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Concerning the Righteousness of the Future Judgment, and the Rule whereby we shall be judged.
T. Paul tells us, That God will judge the world in Righteousness, which had been a terrible faying, did Righteoufnefs always fignifie ftrict and fevere Juftice; for who then could be faved? But ixan fignifies Mercy, Goodnefs, Equity, as well as Juftice; or Juftice tempered with Equity and Mercy: And what the Apoftle adds, That God will judge the World in Righteoufnefs by that Man whom be bath ordained; that is, by Chrift Jefus, proves that Righteoufnefs fignifies an equal, kind, and merciful Juftice: For Chrift is a Mediatory King, and a Mediatory Judge; He judges between God and Man; He fets Bounds and Measures to Juftice, and makes allowances for the Folly and Weakneffes of Humane Nature; and with a Sovereign Authority dif penfes not only the Juftice, but the Mercies of God.
When God appoints the Great High-Prieft and Mediator to be Judge of the World, all Mankind may expect a very merciful Judge, for the High-Prieft and Mediator muft judge with Equity and Mercy, or elfe he does not maintain his Character of Mediator, when he judges; and yet the final Judgment is the con
cluding Act of his Mediatory Kingdom, and therefore an Act of his Mediation.
We know not certainly how God will deal with the Heathen World, who never heard of Christ, and never had the Gospel preached to them; but it seems to look very favourably on them, that the Saviour of Mankind, the merciful and compaffionate Jefus, is their Judge alfo; which promifes all the Mercy that their Condition is capable of; and how much that is, we cannot tell; for the Saviour of the World muft judge with Mercy and Equity, not by the Rules of fevere and rigorous Juftice: Of which more prefently.
Leaving then the Heathen World to the Mercies of God, which are over all his Works, it more concerns us to enquire by what Rule Chrift will judge us, who have had the Gospel Preached
Now in general St. Paul tells us, God will judge the Secrets of men by Christ Jesus according to my Gospel, 2 Rom. 16. That is, by the Gofpel which I Preach: The Gofpel of our Saviour is the Rule whereby we fhall be judged; by which our Lives and Actions fhall be examined; and as the Gofpel acquits or condemns any Man, fo he fhall be acquitted or condemned at the last Judgment. So that we need not go far to know, what our Doom fhall be, we need not fearch into the fecret and hidden Counfels of God; the Gofpel lies open before us, and though we cannot find our Names there, we may read our Sentence; for God will render to every man according to his deeds. To them who by patient continuance in well doing,
feek for Glory, and Honour, and Immortality, eternal Life: but unto them that are contentious and do not obey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness, Indignation and wrath: Tribulation and anguish upon every foul of man that doth evil, of the few first, and alfo of the Gentile; but Glory, Honcur and Peace to every man that worketh good, to the Few first, and also to the Gentiles; for there is no respect of Perfons with God, 2 Rom. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. What this good, and this evil is, the Gofpel acquaints us; and if we do what the Gofpel commands, we fhall be acquitted and rewarded; if we do what it forbids, we fhall be condemned. So that we certainly know, that all wicked Men, who live in the wilful Commiffion of any known Sin, fhall be finally condemned: Chrift will at that Day profefs unto them, I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity, 7 Mat. 23. Know ye not, that the Unrighteous fhall not inherit the Kingdom of God? be not deceived, neither Fornicators, nor Idolaters, nor Adulterers, nor Effeminor Abusers of themselves with Mankind; nor Thieves, nor Covetous, nor Drunkards, nor Revilers, nor Extortioners, fhall inherit the Kingdom of God, I Cor. 6.9, 10. But the Righteous Shall Shine forth like the Sun, in the Kingdom of their Father. And who thefe Righteous are St. John tells us, Little Children, let no Man deceive you, be that doth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous: He that committeth fin is of the Devil, for the Devil finneth from the beginning; for this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil. Whofoever is born of God, doth not commit
fin for his Seed remaineth in him and he cannot fin, because he is born of God, in this the Children' of God are manifested, and the Children of the Devil: Whefoever doth not Righteousness, is not of God, neither be that loveth not his Brother, 1 Joh. 3. 7, 8, 9, 10.
This is very plain, and fo exprefly taught in Scripture, that every Man may as certainly know whether he fhall be faved, or damned, at the laft Day, as he can know whether he be a Good or a Bad Man; whether he doth Righteoufnefs, or commits Iniquity.
But moft Men are confcious to themfelves of fo much wickedness, that they don't love to hear of this; for what will become of them, if they must be rewarded or punished according to their Works? What difference is there between the Law and the Gofpei, if they muft ftill be judged according to their Works? For what could the Law do more than condemn the wicked, and reward the good? But they are Sound and Orthodox Believers; they believe in God, who justifieth the ungodly; they believe in Christ, and trust in him for Salvation; and there is no condemnation to those who are in Chrift Fefus they expect to to be justified by Faith, to be faved by Grace, and that without the 8 Rom. 1. Works of the Law; And what has the Law then to do to condemn them, who believe in Chrift, who have fatisfied the Law in Chrift, who have fulfilled the Low in him who are wafhed from their fins in his Blood, and are cloathed with his Righteoufnefs imputed to them?" Thofe who are not in Chrift muft indeed be judged by their Works, but all trtre Believers
Now it must be confeffed, this is very ex-. prefly taught in Scripture, that we are juftifyed by Faith, and faved by Grace, and that without the Works of the Law: By the Deeds of the Law there fhall no flesh be justified in his fight. But now the Righteousness of God without the Law is manifeft, being witneffed by the Law and the Prophets, even the Righteousness of God which 3 Rom. 20, is by faith in Jefus Chrift- ·Being justified freely 21,22,24, by his Grace, through the Redemption which is in Chrift Fefus: whom God hath fet forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in his Blood, to declare bis 4 Rom. Righteousness for the Remiffion of Sins that are paft, through the Forbearance of God. That Abrabam our Father was not juftified by Works but by Faith: That being justified by Faith we have Peace with God through our Lord Jefus Chrift. 5 Rom. 1. By Grace you are faved; through Faith, and that not of your felves, it is the gift of God; not of works, 2Eph. 8,9. left any man should boast. Not by Works of 3 Tit. 5. Righteousness which we have done, but by Grace bath he faved us by the washing of Regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghoft.
But then it is as plain on the other hand, that God will render to every man according to bis deeds that we must all appear before the Judgmentfeat of Chrift, to receive the Things done in the Body, according to what we have done, whether it. be good or bad. That Chri will condemn all wicked Chriftians, whatever their Faith be, Not every one that faith unto me, Lord, Lord, Shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he' that doth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.
2 Rom. 6.
are juftified by their Faith, and faved by Grace.