ON THE COMING OF THE JUDGE
Consider first, that the dead, being risen, shall immediately be assembled together from all places to meet the judge: and this, as ‘tis thought, near Jerusalem, in the sight of Mount Olivet, and of Mount Calvary, where our Lord heretofore shed his blood for our redemption. O! what a sight will it be to behold our redemption. O! what a sight will it be to behold here all the children of Adam, an innumerable multitude of all nations, ages, and conditions, standing together, without any distinction now of rich or poor, great or little, master or servant, monarch or subject; excepting only the distinction of good or bad which shall be wonderful and eternal. Alas! how mean a figure shall an Alexander or a Caesar make at this appearance; or any of those celebrated heroes of antiquity, whose very name has made whole nations tremble? Those mighty monarchs that had once the world at their beck, are now levelled with the meanest of their slaves, and would wish a thousand times they had never worn the diadem. And hast thou, my soul, ever well considered the part thou shalt have to act in this last scene?
Consider 2ndly, how the great judge shall immediately make his appearance, and every eye shall see him coming down from heaven, with great power and majesty; armed with all the terrors of his justice, and surrounded by all his heavenly legions. O how different from his first coming shall this his second appearance be! His first coming was with wonderful meekness and humility; because that was our day, in which he came to redeem us by his mercy; but at his second coming, it will be his day, in which his justice will revenge upon sinful man the cause of his injured mercy, with a final vengeance once for all. Ah, miserable sinners! how shall you then be able to stand before his face, or bear his wrathful countenance? How shall you then wish to hide your guilty heads, even in the lowest hell, rather than to endure his dreadful appearance? But all in vain; you must stand it out.
Consider 3rdly, how upon this occasion the royal standard of the cross, (the sign of the Son of Man,) shall be carried before the judge, shining more bright than the sun, to the unspeakable comfort of the good, and the intolerable anguish and confusion of the wicked, for having made so little advantage of the inestimable benefit of their redemption. Here they shall plainly see what their God has suffered for their salvation, and how great has been his love for them; that boundless and unparalleled love which brought him down form his throne of glory, and nailed him to the cross. O how shall they now condemn their past obstinacy in sin, with all their blindness and ingratitude! O how shall this glorious ensign justify, in the face of the whole universe, the conduct of God, and the dreadful torments he has prepared for unrepenting sinners! For what less than a miserable eternity can be punishment enough for so much obstinacy in sin, after so much goodness and love?
Conclude to take care, whilst thou hast time, to make a proper provision for this great appearance, by turning now to God with thy whole heart, and embracing a penitential life; for why should thou go on any longer adding daily sin to sin, and ‘treasuring up to thyself wrath against this day of wrath?’ Rom. ii. 5.