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will surely come, be will not tarry,' it is coming, be will come, and will not delay beyond þis appointed time. Thus again ; whereas it is said in feveral Places of St. Paul's Epistles, that the Day of the Lord approached ; that it draweth high ; he cannot mean the Instant Approach of the Day of Judgment, because of, as you have already heard, he had elsewhere cautioned them against that, as an Error. But he must either mean the Destruction of the Jewish Nation by the Romans; or the fulfilling of all their Types and Prophecies in Christ; the Dissolution of their Common-wealth, and Temple, and Worship; that after the Times of the Gospel, God would make no more Changes and Revelutions in his Church, till the End of all Things come. And this, of Neceflity, muft

be the Sense of these Words of St. Peter. The 1.4.7. End of all Things is at band, be ye therefore

Sober and watch unto Prayer ; and of St. Paul 1. Cor . 1o. These Things are written for our Admonition,

upon whom the Ends of the World are come. But,



Thirdly, Such a Doubt concerning the coming of Christ was groundless, because in a very allowable Senfe, the Thing was true, i.e. with respect to God, and according to his Account of Time. And this very Reafon St. Peter takes notice of, and urges against these Atheistical Scoffers in this Chapter. They indeed seemd to triumph in this, that Christ had faild of his Promise. Where (fay they) is the Promise of

was ;

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bis coming ? Since the Fathers fell asleep, all
things continue as they were from the beginning
of the Creation. 6 The material World con-
á tinues in the same Station and Posture it ever

observes the same Laws of Motion to
which it was at first determined,

6 Volvitur do Volvetur in omne volubilis « avium. Nor is there any discernible Varia“ tion or Amendment in the Moral World

5 “ Men live and follow the fame Courses they “ always did; Virtue and Vice pass undiftin.

guilh'd ; Wickedness is still prosperous and “ successful. What therefore do these Men (ye « call Apostles) mean thus to alarm and fright “the World, with their dreadful Stories of

Christ's coming to a fpeedy Judgment ? Is « it not now plain, that all is Mistake cr Im“ posture ? That they are very Ignorant, or

very Dishonest, thus to impose upon your « Credulity, or take Advantage of your Fears? « But St. Peter answers, and quite spoils the fine “ Harangue. Beloved, be not ignorant of this one Thing, That one Day with the Lord is as a Thousand Years, and a Thousand Years as One Day. As if he had faid, Take heed that you

be not deceived in this Matter; be not too bold, and forward in arguing, either “ from God's Patience, or Christ's seeming “ Delay. Consider who it is that makes the “ Promise ; and what a vast difference there

is, betwixt his Computation of Tiine, and
yours; for though (by Reason of the In-
capacity of your Minds, and the Shortness


2 Pet. 3: 66 of

your Lives) the Revolution of a Thou “ fand Years, has a very long Prospect; yet " with God, who is Infinite, who sees all

Things as present, 'tis but small and incon“ siderable. So that, considering the Narrowness of our Comprehension, in Comparison of the Immensity of God; and the Shortness of this World, with respect to that long Eternity which is to succeed after it ; there is no Reason to think that Christ delayeth his Promise, 1 or to doubt of his coming to Judgment ; espe- 17 cially if we add



Fourthly, The Consideration of the Time i of Mau's Life in this world. The Life of it Man is made up of apparent Uncertainties and se Changes; exposed to a thousand Accidents,

PO and Diseases; and he that is this Day in the most probable and hopeful State of Health, may, e'er to Morrow come, be stept into another World ; or, if by the Favour of Providence, or the Strength of Nature, any of us weather through these Storms, yet after we have measured Three or Fourscore Years, Life is secretly spent in us; we grow Infirm and Decrepid, we Droop and Moulder away, and hasten apace to the Congregation of the Dead. And what are Threescore or Fourscore Years, when they are past and gone? How few and

empty do they appear? In the Pfalmift's Com73. 20. putation, like a Dream when one waketh

j which leaves nothing behind it, but the faint Remembrance of a pleasant Delusion: And


; with

yet when we have reached that Period, and Stint of human Life; when we have finished our Course in this World Respect to us Christ is come, the Day of Judgment is at Hand. Not that the GeneralJudgment of the World will then coinmence, but because our particular Doom is fixt, because in that very State and Condition, in which Death leaves us, will the Son of God, when he comes to Judgment find us. As the Tree falls, so it lies. There is neither Knowledge, nor Redemption in the Grave ; Pardons and Indulgences ; Prayers and Maffes (if they have any Vertue or Merit at all in them) yet they come too late

, the Justice of God hath feiz'd us, and there is no escaping till we have paid the utmost Farthing. It is most certain, that the Day of Grace, and Repentance concludes with our Lives


and if so, those that have gone out of this world in an Impenitent and Unreformed State, with their Guilts and Pollutions about them ; in the very fame Posture shall they meet, and appear before their Judge. From all these Things laid together, I suppose it appears how groundless those Doubts and Questions were, concerning the Promise of our Saviour Christ's coming to Judgment; which was the Second Thing observed under this Head.

I proceed now in the Third Place,

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To make some practicable Use, and Improvement of the whole. And


L 3

First, Hence I infer. That if those Primitive and Holy Men, who lived so many Hundred Years ago, had very sensible and awful Apprehensions of the coming of our Saviour Christ to Judginent, we ought much more to have fo : We, I say, who are certainly advanced much nearer to the Time of his coming; we who live in this Declination and Old Age of the World. How near, or how far off it may yet be, is wholly unknown to us, nor can we attain unto it ; and therefore we ought not to indulge our vain Curiosity in enquiring into the precise and critical Time of his coining : Yet thus much is certain, and beyond all Peradventure, that, sooner or later, he will appear; and that's as much as is needful for us to know; that's enough to make us Wise and Holy, that's enough to engage us upon the Practice of all those Duties which thie Seriousness and Dread of a Judgment to come require. The Apostle St. Paul mentions two Things, as the Introductions and Signs of that dreadful Day; and they are

Apostacy from the Faith, and great CorrupThel.2.3. tions of Manners. That Day shall not come,

except there be a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed.

I dare not be positive in determining particularly what these are. But if professed A. theism and Infidelity; if Heresie, and denying the Lord that bought us ; if thinking freely, and speaking boldly of the dreadful Things of Religion , if a general Indevotion and neg


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