Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

,

gave

264 He will reward the righteous for their kindness to him. sect. on his right hand, Come, ye blessed and favour- kingdom prepared for

·ite people of my Father, approach yet nearer you from the foundaMat. to me, that having been assessors with me in

tion of the world :
xxv. what yet remains of this day's awful proceedings
34 (1 Cor. vi. 2, 3.) you may go in with me to inhe-

rit the kingdom of holiness, glory, and joy, ap-
pointed for your portion in the Divine purpose

and decree, and prepared for you from the founda35 tion of the world. And I am now descended to re- . 35 For I was an ·ceive you to this kingdom with all these public

me meat : I was thirsmarks of approbation and honour; for I well ty, and ye gave me remember your good deeds in the days of your drink : I was a stran. flesh, and felt my own bowels refreshed by ger, and ye took me

in :
them, when I was hungry, and ye gave me [food]
to eat; when I was thirsty and ye caused me to

drink ; when I was a stranger, and ye took me so in like one of your own families : When [I 36 Naked, and ye was naked, and ye clothed me ; when I was

clothed me: I was

sick, and ye visited me, sick, and ye looked after me d: when I was shut I was in prisod, and ye up in solitude, continement, and affliction of a came unto me. prison, and ye came kindly to condole with me in my sufferings, and to relieve my necessities

there. 37 Then shall the righteous, in humble amaze- .37 Then shall the ment, be ready to answer him, and say Lord, saying, Lord, when

righteous answer him, what service were we ever capable of doing saw we thee an hunthee, that can deserve such notice from thee? gered, and fed thee? or When did we ever see thee hungry, and fed drin

Bithirsty, and gave thee (thee?] or thirsty, and caused [theej to drink ? 38 Or when did we ever see thee in the destitute 38 When saw we

condition of a stranger, and took (theel in? or thec a stranger, and 39 naked, and clothed [thee ?). Or when did we took thee in? or naked,

uld we and clothed thee? ever see thee sick, or in prison, and came to thee 39 Or when saw for thy relief? We never saw thee, blessed we thee sick, or in Lord, in such circumstances of distress, nor

W ESS, not thee? ever had an opportunity of shewing any such kindness to thee, that thou shouldst now distinguish us in such a manner, and speak so

honourably of the service we have done thee. 40. And the king answering with renewed con- 40 And the King

descension from his exalted throne, shall not shall answer and say disdain to say unto them, I well know that yes

unto them, Verily í

say unto you, In as abounded in such kind and compassionate ac

much tions to the necessitous and afflicted saints

around

d came unto

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

it unto one of the least

Mat.

[ocr errors]

But the wicked shall be punished for neglecting him. 265 much as ye have done around you ; and verily I say unto you, In as sect:

a clxvi. of these my brethren,

much as ye did [it] unto one of the least and Ch ye have done it unto poorest of these my deir brethren, who now

stand with you in this happy company, ye XXV.40
in effect did [it] to mee: and I declare it in the
face of all the world, That I take and reward
it as if I had been relieved in person, and joy.
fully welcome you to that blessed world, where
you shall be for ever reaping the harvest of

these labours of love. 41 Then shall be Then when his faithful serrants are thus ao-41 say also unto them on quitted and hououred, he shall turn and say also the left-hand, Depart trom me. vé cursed, to them on the left hand, Depart from me, ve into everlasting fire, cursed and detestable creatures, into the agonies prepared for the devil of that everlasting and unquenchable fire, wbich and his angels :

was originally prepared for the devil and his an

gels , whose companions you must for ever be 42 For I was an hun- in the

vas an hun. in the regions of horror and despair. And ye 42 gered, and ye gave me cannot but know in your own consciences that nomeat: I was thirsty, ye well deserve it ; for I was hungry, and ye did drink,

meno not give me so much as bread to eat; I was 43 43 I was a stranger, thirsty, and ye did not give me so much as water and ye took me not in: to drink ; I was wandering among you as a naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in poor helpless stranger, and ye did not take me prison, and ye visited in among your domestics and guests ; I was me not.

naked, and ye did not clothe me; I was sick,
and in prison, and ye did not look after me, or

do any thing at all for my relief. 41 Then shall they Then shall they also answer and say unto hims, 44 also answer him, say• Lord, we are surprised at so strange a charge, ing, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and cannot apprehend ourselves liable to it ; for or a thirst, or a stran- when did we ever see thee hungry or thirsty, or a ger, or sick, or in pri

stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did
son, and did not minis
ter unto thee?

not to the best of our abilities minister to thee?
If we had ever seen thee in distress, we would
not have neglected to relieve thee; but we had
never any opportunity of doing it.

And

and

e Ye did it to me.] That alms-deeds fire is not said to have been prepared for should be remembered with peculiar re- the wicked, but for the devil and his angels. gard in the day of judgment was a notion Compare Rom. ix, 22, 23. that early prevailed amoog the Jews, as Then shall they also answer, &c.) Perappears by the Chaldee Paraphrase on haps it may only intimate this shall be Eccles. ix. 7. which bears a remarkable the language of their hearts, which Christ resemblance to these words of Christ, and perceiving, will reply to it. I see no ne. might perhaps be an imitation of them. cessity for supposing they shall actually See Mede's Works, p. 81.

plead thus. Multitudes will no doubt rePrepared for the devil and his angels.] member they have often heard what reply There is a remarkable difference between will be made to such a plea : God grant our Lord's expression here and in ver. 34. that none who read it here may be in There the kingdom is said to have been pre- the number of those to whom it will be pared for the righteous from the foundation made ! of the world ; whereas here the everlasting

h Everlasting

[ocr errors]

cast of these

266 Reflections on the sentence he will pass on the wicked. SECT. And then shall he answer them, saying, Verily 45 Then shall he Ve I say unto you, and declare it in the most solemn a

min answer them, saying,

Verily I say unto you, Mat. manner, That inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one in as much as ye diá XXV.45 of the least of these once necessitous, though it not to one of the now triumphant saints, who dwelt among you

not to me.
on earth, and needed your assistance, ye did
[it] not to me; and I justly thought myselt neg-
lected and injured when you shut up the bowels

of your compassion towards them. 46 And so, to conclude all, these miserable 46 And these shan wretches, notwithstanding all the excuses they in

ing punishment: but can urge, shall go away into a most dreadful the righteous into life state of everlasting punishment ; but the righ, eternal. teous, through the abundant grace of God manifested by his Son, shall enter into everlasting life h: and thus the great scene shall close in the eternal happiness or misery of every human creature who has ever lived on the face of the earth.

IMPROVEMENT.

Mat.

Let us now behold, with an attentive eye and a solicitous heart, XXV.31 the end of all the living ; that awful scene, in which the various 32 dispensations of God to mankind shall terminate in the solemn

day, when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and sit on his magnificent throne, All nations and people shall be assembled before

him, and we must make up a part of the assembly. The sheep and 33 the goats must then be separated ; and, O my soul, amongst which

wilt thou then be numbered ? Is there an inquiry, is there a care, of greater, of equal, of comparable importance ?

Let us view the sentence we must shortly hear, as he who will bimself pronounce it has been ipleased to give us a copy of it.-41 Can we conceive any thing more dreadful than that which shall

be passed on those on the left-hand ; To be driven from the presence of Christ as accursed, and to be consigned over to a devouring fire! and this not only to the tortures of a moment, or an hour (as in some painful executions that have been known here,) but to everlasting fire, yea, to fire prepared for the devil and his angels, where they will be perpetual companions, and perpetual tormentors ! should not the thought that he is in danger, in hourly danger, of being scaled up under this sentence, awaken the most stupid sinner, and engage him eagerly to cry out, What shall I

do

h Everlasting punishment, - everlasting both; and miserable are they that dare life.] As the original word cwnoy is the venture their souls on its signifying a limite same in both places, I thought it proper ed duration in eitber. to use się same word in the translation of

[ocr errors]

Reflections on the sentence he will pass on the wicked. 267 do to be saved ? — And on whom is this sentence passed? Let us at. sect. tentively observe it! Not merely on the most gross and aban--doned sinners, but on those who have lived in an habitual neglect Mat. of their duty: not merely on those who have ravaged and perse- xxv. cuted the saints (though surely their furnace will be heated seven * times hotter than that of others), but even on those who have neglected to relieve then.

On the other hand, let us seriously reflect what it will be to be owned by Christ before the assembled world ; and to hear him saying with a sweet smile, and with a voice of harmony and love, Come ye blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you 34 from the foundation of the world. How infinite is the love that prepared that kingdom for us before we had a being ! how rich the blood that purchased it! how overflowing the grace that be. stows it on such mean, such undeserving creatures ! Bless the Lord, O our souls, in the prospect of it! Let men curse, O Lord, if thou wilt thus bless ; (Psal. cix. 28.) Let them load our names with infamy if thou wilt adorn them with such glory: let all the kingdoms of the earth, and all the pomp of them, be despised and trampled under foot, when offered as an equivalent for this infinitely more glorious kingdom.

Let us attentively observe the character of those who are to re-35, 36 ceive it. They are the useful and benevolent souls: such as have loved the Lord Jesus Christ, not only in his name, and ordiDances, and promises, but have loved him in his laws, and in his people too; and have known him in those humble forms in which he has been pleased, as it were by proxy, to appear among us. 140 was hungry, and ye fed me; thirsty, and ye gave me drink, &c.; for in as much as ye did it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me. Amazing words! that the meanest saint should be owned by the King of glory as one of his brethren! Irresistible argument to those that do indeed believe these words, to stir them up to abound in every good word and work: Under this impression, methinks, instead of hiding ourselves from those who should be to us as our own flesh by virtue of our common union to him, we should not only hearken to their intreaties, but even search them out in those corners to which modest want may sometimes retire, and cast about in our thoughts how we may secure any happy opportunity of relieving some poor saint, for their sakes, and for their Master's, and even for our own. What if Christ came to us in person as a poor helpless stranger ? What if we saw him destitute of food and raiment, or in want of any other necessaries of life? Should we not contend for it as an honour, which of us should receive him into our houses, which of us should entertain him at our table, which of us should even strip ourselves Yol. VII.

LI

of

[ocr errors]

268

The passover was now within two days. SECT: of our cloathing :o give it to him? And yet he tells us that he is

- in effect with us in his poor members ; and we invent a thousand Ver. cold excuses for neglecting to assist him, and send our compas40 sionate Saviour away empty. Is this the temper of a Christian ?

Is this the temper in which we should wish to be found at the

judgment day? 44, 45 But we know not Christ in this disguise. Neither did these un

happy creatures on the left-hand know him: they are surprised to be told of such a thing ; and yet are represented as perishing for it. Away therefore will all those religious hopes (vainly so called) which leave the heart hardened, and the hand contracted from good works! If we shut up the bowels of compassion from our brethren, how dwelleth the love of God in us? (1 John iii. 17.) Orto what doth the love of Christ constrain us, if it be not to the exercise of gratitude to him, and the offices of cheerful and active friendship to those whom he now owns a's his brethren, and whom he will not be ashamed to call so in the midst of his highest triumph? Blessed Jesus, how munificent art thou ! and what a fund of cha. rity didst thou lay up in the very words which are now before us ! In all ages since they were spoken, how many hungry bast thou fed, how many naked hast thou clothed, how many calamitous creatures bast thou relieved by them! May they be written deep in our hearts, that the joy with which we shall finally meet thee may be increased by the happy effect of this day's meditation !

hass poken ords wh? wher'shes

SECT. CLXVII.

The Jewish rulers consult how they might take Christ, and Judas agrees with them to deliver him privately into their hands. Mat, XXVI. 1-5, 14-16. Mark XIV, 1, 2, 10, 11. Luke XXI. 37, to the end. XXII. 1-6.

muke which lject on the ended

LULE XXI. 37.

LUKE XXI. 37. SICT. THUS our Lord ended his discourses on this AND in the day, clxvii. 1 subject on the third day of the week in ing in the temple, and

* time he was teachLube which he suffered ; and thus he was generally at night he went out, XXI. 37 employed from the time of bis public entry into a

of his public entry inton and abode in the mount

" that is called the mouri Jerusalem to his last passover : he was teaching of Olives. by day in the temple, and at night he went out of the city, and lodged at the mount called [the mount] of Olives, in the neighbourhood of which Bethany lay; in the retirement of which, particularly in the garden of Gethsemane, he often spent a considerable part of the night; being desirous to secure that only season of solitude, that he might prepare himself for his approaching

suf

« FöregåendeFortsätt »