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impurities are exposed! the rottenness that is within many a whited fepulchre, the speculative filthiness and wantonners, murder and malignity, now lurking in the hearts of men, as in the chamber of imagery, will then be discovered ; and what good was in the hearts of any, fail no more lie concealed. If it was in their hearts to build a house '19_the Lord, they thall hear, that they did wil that it was in their heart.
This trial wi ib: m ieous and in pa tiad, cc'ırate and searching, 'clear and evide. t. The Jidge in the righteous Judge, and he will do right to every one. Huius a just balance for good and evil actions, and for boneft,nd talie harts. The fig leave cover of bypocrisy will then be blown astuc, and che hypocrite's nakeivels will appear; as when the Lord came to judge Adam and Eve in the cool (or, as the wordi, in the wind of the day, Gen. :11.8 The firef wh chiries things mult exquilat 1.') shall try every man's work, of wiat fort it is, 1 Cor. ni 13. Man's juugnent is oft-times perplexed and confused; but here the whole process Mhall be clear and evident, as written with a fuo-bem. It shall be clear to the Judge, to whom no cale can be intricate; to the parties, who shall be convinced, Jude 15. And thie multitudes on bota) files, ihfe the judge is clear when he judgeth: for then the homens shall declore his righteousness, in the audience of all the world; and to it lhall be universally known, Pral. l. 6.
On these accounts it is, that this trial is held out in the scripture under the 11t10n of opening of books; and m. n are said to be judged 041 of those things wy tren in the books, Rev xx 12. The Judge of the world, who iniallioly knoweth all chungs, ha n no need of books to be laid before him), to prevent mifiuke in any point of law or fact; but the expreffi n points at h: proceeding, as mofl nice, accurare, jult, and well grunded, in every fiep of it. Now, there are four books that shall be opened in Hat day. • Finli, The book of God's reinembrance or omniscience, Mal. iii. 19. This is an ex.ct.ccord of every man's staie, thoughts, words, and dceds, good or evil: it is, as it were, a day-book, in which the Lord pirts down all that pasech in mens hearts, lips, and lives; and it is a-filling up cvery day that one lives. In it are recorded mens fins and good works, fecret and open, with all their circumstances, Hese are registred all their privileges, mercies temporal and spi. ritual, lone-time laid to their hand; the checking admonitions, and rebukes, given by teachers, neighbours, afflictions, and mens own conciencis; every thing in its due order. This book will serve only as a libeii refpect of the ungodly; but it will be for another use in rcfpect of godly, namely, for a memorial of their good. The opening of it is the Judge's bringing to light what is written in it'; the reading as it were, of the libel and memorial, respectively, in their hearing.
Secondly, The book of conscience will be opened, and shall be as a thousand witnelles to prove the fact, Rom. ii. 15. Which shew the
work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing
this is a book, which was always in their own custody. Thus shall - the Judge mike every man see himself, in the glass of his own cona - science, which will make quick work. P... Thirdly, The book of the Law shall be opened. This book is the * standard and rule, by which is known' what is right, and what is
wrong; as also, what sentence is to be paltd accordiniy, on these who are under it. As to tbe opening of this book, in its statutory part, which shews what is sin, and what is duty; it falls in with the opening of the book of conscience. For conscience is ser, by the
Sovereign Lawgiver, in every man's breast, to be his private s teacher, so shew him the law, and his private paftor, to make ap. Laplication of the same; and, at that day, it will be perfectly fit for
its office; so that the conscience, which is most stupid now, inail thea read to the man, most accurate, but dreadful lectures, on the law. But what seems (mainly at least) pointed at, by the opening
of this book, is the opening of that part of it, which determines 1 the reward of mens works. Now, the law promiseil life, upon
perfect obedience: but none can be found on the right hand, or on the left, who will pretend to that, when once the book of conscie ence is opened, ic ilireatneth death upon disobedience, and will ef.
fecturally bring it upon all under its dominion. And this part of on the book of the law, determining the reward of mens works, is
before. Beseduced into.
opened, only to thew what must be che portion of the ungodly, and that there they may read their sentence before it be pronounced. But it is not opened for the sentence of che faints; for no sentence ab. folving a finger could ever be drawn out of it. The law promiseth life, not as it is a rule of actions, but as a covenant of works: And therefore innocent man could not have demanded life upon his obedience, cill the law was reduced into the form of a cove. nant; as was Mewn before. But the saints having been, in this life, brought under a new covenant, namely, the covenant of grace, were dead to the law, as a covenant of works, and it was dead to them. Whereture, as they shall not have any fears of death froin it, so they can have no hopes of life from it, fince they are not un der the law, but under grace, Rom. vi. 14. But, for their senter.ce, another book is opened; of which in the next place.
Thus the book of the law is opened, for the fencegce against all thofe on the left hand: and by it they will clearly see the justice of the judgment against them, and how the judge proceeds there. A in according to law. Nevertheless, there will be this diffi rence, pamely, that th: fe who had only the natural law, aith lived not under any special revelation, Mall be judged by that law of nature they had in their hearts : which law bears, that they who commit such things (as they will stand convicted of) are worthy of death, Rom. i. 32. But there, who had the written law, to whom the word of God came, as it has founded in the vilible church, fhall be judged by that written law. So lays the Apostle, Rom. ii. 12. For as many as hav" finned without the written) law, Avall perish without the written) law: and as many as have finned in the law (i. e. under the written law) shall be judged by the (written) law,
Lastly, Another book thall be opened, :vhich is the book of lif, Rev. XX. 12. In this, the names of all the elect are written, as Christ said to his difciples, Luke x. 20 Your names are written in heaven. This book contains God's gracious and unchangeable purpose, co bring all the elect to eteral lite; and that, in order thereto, they be redeemed by the blood of his Son, effectually called, justified,
adopred, fanctified, and raised up by him at the last day without i - an. It is now lodged in die Mediator's hand, as the buok of the
manner of the kingdom ; and having perfected the work the Father gave them to do; he shall, on the great day prudace, and open i he book, and present the perfons therein named, faultless before the presence of his glory, Jude 24. Not having spot or curinkle, or any such thing, Eph. v. 27. None of them all, who are named in the book, thall be m ffing. They shall be found qualified, according to the order of the book, redeemed, called, jultified, sanctified, railed up without spot : what remains then, but that, according co the farne book, they obtain the great end, namely, everlasting life. This may be gathered from that precious promise, Rey.lli 5 * He chat overconeth, che faire fail be clothed in white raimerit,
" (being raised in glory) and I will not blot out his name out of the a book of life. But I will confess his name (it shall be, as it were, " read out ainong the rest of God's elect) before my Father, and " before his angels.” Here is now the ground of the saints' absolviture, the ground of the blessed sentence they shall receive The
book of life being opened, it will be known to all, who are elected, 7 and who are not. Thus far of the trial of the parties. " - Eightly, Then shall the Judge pronounce that blessed fenience on
the faints, “ Come ye blesled of my Father, inherit the kingdom « prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” Matth xxv 34. It is most probable, the Man CHRIST will pronounce it with an audi. ble voice; which not only all the saints, but all the wicked likewise, fhall hear and understand. Who can conceive the inexpressible joy;'
with which there happy ones thall hear these words? Who can ima. i gine that fulness of joy, which shall be poured into their hearts, with E these words reaching their ears? And who can conceive how much of - hell thall break into the hearts of all the ungodly crew, by these words
of heaven? It is certain this sentence shall be pronounced before the sentence of damnation, Matth. XXV. 34. “ Then shall the King fay ¢ unto them on his right hand. Cône ye bleiled, &c. Ver 41. Then * fhall he fay also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye
6 cursed, &c." There is no need of this order, that the faints may, ... without fear or astonishment, hear the other fentence on the reprobate. ☆ they who are raised in glory, caught up to meet the Lord in the air, ?: presented without spot, and whose fouls (for the far greater part of
them) have been fo lung in heaven before, thall not be capable of any fuch fear. But hereby they will be orderly brought in, to sit in judgment, as Christ's afeffors, against the ungodly: whose torment will bę aggravated by it. It will be a hell to them, to be kept out of hell, till they fee the doors of heaven opened to receive the saints, who once dwelt in the same world with them; and perhaps in the fame country, parish, or town, and fat under the same ministry with themselves. Thus will they see heaven afar off, to make theịr. hell the hotter. Like that unbelieving lord, 2 Kings vii. 19, 20. They “ Thall fee the plenty with their eyes, but thall not eat thereof." Every word of the blessed sentence shall be like an envenomed arrow fhot into their hearts, while they see what they have lost, and from thence gather what they are to expect.
This sentence paffech on the saints according to their works, 1 Rev xx. 12 But not for their works, nor for their faith neither, as
if eternal life were merited by thein. The sentence itfelf overthrows this abfurd conceit. The kingdo'n they are called.to, was“ prepared for them, from the foundation of the world;" not left to be merited by theinselves, who were but rf yefterday. They inherit it as fons, but procure it not to themselves, as servants do the reward of their work. They were redeemed by the blood of Chriit, and clothed with his spotless righteousness, which is the proper cause of the sentence.
They were also qualified for heaven, by the fanctification of his Spirit; and hence it is according to their works; so that the ungodly world thall see now, that the Judge of the quick and dead docs good to them who were good. Therefore it is added to the sentence, “ For I was “ an hungred, and ye gave me meat, &c.” Ver. 35, 36. which doth not denote the ground, but the cvidence of their right to heaven; as if a judge thould say, he absolves a man pursued for debt ; for the duitneffis di pone, that it is paid already. So the Apostle says, i Cor x. 5. " But with many of them God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” Their overthrow in the wilderness was not the ground of God's displeasure with them, but it was an evidence of it. And thus our Lord teacheth us the necessary connexion betwixt glory and good works, namely, works evangelically good; works having a respect to Jesus Christ, and done out of faith in him, and love to him, without which they will not be regarded in that day. And the saints will so far be judged according to such works, that the degrees of glory amongst them thall be accord ing to these works : for it is an eternal truth, “ He that soweth
sparingly, shall reap sparingly,” 2 Cor. ix. 6. • Thus shall the good works of the godly have a glorious, not a gratuitous reward ; a reward of grace, not of debt, which will fill them with womer at the riches of free grace, and the Lord's condefcending to take any notice, especially such public notice, of their poor worthless works. The which seems to be the import of what they are faid to answer, “ saying, Lord, when saw we thee an mot hungred, &c.” Ver. 37, 38, 39. And may they not justly wonder ito see theinfelves set down to the marriage-supper of the Lamb, in consequence of a dinner or (urper, a little meat or drink (such as they had) which they gave to an hungry or thirsty member of Christ, for his fake? Oh plentiful harvest following upon the seed of good works! : rivers of pleasure springing up from (perhaps) a cup of cold water given to a disciple, in the name of a disciple! eternal mansions of
glory rising out of a night's lodging given to a saint, who was a í stranger? everlasting robes of glory given in exchange of a new coat,
or it (may be) an old one, beltowed on some saint, who had not necessary clothing! a visit to a fick saint, repaid by Christ himfelf, coming in the glory of his Father, with all his holy angels ! a visit made to a poor prisoner, for the cause of Christ, repaid with a visit from the Judge of all, taking away the visitant with him to the palace of heaven, there to be ever with himself! these things will be matter i of everlastsig wonder; and should stir up all, to sow liberally in time, ! while the teed-time of good works doth last. But it is Christ's stamp on good works, that puts a value on them, in the eye of a gracious God; which seems to be the import of our Lord's reply, ver. 40. ." In as much as ye have done it, unto one of the least of these my 56 brcthren, ye have done it unto me."