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ous throne, he has been judging the nations of the world in righteousness, and such of them as would not servé him, he has broken in pieces like a potter's vessel. But let us inquire,

1st. Were there any false professors in the kingdom of heaven when our Lord came at the end of the age. This needs no proof, for it is notorious, and universally admitted. There were foolish virgins, and servants who had not improved their talents. See also chap. 24: 10-12. And see the epistles, for complaints made of professors by the apostles. When Christ came to reckon with his servants he found some faithful and watchful, but others saying, my Lord delayeth his coming, counting him an hard master, smiting their fellow servants, and eating and drinking with the drunken. When he ascended to God's right hand, he was like a man travelling into a far country to receive unto himself a kingdom. See Luke 19: 12-27. At the end of the age, he returned, having received his kingdom, and called his servants to an account of their conduct during his absence. Before he went away, he commanded all to be faithful and watchful till his return. But such was the state in which he found the kingdom of heaven. when be returned. The whole slumbered and slept. Many were found neither looking for, nor prepared for his coming. He had forewarned them of the consequences, and this third division of chap. 25. sets forth the rewards and punishments which he then awarded to them. That much is said in the New Testament, to excite their hopes and fears relative to our Lord's coming at the end of the Jewish dispensation, no one, we think, will question. But where do we find what our Lord promised or threated, fulfilled, but in this very discourse, and which goes to show that the view I have given of it is substantially correct?



2d. Did a separation take place at the end of the Jewish age, between true and false professors in the kingdom of heaven, or, between the goats and sheep? Nothing can be more certain. This separation is described under other figures, such as a separation between chaff and wheat, Matth. 3: 12. Tares and wheat; and good and bad fishes; Matth. 13:3048. See also Matth. 8: 11, 12. 10: 23. and 16: 27, 28. Christ's fan purged his floor. The net then was drawn to shore, and the good and bad fishes separated. The tares were gathered to be burned, and the wheat into the garner. Indeed, none but such as endured to the end were saved; Matth. 24: 13. What is said about separating them as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats, is in allusion to the business of a shepherd, and to Christ who is called the good shepherd, and his true disciples, sheep. His placing the sheep on the right hand, and the goats on the left, is probably in reference to judicial trials, as may be seen above in a quotation from Jahn. The rule of judgment was, offices of kindness performed or not performed towards Christ's disciples. The similarity of the language used, chap. 24: 45, 46. and chap. 25: 34-41. deserves the reader's notice. In the first it is "blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing." And in the last "come ye blessed of my father inherit the kingdom." Compare 2 Tim. 1: 15—18. And Rom. 16: 3, 4. as actual examples of such kind offices performed.

3d. What everlasting punishment and eternal life did those persons go away into after this separation? 1st. What everlasting punishment did the goats go away into? The same as the everlasting fire, verse 41. which in the one verse is expressed figuratively, and in the other plainly. This everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels, or the Jews, the opposers of Christianity. To them was the Gos

pel first preached; by them it was first rejected, and for them this punishment is said to have been prepared. But observe, it is not, like the kingdom for the righteous, said to have been prepared from the foundation of the world. What then was the everlasting fire or punishment prepared for the Jews the avowed enemies of Christ and his Gospel, for these false professors are said to go away into the same or similar punishment; I answer, the kingdom of God was taken from them. And I shall show on 2 Thess. 2. that they have been punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord in his worship and service. Blindness of mind, hardness of heart, and dreadful temporal judgments have come on the Jews for nearly eighteen hundred years. In the Jewish use of the term everlasting it may well be called an everlasting fire or punishment. It is then agreeable to fact, that those of the kingdom of heaven not found watchful and faithful, or bringing forth the fruits of the Gospel, did go away into, or have suffered a similar punishment. Where are now the seven churches of Asia? Indeed where is any church throughout what was then called the Roman empire? Their candlestick is removed out of its place. Those nations, have been given up to blindness of mind and hardness of heart very similar to the Jews, and that they have suffered severe temporal judgments none will deny. The most inveterate superstitions prevail among them. The nations who would not submit to him, or who have corrupted his religion after being favored with it, have suffered similar punishment, and it has been of such long continuance, that it may well be called everlasting. Christians who enjoy the gospel, tacitly allow, both Jews and heathen to be in a miserable condition, by their attempts to convert them to the faith of Christ. But after all the time, and labor, and money spent to effect this,

the situation of those nations is not much more hopeful than that of the Jews. If there be any blessedness in believing the gospel, and being governed by the laws of Jesus, then there is misery in unbelief, superstition, and wickedness; and both on a national and individual scale, the nation or individual in such a condition cannot but be miserable.

2d. But what life eternal did the righteous, or the sheep, go away into? As the everlasting punishment, verse 46. is the same as the everlasting fire, verse 41. so is the life eternal, verse 46. the same as the kingdom said to be prepared from the foundation of the world. What kingdom, then, was this? What kingdom could it be, but that which was taken from the Jews, and given to the Gentiles, called often the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God in the New Testament, and the kingdom likened unto the ten virgins, verse 1. The kingdom which Jesus went away to receive for himself when he ascended to the father, and on the throne of which he is represented as sitting, and calling his servants to an account when he returned. This kingdom is called the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, and does not consist in meat and drink, but in righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. That such a kingdom, or life eternal, was expected, is evident, for our Lord said, Luke 21: 31, 32. “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away till all be fulfilled." And verse 28. "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth near." This kingdom, or life eternal, might be said to be prepared for them from the foundation of the world, for it was included in the promise of Christ from the beginning.


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It is an unsupported assertion, from any part of our Lord's discourse, that this kingdom, or the life eternal enjoyed by the righteous, is the happiness of the heavenly state. But the view I have given is amply supported both by it and other parts of Scripture. It is the same as going in with the bridegroom to the marriage, verse 10. And entering into the joy of their Lord, 21, 22. And to inherit this kingdom is to enjoy all the blessings and privileges of it. See Rom. 14: 17. Matth. 8: 11, 12. and Luke 22: 29, 30. My views, then, accord with the nature of the kingdom Christ received from the father, the throne on which he sits, and his rule and government in it, and which, at the period called the end, he is to deliver up to God the father, 1 Cor. 15: 24-28. To this kingdom he had a right to invite all those who endured to the end, chap. 24: 13. aud to punish all those who said, "we will not have this man to rule over us."

It has long been considered one of the strongest arguments in favor of eternal misery, that the same Greek word is rendered here everlasting and eternal, and applied both to life and punishment. It is hence inferred, that if the punishment is not endless, neither is life. Universalists do not admit this, for they adduce some texts where everlasting is used in the same verse, where it is allowed by their opponents that it is used both in a limited and unlimited sense. But if my views are found correct, it puts a final end to this argument and modè of reasoning, for everlasting is not used in either case to express endless duration. A brief sketch of my views of the phrase "everlasting life," has been given above, and some things may just be noticed here in confirmation of them.

1st. It is concluded by many, that this chapter contains an account of the end of this world, and the day of judgment. But why is such a conclusion

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