Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]


that he hath raised him from the Dead. And the Procefs of that great Day, with feveral of the Mat. 25. particular Circumftances of it, are fully defcribed by our Saviour. St. Paul declares exRom. 24. prefsly, that we must all appear and fand before the Judgment-feat of Chrift. St. Peter, that the 2 Cor. 5. Day of Lord fhall come, in which the Heavens 2 Pet. 3. hall pass away with a great Noife, and the Element ball melt with fervent Heat. No Doctrine more clear and exprefs, and fundaHeb. 6. 5. mental in the Word of God, than that of eternal




Q. When fball this general Judgment be?

A. At the End of the World. When the State of our Trial and Probation fhall be finished, it will be a proper Season for the Diftribution of publick Juftice, for the rewarding all those with eternal Life, who by patient ConRom.2.7. tinuance in well-doing feek for Glory, and Ho8, 9. nour, and Immortality; and for rendering to them that obey not the Truth, but obey Unrighteoufnefs, Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish.

Q. But if every Man upon his Death fhall pass into a State of Happiness or Mifery, what Need is there of a general Judgment?

A. Though it is plain from Scripture, that good Men, when they die, pafs into a State of Happiness, and bad Men into a State of Mifery; yet all the Declarations of our Saviour and his Apoftles concerning Judgment, with the Parables that relate to it, plainly refer to the last and general Judgment; for then it is only that the whole Man fhall be completely happy, or completely miserable: then it is that the Bodies of Men fhall be raised, and as they have been

[ocr errors]

been Partakers with the Soul either in obeying or offending God, fo fhall they then share in the Rewards or Punishments of it, and then only can the Degrees and Measures of their Happinefs and Mifery be truly adjusted; for even after Death the Effects of Mens good or bad Actions may add to their Punishment, or increase their Reward; by the good or bad Examples they have given, by the good or bad Books they have writ, by the Foundations they have establifhed for Piety and Virtue, or by the Customs they have introduced to countenance Vice and Immorality. Then it is that the Reafonableness of God's Providence, in relation to the Sufferings of good Men in this World, will be fully juftified, and his Goodness as amply cleared in thofe fevere Punishments that fhall be eternally inflicted upon the wicked. Moreover, this general Judgment is neceffary to difplay the Majefty and Glory of our Bleffed Saviour; that by this publick Act of Honour and Authority, he may receive fome Recompence for the Contempt and Ignominy which he met with from a wicked and ungrateful World; and that his defpifed Servants may be owned by him in the Sight of Angels and Men, to the great Confufion of all those miserable Wretches that fhall then be doomed to everlafting Torments; that publick Juftice may be done to thofe Virtues their Humility took care to conceal, which were fullied by the Calumnies and Slanders of malicious Men; and which by the falfe Judgment of the World were reprefented as the Effects of Folly and Extravagance. But I may add farther, when God hath plainly declared that there shall be a general Judgment, notwithstanding that good Men upon


their Death go into a State of Happiness, and bad Men into a State of Mifery; it is abfolutely neceffary Men fhould entirely believe it, granting that they were not able to affign any Reasons to juftify fuch a Procedure.

To whom bath God committed the Adminiftration of this Judgment?

Mat. 16.

A. The Lord Jefus Chrift is constituted by God, to adminifter the Judgment of the great Acts 17. Day. God will judge the World in Righteoufnefs by that Man, Jefus Christ, whom he hath ordained. The Son of Man fhall come in the Glory of his Father with his holy Angels, and then shall be reward every Man according to his Works. The Joh.5.22. Father judgeth no Man, but hath committed all Judgment unto the Son. The Apoftles are comActs 10. manded to preach unto the People, and testify, that it is Jefus that is ordained of God to be the Judge of Quick and Dead. And the Tribunal is Rom. 14. called the Judgment-feat of Chrift. By which Texts it plainly appeareth, that though the Right of Judging us belongs to God, whole Servants and Subjects we are, yet the Execution of this judiciary Power is particularly committed to the Son of Man, who is the fecond Perfon in the bleffed Trinity.



Joh. 5.23, 27.

[ocr errors]

Q. Why is the Adminiftration of this Judgment committed to the Lord Jefus Chrift?

A. That all Men fhould honour the Son, even as they honour the Father; and because he is the Son of Man. That our bleffed Saviour might receive publick Honour in that Nature wherein he fuffered; that he, who for our Sakes ftood before an earthly Tribunal, might therefore be conftituted Judge of the whole World; that he, who was defpifed and rejected of Men, might appear


in the Glory of his Father, attended with an innumerable Train of holy Angels; that he, who was condemned and crucified to abfolve us, might receive Authority to abfolve and condemn the whole Race of Mankind: And because, being cloathed with a human Body, he will make a visible Appearance, which will be fuitable to the other Circumstances of the great Day; all which will be performed in a visible Manner. Befides, Mankind being judged by one of their own Nature, a Man like themfelves, touched with a Feeling of their Infirmities, greatly declareth the Equity of this Judgment, because he understands all our Circumftances, and whatever may influence our Cafe to extenuate or aggravate our Guilt.

Q. Who are thofe that fhall be judged?

A. Angels and all Mankind. The fallen An- Jude, ver. gels are referved in everlafting Chains under 6. Darkness, unto the Judgment of the great Day. And St. Paul fays, Know ye not that we shall Cor.6.3. judge Angels? that is, fit with Chrift, and approve that Sentence he fhall then pronounce against them? And all Men that have ever lived in the World, and those that shall be alive at our Saviour's Coming, fhall be gathered before Mat. 25. bim, who is ordained by God to be Judge of Quick 32. and Dead, and they fhall all ftand before the 42. Judgment-feat of Christ, both Small and Great. Rev. 11. Power shall not exempt the Kings of the Earth, 18. and the great Men, neither fhall Meannefs ex- Rev. 6. cufe the poorest Slave; for they are all the Work Job 34. of bis Hands; neither will he have Regard to 19. fuch Qualities and Circumftances of Perfons, which do not at all appertain to the Merits of the Cause.

A&ts. 10.


Q. For

Q. For what fhall we be judged?

A. For all Things we have done in the Body, whether they be good or bad. All our Thoughts, Words, and Actions, fhall then undergo the fevereft Scrutiny; for they being all in fome Meafure fubject to God's Law, they shall then be examined as to the Breach or Obfervance of them. We must then give an Account how we have perform'd our Duty to God, our Neighbour, and ourselves: How we have improved Mat. 25. the Talents we have been entrusted with; par42, . ticularly we fhall be tried for the Omiffions of our Duty, which is the main Enquiry recorded in the Procedure of that great Day; and not Mat. 12. only our Actions, but every idle, that is, wicked, 36, 37. Word we shall fpeak will be brought into Judgment, and by our Words we shall be justified, and by our Words we shall be condemned: Nay, our fecret Thoughts fhall then be expofed to publick View; for all Wickedness taketh its Rife from the Heart, and the Design and Intention with which a Thing is done, frequently difcriminates the Goodnefs or Evil of the Action; therefore God fhall judge the Secrets of Mens 15, 16. Hearts by Jefus Chrift.

Rom. 2.

2 Cor. 5.


Q. By what Measures fhall the Sentence of the Great Day pass upon Men?


A. According to the Nature and Quality of Mat. 25. their Actions. The Wicked fhall go into everlasting Punishment, but the Righteous into Life eternal. So that the Rewards and Punishments of the next Life shall bear a Proportion to the Good or Evil Men have done in this.

Q. But will the Degrees of their good and bad Actions be confidered, as well as the Nature and Quality of them?

A. The

« PoprzedniaDalej »