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this case, to complain of want of Monitors; for though we do not see the Judgment-Seat, and all the awful Solemnities of Judgment, and it is impossible we should, for it is not yet ; yet there are a thousand things to put us in mind of it; and if it be possible to forget a matter of - such consequence without something to refrefh
our Memories, and to renew the Impreffion of it, I shall briefly hint to you some things which occur every day, and are very familiar Emblems of Judgment, and desire you to unite the Thoughts of a Future Judgment to them; that when you see the one, you may
think of the other : Which will be a kind of Artificial Memory, when you find the Notes and Chara&ers of Judgment so frequently prefented to you... As to give you three or four familiar Instances of this, which you may very eahly multiply :
When you are so busie and careful in keep ing your Books, and casting up your Accounts, and Balancing your Gain and your Lofs, and observing how your Stock increases or decays, can you forbear thinking that you have a greater and more concerning Account than this, the Account of your Life and A&ions which if you do not keep, God does; he has his Records of them, and will produce his Books at the Day of Judgment, and judge you out of them.
your Servants or Stewards to an account how they have improved or imbezled your Goods, whether they have hid
their talent in a Napkin, or traded with it, and gained five or ten Talents; you should remem ber, that you also are but God's Stewards, and muft give an Account of your Stewardship, and either shall be Stewards no longer, but be turned out of your Máster's Service, and be punished for your Negligence, or shall receive a Reward proportionable to your Diligence and Gain:
When we Correct our Children of Sera vants for their idleness, Disobedience, or any other Miscarriage, or Reward their Diligence and Virtue, can we forget that we have a Father and a Master in Heaven, who curiously observes all our Actions, and will judge, will reward and punish us according to our Works?
When we fee at Harvest the Wheat gathered into the Bärn, and the Weeds neglected or burnt; should it not mind us what a difference God will make between good and bad Men at the Day of Judgment; that though they live intermixed in this world, they shall be parted then; good Men received into Heaven, where God dwells; and bad Men banished in to outer Darkness, where there is Weeping, and Wailing, and gnashing of Teeth for evermore.
The awful Solemnities of Human Judicatures, the Judge sitting on the Bench, the Males fa&or arraigned at the Bar; the Jury, the Wita neffes, the Trial, Condemnation, Sentenco; Execution, are lively Emblems of a Future Judgment, and methinks should mind judge, and Juries, and Witnesses, and Spectators, of its
I have mentioned these few Instances becaufe they are common and familiar, and ScriptureRepresentations of a Future Judgment, and fo often occur, that if we would but as often think seriously of a Future Judgment, we should soon attain an habitual Sense of it: and poflibly my applying them to this purpose now, as little an Observation as it may seem, may make you think of your great Account , are casting up your Books, or reckoning with your Workmen, or taking an Account of your Stewards and Servants; and if it should, Í frall have my end, and you will find the Benefit of it.
But there is one thing which is naturally apt to mind us of a Future Judgment, and I am sure always ought to do so, and is of very near and present Concernment to us at this time, and that is, When the Judgments of GOD are in the Earth; for then, as the Prophet - Isaiab tells us, the Inhabitants of the World will learn Righteoufness
, 26. Isaiah 9.
I have already observed to you, that the Examples of a Just and Righteous Providence, which governs this. World, are a good Proof of a Future Judgment; for it is an Argument, that God does take notice of the Axions of Men, and concerns himself in the Government of the World; and then we have no Reason to question whether lie will judge the World.
And when God is actually executing Judgments on the World, when he is judging Kingdoms and Nations, when he has unTheathed the Sword, and made it drunk with
Blood, when the Desolations of flourishing Countries, the burning of Towns and Cities, the lamentable Slaughter of Infinite Numbers of People, do so loudly proclaim the Wrath and Displeasure of God, those who ha’n’t a great, and awful, and terrible Sense of Judgment, will never be awakened, but by the founding of the last Trumpet.
It is this that makes the Judgments of God fo effectual to Reform the World, not meerly the Fears of present Sufferings, of those Temporal Evils and Calamities, wherewith God punishes Sinners; but that by these visible Tokens of God's Anger, by the present sensible Effects of his Justice and Power, Men are rouzed and alarmed into a Consideration of Future Vengeance.
We extreamly weaken the Argument from present and sensible Judgments, when we urge it no further, than to persuade Men to reform their Lives, to remove those Judgments which are upon them; this is an additional Argument, to reform our Sins to save our Countrey from Ruin; but those who will not reform their Sins to save their Souls, will never part with them to save a Nation; and therefore the true force of the Argument resolves it self into a Future Judgment: God has begun to punish us already in this World for our Sins; and unless we repent, we must not hope to escape fo; these Temporal Sufferings are but à Summons to judgment, and it may be are intended to remove us presently into the other World to receive: our Reward: the Axe is
now visibly_laid to the Root of the Free; and every Tree which bringeth not forth good Fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the Fire.
And the visible Execution of GOD's Judgments upon the World, will certainly mind us of a Future Judgment, and give us a feeling Sense of it; as it gives us a present and sensible View of God's Justice and Power, and a nearer Prospect of it.
1. It gives us a present and sensible View of God's Justice and Power: And that though he be very Good and Merciful, he is very Righteous too, and very severe in his Judgments;
that though he be Gracious and Merciful, flow to Anger, and of great Kindness; yet he will not always spare, but will awake to visit the Heatben, and will not be Merciful to any wicked Transgressors, 59. Pfal. s.
When we fee what Desolations God makes in the Earth, how his Judgments like a fudden and mighty Torrent overflow a secure and happy Country, sweep away the Inhabitants of it, or transplant them into Foreign Nations to beg their Bread among Strangers; when we see how he founds an Alarm to War, and sers Kingdom against Kingdom, and every Man's Sword against his Brother; when we observe with what an Impartial Hand he strikes, that there is no Country, no People, no Religion escapes; that he makes Ambition and Covetousness correct Superftition, and Superstition chastise the Coldness and Formality, the Loose and Licentious Lives of more Orthodox Christians; I say,