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and persecute them from city to city. That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest. the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her: wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. xxiii. 33–38.)
“Men and brethren, are all these warnings to be thrown away upon you? In the Lord's language to Jerusalem, we perceive the great and terrible truth, that the climax of the judgment falls upon the last generation. All these things are written for our learning, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Each succeeding generation of wicked men has been living in aggravated wickedness ; not merely in their own individual transgressions, but in trangression under the peculiar circumstances of longer. delayed retribution ; transgression under the peculiar; provocation of despising so much more patience. (See Rom. ii. 4-6.) Thus, the longer the patience of God waits, the more inexcusable becomes the wickedness of men. Each generation inherits a burthen of transgression from their, fathers, * adds their own to it, and bequeaths it thus increased to their children. The long suspended blow is gathering strength ; and when it falls, it will fall with an energy
vengeance and utter ruin, collected from the accumulated provocation of many generations. Thus while the Lord waits to be gracious, sin persevered in, becomes more aggravated in its guilt; and judgment deferred, becomes more overwhelming in its character. And the end
[* By setting their seal and sanction to the wickedness of preceding gene. zations, they make it virtually their own act, and are responsible for it. E.W.1 shall be as the end of Jerusalem. The climax of the judga ment shall fall upon the last generation of the unconverted, the generation which shall be alive upon the earth, when the Lord Jesus shall descend from heaven. All the generations of mankind who have died in impenitence and unbelief, must indeed be finally ruined; but there is a peculiarity of instantaneous and perfected damnation, soul and body, which awaits (at least a portion of] the last generation."*
“ Destruction! everlasting destruction from the presence, of the Lord, and from the glory of his power! I beseech. you, brethren, by the mercies of God; the all-sufficient; redeeming mercies of God, as yet freely proclaimed to you in the blood of Jesus Christ, and saying to you, with all the urgency of intense affection,-Behold! now is the ap- . pointed time, to consider deeply what destruction means.",
" It is truth known too late! It is penetrating con-. viction of sin, when there remains no sacrifice for the fore giveness of sin. It is pollution felt to be misery, combined with the certainty that holiness is now forever unattaina-. ble. It is iniquity in perpetuity. It is to be effectually. deprived of all carnal callousness, all stupifying worldlymindedness, all hardening infidelity; to be forced to think and feel, and to find thought and feeling agony. It is to shrink from the relentless fury of the storm, when shelter has become absolutely hopeless: to cast a look of desperate wretchedness at the ascending ark, while the fiery flood below encircles the writhing body, and the brightness of the glory of the long-despised Jesus, pierces the inipotent and despicable, but still malignant soul. It is to see the saints whom you hated, and jeered, and slandered; delivered from all your malice, and exalted to
[* See Part II. Lecture IV. Rev. xix. 20: Matt. xxv. 31-46: Matt. xiiie. 49,50.]
glory: yea, to see that your persecution of them gave occasion to them of exercising those graces which have enlarged their capacities for the enjoyment of eternal glory: to be provoked to madness by their prosperity; and still more, by discovering that in the righteous judgment of God, the time has come when they shall triumph in holy indignation over your deserved ruin. They shall be so entirely on the Lord's side-their minds and wills so harmonized with his—that when it becomes a righteous thing in him to take vengeance (as we remarked to you on a former occasion,*] it will be a righteous thing in them to rejoice at it. While on earth they wished you. well, and did you good in spite of all your opposition: they prayed for you, , and would not be provoked by all your ill-treatment of them. You could not understand their principles of forgiving love, which they had learned [at] the cross of Christ; and being actuated only by your own maxims of human pride, you despised, or affected to despise, their littleness and want of spirit. But now the principles of judgment and justice are in action. The Lord Jesus Christ is revealed from heaven in flaming fire, and his saints are called to sing hallelujahs, while they behold the ascending smoke of your eternal torments. (Rev. xix. 1-3.) The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. (Ps. lviii. 10.) The enigma of Providence shall be finished-the solution of judgment shall be manifested—not in some hitherto untried region of creation, but in the earth. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous; verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.” (Ps. lviii. 11.)
“ Brethren, you are touched and awed under the word of God. What a solemn stillness pervades this dense multitude! What a moment of deep responsibility to many
(*Part II. Lecture I.).
souls! Conscience is at work. God has not left himself without witness in any of you. A secret impression even now rises out of the depth of your moral being, as if it were the whisper of an angel, exacting from you an inward resolution to be more serious, more in earnest about eternity, more concerned about your soul's salvation. My dearly beloved in the Lord, encourage the heavenly visitant; yield to the thrilling emotion which would cast you in prostrate confession of your sins, before the cross of Jesus. He will not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed. No; he is ready and willing, infinitely so, in loving-kindness and tender mercy, to invigorate and mature such struggling impressions by the grace and power of the Holy Ghost."*
I entreat you therefore, by all the mercies of God and by all the terrors of his law, immediately to repent of your sins, and put faith in Christ Jesus. Defer not the great work of
your salvation for an hour, or even for a moment. But begin it at once. Do not wait till you reach your
homes. The present moment is yours. You know not what may happen in the next. I entreat you therefore to turn with full purpose of heart unto the Lord. Do it before you leave this house of prayer. Yield, oh! yield, to the strivings of the Spirit. Yield, I beseech you, before he forsakes you forever. Do it, my dear hearers, DO IT NOW; and, having done it, persevere by grace unto the end. Thus SHALL YOU HAVE A PART IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION, AND REIGN WITH CHRIST JESUS FOREVER AND EVER.
the Second Advent, Sermon V. pp. 96-99, Phila
* McNeile's Sermons adelphia edition, 1841.