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THE Son of God came into the world to save sinners. Having wrought out a righteous. ness in his life, and made an atonement for sin by his death, he ascended up where he was before. There at the right hand of the Father, he ever liveth to make intercession for us. He “is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.” And now he says to us, “ Watch therefore ; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning : lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping." Mark xiii. 35, 36.
Consider the EVENT. The Lord's com. ing. This event will be glorious in itself, for he will come in his own glory, and in his Father's glory, and all the holy angels with him. At his first coming, he shewed how divinity could conceal itself in humanity; at his second coming he will shew how humanity can be glorified through deity. His countenance will shine like the sun, his eyes will be like flames of fire, and his whole person will be clothed with insufferable splendour. It will be dreadful to the world. Then, the present order of things will be changed. Tremendous judgments will be poured upon the inhabitants of the earth. The fearful threatnings, and the terrible predictions of Scripture will be fulfilled. Oh, it will be an awful time for the ungodly and for sinners! But it will be delightful to the church of God. It will put an end to all her sighs and sorrows—to all her toils and troubles—to all her persecutions and complaints. Then her union with Christ will be consummated—then the number of her members will be perfected—then her holiness will be completed--then her desires will be granted--and then her highest expectations will be realised. His coming a second time, will complete her salvation.
Think of the comMAND, “ Watch ye therefore.” Look out for his coming. Be watchful and wary. Believe and watch. Feel confident that Christ will come, and come as he has said. Exercise faith in his word, especially his promises, and keep your eyes open. Work" and watch. He has given each one talents, and to every man his work. There is a work that you are to do for Jesus, and when he comes, you will have to give an account, if it is not done. Find out what your work is, set about it, and while you work, watch for the coming of the Master, Love and watch, for love to the absent Saviour, love to your brethren, and love to your fellow sinners, should characterise you. Exercise a loving spirit toward all, and while you do so, look for your Saviour's appearing. Hope and watch, for the expectation of the saints, is the advent of the Saviour. “Looking for that blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of the great God, our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Pray and watch. Pray for more grace for yourself, for a fuller blessing on the Church, and for a glorious work of grace in the world. Wait and watch. The Master is in no hurry. He can take time. It may seem long, but he will return at the time appointed. “He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry.” He will come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. Believer, Jesus is coming. He is coming to judge the world in righteousness, and the people in his truth. He wishes you to be ready, and to be waiting for his appearing. He commands you to watch, therefore do as he commands you. Watch, believing his word. Watch, doing his work. Watch, in holy love. Watch, with ardent expectation. Watch, with fervent prayer. Watch, and patiently wait.
Observe, he furnishes a STIMULUS. The certainty of his coming, is intended to be so, He is sure to come. The salvation of his church requires it. The state of the world demands it. His own glory will not be com. plete without it. Our ignorance of the tima , is intended to be so. Of that day and that hour knoweth no man. It is purposely con. cealed, and we ought not to wish to know, or try to guess. He may come to-day, or it may be a considerable time first. We cannot know the year, month, or day. We cannot tell whether it will be at eren, at mid. night, at cock-crowing, or in the morning. All is uncertain to us, and all must remain un. certain at present. The probability of its being sudden, is intended to be so. “Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping." It will be 80 as it respects the world, “For the day of the Lord so cometh, as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, 'Peace and safety' then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape.” In a moment, in the twink. ling of an eye, at the last trump, will Jesus come. The possibility of his finding us asleep, is intended also to be a stimulus. Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober. While the Bridegroom tarried, we read, that all the virgins, slumbered and slept. How many are slumbering now, and yet the Master may be very near, even at the door. Should he find us sleeping, how discreditable it would be! Sleeping, after so many warnings. Sleeping, after such loving cautions. Sleeping, after such solemn exhortations. Should he find us sleeping, would it not fill us with confusion and shame. Hence the apostle
John exhorts, “And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming." And again we read, “Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." Not to watch for the advent of Jesus, is positive disobedience, aggravated by neglect of warnings, cautions, and exhortations. As therefore Christ will surely come, as we are totally ignorant of the time,-as it will most probably be suddeu and unexpected,-and as it is possible that he may find many of his professing people asleep, we should watch.
Jesus will come as the Master of the house, to call his servants to account, and to see how much every one has gained by trading. He compares the talents he has given us to money, and expects it to be put out to use; and as it is another's money, we ought to put it out where we shall get the highest interest. Or, we should endeavour to use our talents in that way, which will do most good in the world and in the church, and bring most glory to his most holy name. Jesus will come as the Bridegroom of his church, openly to marry her, and identify her with himself for ever. Therefore of that period we read, “The marriage of the Lamb is come, and the bride hath made herself ready." Jesus will come as the monarch of the world, reward. ing his loyal and devoted subjects, and pun