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rare, who is sensible of the Follies, Temptations, and Infirmities of it, who will not judge us as if we were Angels, or unbodied Spirits; but will remember that we are Men, that we are the Race of Apostate man, that we have a corrupt Nature within, a tempting World, and a tempting Devil without. i
If this then will satisfie us, God has appointed a Man for our Judge; one who is our Bro.\ ther, Fiejh of our flesh, and Bone of our hone; one who has suffered, and has been tempted as we are,' who has lived in the midst of a wicked World, and knows the Conversation of Mankind, how easily Men are turned aside by Example, and Persuasion, and Interest, by Fears and Flatteries; and has a great Pity for the Weaknesses of Men, and will make all favourable Allowances for them.
Nay, more than this, we have not only a Man, but God-Man for ourJudge; a God personally united to, Humane Nature. All Mankind have a great persuasion of God's Goodness, that the kindest and most compassionate Man in the World, falls infinitely short of the Goodness of God; but they are afraid of his Holiness, and of his Justice; that these Attributes will not suffer him to make sufficient Allowances for the Weakness of Humane Nature: Ost the other hand, tho' Men know enough to pity each others Infirmities, yet they are not always the most favourable Judges to one another in reason it should be so, that those who are exposed to the same Temptations themselves, who feel the Weaknesses and Infirmities of Humane Nature, mould pity those
R who who are overcome by them} but it is not al^ ways so, and therefore we cannot always rely on it: But when God becomes Man, we have all the Goodness of God, and all the tender Compassion of a Man, in their utmost Perfection; that when God-Man is our Judge, if either God or Man can help us, wei are safe; no M2n need be afraid of such a Judge, who has not out-finned the Mercies of a God, and the tender Compassions of a Man; and he who has, mult perish, and the most merciful Man must vindicate the Justice of God in it. N ;J .
- Especially,1 2. When we; remember that this Man is the Saviour of Mankind: He who is our Judge became Man^ that he might be our Saviour,- and can. we desire a more equal and favourable Judge .: than the Saviour of Mankind? We may be sure he has. all the Kindness for us that we can desire :. It. r was a mighty Love to Human Nature \ which brought him from Heaven, and clothed. him with FlestV and Bloods and exposed Jjirn to all the Miseries and Sufferings of this Life, for our fakes; and when he died and suffered all this for us, can we suspect he will: be a severe and unequal Judge? That he. who died for Sinners, will condemn any Sinners whom Jie can save? Has he then forgot his Agony and bloody Sweat, his Croft and Passion? Has he forgot that Love which brought him into the World , and !t which nailed him to the Cross, for the Salvation of Sinners?-We need .not doubt but the Saviour of Mankind is. more strongly inclined «;-© /ave than to destroy: Than to destroy did I say! far be it from the great Lover of Souls, that he should have any inclination to destroy: This is foreign to. his Design,.this is against his "Will, this is a force upon his Nature and Governments he is Incarnate and Embodied Love; Mercy is the Temper and Complexion, "the Glory and Triumph of his Kingdom, and therefore none shall eternally perish, but those whom Infi nite and Incarnate Love cannot save. .. -.- . . .
For we must remember, that he has now purchased us with his own Blood, that he has #n Interest in us,' that every Sinner he condemns, he pronounces Sentence against himself, he rejects what might have been, and what he passionately desired should have been his own; and therefore we may be certain he will: condemn none, whom according to the most favourable Construction of the Terms of the Gospel, he can save: I say, we may be as certain of this, #s we are (to allude to some Parables of our SaviourJl that a Man who has travelled into sthe Wilderness to find a lost Sheep, will bring. it home upon his Back rejoy cing, and not leave it to perish there, when he has found it; or that a Woman, who sought diligently for her lost Groat, and rejoyced at the finding of it-, will not immediately fling it away again; or that a father who has received his Prodigal Son with all the Festival Expressions of Joy, will not immediately turn ; him out of his Family to seek his Fortune: No, Christ has shed his Blood for us all, and the more he saves, the greater Re-.
- R 2 ward ward he has of his Sufferings, the more numerous his Train and Retinue of redeemed Souls 3sj and Numbers add to the Glory of the Tri.^ urnph : This may convince all Mankind how merciful our Judge will be • and if we must be judged at all, could God do more for us, than to appoint the Man Christ Jesus, who is our Saviour, to be our Judge?
But then consider on the other hand, what a terrible thing will it be, to be condemned by the Man Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the 'World \ What Tumults and Convulsions of Thoughts must such Sinners labour under! They must be Self-condemned ; they must feel all the Agonies of Guilt and Despair: For if they could reasonably excuse themselves, 6r the most merciful Man In the World could excuse them, their Judge would excuse them too. I know not how to bear the thoughts of thisthe very imagination of it, amazes and Confounds me! To be damned is a tolerable Punishment, in comparison of being damned by the Saviour of the World: And might I have been saved? will such a Sinner say: D£d my Saviour, who is now my Judge, a terrible Judge, shed his Blood for me? Did he purchase Heaven for me? And does he now condemn me to Hell, and deservedly too, against his own Inclinations, tho' he lose the Purchase of his Blood by it? O Wretch that I am! rriight I have been saved? And mustT be damned, and damned by the Saviour of the World! What Fury and Passion will accompany these thoughts, is not to be expressed by wdrds; and I pray God none of us may ever feel it.
3. Another thing which made it so fitting and congruous, that the Son of Man should judge the World, is, That he will, be a visible Judge :• It is very fitting the World should be visibly judged $ for without this, all the Pomp and Triumph of Judgment 1 nay, some of the principal Ends ofJudgment are lost: God judges the World in so publick a manner, to convince the World of his Power, and Justice, and Goodness, in the final Destruction of all Bad Men, and in the final Rewards of Virtue; and therefore this must be a visible Judgment, and then there must be a visible Judgment-Seat, and a visible Judge, a visible Glory and Power; Bad Men must know for what they ar© ;udged, and see the Hand that executes Vengeance on them, or, for ought I know, they might go Atheists and Infidels to Hell; and fee no more of God in a fired World, than they do in Plague, or Sword, or Famine, or such other Judgments as God fends upon the Earth: They might curse their hard Fate, but neither accuse themselves, nor own the Divine Power and Justice; and could they sink into Hell , .without owning the Being and Justice of God, or acknowledging their own Guilt and Deserts, and accusing themselves as the Authors of their own Misery and Destruction • God would lose the Glory of his Justice and Power, and Hell it self would be a very tolerable place to Sinners; there would be Fire there to burn them, but no "Worm to gnaw their Consciences, no inward , Euries to torment them : 'The Justice of the • last Judgment, which will stop' the Mouths of
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