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obtained as clear ideas as we can, both of the subject and predicate of a proposition, then we must compare those ideas of the subject and predicate together with the utmost attention, and observe how far they agree, and wherein they differ.—4. We must search for evidence of truth, with diligence and honesty, and be heartily ready to receive evidence, whether for the agreement or disagreement of ideas.—5. We must suspend our judgment, and neither affirm nor deny until this evidence appear.—6. We must judge of every proposition by those proper and peculiar means or mediums, whereby the evidence of it is to be obtained, whether it be sense, consciousness, intelligence, reason, or testimony. —7. It is very useful to have some general principles of truth settled in the mind, whose evidence is great and obvious, that they may be always ready at hand to assist us in judging of the great variety of things which occur.—8. Let the degrees of our assent to every proposition bear an exact proportion to the different degrees of evidence.—9. We should keep our minds always open to receive truth, and never set limits to our own improvements. Watts's Logic, ch. 4. p. 231; Locke on the Understanding, p. 222, 256. vol. i. p. 271, 278. vol. ii.; ^Duncan's Logic, p. 145; Hi-id on the Intellectual Powers, p. 497, 8cc.
JUDGMENT, LAST, the sentence that will be passed on our actions at the last day.
I. The proofs of a general judgment are these: 1. The justice of God requires it; for it is evident that this attribute is not clearly displayed in the dispensation of things in the present state. 2 Thess. i. 6, 7. Luke xiv. 26.— 2. The accusations of natural conscience are testimonies in favour of this belief, Rom. ii. 15. Dan. v. 5, 6. Acts xxiv. 25.—3. It may be concluded from the relation men stand in to God, as creatures to a creator. He has a right to give them a law, and to make them accountable for the breach of it, Rom. xiv. 12.—4. The resurrection of Christ is a certain proof of it. See Acts xvii. 31. Rom. xiv. 9.—5. The Scripture, in a variety of places, sets it bevond all doubt, Jude 14, 15. 2 Cor. v. 10. Matt. xxv. Rom. xiv. 10,11. 2 Thess. i. 7, 10, 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17.
II. As to the Judge: the Bible declares that God will judge the world by Jesus Christ, Acts xvii. 31. The triune God will be the Judge, as to original authority, power, and right of judgment; but, according to the economy settled between the three divine persons, the
work is assigned to the Son, Romans xiv. 9 and 10. who will appear in his human nature, John v. 27. Acts xvii. 31. with great power and glory, 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. visible to every eye, Rev. i. 7. penetrating every heart, 1 Cor. iv. 5. Rom. ii. 16. with full authority over all, Matt, xxviii. 18. and acting with strict justice, 2 Tim. iv. 8. As for the concern of others in the judgment; angels will be no otherwise concerned than as attendants, gathering the elect, raising the dead, occ. but not as advising or judging. Saints are said to judge the world; not as co-judgers with Christ, but as approvers of his sentence, and as their holy lives and conversations will rise up in jadgment against their wicked neighbours.
III. As to the persons that will be _ed; these will be men and devils.
he righteous, probably, will be tried first, as represented in Matt. xxv. They will be raised first, though perhaps not a thousand years before the rest, as Dr. Gill supposes; since the resurrection of all the bodies of the saints is spoken of as in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, in order to their meeting the Lord in the air, and being with him not on earth, but for ever in heaven, 1 Cor. xv. 52. 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17.
Here we may take notice of a difficult question which is proposed by some, namely, Whether the sins of God's people shall be published in the great day, though it is certain they shall not
things ■ long to God, which he has not so fully or clearly revealed to us in his word; and therefore we can sajr little more than what is matter of conjecture about it. Some have thought that the sins of the godly, though forgiven, shall be made manifest, that so the glory of that grace which has pardoned them may appear more illustrious, and their obligation to God for this farther enhanced. They also think, that the justice of the proceedings of that day requires it, since it is presumed and known by the whole world that they were prone to sin, as well as others; and, before conversion, as great sinners as any, and after it their sins had a peculiar aggravation. Therefore, why should not they be made public, as a glory due to the justice and holiness of God, whose nature is opposite to all sin? And this thev farther suppose to be necessary, that so the impartiality of divine justice may appear. Moreover, since God, by r^^ cording the sins of his saints in Scripture, has perpetuated the knowledge thereof; and if it is to their honour that the sins there mentioned were repented of, as well as forgiven, why may it not be supposed that the sins of believers shall be made known in the great day? And, besides, this seems agreeable to those expressions of every word, and every action, as being to be brought into judgment, whether it be good, or whether it be bad.
"But it is supposed by others, that though the making known of sin that is subdued and forgiven, tends to the advancement of divine grace, yet it is sufficient to answer this end, as far as God designs it shall be answered, that the sins which have been subdued and forgiven, should be knowntothemselves, and thus forgiveness afford matter of praise to God. Again ; the expressions of Scripture, whereby forgiveness of sin is set forth, are such as seem to argue that those sins which were forgiven shall not be made manifest: thus they are said to be blotted out, Isa. xliii. 25. covered, Ps. xxxii. 1. subdued and cast into the dcfiths of the sea, Micah vii. ]9. and remembered no more, &c. Jer. xxxi. 34. Besides, Christ's being a judge, doth not divest him of the character of an advocate, whose part is rather to conceal the crimes of those whose cause he pleads, than to divulge them; and to this we may add, that the law which requires duty, and forbids the contrary sins, is not the rule by -which they who are in Christ are to be proceeded against, for then they could not stand in judgment; but they are dealt with according tothe tenor of the Gospel, which forgives and covers all sin. And, farther, it is argued that the public declaring of all their sins before the whole world, notwithstanding their interest in forgiving grace, would fill them with such shame as is hardly consistent with a state of perfect blessedness. And, lastly, the principal argument insisted on is, that our Saviour, in Matt, xxv, in which he gives a particular account of the proceedings of that day, makes no mention of the sins, but only commends the graces of his saints."
As to the wicked, they shall be judged, and all their thoughts, words, and deeds, be brought into judgment, Ecc. xii. 14. The fallen angels, also, are said to be reserved unto the judgment of the great day, Jude 6. They shall receive their final sentence, and be shut up in the prison of hell, Rev. xx. 10. Malt. \iii. 29.
IV: As to the rule of judgment: we
are informed the books will be opened, Rev. xx. 12 1. The book of divine omniscience, Mai. Hi. 5. or remembrance, Mai. hi. 16.—2. The book of conscience, Rom. i. 15.—3. The book of providence, Rom. ii. 4,5.-4. The book of the Scriptures, Law, and Gospel, John xii. 48. Rom. ii. 16. ii. 12.—5. The book of life, Luke x. 20. Rev. hi. 5. xx. 12, 15.
V. As to the time of judgment: the the soul will either be happy or miserable immediately after dea h. but the general judgment will not be till after the resurrection, Heb. ix. 27. There is a day appointed. Acts xvii. 31. but it is unknown to men.
VI. As to the place: this also is uncertain. Some suppose it will be in the air, because the Judge will come in the clouds of heaven, and the living saints will then be changed, and the dead saints raised, and both be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. Others thinknt will be on the earth, on the new earth, on which they will descend from the air with Christ. The place where, however, is of no consequence, when compared with the state in which we shall appear. And as the Scriptures represent it as certain, Eccl. xi. 9. universal, 2 Cor. v. 11. righteous, Rom. ii. 5.decisive, 1 Cor. xv. 52. and eternal as to its consequences, Heb. vi. 2. let us be concerned for the welfare of our immortal interests, flee to the refuge set before us, improve our precious time, depend on the merits of the Redeemer, and adhere to the dictates of the divine word, that we may be found of him in peace. Bates's Works, p. 449; Bishop Hofikins and Stoddard on the Last Judgment; Gill's Body of Divinity, 467, vol ii. 8vo. Boston's Fourfold State; Hervey's Works, new edition, p. 72, 75, vol. i. 155, vol. iv. 82, 233, vol. iii.
JUDGMENTS OF GOD, are the punishments inflicted by him for particular crimes. The Scriptures give us many awful instances of the display of divine justice in the punishment of nations, families, and individuals, for their iniquities. See Gen. vii. xix. 25. Exod. xv. Judges i. 6, 7. Acts xii. 23. Esther v. 14. with chap. vii. 10. 2 Kings xi. Lev. x. 1, 2. Acts v. 1 to 10. Is. xxx. 1 to 5. 1 Sam. xv. 9. 1 Kings xii 25,33. It becomes us, however, to be exceedingly cautious how we interpret the severe and afflictive dispensations of Providence. Dr. Jortin justly observes, that there is usually much rashness and presumption in pronouncing that the I calamitiesof sinners are particularjudgI menis of God; yet, saith he, if from sa
Caius, the Roman emperor, was a great persecutor of the Jews and Christians, and a blasphemer of the God of heaven. Soon alter his atrocities, however, he was murdered by one of his own people.
Severus, emperor of Rome, was a violent and cruel persecutor of the followers of Christ. He, also, and all his family, perished miserably, about the year two hundred after our Saviour.
About the same time, Saturnius, governor of Africa, persecuted the Christians and put several of them to death. Soon after, he went blind.
Heliogabalus, the emperor, brought a new god to Rome, and would needs compel all his subjects to worship him. This was sure to have ended in a persecution of the Christians. But. soon after, this vile monster was slain by his ov/n soldiers, about the year two hundred and twenty-two.
Claudius Hcrminianus was a cruel persecutor of the Christians in the second century, and he was eaten of worms while he lived.
Decius persecuted the church about the year two hundred and fifty: he was soon after killed in battle.
G alius succeeded, and continued the persecution. He, too, was killed the year following.
Valerian, the emperor, had many good qualities; but yet he was an implacable enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel. Some time after he came to the throne, he was taken prisoner by Sapor, king of Persia, and used like a slave and a dog; for the Persian monarch, from time to time, obliged this unhappy emperor to bow himself down, and offer him his back, on which to set his foot, in order to mount his chariot or his horse. He died in this miserable state of captivity.
/Emilian, governor of Egypt, about two hundrea and sixty-three, was a virulent persecutor of the church of Christ. He was soon after strangled by order of the emperor.
Aurclian, the emperor, just intending to begin a persecution against the followers of Christ, was killed in the year two-hundred and seventy-four.
Maximinus was a persecutor of the church. He reigned only three years, and then fell under the hands of violence.
About the year three hundred was the greatest possible contest between Christ and the Roman emperors, which should have the dominion. These illustrious wretches seemed determined to blot out the Christian race and name
from under heaven. The persecution was far more fierce and brutal than it had ever been. It was time, therefore, for the Lord Jesus Christ, the great head of the church, to arise and plead his own cause: and so, indeed, he did. The examples we have mentioned are dreadful: these that follow are not less astonishing, and they are all delivered upon the best authorities.
Dioclesian persecuted the church in three hundred and three. After this nothing ever prospered with him. He underwent many troubles: his senses became impaired; and he quitted the empire.
Severus, another persecuting emperor, was overthrown and put to death in the year three hundred and seven.
About the same time, Urbanus, governor of Palestine, who had signalized himself by tormenting and destroying the disciples of Jesus, met with his due reward; for almost immediately after the cruelties committed, the divine vengeance overtook him. He was unexpectedly degraded and deprived of all his honours; and, dejected, dispirited, and meanly begging for mercy, was put to death by the same hand that raised him.
Firmilianus, another persecuting governor, met with the same fate.
Maximianus Herculus, another of the wretched persecuting emperors, was compelled to hang himself, in the year three hundred and ten.
Maximianus Galeiius, of all the tyrants of his time the most cruel, was seized with a grievous and horrible disease, and tormented with worms and ulcers to such a degree, that they who were ordered to attend him could not bear the stench. Worms proceeded from his body in a most fearful manner; and several of his physicians were put to death because they could not endure the smell, and others because they could not cure him. This happened in the year of our Lord three hundred and eleven.
Maxentius, another of the inhuman monsters, was overthrown in battle by Constantino; and in his flight he fell into the Tiber, and was drowned in the year three hundred and twelve.
Maximinus put out the eyes of many thousands of Christians. Soon after the commission of his cruelties, a disease arose among his own people, which greatly affected their eyes* and took away their sight. He himself died miserably, and upon the rack, hiS eyes starting out of his head through the violence of his distemper, in the year three