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absolutely necessary to the ends of Government, to reward every good man, and to punish every wicked man in this World, and not to defer their final Rewards and Punishments to the next; sot if it be granted that there is another World after this, and that God if he fees fit may defer the final Rewards and Punishments of good and bad men to the next World ; then this is no Objection at all against Providence.
But then instead of being an Objection against
. Providence, it becomes a .very strong Argument for a Future Judgment: For if God does govern and judge the World, and yet Justice is not equally and impartially administred to all men, but some good men are greatly afflicted, and some wicked men are greatly prosperous, it is little less than a Demonstration, that there is some other Judgment to come, besides what God exercises in this World: For it is certain, if God judge the World at all, he will judge it righteously, and will render to every man according to his Works; for Justice and Righteousness is essential to theNotion of a God; and therefore since we fee this is not always done in this World, we « must conclude that God's Judgment of Mankind does not end with thisWorld,but extends to aFuture State; that is, that there is a Judgment to come after this Life, when we shall be rewarded according to our Works.
6 That the Judgment of*God in this world is not Final, appears from this, that the Rewards and Punishments of this life cannot be the final and proper Rewards and Punishments of good and bad men: External Prosperity,and External Miseries and Sufferings, are the only Reward and Punishments
nishments we are capable of in this Life; and therefore- when God would visibly express his Kindness and Favour to good men, he makes them prosperous; and when he would express his Anger and Displeasure against the wicked, he punishes them with some Temporal Evils: And this is all that can be done in this World, except the peace and satisfaction, or the guilty remorse of our own Consciences,which God can heighten as he fees fit. Bnt now it is certain, that external Prosperity is not the proper and peculiar Reward of Virtue,nor external Sufferings the peculiar Punishment of Sin; for if they were,a just and righteous Judge could never permit bad men to be prosperous,nor good men to be afflicted, if Prosperity were due only to Virtue, and Afflictions and Sufferings to Vice : The promiscuous Distribution of the good and evil things of this world, both to good and to bad men, proves that Prosperity is not always good, nor Adversity always evil; that Prosperity is rather a present Encouragement, than the proper Reward of Virtue; and External Calamities rather a Curb and Restraint, than the - proper punishment of Vice; and therefore when God can serve the ends of his Providence by it, he may make bad men prosperous,and afflict thegoodj for this is not to transfer the necessary and peculiar Rewards of Virtue upon bad men, nor to inflict the peculiar Punishments of Sin upon good men, which cannc* be done by a just andrighte- <j ous Judge: Now if the Happiness and Miseries of this Life be not the proper and peculiar and inseperable Rewards and Punishments of Virtue and Vice, then there are some other Rewards and Punishments reserved for good and bad men .
in the next world ; such Rewards as no bad man stall share in, and such Punishments as. shall not be inflicted on any good man; that is, besides the Providence and Judgment of God in this world, God will judge good and bad men in the next, and render to every man according to his works.
• II. The Nature of the Divine Providence and Government, and the Manner and Circumstances of its Administration in this world, are a plain Indication of a Future Judgment. .
The visible design of Providence is not to reward all good men, and to punish the wicked in this world, for this is not done; but to curb and restrain wickedness, and to encourage Piety and Virtue; and therefore God gives us such Examples of his Justice, as are sufficient to over-awe mankind, and make them fear his Power and Vengeance; and such Examples of his Favour, Kindness, and regard to good men, as may encourage them to be good, and virtuous,with the expectations of great Rewards : But what does all this signifie, unless it proves that God will punish bad men, and reward the good ? and if it proves this, it must prove that God will do it in the next world, for it is plain that he does not do it here. And therefore if we will allow that God governs the world wisely, we must confess that the Examples of God's Goodness and Justice in this world prove a Future Judgment $ for they are not so universal as to answer the ends of Justice in rewarding good men, and punishing the wicked in this World; and unless they prove a Future Judgment, they are not sufficient either
to to oVer-awe and restrain bad men, or to encourage the good ; for tho the frequent Examples of God's Justice and Severity against Sin, destroys mens security in finning; for no bad man can be sure that God will not punish him, as he does a great many other bad men; yet we daily fee, they would venture this, did not the present execution of Justice threaten them with the more terrible Judgment of the next world.
Thus if we consider the Providence of God as a method of Discipline whereby he conquers mens love to Sin, and breaks the Habits of Vice, or exercises and improves their Virtues; this isa very unaccountable thing, without a Future Judgment: Why should God exercise so much Patience towards wicked men, and bear so long with them, to conquer them by Methods of Kindness, were it not in great goodness to give them time for Repentance, that they may escape Eternal Miseries?
Why should God exercise men with such long and repeated Severities to conquer their love to this world, to teach them to govern their Appetites and Passions, and to make them good men, if there be no reward for Virtue and Piety in the next World?
Why should he afflict goodmen all their Lives? whose Virtue deserves a more prosperous Fortune, only to exercise their Faith and Patience, and to advance them still to more Divine Perfections, unless he intended to reward their present Sufferings, and their eminent Virtue with a brighter and more glorious Crown.
There are many Passages of Providence,which there can be no other account given of,but that they are Methods of Discipline to conquer mens love to Sin, or to improve their Graces and Virtues; and I am sure there can be no account given of this, why God should with so much Patience andForbearance expect the Repentance of some Sinners, and exercise Good Men with so much Severity to make them better, unless the Providence of God in this world have a principal regard to the Rewards and Punishments of the next; that is, unless there be a Judgment to come, to reward good men, and to punish the wicked. This I hope is sufficient to make good this Consequence , That if God govern the World at present, he will judge it hereafter.
The Natural Presages of Conscience prove a Future Judgment; and is there be a Future State, there must be a Future Judgment.
V. r~r"i H E Natural Presages of Conscience are JL another good Argument of a Future . Judgment; that is, all men naturally expect to be judged, to be rewarded or punished for the Good or Evil they do; and this is a strong Natural Presumption that God will judge the World. This is an Argument of great moment, and therefore deserves to be particularly explained ; to which purpose I shall, i. shew you, That it is so. 2.Thatthis is not an Artificial Impression, but the natural Sense of our own Minds. And
F 3. That