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other on his-left; to be judged according to their works.
This is recorded in Matth. xxv. 31, 32, 33, “When • the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy
angels with him, then shall he set upon the throne of his glory ; and before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a fhep. herd divideth his fheep from the goats; and he shall fet the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left."
This subject is mentioned in chap. xii. 49, “ So shall it • be at the end of the world ; the angels shall come forth,
and fever the wicked from among the just." Psalm i.
5, “ Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judg- ment, nor finners in the congregation of the righteous." : What an awful solemnity must this cause in every mind! when they shall see the judge,whose power calls them from their graves, dividing for the last time the whole family of Adam, to be united no more forever!!
As it is plain that all will be raised at the lat day,what * will they be raised for? To be judged, according to the
deeds done in the body; which is to have a sentence pas. sed on them. We are told that the people were judg. ed out of the books, which were opened before the judge.
These books I understand to be First, the works of God, and the manifestations of God to men in his works. Second, The law given by Moses.-Third, The gospel of Christ. · In all these books God has manifested himself. And he has manifested himself the same in creation as in the law of Moses ;' and the same in that law, as in the gor. pel of Christ. Many think that creation fhews us one God, the law another, and the gospel, a God different from either; but it is not sc.
1. All creation fhews a God great in goodness, wisdom, and power. This Paul mentions, Acts xiv. 17, “Nevertheless, he left not limfelf without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and glad. ness." This makes creation a plain book.
This subject is beautifully explained in Rom. i. 18, 19, * 20, 21, “ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which; mi, be known of God is manifest in them ; for God hai ili wed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, be. ing understood by the things that are made even his eternal power and godhead; so that they are without excuse ; because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful ; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darken. ed; profelling themselves to be wise, they became fools.” According to this account creation is a plain open book, and in this book God daily teaches righteousness to men, “ Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night 'fheweth knowledge.”
Those who sin against what they read in this book, are such as, Paul says, fin without law, and are to be judged according to the gospel at the last day. Rom. ii. 12, 16, “For as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
2. The law of Moses is another book, out of which : those will be judged who have it. This proclaims the Lord God gracious, and merciful, abundant in goodness and kindness, forgiving iniquity, transgreflions and sins, and will by no means clear the guilty. .
3. The gospel of Christ, where there is a greater manifestation of God, than in either of the other books menbioned, though not different from them. Life and im. mortality, one brought to light through the gospel.
All nations have and do receive a manifestation of God in one or all these books, and they will at the last , day be judged out of them according to what their conduct has been. All, excepting those who had part in the first resurrection, these are the saints that shall judge angels. At that day every man will give account for himself before the judge ; there will be no witnesses need. ed, for out of their own mouths will the wicked be condemned.
I do not think that any of the wicked will ever be punished, until they see their sentence just, and their damnation just. There will at that day be such a manifestation of the righteous judgment of God made to the wicked, that every mouth will be stopped, while the whole world will become guilty before God. The world is to be judged in righteousness; and this is always the case, when any person is judged according to his works.
I will here illustrate the subject by a circumstance which once took place in England, to prove that the wicked beingjuded out of the books, will acknowledge their fentence, “depart from me ye cursed,” to be just.
The following is related by Mr. Forcyee, in his Diatogues on Education, as a real occurence which happened in a neighbouring state, not many years ago. '
" A Jeweler, a man of good character and considera. ble wealth, having occasion in the way of his business, to travel at some diltance from the place of his abode, took along with him a servant, in order to take care of his portmanteau. He had with him fome of his best Jewels, and a large sum of money, to which the servant was likewise privy. The master having occafion to dismount on the road, the servant watching his opportunity, took a pistol from his master's saddle, and shot him dead upon the spot; then riffled him of his Jewels and money, and hanging a large stone to his neck, he threw him into the nearest canal.
With this booty he made off to a distant part of the country, where he had reason to believe that neither he nor his master were known. There he begun to trade in a very low way at first, that his obscurity might screen him from observation ; and in the course of a good many years he seemed to rise, by the natural progress of bu. finess, into wealth and consideration, so that his good fortune appeared at once the effect, and reward of industry and virtue. Of these he counterfeited the appearance so well, that he grew into great credit, mar. ried into a good family, and by laying out his hidden ftore discretely, as he saw occasion, and joining to all ans. universal affability, he was admitted to a share of the
government of the town, and rose from one post to de nother, till at length he was chosen chief magistrate. In this office he maintained a fair character, and con. tinued to fill it with no small applause, both as a governor and a judge ; till one day as he fat on the bench with some of his brethren, a criminal was brought before him who was accused of murdering his malter. The evidence came out full, the Jewry brought in their verdict that the prisoner was guilty, and the whole aflem. bly waited the sentence of the president of the court, (which happened to be that day,) with great fusa pence. Meanwhile he appeared to be in unusual disorder and agitation of mind, and his colour changed of. ten; at length he arose from his seat, and coming down from the bench, placed himself just by the unfortunate man at the bar. “You fee before you, (said he addrelfmg himself to thofe who had fat on the bench with him) a striking instance of the just rewards of heaven, which. this day, after 30 years concealment, presents to you a greater criminal than the man just now found guilty." Then he made an ample confession of his guilt, and of all its aggravations. Nor can I feel (said he) any relief from the agonies of an awakened conscience, but by requiring that justice be forthwith done against me in the most public and folemn manner.
We may easily fuppose the amazement of all the af sembly, and especially of his fellow judges. However, they proceeded, upon this confeffion, to pass sentence up-. on him, and he died, with all the marks of a penia
If a person, having a sense of his crime, would volun. tarily confess a fecret when he knew death would be the consequence of his confeffion, how much more likely it is that the wicked will voluntarily confess when they ftand before the judge of all the earth! .
All nations being gathered before Christ, and judged out of the books according to the deeds done in the body; those whose works prove that they were pardoned, and received into the family of Christ, and who by their good works proved their obedience to the king, will be
received into life eternal, and those whose works proved them enemies to the King, will go away into everlasting punishment; called the second death.
All this was declared by the judge himself when on earth before, and is left on long record for us to read, and believe, that the day may not come upon us at ụn. awares.
See Matth. xxv. 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, " When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he fet upon the throne of his glory; and before him wall be gathered all nations; and he shall feparate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep form the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand; but the goats on the left. Then ihall the king say unto them on his right hand, come, ye blefsed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world ; for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when faw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirtty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked and clothed thee.? Or when faw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer, and say unto them, verily I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall the King say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed unto everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels ; for I was an hun gered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in ; naked and ye clothed me not; sick and in pril on, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when faw we thee an hungered,or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or fick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?