It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make enquiry.—Proverbs 20.25.

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Two Sermons

on the

GENERAL JUDGMENT

At the Last Day.


Excerpted from:

FORTY EIGHT SELECT

S E R M O N S

PREACHED BY

That Eminent and Faithful Servant

of JESUS CHRIST, Mr.

JOHN WELCH, sometime

Minister of the Gospel in AIR.

X

TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Note.

Dear Reader,—Of the various sermons which I have seen, and some published here for your edification, on the subject of the final Day of Judgment, these of Mr. John Welch of Ayr are by far the most excellent. They will satisfy none of the curious folk of our day, who will swallow down all manner of fiction from the “Prophecy” section in the local bookstore; for this prophet never pretended to foretell the date of Judgment Day, nor any such uncertain circumstance. But he does accurately foretell the doom to be met with in that day, by all who know not our Lord Jesus Christ; as well as the glorious joy which shall fill the souls of his people, when he shall come to gather them to himself, and take them home to the heavenly mansions prepared for them.  Therefore, Reader, if you would have a blessing to your soul, and give ear to a Messenger sent from the Lord in Heaven, to prepare you for that day to which each of us are hastening, then put not aside this missive, but read on until the end, and give the substance thereof your sober consideration every morning and every evening until you can say with another of the Lord’s messengers, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Tim. 4.7,8.)

2011.10.05.

SERMON I.

REVELATION CHAP. XX VER. 11.

And I saw a great white Throne, and him that sat on it, from whose Face the Earth and Heaven fled away.

THE Security of all Flesh is wonderous great, for there is a fearful Sleep fallen both upon the Good and the Evil.  The foolish Virgins are sound asleep, and the Wise are asleep also.  And, suppose the Lord be at the Door, and the Hour of Judgment at Hand, and the seventh Angel ready to blow the last Trumpet, when Time shall be no more, yet it is Scarcely one of a Thousand, yea, one of Ten Thousand is to be found that is prepared, and busying themselves to meet the LORD, who is making Speed to come in the Clouds: And how soon that Fire shall break forth, which shall kindle the Heavens above your Head, and the Earth under your Feet, and shall set all on Fire; how soon the Trumpet shall blow, and the Shout shall cry, Rise, Dead, and come to Judgment, is only known to GOD, and to no mortal Man.  Will ye not then be awakened till this Trumpet waken you? And will none of you take Pains to look over the Leaves of your Conscience, and read what Sins are written there, since ye came into the World before that Day of Doom come upon you? O {2} that ye knew that Eternity, and the Terrour of the Day of the LORD, when the Heavens above you, and the Earth beneath you, shall not be able to stand before the Face of him that sits on the Throne! Therefore, I hope the LORD has made Choice to me of this Text at this Time, to give you Warning before the Judgment come: Ye know the Watchmen that the LORD takes from among the People, that he sets over the City or House concredit to them, If ye see the Sword and Pestilence coming, and warn them not, the Blood of them that perish under the Judgment for lack of Warning, will be required at his Hand, [Ezek. 33.6-8], that is, the Watchman’s; therefore it is Time for me to be making Warning to you, and, in the Measure of Strength that GOD will give me, I am to make Warning, not of a temporal Judgment, but of an everlasting Judgment that is coming on, (GOD waken you and warn you in Time!) that when ye shall see the Judge sit on his Throne, your Hearts may not tremble at his awful Countenance, having gotten your Souls washen in his Blood.  But, to come to the Purpose, there are many Visions in this Book, and there are many Things done here, that the SON shews to his Servant John.  He shews him first the present State of the Kirk [Church] at that Time on the World, under the Name of seven Stars; and he tells, They are suffering, and had Patience, and they laboured for his Name’s Sake, and fainted not; but yet he had somewhat against them, because they had forsaken their first Love. [Rev. 2.2-4.]  Some were in Tribulation and Poverty, but yet rich in God; some kept the Name of Christ, and denied not the Faith, suppose they should have given their Blood for it, as the faithful Martyr Antipas did; but yet he had a few Things against them; because they maintained the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which Thing he hated.  Some had Love, Service, Faith, and Patience, and their Work was more at the last than at the first; but yet they suffered the false Prophetess Jezabel to be among them, to {3} whom he threatens he will cast her into a Bed of Affliction, and them that commit Fornication with her, except they repent them of their Works.  There were some whose Works were not found perfect before God; therefore he exhorts them to remember how they had heard and received, and he bids them hold fast and repent; otherwise, he tells, that he will come shortly against them.  Some had a little Strength, and kept his Word, and denied not his Name; therefore he promises to deliver them in the Hour of Temptation that shall come upon all the World, to try the whole Earth.  Some were neither cold nor hot; and therefore, because they were luke-warm, he tells them, that it would come to pass that he would spue them out of his Mouth; they thought they were rich and increased in Goods, and had Need of nothing; but they knew not that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; and then he counsels them to buy of him, Gold tried in the Fire, that they might be rich, and white Raiment, that they might be clothed, and Eye-salve, that they might see.  So what is your Case this Day? Have ye not forsaken your first Love? But as for Tribulation it is not yet come, for our Days have been Days of Peace, of Light, Liberty, and Glory; but as for Tribulation, it is not yet come; but as the Lord lives, the Days of Tribulation are not far off.  As for false Doctrine, God be praised, it is not among us yet, or, at least, if it be, it dare not be avowed yet; but I fear, that who lives to see it, they shall see Heresy and Corruption in Doctrine and Religion creep in Piece and Piece in this Kirk [Church]; and if our Works be found perfect before God, or not, the Lord knows the contrary, and your own Consciences bear Witness to it; and if your Life be answerable to your Name, I leave it to your Consciences to judge, if we have not a Name that we are living, and yet are dead; and whether this be not the doleful State of the Generation that is neither cold {4} nor hot.  It is clear, the Zeal of the Glory of God, being so worn out of the Hearts of all, plainly declares the same.  But I leave this.  After he had shewed him the present State of the Kirk, at that Time, then he tells him what shall be the State of the Kirk unto the End of the World.

And, First, in a Vision of a sealed Book, containing these Acts concerning the Kirk, which none could open but the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, for it was sealed with seven Seals: Now, what was contained in these seven Seals?  This will take a larger Time to declare, than now is meet to ware upon it.

Mark always of these Things spoken, there are three Consolations to the Kirk of God; howsoever it be that she be in Tribulation, or Poverty and Affliction; and albeit it come to pass, that the Devil cast some of them in Prison, that they may be tried, and some have Tribulation ten Days, which is but a short Time; and howsoever it be, that our Adversary goes about continually like a roaring Lion, seeking whom to devour; but yet he that rides on the white Horse, with the Badge at his Belt, and the Arrows at his Side, he shall get the Victory at the End of the World; and to them that are faithful to the Death, he shall give a Crown of Life.

Mark next, suppose the Sword, the Famine, the Pest, these temporal Judgments be common to the Godly as well as to the Wicked, yet there is Consolation to the Souls of them that are slain for the Testimony of Jesus; they are lying under the Altar, and they cry with a loud Voice, Lord, how long, holy and true, doest thou not judge and avenge our Blood upon them that dwell on the Earth? Then it was said unto them, That they should rest for a little Season, until their Fellow-Servants and Brethren [that] should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. [Rev. 6.1-11.]

Mark Thirdly, the sixth Seal is opened, And there was a great Earthquake, and the Sun was as black as {5} Sackcloth of Hair, and the Moon was like Blood; And the Stars of Heaven fell to the Earth: And heaven departed away as a Scroll when it is rolled together; and every Mountain & Island were moved out of their Places: And then the Kings of the Earth, and the great Men, and rich Men, and the Captains, and the mighty Men, and every bond Man and every free Man hid themselves in Dens and Rocks of the Mountains; and said to the Mountains and Rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the Presence of him that sits on the Throne, and from the Face of the Lamb: For the great Day of his Wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? [Rev. 6.12-17.]  Then shall the Kirk of God be avenged on her Enemies; then she shall have Power over the Nations, and shall rule them with a Rod of Iron, and as the Vessels of a Potter they shall be broken; then shall the Saints of God be brought out of great Tribulation, and have their long Robes washen and made white in the Blood of the Lamb; they shall be in the Presence of the Throne of God, and serve him both Day and Night in his Temple; and he that sits on the Throne shall live among them, and he that is in the midst of the Throne shall govern them, and shall lead them to the lively Fountains of Waters, and God shall wipe away all Tears from their Eyes. [Rev. 7.]  Now, I go forward.  After this, he tells him, before this Day the Gospel shall be wonderfully restrained; And the bottomless Pit shall be opened, and the Smoke of that Pit shall arise as the Smoke of a great Furnace, and the Sun and the Air shall be made dark with that Smoke, and out of that Smoke shall come Locusts upon the Earth, and they shall have Power as the Scorpions of the Earth have, and the Pain of them shall be as the Pain of a Scorpion, when they have stung a Man.  And in these Days, Men shall seek Death and shall not find it, and shall desire to die, and Death shall fly from them. [Rev. 9.1-6.]  Then he tells two Woes that shall come upon the Earth, the one of the Antichrist, the other of the Turk, Who shall run thro’ the World and slay the third Part of Men, and shall lead {6} their great Army of twenty Times ten Thousand Horsemen of War; and there should be two Witnesses raised up, and Power should be given them to prophesy so many Days clothed in Sackcloth; and if any Man should hurt them, Fire should proceed out of their Mouth and devour their Enemies; and when they have fulfilled their Testimonies, they should be slain by the Beast that came out of the bottomless Pit; but they should rise again, and the Spirit of Life, coming up from God, should enter into them, and they should stand upon their Feet, and great Fear fall upon them that seized them; and then shall they ascend up to Heaven in a Cloud, in the Sight of their Enemies. [Rev. 9.12-11.12.]

And at last, The seventh Angel shall blow his Trumpet, and the Dead shall rise, and every Man shall receive according to his Works.  This he does, till he comes to the twelfth Chapter, and then he tells them, The Fights of the Dragon with the Woman and her Seed, that keep the Commands of her God, and kept the Testimony of Jesus Christ: Then he tells him, The two Empires of the two Beasts, Antichrist and the Turk, and the Manner of every one of them: Then he tells, The noble Company of the Lamb that stands on Mount Sion, even the hundred and forty and four Thousand, having their Father’s Name written on their Foreheads; and how he heard a Voice from Heaven like the Sound of many Waters, and as the Sound of a great Thunder; and he heard the Noise of Harpers harping with their Harps; they sung, as it were a new Song before the Throne, and no Man could learn that Song, but the hundred and forty and four Thousand, which were brought from the Earth. [Rev. 14.1-3.]  He tells what they were, saying, These are they which were not defiled with Women, for they are Virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes; and these were redeemed from among Men, being the First-Fruits to God, and to the Lamb: And in their Mouths was found no Guile; for they are without Spot before the Throne of God.  Then he tells, That another Angel flew in the Midst of Heaven, with an everlasting Gospel to preach {7} unto them which dwell on Earth; and that is the same Gospel which I preach unto you, even this, Fear God, and give Glory to him, for the Hour of his Judgment is come; and worship him that made the Heaven and the Earth, and the Sea, and the Fountains of Waters.  Then he tells, that another Angel cried, It is fallen, it is fallen, Babylon that great City, she made all the Nations to drink of the Wine of her Fornication. [Rev. 14.4-8.]  Ay, Rome, thou shalt be taken and burnt in a Furnace of Fire, and a Millstone shall be bound about thy Neck, and thou shalt be cast into the Midst of the Sea, and shalt be drowned; there thou shalt fall, and thy Fall shall make Heaven and Earth, and all the Angels and Saints to rejoice at thy Fall: Ay, God shall put it into the Hearts of the Kings to do it, we know not what Kings they are; and then the Bride shall prepare her for the Bridegroom’s coming in the Clouds. [Rev. 18.21, Rev. 17.16,17.]

Next again, of Seven Vials, he sets down again almost the same Things that he prophesied before; and now here, last of all, he lets him see the last Judgment.  Would you know then what is here?  See ye yon great Throne? Ye shall see the Judge standing on the Throne; ye shall all see both Heaven and Earth flee away from his Face; ye shall all see the Dead, great and small, and yourselves among the rest, standing before God; and ye shall all see the Books opened, and the Dead judged according to their Works, and Death and Hell casten into the Lake of Fire, even these that had their Hands in his Heart’s Blood, and these that pierced his Side with a Spear, and these that rivetted him with Nails, both Hands and Feet, they shall see it also.  The Elect shall see it, as Job says, For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the last Day upon the Earth. And tho’ after my Skin, Worms destroy this Body, yet I shall see God in my Flesh: Whom my self shall see, and my Eyes shall behold, and not another, tho’ my Reins were consumed in me. [Job 19.25-27.]  And this was his Consolation; even so {8} these very Eyes of yours, and no other, shall see with Terrour or with Joy, either to your endless Comfort, or to your endless Condemnation.  Now, what sees he? First, he sees a Throne; ye know a Throne is set for a Judge to sit on; so he sees a Throne whereon the Judge of the whole Earth is to sit; therefore he shall come to be a Judge.  He came before, at his first Coming, not to sit on a Throne, nor to be a Judge, but to be judged before Thrones and Tribunals of Men; for John says, That he sent not his Son that he should condemn the World, but that the World thro’ him might be saved. [John 3.17.]  Christ himself says, Man, who made me a Judge, or a Divider over you? [Luke 12.14.] And in another Place, The Son of Man came not to judge, but to be judged himself. [John 12.47.]  In his first Coming, he comes from high Majesty to Baseness and Humility; he came from his Father’s Glory to Shame and Ignominy; he came from a Palace to a Crib, from the Seat of his Majesty to a Tree; he came like a Lamb to be slain, and as a Saviour to save Sinners; as the Apostle says, It was a true Saying, That Christ came into the World to save Sinners, of whom I am the Chief, [1 Tim. 1.15]: Christ himself says, I came not to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repentance [Mark 2.17.]; and therefore that is the Name that the Angel gives him, when he appears to Joseph in a Dream, saying, and thou shalt call his Name Jesus, for he shall save his People from their Sins, and they shall call his Name Emmanuel, that is, God with us, our God made Flesh, our God manifested in the Flesh. [Matt. 1.21,23]  So, I say, in his first Testimony, he comes as a Saviour and Mediator between God and Man; but, in his last Coming, he shall not come as a Lamb, but as a Judge convoyed with all his Angels and Saints in Heaven; he shall come in flaming Fire, kindling the Heavens before him, and melting the Elements and Earth beneath him; he shall come with a Blast of the Trumpet, with the Arch-angel, to gather all People from the four Corners of the {9} Earth; and he shall come with a peremptor Sentence, from the which there shall be no Appellation, and of the which there shall be no Revocation ever again, or again-calling; and he shall come with his Reward in his Hand, to every Man according to his Works which he hath done in this World, be they evil, be they good.  Now, ye see he has a Throne, he has a Throne of Grace, as the Apostle to the Hebrews says, Let us go boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may receive Mercy, and find Grace in Time of Need. [Heb. 4.16.]  Now he is sitting on a Throne of Grace, that we may receive Mercy, and find Grace in Time of Need; and now he holds the Door of Mercy open, and lets in every penitent Sinner that comes; therefore I testify unto you, if ye will flee from your Sin, if ye will cast away the Works of Darkness, if ye will hate and detest all Sort of Iniquity, and if thou wilt run to the Throne of Grace now, I will assure thee, thou shalt find Mercy, and Grace in the Time of Need: So, now is the Throne of Grace and Mercy; but afterwards thou shalt see the Throne of Glory and Justice: Now is the good Shepherd seeking his lost Sheep, and finding them, to drink of the Wells of the Water of Life, and to eat of the fat Things of his own House, but afterwards, such as would not be gathered of him, he shall bind them Hand and Foot, and cast them into utter Darkness.  Now he pities them that will not come Home, as he said to Jerusalem, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! how oft would I have gathered thee, as a Hen doth her Birds under her Wings, but thou wouldst not! Behold, your Habitation shall be made desolate.  So, woe to the Souls that repine and refuse to be fetched within the sweet and loving Arms of the Son of God, even these bloody Arms which were stretched out upon a Tree.  Now, discern, I pray you, betwixt his first Coming and his last Coming; for now is the Time of Grace, and now is the Spirit of Grace offered, and now is the Throne of Grace {10} set up, and now is the Rain-bow, which is the Sign of the Covenant of Life, round about the Throne, and now the twelve Ports of the new Jerusalem are standing open, that all may come in; therefore, woe to the Soul that shall sit till this Time of Grace pass over, and will not come in in Time. [Rev. 4.3; 21.12.]

But I will go forward:  Now, ye see two Things in that Throne, the one is a great Throne, the other is a white Throne.  Let Kings keep Silence of their Thrones, and speak of this Throne.  O ye Kings! will ye look to the Heavens above you, and see that white Cloud, and upon the Cloud one standing like the Son of Man, having upon his Head a golden Crown, and in his Hand a sharp Sickle, who shuts his sharp Sickle in the Earth, and cuts down the Vine of the Vineyards of the Earth, and casts them into the great Wine-press of the Wrath of God; so he calls it a great Throne.  Solomon’s Throne was great which he made of Ivory, and had six Steps, and twelve Lions, two on every Step, and the Queen of the South was astonished when she saw it; and it is said in the Canticles [3.11], Come forth, O Daughter of Zion! and behold King Solomon with the Crown wherewith his Mother crowned him in the Day of his Marriage, and in the Day of the Gladness of his Heart.  But will ye come out, ye Daughters of Zion, and see here another Throne nor [than] Solomon’s, another Crown nor [than] his Crown!  It is a great Throne, so that all the Monarchs’ Thrones under Heaven, what are they in Comparison with this Throne?  Nothing. Therefore no Wonder that the twenty-four Elders take their own Crowns, and cast them down before his Throne, and it is no Wonder that they fall down before him that sits on the Throne, and worship him that lives for evermore, saying, Thou art worthy to receive Glory, Honour, and Power, for thou hast created all Things, and for thy Will’s Sake they are created. [Rev. 4.11.]  O that the Men of the World saw this Throne!  And, O that we did see the {11} Greatness of the Majesty of his Throne!

Now he calls it great, because of him that sits on it; great, because of them that stand about it; great, because of them that shall be judged there; and, last of all, great, because of the Judgment itself.  Now, who sits on it?  O! the Judge of the whole World! God himself, that infinite Essence that Men and Angels have borrowed their Being from; even he, whose glorious Face the Seraphims and Cherubims dow not [cannot] behold for the Brightness thereof; and therefore they have Wings to cover their Faces, because they dow not [cannot] bide to see him, much less so, then, can any mortal Man see his Face and live; he that rides on his white Horse, and tramples under Foot all his Enemies, and treads them in the Wine-press of his Wrath without the City [Rev. 19.11-15; 14.20]: Therefore rejoice all ye whose Garments are made white in the Blood of the Lamb, for his Throne shall not terrify you, because of the Judge that sits thereon; for he is thy Brother, thy Advocate, and thy Saviour.  O blessed for evermore is the Soul of the Righteous, and of such as are reconciled with the great God, before he come to sit on this Throne.

Now, I said, it was great in respect of him that sits thereon; next, in respect of them that stand about it.  Ye see a Judge has his Assizers [Jury] that sit in Judgment with him, and consent to his Sentence; so this great Judge has his Assizers, for there is not one of his Angels shall be left in Heaven, but all shall stand about this Throne, and all the Saints on Earth shall be caught up in the Air, and they shall all have Thrones set about his Throne.  O the fairest Parliament that ever was in the World! O! behold the King crowned with many Crowns, standing in the Midst, and all the King’s Servants with their Crowns on their Heads, and also the Saints with Palms in their Hands, sitting on Thrones about that Throne.

Thirdly, Great is this Throne, because great is the Number of Persons that shall be there.  All Men and {12} Women in the World must be judged here; there is never a Reprobate that ever took Life, but they shall be judged here, and all the Elect and Saints of God shall be judged here also, (so fair is this Parliament) six thousand Years’ Generations shall all stand there waiting to receive an eternal and final Judgment.

Last of all, Great is this Throne, because great shall be the Judgment that shall come forth from this Throne.  Lords of the Session think their Judgments great, but come out here, and see to whom the new City Jerusalem in Heaven shall be given, and who shall be cast into the Lake of Fire.  Now, compare all these together, and see if this Throne be not great: great is he that sits on the Throne, even the Prince of Life, and God of Glory, and the Judge of all the World; great is his Synod, even all the Elect Angels and Saints, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the World; for ye that are in Christ shall be glorified in the Clouds, and the Sight of your Glory shall aggrege [aggravate or make more grave] the Torment of the Reprobates, because they might have had it, and would not take it; and then you shall rule them with a Rod of Iron, and as a Potter’s Vessel they shall be broken; and great is the Number of them that shall be judged; for let all Flesh prepare them for it, even Kings and Emperors; these that wore many Crowns on the Earth must appear Mother-naked before the Throne: Alexander, thou worest many Crowns, conqueredst many Nations, but yet thou must stand up naked as thou wast born, and thou must render a Reckoning of thy Conquests.

But I leave this.  Again, you see this Throne is white.  What means this Whiteness? It is Innocency or Righteousness, and full of shining Brightness, of an unspeakable Joy.  Innocent and righteous, how so?  Because the Judge is white, innocent and righteous; all his Assizers [Jury] that shall sit round about him, they are white, innocent, white and righteous; all his Citations, Summonses and Convictions, Sentences {13} and Executions are innocent and righteous, so all is white.  The Judge, the unspotted, innocent and undefiled Lamb of God, sitting on his Throne of Justice, and ordained Deputy of his Father, to judge both the Quick and the Dead, he in whose Heart was never found Guile; therefore Abraham said, Shall not the Judge of the World judge righteously? So this Judge is white, innocent, and he is bright and glorious; Peter, James, and John, saw him white on the Mount Tabor, when he was transfigured, and his Face shined as the Sun, and his Raiment white as the Light; and when Peter said, It is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make three Tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias, Matt. 17.1,2,3.  Ay, Peter, but this shall be a whiter Appearing, and thou shalt think it better to be with him here.  Ay, Lord, it is true, white wast thou upon Mount Tabor, but whiter shalt thou be in the Clouds.

He is white again, in respect of his Citations.  O! that our Hearts were ravished with the Consideration of thy righteous and just citing and summoning of all Men, when thou shalt cause the Earth, Grave, Hell, and the Seat, and all Places, thrust out of them all their Dead; just shalt thou be in glorifying the Souls and Bodies of them that glorify thee on the Earth, and just shalt thou be in glorifying thyself, by tormenting the Souls and Bodies of them that dishonour thee on Earth.

He is white in respect of his Accusations, for there shall be nothing read in thy Dittay [Indictment], but that which shall be found written either in one Leaf of thy Conscience or other; there the Sins of thy Conception, there the Sins of thy Youth, there the Sins of thy Ignorance, there the Sins against the Light of thy Conscience, and there the Sins against the Law, and there the Sins against the Gospel, and all shall be presented to thy Conscience: O! well is the Soul and Conscience, that dare lift up the Head with Rejoicing, and {14} can say, Thou Lamb of God, that takest away the Sins of the World, thou tookst away my Sins when thou wast on the Tree. [John 1.29. 1 Pet. 2.24.]  And can any Body tell how ye will compear before his Throne that was never cleansed with the blood of Jesus?  O! That Blackness and Darkness which is abiding that Soul, which never yet ran to the Blood of the Lamb, to make itself white in it! So the Raising of all, the Compearing of all, the Accusation of all, the Conviction of all, shall be just, and God shall be glorified in all.

There is also the Absolution of the Righteous, and the Condemnation of the Wicked; and therefore the Throne is called white, because of the Innocency and Righteousness of the Judge.  Now, Brethren, I will go no further at this Time than this that follows or remains to be spoken of the Majesty and Terrour of the Judge sitting on his Throne: and him that sat on it. [Rev. 20.11.]  Many shall sit on Thrones in that Day, but one shall sit above all the Rest, for the Saints shall be caught up in the Air, and shall all sit on Thrones, and give out Sentence both of Absolution and Condemnation, and they shall say, Hallelujah, Salvation and Glory and Power be to the Lord our God, for true and righteous are his Judgments. [Rev. 19.1,2.]  I could never yet rightly consider the Majesty of this Judge. O Heavens! what aileth thee to flee from the Face of this Judge? O Earth! what aileth thee to flee, and why art thou chased away, and never seen again? What ails thee, O Heavens! that never sinned? and, O Earth! that never sinned neither? for they had never Understanding to be capable of a Law, nor to be subject to keep a Law.  What means this? O! but I must leave this; for who can but wonder at this!  Yet I will tell you the Cause, you and I, and the Generations before, that this Firmament has seen, and this Earth seen or born, since the first Day that God made the Earth, and established this Heaven and Earth, and since that Day that Adam eat of the forbidden Tree, since that Day, Heaven and Earth have {15} been Eye-Witnesses of our Sins, and subject to Vanity, and since that Day, they have been defiled with our Iniquities, and since that Time, they have been subject to Bondage and Corruption, and therefore they groan with us also, and travail with Pain together until this present [time]; and therefore, in that great Day, they dow not [cannot] abide the Face of the Judge. [Rom. 8.19-22.]

Now, what is the Fruit ye should make of this? I thank my God that I preach unto you so sure a Gospel, even the Oracles of the Eternal God; the Earth and the Heavens shall pass away, but this Word and Oracle shall never pass away; therefore it is not a doubtsome Message that I carry unto you, for it is surer than the Heavens, and surer than the Earth, and these Eyes of yours, that have seen both the Heavens and the Earth, shall see the Truth of this spoken here. O that the Lord would fill my Heart, my Belly with this Verity, that I might eat it, and drink it, and feed upon it continually, and that he would fill me with the Spirit of Exhortation, that I might exhort you to meditate on this Truth both Day and Night, that the Remembrances of that Day might never go out of your Hearts.  O! that you would do it, even for his Sake, that left you his Heart’s Blood to slocken [quench] that Fire which will burn both the Heavens and the Earth: Therefore hear, hear. What should you hear? Things of the last Importance.  Is Hell, is Heaven, is the Terrour of that day of any Importance?  And this is not the Blessing of Mount Gerizim [Deut. 11.26-32], but that everlasting Blessing, which the Judge of all the World shall pronounce out of his Mouth, saying, Ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you, before the Foundation of the World. [Matt. 25.34.]  And it is nothing to the Curse of Mount Ebal, but it is that everlasting Curse and Malediction which the Son of God shall pronounce, saying, Depart from me, ye Cursed, into everlasting Fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels. [Matt. 25.41.]  And what shall I say to you?  This Day is coming, and the Lord {16} is preparing himself to come down thro’ the Clouds, to sit on a great white Throne, and the Arch-angel is putting the Trumpet to his Mouth, and he is near to the blowing of it, and the rest of the Angels are but waiting when they shall give the last Shout, Rise, Dead, and come to Judgment; the Bridegroom is coming, and the Heaven and the Earth is waiting when the Lord shall come in his Glory, in flaming Fire, to burn them up.

Now, Brethren, what shall we do then?  It is but this one Thing that I will charge you with, hear what I am to say to you, I bear the Message of God, and I preach the Gospel that shall judge you; and I am here sent of God to tell you, what is his Will towards you; therefore I charge you all before God, and his Son Christ Jesus, every Man and Woman, let this be your Occupation this Day, turn over the Leaves of your Conscience, and see there what is the Dittay [Indictment] that thou hast pinned up against thyself, since the Day that thou wast born; and look on thy Sins before the Lord, and come and spread them before the Judge, and crave Pardon of them, now in the Day of Grace, for he is ready to forgive thee and thy Sins, were they never so great; for ay [ever] the reder that thy Soul has been, the Virtue of his Blood shall appear the greater in cleansing thee from thy Sins; Therefore let none of you scar[e] at the Greatness of your Sins; for here I testify unto you, that if any of you be condemned, it shall not be for your Sins, but it shall be for Contempt of that Blood which shall condemn you.  O God! full of Mercy and Goodness, and of fatherly Care and Providence, and never a greater Providence found I in my Lifetime, than I found this last Time in my Journey, I thank my God for it; and here I avow, if this Blood of mine should go for it, it was acceptable Service to God we did that Day; I know there were many that sent up their Prayers to God for the Maintenance of his Liberty, {17} I am sure the Lord heard you; for I say to you, the Room was never that I came to, but I found the Lord meeting me there, and confirming me that all was well and acceptable to him; so that I never found sweeter Providence since I was born; I see the Lord’s Hand is not shortened.  O Scotland! Oh that thou wouldst repent, and mourn for the Contempt of this so great a Light that has shined in thee! then thou shouldst see as glorious a Day on God’s poor Kirk [Church] within this Land, as ever was seen in any Kirk before from the Beginning; then the Lord should be strong, and glorious, and wonderful in all the Hearts of his own: What is it to him to run sixteen or eighteen Score of Miles to London, and then run to the Hearts of Kings, Princes, and Nobles of the Land, and humble them, and subject them to the Crown and Kingdom of Jesus Christ; but, let them think of it what they will, I know who has approven of us, for it is the running of the Gospel through the whole Land, and it is that the Net of Christ may be spread over all, that, if it were possible, we may fang [catch or pull] in a World in it, that they might not perish; it is that which we seek, and when I look to the Eternity of Wrath that is abiding the Wicked of this World, then I may say, Who would not pity a World of Sinners? But I leave this, and I will give God the Praise of his own Glory, that he can begin and he can perfect his own Work in you: Therefore this is my Petition to God, that ye may all be presented blameless before him in that great Day. [Jude v. 24, etc.]  Therefore I beseech you all, for Christ’s Sake, that every one of you would come in Time, by speedy Repentance, and that you would faik [grasp] up Christ in the Arms of your Souls, and that ye would take a Fill of his Flesh and Blood, that ye may never hunger and thirst any more; and in like Manner, he may know you in that great Day to be his own Sheep, marked with his own Blood.  Will ye have any Pleasure at his Coming, when ye have eaten {18} and drunken, and taken your Pleasures here, and then shall be flung in Hell hereafter?  So, I would beseech you in all Lenity and Meekness of Mind for Christ’s Cause, ye would not delay at least to mint [strive] at Repentance; and if ye cannot get your Hearts melted as ye would, yet run to God, and say, Father, have Mercy upon me, Father, forgive me, and cause me to repent; Father, send down thy Spirit to soften my Heart.  Now, if ye would do this ye would be welcome to him; for I assure you, he delights to shew Mercy on poor penitent Sinners, that would repent and hunger and thirst for Righteousness. [Matt. 5.6.]  Now, I say no more now, but I recommend you all to him that is able to give you Repentance, and Remission of Sins in the Blood of his Son Jesus Christ [Acts 5.31]: To whom, with the Father, and with the Holy Ghost, be all Honour, Praise, and Glory, for ever and ever.  Amen.


SERMON II.

The PREFACE.

Hold your Eyes upon the Son of God, who was sitting on the Throne of his Grace when he gave this Revelation, and who only can open your Eyes to see this Mystery; and ask his own Spirit, that only can make this Truth powerful in your Conscience; and pray that this blessed Spirit may convey this Truth into your Heart, and that it may be a Lamp and a Lantern of Light to let you see within the Clouds, into the Glory whereunto every one of you that are his own must go.

REVEL. CHAP. XX. VER. 12.

I saw the Dead, both small and great, stand before God, &c.

THIS is the Vision (as I shewed you) of that last and universal, and of that eternal Judgment, {19} which John saw after he had seen all the Battles, all the Warfare, all the Dolors, and all the Victories of the Saints here on Earth, here beneath, and which shall be the last and greatest Comfort, as the Ground of all the Patience of the Saints; therefore for this Cause the Son of God sits on his Throne of Grace, and lets John see all the Form of that last and universal and everlasting Judgment, that the Saints travelling here through manifold Tribulations, and are continually without Fear, that they may know there is a Day of Harvest, and Time coming when they shall rest from all their Labours, and they shall be convoyed to endless Glory; for, as the Apostle says, If in this Life only we have Hope in Christ, we are of all Men the most miserable.  Therefore this is the surest Comfort the Saints have, that they know that that Day is before them; for when they look to that Life, they are comforted; because they know this Heaven shall pass away, and they wait for a new Heaven, and for a new Earth, Justice shall be for evermore; and when they look to the Wicked, that is reckoned red-wood in the Sins, then they think with themselves, O miserable Wretch! there is an endless Wrath abiding thee that thou believes not; and when they look to the rest of the Saints, their Fellow-Brethren, and see some banished, and some persecuted, some put in Prison, some slain; and when they hear the Voice of God sounding again in their Ears, saying, Fear not, little Flock, for it is your Father’s Will to give you a Kingdom [Luke 12.32.]: And when they remember that fair Crown of eternal Life and everlasting Glory, which shall be set on their Heads, then they have great Consolation in their Souls; then they shall say, Well am I, for the Day of my Refreshing is drawing near, when all the Saints shall be put in their Possession, looking for Joy; then we will get our Portion among the rest;  By the Contrair, the News that came to Nabal, that David was coming and his {20} Servants armed against him, and he would not leave so meikle [much] as one to piss against the Wall, this News was fearful to Nabal, for they gart [caused] the Heart of him fail him, and he died ten Days thereafter; but this News was not so fearful to him, as the News concerning the latter Day shall be to them that are not reconciled to God.  O dreadful and fearful shall these Tidings be to thy Heart, when it is told thee of that Day! for when there shall be Signs in the Sun, and in the Moon, and in the Stars, upon the Earth Trouble among the Nations, with Perplexity, and when the Sea and Waters shall roar, then Men’s Hearts shall fail them for Fear [Luke 21.25,26]; for they shall not know where to run; to God they dare not, because they have sinned against him; to the Saviour they dare not, for they have trampled his Blood under Foot; to the Angels or Saints they dare not, because they are Assizers [Jury] to the Judge: Where shall they go then? I know not: But he says to his own, Look up, and lift up your Heads, for the Day of your Redemption draws near. So ye see this Day must be full of Consolation to the Saints, and full of Terrour to all them that never found Peace in that Blood.

Now, in this Vision, he says, he saw (the Spirit of the Son open all your Eyes, that ye may see the Things which he saw)  First, The Judge.  Secondly, The Manner of the Judgment.  And Thirdly, The Execution of the Judgment, both upon the Godly and upon the Reprobate.  He saw the Judge, and he describes him as he saw.  First, The Throne that he sat on.  And Secondly, The awful Face of him that he saw sitting on the Throne; for he is coming to Judgment, and that Day this shall be the proper Work of the Son of God to judge; therefore there is a Throne set in the Clouds, and we shall be caught up in the Clouds, to meet the Lord in the Air; so this Throne shall be in the Air, and in the Clouds.  He saw this Throne was white, for white is the Lord that sat on {21} it; white is the Saints and Angels that stand round about it; innocent shall the Judge be, and innocent shall the Members of that Parliament be.  Just shall he be in the Absolution of all the Believers, and just shall he be in the Condemnation of the Reprobate; just in thy Accusation, for nothing shall be laid to thy Charge, but that which thy Conscience shall say is true; and just in thy Conviction and Condemnation; and the Sentence shall be just, for suppose it be eternal, suppose it be hopeless, suppose it be remediless, and in so great Severity, yet the Conscience of the Reprobate shall have nothing to say against it, but the Lord is just in thy Condemnation; therefore ye read in Matt. 22.12, That the Man who wanted the Wedding-Garment, he was speechless, and had nothing to say against it, wherefore he might not be taken and bound Hand and Foot, and cast into utter Darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of Teeth, so white is his Throne; for there shall no Wrong be done to any in that Day; the Child of a Year old, and of a Month old, yea, the untimely Birth, if it go to Hell, God shall be just in their Condemnation.  And the Throne was great, for great is the Judge that shall sit on that Throne, even God that made both Heaven and Earth, and fills all with his Presence; and great are the Company that shall stand about the Throne, even innumerable Angels, and all the Saints that ever took Life shall sit round about this Throne; and great is the Number of them that shall be judged there, even all the Devils and Reprobates shall stand on the Earth; then it shall be seen many called but few chosen, [Matt. 20.16; 22.14]; and many then shall be flung into that endless Fire. And great is the Sentence that shall be pronounced, the Sentence of Eternity shall not be called back again.  This much for the Throne.

The next Thing whereby he is described, is by his awful Countenance; and I saw one that sat on it; there was no more but one, for this Judge has no Equal; {22} and albeit there shall be many Thrones and many Judges, yet there shall be one above them all; so there shall be many Judges, yet there shall be but one Herald that shall give out the Sentence.  I grant there shall not be a Saint of a Night old, or of a Month old, but they shall all subscribe to the Condemnation of the Reprobate.  Now he names him not, who this one was, but he may well be judged by his Majesty; therefore I judge him by his Power, that the Heavens may fold, and the Earth flee away from the Sight of his Countenance; judge him by his awful Face, and all-seeing Eye, that sees no Cleanness in the Heavens, nor in the Earth, nor in the Sea, and therefore they flee away from before him, and their Place is found no more; it is true, there shall others be in their Room, but this old Heaven, this old Earth, this Sun, and this old Firmament, which was compelled to look upon Men and Women when they sinned, because of the Lord’s Ordinance, that he decreed it should stand so long, and because they must be obedient to the Lord’s Statute, this old Heaven, and this old Earth, and this old Sea shall see no more; for the Heavens and the Earth which are now, says Peter [2 Pet. 3.7], are kept by the same Word in store, and reserved to the Fire in the Day of Judgment, and of the Destruction of the ungodly Men;  so ye see this Heaven and this Earth, which ye see now, must be burnt in a Fire; but there shall be a new Heavens and a new Earth, a glorious World to them that get Leave to see it, and to look upon the Lamb for evermore.

Men would not endanger an Eternity for a present World, if they believed that this World, and all that is in it should be burnt in a Fire; but believe not, if ye will; here I testify that both Heaven and Earth shall one Day be set on Fire, and it shall burn all the Riches thereof; as Silver, Gold, Jewels, and costly Wares, and their Fair Palaces and great Buildings, yet ye see, shall be set on Fire; yea, the King himself shall not have so much as a Cote-house [cottage] {23} to set his Head in, more than the poorest Beggar that goes from Door to Door.  This much for the Judge.

The next Thing he saw, was the Judgment.  (I will yet beg the Spirit of the Lord Jesus, that your Eyes may be opened to see this Judgment) I will wait on the Lord; and I believe none of you who are ordained to eternal Life, but either at one Time or another, the Spirit shall make this Judgment visible to your Conscience.  I remember what the Apostle to the Hebrews 6.1, says in thir [these] Words, Therefore, leaving the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ, let us be led forward unto Perfection; not laying again the Foundation of Repentance from dead Works, and of Faith towards God, of the Doctrine of Baptism, and laying on of Hands, and of the Resurrection of the Dead, and of eternal Judgment: Ye see he calls this eternal Judgment, one of the Points of Religion, and one of the foundamental Stones, that every Christian should lay nearest their Heart to hold up the Building of Christ; for if thou do not this, thou shalt never build a House which shall be able to abide the Trial of the Storm; therefore as many of you as have not laid that Groundstone in your Hearts, ye have not yet come to the Grounds of Christianity.  He calls it an eternal Judgment, because it is not a Judgment that is to endure a designed time, or the Space of threescore or fourscore Years, which is a Man’s Life-time, nor for a thousand or ten thousand Years neither, but it shall endure for the Space of an Eternity.  Now there are three Things that John sees in this Judgment, and mark them in your Books, you should mark this eternal Judgment.

He sees the Compearance of all before God, for ye shall all compear in that Judgment.  Secondly, He sees the Process that shall be laid, and so go before the final Judgment of all, which is the Manifestation of all before God, when you have to compear before that Tribunal; for the Apostle says, We must all appear {24} before the Judgment-Seat of Christ, that every Man may receive the Things done in the Body, whether it be Good or Evil.  So we must all compear, and therefore it is called a Day of Revelation of the just Judgment of God [Rom. 2.5]; a Day wherein God shall produce the Secrets of all Hearts; a Day wherein Men and Women, Old and Young, shall be made manifest to all; yea, there shall not be a Pin in thy Heart, but it shall be revealed in that Day.  Now the third Thing is the Judgment itself; so then, thir [these] are the Things that I have to speak of.

First, Of the Compearance of all; and here I bear you Witness before God, and Jesus Christ that shall judge the Quick and the Dead, that ye shall all appear before the Judgment-Seat of Christ.  Secondly, I am to speak of the Manifestation of all, how your Consciences shall be made open in the View of all Men, and Angels, of the Saints, and of the Devils.  The third Thing is the Judgment itself. I have to speak of all this, as the Lord will furnish Grace, (my merciful God, lift up all your Hearts, and draw them within the Light of Heaven, to let you see thir [these] Things) O! who will not tremble to think on the last Judgment! O secure World! what art thou doing? I remember Jeremiah was made to cry on the Earth thrice, to hear the Word of the Lord, when Men would not hear it; What may we do? Will ye not hear this Word of the Lord? Then, O Earth, Earth, Earth, Pillars, Hills, Stones, Birds, hear ye this; What should we hear? We must all compear before the Judgment-Seat of Christ.  O this Compearance! when the naked Conscience and Body of the Reprobate shall stand before him that sees all Things, and before all his Angels, and Saints; and when he shall see the Heavens, and the Earth burning about him and an Eternity of Wrath abiding him underneath, wherein he must be casten, and there remain eternally.  O who can tell the Terrour of that doleful {25} Conscience!  But I leave this, and come to the Particulars.  First, he says, I saw the Dead, both small and great, standing before God.  Secondly, He saw the Books opened, and one other Book, which is the Book of Life.  Thirdly, He saw the Dead judged of these Things that were written in the Book, according to their Works.  And, Fourthly, he saw Death and Hell casten into the Lake of Fire  O! what means all this?  All this Judgment shall be visible, (hear ye what I say) this eternal Judgment, whereat ye must compear, and whereat your naked Conscience shall be manifest, and whereat ye shall be judged according to your Works done in this Body, and whereat ye shall receive your final Sentence, either of Salvation or Damnation; all this shall be visible, and your Eyes shall see it, and ye shall all see the Judge coming in the Clouds; and the Angels said to the Disciples, Why stand ye gazing into Heaven? This Jesus, who is taken up from you in Heaven, shall so come as ye have seen him go into Heaven. Ye saw him go visibly from you, and ye shall see him visibly come down in the Clouds; therefore John says in the Revelation [1.7], Behold he comes in the Clouds, and every Eye shall see him, even these that pierced him through; and all the Kindreds of the Earth shall wail for him. For these Eyes of thine shall see the Lord Jesus coming in the Clouds; yea, every Eye shall see him, even these that pierced him through, and they that put their bloody Hands in his Side; but then they shall wail and weep for him, and before him, when they cannot mend themselves.  O! Woe, Wrath, Vengeance for evermore to them that make no Conscience to rive [tear] the Heart of the Son of God with their Sins, and will not repent, but lie sleeping in their Security; for they shall have a doleful Waking: They that condemned him shall see him with their Eyes; for when the High-Priest adjured him, saying, I charge thee, by the living God, to tell me if thou be the Christ the Son of God? Jesus said to him, Thou hast {26} said it; nevertheless I say unto you, that hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the Right-Hand of God, of his Power, and coming in the Clouds of Heaven. [Matthew 26.64; Mark 14.62.]  He is charged here with an Oath, upon the Pain that he blaspheme not the living God, to tell the Truth, if he be the Son of God; he may give an Answer now, for he never gave an Answer till he was charged, therefore he concludes with himself, I will glorify that glorious Name of my Father, by the which I am charged, and I will give an Answer.  Now, woe to that Soul and Conscience, that being charged, by that glorious Name of the living God, to give a Confession of the Truth, and will not utter the Verity.  What says he, Hereafter shall you see the Son of Man sitting at the Right-Hand of the Power of God, and coming in the Clouds of Heaven.  When Caiaphas’ Eyes of his rotten Carcase, and doleful Soul, shall be compelled to see the Lord coming in the Clouds, and sitting at the Right-Hand of the Power of God.

So this is the first, the Judge shall be visible; for he shall come in great Glory, and in flaming Fire; that Fire shall ye see, and the Heavens, and the Earth trembling and shaking out the Stars out of the Firmament, even as a Tree shakes the Leaves thereof, and ye shall see the Sun burnt in a Low [blaze], and the Earth set on Fire, and ye shall see the Throne, and he that sits on it; and ye shall see all the Elect, Angels and Saints, round about this Throne; ye shall see the Dead, both small and great, stand before God; ye shall see the Books opened, and the Book of Life also, and the Dead judged according to their Works; and ye shall see the Reprobate casten into the Lake of Fire; and ye shall see the Elect taken into Heaven; and if ye be of that Number, yourselves shall go in among the rest: So ye shall see all, for all shall be seen in that great Day, and shall be visible.

Now, what saw he then?  O! he saw the Dead, both small and great standing before God.  But what {27} shall become of the Living then, shall they not compear? Yes; but because there is a greater Controversy of the Dead, therefore he makes only Mention of them that are dead; for if the Dead that are rotten in their Graves shall rise and compear, there is no Question but the Living, that shall be left alive, they must compear; and if the Sea, and the Grave dow [can] not keep their Dead, but they must thrust them out; and if Hell cannot keep the tormented Souls there, What then shall keep thee that art living in that Day? And if the Dead must be thrust out of the Womb of all the Creatures of God, what then can the Living do?  The Apostle says, We which live and remain at the Coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them that are asleep. [1 Thes. 4.15.]  So there shall be a Generation living, a Fleece upon the Earth, and it shall be clad with Men and Women, as ever it was since the Beginning; for as in the Days of Noah, before the Flood came, they did eat, drink, marry, and give in Marriage, unto the Day that Noah entered into the Ark, and they knew nothing till the Flood came and took them all away, so also shall the Coming of the Son of Man be.  Likewise the Apostle Paul says, Behold, I shew you a secret Thing, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed [1 Cor. 15.51.]  As if he would say, All the Souls and Bodies of Men and Women, in that Day, shall not die; but instead of dying, there shall be changing; the changing of the Reprobate shall be of the Mortality of his doleful Body into Immortality most doleful.  There shall also be a Change of the Elect, for their mortal and corruptible Bodies, shall put on Immortality and Incorruption, that their glorious Souls may dwell in glorious Bodies, and therein may glorify God eternally; and they shall never be weary nor tire; likewise the Fire shall not get Leave to consume altogether the incorruptible Bodies and Souls of the Reprobate, for they shall still be dying, but never dead: So in this Compearing, he saw the Dead, now, much more the {28} Living; but the Living shall not prevent the Dead; that is, they that shall be rotten in the Grave, shall be gathered out of the Grave, and shall compear before them that shall be living, for the Dead shall be first up.

So the rising shall be very sudden, and there will be no Time of Repentance; two shall be in the Fields, the one shall be taken, and the other shall be refused; two grinding in the Mill, the one shall be taken, and the other shall be refused; and, in that Day, he that is upon the House, and has his Stuff in the House, let him not come down to take it out; and he that is in the Field, let him not return back to that which he left behind him; for it shall be sudden, and in such short Space, that they shall not get Time to do any Thing.  The Apostle says, That we shall be changed in a Moment, [1 Cor. 15.52]; a Moment is soon done; and, he says again, in the twinkling of an Eye, that is set down too. And yet the Dead is up before the Living; I saw the Dead, both great and small, [Rev. 20.12,] no Manner of Men and Women excepted; there Old and Young, and the Child that thou parted with, if ever it took Life, shall be up in that Day; the King and Subject, the Master and the Servant, the Rich and the Poor, all shall stand up and compear before God in that Day.  Again, he says, I saw them stand; such as had Thrones to sit on, shall stand and wait, either till they be caught within the Air, and come into Heaven with the Lord, or else they shall be waiting on the Earth till they receive their final Sentence of Condemnation.  Again, he says, Before God; it is true, they shall be before the Heaven, and before the Earth, burning in a fair Low [blaze], they shall be before the Angels and before the Saints, and before the wicked and malicious Spirits; but this is more, standing before God.  It is true, the Son of Man shall be Judge, for himself hath said, Verily, I say unto you, the Hour is coming, and now is, when the Dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God, and they that hear it {29} shall live.  For as the Father hath Life in himself, so hath the Son, and he hath given him power to execute Judgment, in that he is the Son of Man [John 5.26,27]: So, it is true, he is the Son of Man, even as he is Man, he shall be sitting on a Throne to judge the whole World; but he is more than the Son of Man, for that same Man is God, and the Glory of God shall shine in his Humanity, so that all shall see him, as God, and they shall all stand before God;—this much for the Compearing.

Now, I come to the Process, And the Books were opened; then another Book, which was the Book of Life. [Rev. 20.12.]  First, He sees many Books, and the last is but one Book in the singular Number; What means this?  First, There is the Book of the Lord’s Remembrance, wherein the Lord has registrate all thy Thoughts enduring thy whole Lifetime: As David says, For in thy Book were all Things written, which in Continuance were fashioned, when there were none of them before. [Psalm 139.16.] Likewise, Mal. 3, says, The Lord hearkened and heard, and a Book of Remembrance before him was written for them that feared the Lord, and called upon his Name. Ye see there is a Book, wherein the Lord has written the faithful Register, and Ways of all Men and Women that ever were in the World; and it shall be first casten up; it is called, the Book of the Lord’s Remembrance, not that the Lord can forget any Thing, but to assure thee, that there is not an idle Word that proceeds out of thy Mouth, nor a wandring Cogitation imagined in thy Heart, but all is put up in the Book of his Remembrance; for the Register of all Men’s Lives shall be written in this Book.

Next, there is the Book of thy own Conscience; so there is none of you, but ye have a Book within you, wherein there is registrated all the Thoughts, Words and Deeds, that ever thou hadst since thou camest into the World: So every one of us has our own Books, and they shall be brought forth and opened {30} also, and thir [these] two Books, the Book of God’s Remembrance, and the Book of their own Conscience shall be compared together; and as there are two Books, or two Registers, so there are two Notars, that has the Pen in their Hand, and are continually writing the whole Register of thy Life, and all are recorded in these two Registers: The one Book is God’s everlasting Remembrance, the other Book is thy own Conscience: There are two Scribes, the one is the All-seeing Eye of God looking on thee continually, the other is the Light of thy own Conscience, that warns thee of all thy Sins, and watches over thee continually; he is the Notar, he shall be thy Notar, he shall be thy Accuser, he shall be the Witness against thee, he shall be thy Judge; and if it be not prevented in Mercy, he shall be thy Currier.  It is said, thir [these] Books were opened; now, were they closed before? It is true, some goes with their Books closed in their Bodies to the Grave, and their Souls to Hell; some, again, goes as Judas did, with a Leaf open, and a Line of it red, I have sinned in betraying innocent Blood; and so, with that red and bloody Sentence, the Body of him went to the Grave, and the Soul of him to Hell: So some has had their Books opened before, and some has never had them opened; but, however it is, they shall be opened in that Day.  First, The Book of the Lord’s Remembrance shall be opened and read; and next, The Book of thy own Conscience, and thir [these] two being compared together, shall agree in every Thing.  Thirdly, He sees another Book, yea, indeed it is another nor [than] any of them; it is called here the Book of Life; and in the next Chapter, it is called the Lamb’s Book of Life; this Book has the Names of none written in it, but of these that were ordained to eternal Life, and shall follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes, and shall reign with him for evermore; and therefore it is called the Book of Life:  But wherefore is it opened?  There is a fair Order kept here, visible {31} Things are brought out.  First, Two visible Books are brought out and read; for there it shall be seen what is written of thee concerning thy whole Life: Now, the Sentence will not yet pass upon that, but this other Book must be brought out before the Sentence be given out;  What is in that other Book?  The everlasting Decree of God’s Election shall be brought out and looked on and there it shall be seen, whose Names were put up in the Book of Life.  So ye see there are three Books brought out and opened, the Book of God’s Remembrance, and the Book of thy own Conscience, and they shall agree together;—but in the Book of Life, which is the third Book, shall be found written, the Good-will of God to them that of Purpose he hath chosen to eternal Life;—and thou that art the Child of God, shalt find these three Things written in the Book of thy Conscience.

[How to try your case, and either  (1) Undeceive your sleeping heart of corruption, or (2) Attain infallible Assurance of your personal Salvation.]

First, Thy Calling, consisting of thy Conjunction with the Son of God by Faith and Repentance.  Secondly, Thou shalt find thy Justification, that is, the Remission of thy Sins in his Blood.  Thirdly, Thou shalt find written there the Image of the Son of God drawn on thy Heart; so before the Sentence come forth, there shall be another Book opened, and it shall be seen, not only that thou art called, justified, and sanctified, but also, that thou art ordained to this Kingdom before the World was made. [Eph. 1.4; 2 Tim. 1.9; Rom. 8.29,30.]  Likewise the Reprobate shall have three Things written in his Conscience.  First, That if he was called, he came not, or if he came, he wanted the Wedding-Garment.  Secondly, That he was never justified, nor forgiven in the Blood of the Lamb.  And, last of all, he shall see his Sins written there; and then ere the Sentence be given out, the other Book shall be casten up, and he shall see that his Name was never written in the Book of Life; the Lord shall say, “There the Man that I past by in my everlasting Decree.” Mark, I pray, the Order, the Book of Life was not opened {32} first, to see if thy Name was put up there; so, would thou know if thy Name be put up in the Book of Life? Look first in the Book of thy own Conscience, and look what is written there;—now, if God has written thy Name in the Book of Life, thou shalt know by this; see the Order that the Lord keeps in that Day, to bring every one to the Knowledge of their Election or Reprobation, for thou mayst not use another Form of Process, nor [than] the Lord uses.  First, Thou compears, then Books are brought, the Lord brings his Book, and thou brings thy Book, even the Register of thy Heart and Conscience, and both thir [these] Books were opened, ere ever the Book of Life was opened; therefore, as many of you as would have this Consolation granted, and would know what is written in Heaven of you; then rush not into the Counsel of God at the first, but go into thy own Heart, and look what is written there; for according to the Things that are written in thy own Heart, so it is written in Heaven; how then shalt thou know if thy Name be written in Heaven in the Book of Life or not?  The Apostle tells you, in thir [these] Words, Whom God has predestinate, them also he called, and whom he called, them also he justified, and whom he justifies he glorifies. [Rom. 8.30.]  God’s Predestination is the Book of Life.

Now, in thy Calling, thy Justification, thy begun Sanctification of Life, they must be thy Trial; so try if ever the Lord did come to thee with the Spirit of Life? and sawest thou ever Darkness and Light? and feltest thou ever a sweet Fellowship and Conjunction with Christ? and dwelt thou ever in him, and he in thee?  If ever thou found thir [these] three in any true Measure, then thou art called: Now, if thou be called, the other two shalt thou get, if you have not gotten them already; for thou that art called, thou art freely forgiven, and thou shalt be sanctified.  Then again, was ever this begun Glory in thee?  And got thou {33} ever a begun Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness? If ever thou hast had this, then thou hast had all the three Degrees of thy Election.  Now, if it be otherwise, I would have none of you to conclude Reprobation; for if ever you shall find them in this Life, it is enough; for God has his own appointed Time of calling you; but this much I will say unto you, so long as you want thir [these] Marks, you cannot be sure of your Election, nor you have no Warrant that ever you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

But I leave this, and I come to the Application, and so I shall conclude.  Now, what shall I say unto you? See first, that you must all compear before God in the great Day.  Again, ye see there is not one of you, but must be made manifest, even all you, none excepted in that Day; for there is not a Sin that thou, that art the Child of God, hast committed, but thou shalt see it in that great Day, and yet thou shalt see it covered with the Mantle of Christ’s Blood; and thou shalt see it for this End, that thou mayst magnify the more the great Goodness of God towards thee.  Well, Brethren, prepare you all for this Day of Account; may I request you to do it, I would fain have it done, and it should be well with you if you did it; may I request you all to do it, Master and Servant, Rich and Poor, Old and Young, great and small, may I request you all to think upon the standing with your naked Consciences before God, and to believe the Necessity of the Books of your Conscience before the All-seeing Eye of God one Day: Therefore, and I should never see your Faces any more, for now I will say as tho’ I were never to see your Faces again, and I take the Lord to record, that I have made Warnings to you in that Measure of Light that I have, and as he has revealed it to me; So that suppose you get no other Warning, nor [than] that, that God has given in his Word, saying, God now admonishes all Men to repent; because he has appointed a Day, in the which {34} he will judge the World in Righteousness by that Man whom he hath appointed, [Acts 17.30,31]; suppose, I say, ye got no other Warning but the Warning which I have made you at this Hour, this should be sufficient to clear my Conscience, that I am not guilty of any of your Bloods [Ezek. 3; Acts 20.26,27; 18.6.], and to clear my Conscience, that if you go to Hell, thy Condemnation is just; because thou gottest Warning, that there was a Day appointed, when all Flesh must stand before God and be judged, and every Man and Woman that has not had a lively Faith and true Repentance towards God, shall be condemned.  Who then of you dare venture to compear before this Judge without these two written in your Consciences? Let me speak to you, for I would speak to you, whose Faces perchance I will never see again; I beseech you, remember on this Day, and take the Books of your Consciences in Time, and spread them out before God, and run to the Throne of his Grace and Mercy, and cry, Pity, pity me, Lord, for I am a vile Sinner, that so ye may come away washen in his Blood; and think on what I say unto you, for I hear many Things of you, but I will say but this, ye should not sin against the Lord; ye should not contemn nor despise the meanest Man that has a Charge in Kirk [Church], or Common-wealth:  Why will you make an evil Name come upon this Place? The Magistrates are despised, and a good Order is contemned: Therefore hear, and take you Warning, that he that resists the higher Powers, resists the Ordinance of God, and brings to himself Condemnation, and it will be a fearful Thing to any of you to be condemned.  Therefore I beseech you, in the Bowels of the Lord Jesus, that ye would bend the Strength of your Hearts to get the Lord Jesus honoured in your Calling; and I charge you all, under the Pains of Disobedience to the Authority of the great God, that ye submit yourselves to the Ordinance of God.

Ye know what came of Korah, Dathan and Abiram {35} for repining against Moses and Aaron, the one having the Charge of the Kirk, the other of the Common-Wealth; the Earth opened up, and swallowed up their Souls and Bodies, and both were taken to Hell. [Num. 16.]  Remember on this Judgment I pray you, and I pray God, that the like fall not upon you;—but I leave this.  Now, Brethren, I say unto you, because we cannot tell how long our Time will last together, and because the Devil rages, for he envies our Estate: Therefore I request you here, in the Bowels of the Son of God, that every one of you would repent you of your former evil Ways, and that ye would labour to bring your House to Repentance and Reformation; and that every one of you would labour to bring your Neighbours to Repentance:  Where are ye in the Mornings and the Evenings, that the House of God is so empty?  And what comes of you all these Times of the Morning and Evening Sacrifice? I beseech you to spare a Time from your Work, and come Morning and Evening to the Worship of God, and I promise you, it shall hinder you nothing in your Calling; but the Lord shall add a Blessing to your Labours every Day, the more that ye frequent the Worship of God.  Now, I say no more, but he that has the Hearts of you all in his own Hand, move your Heart to do so for Christ’s Sake; to whom, with the Father, and with the Spirit, be all Praise, for now and ever.   Amen.