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their Garments, and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb: This is the only way to conceal your moft fecret Sins, to blot them out of God's Book by Repentance; for if they remain there upon Record, how fuccefsful foever you may be in concealing them at prefent, the Books will be opened at the Day of Judgment, and then all the World will know them.
Thus in our Saviour's Accompt of the laft Judgment, none of the Sins which Good men ever committed, are mentioned, but only the Graces and Vertues for which they are rewarded; nor is there any notice taken of any good Actions done by Bad Men, but only of their Sins, 25 Matthew, as God exprefly declares it fhall be, 32 Ezek. 13, 14. 16. When I shall fay to the Righteous, that he fhall furely live; if he trust to his own Righteousness (to the good he hath already done) and commit Iniquity, all his Righteousness fhall not be remembred; but for his Iniquity that he hath committed, he shall dye for it. Again, when I fay to the wicked, Thou shalt furely dye, if he turn from his fin, and doth that which is lawful and right: None of his fins that he bath committed, Jhall be mentioned unto him; he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall furely live.
And now let us confider in what order Chrift will judge the World: When he has feparated between the Sheep and the Goats, between Good and Bad Men; he firft calls Good Men to Judgment, and pronounces them bleffed, as we fee 25 Matthew. And this very much becomes the Perfon of our Judge, who is the Sa
viour of the World, and therefore to fave is his proper Work, and must take place of all Acts of Juftice and Vengeance; the Saviour of the World, as I obferved before, must be our Judge, that he may be a compleat and perfect Saviour, that he may finally acquit and reward us; and therefore this is his first Care, to feparate his Elect from the Company, and to deliver them from the Deftruction of the Ungodly.
This demonftrates to all the World, that God takes more pleasure to fave than to destroy; this convinces Sinners, that their Destruction is from themselves, that they might have been faved as well as others, for Chrift came to fave them ; and they fee now, that he would have done it, would they have been faved by him: In the Glory which is conferred on Good Men, they fee what they have loft, before they hear that terrible Sentence pronounced, Go ye curfed into everlafting fire; and this is a double Damnation, to fee the Happiness of Good Men, and to feel their own Mifery; for when we come to Judgment, to lose Heaven will be thought a terrible Punishment, tho' there were no Hell; and this Punishment Bad Men have, by being fuffered to ftand by, and fee the glorious Rewards of the Righ
But there is a further Reafon alfo for this: That Good Men, when they are acquitted and abfolved, fhall, together with their Lord, fit in Judgment on the wicked World: 1 Cor. 6. 2, 3. Do ye not know that the Saints fhall judge the World? Know ye not that we shall judge Angels! How far this extends, we know not; but
it seems fuch a thing there is, as was univerfally believed in the Apoftle's Days, as appears from his Appeal to their own Knowledge of it; but if they muft judge the World, it is reafonable to think that their own Judgment must be over firft.
I fhall name but one thing more, which I have had several occafions to take notice of already; and that is, That at the laft Judgment, this Earth fhall be deftroyed with Fire, as St. Peter exprefly tells us: The day of the Lord fhall come like a thief in the night; in the which the Heavens fhall pass away with a great noife, and the Elements hall melt with fervent heat, the Earth alfo, and the Works that are therein shall be burnt up, 2 Pet. 3. 10. This has been an old Tradition, That the World should de destroyed by Fire, and fome Men are very curious and inquifitive by what Natural Caufes this may be done; for they are not willing to allow, that God either made or deftroys the World by an immediate Power; for the lefs they leave for God to do, the lefs they are concerned about him: But though it is hard to perfuade fome Men now, that there was any need of a God to make the World, which they think could make it self without Him; yet the laft Judgment fhall convince them, That it is GOD that deftroys it, when they fhall fee the World fired by a flame ftreaming from his Throne, as is not improbable by the Description of the Prophet Daniel, A fiery Stream issued, and came forth from before him, 7 Dan. 10.
The only queftion is, Whether the World fhall be fired at Chrift's first appearance to Judgment, or after the final Sentence pronounced againft Bad men? The firft does not seem probable, because Chrift himself fhall place his Throne in the Air, and all Mankind fhall be gathered before him to Judgment, and a fired World is not a proper Scene for fuch an Appearance; and the burning of the World seems to be an Act of Judgment and Vengeance; as St. Paul tells us, He fhall defcend from Heaven in flaming fire, taking Vengeance on them that know not God, 2 Theff. 1. 8. So that the Devil and Bad men fhall first be condemned to everlasting Fire, and then their Punishment shall begin in a fired World.
Thus I have given you a brief View of the Circumftances and Manner of Chrift's Appearance, and the awful Solemnities of Judgment, every part of which is for the Glory of our Lord, for the Comfort of Good men, and a Terror to the wicked. God grant we may fo think of this Day before-hand, that we may not feel the Terror and Astonishment of it, when it
Who are to be judged, viz. The World, or all Mankind.
V. ET us now confider who are to be judg
ed, and they are the World, or all Mankind: For I fhall take no notice of the Judgment of the Devil and the Apoftate Angels, which we know no more of, but only that they fhall be judged, that the Angels which kept not their firft eftate, but left their own habitation, be bath referved in everlasting chains under darknefs, unto the judgment of the great day, Jude,
Why their Judgment is deferred fo long we cannot tell; for it is plain, that the Angels fell from their first Estate before Man, and how long we know not, for it was the Serpent that beguiled Eve; but this we know, that whatever their firft Apoftafie was, they have a great deal more to anfwer for now, and muft expect à more terrible Condemnation: All the Sin that is in the World is originally owing to the Temptation of the Devil, who feduced our firft Parents in Paradife, and has ever fince been the great Tempter to Wickedness and Apoftafie from God: and therefore he is in fome degree entituled to all the Wickedness of Mankind.
And this is a good reason why the Devil and his Angels, and all Bad Men fhould be judged T and