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Minister of Justice, he may execute his Revenge 100;
that is, where there are no publick Laws and Government; but when we are incorporated into Civil Societies,private Revenge is fuperseded by publick Justice, and to revenge
our felvesis an Offence againft the State ; but this publick Justice is executing Revenge still, tho without thar partiality and paffion which men betray in their own Caufe ; and tho our Saviour forbids private Revenge, it is not because Sin does not deserve to be punished, but to teach us those great Christian Virtues of Patience and Forgiveness, and loving Enemies ; leaving Vengeance co God, who is the juft Judge of the world, For vengeance is miné, I wil repay it, faith the Lord; which supio poses that Vengeance is due to Sin, tho Chrift requires his Disciples to leave it to publick Magiftrates, or to God who is the Judge of the world.T:
As forthose Sins which are not so properly the Objects either of publick or private Revenge, as doing no direct and immediate Injury to any but those who commit'them; such as Gluttony, Drunkenness, Prodigality, Sloth, Idleness, a-vagrant,
ufeless, fantastical Life,and the like; besides Some gentle Restraints which publick Laws lay on them; they have this punishment, that they make men contemptible and infamous , neglected and disregarded, as a reproach to human Nature, and useless Members of the Commonwealth; and such publick Infamy is a very
great punishment;for it is one of the worst Ingredients in all publick Punishments. This, I think, Thews what the sense of mankind
Practical Discourse concerning viivi juft due; and they have given very ample Tęstimonies also ito the merits of Virtue su for tho there are no Laws to reward a private Virtue, as there are to punish Vice ; yet publick Honours,by the confent of Mankind jare thought the juft Rewards of an eminent Virtue: This has procured the favour of the People, andadvanced fuch deferving men to the higheft placer of Trust and Dignity in the Commonwealths. When such men are advanced, it is witha publick Applause, as due to them; no man entiestheir greatness, or grudges to come behind them: Whereas publick Honours are thought misplaced on bad men, and set fo illfavouredly on them, as exposes them to publick Scorn and Envy. Lét us then sum up this argu-menticand consider the juft Consequences of it: There is an essential difference between Virtueand Vice; and according to the sense of all mankind, , Virtue deserves to be rewarded, and Wickedness punished ; and can we think then, that if God governs the World, he will not judge Mankind, that he will not reward the good, and punish the Wicked:Has he implanted a natural Princi2ple of Revenge and Justice in men, and taught them to ierea publick Courts of Justice for the punishment of Vice, and will he not punish it himself. Has he given such a natural grace and beauty to. Virtue, as attracts to it felt the love, the praise, the admiration, the rewards of men, and will he himself have no regard for it?! Has hepiade Vice infamous and.contemptible, and
will he cast no shame, no reproach onic. Would brom she lery Order afv.Nature complain of this, e ifbould the God of Natuce have no regard.co it? aidi
For we must obferve, that according to the general sense of mankind, Virtue and Vice de serve to be rewarded and punished, not only by Men, but by God too: This is the foundation of that terrible Objection against Providence, That good men are many times great Şufferers in this world, and the wicked very prosperous, which supposes, that if God govern the world, he must punish bad men, and reward the good, because the nature of things require it, and he cannot be a juft Governor if he do not And either men ought never more to make this Objection against Providence, or they must allow, that if there be a God, he will judge the world. And indeed there is much more reason to expect this from God, than from Men ; especially since the Administration of Justice among men is so corrupt, imperfect, or defective, that neither Virtue nor Vice will ever have their just rewards, unless he take it into his own hands. And this brings me to a third branch of this Argument for a future Judgment.
IH. That the natural Notions we have of God, prove that he will judge the world. All men who believe a God, acknowledge him to be thọ Sovereign-Lord of all the world, infinitely Wise, Holy Good and Jult; now it seems impossible to me, [tho we had no Revelation of his Wil what he would do] that such a Being as this should noe judge the world, As to conlider this matter particularly, buțvery briefly.
İ. If he be the Sovereign Lord of the world, then he has Powerand Authority to judge ; nay, there is no other Being has Power and Authority
to judge the world but himself ; that if he will not judge the world, the world can never be judged. And yet, as I have already proved, the essential differences of Goodand Evil necessarily require that Man should be judged, that good men should be rewarded, and the
wicked punished ; and if there must be a Judgment, then God who is the Sovereign Lord, and the only Judge of the world, "mult judge mankind : If Judgment be necessary, as the
nature of things prove, and as the general confent and unbiass'd reason of mankind agree it is, if we cannot hence conclude that God will judge the world, I am sure we can never
know any thing certainly of God by Reason; for there is nothing which Reason concludes more exprelly and positively than this.
2. As for the other Attributes and Perfections of the Divine Nature, such as Wisdom, Holiness, Goodness, Justice, if God be the Sovereign Lord of the world, we must conlider them as the Attributes of a Sovereign; it isthe Wisdom, the Holiness, the Goodness, the Justice of a Sovereign Lord : And therefore the properexercise of these Attributes in God, consists in the exerciseof a Sovereign Authority and Power ; that is, in governing and judging mankind wisely, holily, with Goodness and Justice: And this certainly proves, that God as a Sovereign Lord does govern and judge the world; for he cannot exercise his Wifdom, or Holiness, or Goodness, or Justice, assovereign , if he exercise no acts of Sovereignty: He cannot judge wisely, holily, righteously, if he do not judge at all; and therefore though he be wise, and holy, and juft, and good, yet he is not a wise, and holy, and just, and good Sove
reign, for as Sovereign he exercises none of thefe Attributes, if he does not judge the world, if he do not reward good men, nor punish the wicked; which the Wisdom, the Holiness, the Goodnefs of a Sovereign requires. And therefore if the Natăral Notion all Mankind have of God joins bis Sovereignty with his other Attributes, as it muft do, unless we can divide God from himself : that he is not only a wise, and holy, and juft, and good Being, but that he is a wise,and holy and juft, and good
Savereign Lord of the World, we must confess that God does govern the world, and difplay all these Attributesand Perfections in the government of it. I might add a great deal more upon this Argument, but this is to very plain and demonstrative, that there is no need of it.
be SECT. III.
The External Appearances of - Providence prove a
Future Judgment. '16
proves that he will judge the world; so the external Appearances, of Providence prove that God does judge the world at prefent,and that he will judge it hereafter : For the Providence of God does very often make such a remarkable difference between good and bad men in this world, as is sufficient to satisfy us that God does govern and judge mankind at present;and yet the present administrations of Providence do not always make a sufficient diftin&tion between good and bad men in this world,good men being very often affided,and bad men prosperous ;; which gives us a reasonable expectation of a more juft and righteous