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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 some different Acts of Judgment peculiar to that state. If God reward good men, and punish wicked men in thisWorld,why should we think that he has reserved no Rewards or Punishments for them in the next ? especially if we consider these two things :
I. That it is very evident that the Judgment of God in this world is not final; that is, that the Blessings God bestows upon good men in this world are not the only Rewards he intends for them, nor the present 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 Reason, and therefore must consider what Natural Indications we have of this : As,
1. That good and bad men live together, intermixt in this World, in the same 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 same place will not admit of perfe& Happiness and perfect Misery, which must be the effect of a final Judgment, for their very Neighbourhood will necelsarily allay each other.
Unless God should make good men other Creatures than they now are, it would be imposlible for them to see the perpetual Executions, and che amazing Miseries of Sinners, without disturbing their own Ease and Reft; and then they could
not be perfe&ly happy in this world. As things now are, the many Miseries and Calamities of Human Life exercise the Pity and Compassion of good men, and afflict them with a tender and painful sense of other Mens Sufferings; and what would it then do, were all wicked men apunished in this world according to their Deserts, which would make this world the very Image and Pi&ure of Hell; a very unfit place for good mento be happy in. And if good men were all perfectly rewarded in this world, bad men who live and converse
them could not be perfectly miserable; for to live in a happy Place, and among happy. People, is some allay of Misery, at lealt it is not like being condemned to Eternal Night and Darkness, to the Company of Devils and damned Spirits.
Besides this, without a miraculous Providence, good men cannot live among the wicked, but they muft suffer from them; nor bad men live among the good, but they must receive good from them; and therefore neither of them can be perfe&ly happy, or perfectly miserable while they live together.
Were there no more in it but this, the very wickedness of men, their Lewdness,Injustice, Oppreffion, Prophananess, 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 Conversation of the wicked, and this makes a great abatement in their Happinefs: And yet it would not be a less Miracle to preserve all good men from the Injuries of the wicked, who live among them, especially when they are the prevailing Numbers, and have great
Power to do mischief, than it was to preserve Daniel in the Lions Den, from being devoured by those hungry and ravenous Beasts.
Nay, it is impossible that God should punish all wicked men in this world, without involving some 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 theBuildings ofitto a heap of Rubbish, how is it possible but that good and bad men who live together, must suffer in such a common Calamity? There is reason enough why God should now sometimes permit this, because 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 impossible 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 witnesses of their Sufferings? This cannot be, unless good men in such cases could divest themselves of natural Affe&tions, which we fee is not,and cannot be done, and if it could, would be a greater mischief to the World, than the sufferings of bad men would do good to it.
And for the same reason bad men cannot be perfe&ly miserable in this World, while good men live among them; for unless God should
forbid the exercise of some of the moft excellent Virtues of the Christian Life, and which are in themselves most beneficial to the world ; good men will exercise great Charity and Goodness, Forgiveness and Patience towards the wicked, will relieve their Wants, and pity their Sufferings, and be their Patrons and Advocates both with God and Men ; that is, will do good to them, and procure Blessings for them.
The Intercessions of good men very cften divert Judgments, and obtain great Blessings for a very
wicked Nation. Sodom it self had escaped upon the intercession of Abraham, had there been Ten Righteous Persons found in it : And God very often spares a wicked Nation for the fake of good men who live among them, and muft suffer by such publick Judgments; that is, he spares bad men to save the Righteous. Thus God bestows many TemporalBlessingsupon the Friends, Relations, and Posterity of good men, tho they are wicked ; and this is part of the Reward of Piety and Virtue in thisWorld ; and therefore all good men cannot be rewarded, and all wicked men punished in this world; because many good men must be punished in the Punishments of the wicked, and many wicked men must escape, nay, must prosper in the world, as a Reward of the good; which is not considered by those who make the Impunity and Prosperity of some bad men an Argument against Providence ; when the very Prosperity of these bad men is many times the Reward of Virtue, and a design'd
Indulgence to the good. But what I have now faid , plainly proves that God's Judgment in this world is not final, be
cause good and bad men live together; and it is absolutely necessary that they should be parted, when God comes to render to every man according to his Works; as our Saviour declares that they shall be at the Final Judgment, when the Sheep shall be placed on his Right I land, and the Goats on the left.
2. That God's Judgment in this world is not Final, appears from this, that all good men are not rewarded, nor all wicked men punished in this World, as they ought to be, if God did not intend to judge men in the next world for what they have done in this.
That this is so, I need not prove, because we every day see it ; and this is made a great Obje&tion against Providence, that many bad men are prosperous, and many good men afflicted. And a foolish Objection it is against Providence, but a very good Argument for a Future Judg
When we have so many Arguments to prove that God does govern the World, that he does even in this Life reward good men, and punish the wicked, as much as is necessary for the good Government of the world, it is very absurd to confute all this only by saying that he does not govern the World as .we think he ought to govern it ; that is, that he does not punish every bad man, nor reward every good man in this Life. Whoever would make good this Argument, must prove, that there is no other World after this, wherein God can reward those good men, and punish those wicked men, whom he has not sufficiently rewarded or punished in this life ; or he must prove that it is