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that God governs the World by erecting Human Governments, and therefore is more especially concerned to govern them.

Thus in order to difcourage Wickedness, and to encourage true Piety and Virtue, which is another End of Providence, it is not neceffary that God fhould reward every Good Man, or punifh every Bad Man in this World; fome few great Examples of fuch Rewards and Punishments are fufficient to this purpose, efpecially if they are so many and fo frequent that no Bad Man can promife himself Impunity even in this Life, nor any Good Man have reason to defpond, or diftruft Providence. And as many Complaints as there are of the Profperity of Bad Men, and the Sufferings of the Good, yet every Age and every Countrey, nay, almoft every Village, will furnish us with fo many Examples of Miferable Sinners, and of the Visible Rewards of Virtue, as are abundantly enough to make all confidering Men reyerence the Divine Juftice and Providence and therefore God exercises as great, as frequent, as visible Acts of Judgment as the State of this world requires.


Efpecially when we confider, That this World is a State of Difcipline, a School of Virtue, where we must learn to govern our Paffions and Appetites, to conquer Vicious Habits, and to live above the Body and the Pleafures of it; to forgive Injuries, to love Enemies, to fuffer patiently, to be contented with a little, to truft Providence, to live by Faith and Hope of unfeen things, Now fuch a ftate as this will


not admit of an exact Diftribution of Rewards and Punishments., Bad Men muft not always be punished for their Sins, because fometimes External Profperity, and a fenfe of the Divine Goodnefs, may work more kindly on them; or if they be punished, their Punishments must be rather Corrections than Acts of Justice; that is, they muft not always bear proportion to their Deferts, but to their Cure, as a Father corrects his Child, not fo much to punish his Fault, as to reform it: And for the fame reafon good men must not always be profperous, for they may need Adverfity to exercife, increafe and brighten their Virtues, and to make them greater Examples to the World; or if God fees fit to reward them, it must be in fuch Inftances, and fuch Proportions as they can bear; not always what they may deferve, but what will be for their good.

Thus God governs the World with great Juftice and Judgment, as far as the ftate of this World requires and admits; and what reafon then is there to question whether God will judge Mankind in the World to come?

His Exercife of Juftice and Judgment in this World proves that he is the Judge of the World, not an idle and unconcern'd Spectator of Human Actions; that he interests himself in the Affairs of Mankind, is folicitous to make all his Creatures happy; is an Enemy toWickednefs and to wicked men; but the Friend, Protector, and Father of good men: And if God be the Judge of the World, why should we think that he will not judge it? Nay, if he actually executes Juftice and Judgment in this World, why fhould we think

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that he has reserved no Acts of Judgment for the next World, which is a more proper place for it, and requires fome different Acts of Judgment peculiar to that ftate. If God reward good men, and punish wicked men in thisWorld,why should we think that he has referved no Rewards or Punishments for them in the next? efpecially if we confider thefe two things:

I. That it is very evident that the Judgment of God in this World is not final; that is, that the Bleffings God beftows upon good men in this world are not the only Rewards he intends for them, nor the prefent Evils and Calamities he brings upon bad men, their only Punishments: This is very plain and express in Scripture; but I must not appeal to Scripture now, while I am arguing from Reafon, and therefore must confider what Natural Indications we have of this: As,

1. That good and bad men live together, intermixt in this World, in the fame Countrey, the fame Neighbourhood, nay, the fame Family, and therefore God does not intend finally to reward good menor punish the wicked here, for that requires a Separation of them; the fame place will not admit of perfect Happinefs and perfect Mifery, which must be the effect of a final Judgment, for their very Neighbourhood will neceffarily allay each other.

Unless God fhould make good men other Creatures than they now are, it would be impoffible for them to fee the perpetual Executions, and the amazing Miseries of Sinners,without difturbing their own Eafe and Reft; and then they could


not be perfectly happy in this World. As things now are, the many Miferies and Calamities of Human Life exercife the Pity and Compaffion of good men, and afflict them with a tender and painful fense of other Mens Sufferings; and what would it then do, were all wicked men punished in this world according to their Deferts, which would make this world the very Image and Pi&ture of Hell; a very unfit place for good men to be happy in. And if good men were all perfectly rewarded in this world, bad men who live and converfe among them could not be perfectly miferable; for to live in a happy Place, and among happy People, is fome allay of Mifery, at leaft it is not like being condemned to Eternal Night and Darkness, to the Company of Devils and damned Spirits.

Befides this, without a miraculous Providence, good men cannot live among the wicked,but they muft fuffer from them; nor bad men live among the good, but they must receive good from them; and therefore neither of them can be perfectly happy, or perfectly miferable while they live together.

Were there no more in it but this,the very wickedness of men, their Lewdness, Injuftice, Oppreffion, Prophaneness, contempt of God and Religion, would be a perpetual Trouble and Vexation to the good, as the Soul of righteous Lot was grieved with the filthy Converfation of the wicked, and this makes a great abatement in their Happinefs: And yet it would not be a lefs Miracle to preferve all good men from the Injuries of the wicked, who live among them, especially when they are the prevailing Numbers, and have g great Power

Power to do mischief, than it was to preferve Daniel in the Lions Den, from being devoured by thofe hungry and ravenous Beafts.

Nay, it is impoffible that God fhould punish all wicked men in this world, without involving fome good men in their Calamities and Sufferings: When God punishes a wicked Nation with Plague, or Famine, or Sword; when he fires a City, and reduces all the Buildings of it to a heap of Rubbish, how is it poffible but that good and bad men who live together, must suffer in fuch a common Calamity? There is reafon enough why God fhould now fometimes permit this, becaufe even good men may deserve such corrections, and he can easily recompence them other ways; but this would be no reason, if good men were to receive their final reward in this World; for then they ought to be exempted from the Punishments of the wicked.

Thus how impoffible is it for God to punish all bad men here, without punishing good men in them? Have not many good men very wicked Relations, for whom they have a very tender Affection; Parents, or Brethren, or Children, or those who are nearer to them than all these? And can they be contented to be witneffes of their Sufferings? This cannot be, unless good men in fuch cafes could diveft themselves of natural Affections, which we fee is not,and cannot be done, and if it could, would be a greater mischief to the World, than the fufferings of bad men would do good to it.

And for the fame reason bad men cannot be perfectly miserable in this World, while good men live among them; for unless God fhould for



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