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nage them as his ministers and vicegerents in his name SERM. and behalf; so that universal and ultimate judgment he XXX]nhath (for his own greater glory and our special benefit) committed unto his beloved Son Jesus, our blessed Mediator and Saviour; the fame who, with most admirable condescension of grace and charity, did once come hither in our nature to rescue us from sin and misery; who underwent so many crosses and troubles for us; who freely laid down his life to redeem and save us; he it is, who is M^is-jaiEyof u*o ©ea xpiTtjf, decreed and determined by God (or under him, as his substitute and deputy) to be our (1 Cor. xv. judge: so in our text; and so again St. Paul; God hath Acts xvii. appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in right- aieousness, h avSgi w mpitriv, by the man, or in the man, whom Rom- xivhe hath ordained; whence it is called the judgment-feat of* Cor. v.10. Christ, before which we must appear: and, The Father, 1 ^or- ,v" *" faith our Lord himself, judgelh no man, (that is, imme- 27diately and separately,) but hath given all judgment to the Son: and, The Father, he addeth, hath given to the Son MeaTim'iv-1authority, and to execute judgment, because he is the Son of slum; that is, God hath conferred on him the sovereign regal authority, and hath particularly committed to him that prime branch thereof, judicial power; even as he is the Son of man: so that as in our nature he performed all that was requisite to save us, as in our nature he was exalted to God's right hand to rule and bless us; bso for consummation of all done in our regard, he shall in our nature appear to judge us; awarding to us the rewards he purchased for us, or punishments for the contempt of his favours.

And, indeed, that he under this name and notion was designed to this office, even the ancient Prophets did foreshew: for it was one like the Son of man, whom DanielDan> v"

... , ~ , . 13, 14.

did behold coming with the clouds of heaven, having all royal dominion and power given unto him; and it was, according to Isaiah's predictions, the Son, born and given}**- vii- u; unto us, upon whose shoulder the government should be, and3.'xli'i. 1, a. SERM. to whom the kingdom should be assigned, to order it, and

h Ilia forma vidcbitur Filii, quam fibi per sacramcntum incarnationis unirit, &C. Profs. Sint. 337.

XXXIII. estallijh it, with judgment and justice for ever.

~~ The point then is manifest, that our Saviour Jesus, by

designment and deputation from God, is invested with ihis

eminent office and power. And why it should be so, many

reasons, many fair congruities, may be assigned.

I.It was requisite (as we before touched) that the judge should be visible, and audible; such whom the parties concerned might (without extreme surprise and amazement) discern and converse with, in order to their clearer and fuller satisfaction, or conviction: such our Lord, the Son of man, clothed with glorified flesh, will be; his mild and sweet, though bright and stately aspect, all men in some manner may be capable of seeing; his calm and clear voice all men may hear: him the just may with cheerful satisfaction behold smiling on them with gracious kindness; and the wicked also with fad confusion may view frowning toward them with just disdain: those with comfortable joy may hear him acquitting, commending, and blessing them; these with due regret also may hear him convincing, reproving, and denouncing the fatal curse on them: so that hereupon the former, with humble thankfulness, shall willingly acknowledge and praise his grace; the latter, with shameful horror, constrainedly shall confess Rev. i. 7. their guilt before him: Behold, faith St. John, with an emphatical regard it seems to this consideration, he cometh in the clouds; and every eye Jhall fee him, even they who M»tt. «iv. pierced him: and, They, faith our Lord himself, Jhall fee 64 x"V34 l^e ^on °fman coming upon the clouds of heaven, in power &c. and great glory: and our Lord is represented in judgment

speaking and arguing the case with all parties concerned, receiving their plea, and expressing his mind to them: this is a kind of natural capacity qualifying him for this employment; but there are considerations of a higher nature peculiarly fitting him for it.

2. It was indeed a good part of that regal office, which God, in reward of his obedience, and to declare his acJohn xvii.2. ceptance thereof, did confer upon him; giving him a power JJ*'*MVI"' over all flesh, all authority in heaven and earth; whence it is by St. Paul called Aw kingdom; I charge thee, faith he SERM. to Timothy, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who XXXIII. jhall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his 2xim.iv.i. kingdom: he being then our King, and as such the fountain of all justioe, must either himself in person, or by some delegate, administer it; but that he should immediately do it, divers special reasons do suggest themselves.

3. It is an office of too great eminence and dignity to be imparted to any other: he alone who subsists in union with God, who is the Son of God, who hath most highly pleased God, who hath merited a sovereignty over us, and a supreme eminency above all creatures, is capable of the honour to determine those points of the highest importance concerning the final doom of God's creatures, and the salvation of those souls whom he hath purchased; Worthy is Rev. T. 9, he alone lo receive the book, (of judgment,) and lo open the

seals thereof; because he was stain, and hath redeemed us lo God by his blood: Worthy is the Lamb (worthy exclusively, and solely) that was stain to receive the power and honour, the glory and blessing, annexed to this high office.

As there is nothing more apt to beget in us veneration toward him, than considering that he (hall be our judge, upon whose sentence our fate and felicity must depend; so it is therefore most fit, that it incommunicably and solely should belong to him; especially seeing God with especial regard to his honour did affign the judicial office to him: the Father, it is said, hath committed all judgment to the John v. as, Son; that all men might honour the Son, as they do the"13' Father.

4. He alone also hath capacities proper for this judica- «!«•. ture: he only hath that divine faculty of searching men's £7«{(TTM, hearts; he only is furnished with wisdom to know all mat- '" irmMf ters of fact that ever were, and to discern the right in cicm. Al. every case; he above all, being absolutely good, is en- p"d- '••• dued with perfect equity of mind, and immutable love of

right, always disposing him to judge most justly; he alone can have in him that p.irpKnrd&ma, or exact temperament Heb. v. 3. of affection toward men, which is requisite to the distribution of equal justice toward them, according to due mea

SERM. Cures of mercy and severity; the highest angel in heaven

XXXIII. were incapable so rightly to distinguish the strict bounds

of these things. Wherefore in regard to these dispositions

peculiar to him, we are even by the ancient Prophets in

Isa. xi. 3,3, formed, that this office is allotted to him; The spirit of the Lord, faith Isaiah, Jhall reft, upon him, the spirit of wisdomand Jliall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he fliall not judge after the fight of his eyes, nor reprove after the hearing of his ears : but with righteousness Jhall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and, A bruised reed (faith God in the same Prophet, intimating his incomparable sagacity, equity, and temper, as it were, for this

K». xlii. 3. purpose) fliall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth: and,

Psal. Xit. 7. Thou, faith the Psalmist concerning him, lovest righteorisness, and hateft iniquity: therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

5. By this designation the glory of God is especially promoted, his most excellent attributes being much illustrated thereby: his wisdom appeareth in constituting one so in all respects most fit to discharge the office, and his goodness most clearly shines therein: for since it was requisite that a judgment should pass upon us, how could the terror thereof be better allayed, than by putting it into the hands of his Son? to whose cognizance, were the choice permitted to us, should we rather submit our actions, than to his? to whom rather should we freely commit all our life and welfare, than to him, who by nature is so nearly allied to us, and hath not disdained to

MMt.xi.29. call us brethren? who in disposition of spirit is so meek and r 1.11. it-lojuiy^ f0 merciful and compassionate? who here was visibly in disposition and demeanour a lamb, and is represented to us continuing such; than to him, who by so many signal experiments hath expressed an excess of kindness towards us, and tenderness of our welfare; who hath conspicuously evidenced himself to be the best friend to mankind; that he ardently defireth the salvation of all men,

IV. 13.

even of his worst enemies; for whom he willingly did SERM. spend his blood, for whom he dying earnestly prayed; XXXIII. whom he continually wooeth to reconciliation and repentance, and consequently to the enjoyment of greatest happiness? How then could God more plainly express his goodness toward us, than in assigning such a Judge for us?

How also could he exhibit a more illustrious instance of his justice, and love to righteousness, than in advancing him to so glorious an office, who out of perfect compliance to his will did freely stoop so low, and gladly undergo so much? Worthy of God it was, and a congruous retribution, to place the crown on his head, to put the sceptre Re*.». 13. into his hand, who willingly bore a cross, who patiently submitted to a scourge; to constitute him the Judge, who, out of abundant piety to God and charity to God's creature, was contented to be arraigned, to be sentenced, to be executed as a malefactor: he dearly purchased the right to be Lord of dead and living, and just it was that in effect Rom. xiv.9. he (hould obtain it.

6. Just it likewise was, that to him, immediately and solemnly, should be consigned a power to acknowledge and reward his faithful friends and servants; those who had believed his word, had observed his laws, had out of love and respect done much and suffered much for him.

Just also it was, that he should be empowered to do himself right upon his proud and spiteful enemies; that he should see them lying under his feet, and at his disposal, who had so scornfully insulted on him, and so cruelly milused him; that he righteously should judge them, who so maliciously had accused and so injuriously condemned him; should chastise them severely, who most unmercifully had afflicted and slaughtered him; should worthily reprobate al] those, who had unworthily rejected him: in fine, that he should render a due recompense to all wicked persons, who by distrusting his word, by despising his overtures of grace and mercy, by resisting his will and rejecting his authority, by trampling upon his holy doctrine and laws, had wronged, had dishonoured, had disclaimed him.

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