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ment in 2 Tim.
The Holy Ghost speaketh of Death in several notions, which makes the quick and the dead capable of several interpretations. Because after Death the Soul doth live, and the Body only remaineth dead; therefore * some have *so Theophyunderstood the Souls of Men by the quick, and their Bodies by the dead ; lact teftifieth, And then the meaning will be this
, that Christ shall come to judge immediate- zes o Concello ly upon the Resurrection, when the Souls which were preserved alive shall be consuo. Comjoined to the Bodies which were once dead; and so Men shall be judged entirely both in Body and Soul, for all those actions which the Soul committed Ifidorus Pein the Body. Now though this be a truth, That Men shall be judged when lufiota, givtheir Souls and Bodies are united; though they shall be judged according to the firft interthose works which their Souls have acted in their bodies; yet this is not to pretation. be acknowledged as the interpretation of this Article, for two reasons: First, To reincat because it is not certain that all Men Thall die, at least a proper death, so that
(wvas x ve
xęgs, tõñó ési, their Bodies shall be left any time without their Souls : Secondly, because too late this is not a distinction of the parts of Man, but of the persons of Men.
Cucis . xetrin éacuria
a's, vej Šte 917έρα κεχωρισμέον· αλλ' ώσσες κοινω τ' αύθα ζωάδειαν εποιήσαντο, έτω και το κάθεν δίκίω ηνω ως υφέξεσιν. Epift. 222. lib. I.
Again, Because the Scripture often mentioneth a death in trespasses and sins, and a living unto righteousness
, others have conceived by the quick to be understood the † just, and by the dead the unjust : So that Christ shall
+ This is the judge the quick, that is the just, by a sentence of absolution ; and the dead, Second Expolithat is the unjust, by a sentence of condemnation. But though the dead be tion delivered sometimes taken for sinners, and the living for the righteous, though it be Pelufiota to true that Christ fhall judge them both ; yet it is not probable that in this par- such as are not ticular they lhould be taken in a figurative or metaphorical sense, because fatified with
the first, E? there is no adjunct giving any such intimation, and because the sense' afford
και άλλως ζηeth a fair explication : Farther yet, because the Scripture in the fame particu- tāso šta dva lar naming the quick and the dead sufficiently teacherh us that it is to be colas understood
of a corporeal Death, -Whether we live or die, faith the Apostle, Bior sej stoping we are the Lord's : for to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, we cacóvices, and that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
τες αμοιβας, , κρίναι τες νεκρωθένας τοίς αμας 7ήμασι και το δοθεν αυτοίς τάλανθος ώς ώ τάφω τη εαυτών καταχώσανας ραθυμία, και αμύναα, auto's. Epift. 222. lib. 1.
a Rom. 14. 9.
Thirdly, Therefore by the dead are understood all those who ever died be- . This is the
third Exposifore the time of Christ's coming to Judgment, and by the quick fuch as fhall
tion of Ifido
rus Pelusiota, Ει 3 και άλλως, έτως, κρίναι τότε ζώντας και αλυφθένας, και τας ήδη προ αυτών κεκοιμηθέντας. Ιb. others of the Fathers give the second and third Explication, leaving it indifferent, and preferring neither; as S. Chrysost. "Hroi ci pecesWao's λέγή και δικαίας, ήτοι και της απελθόνας και τες νιώ όντας, ότι πολλοί κάλαληφθήσον2 ζώνες, Com. in 2 Tim. 4. I. Duobus autem modis accipi poteft quòd viros & mortuos judicabit ; sive ut vivos intelligamus quos hîc nondum mortuos, sed adhuc in ifta carne inventurus est cjus adventus; mortuos autem qui de corpore priusquam veniat exiere, vel exituri sunt: five vivos justos, mortuos autem injustos, quoniam jufti quoque judicabuntur. S. Auguft, in Enchirid. c.54: Credimus etiam inde venturum convenientiflimo tempore, & judicatarum vivos e mortuos, five iftis nominibus justi & peccatores fignificentur; five quos tunc ante mortem noftram in terris inventurus est appellati funt vivi, mortui verò qui in ejus adventu resurrecturi sunt. Idem de Fide o Symb. c. 8. Inde venturus judicare vivos e mortuos. Vivos qui fuperfuerint, mortuos qui præcesserint. Poteft & fic intelligi, vivos, justos ; mortuos, injuftos : utrofque enim judicat sua cuique retribuens. Juftis di&turus est in judicio, Venite Benedicti, or. Siniftris quid ? Ite in ignem, oc. Sic judicabuntur à Chrifto vivi & mortui. Author l. 1. de Symb. ad Catechum. Duobus modis hæc fententia accipitur. Vivi & mortui in animo, item vivi & mortui in corpore. In corpore fecundùm priorem, judicabit vivos in anima credentes, & mortuos in anima fidem nullam habentes : fecundùm pofteriorem judicabit vivos in carne, quos præsentes invenerit ejus adventus ; judicabit & mortuos in carne, quos resuscitaturus eft Deus excelsus. Author l. 4. de Symb. ad Catechum. c. 7. But although these two Expositions were tbus indifferenily propounded, yet the former ought by no means fo to be received as any way to evacuate or prejudice the latter
. Quod autem dicimus in Symbolo, in adventu Domini vivos ac mortuos judicandos, non folùm juftos & peccatores fign:ficari, ficut Diodorus putat ; fed & vivos eos qui in carne inveniendi sunt credimus, qui adhuc morituri creduntur, vel immutandi sunt, ut alii volunt, ut suscitati continuò, vel reformati, cum antè mortuis judicentur. Gennadius de Dogmat, Eccl. c. 8.
be then alive: So that the quick and the dead, literally taken, are considered in relation to the time of Christ's coming; at which time there shall be a Generation living upon the face of the Earth, and before which time all the Ge
nerations passed since the Creation of the World Thall be numbred among the *. This is the dead. And this undoubtedly is the proper and * literal sense of the Article, clear Interpre- That Christ shall come to judge, not only those which shall be alive
the odoret, with Earth at his appearing, but allo all such as have lived and died before. None out the least shall be then judged while they are dead : whosoever stand before the mention of Judgment-seat shall appear alive; but those which never died, shall be judged Naxção mi jas - as they were alive ; those that were dead before, that they may be judged, Twv xexilis i Thall rise to Life. He shall judge therefore the quick, that is those which Kúexov xixan, shall be + then alive when he cometh ; and he hall judge the dead, that is κεν, έπαδαν και og's vexeo's
those which at the same time shall be raised from the dead. visno res es to κριτήριον άγει, και τες και τη ζωήελείας και ρον αυρισκομένες υδύων. τ' αφθαρσίαν απαιά τας ευθώας. Πάντες χάρ, φηση, & κοιμηθησόμεθα, σάνες και άλλαβησόμεθα. Com. in 2 Tim. 4. Ι. Vivi agnoscuntur qui in corpore erunt in adventu Domini, mortui qui ex hic luce migraverunt. Author Exp. Symb. sub nomine S. Chrys.
This is cleared by the Author of the Questions and Answers under the Name of Justin Martyr, Ei to s cvcsúcews dãogo wãoo tois Jarocin • Θεός διδόναι τα εχέγο, και πάντες οκ τ τόσων ανασάνες των κριτη παρίτααι μέλλεσι, πώς πληρωθέσετο, κρίνειν νεκρες και ζώντας ή κύριον; πως και νεκροι κριθήναι δυνήσον), ων τα μ (ώματα & μνήμασιν έρριπο, αν ψυχαν τρωμάτων κεχαρισμάται ασίν; Refp. Ου πανες, φησί, κοίμης ησόμεθα κρινει εν ζωνίας μας, τας τότε ζωνας, νεκρός 3, τες ανις αμερες και τικών, Quaft. 109.
The only doubt remaining in this Interpretation is, Whether those that Mall be found alive when our Saviour cometh, shall still so continue till they come to Judgment; or upon his first appearance they shall die, and after death revive, and so together with all those which rise out of their Graves, appear before the Judgment-seat. The confideration of our Mortality, and the cause thereof, (that it is appointed for all men once to die, in that death bath
passed upon all) might persuade us that the last Generation of Mankind Should | Omnium e- taste of Death as well as all the rest that went before it; and therefore it hath nim homi- been thought, especially of late, that those whom Christ at his coming finds furrectio. Si alive, shall immediately die; and after a sudden and universal Expiration, omnium erit, shall be restored to Life again, and joined with the rest whom the Graves ergo omnes, shall render, that all may be partakers of the Resurrection. moriuntur, ut mors ab Adam ducta omnibus Filiis ejus dominetur, & maneat illud privilegium in Domino, Non dabis fanétum tuum videre corruptionem, Hanc rationein inaximá Patrum turbà tradente suscepimus. Gennadius, de Eccl. Dogmat. cap. 7.
But the Apostle's description of the last Day mentioneth no such kind of 1 Thes. 4. 15, Death, yea rather excludeth it. For we which are alive and remain unto the 16, 17.
coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so Mall we be ever with the Lord. In which words, they which remain unto the coming of the Lord, are not
said to die or to rise from the dead, but are distinguished from those which are * This is the asleep and rise first; yea, being alive, are * caught up together with them, observation of having not tasted Death. who from these Words proves as much: For having repeated the Text, he thus infers, 'Aro op Cw! Couleuare fresas λέξεως έσιν ιδείν τα επίχαρα. Ααρών και ο άγιο Απόστολο» ή δύο τρόπων το «δε εις μίαν ελπίδα (μως Γαβα, από τα, mucis viga almoójele cu vecinaus eis Cowárinou cu tõ• iva dvižna öv7ws Tšto to Capex, rý or its egy a good moto, g8 core/es
W réornxe. Haref.65. . 70. 1 Cor. 15.51.
The fame is farther confirmed by the same Apostle, saying, Behold I shew you a mystery, we shall not all seep, but we shall all be changed. Which being added to the former, putteth this Doctrine out of question: For the living which remain at the coming of Christ are opposed to them which are asleep, and the opposition consists in this, that they shall not sleep; which Neep is not opposed to a long death, but to death it felf, as it followeth, the dead shall be
raised incorruptible, and we (which Ihall not sleep) shall be changed; fo * Nam & in
hoc ingemifci* that their Mutation shall be unto them as a Resurrection. And the Colla
mus, domicition of these two Scriptures maketh up this Conclusion so manifestly, that I lium noftrum conceive no Man had ever doubted or questioned the Truth of it, had they quod de calo not first differed in the † reading of the Text.
fiquidem exuti & non nudi inveniamur; id eft, antè voluimus superinduere virtutem cæleftem æternitatis, quàm carne exuamur. Hujus enim gratiæ privilegium illos manet, qui ab adventu Domini deprehendentur in carne, & propter duritias tem· porum Antichristi merebuntur compendio mortis per deinutationem expunctæ concurrere cum refurgentibus, ficut
Thessalonicensibus scribit. Tert. de Res. Carn. c. 41. Sancti qui die consummationis atque judicii in corporibus reperiendi sunt, cum aliis sanctis qui ex mortuis resurrecturi sunt, rapientur in nubibus obviam Christo in aere, & non gustabunt mortem ; eruntque, semper cum Domino, gravissimâ mortis necessitate calcatâ, unde ait Apoftolus, Omnes quidem non dormiemus, omnes autem immutabimur. Theod. Heracleotes Com. ad loc. apud. S. Hieron. Ep. 152. Apollinarius ficèt aliis verbis eadem quæ Theodorus afferuit ; quosdam non esse morituros, sed de præfenti vitâ rapiendos in futuram, ut. mutatis glorificatifque corporibus fint cum Christo. S. Hieron. ib. "O 5 néyd 13 tó isivi ý wéves volt a szlovátele, πάντες και άλλαβησόμεθα, και οι μη λπιθνήσκοντες: 9νηθοί δ κακείνοι. Μη τoίνω έπαδαν επιθνήσκεις δια τέτο δίσης, φησίν, ως εκ ανασησόμενο». Είσι γδ τίνες οι και τέτο διαφεύξον), και όμως έκ αρκεί τέτο αυτοϊς είς τ' ανάσασιν εκείνω, αλλα δά και οκάνα τα Cώμαλα τα μη λιποθνήσκον7α αλλαγών, και ας αφθαρσίαν μεταπετάν. S. Chry/. ad loc. So S. Hierome (peaking of that place, i Thess. 4. Hoc ex ipfius loci continentiâ sciri potest, quòd Sancti qui in adventu Salvatoris fuerint deprehenfi in corpore, in iisdem corporibus occurrant ei, ita tamen ut inglorium & corruptivum & mortale gloriâ & incorruptione & immortalitate mutetur : ut qualia corpora mortuorum surrectura sunt, in talem fubftantiam etiam vivorum corpora transformentur. S. Hier. Ep. 148. ad Marcell. And s. Austin, in relation to the same place, Revera quantùm ad verba beati Apostoli pertinet, videtur asserere quofdam in fine sæculi, adveniente Domino, cùm futura eft resurrectio mortuorum, non esse morituros, sed vivos repertos in illam immortalitatem quæ Sanctis etiam cæteris dàtur, repentè mutandos & fimul cum illis rapiendos, ficut dicit
, in nubibus. Nec aliquid aliud mihi vifum eft quoties de his verbis volui cogitare. S. Aug. ad tertiam quaft
. These and others of the Ancients have clearly delivered this Truth, so that Gennadius, notwithstanding his maxima Patrum turba for the contrary, did well confesso Verùm quia sunt:& alii æque Catholici & eruditi viri, qui credunt animâ in corpore manente immutandos ad incorruptionem & immortalitatem eos qui in adventu Domini vivi inveniendi sunt; & hoc eis reputari pro resurrectione ex mortuis, quòd mortalitatem præsentis vitæ immutatione deponant, non morte. Quolibet quis acquiescat modo, non est hæreticus, nisi ex contentione hæreticus fiat. De Eccl. Dogm. c. 7, † There have been observed three several Readings of that place, 1 Cor. 15. 51. one of the Latin, two of the Greek. Illud autem breviter in fine coinmoneo ; hoc, quod in Latinis codicibus legitur, Omnes quidem resurgemus, non omnes autcm immutabimur; in Græcis voluminibus non haberi, fed vel Omnes dormiemus, non autem omnes immutabimur; vel, Non omnes dormiemus, omnes autem immutabimur, S. Hieron. Ep. 152. But there was not one of these three only in the Latin Copies, that is the first; but one which was in the Greek, was also in the Latin, that is the second. For both these s. Austin takes notice of. Nam & illud quod in plerisque codicibus legitur, Omnes refurgemus, unde fieri poterit, nifi omnes inoriamur? Resurrectio, quippe, nifi mors præcefferit, nulla eft. Et quod nonnulli codices habent, omnes dormiemus, multò faciliùs & apertiùs id cogit intelligi. Ad 3 Quaft. Dulcit. Sed aliud rursus occurrit quod idem dicit Apoftolus cùm de resurrectione corporum ad Corinthios loqueretur. Omnes resurgemus, vel, ficut alii codices habent, Omnes dormiemus. Idem de Civit. Dei, l. 20. 6. 20. Two Readings thereof were anciently in the Latin, two in the Greek; one of the Greek in the Latin, and no more. First then that Reading, Omnes quidem resurgemus, oC; which is at this day in the vulgar Latin, was by the Testimony of St. Jerome and St. Austin the ordinary Reading in their Times, and is also used by Tertullian, Horum demutationem ad Corinthios dedit dicens, Omnes quidem resurgemus, non autem omnes demutabimur. De Refur. Carn. c. 42. And although St. Jerome testifieth that it was not to be found in the Greek Copies, yet to the same purpose it is amongst the Variæ Lectiones March. Veles. Tørres avaGiáscopeu, ainda si válles stanie ncóueba. And in Codice Claromontano, the Greek is erased in this place, but the Latin left is, Omnes quidem resurgemus. As for the second Reading, Omnes dormiemus, &c. this was anciently in the Latin Copies, according to S. Austin; and also in the Greek, according to s. Jerome. Didymus did fo read it, and contended for that Reading. Scio quod in nonnullis codicibus script um sit, Non quidem omnes dormiemus, omnes autem immutabimur; Sed confiderandum est an ei quod præmiffum eft, omnes immutabimur, poflit convenire quod fequitur, Mortui furgent incorrupti, o nos immutabia mur, Si enim omnes immutabuntur, & hoc commune cum cæteris est, superfluum fuit dicere, e nos immutabimur. Quamobrem ita legendum est, omnes quidem dormiemus, non autem omnes immutabimur. Apud S. Hieron. Ep. 152. Indeed Acacius Bishop of Cæsarea doth not only acknowledge this Reading, but faith it was in most Copies. Dicamus primùm de eo, quod magis in plurimis codicibus invenitur. Ecce mysterium dico vobis, Omnes quidem dormiemus, non omnes autem immutabimur. The Alexandrian MS. may confirm this Lection, which reads it thus. Oi záv7 es xosMenengrómedde, ó cév 7e5 candelnoópsba, for the first ý' is not written in the Line, but above it.. And the Ethiopick Version to the same purpose, Oinnes nos moriemur, sed non omnes nos immutabimur. The third Reading, Non omnes dormiemus, oc. though it were not anciently in the Latin, yet it was frequently found in the Greek Copies. Acacius testifieth thus much, Transeamus ad secundain lectionem, quæ ita fertur in plerisque codicibus, Non quidem omnes dormiemus, omnes autem immutabimur. apud Hier. ib. It was so anciently read in the Time of Origen, as appeareth by the Fragment taken by S. Jerome out of his ʼEfnalixcè upon the first Epistle to the Thessalonians (which he mentioneth himself in his second Book against Celsus) and by his words in the fifth against Celsas, $x zona av resná Tov@dreds λελίχθαι ολα τα 'Αποσόλα, τα Ιησέ το, και πάνες κοιμηθησόμεθα, πάντες και άλλαβησόμεθα. The fame is acknowledged Ey Theodorus Heracleotes, Apollinarius, Didymus, S. Chrysostome, Theodoret, Theophylact, and OEcumenius. The same is confirmed by the ancient Syriack Translation : bang may 5 TO 7 17 15 as also by the Arabick. Being then of the three Readings but two were anciently found in the Greek copies, Quæritis quo sensu dictum fit, & quo inodo in prima ad Cor. Epiftolâ Pauli fit legendum, omnes quidem dormiemus, non autem omnes immutabimur; an juxta quædam exemplaria, Non omnes dormiemus, omnes autem immutabimur; utrumque enim in Græcis codicibus invenitur. S. Hieron. ib. But of those two but one is now to be found, and the Greek Fathers successively have acknowledged no other, being that which is left agrees with the most ancient Translations, we have no Reason to doubt or question it.
Wherefore being the place to the Thesalonians fufficiently proves it of it self
, being that to the Corinthians, as we read it, invincibly confirmeth the same truth, I conclude that the living, when Christ Thall come, are properly
* This was
alius fenfus & the dead.
distinguished from all those which die before his coming ; because Death it self hath passed upon the one, and only a change different from Death shall pafs upon the other; and fo conceive that Christ is called the Lord and Judge of the quick and dead, in reference at least to this Expression of the Creed. For although it be true of the living of any age to say that Christ is Lord and Judge of them and of the dead, yet in the next age they are not the living but the dead which Christ thall come to judge, and consequently no 'one Gene
ration but the last can be the quick which he shall judge. As therefore to well observed the interpretation of this * Article I take that distinction to be necessary. by S. Austin : That in the end of the World all the Generations dead shall be revived, and illis verbis A'- the present Generation living fo continued, and Christ shall gather them all poftoli nullus to his Tribunal-feat, and so shall truly come to judge both the quick and
. poterit reperiri, & hoc eum intelligi voluiffe, clarum erit, quod videntur ipsa verba clamare; id est, quòd futuri sunt in fine feculi, & secundo adventu Domini, qui non expolientur corpore, fed fuperinduantur immortalite, ut abforbeatur inortale å vita: huic fententiæ proculdubiò conveniet quod in Regula Fidei confitemur, venturum Dominum, judicaturum vivos o mortuos, ut non hîc intelligamus, vivos justos, mortuos autem injustos, quainvis judicandi fint & jufti & injusti, fed vivos, quos nondum exiifie, mortuos autem, quos jam exiisse de corporibus adventus ejus inveniet. Ad 3 Quast. Dulcitii. And Origen long before did make the same Exposition of these Words, That he might be Lord both of the dead and living. Rom. 14. 9. "Olga 70 cv Tštois öti az ébevey Incos, iva verzõv xversion, si avisa itse per poder venção αλλά και ζώντων κυριεύση. Και οι δέ γε ο Απόστολος νεκρός και ως κυριεύς ο Χριστός, τες έτω κα/ειλελες και τη προς Κορινθίας πe97έρα (αλπίσι , και οι νεκροί εΓεσθήσον αφέας]οι) ζώντας και αυτές και τις αλλα ησομες, έτερες όνας ή εγερθήσομψων νεκρών. "Εχι και οι τέτων ή λέξις έτως, Και ημείς αλλα ησόμεθα εξής ερημώύη τω, οι νεκροι είΓερθήσον πρώτον. 'Αλλα και ω τη προς Θεσσαλονικείς πρ97έρα ώ ετέραις λίξεσι τ' αυτίω διαφορα παρισας φησιν, άλλες αναι τες κοιμω μερες άλλες
To's (@v7ces né'w, wc. 1. 2. contra Celsum. Which Exposition is far more proper than that of Methodius, 'Eti i tuzão by init Carátav aggana?sov
, Çarlar ve of luxão, redó edév0701, yenção Capucétor. Phot. in Biblio. Cod. 234. And Ruffinus, Quid autem dicitur judicare vivos e mortuos, nisi quod alii vivi, alii mortui ad judicium veniant? fed animæ fimul judicabuntur & corpora, in quibus vivos animas, corpora mortuos nominavit. Expos. in Symb.
To believe an universal Judgment to come is necessary : First, to prevent the dangerous doubts arising against the ruling of the World by the Providence
of God; that old Rock of offence upon which so many Souls have suffered Pfal. 73. 2. Shipwrack. That which made the Prophet David confess, his feet were al
molt gone, his steps had well nigh Nipt, had hurried multitudes of Men to eternal Perdition. The conspicuous prosperity of the wicked, and apparent miseries of the righteous; the frequent persecution of virtue, and eminent rewards of vice; the sweet and quiet departures often attending upon the most dissolute, and horrid tortures putting a period to the most religious Lives, have raised a strong temptation of doubt and mistrust, whether there be a God that judgeth the earth. Nor is there any thing in this Life considered alone, which can give the least rational satisfaction in this temptation. Except; there be a Life to come after such a Death as we daily see, except in that Life there be rewards and punishments otherwise dispensed than here they are, how can we ground any acknowledgment of an over-ruling Justice. That therefore we may be assured that God who fitreth in Heaven ruleth over all the earth, that a divine and most holy Providence disposeth and dispensech all things here below; it is absolutely necessary to believe and profefs, that a just and exact retribution is deferred, that a due and proportionable dispensa. tion of Rewards and Punishments is reserved to another World; and confequently that there is an universal Judgment to come.
Secondly, It is necessary to believe a Judgment to come, thereby effectually to provoke our selves to the breaking off our Sins by repentance, to the regulating our future actions by the word of God, and to the keeping a conscience void of offence toward God and toward Man. Such is the tweetness of our Sins, such the connaturalness of our Corruptions, so great our confidence of impunity here, that except we looked for an account hereafter, it were unreasonable to expect that any Man should forsake his delights , renounce his complacencies, and by a severe repentance create a bitterness to his own Soul. But being once persuaded of a Judgment, and
withal possessed with a sense of our Sins, who will not tremble with Felix? who will not flee from the wrath to come? what must the hardness be of that impenitent heart which treasureth up unto. it self wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God? We are Rom. zi s. naturally inclined to follow the bent of our own Wills
, and the inclination of our own Hearts : all external Rules and Prescriptions are burthensome to us; and did we not look to give an account, we had no reason to satisfie any other Desires than our own: especially the dictates of the Word of God are so pressing and exact, that were there nothing but a commanding Power, there could be no expectation of Obedience." It is necessary then that we should believe that an account must be given of all our actions; and not only fo, but that this account will be exacted according to the rule of God's revealed Will, that God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, accor- Rom. z. 16. ding to the Gospel. There is in every Man not only a Power to reflect, but a necessary Reflection upon his Actions ; not only a voluntary Remembrance, but also an irresistible Judgment of his own Conversation. Now if there were no other Judge beside our own Souls, we should be regardless of our own Sentence, and wholly unconcerned in our own Condemnations. Bur if we were persuaded that these Reflections of Conscience are to be so many
Witnesses before the Tribunal of Heaven, and that we are to carry own Hearts a Testimony either to absolve or condemn us, we must infallibly watch over that unquiet Iumate, and endeavour above all things for a good Conscience. For seeing that all things shall be disolved, what manner of 2 Pet. 3. 11. persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and
godliness, looking for and hastning unto the coming of the day of God. Reason it felf will tell us thus much; but if that do not, or if we will not hearken to our own Voice; the grace of God that bringeth Salvation teacheth us, That deny- Tit. 2. 11,12} ing ungodliness and worldly lufts, we should live foberly, righteously, and 13. godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ
. Thirdly, 'Tis necessary to profess Faith in Christ as Judge of the Quick and the Dead, for the strengthening our Hope, for the augmenting our Comfort, for the establishing our Assurance of eternal Life. if we look upon the Judgment to come only as revealing our Secrets, as discerning our Adions, as fentencing our Persons according to the Works done in the Flesh, there is not one of us can expect Life from that Tribunal, or Happiness at the last Day. We must confess that we have all sinned, and that there is not any Sin which we have committed but deserves the Sentence of Death; we must acknowledge that the best of our Actions bear no proportion to Eternity, and can challenge no degree of that Weight of Glory; and therefore in a Judgment, as such, there can be nothing but a fearful expectation of eternal Misery, and an absolute despair of everlasting Happiness. It is necessary therefore that we should believe that Christ shall fit upon the Throne, that our Redeemer shall be our Judge, that we shall receive our Sentence not according to the Rigour of the Law, but the Mildness and Mercies of the Gospel ; and then we may look upon not only the Precepts but also the Promises of God; whatsoever Sentence in the sacred Scripture speaketh any thing of Hope; whatsoever Text administreth any Comfort, whatsoever Argument drawn from thence can breed in us any Assurance, we may confident-ly make use of them all in reference to the Judgment to come; because by that Gospel which contains them all we shall be judged. If we consider whole Gospel it is, and who shall judge us by it, we are the members of his body; Ephesis. 30: of his flesh, and of his bones; for which cause he is not ashamed to call us Heb. 2. 11. brethren. As one of our brethren he hath redeemed us, he hath laid down Lev. 25. 48. his Life as a Ransom for us. He is our High-priest who made an Atonement