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SERM. plea heard and scanned; the merits of every cause weighed XXX11I. in an even balance, according to truth and equity; men's neglects and omissions of duty (hall also come under consideration; an account will be exacted of all the talents entrusted to any man, (of the abilities, opportunities, and advantages he ever had of doing God service,) and of what improvements answerable he hath made; what men have done themselves, and what they have done by others, from the influence of their advice, their persuasion, or 1 Cor. iv. 5. their example, shall be searched out and poised; God, faith St. Paul, will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, Rom.ii.29.and will make manifest the counsels of hearts; and, Of Matcxi'i. every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an i6- account at the day of judgment, faith our Lord; and,
Matt. xxv. After a long time, faith he again, the Lord of those ferEccleC xii vants cometh, and reckoneth with them, &c. and, Every 4. work, faith the Preacher, God shall bring into judgment,
with every secret thing, whether it le good, or whether it be evil.
6. That upon each man, according to the true quality of his doings, thus detected, examined, and stated, a definitive sentence shall pass, whereby he (hall be acquitted and approved, or condemned and reprobated; Tots 6 rs-aivo? I Cor. ir. s.yrAperau ixarw, Then, faith St. Paul, praise Jhall le to each one; praise, that is, generally, (by an eupijjiAKr/xoy, or favourable manner of speech,) a due taxation and esteem, accordMatt, Xxt. ing to merit: then, Well done, good and faithful servant, lj' and, 0 thou bad and slothful servant, shall be pronounced to one or the other sort of men, respectively, according to their demeanour here. M.jSarih- 7. That according to the purport of this sentence a disHeb. xi 26 crirninati°n fh^ De made; and to one party a gracious reward, correspondent to the quality and measure of their good works, in a blissful place; to the other, a sore punishment, in proportion to their demerits, in a place of misery: to the one, everlasting joy and glory above in heaven; to the other, endless sorrow and shame beneath in hell, shall Matt. xvi. be assigned and dispensed effectually. The Son of man Jhall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then
he stall reward every man according to his works; he will SERM. separate them one from another, as a shepherddivideth his XXXIII. Jheepfrom the goats; and he shall set hisjheep on his right Mm. xxv. hand, but the goats on the left: then the King shall fay unto 3a> &cthem on his right hand, Come, ye bleffed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:—and, Then he shall fay also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting Jire, prepared for the devil and his angels: and, the good and faithful servant shall enter into his Master's joy; the bad and slothful shall be cq/l into utter darkness, where is weep- Matt. xxv. mg and gnashing of teeth: so our Lord himself expresseth' it: and St. Paul thus; We must, faith he, all appear before2Cor.v. 10. the tribunal of God, "va xojj.i<TtjTa.i ixu?o;, that each one may bear away the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad: and, God will Rom. ii. render unto every man according to his works: to them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every foul of man that doeth evil: and even of old the Prophet Daniel thus briefly did express this different doom; Many of them that steep in the dust of the'Dxn. xii. a. earth stall awake; some to everlastkig life, and some to Jhame and everlasting contempt. Hence in regard to one party is the time of judgment styled the season of refresh- Acts iii. 19. ment, the day of redemption, the time of recompense; inLukexiv.° reference to the other, the day of wrath, the day of de- >*• Jhruclion, the time of vengeance; when our Lord will, as R0m. ii. j.
St. Paul faith, take vengeance on them that know not God,a £?■,"!•7" 0 aThef. 1. 8.
and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who Jfiall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
8. We are also farther taught, that all this shall be transacted in a regular, public, and most solemn manner, in open court, in the face and audience of all the world, before angels and men. For our Lord is described com-*Tbtf'<-7ing to judgment with attendance of all the holy angels; M,tt. xxv.' * SERM. and the saints, being themselves first approved, (hall be
XXX11I. come assessors there; and all men are represented as pre
Jude xiv. fent at tne trial, or as spectators and auditors thereof:
j Cor. vi. 2. Whosoever, faith our Lord, Jhall confess me before men, him
as. Jhall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God;
Luke xii. uut ne taat fenigih me lefore rnen, Jhall be denied before
Matt. x. 32. the angels of God: and, There is nothing covered that
Luke xii. a.jhan not i,e reveaieii. neither hid, that stall not be known:
whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness Jhall be heard in the
light; and that which ye have spoken in closets Jhall be
proclaimed upon the house-tops.
g. That also the judgment shall pass to the full conviction and entire satisfaction of all that are present; so that each one concerned therein shall be forced in conscience to acquiesce in his doom, as most just and equal; the condemned stooping with awe to his justice; the absolved adoring with humble reverence his mercy; the spectators applauding with admiration his holy wisdom: for that Rom. ii. s. day will be, as St. Paul callelh it, a day pf revelation of God's righteous judgment; and God in regard thereto is Rom. xiv. represented speaking thus; To me, as I live, faith the Lord, every knee Jhall bow, and every tongue Jhall give a Thef. i. glory to God: and, our Lord, in that day, faith St. Paul, 1"' will be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that
Jude xv. believe: and, He will then, as it is in St. Jude, convince all that are ungodly of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodlily committed, and of all' the hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken again/I him. So that thereupon those confessions and acclamations of praise in Rev.xix.s.the Revelation shall be resounded through heaven; Alle10. xv. a. luia; Salvation, and glory, and power, be to the Lord our God; for true and righteous are his judgments: Salvation be unto our Lord, that Jitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb: Great and wonderful are thy works, 0 Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, 0 thou King of Saints.
Thus do the holy Pandects of our religion set out that judgment, which all men hereafter must undergo; wherein all the attributes of God shall be conspicuously glorified; his wonderful clemency shall be sweetly displayed, his SERM. exact justice shall be terribly demonstrated, his perfect XXXIII. wisdom sliall be clearly unfolded; wherein the knotty"~~ ~~ intrigues of Providence sliall be loosed, and the mysterious depths of the divine counsels shall be laid open; and God's honour, which now by the bold and rash judgments of men is often attacked, shall be thoroughly cleared and repaired, to the joyful satisfaction of all pious men, and fad confusion of the impious; wherein the great wisdom of those, who before all things choose to be good and to serve God, and the extreme folly of those who scorn or neglect piety, sliall be most evidently apparent; wherein, finally, all scores that now so undiseemibly run on shall be exactly quitted and even; impartial right shall be done 5 every man shall have his due assigned and rendered to him.
But let so much suffice concerning the judgment appointed: we proceed to the next particular, the Judge ordained; he; that is, Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.
II. The original right and absolute power of judging doth inseparably pertain to God Almighty, whose creatures, whose servants, whose subjects we are, and consequently to whose judgment we stand obnoxious; as he is naturally the Sovereign Lord and King of the world, so he is, as the Apostle calleth him, xpmjj vrirrtov, the Judge Heb.x\i.f3. of all persons and things; and particularly Judge of all as n"XV1"* the earth, or of all men, as Abraham did style him; as upon the grounds specified we do owe obedience to the laws he prescribeth us, performance of the service he allotteth us, and improvement of the talents he committed] to us; so we do thence stand obliged to render an account to him of our correspondent behaviour, and due management in those respects, and are liable to the judgment he shall make thereof: all judgment therefore must be exercised either immediately by God himself, or in subordination to him ; in his name and right, and by virtue of authority derived from him; otherwise that of St. Paul) Who art thou that judge/I another's servant, might beRom.xiT.*. SERM. alleged against any, who, without licence or commission
XXXIII. from him, should presume to judge us.
Now that immediately God should administer any judgment, is incongruous to his nature and to ours; it is particularly unsuitable to the manner of this judgment, which God designeth to be such as may pass openly before all the world, to the conspicuous declaration of his glorious justice and mercy, to the clear satisfaction and conviction of all persons interested therein: which, that it might be, it was Jit, as St. Austin faith, that they who were to be judged Jhouldjee their judge; »it is fit, that the assistants, and spectators, or witnesses thereof, should discern the process: but the glorious and dreadful presence of God cannot be discernible by us, or would not be support
iTim.vi. able; He, faith St. Paul, inhabiteth inaccessible light, so that no man hath seen, or can fee him: and, Thou canst not
xxm 20 J*6 mysaCe> saith he to Moses > for there Jhall no man fee l"vi'.a.' me> and live.' tnat majesty, before which the purest seraphins, being dazzled with its infinite brightness, are constrained to veil their faces; that presence, of which the (Psdv 32 ProPhet saith» The mountains quake at him, and the hills xviii. Is.) 'melt, and the earth is burnt in his presence; yea, the world, and all that dwell therein; how should frail and impure' flesh sustain? how should guilty sinners appear before cLl"3ri'7'him? Wk° may Jiand in his Jight when he is angry? «im! 1'. when he is angry, at whose wrath the earth Jliall tremble, Jer.x. 10. and the nations Jhall not be able to abide his indignation: K.xlvi.e. What ear of mortal man could endure that voice, at which j° "V1- the earth meltelh; that reproof, at which the pillars of heaven are astonished? It being therefore from the divine excellency impossible or inconvenient, that God himself, immediately as such, should exercise judgment; it hath pleased him, in his stead, to constitute one most fit for that employment: as he for particular temporal judgments here hath appointed princes and governors visibly to ma
• Etenim ca quæ judicantur, o'portebat videre judicem et scire'hunc a Quo judicantur, &c. Im. iii. 9. H
Rectum erat, ut judicandi viderent judicem. Aug.