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implies, that the happiness, or mis-, Sodom and Gomorrha, in the day ery, to which He will adjudge man- of judgment, than for you.' He kind, at the last day, will be great told his hearers, that, 'for every er or less, according to the number idle word men may speak, they and magnitude of their works, shall give account in the day of whether good or evil, in this life. judgment.' Again, he said, “That And,
servant, who knew his Lord's will, 1. The misery to which Christ and prepared not himself, neither will sentence the wicked, at the did according to his will, shall be last day, will be in proportion to beaten with many stripes." He the number and aggravation of their told the Scribes and Pharisees, that, evil works, in this life. We are for their hypocrisy and covetousplainly taught, in sacred scripture, ness, they should receive the greatthat the final Judge will treat the er damnation. In the Revelation, wicked according to strict justice. a voice from heaven is represented He will pass upon them the sen- as saying, respecting mystical Babytence of the Divine law, without lon, How much she hath glorified mitigation, or mercy,
He wil herself and lived deliciously, so doom them to that death, which is niuch torment and sorrow give the proper wages of sin. He will her." show his wrath, not his mercy, and
Thus will Christ reward the wick, make known his power, not his ed according to their works : He gracę, upon those vessels of wrath, will make the degrees of their misfitted to destruction, Every one ery, bear an exact proportion to of their transgressions will receive a the number and magnitude of their just recompense of reward. And evil works. as nothing but Divine Grace, through 2. Christ will bestow degrees of the atonement of Christ, can liber- happiness upon the righteous in exate any one from condemnation ; so act proportion to the number and every sinner, let his sins be ever magnitude of their good works, in so few or small, will deserve to be this life. He will not forget any punished forever. But, the more of their labours of love ; but renumerous and aggravated any one's ward them all. He will be so exsins shall have been, the greater act, as to reward them, even for will be that endless punishment, giving so much as a cup of cold wawhich he will deserve. Hence, the ter to one of his thirsty diciples, degrees of misery which Christ will from real regard to himself. 'Isainflict upon the finally impenitent, iah writes, “Say ye to the rightewill be in exact proportion to the ous, that it shall be well with him ; number and greatness of their evil for they shall eat the fruit of their works. Thus the Psalmist prays doings.” Daniel, speaking of the and imprecates, “ Draw me not a- general resurrection and judgment, way with the wicked, and with the says, “They that be wise, shall workers of iniquity, who speak shine as the brightness of the firmapeace to their neighbours, but mis- ment; and they that turn many to ehief is in their hearts. Give them righteousness, as the stars forever according to their deeds, according and ever.” In the parable of the to the wickedness of their endeav- talents, our Lord plainly teaches, ours; give them after the work of that he who does the most good their hands; render to them their works in this life, shall receive the desert.” Our Lord, upbraiding the greatest future reward. He said cities in which he performed his to the Pharisee, who had invited mighty works, said, It shall be him to eat bread, “When thou more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and, their evil works will be brought into thou shalt be blessed; for they the account, to increase the measure cannot recompense thee ; for thou of their punishment? shalt be recompensed at the resur- Ans. Sinners are said to be conrection of the just.” Paul write, demned for their impenitence and “Every man shall receive his own unbelief, not because they are to be reward, according to his own la punished for these sins only; but, bour-He, who soweth sparingly, because these sins, according to the shall reap also sparingły; and he terms of the gospel, exclude them who soweth bountifully, shall reap from pardon and an interest in also bountifully." And again he Christ, and leave them under the writes, “Other foundation can no curse of the law, and so exposed to man lay, than that is laid, which is a punishment, great, in proportion Jesus Christ. Now, it any man to the amount of their evil works, build upon this foundation, gold, impenitence and unbelief included. silver, precious stones, wood, hay, OBJ. II. It may be said, that the stubble; every man's work shall be apostle insists much upon justiicamule manifest ; for the day shall tion by faith and through faith. But declare it, because it shall be re- how will the justification of believvealed by fire ; and the fire shall ers be by or through faith; if they try every man's work, of what sort are to be rewarded according to it is. If any man's work shall a- their works, in the sense explained bile, which he hath built thereup- If they are to be made happy in on, he shall receive a reward. If heaven, just according to their good
. any man's work shall be burned, he deeds upon earth; will not their shall suffer loss : but he himselt justification be by works, and shall be saved ; yet so as by fire." through works?
From these passages, I think it Ans. To be justified is one thing; must be sufficiently evident, that to be rewarded, is another. To be the degrees of happiness, which justified, is to be pardoned and exChrist will bestow upon saints at empted from punishment. To be the day of judgment, will bear an rewarded, is to be made a partaker exact proportion to the number and of the inheritance of the saints in magnitude of their good works. light. In the justification of be
I should now proceed to improve | lievers, God displays his Grace; the subject, were it not for three or in their reward, he displays his four plausible objections, which it Goodness. Men must be justified may be proper first to obviate. first, or they can never be reward
Obj. I. It may be said, that ac- ed. But, when completely 'justicording to the representations of fied by Divine Grace, through the Christ and his apostles, the wicked redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 'are to be condemned and punished the way is prepared, for saints to hereafter, for their impenitence and be rewarded for all their good deeds, unbelief. “Except ye repent, ye done here in the body. shall all perish. He that believeth OBJ. Ill. The apostle Paul says, not is condemned already, because Romans iv. 4, “ Now, to him that he hath not believed in the name of worketh, is the reward not reckoned the only begotten Son of God. He of grace, but of debt. But to him t'ia believeth not shall be damned.” that worketh not, but believeth on But, if the wickell, hereafter, will him that justifieth the ungodly, his be condemned and destroyed for faith is counted for righteousness.” impenitence and unbelief; what And again, Eph. ii. 8, 9, “ By verson is there to think, that all
grace are ye saved, through faith;
and that not of yourselves; it is the sentations of sacred scripture are gift of God: not of works, lest any thought to favour this idea. We man should boast." Do not these read, ó that wrath will come upon passages teach us, that the salva- the wicked to the uitermost—that tion and reward of believers is whol- God will show his wrath and make ly of grace? And if so, how can his power known upon them.' And, they be rewarded according to their on the other hand, the righteous are works, in the sense explained? If called “ vessels of mercy;" which their future reward is to be greater seems to imply that they will be or less, according to the number filled from those rivers of holy and magnitude of their good works pleasure, which flow from the dore in the body, is not their re- throne of Divine grace above. And ward of works, instead of being of this corresponds with what our Lord grace, as Paul teaches:
said on the mount- Blessed are Ans. Believers, after they shall they that hunger and thirst after be completely justified, and pro- righteousness ; for they shall be nounced free from the condemning FILLED." sentence of the law, as they all will It would
passabe, at the last day, will be as prop- ges of scripture, that the capacities er objects of reward for all their of saints and sinners, and not the good works, as the angels, who have number or greatness of their god never sinned. They will be unde- or evil works, are to be the measure serving of reward, it is true; and of their happiness or misery. so are the elect angels. But, after Ans. It is admitted, that scripsaints are justified, the law has no ture favours the sentiment, that more dominion over them, than it the righteous will be happy and the has over the angels of light. “There wicked miserable, in the world to is now no more condemnation to come, according to their various them who are in Christ Jesus;" capacities for enjoyment and sufthey are pardoned through his blood, fering. As the wicked, in this and may, as consistently, be re- world, •do evil thing, as they can,' warded for whatever good they have and the righteous, when they love done, as if they had not sinned at God at all, love him with all the all. But, still, their reward is of heart, soul, mind and strength; so grace; because their justification every vessel of mercy in heaven, is of grace. It will forever be ow- and every vessel of wrath in hell, ing to Divine grace in Christ Jesus, will be füll to the brim. But, how that they are proper objects of re- this militates against the doctrine ward, and not fit subjects of punish- advanced in this discourse, is not ment; for, having sinned and trans- It may be true, that the gressed, and remaining as guilty, righteous and the wicked will hereas if they had not been pardoned, after be rewarded according to they will forever deserve to be pun- their works, in the sense explained; ished for all their sins, and will for- while, at the same time, the rightever be deeply sensible, that it is eous shall be made as happy, and of the Lord's mercies, that they the wicked as miserable, as their are not consumed.'
capacities will admit: For, it is OBJ. IV. It has generally been thought reasonable to suppose, that supposed, by orthodox Christians, the capacities of the wicked to sufthat the wicked will be made mis- | fer misery hereafter, will be in proerable and the righteous happy, in portion to the number and magnithe coming orld, to the full extent iude of their evil works, done here of their capacity. And the repre- in the fiesh; and that the capaci
ties of the righteous to enjoy hap-, good, in which we did not aim piness in heaven, will be in propor- supremely at the glory of God, tion to the number and magnitude and feel willing to part with our of their good works, performed own interest, to secure the great. here upon earth.
er goud of our felluw-creat- . IMPROVEMENT. 1. Will Christ reward every 2. Will Christ, at the last day, man according to his works? Will reward every one of mankind acthey, who have done good in this cording to his works done here life, come forth, at the last day, in the body? Then the time of unto the resurrection of life; and this life, is exceedingly importhey, who have done evil works tant. This life is our term of only, unto the resurrection of dam- probation, and the only one, we nation? Then it is very important, shall ever enjoy. We are formthat we should all know, now, in ing characters here, in which we this our probationary state, what shall appear at the day of judgworks are good, and what are evil. ment, and according to which, A mistake on this subject may prove will be our everlasting portion.fatal to our souls.
How important, then, is the time All mankind are busily at work, of this short life! The actions of doing good or evil. It is, indeed, every day, and every hour, have impossible, that any one should
a bearing upon our eternal destiremain dormant and inactive, for ny. How weighty, then, the esa day, or an hour, while in the bortation of the apostle, “Be not possession of reason. Not only slothful in business but fervent in our external actions and words, spirit, serving the Lord. Redeembut our internal desires, inten- ing the time, because the days are tions and designs, are included in evil,” the nomber of our works. For
3. The gospel sets before manall these, we must give account to kind, powerful motives to do good Him, who searches our hearts and works, and abstain from evil ones. tries our reins. He has been While it teaches us, that justifipleased kindly to inform us, be- cation is of grace, and that good fore hand, what he will approve as works have no merit; at the same good works, and what He will con- time, it inforins us, that those, who demn, as evil. He has informed' do good works, shall be rewarded us, in his word, that good works, for them, and that those who do are such as flow from a good heari, evil works, shall be punished for and evil works, such as flow from them; and that neither the reward an evil heart.
“A good man, out of the one, nor the punishinent of of the good treasure of the heart, the other, will ever have an end. bringeth forth good things; and an Truly, then, the grace of God, evil man, out of the evil treasure which bringeth salvation, and of the heart, bringeth forth evil hath appeareil to all men, tcaches
A good heart consists in us, that denying ungodliness and disinterested love; for love is the worldly lusts, we should live sofulfilling of the law:" and an evil berly, righteously, and godly, is heart consists in selfishness, for this evil world.' . Be not deceiv
6. 66 sin is the transgression of the ed, God is not mocked: for whatlaw.” We ought to consider all soever a inan soweth, that shall he our works, done with selfish mo- also reap; he that soweth to the tives, as evil; and should never flesh,shall of the flesh reap corrupthink we have done any thing tion; but he that soweth to the
spirit, shall of the spirit, reap life Secondly. I would exhort saints everlasting."
to abound in good works. Such 4. Will Christ, hereafter, re- works will all be rewarded in the ward all mankind according to coming world. They are ever their works? Then now fusi im- pleasant in the performance; and penitent sinners Treasure up wrath! are followed by an exceeding and They are always at work; and all eternal weight of glory. Surely their works are evil; because their in keeping the commands of God,
hearts are full of evil,' and they there is great reward. It is true that are in the flesh cannot please a strict and conscientious adherGod.' " There is none that doeth ance to the rule of duty, regood; no, not one.” Impenitent quires self-denial, and may expose sinners are always doing evil you, here, to want, reproach and works; and for all their works suffering: but the sufferings of Christ will call them to account, this present time, are not worthy and unless tiinely repentance pre to be compared with the glory, vent, puvish them forever. Ilow which shall hereafter be revealed fast, then, they treasure up wrath! in the saints. Though you canU pon supposition they die in their not do good works from selfish sins, every thing they now do, motives ; yet, like Moses, you makes an inconceivable addition ought to have respect unto the to their future, endless punish- recompence of the reward.? And ment: every sin they now commit be assured, that every good work, will cause them more misery, than which you here perform, will yield has been suffered, or will be suf- you more happiness, than has ever fered, in this world, by all man- been enjoyed by mortals. What kind, from the creation to the an inconceivable loss you sustain "great burning day."
by every neglect of duty, by the I close with a word of Exhor- least imperfection in holiness! Be tation: And,
persuaded, continually to seek First, I would exhort such, as for glory, and honour, and immorentertain a hope, that they are in tality; that you may obtain eterfavour with God, to examine the nal life.' nature of their works. Unless / Finally. Let me exhort sinners, , you have done some good works, to cease to do evil, and learn to you have no reason to think you do well. You have hitherto done have ever been accepted. If you nothing but evil works. It is have faith without works, it is high time for you to begin to do only a dead faith, which will not something good and pleasing to save a man. By works a man is God. Let the past time of your justified, i. e. good works are the lives suffice you, to have wrought unfailing fruit of a living faith, and the deeds of the carnal mind. the only prper evidence of justi- God now requires you to cast cation. Therefore examine the away your transgressions, to give pature of your works. Have you Him your hearts, and to receive ever done any works meet for re- and obey his Son. The requirepentance? Any works from su- ment is reasonable; and it is your preme love to God? Any works life. If you persist in doing evil, which could not have proceeded a little longer, your punishment from selfish motives? What do is certain and endless. And flatye, more than others? More than ter not yourselves, that your sing Scribes and Pharisees? More than are small, and that your stripes Publicans and sinners?
will be few. You have known