Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 42.
( ...continued from File 41)
Sermon 42. Christ's Advent to Judgement, being the fourth and last 
Degree of his Exaltation, illustrated and improved. 
Acts 10: 42. 
And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that 
it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and 
    Christ enthroned in the highest glory in heaven is there to 
abide for the effectual and successful government, both of the 
world, and of the church, until the number given him by the Father, 
before the world was, and purchased by the blood of the cross, be 
gathered in; and then comes the judgement of the great day, which 
will perfectly separate the precious from the vile; put the redeemed 
in full possession of the purchase of his blood in heaven, and "then 
shall he deliver up the kingdom to his Father, that God may be all 
in all." 
    This last act of Christ, namely, his judging the world, is a 
special part of his exaltation and honour bestowed upon him, 
"because he is the Son of man,", John 5:27. In that day shall his 
glory, as King, and absolute Lord, shine forth as the sun when it 
shines in its strength. O what an honour will it be to the man 
Christ Jesus, who stood arraigned and condemned at Pilate's bar, to 
sit upon the great white throne, surrounded with thousands, and ten 
thousands of angels! Men and devils waiting upon him to receive the 
final sentence from his mouth. In this will the glory of Christ's 
sovereignty and power be eminently and illustriously displayed 
before angels and men. And this is that great truth which he 
commanded to be preached and testified to the people, namely, that 
is it "he which is ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and 
    Wherein we have four things to be distinctly considered, viz. 
The subject, object, fountain and truth of the supreme judiciary 
    First, The subject of it, Christ, it is he that is ordained to 
be Judge. Judgement is the act of the whole undivided Trinity. The 
Father and Spirit judge, as well as Christ, in respect of authority 
and consent, but is its the act of Christ, in respect of visible 
management and execution, and so it is his per proprietatem by 
propriety, the Father having conferred it upon him, as the Son of 
man; but not his per appropriationem, so as to exclude either the 
Father or Spirit from their authority, for they judge by him. 
    Secondly, The object of Christ's judiciary authority. The quick 
and dead, i.e. all that at his coming do live, or ever had lived. 
This is the Object personal. All men and women that ever sprang from 
Adam: all the apostate spirits that fell from heaven, and are 
reserved in chains to the judgement of this great day. And in this 
personal object, is included the real object, viz. All the actions, 
both secret and open, that ever they did, 2 Cor. 5:5, Rom. 2:16. 
    Thirdly, The Fountain of this delegated authority, which is God 
the Father; for he has ordained Christ to be the Judge. "He is 
appointed", as the Son of man, to this honourable office and work. 
The word notes, a firm establishment of Christ in that office by his 
Father. He is now, by right of redemption, Lord and King. He enacts 
laws for government, then he comes to judge of men's obedience and 
disobedience to his laws. 
    Fourthly, and lastly, Here is the infallible truth, or 
unquestionable certainty of all this: "He gave us commandment to 
preach and testify it to the people." We had it in charge from his 
own mouth; and dare not hide it. Hence the point of doctrine is 
plainly this, 
    Doct. That our Lord Jesus Christ is ordained by God the Father 
    to be the Judge of quick and dead. 
    This truth stands upon the firm basis of scripture authority. 
You have it from his own hand, John 5: 22. "The Father judges no 
man, but has committed all judgement to the Son," viz. in the sense 
before given. And so the apostle, Acts 17: 31. "He has appointed a 
day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by the 
man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance," &c. And 
again, Rom. 2: 16. "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of 
men by Jesus Christ." Three things will be opened here. First, The 
certainty of a judgement to come. Secondly, The quality and nature 
of it. Thirdly, That it is a special part of Christ's exaltation to 
be appointed Judge in this day. 
    First, The certainty of a judgement. This is a truth of firmer 
establishment than heaven and earth. It is no devised fable, no 
cunning artifice to keep the world in awe! but a thing as 
confessedly true as it is awfully solemn. For, 
    First, As the scriptures aforementioned (with these, 2 Cor. 5: 
10. Eccles. 12: 14. Matt. 12: 36. and many other, the true and 
faithful sayings of God) do very plainly reveal it; so the justice 
and righteousness of God require it should be so. For the Judge of 
all the earth will do right, Gen. 18: 25. Now righteousness itself 
requires that a difference be made betwixt the righteous and the 
wicked: "Say ye to the righteous it shall be well with him; woe to 
the wicked, it shall be ill with him," Isa. 3: 10. But no such 
distinction is generally and fully made betwixt one another in this 
world. Yea, rather the wicked prosper, and the righteous perish, 
there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there 
is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness, Eccles. 
7: 15. Yea, not only in, but for his righteousness, as it may be 
fairly rendered. 
    Here the "wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than 
himself," Hab. 1: 13. As the fishes of the sea, where the great and 
strong swallow up the small and weak. And even in courts of 
judicature, where the innocent might expect relief; there they often 
meet with the worst oppressions. How fairly and justly therefore 
does the wise man infer a judgement to come from this 
considerations, Eccles. 3: 16, 17, "I saw under the sun the place of 
judgement that wickedness was there, and the place of righteousness, 
that iniquity was there; I said in my heart, God shall judge the 
righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every 
purpose, and for every work," q. d. the judgement to come, is the 
only relief and support left to poor innocents, to quiet and comfort 
themselves withal. To the same purpose also is that, Jam. 5: 6, 7. 
"Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you; 
be patient, therefore, brethren unto the coming of the Lord." It is 
confessed, that sometimes, God vindicates his providence against the 
Atheism of the world, by particular strokes upon the wicked; but 
this is but rare. And as the Father well observes, "if no sin were 
punished here, no providence would be believed; again, if every sin 
were openly punished here, no judgement hereafter could be 
expected." Besides, 
    Secondly, Man is a reasonable being, and every reasonable 
being, is an accountable being. He is a subject capable of moral 
government. His actions have a relation to a law. He is swayed by 
rewards and punishments. He acts by counsel, and therefore of his 
actions, he must expect to give an account, as it is Rom. 14: 12. 
"So then every one of us, shall give an account of himself to God." 
Especially if we add, that all the gifts of body, mind, estate, 
time, &c. are so many talents, concredited and betrusted to him by 
God, and every one of us has one talent at least; therefore a time 
to render an account for all these talents will come, Matth. 25: 14, 
15. We are but stewards, and stewards must give an account, in order 
whereto, there must be a great audit day. 
    Thirdly, And what need we seek evidence of this truth, further 
than our own conscience? Lo, it is a truth engraven legibly upon 
every man's own breast. Every one has a kind of little tribunal, or 
privy sessions in his own conscience, which both accuses and excuses 
for good and evil, which it could never do, were there not a future 
judgement, of which it is now conscious to itself. In this court, 
records are now kept of all we do, even of our secret actions and 
thoughts, which never yet took air; but of no judgement, what need 
of records? Nor let any imagine, that this may be but the fruit of 
education and discourse. We have heard of such things, and so are 
scared by them. For if so, how comes it to obtain so universally? 
Who could be the author of such a common deception? 
    Reader, bethink thyself a little; if thou hast a mind (as one 
saith) to impose a lie upon all the world, what course wouldst thou 
take? How wouldst thou lay the design? Or why dost thou in this case 
imagine what thou knowest not how to imagine? It is evident that the 
very consciences of the Heathens, have these offices of accusing and 
excusing, Rom. 2: 15. And it is hard to imagine, (as an ingenious 
author speaks) that a general cheat should bow down the backs of all 
mankind, and induce so many doubts and fears, and troubles, amongst 
them; and give an interruption to the whole course of their corrupt 
living, and that there should be no account of it? And therefore it 
is undoubted that such a day will come. But I shall rather chose, in 
    Second Place, to open the nature and manner of this judgement, 
than to spend more time in proving a truth, that cannot be denied 
without violence offered to a man's own light. If then the question 
be, What manner of judgement will this be? I answer, 
    First, It will be a great and awful day. It is called the 
"judgement of the great day," Jude 6. Three things will make it so, 
the manner of Christ's coming; the work he comes about; and the 
issues, or events of that work. The manner of Christ's coming, will 
be awfully solemn, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven 
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of 
God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are 
alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the 
clouds, to meet the Lord in the air," &c. 1 Thess. 4: 16, 17. Here 
Christ breaks out of heaven, with the shouts of angels, "en 
keleusmai", it signifies such a shout, saith one, as is to be heard 
among seamen, when after a long and dangerous voyage, they first 
descry land, crying aloud, with united voices, a shore, a shore. As 
the poet describes the Italians, when they saw their native country, 
"lifting up their voices, and making the heavens ring again with 
Italy, Italy: or as armies shout when the signal of battle is 
given." Above all which (as some expound it) shall the voice of the 
Archangel be distinctly heard. And after this shout, the trump of 
God shall sound. By this tremendous blast, sinners will be 
affrighted out of their graves; but to the saints, it will carry no 
more terror, then the roaring of cannons, when armies of friends 
approach a besieged city, for the relief of them that are within it. 
The dead being raised, they shall be gathered before the great 
throne on which Christ shall sit in his glory; and there be divided 
exactly to the right and left hand of Christ, by the angels. Here 
will be the greatest assembly that ever met. Where Adam may see his 
numerous offspring, even as the sand upon the sea shore, which no 
man can number. And never was there such a perfect division made, 
(how many divisions soever have been in the world) none was ever 
like it. The saints in this great Oecumenical assize (as the author 
stiles it) shall meet the Lord in the air, and there the Judge shall 
sit upon the throne, and all the saints shall be placed upon bright 
clouds, as on seats or scaffolds round about him; the wicked 
remaining below upon the earth, there to receive their final doom 
and sentence. 
    These preparatives will make it awful; and much more will the 
work itself, that Christ comes about, make it so. For it is "to 
judge the secrets of men," Rom. 2: 16. To sever the tares from the 
wheat; to make every man's whites and blacks appear; and according 
as they are found in that trial, to be sentenced to their 
everlasting and immutable states. O what a solemn thing is this! 
    And no less will the execution of the sentence on both parts 
make it a great and solemn day. The heart of man cannot conceive 
what impressions the voice of Christ, from the throne, will make, 
both upon believers, and unbelievers. 
    Imagine Christ upon his glorious throne, surrounded with 
myriads and legions of angels, his royal guard; a poor unbeliever 
trembling at the bar; an exact scrutiny made into his heart and 
life; the dreadful sentence given; and then a cry; and then his 
delivering him over to the executioners of eternal vengeance, never, 
never, to see a glimpse of hope or mercy any more. 
    Imagine Christ, like the general of an army, mentioning with 
honour, on the head of all the hosts of heaven and earth, all the 
services that the saints have done for him in this world: then 
sententially justifying them by open proclamation; then mounting 
with him to the third heavens, and entering the gates of that city 
of God, in that noble train of saints and angels intermixed; and so 
for ever to be with the Lord. O what a great day must this be! 
    Secondly, As it will be awful and solemn judgement, so it will 
be a critical and exact judgement, every man will be weighed to his 
ounces and drachms. The name of the judge is "Kardiognoses", the 
Searcher of hearts. The judge has eyes as flames of fire, which 
pierce to the dividing of the heart and reins. It is said, Matth. 
12:36. That men shall then "give an account of every idle word that 
they shall speak." It is a day that will perfectly fan the world. No 
hypocrite can escape; Justice holds the balances in an even hand: 
Christ will go to work so exactly, that some divines of good note 
think, the day of judgement will last as long as this day of the 
gospel's administration has lasted, or shall last. 
    Thirdly, it will be an universal judgement, 2 Cor. 5: 10. "We 
must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ." And Rom. 14: 
12. "Every one of us shall give an account of himself to God." Those 
that were under the law, "and those that having no law, were a law 
to themselves," Rom. 2: 12. Those that had many talents, and he that 
had but one talent, must appear at this bar; those that were carried 
from the cradle to the grave, with him that stooped forage: the 
rich, and poor; the father, and the child; the master, and servant; 
the believer, and the unbeliever, must stand forth in that day. "I 
saw the dead, both small and great, stand before God, and the books 
were opened," Rev. 20: 12. 
    Fourthly, It will be a judgement full of convictive clearness. 
All things will be so sifted to bran, (as we say), that the sentence 
of Christ, both on saints and sinners, shall be applauded. 
"Righteous art thou, O Lord, because thou hast judged thus." His 
judgements will be as the light that goes forth. So that those poor 
sinners whom he will condemn, shall be first "autokatakritoi", self 
condemned. Their own consciences shall be forced to confess, that 
there is not one drop of injustice in all that sea of wrath, into 
which they are to be cast. 
    Fifthly, and lastly, It will be a supreme and final judgement, 
from which lies no appeal. For it is the sentence of the highest, 
and only Lord. "For as the ultimate resolution of faith is into the 
word and truth of God, so the ultimate resolution of justice is into 
the judgement of God." This judgement is supreme and imperial. For 
Christ is the only Potentate, 1 Tim. 6: 5. and therefore the 
sentence once passed, its execution is infallible. And so you find 
it in that judicial process, Matth. 25: ult. just after the sentence 
is pronounced by Christ, it is immediately added, "these shall go 
away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life 
eternal." This is the judgement of the great day. 
    Thirdly, In the last place, I must inform you, that God, in 
ordaining Christ to be the Judge, has very highly exalted him. This 
will be very much for his honour: for in this, Christ's royal 
dignity will be illustrated, beyond whatever it was since he took 
our nature, till that day; now he will appear in his glory. For, 
    First, This act of judging pertaining properly to the kingly 
office, Christ will be glorified as much in his kingly office, as he 
has been in either of the other. We find but some few glimpses of 
the kingly office, breaking forth in this world: as, his riding with 
Hosannas into Jerusalem; his whipping the buyers and sellers out of 
the temple, his title upon the cross, &c. But these were but faint 
beams: Now that office will shine in its glory, as the sun in the 
midst of the heavens. For what were the Hosannas of little children, 
in the streets of Jerusalem, to the shouts and acclamations of 
thousands of angels, and ten thousands of saints? what was his 
whipping the profane out of the temple, to his turning the wicked 
into hell, and sending his angels to gather out of his kingdom every 
thing that offendeth? what was a title written be his judge, and 
fixed on the ignominious tree, to the name that shall now be seen on 
his vesture, and on his thigh, King of kings, and Lord of lords. 
    Secondly, This will be a display of his glory in the highest, 
before the whole world. For they will be present at once, and 
together, all the inhabitants of heaven, and earth, and hell; angels 
must be there to attend and minister; those glittering courtiers of 
heaven must attend his person; so that heaven will, for a time, be 
left empty of all its inhabitants: men and devils must be there to 
be judged: and before this great assembly, will Christ appear in 
royal Majesty. He will, (to allude to that text, Isa. 24:23.) reign 
before his ancients gloriously. "For he will come to be glorified in 
his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe," 2 Thess. 1: 
10. The inhabitants of the three regions, heaven, earth and hell, 
shall then rejoice, or tremble before him, and acknowledge him to be 
supreme Lord and King. 
    Thirdly, This will roll away for ever the reproach of his 
death: for Pilate and the High-priest, that judged him at their 
bars, shall now stand quivering at his bar; with Herod that set him 
at nought, the soldiers and officers that traduced and abused him: 
there they that reviled him on the cross, wagging their heads, will 
stand, with trembling knees, before his throne. For "every eye shall 
see him, and they also that pierced him," Rev. 1: 7. O what a 
contemptible person was Christ in their eyes once? As a worm, and no 
man. Every vile wretch could freely tread and trample on him; but 
now such will be the brightness of his glory, such the awful beams 
of majesty, that the wicked shall not stand in his presence, or "be 
able to rise up," (as that word imports, Psal. 1: 5.) "before him." 
So that this will be a full and universal vindication of the death 
of Christ, from all that contempt and ignominy that had attended it. 
We next improve it. 
    Inference 1. Is Jesus Christ ordained of God to be the Judge of 
quick and dead? Great then is the security believers have, that they 
shall not be condemned in that day. Who shall condemn, when Christ 
is Judge? If believers be condemned in judgement, Christ must give 
sentence against them; yea, and they must condemn themselves too. I 
say, Christ must give sentence, for that is the proper and peculiar 
office of Christ. And, to be sure, no sentence of condemnation shall 
in that day be given by Christ against them. For, 
    First, He died to save them, and he will never cross and 
overthrow the designs and ends of his own death. That cannot be 
imagined. Nay, 
    Secondly, They have been cleared and absolved already. And 
being once absolved by divine sentence, they can never be condemned 
afterward. For one divine sentence cannot cross and rescind another. 
He justified them here in this world by faith: Declared in his word, 
(which shall then be the rule of judgement, Rom. 2: 16.) that "there 
is no condemnation to them that are in Christ," Rom. 8: 1. And 
surely he will not retract his own word, and give a sentence quite 
cross to his own statute book, out of which he has told us that they 
shall be judged. Moreover, 
    Thirdly, The far greatest part of them will have passed their 
particular judgement, long, before that day, and being therein 
acquitted by God the Judge of all; and admitted into heaven upon the 
score and account of their justification; it cannot be imagined that 
Christ should now condemn them with the world. Nay, 
    Fourthly, He that judged them is their head, husband, friend, 
and brother: who loved them, and gave himself for them. O then, with 
what confidence may they go, even unto his throne? and say, with 
Job, "Though he try us as fire, we know we shall come forth as 
gold." We know that we shall be justified. Especially, if we add, 
that they themselves shall be the assessors with Christ in that day. 
And, (as a judicious author pertinently observes,) not a sentence 
shall pass without their votes. "So as that they may by faith not 
only look upon themselves as already in heaven, sitting with Christ, 
as a common person, in their right; but they may look upon 
themselves as judges already. So that if any sin should arise to 
accuse or condemn, yet it must be with their votes. And what greater 
security can they have than this, that they must condemn themselves, 
if they be condemned." No, it is not the business of that day to 
condemn, but to absolve and pronounce them pardoned and justified, 
according to the sentence of Acts 3: 19. and Mat. 12: 32. So that 
its must needs be a time of refreshing, (as all scriptures call it,) 
to the people of God. You that now believe, shall not come into 
condemnation, John 5: 24. You that now judge yourselves, shall not 
be condemned with the world, 1 Cor. 11: 31, 32. 
    Inf. 2. If Christ be ordained of God to be the Judge of quick 
and dead, how miserable a case will Christless souls be in at that 
day! They that are Christless now, will be speechless, helpless, and 
hopeless then. How will their hands hang down, and their knees knock 
together! O what pale faces, quivering lips, fainting hearts, and 
roaring consciences will be among them in that day! O dreadful day! 
O astonishing sight! to see the world in a dreadful conflagration, 
the elements netting, the stars falling, the earth trembling, the 
judgement set, the prisoners brought forth; O who shall endure this 
day, but those that by union with Christ are secured against the 
danger and dread of it! Let me demand of poor Christ less souls, 
whom this day is like to take unawares, 
    First, Do you think it possible to avoid appearing, after that 
terrible citation is given to the world by the trump of God? Alas, 
how can you imagine it? is not the same power that revived your 
dust, able to bring you before the bar? There is a necessity that 
you must come forth, 2 Cor. 5: 10. "We [must] all appear." It is not 
in the sinner's choice, to obey the summons or not. 
    Secondly, If you must appear, are there no accusers, nor 
witnesses, that will appear against you, and confront you in the 
court? What think you, was Satan so often a tempter to you here, and 
will he not be an accuser there? Yes, nothing surer; for that was 
the main design of all his temptations. What think you of your own 
consciences? are they not privy to your secret wickedness; do not 
they now sometimes whisper in your ears, what you care not to hear 
of? If they whisper now, they will thunder then, Rom. 2: 15, 16. 
Will not the Spirit accuse you, for resisting his motions, and 
stifling thousands of his convictions? Will not your companions in 
sin accuse you, who drew or were drawn by you to sin? Will not your 
teachers be your accusers? How many times have you made them 
complain, Lord, they are iron and brass, they have made their faces 
harder than a rock; they refuse to return. Will not your very 
relations be your accusers, to whom you have failed in all your 
relational duties? Yea, and every one whom you have tempted to sin, 
abused, defrauded, overreached; all these will be your accusers. So 
that it is without dispute, you will have accusers enough to appear 
against you. 
    Thirdly, Being accused before Jesus Christ what will you plead 
for yourselves: will you confess, or will you deny the charge. If 
you confess, what need more? "Out of thine own mouth will I judge 
thee," saith Christ, Luke 19: 22. If you deny, and plead not guilty, 
thy Judge is the searcher of hearts, and knows a11 things. So that 
it will not at all help thee to make a lie thy last refuge. This 
will add to the guilt, but not cover it. 
    Fourthly, If no defence or plea be left thee, then what canst 
thou imagine should retard the sentence? Why should not Christ go on 
to that dreadful work? "Must not the Judge of all the earth do 
right?" Gen. 18: 25. Must not you render to every man according to 
his deeds? 2 Cor. 5: 10. Yes, no question but he will proceed to 
that sentence, how terrible soever it be to you to think on it now, 
or hear it then. 
    Fifthly, To conclude, if sentence be once given by Christ 
against thy soul, what in all the world canst thou imagine should 
hinder the execution? will he alter the thing that is gone out of 
his mouth? No, Psal. 89: 34. Dost thou hope he is more merciful and 
pitiful than so? Thou mistakes, if you expect mercy out of that way 
in which he dispenses it. There will be thousands, and ten thousands 
that will rejoice in, and magnify his mercy then; but they are such 
as obey his call, repented, believed, and obtained union with his 
person here; but for unbelievers, it is against the settled law of 
Christ, and constitution of the gospel, to show mercy to the 
despisers of it. But it may be, you think your tears, your cries, 
your pleadings with him, may move him; these indeed might have done 
somewhat in time, but they come out of season now. Alas, too late. 
What the success of such pleas and cries will be, you may see if you 
will but consult two scriptures, Job 27: 8, 9. "What is the hope of 
the hypocrite, though he has gained, when God taketh away his soul? 
Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him?" No: And Matt. 7: 
22. "Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not 
prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in 
thy name have done many wonderful works? And then will I profess 
unto them, I never knew you; depart from me ye that work iniquity." 
    And must it come to this dismal issue with you indeed? God 
forbid it should. Oh then, 
    Inf. 3. If Christ be appointed of God to be the Judge of all, 
how are all concerned to secure their interest in him, and therein 
an eternal happiness to their own souls, by the work of 
regeneration? Of all the business that men and women have in this 
world, there is none so solemn, so necessary, and important as this. 
O my brethren, this is a work, able to drink up your spirits, while 
you do but think of the consequence of it. 
    Summon in then thy self-reflecting and considering powers: get 
alone, reader, and, forgetting all other things, ponder with thyself 
this deep, dear, eternal concernment of thine. Examine the state of 
thy own soul. Look into the scriptures, then into thine own heart, 
and then to heaven, saying, Lord, let me not be deceived in so great 
a concernment to me as this. O let not the trifles of time wipe off 
the impressions of death, judgement, and eternity from thy heart. O 
that long word [Eternity,] that it might be night any day with thee; 
that the awe of it may be still upon thy Spirit. A gentlewoman of 
this nation, having spent the whole afternoon, and a great part of 
the evening at cards, in mirth and jollity, came home late at night, 
and finding her waiting gentlewoman reading, she looked over her 
shoulder upon the book, and said, Poor melancholy soul, why dost 
thou sit here poring so long upon thy book? That night she could not 
sleep, but lay sighing and weeping; her servant asked her once and 
again what ailed her; at last she burst out into tears, and said, 
Oh! it was one word that I cast my eye upon in thy book, that 
troubles me; there I saw that word Eternity. How happy were I, if I 
were provided for eternity! Sure it concerns us, seeing we look for 
such things, to be diligent that we may be found of him in peace. O 
let not that day come by surprisal upon you. Remember, that as death 
leaves, so judgement will find you. 
    Inf. 4. Is Jesus Christ appointed Judge of quick and dead, then 
look to it, all you that hope to be found of him in peace, that you 
avoid those sins, and live in the daily practice of those duties, 
which the consideration of that day powerfully persuades you to 
avoid or practise. For it not only presses to holiness in actu 
primu, in the being of it; but in actu secondo, in the daily 
exercise and practice of it. Do you indeed expect such a day? Oh 
    First, See you be meek and patient under all injuries and 
abuses for Christ's sake. Avenge not yourselves, but leave it to the 
Lord, who will do it. Do not anticipate the work of God. "Be 
patient, my brethren, to the coming of the Lord," James 5: 7,8, 9. 
    Secondly, Be communicative, public-hearted Christians, studying 
and devising liberal things, for Christ's distressed members; and 
you shall have both an honourable remembrance of it, and a full 
reward of it in that day, Mat. 25: 34, 35. 
    Thirdly, Be watchful, and sober, keep the golden bridle of 
moderation upon all your affections; and see that you be not 
overcharged with the cares and love of this present life, Luke 21: 
34, 35. Will you that your Lord come and find you in such a posture? 
"O let your moderation be known unto all, the Lord is at hand," 
Phil. 4: 5. 
    Fourthly, Improve all your Master's talents diligently and 
carefully. Take heed of the napkin, Matt. 25: 14, 18. Then must you 
make up your account for them all. 
    Fifthly, But, above all, be sincere in your profession. Let 
your hearts be found in God's statutes, that you may never be 
ashamed; for this day will be the day of manifestation of all hidden 
things. And nothing is so secret, but that day will reveal it, Luke 
12: 1, 2, 3. "Beware of hypocrisy; for there is noting covered, 
which shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be made 
known." - Thus I have finished, through divine aids, the whole 
doctrine of the impetration of redemption by Jesus Christ; we shall 
wind up the whole in a general exhortation, and I have done. 
                           The General Use 
    And now, to close up all, let me persuade all those for whom 
the dear Son of God came from he blessed bosom of the Father; 
assumed flesh; brake, by the strength of his own love, through all 
discouragements and impediments; laid down his own life a ransom for 
their souls; for whom he lived, died, rose, ascended, and lives for 
ever in heaven to intercede; to live wholly to Christ, as Christ 
lived and died wholly for them. 
    O brethren, never was the heathen world acquainted with such 
arguments to deter them from sin; never acquainted with such motives 
to urge them to holiness, as I shall this day acquaint you with. My 
request is, to give up both your hearts and lives to glorify the 
Father, Son, and Spirit, whose you are, by the holiness and 
heavenliness of them. Other things are expected tram you than from 
other men. See that you turn not all this grace that has sounded in 
your ears into wantonness. Think not because Christ has done so much 
for you, you may sit still; much less indulge yourselves in sin, 
because Christ has offered up such an excellent sacrifice for the 
expiation of it. No, though Christ came to be a curse, he did not 
come to be a cloak for your sins. "If one died for all then were all 
dead; that they that live, should not henceforth live to themselves, 
but to him that died for them," 2 Cor. 5: 15. O keep your lives pure 
and clean. 
    Do not make fresh work for the blood of Christ every day. "If 
you live in the Spirit, see that you walk in the Spirit, Gal. 5: 25, 
i.e. (saith Cornelius a Lapide very solidly) "Let us shape and order 
our lives and actions according to the dicates, instinct, and 
impulses of the Spirit, and of that grace of the Spirit put within 
us, and planted in our hearts, which tendeth to practical holiness." 
O let the grace which is in your hearts, issue out into all your 
religious, civil, and natural actions. Let the faith that is in your 
hearts appear in your prayers; the obedience of your hearts in 
hearing; the meekness of your hearts in suffering; the mercifulness 
of you hearts in distributing; the truth and righteousness of your 
hearts in trading; the sobriety and temperance of your hearts in 
eating and drinking. These be the fruits of Christ's sufferings 
indeed, they are sweet fruits. Let grace refine, ennoble, and 
elevate all your actions; that you may say, "Truly our conversation 
is in heaven." Let grace have the ordering of your tongues, and of 
your hands; the mounding of your whole conversation. Let not 
humility appear in some actions, and pride in others; holy 
seriousness in some companies, and vain frothiness in others. Suffer 
not the fountain of corruption to mingle with, or pollute the 
streams of grace. Write as exactly as you can, after your copy, 
Christ. O let there not be (as one well expresses it) here a line, 
and there a blank; here a word, and there a blot. One word of God, 
and two of the world. Now a spiritual rapture, and then a fleshly 
frolic. This day an advance towards heaven, and to-morrow a slide 
back again towards hell. But be you in the fear of the Lord all the 
day long. Let there be a due proportion betwixt all the parts of 
your conversation. Approve yourselves the servants of Christ in all 
things. "By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by the Holy 
Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, 
by the armour of righteousness, on the right hand, and on the left," 
2 Cor. 6: 6. See then how accurately you walk. - Cut off occasion 
from them that desire occasion; and in well doing commit yourselves 
to God, and commend religion to the world. That this is your great 
concernment and duty, I shall evidence to your consciences, by these 
following considerations. That of all persons in the world, the 
redeemed of the Lord are most obliged to be holy; most assisted for 
a life of holiness; and that God intends to make great use of their 
lives, both for the conviction and conversion of others. 

(continued in file 43...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: flafn-42.txt