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away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."* The fact, then, is the only thing revealed, and we must be profitably content to abide in certain expectation of the certain arrival of an event pronounced by God.
There is not an individual who thinks upon these things at all as he ought to think, but readily perceives how much more awful is the unrevealed period of the day of judgment, than it would have been, had that day been clearly revealed. It is the same, in its spiritual usefulness, as the uncertain time of our own inevitable death; death to each individual the end of his probation, and therefore, as to his eternal condition, equally important. If the world, if we ourselves are such, as God's all-seeing eye at this moment perceives, with this uncertainty as to the arrival of death and the last judgment, what might not the whole have been, in moral depravity and irretrievable ruin, had these awful events been specifically revealed, had we each known the exact moment of our death, the certain and appointed time of the day of judgment? These things have been mercifully hidden from our knowledge, and we have a never-ceasing and an awakening argument for constant and earnest preparation for death and judgment, in the
* St. Matt. xxiv. 36, 39.
very circumstance of knowing not when each shall come upon us.
In conclusion, let us remember ever to apply the solemn lesson of our belief of the second Advent of our blessed Lord in heart and life. Let us receive the spiritual comforts, believe the promises, and seek by fervent prayer those divine graces and needful helps which God, the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of our souls is mercifully ready to grant to fit us for that preparation which He requires of us all. He invites us, by His mercies in Christ Jesus, to go unto Him in a holy faith, and to seek Him with a willing mind. But if we neglect so great salvation, neither loving Him for all the mercies of the first Advent, nor preparing for the certain arrival of the second Advent, then are we forced to believe, from the same unerring word of truth, that, as "He hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness," so hath He announced its dreadful terrors as a warning to the wicked, and as a holy vindication of Himself. The terrors and the comforts of the Gospel are before us all, that, as far as we are concerned, we may see, and understand, and diligently follow after the things which belong unto our peace," before they shall be hidden from us for ever; and
that whether we accept or refuse the offers of salvation in Christ Jesus, God may be acknowledged, before men and angels,
fied in His saying, and clear when He is judged." If the revealed truth of the second coming of the Redeemer of our souls to judgment; if the daily and acknowledged truth of our own short and uncertain continuance in this our only place of trial for eternity, be not sufficient to alarm our fears, to excite our watchfulness, and to drive us from our blindness and natural indifference to spiritual things, where shall we seek, when can we expect to receive a stronger motive? The appeal of terror, the appeal of mercy in all the revelation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ are ever pressing upon our notice; and, if we believe not these, and render not our belief practical, neither should we "believe though one rose from the dead."
And now if any one be tempted to doubt the sufficiency of the measure of revealed truth, let him ask his own conscience whether he can honestly, and in reference to that great account which he will hereafter be called upon to give, declare that these motives are not sufficiently powerful to build up hope, or to enable him, through God's grace, to resist besetting sin. Let Him remember the deceitfulness of all human reasoning when it receives
its strongest support from the inward wishes of the heart, that religion and its holy promises and awful terrors, the corrector of sin, and the opposer of our natural will, may not be true. It is then the temptation of the enemy of the soul; and the soul, in its natural blindness, and natural love of sin, meets the temptation too well inclined to fall under it. Far better will it be for the comforts of time as of eternity, to take the Word of God simply as we find it written; and of all the mercies and the terrors of the Gospel practically to believe, that, under the promised influence of God's Holy Spirit, they are more than sufficient to produce their intended effects in our being, through them, brought to Christ in this world, that we may be for ever with Him in the next. This promised mercy God hath freely given, and we are every one of us urged to accept it. Let us go on, then, if we have been brought to seek after Christ, with faith, and hope, and charity, in this our short state of probation, in the rich increase of spiritual victory, and spiritual consolation. The mercies of the first Advent will then be realized, and the terrors of the second Advent will be no terrors for us.
But if, through sin and an evil heart of unbelief, we have never yet cared for these things, never duly considered our calling in the Sa
viour of our soul, let us put up at least one serious prayer for God's enlightening spirit in our hearts, before time shall cease, and eternity seal our doom in that place of future torment, where the remembrance of past mercy and forbearance shall add a bitter pang to the self-deluded sufferer. Before that tremendous hour arrive, for our own sake, for Christ our once suffering Redeemer's sake, let us remember eternity, and " Prepare to meet our God."