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3. This proves alfo, that natural fense mankind have, That God is the Supreme and Sovereign Lord and Judge of the World, and will judge mankind; for there is no other Tribunal which all mankind can be accountable to. The common fense of Human Nature must respect the univerfal Lord and Judge of theWorld, who has a natural right to govern and to judge mankind. He who made us, imprinted this Senfe upon our Minds; for what is natural is owing only to the Author of Nature; and therefore these natural Hopes and Fears can only relate to the Government and Judgment of our Maker and Natural Lord; and then they must prove that God will judge us, that he will reward or punish us according to our Works: Nay,
4. This proves that Natural Sense men have of a juft Providence which governs this World at present; for though these Natural Hopes and Fears do not give men any affurance that they fhall be rewarded or punished in this World, as they deferve; yet a good Confcience, especially fome great and eminent Virtues, give good men great hopes in God, and a fecure truft and dependance on his Providence, even in this Life and a great fenfe of Guilt makes men afraid of prefent Vengeance; though God may think fit to delay the punishment of bad men till the next World, yet a Guilty Conscience never thinks it self safe here: So that if there be any force in thefe Arguments, the Accountableness of Human Nature, the Effential Differences of Good and Evil, the Natural Notions of God's Dominion and Sovereignty, and that juft Providence which governs the World at pre
fent, to prove a future Judgment, they all receive strength and confirmation from the natural Hopes and Fears of good and bad men, which are a natural Prefage of Judgment. And this is a fifth Argument of a Future State, The Natural Prefages of Conscience.
6. To add no more; The removing Mankind out of this World into the next, proves the neceffity of a Future Judgment: If mankind after death fubfifts in another State, they must be judged, and therefore Judgment is as certain as a life after death, which I muft take for granted in this Argument; the reason I believe of this is not obvious at the firft propofal, but it will be plain, if you confider but fome few things:
1. That when we go into the next World, we must remove into a State of Happiness or Mifery: I do not mean, that when we go into the nextWorld, good men fhall be certainly happy, and the wicked miserable; for that is to beg the thing in quefion, and to take that for granted which is to be proved; but if we live in the next World, it is certain we must be happy or miferable there, for every thing that lives is fo in proportion to the Capacities of its Na
2. That our State and Condition in the next world must have relation to our Behaviour and Deferts in this: When God first makes man, he puts him into fuch a ftate as is fitted to his Nature for when he has done neither Good nor Evil, it is not what he deferves, but what God fees him
fit for, that must allot him his Rank and Station; but when man is removed out of one ftate of life into another, his Behaviour in the first state must
be taken into confideration,when God allots him
Some Philofophers who believed that the Souls of men did pre-exift in a former ftate, before they came into these Bodies, thought this a very good account of the different Fortunes of Mens Birth, Education, Condition, and Circumstances of Life, that they were proportioned to their Merits and Deferts in that former State: And were this true, that the Souls of men did live in a former ftate before they came into thefe Bodies, this might be a very fair and reasonable account of it; for when men have deserved well or ill, whether they are continued in the fame state, or tranflated into fome other, the Juftice of the Divine Providence in allotting their State and Condition of Life, must have refpect to their former Deferts; before Creatures have deferved well or ill, their Condition must be allotted by the Divine Wisdom and Goodness, with refpect to the capacities of their Natures; when they have deserved well or ill, their Condition must be allotted by Juftice with respect to their Deferts: This is fo plain, that it will admit of no Difpute.
III. And then it neceffarily follows, that God muft judge Mankind in the next world, muft reward or punish Men according to their works; that is, muft put them into fuch a state of Happinefs or Mifery as they have deserved, and
have made themselves fit for: Thofe who have obeyed God, and purified and refined their Natures by the Habits of Grace and Virtue, are fit Objects of his Goodness, and have made themfelves capable of a Divine Happiness, of seeing God, and dwelling in his prefence; but thofe who have debafed their Natures with the love of this world, and have defiled their Souls with impure Lufts, deferve to be banished from God's Prefence, as Rebels and Apoftate Creatures; and having made themselves uncapable of Divine Joys, muft fuffer the Miseries of Damned Spirits: So that if we will but allow that God allots men their Condition in the next world, as he does in this, and that in allotting their Condition in the next world, he has any regard to their Behaviour and Deferts in this, as Wisdom and Juftice requires he fhould, and this proves a Future Judgment, or that God will reward or punish men according to their works. And this may suffice for the first thing propofed, What Natural Evidence we have of a Judgment to come.
The Scripture Proof of a Future Judgment.
Aving fhewn what Evidence we have from the Light of Nature for a Future Judgment, let us now confider the Scripture Proofs of it: And this might be dispatched in a very few Words, by turning you to fome plain Texts of Scripture which exprefly affert it; but I fhall do fomething more than this, which if it be not neceffary for the Proof of a Future Judgment, yet
will be of ufe for the better understanding the Chriftian Religion, and to rivet this Belief fafter in our Minds; that is, I fhall represent to you thofe Parabolical Reasonings whereby our Saviour infinuates this Belief into our Minds ; and fhew you that the whole Chriftian Religion is founded on and adapted to the Belief of a Future Judgment, and is a very unintelligible Inftitution without it.
i. Let us confider thofe plain and exprefs Proofs the Gospel of our Saviour contains of a Future Judgment; and fome few Texts will be fufficient for this purpose: This is exprefly affirmed by St. Paul, 17. Acts 31. That God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness. The Apoftle to the Hebrews tells us, It is appointed for men once to die, and after that the Judgment. 9. Heb. 27. Our Saviour tells us that we fhall be judged, 7. Matth. 1, 2. Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again. And v.22, 23. He tells us, That in that day (that is, the Day of Judgment) many will fay unto me, Lord, Lord, have we not prophefied in thy Name? and in thy Name barve caft out Devils? and in thy Name done many Wonderful Works? and then will I profefs unto them, I never knew you: Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Thus he tells us, 16.Matth. 27. The Son of Man fhall come in the Glory of his Father with his Angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his Works. And 25. Matth. 31, &c. he gives a lively Description of the Future Judgment. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the