Spurgeon once said, with characteristic humour and good sense, that there were friends of his to whom he would like to say, “Ye men of Plymouth, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? Go on with your work.” He who in a world like ours can sit and gaze with idly folded hands—let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord. A lady once asked John Wesley, “Suppose that you knew you were to die at twelve o’clock to-morrow night, how would you spend the intervening time?” “How, Madam?” he replied; “why just as I intend to spend it now. I should preach this night at Gloucester, and again at five to-morrow morning. After that I should ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I should then repair to friend Martin’s house, who expects to entertain me, converse and pray with the family as usual, retire to my room at ten o’clock, commend myself to my heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in glory.” This is the right attitude for the Christian. The old cry must not fade from our lips, nor the old hope from our heart: Maran atha, “our Lord cometh.” But meanwhile He hath given to every man his work; and we may be sure there is no preparation for His coming like the faithful doing of the appointed task. “Blessed is that servant whom His Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.”
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“I often have a kind of waking dream; up one road the image of a man decked and adorned as if for a triumph, carried up by rejoicing and exulting friends, who praise his goodness and achievements; and, on the other road, turned back to back to it, there is the very man himself, in sordid and squalid apparel, surrounded not by friends but by ministers of justice, and going on, while his friends are exulting, to his certain and perhaps awful judgment.”—R.W. CHURCH.
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CONCERNING THE JUDGMENT
“When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then shall He sit on the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all the nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.”—MATT. XXV. 31-33.
He, the speaker, will do this. It is the most stupendous claim that ever fell from human lips. A young Jewish carpenter whose brief career, as He Himself well knew, was just about to end in a violent and shameful death, tells the little, fearful band which still clung to Him, that a day is coming when before Him all the nations shall be gathered, and by Him be separated as a shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats. In the world’s long history there is nothing like it.