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jhall see the plenty with their eyes, but shall not eat thereof. Every word of the blessed sentence shall be like an envenomed arrow thot into their hearts, while they see what they have loft, and from thence gather what they are to expect.
This sentence pafseth on the saints according to their works, Rev. xx. 12. But not for their works, nor for their faith neither, as if eternal life were merited by them. The fentence itself overthrows this absurd conceic. The kinge dom they are called to, was prepared for them, from the foundation of the world; not left to be merited by themselves, who were but of yesterday. They inherit it as fons, but procure it not to themselves, as fervants do the reward of their work. They were redeemed by the blood of Christ, and clothed with his spotless righteousness, which is the proper cause of the sentence. They were also qualified for heaven, by the sanctification of his Spirit; and hence it is according to their works; so that the ungodly world shall see now, that the Judge of the quick and dead does good to them, who were good. Therefore it is added to the fentence, For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat, &c. Ver. 35, 36. which doth not denote the ground, but the evidence of their right to heaven; as if a judge should fay, he absolves a man pursued for debt ; for the witnesses depone, that it is paid already. So the Apostle says, 1 Cor. x. 5. But with many of them God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Their overthrow in the wilderness was not the ground of God's dif. pleasure with them, but it was an evidence of it. And thus our Lord teacheth us the neceffary connexion betwixt glory and good works, namely, works evangelically good; works having a respect to Jefus Chrift, and done out of faith in him, and love to hin, without which they will not be regarded in that day. And the saints will so far be judged according to such works, that the degrees of glory amanst them shall be according to these works ; for it is an eternal truth, · He that foweth sparingly shall reap fparinga • ly, 2 Cor. ix. 6.
Thus shall the good works of the godly have a glorious, not a gratuitous reward; a reward of grace, not of debt, which will fill them with wonder at the riches of free grace, and the Lord's condescending to take any notice, especially such public notice, of their poor worthlefs works. The which seems to be the import of what they are said to answer, • saying, Lord, when law we thee an hungred,' &c. Ver. 37, 38. 49 And may they not juftly wonder to see themfelves fet down to the Orriage fupper of the Lamb, in confequence of a dinner or supper, a little meat or drink (such as they had) which they gave to an hungry or thirsty mem. ber of Christ, for his fake? Oh plentiful harveft following upon the feed of good works! rivers of pleasure springing up from (perhaps) a cup of cold water given to a disciple, in the name of a disciple ! eternal mansions of glory rising out of a night's lodging given to a laint, who was a stran. ger! everlafting robes of glory given in exchange of a new coat, or it (may be) an old one, bestowed on fome faint, who had not necessary clothing! a visit to a fick faint, repaid by Christ himlelt, coming in the glory ot the Father, with all his holy angels! a visit made to a poor prisoner, for the cause of Christ, repaid with a visit from the Judge of all, taking away the visitant with him to the palace of heaven, there to be ever with himself! these things will be matter of everlasting woader; and should stir up all, to fow liberally in time, while the feed time of good works doth laft. But it is Christ's stamp on good works, that puts a value on them, in the eye of a gracious God; which seems to be the import of our Lord's reply, ver. 40. • In as much
as ye bave done it, unto one of the least of these my bre• thren, ye have done it unto me.'
IX. Now the saints having received their own sentence, they fhall judge the world, i Cor. vi 2. This was not ful. filled, when the empire became Christian, and Christians were made magiftrates. No, the Pialmist tells us, This honour have all the saints,' Pfal. cxlix.9. And the Apo. Ale in the forecited place, adds, . And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye anworthy to judge the smallek mat, ters ? Ver. 3. Know ye not that we shall judge angels?' Being called, they come to receive their kingdom, in the view of angels and men : they go, as it were, from the bar to the throne, To him thar overcometh, will I grant to sit with me on my throne, Rev iii. 21. They shall not only judge the world, in Christ their head, by way of communion with him; by their works compared with these of the
ungodly, or, by way of reftimony against them: but they shall be afefors to Jesus Chrilt the judge, giving their voice against them, consenting to his judgment as juft, and saying Amen, to the doorn pronounced against all the ungodly : as is said of the saints, upon the judgment of the great whore, Rev. xix. 1; 2. Hallelujah, for true and righteous are bis Judgments. Thus the upright hall have dominion over them, in the morning of the resurre&ion, Psal. xlix. 14. Then, and not till then, fhall that fully be accomplished, which ye may read, Psal. cxlix. 6, 7, 8, 9. Let the high praises of God be in i heir mouth, ond a two edged fword in ibeir hand, to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punilhments upon the people, this honour have all his faints 0! what a strange turn of affairs, will appear here ! what an altonishing fight will it be, to see wicked church.men and statesmen standing ascriminals before the faints,wron fonce. times obey condemned as heretics, rebels and traitors ! to fee men of riches and power stand pale-faced before these whom they oppreised! to see the mocker Atand trembling before these he mocked : the worldly wise man before these whom he accounted fools! then thall the despited faces of the faints be dreadful faces to the wicked: and those who fometimes were the song of the drunkards, shall then be a terror to them: All wrongs must be righted at leagth, and every one set in his proper place.
Tentbly, The Judge shall pronounce the fentence of dam. mation on all the ungodly multitude. Then shall be fay alf unto them on the left hand. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angelsy ver. 41. Fearful doom! and that from the same mouth, from whence proceeded the fentence of absolution before, It was an aggravation of the misery of the fows, when their city was dettroyed, that they were ruined by one, who was accounted the darling of the world. O! what an aggra. vation of the misery of the wicked will it be, that he shall pronounce this sentence allo! to hear the curse from mount Zion, mult needs be most terrible, To be damned by him, who came to save finners, must be double damnation. But thus it shall be. The Lamb of God fhall rore, as a lion, against them ! he shall excommunicate, and caft them out of his presence for eyer, by a sentence from the tbrone, saying,
Depart from me, ye cursed: he fall adjudge them to everlafting fire, and the society of devils for evermore. And this sentence also, we suppože, shall be prenounced with an audible voice, by the man Christ. And all the saints shall fay, Hallelujah, true and rigbtcous are his judgments, None were to compashonate as the saints, when on earth, during the time of God's patience. But now that time is at an end; their compasion on the ungodly is swallowed up in joy, in the Mediator's glory, and his executing of just judgment, by which his enemies are made his footstool. Though fumetimes, the righteous man did weep in secret places for their pride, and because they would not hear; yet then he hall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance, he all wash his feet in the blood of the wicked, Pfal. lviii. 10. No pity shall then be shewn to them, from their nearest relations. The godly wife shall applaud the justice of the Judge, in the condemnation of her ungodly husband : the godly husband shall say Amen to the damnation of her who lay in his bosom: the godly parents shall say Hallelujah, at the palling of the fentence against their ungodly child: the the godly child fall, from his heart, approve the dampation of his wicked parents, the father who begat him, and the mother who bore him. The sentence is just; they are judged according to their works, Rev. xx. 12.
There is no wrong done them. ? For I was an hungry, faith our Lord,
• and ye gave me no meat ; I was thirsty, • and ye gave me no drink ; I was a stranger, and ye took
me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; fick, and in 'prison, and ye visited me not, ver, 42, 43.' These are not only evidences of their ungodly and cursed state, but most proper causes and grounds of their condemnation ; for though good works do not merit falvation, yet evil works merit damoation. Sins of one kind only, namely of omiffion, are here mentioned; not that these alone shall then be discos yered, (for the opening of the books lay all open) but because these, though there were no more, are sufficient to damn unpardoned sinners. And if men shall be condemned for sins of omislion, much more for sins of commillion. The omission of works of charity and mercy, is conde. fcended on particularly, to stop the mouths of the wicked; for it is most just, that he have judgment without mercy,
ibat bath Mewed no mercy, James ii, 13. The mentioning of the omission of acts of charity and mercy towards the diitreffed members of Christ, intimates, that it is the judgment of those who have heard of Christ in the gospel, that is principally intended here, in this portion of fcripture ; and that the fighting of Christ will be the great caule of the ruin of those who hear the gospel : but the enmity of the hearts of the wicked agaiolt himselt, is discovered by the entertainment they now give to his members.
In vain will they fay, When Jow we thee an hungred, or a thirst? &c. ver. 44. For the Lord reckons, and will reckon, the world's unkindness to his people, unkindnets to himself; In as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me, ver. 45. O meat and drink unhappily fpared, when a member of Christ wasin need of it ! O wreiched neglect, that the stranger faint was not taken in ! it had been better for them, they had quitted their own room, and their own bed, than he had wanted lodging, O cursed cioathing may the wicked say, that was in my houle, locked upin my chelt, or hanging in my wardrobe, and was not brought out to clothe such a one ! O that I had Aripped myselt, rather than he had gone away without cloathing? Cursed business, that diverted me from vifiring such a lick faint ? O that I had rather watched whole nights with him. Wretch that I was? why did I sit at ease in my house, when he was in prison, and did not visit him? But now the tables are turned: Christ's servants hall cat, but I shall be hungry; his fervants Mall drink, but I shall be thirsty; they rejoice, but I am ashamed, lja. Ixv. 13: They are taken in, but i am cast out, and bid depart: they are cloathed with robes of glory, but walk naked, and they see my shame, Rev. xvi. 15. They are now raised up on high, beyond the reach of tickness or pain; but I must now ly down in forrow, Isa.
Now shall they go to the palace of heaven, but I mult go to the prison of hell.
But if our Lord thus retents mens neglecting to help his people under these, and the like distresses : what may they expect, who are the authors and instruments of them? if they shall be fed with wrath, who fed them not, when they were hungry; what shall become of those, who robbed and spoiled them, and took their own bread away from them?