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or sin, for giving way to our evil tempers, for conforming to the evil customs around us, for omitting unwelcome duties, for profaning the fabbath, or for neglecting prayer and the worship of God, will not bear to be urged on the day of judgment. No; our mouth will be stopped just as the mouth of some poor criminal fome. times is in this world, who, before he was brought to the bar, insisted on his innocence, but when forced to give in his evidence, finds it no longer possible to make, before his judge, the same shuffling excuses by which he had jur. tified himself among his fellow criminals.
“Verily, it is a small thing to be judged by one another, or of man's judgment, for he that judgeth us is the Lord.” What will it matter whether we had more or less character while on earth ? The day of judgment will declare to the assembled world what we really were. The day of judgment will rectify all errors: the day of judgment will find us out,
There is no circumstance, perhaps, in our description of this day, more calculated to strike terror into many a heart than this: I mean that the most secret things shall then be laid open, Oh what discoveries will then be made! What secret robberies and adulteries, and deeds of darkness, will be revealed! All the crimes per. petrated in the world from generation to generation : all the cruelties and oppressions which have been ever committed under the sun, and which there was here no one to redress, and all
the violences and murders under which the world has groaned, but which, by some means or other, have gone unpunished, and many of which have been here entirely concealed, shall be brought to light. “For the earth shall difclose her blood, and shall no more cover her flain.” For now 6 that great and terrible day of the Lord is come,” on which also 66 the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open.” It is the 6 day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God," when the sentence against evil workers, which has been so long delayed, shall be executed; when the triumph of the wicked shall be over, when the Lord shall repay fury to his adversaries,” and when he shall 6 reward the faith and patience of his saints"
Iought, here, lastly, to add, that we shall all : be judged, undoubtedly, according to our op." portunities of improvement, and our means of grace. 6 The servant that knew not his master's will shall be beaten with few stripes; but the servant who knew it, and yet did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. What awful threatenings did our Saviour denounce on the cities that heard his gospel, and yet would not attend to it." Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee Bethsaida! for-if the mighty works which have been done in the, had been done in So. dom and Gomorrah, they would have repented; wherefore it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for thee." Those, therefore, who in this world
were long hearers of the gospel, and yet profited not by it; those " who had line upon line, and precept upon precept;" those who had Chrif. tian parents to direct them, and Christian friends to reprove them, and Christian pastors to instruct them, and Christian examples set before them! those who had seasons for reflection afforded them by their parents on the fabbath, and had religious books put into their hands, and had abundant opportunities of becoming ac. quainted with true religion ; those who, moreover, had alarming providences sent to awaken them ; who were often warned by God's own afflicting hand of the approach of death, and i heard addressed to them many an awful repre. sentation of their own future judgment, and who, in spite of all these advantages, still continued to be hardened these are they that shall receive the chief condemnation.
But who are the persons that will be justified, and that will have reaso. to rejoice at this great day of their Lord's appearance ? I answer, in the words of our Saviour, “ Blessed are the poor in fpirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they who shall have been reviled, and persecuted, for righteousness fake, for now they shall rejoice,
and be exceeding glad, for great is their reward in heaven.”_" The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such, there is no law.”
And now, before I close this tract, I wish to add a few words in the way of comfort and en. couragement, as well as with a view to some further explanation of the subject ; for, I am afraid, it may be said, that the qualities which have been spoken of as necessary for heaven, are high and difficult to be attained, insomuch, that some fearful reader may cry out, 6 who then shall be saved ?" Let it here, therefore, be observed in answer, that the scriptures no where say, that thele qualities must have been possessed from the very beginning of life, nor even during any part of life in complete perfection.
It may tend much to our purpose of encouraging the well-disposed reader, if we here digress a little, in order to consider the case of Christ's own apostles. . In the history of them, which is given us by the evangelists, they appear to have been at one time very weak in faith, to have labored under much prejudice and ignorance, and to have been often led through the worldliness of their minds exceedingly to misunderstand their divine master. They sometimes discouraged those whom Christ was willing to heal; they were apt continually to wonder at his words, and they were half disposed to blame some of his actions,
thu; could not believe that he was about to die - for them, and they flept when he was agoniz.
ing in the Garden. Were not these proofs of weakness in them ? And yet, even at the time of their having these infirmities, they had that degree of fimplicity and integrity, and of unfeigned attachment to their master, which alrea. dy entitled them to the name of true disciples, For when some of the followers of Christ cried out, “ This is a hard saying, who can bear it?" And when others are said to have walked no more with him, they seem all, with the exception only of Judas, to have joined in that saying of Peter, “ Lord to whom hall we go but unto thee, for thou hast the words of eternal life.” They continued, therefore, to hear his words, and thus they had their minds gradually opened by his inftru&tions, and, except only when he was led away to be crucified, they fided with him in his several trials and tempations. On the whole, therefore, they, even in this season of their infirmity, were in favor with God'; and, as a testimony of it, they had that glorious promise made to them by Christ himself, just before his death, '“ Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations, and I appoint unto you a kingdom, and ye shall fit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Ifrael." Which means, as I prefume, that they should be exalted on the day of judgment, as the twelve heads of the church, and that they should join their