Page images

his second coming, as the procedure and iffue in terms directly and immediately looking to his first coming. So our text falling within the former part, we have all ground to consider it as relating to the other world. In this psalm,

1. We have the party in whose name the court is called and held. It is in the name of the Holy Trinity, Heb. God! God ! Jehovah; he hath spoken," &c. God will judge the world by the man Christ.

2. The issuing out of the summons to the whole world, Called the earth from the rising of the fun, unto the going down thereof; from east to west, from the one end to the other. All nations must come to it, Afian, European, African, American, Christian nations, and Jews, Mahometan, and Pagan nations.

3 From whence the Judge sets forth, making his glorious appearance. At the giving of the law he came from Sinai with terrible majesty, Deut. xxxiii. 2. At this his appearance he will come from Zion, the mount Zion, the city of the living God, namely, from heaven, the church being so called as a heaven on earth. Thence he will come shining in power and great glory. He comes out of Zion, because he comes as a saviour to his own, and that now men having heard the gospel, are judged according to it.

4. His awful coming to the judgment. He is God, as well as man. Devouring fire shall be his harbinger, 2 Thefl. i. 8. But will any then bid him welcome? Yes, his people will. Heb. “ Let our God come; and let him not be filent," q. d. Come, Lord Jefus! Be not as one deaf, to the cries and fighs of thy friends, and the tumult of thine enemies. Sometime his people, doubting and fearing, trembled at the thoughts of his coming; but then they will be beyond all these, seeing the day their own.

5. Whither the summons shall be directed. To the heavens, where the souls of the blessed are that are dead; to the earth, wbere the living are, good and bad, and where the bodies of the dead are, under which is comprehended hell, where the souls of the wicked are, Rev.



X8. 13


: 0. A special gracious order in favour of his people, in the words of the text. Now comes the time of set. ting all to rights with them, completing their defires, and full answering of all their expectations from him.

ist, We have the order in itself, “ Gather my saints together unto me;" wherein consider,

(1.) The parties in favour of whom it is issued out. It is the saints, holy ones, Heaven's favourites, beneficent ones that were useful in their generation. These were sometimes little regarded in this world, but then they will be the only persons that will be regarded. Chrift the Judge will acknowledge them as his own, Mal. iii.

They are my fairts; the world disowned them, and contemned them; and I was filent, and many time seemed not to own'ther neither. But now I will speak out in their favour, I own them to be mine whoever are faints." Then farewell all other marks of die ftinction among men, rich and poor, healthy ard fickly, learned or unlearned; faints and finners is the only remaining distinction then.

(2.) What is ordered about them, “Gather them together unto ME.” Gather them to me; not before me only, among themselves; such a gathering there will be of finners there, as well as saints, Matth. xxv. 32. But gather them close to me, says Christ the Judge, that they may be where I am, fit with me on my throne, be ever with me. They have been scattered here and there in the cloudy and dark day; now gather them together, and that to me, as my members, Gen. xlix ult.

(3.) To whom the order is directed. It is plain from the original, that it is to others than them, and to a pleurality; and that as plainly thews it is to the Judge's attendants, the holy angels, Mark xiii. 27. These are they that gather the tares in bundles for the fire, and the wheat to the Master into his barn.

2dly, The parties to be gathered to him character. ised, “ Those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Their names not being expressed in the order, how shall they be known from others? Why, here is their distinguishing character. Christ the Judge fometime set up his standard in the world, as being an appointed head for finners to gather to, Gen. xlix. 10. He published in the gospel finners welcome, and invited them to come to him in the bond of his covenant. While some slighted him and the covenant, they came into it and so were gathered to him by faith, while others staid away. Now, says Christ, all those that gathered to me, embracing the covenant offered to them in the gospel, gather them now to me, that they may receive their crown, and the benefits of that covenant in full tale-But the further explication of this part of the text shall be deferred till afterwards.

From the first clause I observe the following doc. trine, viz.

Doct. When Christ comes again to put an end to this world, and complete the state of the other world, he will publicly own the saints as his own, and they shall be benourably gathered to bim by his order.

In treating of this doctrine, I shall,

I. Consider the time of these great events, when this order for gathering the saints to Christ shall be given.

11. Christ's public owning the saints as his own. -
III. The gathering of them to him.
IV. The order for this gathering.
V. Lastly, Conclude with an use of exhortation.

I. I shall confider the time of these great events, when this order for gathering the faints to Christ shall be given. It will be at his second coming, his coming to the general judgment. What number of years must run out before that, we know not; only we know that it will be, and it is drawing on. And to set the purpose of the text in due light, it is fit here to consider,

1. That

1. That Chrift will certainly come again, in the character of the Judge of the world. As sure as he came the first time, and was judged, condemned, and crucified by finners ; so fure wiil he come the second time in power and great glory, and judge the world, Acts i. II. “ This same Jesus which is taken up from you unto heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." It is a piece of his exaltation, and reward of his sufferings, which he has yet trusted his Father, and has not yet got : but it is impossible, by reason of the divine faithfulness, that it should fail, Phil. ii. 9, 10. 4 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.” It is the joint desire of the faints wrought in them by the Spirit, that he thould come, Rev. xxii. 17, “ The Spirit and the bride fay, Come;" to which he echoes back, ver. 20. Surely I come quickly." And he has appointed the facrament of the fupper, not only as a memorial of his first coming, but as a pledge of his second coming, 1 Cor. xi. 26.

2. When Christ comes again, this earth will be very throng, and a wonderful mixture will be in it more than ever at any time before; he having called to hea. ven, and the other receptacle of departed souls, and brought them all back to their bodies which are in the earth. Then surely,

(1.) The earth will be thronger than ever, though there will be no ftriving then for more room in it, as now; the now ftrivers would then be content to be lost in the crowd. But, I say, it will then be a thronger earth than ever. For not only will there be a generation alive on it as now, but those of all

generations before them from the beginning of the world will rise up among them too. And what a throng world will that make?

(2.) There will be a wonderful mixture then in it, at a pitch there never was before. For there will be

a mixture of saints and finners in the generations then alive; and befides, all the faints and finners of former generations will rise up among them. There will be a mixture of Pagans and Christians, Papists and Proteftants, good and bad, sincere Christians, profane and formal hypocrites. For instance, in our own land, there have been generations that lived and died Pagans or Heathens, others that lived and died Papifts belides those that have been since the reformation. Now all these lie buried in our land, and therefore all of them must rise there. What a mixture will this make in Scotland ? What a throng is in our church yards, though there is no want of room there ? but the mixture cannot be discerned; there is no discerning the difference of the dust of the body that was for fornica. tion, and that which was for the Lord, there. But when they are raised, the mixture will be visible.

(3.) Only that will be a throng that will soon be separated, a mixture that will not last, but quickly be done away. The gathering of the saints will put an end to it, which being done by the ministry of angels, we may be sure will be quickly dispatched.

3. When Christ comes again, he will put an end to this world ere he


appearance will put an end to the business of it. All trades, employments, and diversions in this world, will be dropt that moment for ever. The shepherd' will not give a cry or a look more to his sheep; nor will the ploughman make out his furrow, nor the huntsman pursue his game a step further. And ere lie leave it, he will put an end to itself by setting it on fire; by the general conflagration, cities and villages, mountains and valleys will be consumed to ashes; fo that it shall no more be capable of affording a habitation to man or beast; while withal the heavens that cover it shall pass away, 2 Pet. iii. 10.

Lastly, When Christ comes again, he will complete and settle for ever the state of the other world, Rev.


« PreviousContinue »