Considerations For THURSDAY Why The Gospel Of DOOMBS-DAY Is Read Upon The First Sunday in Advent: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

GOSPEL Luke 21. 25-33 
 At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves: men withering away for fear and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty. But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand." And He spoke to them a similitude: "See the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh; so you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away."

Thursday Meditation

In mean time, we have yst this comfort that out of his great mercy he forewarneth us of this danger. 

 As when as archer leveling at some mark, if he see any standing dangerously in his way, calleth & crieth unto him, to go aside, and stand out of his aim; by which he declareth plainly, his meaning is not to shoot at him, but at some other mark, unless the man be witfully bent to hazard himself: So our blessed saviour Jesu Christ, in the words of this gospel, and our holy mother the Church by his direction appointeth us this day a fair warning to take heed of his terrible arrows, and stand from the mark in due distance and time; for although in the day of judgement these dreadful signs, of his indignation, these arrows of his anger, seem to level at all men whatsoever: yet they aim to hit only the impenitent and obstinate sinners, that will not out of the way, nor convert themselves unto God, until it be too late.

For of such as these, are understood those words of the gospel, that men shall wither and shrink for fear, as amazed at their wretched estate, unable to find any redress. 

At these, are those dreadful arrows shot, whom if they strike, they fall into everlasting punishments, beginning at this dreadful judgment, but enduring for all eternity; And therefore doth our Saviour in this place say, that these horrible signs, are but the beginning of woes. 

But those who by timely penance shall convert themselves unto God: this gospel, doth but fright them with the terror of these signs, to make them stand out of the arrows reach; and be out of danger' they are signs and calls unto them (as the prophet sayth psal.59.b.) to fly from the face of the bow. 

Comforting them besides, and bidding them, (as here is expressed to lift up their heads) for why, that their redemption is at hand; And telleth them, that to such as they be, those signs of the day of judgement, are like the tender buds and blossoms of a fruitful tree after a hard winter, that are messengers of the gladsome summers approach, as these signs so dreadful to impenitent men, are to those that be truly penitent, most cheerful signs of the nearness of the kingdom of heaven.

To this end therefore aim holy Church in this days gospel, crying unto us by these dreadful signs, to run out of the reach of those arrows of the awful judge in his latter advent at doombs day and lay hold upon the mercy and meekness if his blessed incarnation and nativity in the first advent, by devout preparation to receive him into our souls in the holy exercises of Christian religion.


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