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All that has being in full concert join, And celebrate the depths of love divine! YOUNG. Owhat exploits, what miracles of power and grace, are these! But why do I darken such splendors with words without knowledge ? The language of mortals was formed for lower descriptions. Eye hath not feen, ear has not heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things that God hath laid up for them that love bim. 1 Cor. ii. 9.
And now when the inhabitants of our world, for whose fake it was formed, are all removed to other regions, and it is left a wide extended desert, what remains, but that it also meet its fate? It is fit so guilty a globe, that had been the stage of fin for so many thousands of years, and which even supported the cross on which its Maker expired, should be made a monument of the divine difpleasure, and either be laid in ruins, or refined by fire. And see! the universal blaze begins ! the heavens pass away with a great noise ; the elements melt with fervent heat ; the earth and the works that are therein are burnt up. 2 Pet. iii. 10. Now stars rush from their orbits ; comets glare; the earth trembles with convulsions; the Alps, the Andes, and all the lofty peaks or long extended ridges of mountains burst out into so many burning Ætnas, or thunder, and lighten, and smoke, and flame, and quake like Sinai, when God descended upon it to publish his fiery law ! Rocks melt and run down in torrents of flame; rivers, lakes, and oceans boil and evaporate. Sheets of fire and pillars of smoke, outrageous and insufferable thunders and lightnings burst, and bellow, and blaze, and involve the atmosphere from pole to pole.* The whole globe is now diffolved into a horeless ocean of liquid fire. And where now shall
* See all the formidable sons of Fire,
we find the places where cities stood, where armies fought, where mountains stretched their ridges, and reared their heads, on high? Alas! they are all loft, and have left no trace behind them where they once stood. Where art thou, O my country ? Sunk with the rest, as a drop into the burning ocean. Where now are your houses, your lands, and those earthly poffeffions you were once so fond of? They are no where to be found. How sorry a portion for an immortal mind is such a dying world as this ! And, O!
“ How rich that God who can such charge defray,
Thus, my brethren, I have given you a view of the folemnities of the last day which our world shall fee. The view has indeed been but very faint and obscure : and such will be all our views and descriptions of it, till our eyes and our ears teach us better.
Through these avenues you will at length receive * your instructions. Yes, brethren, those ears that now hear my voice shall hear the all-alarming clangor of the last trumpet, the decisive fentence from the mouth of the universal Judge, and the horrid crash of falling worlds. These very eyes with which you now see one another shall yet see the descending Judge, the assembled multitudes, and all the majestic phenomena of that day. And we shall not see them as indifferent spectators; no, we are as much concerned in this great transaction as any of the children of men. We must all appear before the judgment. feat, and receive our sentence according to the deeds done in the body. And if so, what are we doing that we are not more diligently preparing? Why does not the prospect affect us more? Why does it not transport the righteous with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. 1 Peter i. 8. And why are not the finners in Zion afraid? Why does not fearfulness furprise the hypocrites ? Isa. xxxiii. 14. Can one of you be careless from this hour till you are in readiness for that tremendous day?
What do the sinners among you now think of rea pentance ? Repentance is the grand preparative for this awful day; and the apostle, as I observed, mentions the final judgment in my text as a powerful motive to repentance. And what will criminals think of repentance when they see the judge ascend his throne ? Come, finners, look forward and fee the flaming tribunal erected, your crimes exposed, your doom pronounced, and your hell begun; see a whole world demolished, and ravaged by boundless conflagration for your sins! With these objects before you, I call you to repent?–I call you! I retract the words: God, the great God whom heaven and earth obey, commands you to repent. Whatever be your characters, whether rich or poor, old or young, white or black, wherever you sit or stand, this command reaches you ; for God now commandeth all men every were to repent. You are this day firmly bound to this duty by his authority. And dare you disobey with the prospect of all the awful folemnities of judgment before you in so near a view ? O! methinks I have now brought you into such a situation, that the often-repeated but hitherto neglected call to repentance will be regarded by you. Repent you must, either upon earth or in hell. You must either spend your time or your eternity in repentance. It is absolutely unavoidable. Putting it off now does not remove the necessity, but will only render it the more bitter and severe hereafter. Which then do you choose ? the tolerable, hopeful, medicinal repentance of the present life, or the intolerable, unprofitable, despairing repentance of hell? Will you choose to spend time or eternity in this melancholy exercise ? O! make the choice which God, which reason, which self-interest, which common sense recommend to you. Now repent at the command of God, because he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that Man whom he hath ordained, of which he hath given you all full assurance in that he raised him from the dead. Amen.
.: SERMON XXI.
THE ONE THING NEEDFUL.
LUKE X. 41, 42. 'And Jesus answered and said unto · her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled
about many things ; but one thing is needful : and Mary bath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken
away from her. TOR what are we placed in this world? Is it to
T dwell here always? You cannot think so, when the millions of mankind that have appeared upon the stage of time are so many instances of the contrary. The true notion therefore of the present state is, that it is a state of preparation and trial for the eternal world; a state of education for our adult age. As children are sent to school, and youth bound out to trades, to prepare them for business, and qualify them to live in the world, so we are placed here to prepare us for the grand business of immortality, the state of our maturity, and to qualify us to live for ever. And is there an heaven of the most perfect happiness, and an hell of the most exquisite misery, just before us, perhaps not a year or even a day dil. tant from us? And is it the great design, the business and duty of the present state, to obtain the one and escape the other? Then what are we doing ? What is the world doing all around us? Are they acting as it becomes candidates for eternity? Are they indeed making that the principal object of their most zealous endeavours, which is the grand design, business and duty of the present state? Are they minding this at all adventures whatever else they neglect? This is what we might expect from them as reasonable creatures, as creatures that love them
selves, and have a strong innate desire of happiness. This a stranger to our world might charitably presume concerning them. But, alas ! look upon the conduct of the world around you, or look nearer home, and where you are more nearly interested, upon your own conduct, and you will see this is not generally the case. No; instead of pursuing the one thing needful, the world is all in motion, all bustle and hurry, like ants upon a mole-hill, about other affairs. They are in a still higher degree than officious Martha, careful and troubled about many things. Now to recal you from this endless variety of vain pursuits and direct your endeavours to the proper object, I can think of no better expedient than to explain and inculcate upon you the admonition of Christ to Martha, and his commendation of Mary upon this head.
Martha was the head of a little family, probably a widow, in a village near Jerusalem, called Bethany. Her brother and sister, Lazarus and Mary, lived along with her. And what is remarkable concerning this little family is, that they were all lovers of Jesus : and their love was not without returns on his side ; for we are expressly told that Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.—What an happy family is this! but O how rare in the world! This was a convenient place of retirement to Jesus, after the labours and fatigues of his ministry in the city : and here we often find him. Though spent and exhausted with his public services, yet when he gets into the circle of a few friends in a private house, he cannot be idle: he still instructs them with his heavenly difcourse ; and his conversation is a constant fermon. Mary, who was passionately devout and eager for instruction, would not let such a rare opportunity flip, but fits down at the feet of this great Teacher, which was the posture of the Jewish pupils before their masters, * and eagerly catches every word from his lips; Vol. II.
* Hence St. Paul's expreslion, that he was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel,