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SERM. 7« This appointment of Jesus for our Judge is farther XXXIII. very conducible to our edification, in way of excitement to "the practice of our duty, and encouragement thereto; in way of consolation and satisfaction to our soul.

It considered is apt to raise in us a high reverence and dread of our Saviour; and consequently to dispose us to the observance of his laws, and imitation of his example.

It is matter of special comfort and encouragement to consider, that hence assuredly we (hall find a fair and favourable trial; since it is no enemy, not one disaffected, yea, not one indifferently affected toward us, who shall judge us, but our best friend; from whom we may expect not only justice and equity, but all the favour and kindness our cause will bear.

It also duly pondered is most proper to work in us an earnest care, and fear of sinning, and thereby of becoming obnoxious to condemnation: for what an aggravation will it yield to our whether foolish perverseness or slothful negligence; how extreme disingenuity, how wretched ingratitude will it argue in us, to be cast and condemned by such a judge; a judge so fair and equal, so mild and gentle, so benign and favourable to us ; so willing to acquit us, so desirous to save us! With what face, think we, having transgressed his most good and righteous laws, having rejected all his gracious tenders of mercy and favour, having defeated all his most serious purposes, and frustrated his most painful endeavours for our welfare; having violated our manifold obligations and engagements to him; having abused his so unexpresllble great love and good-will toward us; having hence deplorably forfeited all his favour, and incurred his most grievous displeasure; with what face, I say, having done all this, shall we appear in his presence? how then shall we bear the frowns of his tender love changed into fierce disdain, of highest patience turned into extreme fury, of so terrible a majesty provoked by so heinous affronts? with what heart shall we hear that once most sweet and charming voice, which in so pleasant and affectionate a strain did sound forth words of peace and a Cot.T. Jo. comfort in our ears; that so kindly invited us to reconciiiation, so meekly sued us to a compliance with him, so SERM. liberally offered to us the best things in the world upon so XXXIII. gentle terms, now only uttering toward us bitter com-' plaints and sore rebukes; thundering forth words of indignation and terror, denouncing most horrible menaces and curses upon us.

Thus, and to such purposes, is Jesus our Lord appointed to be our Judge: I (hall only farther touch the manner of his exercising and executing this office, or the way of his address and proceeding thereto; the which in holy Scripture (for the begetting in us a regard, veneration, and awe suitable thereto) is described to be with greatest glory, state, and solemnity. Our Lord came once in a meek humility to shew us our duty, but he (hall come again with a dreadful majesty to exact: an account thereof; taking his progress from the highest heavens in most royal ^vitll. magnificent equipage, attended upon with a numerous, or e,"•2*• with a numberless, and most pompous train of angels, {with all the holy angels, it is expressly said,) accompanied Matt. ixr. with triumphal stiouts and acclamations; a trumpet ofj^ M God, (that is, a wonderfully and unconceivably sonorous' Thef. iv. trumpet, blown, as it were, by the mouth of God,) and the 2 -fhes. i. 7. voice of an archangel resounding before him an universal summons, with a noise so loud and piercing, as (hall immediately, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, shake 1 Cor. xr. all the earth, and rouse all the dead out of their mortali2' slumber; the irresistible breath of that all-powerful voice waiting them, together with all surviving people, through 1 Thes. iv. the clouds into the presence of their Judge, conspicuously JJ'tt_ B( seated in most glorious state upon his royal tribunal. si.

This fame Jesus, said the two angels to the Apostles, Ao» i. 11. expressing this matter in the most simple and plain manner, /hall come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven: a cloud took him up from their eyes then, and the clouds, as they imply, should restore him to their sight; for, Behold, faith St. John, he cometh with the clouds; andRc- '<■ 7. (very eye shall fee him: and, They shall fee the Son qfman30_ x'vj- ^ coning upon the clouds of heaven in power and great glory; Matt- *"• and, When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and aWaThes. i.


SERM. tne noty angels with him, then Jhall he fit upon the throne

XXXIII. o/" his glory, faith our Lord himself somewhat more ex

* plicitly: but St. Paul with most punctuality describeth

1 Theff. iv. the manner of his appearance; The Lord, faith he, Jhall

,6- descend from heaven with a Jhout, (iv KiKeus-ftari, with an

Sj. exciting or commanding summons,) with the voice of an

archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in

Christ Jhall rise first: then we, which are alive and remain,

Jhall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet

the Lord in the air; and so Jhall we ever be with the Lord.

In such manner, to the purpose of exciting due respect

and dread within us, is our Lord represented at the end of

the world to come down from heaven, for the exercising

this judgment.

III. I proceed to the last particular observed in the text, which is the objects, or the extent of the judgment ordained: whom is our Lord ordained to judge? how many shall they be? It is resolved; all, without exception; expressed here by the words quick and dead: and otheriTim.iv.i.where by St. Paul; I charge thee, faith he to Timothy, Rom.xiv.9. lefore God and the Lord Jesus Chrijl, who Jhall judge the quick and dead at his appearing and his kingdom: and by I Pet. iv. 5. St. Peter likewise; Who, faith he, concerning profane men, Jhall render an account to him that is ready to judge loth the quick and dead; which places evidently do confirm the truth of the proposition, that all men are obnoxious and shall be subjected to this judgment; but yet so that the words themselves, quick and dead, may seem to need some explication; for it being a common law, to which all men by nature, such as it now stands, after the Heb.ix.27.curse, are subject to undergo death; for thence it is, as I(a!'hucxiz. l'ie Apostle faith, appointed for men once to die, and after **■ death judgment; and, What man is he, faith the Psalmist,

that Jhall not fee death P and that being so, why should not the dead comprehend all that are to be judged? acRev.xx.u. cordingly as we fee it expressed in the Revelation; I saw the dead, great and small, standing before Godand the dead were judged for the things written in the books, according to their works. The dead were judged; no mention is made of the living: wherefore, to evade this ob- SERM. jection, some have interpreted the dead and living, not for XXXIII. a distinction of persons, but of parts in men; of the living souls and dead bodies of men: others have taken the words as signifying metaphorically the living, that is, righteous men, lay they, or persons endued with a spiritual life; and the dead, that is, persons dead in trespassesEph.ii. 1. and Jim, or void of spiritual sense and activity. But the difficulty is not so mighty as to force us upon so remote and absonous interpretations, St. Paul having plainly enough {hewed us how to understand his words, and how to solve the knot propounded; that by the living are to be understood those who (hall be found, as it were surprised, alive at our Lord's coming; by the dead, all other persons, who, from the beginning before that time, had deceased, and mould be raised up at the sound of the last trump; This we fay to you, faith he to the Thessalonians, 1 Thess. iv. htke word of the Lord, that we which live, remaining at1*' the presence of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are afleep. Our Lord is therefore supposed by the Apostle to nnd some alive at his coming; wherefore, that which 18 affirmed concerning all men being appointed to taste death, (being otherwise, as the instances of Enoch and Elias ffiew, liable to exception,) is to be understood, by a synecdoche very ordinary in such cases, for the incomparably greater part of men; for all indeed, but one generation; or with this abatement, all but those whose death (hall be prevented by our Lord's appearance; (the which is set out as very sudden and unexpected, like the coming of a thief in the night;) even those men also being in nature and condition mortal like others, although accidentally thus escaping the actual stroke of death. Neither shall even those persons be so exempted from death, but that they must undergo somewhat equivalent thereto; a change, which {hall render them alike prepared for judgment with those who had undergone death; for, Behold, 1 Cor. xv faith St. Paul again to the Corinthians, / tell you a myjle- 51" ry; We shall not all fall afleep, but we shall all be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye: which Word*


SERM. alone do with sufficient evidence declare the meaning- of XXXIII. thig distinction between quick and dead. The sum is, that all persons, none excepted, of what condition or quality, what nation or time, what sex or what age soever, mall be exposed to the judgment; high and low, rich and poor, wise and simple, learned and ignorant, good and bad; the mightiest princes and lords, no less than the meanest subjects and slaves; the subtlest statesmen and deepest scholars, no less than the silliest idiots: in a word, most universally all without any distinction, any privilege, any • acceptance of persons, all and every one must certainly appear at this bar, must undergo this trial, must here receive their sentence and doom, must undergo reward or punishment accordingly.

IV. The doctrinal part I have thus gone through of this grand point; it remaineth to make some application thereof. The considering it is indeed most necessary, and exceedingly profitable in many respects: there is no kind of virtue or good practice, which the serious consideration thereof is not apt to produce; no good affection, which it may not serve to excite ; no good duty, to which it doth not powerfully engage us: there is likewise no ill passion, which it may not help to quell or repress; no bad design or action, which it may not effectually deter or discourage us from. Of so many particular uses I sliall only touch those which are most obvious; especially those unto which the Scripture doth expressly apply the consideration thereof.

I. It greatly doth engage us to be very circumspect in

all our conversation, and vigilant over our ways; for since

by irreversible decree it is appointed, that we must render

an account of every thought arising in our mind, (at least

of those which find harbour and entertainment there;) of

every word that passeth through our mouth; of every

action which we do undertake; what exceeding reason

Matt. xxv. have we, with most attentive and accurate regard, to mind

4i 44.'V whatever we do? Since it is certain, that for all these

things we (hall be judged, but uncertain to us when we

Rev. iii. 3. shall be called thereto; how watchful .are we concerned

XTl. u.

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