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needed for the information of the Judge': but for the all-important ends of consummating the purposes of the mediatorial kingdom of Christ : making a full disclosure of the moral characters of the righteous and the wicked, which cannot be done in this world that the mysteries of Providence may be made clear, and the réctitude of the whole Divine administration disclosed to the view of the assembled universe: “That thou mightest be justified,” says the psalmist,“ when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest."

The proposition which, by the grace of God, I mean to support, is as follows :

There will be a judgment of all mankind; for which a particular time is assigned at the end of the world.

My hearers, we have come to a subject which is infinitely interesting to us all! The question before us relates to our standing before the judgment seat of Christ, where the secrets of all hearts shall be laid open to the inspection of men and of angels, and where we shall receive, at the hand of the Judge, according to that we have done, whether it be good or bad. We have no need of the images of poetry, or the excellencies of speech on this subject. All that you have ever heard of the trappings of royalty; all that you have ever witnessed of the solemn and affecting in courts of judicature, where a fellow creature was to be tried for his life, and sentenced to an ignominious death ; all, all that you can imagine will be immeasurably transcended by the scene before us. Here is the Judge himself, clothed with Divine majesty, and invested with infinite power, from whose face the heavens and the earth Alce away; here is an innumerable company of angels, the attendants and ministers of his court; here are all the generations of men that have lived upon the face of the earth, brought before him to be judged, and to receive that sentence which shall raise them to thrones of glory in the kingdom of their Father, or banish them from his presence and from the glory of his power, to dwell in the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, where the smoke of their torment shall ascend up for ever and ever!

And, while this momentous question is pending, can you feel any desire but that of knowing the truth? Can you suffer any prejudice against an unwelcome doctrine to blind your eyes, and hold you in unbelief, when light is offered you? The disposition with which we ought to listen to this discussion is expressed in these words: “ Lord, what I know not, that teach thou me." I hold it my duty to give up the doctrine of future judgment if it can be proved to be unscriptural; and you are all equally bound to embrace it if it can be shown to be the doctrine of the Bible. And can we say, before Him who searches the heart, that we are ready to listen to the pending discussion with a sincere desire to receive the knowledge of the truth, and with a determination to correct our errors upon conviction?

Othou, who requirest truth in the inward parts, behold us thy creatures ; pity our ignorance and weakness, and suffer us not to err from thy ways. If thou seest that our hearta are not right with thee; that any prejudice of education, pride of denomination, or secret bias whatever is about to pervert our judgment, to darken the eyes of our understanding, and thereby prevent our coming to the knowledge of the truth as it is in thee, take that deadly evil from our hearts, and inspire therein the love of thy truth. May thy Spirit help our infirmities, and reconcile us to all thy will, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen. That there will be a future judgment may be inferred from the partial displays of justice in this world. If there be a righteous Governor of the world, he will fully reward the righteous, and punish the wicked. But this is not done in the present life. It shall therefore be done in the next.

To see the force of this argument, we must observe that many sins, yea, the greatest sins, often go unpunished in this world. Hypocrisy, fraud, robbery, murder, oppression in all its forms, and tyranny in all degrees, from that practised toward the African slave, up to that exercised over the lives and liberties of millions of cringing vassals, through the forbearance of God, or through the imperfection of human laws, often go unpunished in this world. But though sentence against an evil work be not executed speedily, let it not be thought that justice' will sleep for ever. For thus saith the Lord, " Because I have called, and ye

refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsels, and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh.'

We also infer a future judgment from the condition of man as an accountable creature. As a child, man is accountable to his parents ; as a servant, to his master; as a citizen, to the laws of the land. And is he not also accountable to his God? If he be a subject of the law and government of God, he must be accountable; and if he now occupy a state of probation or trial, there must, in the nature of things, be a time, subsequent to his probation, when he shall be judged according to his works.

But it is not on arguments of this kind that I principally rely for proof of a future judgment, but on the plain and express declarations of the word of God. Such are the following passages, where the duties and conditions of the Gospel are enforced, and admonition given, by reference to a judgment to come, and which may be classed in such a manner as, with very

little observation or comment, to evince the truth of that doctrine.

1. I will produce some of those passages which refer the judgment to a future, indefinite time.

Acts xvii, 31, “God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteous

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ness by that man whom he hath ordained ; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."

Rom. xiv, 10, 11, 12, “ But why dost thou judge thy brother ? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother ? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live saith the Lord

every

knee shall bow to me,

and every tongue shall confess to God. So, then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Parallel to this is 2 Cor. v, 10, “ For we must all appear

before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." Here it may be observed that the retrospective phrase, the things done in his body, determines the time of the judgment to a period beyond this life.

1 Cor. iv, 5, « Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart; and then shall every (good) man have praise of God."

Matt. xii, 36, “ But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

Acts xxiv, 25, “ And as Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled.”

In Matt. xii, 37-43, we have our Saviour's exposition of the parable of the tares. “He

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