Page images
PDF
EPUB

have seen

upon His believing people, will cause them to reflect it, as a mirror upon which the sun shines reflects the light of that glorious luminary. The effect produced by the angelic admonition seems to have been, as the Evangelist records, They worshipped Him. Their admiration was turned into adoration. This example is worthy of our imitation. It becomes us to worship and adore our ascended Lord and God. The angels, however, directed them to derive improvement from the event, rather than to gaze up to heaven with a prying curiosity. This improvement is the

Third thing to be noticed. They said, This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye Him go into heaven. This is a subject on which there are many remarkable statements in the word of God. To the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, His apostles have given abundant testimony; and He Himself also frequently spoke of it in the most solemn and forcible language; a specimen of which may be found in the twentyfourth and twenty-fifth chapters of St. Matthew.

In similar language the beloved disciple, St. John, speaks of it. Behold He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him ; even so, Amen. So likewise St. Peterdeclares, The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the

39

which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up." And St. Paul says,

The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God.41 And again, The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with His mighty angels, in flaming fire.se

These passages of the holy scriptures show sufficiently the manner in which the Lord Jesus will come again. His ascension into heaven in the sight of His astonished disciples, was to them an assurance of His second coming; and they have left their testimony on record for our instruction, that we may learn to live in expectation of it, as they did.

So the apostle Peter declares expressly: Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye

look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless. 40 This is what we are to learn from the consideration of the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into heaven.

Let us then ask ourselves, Is our diligence exercised on these subjects ? Are we giving diligence to make our calling and election sure ? 40 Are we at peace with God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we rely on His obedience unto death for our pardon and reconciliation

39 Rev. i. 7. 40 2 Pet. iii. 10,14;i.10. 411 Thess. iv.16, 42 2 Thess. i.7. 43 1 Cor. xv. 58; i. 7, 8.

with God? Do we walk humbly with God, being accepted with Him through His beloved Son? Do we dread being led away with the error of the wicked, to walk in a way that is not good ? Are we anxious to be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord? 43 This is the spirit and disposition which it becomes those to cultivate who are waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,4% if they would be acceptable to Him, and blessed by Him. Then, however dreadful His appearance may be to His enemies, to the ungodly, as Enoch so long since foretold; however terrible it will be to them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ; 44 we shall not be ashamed before Him at His coming.45

Let us implore from our exalted Saviour, as Elisha asked, when his master was to be taken from him, a double portion of His Spirit to be poured upon us, and to rest upon us and abide with us; to influence and actuate us continually to do His will all the days of our sojourning here upon earth, and to confirm us unto the end, that we may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ,43 “that when He shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto Him in His eternal and glorious kingdom ;” and so be ever with the Lord.

44 2 Thess. i. 8.

45 1 John ii. 28.

SERMON XXXIII.

FOR THE

SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION DAY.

THE END OF ALL THINGS.

1 Peter iv. 7.

THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND, BE

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

The Epistle for this day seems to have been selected in reference to the admonition given to the disciples of Christ, while they witnessed His ascension into heaven, that He should come again, or descend from heaven, in like manner as He was seen going up into it. As the time when this event will take place is unknown, the members of the church of Christ are to live in constant expectation of it. The manner in which they are to conduct themselves while they are sojourning on earth, is here described, together with the end which they are to propose to themselves, the promotion of the glory of God; while to their

[blocks in formation]

exalted Redeemer they are to give praise and thanks, and to submit themselves to His authority as the Lord of all, who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, or invested with almighty power, angels and authorities and

powers being made subject unto Him; and therefore praise and dominion are to be ascribed to Him for ever and ever.46 The ascension of Christ into heaven in the sight of His astonished disciples, is to be regarded as affording an assurance of the fulfilment of His promise, that He will come again with power and great glory, and will then appear as the Judge of all the earth, before whom every individual of the human race shall give account of himself for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad; when He will bless His believing people, and banish His enemies from His blissful presence for evermore. To this second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the expectations of the primitive Christians were much directed. They are described as serving the living and true God, and waiting for His Son from heaven;47 as looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ ,48 as having their conversation in heaven, from whence also they looked for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; as looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God. 49

461 Pet. iii. 22; iv. 11. 471 Thess.i.9,10. 48 Titus ii. 13, 492 Pet. iii. 12.

« PreviousContinue »