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"fold, they planted they builded. But the "fame day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rain"ed fire and brimftone from heaven, and deftroyed them all. Even thus fhall it be in Son of man is revealed," "Yourselves know per

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"the day when the Luke xvii. 26.-30.

fectly, that the day of the Lord fo cometh as

"a thief in the night. For when they fhall

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fay, Peace and fafety: then fudden destruc❝tion cometh upon them; as travail upon a "woman with child; and they fhall not ef "cape," I Theff. v. 2, 3. "There fhall come in the last days fcoffers, walking after their "own lufts, and faying, where is the promise "of his coming?" 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4.

From these paffages, it appears, that the day of judgment comes upon the world unexpectedly, as a thief in the night, confequently the greater number of that generation are not real Christians; for of these the Apoftle fays, " But C6 ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that 66 day should overtake you as a thief,” 1. Thess. v. 4. Again, the men of that generation are compared to those of very corrupt times. In the days of Noah, "all flesh had corrupted their way." In the days of Lot, the inhabitants of the plain were monftroufly wicked, "the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah was great, and "their fin was very grievous." Further, it is expressly

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exprefsly faid, that they promise themselves peace and fafety:" that is, in defiance of the remonftrances and threatenings of God's word. They indulge their lawless paffions, and ridicule the notion of a future judgment. In a word, what the deluge was to the old world, and the fulphureous fhower to the inhabitants of the plain, the coming of the Son of man shall be to the great body of the men of that generation, the signal of their destruction. All these circumstances evince a general corruption of manners, and confequently a great deviation from the purity of the Millennial state.

Corruption following after the purity and happiness of the Millennium, ferves to prove fully what had been fhewn partly before, that unfanctified human nature cannot bear profperity, because it leads men to refift God's authority, to gratify their own lufts, at the expence of violating his laws, and defacing the beauty and order of his creation; that all the ordinary means of grace, that all the common and extraordinary difpenfations of divine Providence which the wifdom of God devifed, and his long fuffering patience exercised for the reformation of the human race, are ineffectual to reform the whole, and that the malignant diftemper of fin requires a more violent remedy. Accordingly, the world now ripe for deftruction, and the church

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church for eternal falvation, God sets his throne for the laft judgment.

SECTION III.

The Great Day of Judgment.

The fcripture account of that folemn and awful event follows.

While wicked men are eagerly intent on their worldly schemes, and the gratification of their lawless paffions, fcoffing at the notion of ever being called to account for their conduct; while Chrift's faithful followers then on earth, are ready to faint, their faith being almost staggered by the delay of the judgment, and the progrefs of increasing wickedness in the world: In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the Judge appears, "the Lord himself fhall de"fcend from heaven with a fhout, with the "voice of the archangel, and with the trump "of God," 1 Theff. iv. 16. "The Lord Je"fus fhall be revealed from heaven, with his "mighty angels, in flaming fire," 2 Theff. i. 7, 8. He fets his throne in the air, (within the region of the clouds, 1 Theff, iv. 17. In that fituation, it is vifible of course to the upper hemifphere, and moft likely, by fome medium re

fracting

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fracting the light, it fhall be visible to the lower hemifphere alfo'.

The appearance of the Judge, his throne and attendants fhall be glorious beyond conception; "The Son of man shall come in his glory, and "all the holy angels with him, and shall fit 66 upon the throne of his glory," Matth. xxv. 31. Even on the mount of transfiguration, where Chrift fhewed a faint gleam of his heavenly glory," his face shined as the fun, and his "raiment white as the light," Matth. xvii. 2. How transcendently bright muft his appearance be, when he shines in all his glory! The throne must be fplendid, fuitable to the dignity

(1) Water refracts the rays of light, fo that when the ocean is the horizon, the body of the fun is vifible, after it is beneath the level of the horizon. When "the fun "stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go "down about a whole day," Joshua x. 13. we are not to fuppofe the diurnal motion of the earth was stopped, but moft probably fome medium, created by the Almighty, refracted the light fo powerfully, that the body of the fun was vifible, when in the oppofite meridian, and the refracting power proportioned to the distance of the fun from the meridian of the place, would make the fun appear to ftand ftill. By whatever means the fun was made visible and stationary, after it was actually fet, we may reasonably expect that the fame divine power, on fo folemn an occafion as the last judgment, will make the Judge, his throne, and attendants visible to the whole earth.

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ty of the person who fits on it. A faint reprefentation of fuch a throne was feen by Mofes, Aaron, and the elders of Ifrael. "They faw "the God of Ifrael; and there was under his "feet, as it were a paved work of sapphire

ftone, and as it were the body of heaven in "his clearness," Exod. xxiv. 10. The attendants of the throne are "all the angels," an innumerable hoft, "the chariots of God are twen66 ty thousand, even thousands of angels,” Pfal. lxviii. 17.; and of various ranks, " thrones, do"minions, principalities, and powers." We may conceive this innumerable and glorious hoft, ranged according to their ranks, on each fide of the throne, in the form of a crefcent. Moft probably in a fimilar form behind the throne, and the hoft of angels, is arranged that "flaming fire," 2 Theff. i. 7. defigned as the inftrument of punishing the wicked. Close by the throne ftands "the archangel, bearing the "trump of God."

The Judge being fet, and his attendants arranged, he iffues his mandate to the archangel, who founds the trumpet. In an inftant, "the dead in Chrift," from righteous Abel, to the laft of those who expired on the earth, fhall rise from their graves; "the dead in "Chrift fhall rise first," 1 Theff. iv. 16. and receive fpiritual and incorruptible bodies.

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