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the earth; all shall be gathered before him; listed before his tribunal. (4.) The forting of them: He shall separate the relect Sheep, and. reprobate goats, letting each party by themselves as a Shepherd who feeds his sheep and goats together all the day, separates them at night, ver:32. The godly he will set on his right hand, as the most honourable place; the wicked on the left, ver 33. Yet so as they shall be both before him, ver. 32. It seems to be an allusion to a custom in the Jewish courts, in which, one fat at the right hand of the Judge, who wrote the sentence of absolution; another at their left, who wrote the sentence of condemnation. (5) The sentencing of the parties, and that according to their works; the righteous being absolved, and the wicked condemned, ver 34, 41. Lastly, The execution of both sentences, in the driving away of the wicked into hell, and carrying the godly to heaven, ver. 49.
This doctrine I shall, (1.) confirm, (7.) explain : and (3.) apply. :
1. For confirmation of this great truth, that there shall be a i general judgment."
First, It is evident from plain Scripture-testimonies. The world has, in all ages been told of it. Enoch, before the flood, taught it in his prophecy, related Jude, ver. 14, 15. “Behold the Lord cometh * with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all,” &c. Daniel describes it, chap. vii. 9, 10. “ I beheld till the thrones were a6 cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garments was “ white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool: his chrone « was like the fiery flaine, and his 'wheels as burning fire. A fiery ! “ stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands i • stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were “ opened.” The Apostle is very express, Acts xvii. 31. “He hath " appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteouf. “ nefs, by that Man whom he hath ordained.” See Matth xvi. 27. 2 Cor. v. 10. 2 Thess. i. 7, 8, 9, 10. Rev. xx. II, 12, 13, 14, 15. I God has not only said it, but he has sworn it, Rom. xiv. 10, II. A “ We must allo stand before the judgment-seat of Christ : For it is
" written, As I live, faith the Lord, every- knee shall bow to me, ''" and every tongue shall confess to God.” So that the truth of God, is most folemnly plighted for it. ,
Secondly, The rectoral justice and goodness of God, the sovereign Ruler of the world, do necessarily require it, inasinuch as they require its being well with the righteous, and ill with the wicked. Howbeit, we often now see wickedness exalted, while truth and righteousness fall in the streets; piety oppressed, while profanity and irreligion do triumph.. This is so very ordinary, that every one, who sincerely
embraceth the way of holiness, must, and doth lay his account with the loss of all he has, which the world can take away from him.'. . Luke xiv. 26.“ If any man come to me, and hate pot his father'and “ mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and lifters, yea, and ,'..
his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” But it is consistent with the justice and goodness of God, that the affairs of men should always cuntinue in this state, which they appear in, from one génera. tion to another, but that every man be rewarded according to his , works:, and since that is not done in this life, there must be a judg. ment to come : “ Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recom.. 45 pence tribulation to them that trouble you: and to you who are , 6 troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from, ., ,“ heaven," 2 Theff. i. 6, 7. There will be a day, in which the tableš. will be turned; and the wicked shall be called to an account for all their fins, and suffer the due punishment of them; and the pious shall be the prosperous ; for, as the Apostle argues for the happy resurrection of the saints, “ If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of 16 all men most miserable," 1 Cor xv. 19. It is true, God sometimes punisheth the wicked, in this life; that men may know," he is a God
*c that judgeth in the earth :" but yet much wickedness remains un. i punished, and undiscovered; to be a pledge of the judginent to come.
If none of the wicked were punished here, they would conclude that 3 God had utterly forsaken the earth; if all of them were punished in : this life, men would be apt to think, there is no after-reckoning.'
Therefore, in the wisdom of God, some are punished now, and fome
not. · Sometimes the Lord sinites finners, in the very act of fin; to i, 4. fhew unto the world, that he is witness to all their wickedness, and,
will call him to an account for it. Sometimes he delays long, ere he
strike; that he máy discover to the world, that he forgets not men's - ill deeds, though he does not presently punish them. Besides all this,'
the sins of many do out- live them; and the impure fountain, by them opened, runs long after they are dead and gone. As in the case of Jeroboam the first king of the ten tribes; whole sin did run on all along unto the end of that unhappy kingdom, 2 Kings xvii. 22. “The
children of Israel walked in all the lists of Jeroboam, which he did; 46 they departed not from them: Ver. 23. Until the Lord removed " Ifrael out of his fight."
Thirdly, The resurrection of Christ is a certain proof, that there shall be a day of judgment. This argument Paul useth, to convince the Atheniens : says he, “ He hath given assurance to all men, in “ that he hath raised him from the dead,” Acts xvii. 31. The Judge is already named, his patent written and sealed, yea, and read before all men, in his rising again from the dead. Hereby God hath given njurance of it. (or offered faith, Marg.) He hath, by railing Christ from the dead, exhibited his credentials as Judge of the world. When, in the days of his humiliation, he was listed before a tribunāl, arraigned, 'accused and condemned of men; he plainly told them of this judgment,
and that he himself would be the Judge, Matth xxyi. 64. “ Hereafter “ Hall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and « coming in the clouds of heaven.” And now that he was railed from the dead, tho' condemned as a blasphemer on this very head ; is it not an undeniable proof, from heaven, of the truth of what he asserted? Moreover, this was one of the great ends of Christ's death
and resurrection : “ For to this end Chrjít both died and rose, and ." revived, that he might be the Lord (i. e. The Lord Judge, as is
"evident from the context) both of the dead and of the living," Rom. xiv. 9.
Laltly, Every man bears about with him a witness to this within his own breast, Rom. ii. 15. “ Which thew the work of the law “ written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and “ their thqughts the mean while 'accusing, or else excusing ope “6 another. There is a tribunal erected within every man, where ! conscience is acculer, witness, and judge, binding over the sinner to the judgment of God. This fills the most profligate wretches with horror, and inwardly stings them, upon the commission of some atroci. ous crime; in effect fummoning them to answer for it, before the the Judge of the quick and dead. And this it doth, even when the crime is secret, and hid from the eyes of the world. It reacherh those whom the laws of men cannot reach, because of their power or craft. When men have fled from the judgment of their fellow-creatures; yet, go where they will, conscience, as the supreme Jadge's officer, still keeps hold of them, reserving them in its chains to the judgment of the great day. Andi whether they escape punilhrtent from men, or fail by the hand of public justice, when they perceive death's approach, they hear from within, of this after-reckoning; being con. Itrained to hearken thereto, in these'the most serious minutes of their life.' If there be fome, in whom nothing of this doth appear, we have no more ground thence to conclude againit it, than we have io conclude, that becanie some inen do not groan, therefore they liave no pain ; or that dying is a mere jeit, because there have been, who have seemed to make little else of it. A good face may be put upon an ill conscience: and the more hopeless men's case is, they reckon it the more their interest to make no reflections on their state and case, But every one, who will consult himself serioufly, shall find in himself the witness to the judgment to come. Even the heathens wanted not a notion of it, though nixed with fiations of their own. Hence, though some of the Athenians, when they heard of ine resurrection of the-dead, mocked, Acts xvii. 32. yet there is no account of their nocking, when they heard of the general judgine nt, ver. 31.
II. For expl.cation, the following particulars niay ferre to give Come view of the nature and transactions of that great day. .
First, God fall judge the world by Jeius Christ. He noill judge - the world in righteoufiefs, by that Man whom he hath ordained, Acts xvii. 31. The Pralinis iells us, that God is judge bimself, Pfl. 1.6.
The holy blefied Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghol, is Judge,
in refpcét of judicial act oricy, dominion, and power; but the Son ' incarnale is ihe Judge, in respect of dispensation, and special exer.
cise of that power. The judgment Mall be exercised or performed by him, as the Royal Mediator; for he has a delegated power of
judgment from the Father, as his servant, his King, whom he hath 6 set upon his holy bill of Zion, (Pfal, îi. 6.) and to whom he hath com,
witled all judgment, John v. 22. This is a part of the Mediator's exaltation, given him, il consequence of his voluntary humiliat on, Philip. ii. 8, 9, 10. He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, i even the death of the cross. Wherefore God haib also highly exalted him, and given him a name, which is above every name, i.e.) power and
authority over all, to wit) That at for in) the name of Jesus (not, , in the naine of Jesus; that is not the name above every name, being
cengmon to others, as to Julius, Col. iv. 1 1. and Jofua, Heb iv. 8) Every ksee shall bow. The which is explained by the Apoftle ninself, of standing before the judgment.feat of Christ, Rom. xiv.10.11. Sohe who was judged and condemned of men, thall be the Judge of meia and angels.
Secondly, Jesus Christ the Judge, descending from heaven into , the air, (1 Thess. iv. 16, 17 ) Mall come in the clouds of heavert, with , power and great glory, Matth. xxiv. 30. This bis coming will be a mighty surprize to the world, which will be found in deep security : : foolish virgins fceping, and the wise slumbering. There will then be much luxury and debauchery in the world, little fobriety and in watchfulness; a great throng of business, but a great scarcity of faith and holiness. “As it was in the days of Noah, so also shall it .. * be in days of the Son of man. They did eat, chey drank, they " married wives, they were given ip marriage, until the day that « Noah entered into the arki and the food came and deltroyed " them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot: they did
6 eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they
is half built, and the owner regards it no more; the bridegroom, e bride, and guests must leave the wedding-feast, and appear before
the tribunal: for, Behold be cometh with clouds, and every eye Mall
in the glory of his father, with the holy angels, Mark viii. 38. When he came in the flesh, to die for finners, he laid aside the robes of his glory, and was despired and rejected of men: bur when he comes again, to judge the world, such Thall be his visible glory and majesty, that it all cat an eternal vail over all earthly glory, and fill his greatest enemies with fear and dread. Never had prince, or poten. tate in the world, such a glorious train, as will acconipany this Judge: all the holy angels thall conie with him, for his honour and Tervice. Then he, who was led to the cross with a band of foldiers, will be gloriously attended to the place of judgment, by (not a mul. titude of the heavenly hoft, but the whole holt of angels; all his holy angels, say the text.
Thirdly, Ac the coming of the Judge, the summons are given to the parties, by the found of the last crumpet; at which the dead are raised, and these found alive changed; of which before, i Thell. iv. 16, 17. O loud trumpet, that Mall be heard at once, in'all cor. ners of the earth, and of the sea? O wonderful voice, that will not only disturb those who sleep in the dust; but effectually awaken, rouze them out of their sleep, and raise them from'deach! Were trumpers founding now, druips beating, furious soldiers crying and killing men, women and children running and shrieking, the wounded groaning and dying; those who are in the graves, would have no more disturbance, than if the world were in most profound peace, Yea, were storiny winds casting down the lofty oaks, the the feas roaring and swallowing up the ships, che most dreadful thunders going along the heavens, lightnings eyery-where flashing, the earth quaking, trembling, opening, and swallowing up whole cities, and burying multitudes at once; the dead would Itill enjoy a perfe&t repose, and sleep foundly in the dust; though their own duft should be thrown out of its place. But at the sound of his trumpet they shall all awake. The morning is come, they can ficep no longer; the time of the dead, that they must be judged: they must get out of their graves, and appear before the Judge. · Fourthly, The Judge Mall fit down on the tribunal ; he Mall fit on the throne of his glory. Sometime he stood before a tribunal on carch, and was condemned as a malefactor: then shall be sit on his own tribunal, and judge the world. Sometime he hung upon the crofs, covered with thame: then he shall fit on a throne of glory. What this throne shall be, whether a bright cloud, or what else, I Thall not inquire. Qur eyes will give an answer to that question: at length. John faw a great white throne, Rev. XX. 11. His throne (lays Daniel) was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire, chap. vii. 9. Whatever it be, doubtless it shall be a throne glorious beyond expression; and, in comparison with which, the most glori. ous throne on the earth is but a seat on a dunghill; and the fight of it will equally surprise kings, who sit on thrones in this life, and beggars, who sat in dunghills. It will be a throne, for flareliness