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number in Matt Aviii. 18. and in Johnxx, 23. They cannot be supposed to contain a declaration of any superiority assigned to Peter over the rest of the apostles; for, it is evident, that, when they afterwards disputed on this head, and held any contention amongst themselves, who should be greatest, they were always reproved by their Master: nor can we find that the rest of the apostles ever confessed any such superiority, or that Peter ever claimed it. -- The keys of the kingdom of heaven being given to the apostles, by a very easy and beautiful figure, represents the success of their ministry. The kingdom of heaven, in the language of the evangelist, is the kingdom of grace, or the dispensation of the glorious gospel; and what can be more natural, than to say, that the keys of the kingdom of heaven are given to them, who open those noble truths to the sons of men. And when it is said, that whatsoever the apostles bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; it evidently relates to the divine approbation of those regulations and restrictions, which the apostles should establish in the church; for binding and loosing, are .# used in the talmudical language, to represent allowing or forbidding particular sentiments and practices: so that, from the whole, we may conclude, that however our Lord approv- #, £d or applauded Peter's faith and zeal, he did not, by these declaration s: intend to give him any pre-eminence or authority over the rest of the

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- c H A P T E R xix. - CHR1st informs his bisciples of his Sufferings and Death : He declares, that he shall judge the World, and gives a Desciption of the Last Judg. . . ment: He is transfigured in the Presence of three of his Apostles: At 2. the Foot of the Mountain of Transfiguration, he cures a Youth, who had . . a dumb and deaf Spirit: And, returning to Capernaum, pays the Ro- ... " man Tribute, with a piece of Money, taken out of the Mouth of a fish # * * by Peter, agreeable to his Master's Direction. -

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| THE disciples, as they still retained their expectations of a temporal
t;ingdom, were doubtless, highly elated with the discourse of their Master,
which they had lately heard ; giving them the keys of the kingdom of
heaven, and enabling them to bind and loose with such authority, were
very agreeable to them: and it is to be supposed, that they explained these
grants to mean some great temporal powers and honours, they were to be
invested with. Their divine Leader, to abate their high swelling con-
ceits, and lead them into clearer views of the nature of his kingdom, and
the final issue of his ministry amongst the Jews, informed them, that it
was appointed in the eternal counsels of his father, that he should be re-
jected by the rulers of Israel, persecuted with the utmost malice, followed
with false accusations, and, at last, put to death as a malefactor, with cir-
cumstances of the greatest cruelty and public shame. . . . . of
The disciples were exceedingly alarmed at this prediction of their Mas-
ter; he had just before accepted the title of the Messiah, and declared,
that he would bestow high honours, peculiar privileges, and extraordinar
powers on his apostles; and his now declaring, that he should be arraigfl-
ed, condemned and put to death as malefactor, was so contrary to their
expectations, they thought it impossible to be true. Peter, who was
of a warmer temper than the rest, heard his master talk of dying at Jero-

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rts for a moment, contemplate the glory, grandeur, hity in which he will appear: he himself declares; that he will a the glory of his Father, and with the holy angels:” he will ap yed in the majesty of that God, who dwells in light, and whose glory no mortal can sp; proich; not the blessed inhabitants of the heavenly world, can bear the blaze of that boundless glory which surrounds the eternal throne, but veil their faces in the presence of that God, who dwells in o: and fills the heavenly regions with the boundless blaze of uncreated ss.” How

small, how dim a speck is the sun, when compared with the ! Foun. tain of Light, or with the brightness of that God, who pour beam radiance from world to world, and could with one ray of glory dar ;

his throne, light up a thousand sons. ------ - *In this boundless brightness, and majestic pomp, will the son of God appear: "Ah! how unlike the despised Galliean; how unlike the the pergon, who gröäned and bled on Calvary Not now attended with twelve weak disciples, twelve mean, illiterate fishermen; but surrounded with myriads of coelestial spirits, and numberless hosts of mighty angels. With what coelestial "pomp, with what unutterable brightness, they descend through the sky, while the sun, overpowered with excessive light, shrinks and disappears'; and the 'whole bright assembly descends from heaven * with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trump of God.” The trumpet, with tremendous roar, resounds through the regions of the dead: the dead awake and rise; some exulting , with joy at the sight of their Saviour; and others terrified, confounded, & filled with inexpressible horror, at the sight of their Judge : the great and mighty, the rich and noble, warriors, captains, princes, and potentates who ruled the world, and did as they pleased amongst the sons of men, now have lost all their honpurs and command, and are filled with the utmost consternation, amazement, and distnay: they cannot bear the brightness of the Judge, they would plunge into eternal darkness, to avoid his piercing eye, and they call upon the rocks and mountains to fall upon them, “and hide then from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb : for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand.” *. -- y. ** * * * * * * jo However reluctant, they are forced to appear: urged by strong necessity, and driven by frowning'angels, they crowd to the bar, and stand trembling and astonished, on the left-handi of their Judge. The elect of God, gathered by angels from the utermost parts of the earth, and placed on the Fight-hand; they lift up their heads with joy, and, beholding the great judge of heaven and earth, with exultation and transport can say, “This is our God, we have waited for him; we will be glad and rejoice in him.” And now the time is come, when flagrant outrageous vice shall be thrown down and despised, oppressed, afflicted virtue shall be exalted; now is the time, when the mysteries of Providence shall be unveiled, when all the clouds and darkness which surrounded the ways of God, will be cleared away, and the wisdom, justice, and goodness of divine conduct fully windicated, both in those who are saved, and those who perish: now the church of CHRIsr, his spotless bride, purchased with his blood, shall appear in all her glory and beauty, all vain hypocritical pretenders will be exposed, and every thing that offendeth, done away. • * > . . . . * An awful silence is proclaimed; the books are opened; the secrets of all hearts, and every dark deed which had been carefully concealed. are bro’t to light, and then the exalted Kin *the universe, who sits in Judgment, proceeds to pass that sentence, which must stand for ever. With looks of the most kind, condescending goodness, and unspeakable complacency and delight, he first beholds the happy-heirs of life and glory, who had been enabled, by his grace, to believe in him for life and salvation, and bringforth such fruits of righteousness, as were honourable to his cause:



these happy souls look up to their Judge, with such emotions as are abov; description, and, with inexpressible joy, hear him pronounce this heart. expanding sentence, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; for I was thirsty, & ye gave me drink; 1 was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me ; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” * The redeemed of the Lord, with ineffable joy, receive the approbation of their Judge; but their meek and humble hearts will not take any praise to themselves, nor ascribe the happiness they are going to receive to any thing done by them; and, therefore, they meekly reply, “Lord when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee ? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in P or naked, and clothed thee ? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee.” Our Lord approves and commands their humility, but at the same time to let th whole assembled world know, how kindly he accepted of every instance o the kindness and benevolence they had shewn to his people, he adds, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, e have done it unto me.” - * - * The Judge then changed his countenance, and, with a look of indignation and rising wrath, which pierces through the inmost soul, he beholds the guilty wretches, who stand trembling at his left hand : filled with conscious guilt, and all the agonies of raging despair, they stand expecting their final doom, while these accents break from the lips of their angry. Judge: “Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and bis angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; ł was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick and in prison, and ye visited me not.” The wicked, conscious of guilt, not recollecting the precise acts of kindness and contempt of the Son of God, here literally specified, are em. boldened to reply, “Tord, when saw we thee an hungered, or a thirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto, thee?” However willing they may be to justify themselves, our Lord well knows the naughtiness of their heart, and is fully acquainted with their evil deeds, and, therefore, he confounds them for ever with this reply: “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” The final and eternal sentence thus passed, the execution immediately succeeds: a legion of mighty angels drive the black horrid train of trems bling sinners from the judgment seat; and, caught in a fiery tempest, they are precipitated into their dreadful place of punishment; the gulph of etermal horror and despair stretches wide its burning jaws to receive them at their fall; and they are tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever. - - - - - - - . Mean while, the friends and favourites of the Eternal King, are conducted to the paradise of God, and safe lodged in the realms of eternal bles: sedness and rest: these happy realms, formed by the eternal God for the

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abode of his people, contain every thing which can satisfy the pure desires,

of an immortal spirit, and fill the soul with holy and ever growing delight; now every fear, every sorrow, and every sin is done away ; and the happy. inhabitants of this glorious place, drink full streams of bliss, and partake,

of those joys which proceed from the throne of God, and of the Lamb;

now the redeemed of the Lord, forming one vast, one happy society. dwell in that splendid city, where the full glory of the Eternal God is manifested in the exalted Saviour, who is emphatically styled, “the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person.” Hers overy happy believer in the Son of God, dwells in the presence of his, Saviour; beholds this supreme object of his love, face to face, and is: othed by him in the beauty and glory of immortality. But all description fails: the human mind, in its present beclouded state, cannot bear the blaze of immortal glory, nor receive any adequate ideas of that boundless bliss, which the Lord will bestow on his . “For eye hath not seen, for ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive what God hath prepared for those that love him.” - o, As this doctrine of Christ's being appointed the universal Judge of eaven and earth, might seem incredible to the disciples; especially, as our Lord had but just before given them the humbling account of his sufferings and death; he proceeded to inform them, that some who heard him speak, should see so much of his glory and his kingdom while they lived, as should convince them, that his declaration was true : , “Verily, I say unto you,” said he, “there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Areeable to this prediction, the disciples lived to see the transfiguration of their Master, and to be witnesses of his glorious resurrection, and his triumhant ascension into heaven; they lived to see the descent of the Holy host, and the doctrines of the gospel propagated in various remote parts of the world; and some of them lived to see that awful and ample display of divine vengeance, manifested in the destruction of that unbelieving race, who were the professed enemies and murderers of the Lord of life, and that wieked city where he was crucified. The first of these great events succeeded the declaration in about six. days, when our great Redeemer being with the multitude in the country of Caesarea-Philippi, he left them in the plain, and, accompanied by Peter, James, and John, ascended an exceeding high mountain. In this solitude, while our Lord was praying, he was transfigured; his face assumed a glorious radiance, and emitted a beamy brightness, not inferior to the sun shining in its strength; his garments shone with a snowy whiteness, far beyond any o which human art could produce, and, like the fair beams of the morning light, glowed with a sweet refulgence, not inferior to the brightness of his countenance. Thus, for a short time the Son of God appeared in his native glory, and the majestic brightness of his divinity #. through the veil of his human nature. To heighten the solemnity of the scene, Moses, the great lawgiver of Israel, and Elijah, the great prophet, of the Lord, and supporter of the law, appeared in the beauties of immortality, and shone in those robes with which the inhabitants of the heavenly Jerusalem adorned. it appears that the disciples, being heavy with sleep at the time of prayer, did not see the brightness of this glorious scene; they, however, awaked in the utmost surprise, to behold the place shining with heavenly glory; they had lost the first part of this bright display cf our Redeemer's divinity, and of the conversation he held with the two great prophets, who came down from heaven on this great occasion; but they heard so much, as gave them to understand, that these glorious persons had been talking of those things which their Master had lately informed them of. His sufferings and death, which would soon be accomplished at Jerusalem, though they appeared to them of such an humbling nature, and contrary to the character of the Messiah, they found were not unworthy the contemplation of the greatest jersonages of the heavenly world; and though the mentioning them, j lately given such offence to Peter, he perceived that they were spoken of by persons of superior dignity and understanding, as highly honorable to the character of his Master. But the feeble nerves of the three disciles could not bear the blaze of heavenly glory ; they were amazed, con#. and terrified, and scarce knew where they were, or how they ought to behave; but the forwardness of Peter's disposition prompted him to say something on the occasion, though he considered not the propriety of tendeney of it: “Master,” said he, “it is good for us to be here; and

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