Job 16.22

31 December 1772


Job 16.22

When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.

Hitherto the Lord has brought us. We owe him much for the mercies of another year. My text suggests a suitable meditation for the close of it. Our great change should be always in view, and it is good some time to contemplate it more closely. We have:
  1. Whither
  2. When
1. Whither    
  1. The darkness of our present views — though a general light from the gospel, yet we know little of it. No one has returned to tell us:
  • what will the change be the moment we quit the body
  • what it is to mingle with the world of spirits
  • how we shall see and hear
    Here we are at a loss.
But let us look to the word:
    1.1 They that die in the Lord are blessed.[1] They shall see Jesus — cease from sin, from sorrow, weep and thirst no more.[2]
    1.2     Awful to the wicked. Then their thoughts, possessions and pursuits shall all perish.[3] They must meet the Judge.[4]
    1.3[5]    Unchangeable. No return. The righteous shall go out no more.[6] Now after they have been upon the mount they must come down again. The wicked likewise will be fixed. No room for repentance.[7] As the tree falls, so it must lie.[8]
2. When    
  Shortly — at the most, a few years, perhaps a few days. The time that remains can be but a few years:
  • to many in comparison of the time they have already lived.
  • to all in comparison of eternity.
1. To enforce the care of the one thing needful.[9]
2. To believers:
  • to moderate their grief
  • to quicken them in the Lord's service
  • to check their attachment to the things of time

[1] Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
[2] Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
[3 Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
[4] Revelation 20:12-13 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
[5 Newton used a large “2” as if the next heading after “1. Whither”. He then wrote a smaller “2” in line with the above edited as 1.2. It is therefore assumed to have been his 3rd point under “Whither”.
[6 Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
[7] Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
[8 Ecclesiastes 11:3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
[9]  Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

From Newton's pocket sermon notebook, C&N 714(24) N50, Cowper & Newton Museum, Olney, Bucks
© Marylynn Rouse 2000

Marylynn Rouse, 31/12/2014