference, and nothing will appear valuable but what has the stamp of piety, and meets with the Divine approbation. Worldly-minded men will prove to their sorrow, that all their care and labour amounts to this alone, that “they have sown the wind, and reaped the whirlwind.” Whatever is done in opposition to God, or made a substitute for him and his favour, is vanity ; and, though it may be endlessly diversified, it is but vanity still.

It is certainly true wisdom to reflect upon our latter end, that we may not only form a proper estimate of life, but endeavour rightly to improve all its privileges, according to the will of Heaven, in securing the happiness of our immortal souls. What are the gratifications arising from pleasure, business or company, that they should be so eagerly sought. to the neglect of the never-dying soul? How momentary their pleasure at best, and how often mixed with gall and wormwood ! And were there nothing else to disturb our earthly enjoyments, the thoughts of death will sometimes intrude, and the visible proof of mortality in others will not saffer us to be wholly free from being alarmed at our own.

« AnteriorContinuar »