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be detected and exposed : and when there shall be an open eternal Discrimination put between the juft and the unjust; and it shall appear that all the former are rewarded, and all the latter punished: without which the Righteousness of God cannot be fully displayed and vindicated.

These several Considerations plainly shew, that this present Life is not the whole of Man's Existence; and that it is designed for a probationary State, a State of Trial and Discipline, and not of final Judgment; and consequently, that there must be a future State and Season, in which God will judge the righteous and the wicked.

But to set this in a clearer Light, I shall proceed more distinctly to fhew, that neither the righteous receive their proper and full Reward here on Earth; nor are the wicked punished in such a Manner as would be neceffary if this were designed to be a State of final Retributions. But as I have not Time to infist upon this at present fo fully as it well deserves, I shall reserve the Confideration of it to another Opportunity, and conclude with this Reflection.

That since it appeareth that this present Life is not the whole of Man's Existence, and is only a probationary State, or a State of Trial, we should take Care that our whole Temper and Conduct be suited to such a State. Let us not act as if we were to have no other Life but this. Let us not suffer our Desires and Views to center and terminate here, but carry them forward to a future World. We must not take up with any earthly Enjoyments as our proper final Portion and Happiness, but must be still looking towards that State to which this is designed to be preparative. We should regard the Circumstances in which we are now situated, all the Good and Evil, the prosperous and adverse Events which befall us, as designed in several Ways to prove and exercise us, and as part of the Discipline allotted us by the sovereign Lord who hath placed us here on Earth, and should endeavour to make Use of them all for helping forward our moral Improvement. And it is of vast Importance to us what Habits, what Difpofitions are now settled and established in our Minds. For as this is the first Stage of our Being, our good or ill Behaviour in this present State, and the Habits to which we are now formed, will lay a Foundation, both according to the Appointment of God, and the natural Tendency of Things, for our Happiness or Misery in the future Part of our Existence. It highly concerneth us therefore to be careful to redeem and improve our precious Time, and to exercise a constant Watch

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over ourselves. We must guard against the Snares and Temptations to which we are now exposed, and must take Pains to get evil Habits and corrupt Dispositions corrected and restrained, and to cultivate and improve good ones. For as we sow here, we shall reap hereafter. This is what St. Paul plainly signifieth in that excellent Pafsage, with which I shall conclude, Gal. vi. 7, 8. Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a Man foweth, that shall be also reap. For be that foweth to his Flesh, shall of the Flesh reap Corruption ; but be that Joweth to the Spirit, fall of the Spirit reap Life everlasting.

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Concerning

Concerning a future Judgment and

State of final Retributions, when the Administrations of Providence towards Mankind ßball be compleated.

DISCOURSE XVIII.

Eccles. iii. 17.

I said in mine Heart, God shall judge the

righteous and the wicked: for there is a Time there for every Purpose and for every Work.

IM

N my former Discourse several Con

fiderations were offered to thew that this present Life is not the whole of Man's Existence, and that it is designed for a pro

bationary

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