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they must give an account of themselves unto God. Oh! what a solenn thought! to a God who knows all hearts, and has declared that he will by no means clear the guilty ! Oh that we could always feel the import of the solemn words of the text! for it will be an awful thing, a fearful thing, to fall into the hands of the living God. Not only will our rendering our account to the God-Man Jesus, heighten the solemnity of the scene, but it will also,
2. Secure the impartiality of the sentence.
That a sentence, final and irrevocable, will be passed on the actions of men in the last great day, is clear from the assertions of Scripture. If our fellow-mortals had to pass this sentence, it might be adjudged with partial hands; but we have to adore God, that this sentence will not be passed, either by men, devils, or angels, but by God himself; for,
He deals to all the due reward,
He only knows what an infinite evil sin is, and therefore he only can be the Judge to pass a final sentence on the bold transgressor. T'he excuses which men bring to their fellow-mortals, will avail nothing before the judgment-seat of Christ; and we may all rest assured, that God will acquit none in that awful day, but those who are clothed with the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. How disappointed will those persons be, who are merely resting on the possibility of their doing as well as others ! they should know that none will do well, but those who have fled for refuge to Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. Oh that mankind would recollect that they must give an account of
themselves to God, and that this sentence on their actions will be impartial; for he will not look on sin with the least degree of approbation, but will assuredly bid every worker of iniquity depart from his presence into the lake of fire and brimstone. We must appear before an impartial Judge.
3. Our giving up our account to God will display the power and authority of the Judge.
We have remarked before, that all power and judgment is committed unto the Son; and in that day he will display the arm of his power ; his authority shall be displayed, in sending his angels to rouse the dead, in calling them all to bis bar, in giving them a sentence of impartiality and justice, in banishing ungodly sinners to remediless woe, and in receiving his favorites to the kingdom of eternal glory. And this power, majesty, and authority, will be displayed before the whole company of angels and glorified spirits; the race of man, from the first that was created to the last that died; and the host of wicked angels, and condemned souls. Before all these, our Jesus will display his eternal power and Godhead, to the glorification of all his attributes and perfections; the justifying all his dealings; and the final happiness or complete and eternal misery of every individual. “ Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest he tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver." Remember, that he who will be your Judge is almighty; that his power is uncontrolled, and that the weight of his vengeance will be intolerable. Every one of you must give an account of yourselves to God. Oh that his
and mercy may be manifested, in welcoming us to everlasting happiness, instead of his vengeance being displayed, in banishing us from his presence, and from the glory of his power.
This awful subject is calculated to alarm the sinner, comfort the believer, and instruct us all. When the apostle Paul reasoned of judgment to come, Felix trembled. And does not this subject, O sinner, affect thee? Can you be stupid and unaffected when you hear of the account you must shortly give? Those who at that awful day are found Christless, will also be speechless, hopeless, and helpless! How will their heads hang down, and their knees knock together! Oh, what pale faces, quivering lips, and fainting hearts! Oh, dreadful day! when the earth shall be trembling, the stars falling, the trumpet sounding, the dead rising, the elements melting, and the world on fire! Recollect the solemn tribunal before which you must appear, the impartial sentence you will receive, and the happiness or misery which will be your portion. What kind of account will you have to give of your talents, your time, or any thing with which you have been favored ? Oh that this subject might be properly impressed on your hearts and consciences, then you would never trifle with solemn things! You would be often examining yourselves, that you might know whether you had a good hope through grace. Remember that you have been warned of approaching danger, and of appointed death and judgment. Say not, with many of old,
" Where is the promise of his coming ? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” There are sufficient proofs from reason and revelation, that there will be a judgmentday; and woe be unto those who are not anxiously concerned about the decision of their state on that important day.
We said that the subject was calculated to comfort the believer. The second advent of Christ is
to the christian a desirable event: he loves his appearing, and says, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” At that day, when he shall give an account of himself unto God, all his woes will be redressed. No longer shall he have to mourn over a body of sin and death. No more shall he cry out, Deliver me from temptation. All his sorrows will be done away: the Lamb, that is in the midst of the throne, shall wipe away all tears from his eyes. Then the pardon of all his sins will be declared. God will show to angels, men, and devils, that he is well pleased for the righteousness' sake of Christ. All the angelic host will admire and adore the grace which has been displayed in his conversion; and the saint himself shall say, Amen, to all the praise. For he shall come to be admired in his saints, and to be glorified in all them that believe. At that day his soul will be taken to eternal glory, to dwell forever in the contemplation of the Saviour's beauties, enjoying his eternal smiles. God will be his eternal all, and he shall be full of glory. But "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man to conceive, what God has prepared for them that love him."
To conclude :- This subject instructs us all ; it teaches us to be concerned to be always ready for our account; to walk humbly and closely with our God; to sit loose to all created objects; and to set our affections on things above; to improve all our mercies ; to redeem every hour of our time; to hear the word of God, so that we may profit ; to look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life ; and to keep in view the end of our journey, being constantly looking unto Jesus. In short, what our text first said to the Romans, it now says to us all,-" Watch."
CHRISTIAN LIBERTY THROUGH CHRIST.
PREACHED JULY 23, 1807.
“I am the door : by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and
shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John X. 9.
One striking feature of the gospel of Jesus Christ is, its variety; for it makes known the same truths by various methods, and in various ways. In the book of God, our attention is arrested to consider the things that belong to our peace, by well-chosen metaphors and suitable language ; and, as it is God's own word, it shall accomplish the end whereunto he has sent it, for which he has designed it, and to which he has said it shall prosper.
The chapter out of which we have read you a text, abounds with metaphors : in it God's people are represented as sheep, to denote their simplicity, patience, usefulness, and meekness. Jesus Christ speaks of himself as the good Shepherd who has laid down his life for these sheep; and the church of God is described as a fold, into which our Lord will shortly bring all his flock, so that there shall be “one fold under one Shepherd.” In the beginning of the chapter, the Savjour shows the folly which those men manifest, who seek to get into his fold by some other way,