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ing? Have you ever then considered how you shall meet it? Are you accustomed, in imagination, to look forward to it, and to think on what footing you will be able to appear in the presence of a Being of infinite purity, who knows every secret thought of your heart, and who is acquainted with every departure from his holy law, whether in thought, word, or deed, with which you ever have been chargeable ? It is only the man who does this, who will be able properly to value the revelation of mercy through Jesus Christ ;-as it is the very design of this revelation to make us acquainted with the way in which, notwithstanding our guilt, we shall be able to meet the king of terrors without dismay. Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
_" Jesus died, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God;" and “ whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” These are the true sayings of God. These are the glad tidings of great joy, sent for the support and consolation of a sinful and dying world.
This solemn appearance of the soul in the presence of its Creator immediately after death, shall pave the way for the transactions of the great day of judgment. These, an eloquent writer, though not of a very modern date, describes in nearly the following words:
“ Young and old, of all estates and nations, that ever were from the creation to that day, must here come and receive their doom. The judgment shall be set, and the books opened, and the book of life produced ; and the dead shall be judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to their works; and whosoever is not found written in the book of life, is cast into the lake of fire.” O terrible! O joyful day! Terrible to those who have neglected the Saviour, who have let their lamps go out, who have not watched, but have forgot the coming of the Lord; --joyful to the saints, whose desire and hope was to see this day. Then shall the world behold the goodness and severity of the Lord ; on them that perish, severity,– but on human eye,
them who are saved through faith in the Saviour, goodness. Then every one must give an account of his stewardship. Then the various talents of time, of health, of mental accomplishments, of mercies, afflictions, of means, of warnings, every opportunity either of receiving good to ourselves, or doing good to others, must be reckoned for. Then the sins of men's youth, and those which they had long forgotten, and all their secret sins, which they succeeded in concealing from every
shall be laid open before men and angels.
Men, shall then see all their friends, their wealth, their worldly delights, their sinful pleasures, their false confidences and false hopes of heaven, forsake them ; when they shall see the Lord Jesus, whom they either openly rejected, or whose salvation they neglected,---whose word they disobeyed, -whose amazing condescension and gracious invitations they disregarded,—whose ministers they abused, whose servants they hated, now sitting to judge them. Their consciences shall then cry out against them, and call to their remembrance all their evil deeds ;-remember at such a time, such and such a sin ;-remember the previous warnings you had, the affectionate admonitions of friends or parents you disregarded, the secret convictions you resisted, which were only known to God and your own consciences Remember the dispensations of Providence, which seemed to hedge up thy way, to preserve thee from rushing headlong to thy own ruin; but thou didst break over them all. At such a time thou wast placed near the faithful preaching of the gospel. It came to the town, the village, or the very street where thou wast, but this privilege thou didst frequently disregard ; or, if from curiosity or early habit, thou didst go to the house of God, recollect at such a time, Christ, by a preached gospel, sued hard for thy conversion; the minister endeavoured to press the truth home to thy heart; thou wast at that moment touched to the quick by his words; thou didst purpose returning to God, and yet thou soon didst cast all off: thou didst still cleave to thy sins and to the
world as thy portion, and with a dreadful mixture of folly and of guilt, didst persist in rejecting the only Saviour, and in exposing thy soul to irretrievable ruin.
At that awful day of trial, an hundred sermons, and sabbaths, and mercies, and convictions, shall each step forward and say, I am witness against the prisoner : Lord, I was abused, and I was neglected. Nay, it may be thy parents, thy religious relatives, thy teacher, or thy minister, may be constrained, in like manner, to appear as witnesses against thee. Thy parents may have to declare,- We endeavoured to warn this
young, of his danger; we entreated him to attend to the salvation of his soul. Thy teacher may have to add, —When he attended my school, I wished to instruct him in the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, but he would not listen : and thy minister may be obliged to join in the charge, saying, Often have I endeavoured to show him his danger from a broken law, and to lead him to the Saviour by proclaiming his willingness and ability to save to the uttermost, but he turned a deaf ear to all that I said. O! which
will the wretched sinner look, or who can conceive the terrible thoughts of his heart! Now the world cannot help him; his old companions cannot help him; the saints neither can nor will. The Lord Jesus only can. But oh! here is the soul-killing misery, he will not ; nay, with. out violating the truth of his word, he cannot; though in regard to his absolute power he might. The time was, when Christ would, and thou wouldst not; now, though thou wouldst, he will not. He once addressed thee in the character of a Saviour, with the utmost condescension and grace, but thou didst turn a deaf ear to his invitations. Thy language to him then was, Depart from me, for I desire not the knowledge of thy name; and how just is it that he now should answer thee in the same manner, Depart from me, I know thee not! To those who rejected him as a Saviour, he will now appear in this character no longer; and can such be surprised, or have any plea to urge, if he now condemns them in the character of a judge ?
Wilt thou then sell thy soul, and reject the gracious Saviour, for the pleasures of sin, which are for a season? Think how soon these will be over. Look, without delay, to Christ, and be saved. Turn then ; why wilt thou die ? At last thou wilt cry, Mercy, mercy, Lord! O! but it was mercy thou didst so long despise, and now thy day of mercy is for
What then remains, but to cry to the mountains, Fall upon us, and to the hills, Cover us from the presence of Him that sitteth upon the throne? But all in vain; for thou hast the Lord of the mountains and hills for thine enemy, whose voice they will obey, and not thine. O! make not light, then, of this warning; for if thou hast hitherto been living without Christ, thou hast been living without hope ; and thou mayest rest assured, except a thorough change and coming unto Christ prevent it (which may God of his infinite mercy grant), thou shalt shortly see this awful day which I have been describing.
Think, then, when the day of trial comes, how thy present life will then appear.
Will it comfort thee then to remember all thy days of folly and thoughtlessness, and how pleasantly the time slipped away? Will it do thee good to reflect how much wealth thou didst accumulate ? how many honours were conferred
thee in the world that will then be burnt up? or rather, will it not wound thy very soul to remember thy folly, and make thee, with anguish of heart, to rage against thyself, and to cry out, O wretched fool that thou wert! where was thine understanding ? How couldst thou make so light of that sin which now makes thee tremble? How couldst thou hear so lightly of the redeeming blood of the Son of God ? How couldst thou quench so many motions of his Spirit, and stifle so many convictions and quickening thoughts that were occasionally cast into tlıy soul? What took up all thy lifetime, which was given thee to make sure work against this day? What took up all thy heart, and love, and delight, which should have been laid out on the Lord Jesus? Hadst thou room in thy heart for the world, for thy friends, and for thy sins, and none for the
Saviour ? Whom hadst thou to love but him? Had he not
whose consciences tell them that the salvation of their souls has hitherto been far from their thoughts, “I here charge them, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom,” that they make haste and get alone, and set themselves seriously to ponder these things. O! remember that there is no safety but in Christ. Let those who have already fled to him, by believing in Him as their only Saviour, cleave to Him more closely; and let those who have not, resort to Him without delay, as their only refuge and everlasting portion.
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,
27, RED LION SQUARE. J. & W. Rider, Printers, 14, Bartholomew Close, London.