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his fecond 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 confider it as relating to the other world. In this pfalm,
1. We have the party in whofe 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 iffuing out of the fummons to the whole world, Called the earth from the rifing 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, Chriftian nations, and Jews, Mahometan, and Pagan nations.
3. From whence the Judge fets forth, making his glorious appearance. At the giving of the law he came from Sinai with terrible majefty, 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 fo called as a heaven on earth. Thence he will come fhining in power and great glory. He comes out of Zion, because he comes as a faviour to his own, and that now men having heard the gofpel, are judged according to it.
4. His awful coming to the judgment. He is God, as well as man. Devouring fire fhall be his harbinger, a Theff. 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, feeing the day their own.
5. Whither the fummons shall be directed. To the heavens, where the fouls of the blessed are that are dead; to the earth, where the living are, good and bad, and
where the bodies of the dead are, under which is com prehended hell, where the fouls of the wicked are, Rev. XX. 13.
6. A fpecial gracious order in favour of his people, in the words of the text. Now comes the time of fetting all to rights with them, completing their defires, and full anfwering of all their expectations from him.
ft, We have the order in itself, "Gather my faints together unto me;" wherein confider,
(1.) The parties in favour of whom it is iffued out. It is the faints, holy ones, Heaven's favourites, beneficent ones that were useful in their generation. These were fometimes little regarded in this world; but then they will be the only perfons that will be regarded. Chrift the Judge will acknowledge them as his own, Mal. iii. 17. "They are my faints; the world difowned them, and contemned them; and I was filent, and many time feemed not to own them 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 diftinction among men, rich and poor, healthy and fickly, learned or unlearned; faints and finners is the only remaining diftinction 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 faints, Matth. xxv. 32. But gather them close to me, fays Christ the Judge, that they may be where I am, fit with me on my throne, be ever with me. They have been fcattered 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 fhews 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 Mafter into his barn.
2dly, The parties to be gathered to him characterifed, "Those that have made a covenant with me by facrifice." Their names not being expreffed in the order, how shall they be known from others? Why, here is their distinguishing character. Chrift the Judge fometime fet 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 fome flighted him and the covenant, they came into it and fo were gathered to him by faith, while others staid away. Now, fays 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 fhall be deferred till afterwards.
From the firft clause I obferve the following doc. trine, vix.
DOCT. When Chrift comes again to put an end to this world, and complete the fate of the other world, he will publicly own the faints as his own, and they shall be honourably gathered to him by his order.
In treating of this doctrine, I fhall,
I. Confider the time of these great events, when this order for gathering the faints to Chrift fhall be given. II. Christ's public owning the faints as his own. III. The gathering of them to him. IV. The order for this gathering. V. Laftly, Conclude with an ufe of exhortation. I. I fhall confider the time of these great events, ,when this order for gathering the faints to Chrift fhall be given. It will be at his fecond 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 fet the purpose of the text in due light, it is fit here to confider,
1. That Chrift will certainly come again, in the character of the Judge of the world. As fure as he came the first time, and was judged, condemned, and crucified by finners; fo fure will he come the fecond time in power and great glory, and judge the world, Acts i. II." This fame Jefus which is taken up from you unto heaven, fhall fo come in like manner as ye have feen him go into heaven." It is a piece of his exaltation, and reward of his sufferings, which he has yet trufted his Father, and has not yet got but it is impoffible, by reafon of the divine faithfulness, that it fhould fail, Phil. ii. 9, 10. "Wherefore God alfo hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jefus every knee should bow." It is the joint defire of the faints wrought in them by the Spirit, that he should 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 fecond coming, 1 Cor. xi. 26. .
2. When Chrift 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 heaven, and the other receptacle of departed fouls, and brought them all back to their bodies which are in the earth. Then furely,
(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 loft in the crowd. But, I fay, it will then be a thronger earth than ever. For not only will there be a generation alive on it as now, but thofe of all generations before them from the beginning of the world will rife 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 faints and finners in the generations then alive; and befides, all the faints and finners of former generations will rife up among them. There will be a mixture of Pagans and Chriftians, Papifts and Protestants, good and bad, fincere Chriftians, profane and formal hypocrites. For inftance, in our own land, there have been generations that lived and died Pagans or Heathens, others that lived and died Papifts befides thofe that have been fince the reformation. Now all thefe 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 difcerned; there is no difcerning the difference of the duft of the body that was for fornication, and that which was for the Lord, there. But when they are raised, the mixture will be vifible.
(3) Only that will be a throng that will foon be feparated, a mixture that will not last, but quickly be done away. The gathering of the faints will put an end to it, which being done by the miniftry of angels, we may be fure will be quickly dispatched.
3. When Chrift comes again, he will put an end to this world ere he go. His very firft appearance will put an end to the bufinefs of it. All trades, employments, and diverfions in this world, will be dropt that moment for ever. The fhepherd will not give a cry or a look more to his fheep; nor will the ploughman make out his furrow, nor the huntfman purfue his game a step further. And ere he 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 confumed to afhes; fo that it fhall no more be capable of affording a habitation to man or beaft; while withal the heavens that cover it fhall pafs away, 2 Pet. iii. 10.
Laftly, When Chrift comes again, he will complete and settle for ever the ftate of the other world, Rev.