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Rom. vi.


Tit. ii. 14

2 Pet. i. 5, 6, 7, 8.

to reign in our mortal Bodies, that we should obey it in the Lufts thereof: That fince he gave himself for us, to purify to himfelf a peculiar People, zealous of good Works; we fhould give all Diligence to add to our Faith Virtue, to Virtue Knowledge, to Knowledge Temperance, to Temperance Patience, to Patience Godliness, to Godliness brotherly Kindnefs, and to brotherly Kindness Charity; for if thefe Things be in us, and abound, we fhall neither be barren or unfruitful in the Knowledge of our Lord Jefus Christ.

Q. What Confideration doth the Church offer to us, as proper to bring our Lives to a Conformity with the End and Defign of Christ's Coming in the Fleth?

A. The Confideration of his fecond Coming to judge the World, when he will execute Vengeance upon all thofe who obey not the Gospel of Chrift.

Q. What do you mean by Chrift's Coming to Judgment?

A. That our Lord Jefus Chrift shall at the End of the World defcend from Heaven in his human Nature, and fummon all Mankind to appear before his dreadful Tribunal, where they fhall come upon their Trial, have all their Actions ftrictly examined, and, according to the Nature and Quality of them, be adjudged to eternal Happiness or eternal Mifery.

Q. How doth it appear that there shall be a general Judgment?

A. Both from the Principles of Reason, and the clear and exprefs Teftimonies of Scripture.

Q. How doth it appear from the Principles of Reason that there shall be a general Judgment?

A. The Light of Nature difcovers to us an effential Difference between Good and Evil; whence, by the common Consent of Mankind, Rewards are affixed to the one, and Punishments to the other: And according as Men govern their Actions in relation to thefe effential Differences of good and Evil,


fo are their Hopes and their Fears. The Practice of Virtue is attended not only with prefent Quiet and Satisfaction, but with the comfortable Hope of a future Recompence; the Commiffion of any wicked Action, though never fo fecret, fits uncafy upon the Mind, and fills it full of Horror and Amazement: All which would be very unaccountable, without the natural Apprchenfion and Acknowledgment of future Rewards and Punishments. And it must be from this Principle, that many of the Heathens efteemed Virtue and Honefty dearer than Life, with all the Advantages of it, and abhorred Villany and Impiety worfe than Death. Betides, the Difpenfations of God's Providence towards Men in this World are very promifcuous; good Men often fuffer, and that even for the Sake of Righteoufnefs; and bad Men as frequently profper and flourish, and that by the Means of their Wickedness. So that to clear the Juftice of God's Proceedings, it feems reafonable there fhould be a future Judgment for a fuitable Diftribution of Rewards. and Punishments. And this Principle of a Judgment to come, Justin Martyr propounds to the Gen- Ad Græc. tiles, as generally acknowledged by all their Writers, p. 1. and as the great Encouragement for his Apology for the Chriftian Religion.


Q. How does it appear from Scripture that there hall be a general Judgment?


A. God hath given Affurance unto all Men, that A&ts xvii, be will judge the World by Jefus Chrift, in that he bath raifed him from the Dead. And the Procefs of Mat. xxv. that great Day, with feveral of the particular Circumftances of it, are fully defcribed by our Saviour. St. Paul declares exprefsly, that we must all ap- Rom. xiv. pear and fland before the Judgment-feat of Chrift. St. 2 Cor. v. Peter, that the Day of the Lord fhall come, in which 10, the Heavens fhall pass away with a great Noife, and the Elements fall melt with fervent Heat. No Doârine


2 Pet. iii.


Doctrine more clear and exprefs, and fundamental Heb. vi. 5 in the Word of God, than that of eternal Fudgment. Q. When fhall 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 Seafon for the Diftribution of public Juftice, for the rewarding all thofe with eternal Rom. ii. Life, who by patient Continuance in well-doing, feek for Glory, and Honour and Immortality; and for rendering to them that obey not the Truth, but obey Unrighteoufnefs, Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish.

7, 8, 9.

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, pass 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, planly refer to the laft and general Judgment; for then it is only that the whole Man fhall be completely happy, or completely miferable: Then it is that the Bodies of Men fhall be raised, and as they have been Partakers with the Soul either in obeying or offending God, fo fhall they then fhare in the Rewards or Punishments of it; and then only can the Degrees and Meafures of their Happiness and Mifery be truly adjufted; for even after Death the Effects of Men's 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 established for Piety and Virtue, or by the Customs they have introduced to countenance Vice and Immorality. Then it is that the Reasonableness of God's Providence, in relation to the Sufferings of good Men inthis World, will be fully juftified, and

his Goodness as amplycleared in those severe Punishments thatfhall be eternally inflicted upon the Wicked. Morever, this general Judgment is neceffary to difplay the Majesty and Glory of our Bleffed Saviour; that by this public Act of Honour and Authority, he may receive fome Recompence for theContempt 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 Confution ofall thofe miferable Wretches, that thall than be doomed to everlasting Torments; that public 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 has plainly declared that there fhall 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 Reafons to justify fuch

a Procedure.

Q. To whom bath God committed the Adminiftration of this Judgment?


Joh. v. 22.

A. The Lord Jefus Chrift is constituted by God to adminifter the Judgment of the Great Day. God will judge the World in Righteoufnefs by that Man, Jefus Aas xvii. Chrift, whom he hath ordained. The Son of Man fhall Mat. xvi. come in the Glory of his Father with his holy Angels, and 27: then shall be reward every Man according to bis Works. The Father judgeth no Man, but hath committed all Judgment unto the Son. The Apoftles were commanded to preach unto the People and testify, that it is Jefus A&s x. 42. that is ordained of God to be the Fudge of Quick and Dead. And the Tribunal is called the Judgment-feat Rom. xiv. of Chrift. By which Text it plainly appears,



Joh. v. 23.


that though the Right of judging us belongs to God, whofe Servants and Subjects we are, yet the Execution of this judiciary Power is particularly committed to the Son of Man, who is the fecond Person in the blessed Trinity.

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 public Honour, in that Nature wherein he suffered; that he, who for our Sakes stood 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 clothed with a human Body, he will make a vifible Appearance, which will be fuitable to the other Circumstances of the great Day; all which will be performed in a vifible Manner. Befides, Mankind being judged by one of their own Nature, a Man like themfelves,touched with a Feeling oftheir Infirmities, greatly declares the Equity ofthis Judgment,becaufe heunderftands all our Circumftances, and whatever may influence our Cafe to extenuate or aggravate our Guilt.

Q. Who are thofe that shall be judged?

A. Angels and all Mankind. The fallen Angels are referved in everlasting Chains under Darkness, unto the Fudgment of the great Day. And St. Paul fays, 1 Cor. vi. Know ye not that we shall 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 Mat. xxv. at our Saviour's Coming, shall be gathered before him,




Jude, ver.


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