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world, that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
We warn you, brethren, of such a day. We warn you of the certainty of its coming, of the terror with which it will fill every unholy sinner, and of the dreadful destruction which it will bring upon every soul of man that worketh evil. You think that many ages have yet to pass before it comes; and that you shall never live to see it. But from your sleep in death it will awake you, and with your eyes shall you behold it. We warn you, it is true, of things not seen as yet; but not therefore the less certain, neither the less important. Look not at the day of judgment as at an incalculable distance. Endeavour rather to view it as near at hand. In comparison of eternity it is near at hand. practical purposes it is near at hand.
you the hour of death is the same thing as the day of judgment. Your life at least is short. And what matters it whether, insensible
and unconscious, you lie in the sleep of death, for a thousand years, or but for one day? Oh! take the warning then, we pray you. We persuade you by the terrors of the Lord. We warn you to flee from the wrath to come. "The prudent man," saith the book of Proverbs, "foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on and are punished." Oh! be you prudent; give a timely consideration to these all important realities, and flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope that is set before you.
Christ Jesus is that ark, which is the preservation of all who enter in by faith. He is now the hiding place from the storm of divine wrath, the appointed Saviour of sinners. The Apostle Peter declares our baptism to be a like figure to the ark; for it is the outward sign and sacramental seal of our salvation in Christ. As we are found in him, we are safe; as we are without him, we perish. His is the only name under heaven given among men, whereby we can be saved: but he is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him. Not more
necessary to the safety of Noah was the ark which Jehovah instructed him to prepare, than is Jesus for the salvation of us perishing sinners. Not more effectually did the ark answer that purpose of mercy for which it was designed, than will Jesus prove the Saviour of all who come unto him. As Noah therefore was a preacher of righteousness unto them of old time, so we proclaim unto you the sacrifice, and righteousness, and grace, and perfect salvation, of the Lord Jesus. Him hath God set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood; and hath commanded that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.
These too are the days in which the Lord's long-suffering waiteth upon you. This is your time for repentance. It is of his mercy that you are not already consumed in your iniquities. As yet, as it were, the door of the ark is open; the call of the Saviour yet is heard, "come unto me that ye may ye may have life;" and the Gospel admonition is, "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
But take notice. When once the master of the house hath risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock saying Lord, Lord, open to us, then shall no admittance be given you. It will then be too late. As the perishing sinners in the deluge, with whatever earnestness they might desire to be taken into the ark, when the flood came on, could obtain no entrance after that the Lord had shut Noah in; so when your day of grace is past, and you have neglected the opportunity now afforded you, there will to you be no more hope of mercy, but a certain fearful looking for of wrath, and of fiery indignation. Oh! despise not the riches of the forbearance and long-suffering of God. Be greatly afraid lest, all things being ready, and a promise being left you of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. Now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation.
With most pressing and affectionate entreaty we therefore beseech you to give the most serious attention to this solemn warning. Oh! let it not be given in vain: else in
more aggravated sin will you also perish. The various calls to repentance made by the holy Scriptures now so complete, so generally known, the continual preaching of the ministers of Christ testifying to you of his great salvation, the regular return of sabbaths and sacraments in honour of his name and in commemoration of his sacrifice, these things serve to bear a stronger and plainer testimony to you of death, and eternity, and approaching judgments, than even the ark, built before their eyes, could give to the sinners of old. Despise not, neglect not, the warning. Delay not to profit by it. You know not what a day may bring forth. For
as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Equally sudden and unexpected as the deluge will be the day of judgment: equally sudden and