July 20th On the separation of the good from the bad
Consider first, how the sovereign judge, being seated on his glorious throne aloft in the air, attended by all his millions of millions of angels, in their different orders and hierarchies, shall presently give his command, which shall be instantly obeyed, for the final and the eternal separation of the good from the bad; after which these two companies shall never, never more meet. Then shall all the true servants of God ‘be caught up in the clouds, to Christ in the air;’ 1 Thess. iv. 16, and shall be placed with honour on his right hand, and such of them as, like the apostles, have in their lifetime quitted all things else to follow him, shall also take their seats with him, as judges both of angels and men, Matt xix. 28. 1 Cor. vi. 2, 3,. But all the wicked, together with the devils whom they have followed, shall be driven with ignominy to the left hand. And thou, my soul, where dost thou expect to stand at that day? In which of these two companies shalt thou be ranked? Thou hast it now in thy choice; but wilt not; have it then. Choose then now ‘in this thy day, that better part, that shall never be taken from thee,’ Luke x.
Consider 2ndly, what will then be the thoughts of the grandees of the world, of the rich, of the worldly wise, of the great heroes, of the fine ladies, & c., when they shall see the poor in spirit, the meek, the humble that were so contemptible in their eyes when they were here in this mortal life, now honoured and exalted, and crowned with immortal glory, dignity, strength, and beauty; but themselves depressed to the lowest extremity of disgrace, contempt, and irremediable want of all things. O! what horror, what confusion what envy, what rage shall oppress their souls to see this strange catastrophe! O what shall then be their sentiments of all those empty toys which they had been so found of in their mortal life! How shall they now condemn their own madness, in having set their hearts upon those lying follies, to the eternal loss of their immortal souls! How shall they now wish, a thousand and a thousand times, they had followed the examples of the saints, and walked in the charming paths of virtue and devotion!
Consider 3rdly, in what manner the sentiments which the wicked shall have on this occasion, are expressed by the spirit of God, (Wisdom v.) ‘These seeing it,’ (viz. the glorious exaltation of the just,) ‘shall be troubled with horrible fear, and shall be amazed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation; saying within themselves, repenting and groaning for anguish of spirit: These are they whom we had heretofore in derision, and for a parable of reproach; we fools esteemed their life madness, and their end without honour; behold, how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints. Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, and the lights of justice hath not shined unto us; wearied ourselves in the way of iniquity and destruction; and we have walked through hard ways, but the way of the Lord we have not known. What has pride profited us? or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All those things are passed away like a shadow, and like a post that runneth on, and as a ship that passeth through the waves, whereof, when ‘tis gone by, the trace cannot be found – so we, being born, forthwith ceased to be, and have been able to show no mark of virtue, but are consumed in our wickedness.’ Ah! Christians, mark well these speeches of the reprobate, and take effectual measures whilst you have time, that their misfortunes may never be yours.
Conclude to ‘fly now from the midst of Babylon,’ by standing off from the corruption and infection of a wicked world, and separating yourselves from the society of the wicked in time, that you may not be involved in their eternal misery.