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it ; but if it bę (and thus it may be, before Christ comes to judge the World), you must all confefs, That to have the Devil for our Tormentor, is the very next degree to being tormented with the Devil and his Angels.
But yet this is not a Final Judgment, the Last Sentence is not pronounced against them; and though I doubt not but most Bad Men as, cer-, tainly know what their Doom will be, as the Devils themselves do; yet there is reason to think, that fome Bad Men (as.Bad Men, we fee, are very apt to flatter themselves with vain Hopes in this world, and may do so in the next, for. ought we know) are still in hopes of finding Mercy at the Day of Judgment, when Chrift, comes to judge the World: For if they knew. themselves under a Final, and Irreversible Sentence, there can be no account given, why at. the Last Day they should put in any. Plea for themselves, or fue for Mercy; and yet thus our, Saviour represents it : In that Day many will say únto me, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy, Name and in thy Name cast out Devils? and in thy Name done many wonderful Works ? and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: Depart from
that work iniquity, 7. Matth. 22, 23. And thus in the Description of the Laft Judgment,
when he shall fay to them on the Left Hand, Depart from me, ye cuersed, into Everlasting Fires prepared for the Devil and bls. Angels. Twr I was an
and gave me no meat : I was thirsty, and ye gece
me no Drink : I was a stranger, and ye took me not in : naked, and
cloathed me not; fick, and in prifon, and ye visited me not. "'Then shall they answer bim, Lord, when saw we thee an bungred, or athirfi, or a stranger, or naked, or fick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 25. Matth. 41, 42, 43, 44. Now it is not imaginable that these Men at the Last Day of Judgment should make any of these Pleas, had they been judged, and condemned, and the Final Sentence paffed on them before.
The Sum is this; That Mankind shall not be finally judged till Christ comes to judge the World, but yet Good Men are in a State of Happiness, and Bad Men in a State of Punishment and
Misery: Tharvery Good Men, as they are happy at present, so they have the joyful expectations of the Day of Judgment, when they shall be finally rewarded, and received into the immediate Presence of God in Heaven; and that very Bad Men, besides the Miseries which they at prefent fuffer, have the terrible Prospect of a Future Judgment, when they kndw they shall be condemned to endless Miseries.
3. There is this farther to be added, That according to that Account the Scripture gives us of this matter, tho Bad Men shall be miserable, and Good Men happy, as soon as they go out of these Bodies , yet Bad Men shall not be condemned to Hell, nor Good Men received into Heaven, till the Day of Judgment. There is no great difficulty in proving this, since the Rewards of
Good Men, and the Punishments of the Wicked, that is, their Final Rewards and Punishments, or Heaven and Hell, are throughout the New Teftament referred to the Day of Judgment : This our Saviour expresly tells us, 13. Matth. 41,42, 43. The son of man hall send forth bis angels (that is, at the End of the World, Ver. 39.) and they shall gather out of, bis kingdom all things that offend, and them which work Iniquia ty; and shall cast them into a Furnace of Fire ; there shall be weeping and gnashing of Teeth. Then fall' the rigbreous shine forth like the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father. But there is no need of any other Proof of this, but that at the Day of Judgment Good Men shall be received into Heaven, and Bad Men condemned to Hell, 25. Mattb. And if Good Men were in Heaven before, it is very strange that they should be brought out of Heaven to be judged, and to be received into Heaven again with greater Authority and Solemnity; and if Bad Men were in Hell before, it seems as strange that they should be fetched 'out of Hell, to be more folemnly condemned thither again : This would be though a very odd kind of Proceeding among men; and we have no reason to suspect this of GOD's Judg
As for Bad men, they are to be cast into the fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels; and there fore it is not likely they should be cast into this Fire before the Devil himself is; and yet the Sérips wre assures us, That'at prefent he is the Frince of
the poiver of the air, the Spirit that now worketh'in the Children of disobedience, 2. Ephef
. 2. And St. Peter tells us, That God Spared not these angels that sinned, but caft them down into Hell, and delivered them into the chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment, 2 Per. 2.4. Which is very ill translated; for if they were cast down into Hell, how are they reserved for the Day of Judgment ? For what worfe Judgment can they undergo, than to be caft into Hell? But the Words are thegas Jówx taplaparous , cafting them down into Chains of Darkness, for so ragrapêr signifies only to cast down; that is, those Angels who formerly inhabited the Æthereal Regions, where there was perpetual Light, were for their Sin cast down into this darksome Region of Air, where the clearest Light is Smoke and Darkness, in comparifon with thofe brighter Regions from whence they felt (for the Devil is the Prince of the Power of the Air); and they are called Chains of Darkness, because by the Decree of God they can go no farther, cannot afcend' higher to those Regions of Light again; and here they are reserved till the Judgment of the LastDay.
While our Saviour was of Earth, it is plain that these Evil Spirits were not confined to Hell, for they possessed the Bodies of men, and very much complained that Christ came to torment them before their tittie, 8. Matt. 29. They knew, it seeins, there was a time of Torment appointed for them, but it was not yet : And yet there Was then lome place of Confinement for
them, which is the dibua G, or Deep, whatever that signifies, whither they were unwilling to go; And therefore when Christ cast them out of the Man whom they had long and furiously poffelfed, they beg of him that he would not command them to go into the deep, 8. Luke 31.
Į shall only observe farther, That the Devils are faid to Believe and Tremble : Now what is it they believe, and what is it they tremble at, but the Last Judgment, and that terrible Çondemnation which they then expect ? And therefore they are not under it yet ; For Fạith respects what is absent and future, and Fear does not refpect what we fuffer at present, but what we expeet.
But these are great Mysteries, which we cannot now understand; but thus much we do understand, That if these Fallen and Apostate Angels have not yet received their Final Punishment, buç are only reserved in Chains of Darkness till the Judgment of the Great Day, there is less reason to think that wicked men, who are to be punished with the Devil and his Angels, should immediately go to Hell as foon as they go out of these Bodies : And therefore whatever is meant by those Flames wherein Dives was tormented, it is not the last Fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels.
As for Good Men, those Expressions of Scripture of their going to Paradise, especially of their going to Chrift, or being present with the Lord, feem to bid very M 3