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and such fecret Villains not only escape publick Shame, but are thought very extraordinary Men and great Saints: Now it is very fitting, that fuch Men alfo should have their Masque and Difguise taken off, and be exposed to the View of the World just as they are; and this God will do in that Day, when he will judge the Secrets of Mens Hearts, and bring to light the hidden Works of Darkness: And then what will it avail them to pass for Saints in this World, when at the Day of Judgment they shall be known, and be doubly scorned, both for their Wickedness, and for their Hypo
What a severe Aggravation will it be of the Condemnation of the Wicked, to see good Men, whom they despised and persecuted, whose Lives they thought Folly and Madness, now owned and rewarded by God; as our Saviour the West, from the North and from the South, and sit down with Abrabam, Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of God, and themselves fhut out? This will be a confounding Sight at that Day; and as little as such Men now value Heaven, to fee the bright and dazling Crowns of thofe Blessed Saints, will pierce their Souls, and wound them to Eternity.
This justifies the Wisdom of God, in appointing a general Day of Judgment, to reward Good Men, and to condemn the Wicked: But there is one good-natur’d Objection against this, which respects Good Men ; for there are few Good Men;' but may have some
very wicked Relations, who yet are very dear to them; and how can they bear to be Witnefses of their Final Condemnation ; to hear that Sentence pronounced on them, Go ye cursed in to everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and bis Angels. We tremble at the Thoughts of it now; and one would think it should over-cast the Glory of that Day to such blessed Saints, to fee such a terrible Execution upon those who were fo dear to them : but this is such a Mistake, as the Sadduces Objections against the Resurrection, concerning the Woman who had seven Hufbands, whose Wife the fhould be of the seven at the Resurrection, for they all had ber; but our Saviour told them, at the Resurrection they neither marry, wor are given in marriage, but are as the Angels of God in Heaven: Thus it is here ; those natural 28.Matth. Affections and Paffions which are of so great 30. use, in this World, and makes us so nearly concerned for Children, and other Relations, are not the Meafures of our Kindness, and Friendship, and Concernment in the other World ; they are necessary here many times to supply the place of Reason and Virtue , and to prompt us to do those Good Offices by the impatience and uneasiness of a Paffion, which the generality of Mankind would not do from wiser Principles: but the end of these Passions is served in this World and there is occasion for them in the next ; and therefore we shall feel no uneasiness or disturbance from them : Good men will have no Friends, no Relations in the other World, but those who
are truly good, who are Members of the fame Mystical Body of Christ, the Children of God, and Heirs of the fame Happiness and Glory.
To conclude, I shall only obferve this farther; How vain it is for bad men to hope to defend themselves from Shame and Punishment by their Numbers; they may, I confess, do it in this world, when they have to deal with men ; tho’ when God comes to Judge them even in this world, the most powerful Combinations of Sinners are but like Chaff before the Wind ; But if ever Numbers would do, it would be at the Day of Judgment, when the Devil and his Angels, and all bad men shall be summoned together; and if they cannot then defend themselves, when their whole Force is united, but stand as Criminals before their Judge, and receive their Sentence from him, it becomes us to fear and tremble before that powerful Judge, who has all Nature at his command, and all Devils and wicked men in Chains, and with the Word of his Mouth can condemn them to Eternal Torments.
ŠEĆ T. IV. 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 so, and the Reasons why it will be so, are very plain) from what I have already discoursed : Our Saviour tells us that it is at the End of the World, when the Angels shall separate between the Wheat and the Tares which grew in the same Field; between the good and the bad Fish which were taken in the same 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 Christ comes to Judgment, this world shall be set on fire, and this present visible Frame of Things shall be dif folved, as St. Peter tells us, 2. Pet. 3: 10; 11, 12. Upon which account Christ is faid to come in Flaming Fire ;, of which more hereafter : And if God will judge aļl Mankind together, the Day of Judgment must be at the end of the World.
But besides this, it seems very reasonable and congruous, shat the Final Judgment, and the End of the World should come together; or that when God finally judges all Mankind, he should 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.
Paradise was the Habitation of Innocent Man; and had Man continued Innocent, and peopled the world with an Innocent and Holy Race, the whole world must have been a Paradise ; but when Man had finned, and had no Right to so easy and happy a Life, the Ground was cursed for his fake, 3. Gen. 17, 18, 19. Cursed be the ground for thy Sake ; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the Sweat of thy face shalt 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, besides that Original Curse which still refts upon the Earth, Nature suffers 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-springs. And there be maketh the hungry' to dwell, that they may prepare a city for babitation, 107. Pfal. 33, 34, 35, 36.
It were easy to Harangue here, and defcribe the Ruins and Desolations which