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it to those who love the Saviour; and not to the form of gloom and terror, in which some of them view it. To many, the Judgment-seat and Eternity, are only objects of awful hazard and intimidation; furnishing nothing but checks now, and “peradventures ” hereafter. Were this true, I should be as much afraid as any one, to look at the things which are unseen and eternal.
But just observe how Peter presents them to the followers of Christ. He does not hide nor soften the terrors of the Last Day: but still, he himself moves amidst the conflagration of the universe, with something of the calm majesty in which the Eternal Spirit moved upon the face of the dark waters of chaos ; and even leads the Church along with him singing, as sweetly, amidst melting elements and burning worlds, “We look for new heavens and a new earth," as the Angelic Morning Stars sang in the train of the Spirit at the creation.
Thus Peter describes “the Day of God.” 2 Pet. ii. 10. “ The heavens being on fire, shall be dissolved, and pass away with a great noise; the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the
earth also and the works that are therein shall
be burnt up.” And can this be seen or anticipated without consternation and alarm? Can any heart be strong or composed during this catastrophe? Yes ; by the “NEVERTHELESS" of the Divine promise, we may not only look, but also “ hasten," in both thought and hope, “unto the coming of the day of God:” for we are warranted to look for “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” Neither the suddenness nor the solemnity of the end of all things, shall overwhelm the spirits, or shake the hopes, of the dead in Christ, when they awake at the trump of the Archangel, amid the flaming torches, which, having illuminated the Judgment-seat until the
opened Books are closed again, shall set on fire the whole course of nature. Even then, and “never-theless ” (not at all the less on account of “such things,') shall the saints be able to possess their souls in peace, and fitted to admire and glorify their Saviour. " He shall be glorified in His saints, and admired of them that love him," says Paul, “even when He comes with flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that obey not the Gospel." 2 Thess. i. 10.
Now, mark: it is in connexion with this “hope of their calling," that Paul prays for the Thessalonians that God would “count them worthy of this calling,” by fulfilling in them the good pleasure of his will, and the work of faith with power; that thus “Christ might be glorified in them" now as well as at his coming. In like manner, it is in connexion with the sublime and soothing prospect of lifting up their heads with perfect composure amidst
“The wreck of matter, and the crash of worlds,"
that Peter urges upon all who “look for such things,” to be “ diligent," that they may be found by Christ, on that day, in peace, without spot and blameless."
You see now, how much faith the Apostles had in the sanctifying power of Eternal things. They commend, as well as enforce, the habit of looking at them as inspiring and constraining motives to holiness. How, then, can you be “ holy in ali manner of conversation and godliness,” if you neglect or dread to look at "such things ?”
Meet this question fairly. You must look at something, in order to be able or willing to follow holiness. You have looked, with some advantage, to not a few things already. You have looked to the Law; and said, “What manner of person ought I to be in all holy conversation and godliness:" and this consideration has done you good. You have looked at the
Gospel; and said, “ My life and conversation should be becoming the gospel of Christ, and adorn its doctrines :" and this has done you still more good. You have looked at the great Cloud of Witnesses, who through faith and patience now inherit the promises; and said, “I must try to follow them as far as they followed Christ:" and this remembrance of the Dead in Christ, has helped you on in the narrow way which leadeth to everlasting life. But still, all these things, holy as they are in their influence, and useful as you have found them, have not made you so like Christ as you wish to be, nor even as you need to be, in order to "make your calling and election sure." No; you yourself are not quite sure, that you shall be “found of Him in peace at his coming,” even when your hopes are brightest. “The full assurance of hope” is a plant of slow growth, and of great tenderness. Indeed, it