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24. Matth. 42, 435 44. And if this was good Advice in our Saviour's days, it more nearly concerns us, on whom the End of the World is


(4.) There is one thing more I fhall obferve from this Difcourfe, Not to be offended, tho' you fee Atheism and Infidelity prevail in the World, and the true Chriftian Faith begin to fail, and the Love of many wax cold: Thus it muft be towards the end of the World; and if we now fee the beginnings of it, it is no great Wonder.


This is indeed, a great Temptation to Men who are governed by Examples, to hear the firft Principles of Religion called in queftion, and the great Fundamental Articles of our Faith made matter of Difpute and Controverfy; nay, the plaineft Rules of Life ridiculed and exploded; but if these things fhould not be, the World would never come to an end: God cannot deftroy a Believing and Righteous Nation, much lefs a Righteous World, a World of Believers and Saints. And if it be our Portion to fall into the Dregs of Time, into thefe laft days, when there fhall be Scoffers walking after their own ungodly Lufts, let us confider that this is no more than was foretold; thus it must be towards the end of the World; and therefore this ought not to weaken the Credit of Religion, no more than the fulfilling of Prophecies does: Let us remember how Sacred this Faith has been for Sixteen Hundred Years; how many Martyrs and Confeffors it has had; how God has preferved


it against all the Powers and Oppofitions of the World; how it has triumph'd over Pagan Idolatries, and which is more than that umph'd over the Lufts and Vices of the World, in the Exemplary Self-denial, Mortification, and Divine and Heavenly Converfations of its Profeffors: And this I think is fuch an Argument of its Divinity, as may defend us againft the Wit, and Raillery, and Impudence of profefs'd Acheifts and Debauchees, who till of late have themfelves been the Scorn and Derifion of Mankind.

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The Day God has appointed, is a General Day of Judgment.


II. HIS Day God has appointed, is a General Day of Judgment, or a Day to judge the whole World: All Mankind shall be fummoned before the Tribunal of Chrift, and be Tried, and Condemned or Acquitted in the General Affembly of Men and Angels.

What an amazing Sight will this be! To fee all Mankind ftart out of their Graves, and appear before their Judge! To have one View of the whole Race of Men, of all fucceffive Generations from Adam to the end of the World! Such an Affembly as never was before, never will be till that day, and never will be after it: Could we look on as unconcerned Spectators at that day, what an


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Entertainment would here be, only to fee all Mankind together; all the Men of Name and Renown, whofe Fame is recorded in Story, who have fignalized themselves in their feveral Ages by their Piety and Virtue, and Wisdom and Valour; or it may be by their Vices; but this will be no time to gratifie our Curiofity, when we all meet to receive our Final Doom.


It more concerns us at prefent to draw another Scene of Things, and to imagine how differently men will appear at the Day of Judgment, from what they do in this World. We fhall fee all Mankind together rife with their own Bodies, juft the fame Men that they were, but yet quantum mutatus ab illo, they won't look altogether as they did; there will be fome change in their Countenances, which will betray very different Paffions, and give a very different Air and Afpect


to them.


We may eafily imagine that Atheists and Infidels, who have difputed very Subtilly and Philofophically against a God and Religion, and broke many a Witty Jeft upon Heaven and Hell, wil be not a little amazed, when they fhall fee all their Philofophy confuted, and their Jefts quite spoiled by the Appearance of their Judge.


What Surprize and Aftonishment will then be feen in the Looks of fecure Sinners, who never thought of Judgment, but reckoned themselves very fafe, by banifhing the Thoughts of it! As if God would not judge them, unless they thought of being judged.

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The brave and the bold Sinners, who mocked at Fear, especially at the Fear of God, as a bafe and unmanly Paffion, will not be able to conceal their Fears then; but even those mighty Hectors, the great Disturbers of Mankind, who carry'd Fear and Terror in their Looks, and made the World tremble before them, will then ftand trembling before their Judge, and call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the wrath of the Lamb.

On the other hand, with what Triumph will Good Men lift up their heads; the poor, the defpifed, the perfecuted, the reproached, the vilified Worshippers of the Crucified Jefus, and the Disciples of the Crofs? Their Sorrows will then fly away like the Shades of Night at the approach of the Sun, their Tears will be dried up, and we fhall fee nothing but fecure Joy give Luftre and Brightness to their Looks.

We are extremely impofed on by the prefent appearance of things; Vice looks gay and bold, and fearless in this world, and Virtue many times as mean and contemptible as Injuftice and Oppreffion can make it, that it would be of great ufe to us fometimes to remove the Scene from thisWorld to the Day of Judgment, when all Mankind shall appear together; the greateft Appearance that ever was; and therefore it is much more confiderable how we shall appear then, than how we appear in this world.


But the Enquiry here is, Why GOD judges all the world at once, and fummons all Mankind together to receive their Final Sentence? Now that God will do fo is very plain; why he does it, he has not told us; but whoever wifely confiders this Matter, will discover great and excellent ends which may be served by fuch a publick Judgment; and that may fatisfy us that there is great reafon why God fhould do it ; and these may be referred to two General Head. 1. With refpect to God himself. 2. With respect to Men, both Good and Bad Men.

I. With refpect to God; And this Univerfal Judgment greatly tends to advance the Divine Name and Glory.

I. As I hinted to you before, this will justify the Divine Providence, and difplay all the various Wisdom and expound and unriddle all the fecret Myfteries of it: When God comes to judge the World, it is to juftify himself, as well as to judge men ; for what St. Paul fays, is moft properly applicable to the Laft Judgment, Let God be true, and every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mighteft be juftified in thy Sayings, and mighteft overcome when thou art judged, 3. Rom. 4. And St. Jude makes this one great end of the laft Judgment, The Lord shall come with ten thousand of his Saints, to execute judgment upon all, to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they bave ungodly committed, and of all their hard Speeches which ungodly Sinners have Spoken


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