« הקודםהמשך »
the higheft Heavens, to the immediate Throne and Presence of God.
Thus though Hell is a Place of the most perfed Torment and Misery, for it is the Fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels; and therefore it is much more formidable for Sinners to drop immediately into Hell when they dye, than to suffer any other State of Punishment between Death and Judgment; yet be as a very unreasonable man, who does not think the Day of Judgment time enough to be condemned to Hell, and who does not think it misery enough to fall under the Power of Evil Spirits in the mean time: If God think this Punishment enough, methinks Sinners should; and thofe who cannot fear Hell at the distance of the Day of Judgment, will not fear Hell though it were no farther off than Deach. Those who are not afraid of being tormented as Dives was, when they go out of these Bodies, will not fear Hell, though we allow Hell to be a state of more perfeat Mifery. I am sure Dives thought those Torments so great, that they were sufficient to have made his Brethren True Penitents, had they known what they must fuffer for their Sins as soon as they dye: And thofe who will not allow that Bad Men are immeņiately condemned to Hell as foon as they dye, yet must allow that they may be tormented as Dives was. In short, if Wicked Men do not drop in
as soon as they dye, yet they shall be condemned to Hell at the Day of Judgment; and in the Intermediate State between Death and Judgment, shall fuffer all those un
known Miseries which are prepared for wicked Souls till the Day of Judgment; and those who will not be perfuaded by this, will live and die in their Sins, tho you could convince them that they shall drop into Hell as soon as they dye.
That the Day of Judgment is appointed. AVING thus considered the State be
tween Death and Judgment, let us now more ftri&ly consider the Time of Judgment : And here are several things to be observed and explain'd. Į That the Day of Judgment is appointed : He bath appointed a Day whereix bewill
judge the World.
II. That this is a General Day for the Judgment
of the whole World.
III. That this Day of Judgment will be at the
End of the World.
1. That the Day of Judgment is appointed :
He bath appointed a Day wherein be will judge the
This is a Matter of pure Revelation, and can be known no other way; for though we have great Evidence from Reason, that
God will judge the World, yet to appoint a Day is a free Ad of God's Wisdom and Counsel; and this must be learnt from Revelation; and we cannot have a more express
Revelation for any thing, than we have for this; for St.Paul tells us in plain Words, That God hath appointed a Day to judge the World : And our Saviour in express Words feveral times refers to this Day, as appointed and determined by God: In that day many small fan unto me, Lord, Lord, bave we not prophefied in thy name? which refers to fome certain Day, 7. Matth: 22.. And the bour' is coming, in the which al that are in their graves shall bear bis voice, s.John 28. And of that day and bour knowerb noman, no, not the Angels of Heaven, but my Father oxly, 24. Matth. 36. which plainly fignifies that the Day is determined and fixed, because God knows when it shall be ; that is, he knows when he has appoints ed it: And if it were not appointed, it had been no great wonder that neither Men nor Angels know it.
Now this Consideration, that God hath appointed a Day wherein he will judge the World, is not without its use: For,
it. This proves the certainty of a Future Judgment, that the Day of Judgment is appointed: For we cannot think that God would appoint a Day to judge the World, unless he absolutely resolved to judge it.
2dly. This answers the Objection against a Future, Judgment, from the long delays of it. This St. Peter tells us would be a great Objection in the Laf Days, or towards the End of the World, 2 Pet 3.3, 4. Knowing this firft, that there sliall come in the last days, Scoffers, walking after their own dusts, and saying, Where is the promise o of bis coming? for since the farbers fell afteep, all things còntinut as they were from the beginning of the creation: That is, consider how old the World now is, and how long Mankind have been frighten'd with the Fears of Judgment : Many Ages and fucceffive Generations have lived in expectation of it', bue itis not yet, nor any more signs of it, than when the World was first made and sirice it has been so long expected to no purpofe, itiscimeco defpife such vain and ground tefsFears This ought to be plainly and fully ftated;
for we live in the last Days, and have many of these Scofd fers already among us.
- 1. But if GOD have rappointed the Day of Judgment, it is a very foolish Argument, to say, That he will not Judge the World, because he has not done it vet, unlefs we could prove that the Day appointed for Judgment is already. past.
God cannot be said to delay to judge the World, when the Time he has appointed for Judgment is not yet come; for to delay doing any thing , is, not to do it in its proper season, when it is time to do it ; or when we resolved and
determined to do it: And therefore no man can say that God delays to judge the World, unless he could tell what Day God in his own Infinite Wisdom appointed for Judgment. For,
2. That God appoints a long Day for Judg. ment, is ng Argument that he will not judge
Thus it was in the Defrudion of the Old World a great while before God brought that Universal Deluge on them, but it came at last; and swept them all away, as St. Peter observes, For this they willingly were ignorant of, that by the word of God the Heavens were of old, and the Earth2 Pet
. 3. standing out of the Water, and in the Water : where-5, 6. by the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perifbedel .This General Destruction of the Old World by Water, is reason enough to-believe God when he threatens to destroy it again by Fire ; For the Heavens and the Earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment, and Perdition: of ungodly men, 5, 6, 7. It was a great while before God destroyed the Old World; and though this second Destruction by Fire is deferred much longer, it will come in its appointed! time.
3. For what seems a very long time to us, is not so to God, as the same Apostle tells us, One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thous, sand years as one day. God is not affected with the Succefficn of Time, nor its lingring delays;