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VE Men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven?
This fame Fesus which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like Manner as ye have seen him go into Heaven, AEts i. 11.
It is to no Purpose to lose our Time in regreting the Want of the visible Presence of Christ on Earth, we must employ it in preparing ourselves for his second Coming. He is to be followed, not with the Eyes, but with the Heart. - To expect his Coming, and to put ourselves in a Readiness to go forth and meet Him with a well grounded Confidence, in this confifts the whole Christian Life. The Generality of Christians do not sufficiently awaken and exercise their Faich thereon, in which the Expectation of the present Church is placed, what Wonder then is it, that their Affe&tions are so much set upon earthly Things, and this mortal Life.
O! my dear God, my Lamp prepare When in the last and dreadful Night With thy sufficient Grace,
Thou every Work shalt prove, That when the Judgement Trump I hear O may my Lamp burn clear and bright I may awake in Peace.
In Flames of endless Love.
COR the Son of Man is as a Man taking a far Journey, who I left his House, and gave Authority to his Servants, and to every Man his Work, and commanded the Porter to watch, Mark xiii. 34.
The whole which our blessed Master, when he ascended into Heaven, recommended to the Care of his Servants, consisted in Fidelity and Watchfulness: Fidelity, in doing every Thing well, which is to be done in his House, in the Heart, in the Church, according to the full Extent of their Duty: Watchfulness, in suffering no Stranger, nor Enemy, to enter by the Senses, which are the Gates of the Soul, in permitting nothing which belongs to the Master to go out without his Orders, and in carefully observing all Commerce and Correfpondence, which the Heart may have abroad in the World, to the Prejudice of the Master's Service. In thy Pilgrimage with Men, Thou whole Nights in Prayer didit spend
(Objects of thy constant Care) On the Mount for us employ'd, Thou didst all their Griefs sustain, Prompt the helpless to defend,
Lab'ring, watching unto Pray’re, Prevalent with Man and God.
W ATCH ye therefore (for ye know not when the Master of
✔ the House cometh ; at Even, or at Midnight, or at the Cock-crowing, or in the Morning) Mark xiii. 35.
To watch is to be like a Servant; always employed within about his Mafter's Business, and like a Porter always careful what comes in and goes out. The more the Master is expected, the more diligent the Servants are in working, watching, and keeping themselves in readiness. - Can one, who has received the Sentence of his Death, and has no Right to live one Moment, need any Admonition to prepare himself to die ? Does not a Prisoner, who expects his Deliverance, keep himself always ready to leave his Dungeon ? And is not he, who has no such Expectation, extremely miferable The Hour of Death is so very uncertain, that Christ would have us look for it at all Hours, and therefore mentions four several Parts of one and the same Night, at any of which it may possibly happen.
Hearken to the folemn Voice, Lo, He comes to keep his Word, · The awful Midnight Cry, Light and Joy his Looks impart, Waiting Souls rejoice, rejoice, Go'ye forth to meet your Lord,
And see the Bridegroom nigh: • And meet him in your Heart.
Í EST coming suddenly, he find you sleeping, Mark xiii. 36,
Remiffness and Negligence, as well as greater Sins, are often the Occasion of our being surprised by Death. - A Porter sleeping exposes the House to be robbed, and well deserves to be punilhed. A Christian, whose Faith is not watchful, exposes, his own Heart to the Enemy of his Salvation, and to those who are continually watching, in order to steal away, all the valuable Things which God has laid up there as in his House.
Ye Virgin Souls arise,
He comes, He comes to call
The Nations to his Bar,
And raise to Glory all,
Who fit for Glory are,
AND what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch. Mark
xiii. 37. No Perfon can pretend any Exemption from the Fear of God's Judgement, or from the Duty of Watchfulness, in Expectation of the last Day.. Christ here recommends it to all; and yet there is scarce a small Number to be found, who, by Christian Watchfulness, are always ready. Those who have greatest Occasion to watch, are generally those who do it leaft, -- Few Ministers, Marters, and Fathers, watch over their Flock, their Servants, and their Children. Abundance of People are very watchful throughout their whole Lives, as to the Affairs of others; but do not spend one Moment in watching over their own Hearts, and in thinking seriously of the Business of Salvation. My God, how much is Faith obscured and darkened; and what need have we, that thou shouldst renew it in our Hearts. Je sus, in thy Strength we rise, Pray, my watchful Brethren, pray,
Nightly to the Mountain go, Full of Wants, of Sins, and Fears, Breathe our Wishes to the Skies Wrestle till the Break of Day,
For the sleeping Croud below: 'Till the saving Grace appears.