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be taken into consideration when God allots him
Some Philosophers who believed that the Souls
III. And then it neceffarily follows, that God must judge Mankind in the next world, must reward or punish Men according to their works ; that is, must put them into such a state of Happiness or Misery as they have deserved , and
have made themselves fit for: Those who have obeyed God, and purified and refined their Natures by the Habits of Grace and Virtue, are fit Objects of his Goodness, and have made themfelves capable of a Divine Happiness, of seeing God, and dwelling in his presence ; but those who have debased their Natures with the love of this world, and have defiled their Souls with impure Lufts, deserve to be banished from God's Presence, as Rebels and Apoftate Creatures; and having made themselves uncapable of Divine Joys, must suffer the Miseries of Damned Spirits: So that if we will but allow that God allots men their Condition in the next world, as he does in this, and that in allotting their Condition in the next world, he has any regard to their Behaviour and Deserts in this, as Wisdom and Justice requires he should, and this proves a Future Judgment, or that God will reward or punish men according to their works. And this may suffice for the first thing proposed, What Natural Evidence we have of a Judgment to come.
The Scripture Proof of a Future Judgment. I
Aving shewn what Evidence we have from
the Light of Nature for a Future Judgment, let us now consider the Scripture Proofs of it : And this might be dispatched in a very few Words, by turning you to some plain Texts of Scripture which exprelly assert it, but I shall do something more than this, which if it be not necessary for the Proof of a Future Judgment, yet
will be of use for the better understanding the Christian Religion, and to rivet this Belief
faster in our Minds ; that is, I shall represent to you those Parabolical Reasonings whereby our Saviour insinuates this Belief into our Minds
and Thew you that the whole Christian Religion is founded on and adapted to the Belief of a Future Judgment, and is a very unintelligible Institution without it.
i. Let us consider those plain and express Proofs the Gospel of our Saviour contains of a Future Judgment; and some few Texts will be sufficient for this purpose: This is exprefly affirmed by St. Paul, 17. Ads 31. That God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness
. The Apostle to the Hebrews tellsus, It is appointed for
men once to die, and after that the Judgment. 9. Heb. 27. Our Saviour tells us that we shall be judged, 7. Matth. 1, 2. Judge not, that ye be not judged; for with what judgment Je judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ge mete, it shall be measured unto you again. And v.22, 23. He teils us, That in that day ( that is, the Day of Judgment) many will say unto me, Lord, Lord, bave we not prophesied in thy Name ? and in thy Name baue cast out Devils ? and in thy Name done many Wonderful Works? and then will I profess unto them, I never knew you : Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Thus he tells us, 16. Matth. 27. The Son of Man shall come in the Glory of his Father with bis Angels; and then be shall reward every man according to bis Works. And 25. Matth. 31, &c. he gives a lively Description of the Future Judgment. Wben the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the
boly Angels with him, then shall be fit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered allnations, and he shall separate them one from another, as a Shepherd divideth bis Sheep from the goats; and be shall set the sheep on his right band, but the goats on the
left. And then he judges them, and pronounces their FinalDoom and Sentence according to their works, as it follows in that place. It were easie to turn you to many Texts to this purpose, as every one knows, who is acquainted with the Scripture; but there is no need of it; these few are so express, that if we believe the Gospel,we must believe that we shall be judged.
2. Our Saviour does not only expresly declare this, that there shall be a Judgment, but insinuates the Belief and Reasonableness of this by fome proper Allusions and Comparisons; which is the true Scope and design of many of his Parables.
As to instance in some of them; 19.Luke 12,&c. he tells us of a certain Nobleman who went into a far country, to receive for himself a Kingdom, and to return; where he describes his own leaving this World, and ascending into Heaven to take pofsession of his Kingdom ; from whence he shall return again at the Last Day to judge the World: This Nobleman called bis Servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his Citizens bated bim, and sent a Message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. This deforibes our State in this World, which is a State of Labour and Industry, where we mult improve our Master's Money, all the Advantages and Opportunities of doing good, to his Service and Glory. Now as it is reasonable to expect, when such a King returns,
that he will call his Servants to an account, reward the Diligent, and punish the Slothful, and destroy his Enemies; the same Usage we must expect from our Lord, when he returns again ; he will judge us, will reward or punish us according to our Works. To the same purpose is that Parable, 25. Matth. 14, éc, of a Man travelling into a far Country, who called his Servants, and delivered to them his Goods, and at his return rewarded them proportionably to the Increase and Improvement they had made, and punished that wicked Servant who hid his Talent in a Napkin.' The Parable of the Unjust Steward, who had wasted his Master's Goods, and was turned out of his Stewardship for it, is founded on the fame reason, That we are but Stewards of God's Gifts in this World, and that God will as certainly call Earthly Master will, 16. Luke 1. The Parable of the Housholder, who hired Labourers into his Vineyard, gave them every man his Penny at Night, 20: Matth. fignifies to us, That in this Life we must work in God's Vineyard, and finish the Work he has given us' to do • and that at Evening, when this Life ends, God
will reward us in the next ; and this we may as certainly and reasonably expect from God, as an hired Labourer expects his Wages when he has done his Work.
The Parable of the King, 22. Matth.who made a Marriage for his Son, and sent forth his Servants to call them who were bidden to the Wedding, but they refused to come, and evil intreated his Servants, and flew them ; upon which the King