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The Day of Judgment is at the End of the
HE Day of Judgment is at the End of the World That it will be fo, and the Reasons why it will be fo, are very plain, from what I have already difcourfed: Our Saviour tells us that it is at the End of the World, when the Angels fhall feparate between the Wheat and the Tares which grew in the fame Field; between the good and the bad Fish which were taken in the fame Net, 13. Matth. It is in the Evening of the World, when the Lord comes to reckon with his Servants, and to reward those who have laboured in his Vineyard, 20. Matth. for when Chrift comes to Judg ment, this World fhall be fet on fire, and this prefent visible Frame of Things fhall be dif folved, as St. Peter tells us, 2. Pet. 3. 10, 11, 12. Upon which account Chrift is faid to come in Flaming Fire;, of which more hereafter And if God will judge all Mankind together, the Day of Judgment must be at the end of the World.
But befides this, it seems very reasonable and congruous, that the Final Judgment, and the End of the World fhould come together; or that when God finally judges all Mankind, he fhould put an end to this habitable Earth.
For this Earth was made for the Habitation of man, and all things in it for his use and delight, and therefore it receives its Fate and Destiny with Man too.
Paradife was the Habitation of Innocent Man; and had Man continued Innocent, and peopled the world with an Innocent and Holy Race, the whole world muft have been a Paradife; but when Man had finned, and had no Right to fo eafy and happy a Life, the Ground was curfed for his fake, 3. Gen. 17, 18, 19. Curfed be the ground for thy fake; in forrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns and thistles fhall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the fweat of thy face fhalt thou eat thy bread, till thou return unto the ground.
When all Flesh had corrupted their ways, excepting Noah and his Family, God destroyed the Old World with its wicked Inhabitants: And to this day, befides that Original Curfe which still refts upon the Earth, Nature fuffers for the Sins of man, and revives and flourishes again, as he returns to his Duty: He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the water-Springs into dry ground: a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. And on the other hand, He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into water-fprings. And there be maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for babitation, 107. Pfal. 33, 34, 35, 36.
It were eafy to Harangue here, and defcribe the Ruins and Defolations which
the Judgments of God have brought upon the moft flourishing Countries for the Sins of the Inhabitants; Famine, and Peftilence, and Sword: The Sword, which carries all other Judgments along with it; but God knows, we live in an Age wherein there is no need of haranguing about it; this is seen, and felt, and heard every day; fuch Miferies as are beyond the Defcrip tion of the moft Eloquent Tongue or Pen: God grant we may only hear of them, that we may take warning by what others fuffer, and appeafe the Wrath of God by a timely Repentance.
Now for the fame Reason, when God judges all Mankind, he will put an end to this prefent State of Things: When Man, for whom this Earth was framed, fhall dwell no longer on it, but all good Men fhall be received into Heaven, and all bad Men condemned to Hell; this World has lafted as long as it was made for, and must now be caft into a new Mould and Frame.
For fo indeed the Scripture reprefents it, not that this World fhall be deftroyed, but that it fhall be nevv made; that as the whole Creation is made fubject to Vanity by Adam's Curfe, fo it fhall be redeemed from Vanity and Corruption too, when Man is. It fhall be purged by Fire, and a new Incorruptible World fhall fpritig out of its Afhes, 8. Ron.. 19, 20, 21, 22. For the earnest expectation of the Creature (which muft fignify this vifible Creation) waitet b for the Manifeftation of the Sons of God. For the Creature was made fub-. ject to Vanity, hot willingly; but by reason of
bim who bath fubjected the fame in Hope: Because the Creature it felf alfo fhall be delivered from the Bondage of Corruption, into the Glorious Liberty of the Children of God: (Or when the Sons and Children of God fhall be delivered from Corruption.) For we know the whole Creation groaneth, and travelleth in Pain until now. And thus St. Peter tells us, That at the Laft Judgment this World fhall be destroyed with Fire; Neverthelefs we, according to his Promife, look for new Heavens, and a new Earth, wherein dwelleth Righteoufness, 2 Pet. 13. 3. Where St. Peter refers to the Prophecy of Isaiah 65. 17. For bebold, I créate new Heavens, and a new Earth; and the former shall not be remembred, nor come into Mind. Which St. Peter understands in a literal Senfe, not merely of a more profperous State of Things in this World.
And thus St. John, at the Conclufion of his Revelations, immediately after his Account of the Laft Judgment, gives us a Description of this new Heaven and new Earth, 21. Rev. 1, &c. And I saw a new Heaven, and a new Earth: for the first Heaven and the first Earth were passed away, and there was no more Sea. And I John faw the Holy City, new Ferufalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband. And I heard a great Voice out of Heaven, faying, The Tabernacle of God is with Men, and they shall be his People, and God himself fhall be with them, and be their God. And God fhall wipe away all Tears from their Eyes; and there fhall be no more Death, neither Sorrow, nor Crying; neither fhall there
be any more Pain; for the former things are passed away. And the reft of that Book is spent in defcribing the Glory of the Great City, the Holy Jerufalem, the River of the Water of Life, proceeding from the Throne of God, and of the Lamb, and the Tree of Life which bore Twelve manner of Fruits.
These are great Myfteries, which we cannot perfectly understand yet, especially what St. John fays about the new Jerufalem's coming down from Heaven, to take up its Seat and Habitation on this new Earth; that there is the Throne of God, and of the Lamb, where God dwells, and which he enlightens with his Prefence, and from whence he drives away Death, and Sorrow, and Pain; which feems to fignify, that as the old Heavens and old Earth are deftroyed by Fire, in Vengeance on its wicked Inhabitants; fo this new Heaven and new Earth, which God makes after the Deftruction of the old, is the Seat of the Blessed after their Refurrection from the Dead; which I confefs I know not how to understand.
But this gives a plain account why the Final Judgment, when good Men fhall receive their Final Reward, fhall not be till the end of the World, because this old World must be destroyed before GOD makes those new Heavens and new Earth: The Final Destruction of bad Men will begin with the Deftruction of this old World; and the Rewards and Happiness of good Men fhall be confummated in the new World, whatever that be, where they fhall dwell P 3