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are equally beneath his infinite Majesty ; but none are either beneath or above his inspection now, or his sentence hereafter. Here, then, we are put, every one of «s, on a fair trial, without
dise advantage or inequality whatever. Both the most honourable, and the inost contemptible persons, as to worldly circumstances, may be either the happiest or the most miserable in the next life, just as they shall chose. Let those of high degree, therefore, be humble-those of low be content, and all be watchful over themselves.
2. The person by whom the sentence shall be passed, is Jesus Christ. • For the Father him. “ self judgeth no man; but hath committed all “ judgment to the Son, and given him authority
to execute it, because he is the Son of Man:"1 because he is the person, described by that name in the Prophet Daniel, before whom®“ the judg
ment was to be set, and the books opened : who also is no less peculiarly qualified, than expressly appointed for it; since in him divine
perfection is joined with experience of human infirinity. So that being judged by one, who “ was, “ in all points, tempted like as we are, yet without sin;"3 we may
be sure, that
due al lowance will be made to our natural weakness, and no undue one to our wilful wickedness. Unless, therefore, we repent and amend, he, that came the first time to save us, will come the second to condemn us; and the meek and merciful Jesus appear clothed with such terror, that we shall
say to the mountains and the rocks, fall on us, " and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on “ the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; “ for the great day of his wrath is come, and who 66 shall be able to stand ?"4 3. The time when these things shall be, him. (1) John v. 22, 27.
(2) Dan. vii. 10, 13. (3) Heb. iv. 15.
(4) Rev. vi. 16, 17.
self informs us, “it is not for us to know;" being known to the Father alone, and 6 put in his own .“ power." But still, what there is need we should be told concerning it, the Scripture hath revealed; that it shall come unexpectedly, and that it shall come soon. The general judgment shall come when we least think of it. But, however distant it may possibly be in itself, yet, to every one of us it is, undoubtedly, in effect, very near, and even at the door. For “it is appointed “ unto men once to die, and after this the judg.
ment. A few years, it may be a few days, will bring us to our end here, and in whatever state death finds us, in the same will the last judgment find us also. " For there is no device,
nor wisdom in the grave :"7 but “where the “ tree falleth, there shall it be."98 Take heed, " therefore, to yourselves, lest your hearts be over“ charged, either with the pleasures and amuse.
ments, or the cares and labours of this life ; “ and so that day come upon you unawares : for
as a snáre shall it come on all them that dwell
on the whole earth.”9 • The evil servant that « shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his
coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow
servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; “ the Lord of that servant shall come in a day " that he looketh not for him, and in an hour that “ he is not aware of; there shall be weeping and “ gnashing of teeth.”ı “Watch ye, therefore, "and be ready; blessed is that servant, whom “ his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so
4. The things for which we shall be judged, are, all our voluntary deeds, words, and thoughts. “ For we must appear before the judgment seat
(5) Acts i. 7. (6) Heb. ix. 27. (7) Eccl. ix. 10. (8) Eccl. xi. 3. (9) Luke xxi. 34, 35. (1) Matt. xxiv. 48-51.
(2) Matt. xxiv. 42, 44, 46.
“ of Christ, that every one may receive the things “ done in his body." Now, what we say and what we think designedly, is as truly part of our doings, as what we act. Our discourse may be of as much service or harm to others; and even our inward imaginations may as much prove us to be good or bad in ourselves, and contribute to make us yet better or worse. Often, indeed, we cannot help wicked fancies coming into our minds; and that, alone, will never be imputed to us as a sin. But we can help inviting, indulging, and delighting in them; and if we do not, it is just that we should account for our fault. And on the other hand, it is fit and reasonable, that every good person should be rewarded, not only for the religious and worthy actions that he hath performed, but for every good word that hath proceeded from his good heart; for his pious and virtuous purposes and affections.
For God sees the one just as clearly as the other; “there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things
naked and opened unto the eyes of him with “ whom we have to do."4 And, certainly, whatever he sees, and sees to be proper for his notice, he shall not fail to take suitable notice of it. The Scripture, therefore, assures us, with the utmost reason, not only that “ by our words we shall be
justified, and by our words condemned;" giving account for the very idlest and slightest of them, either with grief or joy, according as its tendency was right or wrong ;' but also, that “God shall
judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ :"6 that "there is nothing covered that shall not be “ revealed ; and hid that shall not be known."7 “ For God shall bring every work into judgment, “ with every secret thing; whether it be good or « whether it be evil.”
(3) 2 Cor. v. 10. (6) Rom, ii. 16.
(4) Heb. iv. 13.
(5) Matt. xii. 36, 37. (8) Eccl. xii. 14.
Therefore, with respect to other persons, let us be charitable, and “judge nothing (needlessly) 66 before the time, until the Lord come ; who will “ bring to light the hidden things of darkness, 66 and make manifest the counsels of all hearts."y And, with respect to ourselves, let us be easy under human censures, if we have given no occasion for them; for in that case, “it is a small thing “ to be judged of man's judgment:"1 but let us carefully prepare for the divine sentence, by
perfecting holiness in the fear of God;"2 and after all our care, let us be thoroughly humble: for though “ we know nothing by ourselves, yet
are we not hereby justified,” if it be through partiality or forgetfulness, as possibly it may ; “ but he that judgeth us is the Lord."3
5. As to the manner of the judgment, it will be with the greatest solemnity and awfulness, and with the greatest justice and equity. “The Lord “ himself shall descend from heaven,with his mighty angels, in flaming fire ;' and the trum.
pet shall sound, and all that are in the graves “ shall hear his voice, and come forth.7 Then “ shall he sit upon the throne of his glory," and “ the Books shall be opened, and they shall be
judged out of those things which are written in " ihe Books, according to their works. As many
as have sinned without (a revealed) law, shall “ perish without (a revealed) law: and as many “as have sinned in the law, (whether Jewish or
Christian) shall be judged by the law.? Unto “ whomsoever much is given, of him shall much “ be required : and to whom much is committed, " of him will the more be asked. He that hath “ sowed sparingly, shall reap also sparingly: and
(9) I Cor. iv. 5. (1) Ibid. 2. (3) 1 Cor. iv. 4. (4) 1 Thess. iv. 16. (6) 1 Cor. xv. 52. (7) John v. 28, 29. (9) Rev. xx. 12. (1) Rom. ii. 2.
(2) 2 Cor. vii. 1.
(5) 2 Thess. i. 7, E.
“ he which hath sowed bountifully, shall reap also
bountifully.3 Whatsoever a man hath sowed, 5 that shall he also reap."
“What manner of persons ought we to be (then) “in all holy conversation and godliness : looking “ for, and hastening into the coming of the day of “ God; wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall “ be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with “ fervent heat ? Nevertheless we, according to his
promise, look for new heavens, and a new earth, " wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, “ beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be
diligent, that ye may be found of him in peace, “ without spot, and blameless: grow in “ in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus “ Christ : to him be glory, both now and for ever,
Article VIII. I believe in the Holy Ghost.
THE former Articles having 'expressed the belief of Christians, concerning the two first persons of the sacred Trinity, the Father and the Son ; our Creed proceeds in this to the third object of our baptismal faith, the Holy Ghost. And, to ex. plain it properly, there will be need to speak, first, of his nature; secondly, of his peculiar office in the work of our redemption; thirdly, of the duties owing to him ; fourthly, of the sins which we are liable to commit against him.
(3) 2 Cor. is. 6.
(4) Gal. vi. 7.
(5) 2 Pet. üi. Il14, 18.