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"For I was an hungered," says or multiply personal accommodations Christ, "and ye gave me meat, thirsty for him-but we have his people here and ye gave me drink, naked and ye—his poor are among us, and his sick clothed me, sick and in prison and ye❘ members, who claim the exercise of came unto me." Never was passage our sympathy. Now, said Christ, If of Holy Scripture more abused, be- you love me manifest your kindness to cause never was any one by many these. This is the meaning of the more misunderstood than this. It has passage, and this will be the test of been perverted into a fountain of all character at the last day—whether or kinds of error, it has been made the not we have loved Christ supremely, basis of false appeals to human and un- and have been actuated in all we did sanctified benevolence-blind leaders by this sacred, powerful, and sweet of the blind, have told their hearers, principle. The righteous, at the day and fancied that they have found of judgment, then, will be proved to warrant for their assertions in these be what they professed to be, by their words that charity was the key which conduct towards the people of Christ; could alone open for them the king- and this will substantiate their claim dom of heaven. as the friends and followers and lovers of the Saviour.

My brethren, if you will look into the passage, you will perceive that it is not to the charity of a carnal unsanctified breast, that our Saviour refers; it is not to the alms and deeds of the world. It is to the hallowed benevolence, it is to Christian beneficence, that we are here directed; and the grand principle that is contained in the words is supreme love to Jesus Christ himself. The conduct here referred to is a right behaviour towards the righteous themselves, because they belong to Christ and bear his image. Our Lord is represented as saying, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, because they are my brethren-done it for my sake-ye have done it unto me." So that the test of character, at the last day, will be, not simply charity to mankind at large, but love to Christ; and that love itself is to be attested by our conduct towards those who are Christ's. If we love Christ we love his people -we shall love every thing that is his. He himself is no longer, personally, upon earth-we can no longer shew acts of kindness to him-the opportunity for this is past. Men can no longer receive him into their habitation, and spread the table or couch before him,

We go on to consider THEIR STATION. In that day of decision, they are represented as placed upon "the right hand" of GOD. This does not, of course, my hearers, as you must be aware, refer to mere locality; it is of little consequence, literally speaking, whether at that day we stand on the right hand or the left hand of Christ. The language is figurative. You know that the right hand, among men, is accounted the place of honour. An individual who makes a feast would place the most distinguished of his guests at his right hand. This would be the mark by which he would be pointed out to the company as the most illustrious individual at the table; and therefore, by the right hand of GOD, or the right hand of Christ, we are to understand the place of honourthe place of distinction. It is a figurative mode of expression, to intimate that Christ will bestow all possible marks of honour and distinction upon his people at the last day. While the wicked are sent to the left-while they are treated with contempt, the righteous shall be advanced to high honour and glory.

But we come to THE SENtence.

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And here, in the first place, I shall consider the ORDER of it. It must strike you that the righteous receive their sentence first. The King will address those on the right hand before he speaks to them on his left: He will bless before He curses. As if, my friends, it were more accordant with the benevolence of his nature, to bless than to curse-as if to give emphasis to the sentiment we so often repeat, Mercy is his delight, while judgment is his strange work." Before he takes up the vials of his wrath to pour their contents on the devoted and guilty heads of the wicked, he will pour blessings on the heads of the righteous before he sends the wicked to hell, he will welcome the righteous to heaven, an idea pregnant with instruction for us now. Oh, how willing is the Saviour to receive and bless all that come to him! Even his very manner of blessing the righteous at the last day, though he will then have no blessings for the wicked, seems to teach us now, how willing he is to receive and bless all that truly come to him for salvation. You will mark, that the Saviour seems, as it were, in haste to bless his people, he will not keep them waiting in suspense. This is absolutely necessary for the full consummation of their felicity. Were a judge upon the bench, placed in circumstances in which it was his delightful duty to pronounce a sentence of honourable acquittal on some friends of his own, would he not select them first? Would he not pronounce blessings upon them, ere he discharged the duty of his office, in condemning those who are guilty? Would he not pronounce the sentence of life, felicity, and honor, before that of condemnation and misery? Thus does the Saviour act. He calls forth his friends, first that he may pour comfort into their souls, and, with such words as I have read to you, fill them with felicity and endow them

with honour before the assembled Universe.

And there is another thing that may be dwelt upon in reference to the order of the sentence. It comes first to them, that their enemies, and slanderers, and persecutors, may be the spectators of the honour which the King delighted to put upon them. Aye, and methinks that neither the thunder of the archangel's trumpet, nor the dissolution of nature, nor the great white throne, nor him that sitteth upon it, before whose voice the heavens and the earth flee away and find no place, will be so appalling to the persecutors and enemies of the righteous in the last day as the elevation of the objects of their scorn and contumely and cruelty. How will they be mortified and surprised to see them covered with so much glory, raised to such an elevation, addressed with such language of distinction, and blessed with such marks of endearment. They once treated them as the filth and offscouring of all things, whom it was almost fair, if not honourable, to persecute with ridicule, if not with rage, but then they shall stand the spectators of the honour which their GoD delighteth to put upon them; and in listening to language like this addressed to them;

Come ye blessed of my Father," their rage, their envy, their malice, will be such, that their hell will commence, even while hearing the sentence of heaven that will be pronounced on those, whom in the days of their humiliation they thought themselves justified in treating with oppression, and cruelty, and death.

Having considered the order of the sentence, let us now advert to Him by whom it shall be pronounced. "" 'Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, come ye blessed of my Father." The King-even Jesus their Saviour. Now, my brethren, he speaks to us, and he speaks words of bless

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ing; but it is by a delegated voice and, we stood in his favour, this would be much. But, oh, my brethren, amidst the splendour of the last day, when eternity shall be opened before us, when all nations shall be at the bar of judgment, and countless millions await this testimony from the lips of Christ; then to hear Jesus, as he turns towards us with a countenance brighter than the glory of the sun, and covered with smiles, to hear him say, "Come ye blessed!" this, this is honour! this is glory! this is heaven!

Look, now, at the LANGUAGE of the sentence, and you will find it characFirst, it is the language of welcome; Secondly, it is the language of benediction; and, Thirdly, it is the language of munificent communication.

through the medium of the Scriptures, that he addresseth himself to us. We see the rays of his glory as reflected from the page of inspiration; they are only as the radiance of a concealed luminary; but the Sun of Righteousness himself shall rise in full orbed splendour at that day, and shine into our souls.

Now, as I have said, he speaketh from the Scriptures, but these are but the faint and feeble and distant echos of his voice; but that voice shall speak immediately, personally to us on that day-yes, the Son himself, the bright-terized by three ideas.

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ness of his Father's glory, and the ex-
press image of his person, he shall say
unto us, "Come ye blessed of my
Father." No delegated voice of Pro-
phet or of Apostle shall speak. Their
tongues shall be silent, and Christ
himself shall address his people at that
day. Oh! to hear him say well done!
How joyful and how rapturous a sound
will this be for the soul of the Chris-
tian, from such lips as His! To hear
Christ himself say,
thou hast found
favour in my sight. Oh, my brethren,
this must be heaven! Even now, who
is it that undervalues the expressions
of good will of the humblest believer?
But oh, how infinitely higher the ho-
nour and the satisfaction and the glory
of hearing the King of Saints say
so! What a privilege! What a blessed-
ness! How honourable! How glori-
ous! When Cain went out from the
presence of the LORD, it was this that
gave the look of despair to his eye,
imprinted the marks of anguish upon
his countenance, made his step faulter-
ing, and filled him with terror, that he
had been cursed of God. What, then,
will it be in the day of judgment to
hear Christ say, "Well done!" To
hear him say so publicly. Oh, were
he to send an angel to us now in the
visions of the night to tell us that he
had reserved a blessing for us, that

First, it is the language of welcome. Or we may take first THE LANGUAGE

OF

BENEDICTION" YE BLESSED;" and this stands opposed to the world's sentence that it pronounces upon the righteous now. We are often, my brethren, called to the bar of public opinion-we are often cited to the tribunal of men. The world hath taken the liberty to deal with the character and with the state, and with the destiny of the righteous; and it hath ventured to pronounce upon our principles, and upon our privileges, and upon our prospects. And what has been the world's decision with reference to the righteous? It is two-fold. We are objects of pity-we are supposed to inhabit a dark region, on which the sun of prosperity never rises, where all the springs of felicity are dried up, and where scarcely any thing but sullenness, wretchedness, and gloom are to be found. And in some of the more benevolent of our censors, oh, the expressions of concern and commisseration that are sent forth, that we should give up fashionable amusements, and that we should deny ourselves so many things that are calcu

lated to make men happy. Oh, my friends, they may spare their grief. We feel that it is misplaced-we know that they have misjudged us -we have tried both sides of the question-we have tried long what the world could do, but alas! we found it could do nothing. By the grace of GOD we were turned to those springs of salvation which send forth the waters of life, and we know we have reached that fountain. We have experienced the happiness that lies in religion. And if, my friends, experience of the present were not sufficient to decide the point, we might then refer the matter to the tribunal before which we all one day must stand and anticipate the decision of Him who, sitting on the great white throne before an assembled universe, shall say to the righteous, "Come ye blessed."

And, then, others not so benevolently, have heaped, in different ages of the world, their maledictions on the righteous. Oh, the hard treatment which it has been their lot frequently to receive! How often has justice been perverted, and power employed, to heap all kinds of misery upon those that profess the name and bear the image of Christ? They have been trodden under foot, laws have been passed to pronounce them cursed, and cries have been raised, away with them-away with them." Ah! so it has been, but there is another tribunal which will reverse the sentence, and there is another Judge before whom the righteous will appear, and he will say to them, "Come ye blessed."

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he is under that curse which God in his mercy has rolled away from him. Beyond the day of judgment, there shall no doubt, there shall no fear rise in the bosom of the Christian. When God has pronounced upon the case, his decision is final and irrevocable; concerning them-" Come ye blessed"

and never, no never through eternity, will the bliss of heaven be chilled or darkened or interrupted by one passing doubt, by one momentary gloom. That assurance, we say, the believer ought to seek after; and if sought after in the way in which God is willing to bestow it, it shall be found, and that in full perfection.

But again, mark, it is said, "Come ye blessed of my Father"-blessed, in fact, by the whole Trinity. And when this sentence will be pronounced, it will be, in fact, the very act of creating the felicity which it describes. Men frequently call us blessed, or pronounce their blessings upon us; but, truly, the blessing and the curse of men can do very little for or against us-it is desirable to avoid the one and secure the other. But when we speak of the blessing, which comes on us from God, his power lacks no ability, and the word will create the felicity that it pronounces. It will be with us as on the morning of creation -"Let there be light and light was"He will say over his people, let them be blessed and blessings shall follow. It is not an opinion of our God's, for opinions belong not to God-it is not a wish that we may be blessed, for wishes have no place with GOD-it is the declaration of Jehovah, that he will make us blessed-it is a solemn, decided truth, that he, the eternal GOD, will employ his wisdom, his power, his grace, in raising us to complete felicity. At the day of judgment, the omnipotent, omniscient, eternal GOD will pronounce us blessed. Let us, then, leave the manner in his

And this, my friends, is opposed to what is frequently their own view of their situation, which ever and anon is one of despondency, with a sense of gloom upon their minds, and of doubt and solicitude. There are, in the history of the Christian, seasons when he is ready to write bitter things against himself, and to imagine that

own hand, for we know not from what our happiness in another world precisely may spring. Obscurity, impenetrable by us, may hang over it; but let us go cheerfully forward, assured that if GOD undertakes to make us blessed, blessed we must be, let the felicity come from what source, and consist of what ingredients it may.

Let us now consider this sentence as the language of WELCOME. And this will show us, in fact, what our felicity is to arise from. Jesus Christ will say to us on that day, "COME ye blessed," as if to teach us that our felicity was to arise from our being brought into his presence and dwelling for ever with him. It is very true that the pronoun is not in this verse; but as we find it in the verse that contains the sentence of the wicked, where it is said, "Depart from me, ye cursed!" We may, of course, with fairness conjecture, that it should be supplied here, and that we are to understand our Saviour, as saying, "Come unto me ye blessed of my Father." Ye that were given to me in the covenant of redemption-ye that have been redeemed by my blood-ye that have been regenerated by my Spirit-come unto me to behold my glory, to enjoy my love, and to enter into the full | possession of the fruits of my mediatorial undertaking-come, we have been separated long enough—wisdom required that you should inhabit yonder world for a season to pass your trial, and to finish your probation—| the trial has been honorably passedthe term of probation is finished now come to myself, we will be parted

no more, together we will dwell for ever in heaven.

This teaches us, my brethren, what we find in many other portions of holy Scripture, that the chief felicity of heaven consists in being with Christ. Good old Simeon, when he clasped the infant Saviour in his arms-1 —the child of a few days old, felt himself so blessed that he prayed for his departure, as if he could scarcely bear that those eyes which had looked upon the promised Messiah should look upon any thing else-" Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have seen thy salvation!" Peter, on the mount of transfiguration was so bewildered with delight that he scarcely knew what he said, and exclaimed, "Lord, it is good for us to be here, let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias." He could not endure the thought of going down again to the scenes below. That night, we are told, the disciples were glad when they saw their Lord; and Thomas, in a rapture of surprise and delight exclaimed, “My Lord and my God." What then, my brethren, would it be to see the Saviour-not as the babe that was presented in the temple—not as the risen Saviour that shewed himself still upon earth to his disciples-not as Jesus who was transfigured on the mount—no; but as Christ in his full glory-as God, Man, Mediator; having finished his work on earth, the object of admiration to angels, and the fountain of delight to redeemed and glorified spirits.

(To be continued.)

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