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then all them chat say this, Do ye indeed believe so? If not, then are you vile and abominable Diffeinblers and Lyars both to God and Man. And that's a Character, which tho' you are ashamed to own, and angry that it should be given you, yet you cannot deny to be your own. Try then your Hearts, and seeif you believe what you say, for if you do not, and say fo folemnly that you do, are you not Perfons of no Faith or Honesty, and therefore unfit to be trusted, but to be accounted Enemies to Society? If you do believe as you fay you do, that Christ will come to Judge you, by what do you think he will Judge you? Is ic not by the Law of Faith which he hath given us, his holy Gospel? Hear him, for as the Apo. Ale faith, all shall be Judgded by the Law under which they have lived. Rom. 2. 12. As many as bave finned without Law, shall also perish without . Law, that is, they who have no written Law, the Heathens who have only the Law of Nature to live by, if they sin against that Law, ( for where there is no Law, there can be no Sin, they muft therefore have a Law, if they fin) they shall be condemned in Judgment for it; and as many as have Sinned in the Law, shall be Judged by the Law. That is, the Fews, who have sinned against the written Law of Moses, shall be Judged according to thar Law. So faith Christ 7oh. 12. 48. He that reje&teth me, and receiveth not my words, batb one that Judgetb him, the Word that I have Spoken, the same shall Fudge bim in the last Day. And Rom. 2. 16. God Mall Fudge the Secrets of Men by Hesus Christ, according to my Gospel. If this be so, how dare such as say they believe that Christ shall come Judge them, live so unsuitably to his Haly Gospel? You must needs own your
Selves ( whilst you live not very holy Christian Lives) to be the very vilest of all Men, because you are either professed Liars, or manifest Fools: Liars, if you say you believe, and believe not: Fools, if indeed, you do believe, · and yet live so as you believe you must be condemned for it.
2. Therefore that we may avoid this just Reproach, let us live as Men that know and believe, that Christ will come and call them to account how they have lived, whether according to his Gospel or no, and will condemn them, or acquit them in Judgment accordingly. It is to this end that he shall come. 2. Thel. 1. 8. The Lord Fesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty Angels, in Flaming Fire, taking Vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Can we believe this, and not use all diligence, to live obediently to this Holy Gospel? If ye then, faith St. Peter, call on the Father, who without respect of Persons, Judget b ascording to every Man's Works, pass the time of your Sojourning bere in fear. i Per. 1. 18. Unto them that are Contentious, and do not obey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness, be will render Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and anguish. Rom. 2. 8. Therefore let us take St. James's good Counsel. Jam. 2. 12. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be Judged by the Law of Liberty. What a Madness is it to profess to believe the Gofpel, and not to do our utmost Endeavour, to live exactly according to it, when we know, that if the Gospel which we believe be true, we shall be condemned for not living obediently to it in all things?
heazione till thalas we have of living, incally in
3. Take heed how we scoff and mock at the talk of Christ's coming, going on confidently in our looseness and carelesness of living, indulging
our felves in what we have a mind, saying, ler · us alone till that day. It's no strange thing to
hear of such People, even now in a Christian Nation, because we had warning given us long ago to expect such Profane talkers, and the quality of the Persons describ'd plainly enough tơ us, that we may know what kind of People they are, and how little to be regarded. 2 Pet. 3. 3. There shall come in the last days fcoffers walking after their own Lusts, and saying, where is the promise of bis coming ? These are called filthy Dreamers, like Brutish Beasts, defiling themselves, despisers of Government, &c. These little consider that tho' Christ seem to tarry, yet he will come at the appointed time, and that he carries so long, is a great mercy to them, if they would but see it.. v. 9. The Lord is not fack in his promise, as some Men count (ackness, but is long-suffering to "ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all fhould come to Repentance. He endureth with long-suffering, even the Vessels of Wrath fitted for Destruction. Rom.9. 22. 1, Jaith be, gave her space to Repent, and she repented not. Rev. 2. 21. Beware therefore of putting that day far from you, and looking on it as a great distance, for you know not when it comes : We are not in darkness, that that day should overtake us as a Thief, therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us Watch and be Sober. 1. 'Thef. 5. 4. 5.
4. Because it is at Midnight, and will be sudden and surprizing to many, therefore that's the best advice we can take, to be always ready. O how little is this regarded ? And why? We
look on the day of Judgment as a great way off: Yea, but can we think the hour of Death is fo too? And yet it's all one to us which comes first, Death or Judgment. Let us eat and Drink, say fome, for co morrow we die. Soul take thine Ease (fay others) Eat, Drink and be Merry, for thou haft Grods laid up for many Years. Now, how foolishly do both these behave them selves ? Well, said our Saviour, thou Fool, to him that promised himself many Years, when he was not sure of one Night. I am sure, we are none of us any furer of one Night than he could be. And if to morrow we must die, as the other. say, is it seasonable to spend this day in eating and Drinking? Have we not something else to do to prepare our felves for Judgment and we must be prepar'd before we die, if that prove to be co morrow, or we must never be prepar’d. He that grows confident either ways, and resolute in his Course, so that he begin to eat anda drink unith the drunken, the Lord of that Servant will come in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him afunder, and appoint bim bis portion with the Hypocrites, there shall be weeping and gnashing of Teeth. Matt. 24. 5. '1. O, how greatly concerns it us, to have our Lamps always lighted up, that so the cry when it comes inay nor confound us. That our whole Spirit, and Soul, and Body, may be preferu'd blameless into the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. i Thef. 5. 23. That when he shall appear, we may have Confidence, and not be asham'd before him at his coming. 1 Joh. 2. 28. What manner of Persons ought we to be, in all holy Conversation, and Godliness, looking for, and hasting to the coming of the day of God? 2 Pet. 3. IT 12: . ii ..
Take Take heed of inconfideration, of laying aside or checking all serious thoughts of this day, and spending your time in vanity and foolish mirth. Would you indeed hear the Trumper found to Judgment, or hear the Summons of Death to go our of this World, when you are in such a Temper? And can you tell, that it will not be fo? How many Examples have there been, nor un like that of Belshazar, who had their Summons to Death in the midst of their jollity? When they had laid aside the consideration of such things. If the good Man of the house had known (faith Chrift) ;. e. had considered, and seriously thought, what hour the Thief would come, i. e. that he might come at any hour for ought he knew, he would have taken more care of his House; he would not have been surpriz'd, and taken without all Defence. Take heed, leat coming suddenly be find you seeping. Matt. 13. 36. That is not considering, secure, and without serious thoughts of him. · Take heed therefore again of provocations to sleep, beware of the pleasures of this Life, lealt at any times your Hearts be over-charg'on für. feiting and drunkenness, and the cares of this Life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Luk. 21. 34. For as a Snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the Face of the Earth v. 35. As in the days that were before the Flood, they were Eating and Drinking, Marrying and giving in Marriage, until the Day that Noah entred into the Ark, and knew not until the Flood came and took them all away, Soshall also the coming of the Son of Man be. Matt. 24. 28, 29.