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and daughters; every one who has had, or, to the end of the world, shall have, a living soul united to a body, will make this great congregation. Even those who refused to come to the throne of grace, shall be forced to the bar of justice ; for there can be no hiding from the all-seeing Judge, no flying from him who is present every where, no resisting him who is armed with almighty power.
« We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, 2 Cor.v. 10. « Before him shall be gathered all nations," says the text. This is to be done by the ministry of angels. By them shall the elect be gathered, Mark xiii. 27. " Then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds." And they also shall gather the reprobate, Matth. xii, 40, 41. 6 So shall it be in the end of this world, The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.” Froni all corne. 5 of the world, shall the inhabitants thereof be gathered unto the place, where he shall set his throne for judgment.
Sixthly, There shall be a separation made betwixt the righteous and the wicked ; the fair company of the elect sheep being set on Christ's right hand, and the reprobate goats on his left. There is no necessity to wait for this separation, till the trial be over; since the parties do rise out of their graves, with plain outward marks of distinction, as was cleared before. The separation seems to be effected by that double gathering before mentioned; the one of the elect, Mark xiii. 27. the other of them that do iniquity, Matth. xiii. 41. The elect being caught up together in the clouds, meet the Lord in the air, (1 Thess. iv. 17.) and so are set on his right hand: and the reprobate left on the earth (Matth. xxv. 40.) upon the Judge's left hand. Here is now a total separation of two parties, who were always opposite to each other, in their principles, aims, and manner of life ; who, when together, were a burden the one to the other, under which the one groaned, and the other raged; but now they are freely parted, never to come together any more.
The iron and clay (alluded to Dan. ii. 41, 43.) which could never mix, are quite separated; the one being drawn up into the air, put the attractive virtue of the stone cut out of the moun
tain, namely, Jesus Christ ; the other left upon its earth to be trod under foot.
Now let us look to the right hand, and there we will see a glorious company of saints, shining as so many stars in their orbs; and with a cheerful countenance, beholding him who sitteth upon the throne. Here will be two wonderful sights, which the world used not to see. (1.) A great congregation of saints, in which is not so much as one hypocrite There was a bloody Cain in Adam's family, a cursed Ham in Noah's family, in the ark; a treacherous Judas in Christ's own family, but in that company shall be none but sealed ones, members of Christ, having all one Father: And this is a sight reserved for that day. (2.) All the godly upon one side. Seldom or never do the saints on earth make such a harmony, but there is some járring strings among them. It is not to be expected, that men who see but in part, though they be all going to one city, will agree as to every step in the way; no, we need not look for it, in this state of imperfection. But at that day, Paul and Barnabas shall meet in unity, tho' once the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder, the one from the other, Acts xv. 39. There shall be no more divisions, no more separate standing, amongst those who belong to Christ. All the godly of the different parties, shall then be upon one side; seeing, whatever were their differences in lesser things, while in the world, yet even then, they met and concentered all in one Lord Jesus Christ, by a true and lively faith, and in the one way of holiness or practical godliness. And the naughty hypocrite, of whatsoever party, shall be led forth with the workers of iniquity.
Look to the left hand, and there you will see the cursed
goats (all the wicked ones, from Cain to the last ungodly person who shallbe in the world) gathered together into one most miserable congregation. There are many assemblies of the wicked now; then there shall be but one. But all of them shall be present there, brought together as one herd for the slaughter,bellowing and roaring, weeping and howling for the miseries come on them. (And remember thou shalt not be a mere spectator, to look at these two 50 different companies ; but must take thy place in one of the two, and shalt share with the company, whatever
hand it be upon.) These who now abhor no society so much as that of the saints, would then be glad to be allowed to get in among them, though it were but to lie a. mong their feet. But then not one tare shall be found with the wheat: he will thoroughly purge his floor. Maný of the right-hand men of this world, will be left-hand men in that day. Many who must have the door and the right hand of these, who are better than they, (if the righteous be more excellent than his neighbour) shall then be turned to the left hand, as most despicable wretches. • O how terrible will this separation be to the ungodly ! how dreadful will this gathering them together into one company be! what they will not believe, they will then see, namely, that but few are saved. They think it enough now, to be neighbour-like, and can securely follow the multitude; but the multitude on the left hand will yield them no comfort. How will it sting the ungodly Christian, to see himself set on the same hand with Turks and Pagans ! how will it gall men to find themselves standing, profane Protestants, with idolatrous Papists; praying people with their profane neighbours, who mocked at religious exercises ; formal professors, strangers to the new birth and the power of godliness, with persecutors ! now there are many opposite societies in the world, but then all the ungodly shall be in one society. And how dreadful will the faces of companions in sin be to one another there! what doleful shrieks When the whoremonger and his whore shall meet; when the drunkards, who have had many a jovial day together, shall see one another in the face ; when the husband and wife, the parents and children, the master and servants, and neighbours, who have been snares and stumbling-blocks to one another, to the ruin of their own souls, and these of their relatives, shall meet again in that miserable society! Then will there be curses instead of salutations; and tearing of themselves, and raging against one another, instead of the wonted embraces.
Seventhly, The parties shall be tried. The Trial cannot be difficult, in regard the Judge is omniscient, and nothing can be hid from him. But, that his righteous judgment may be evident to all, he will set the hidden 'things of darkness in clearest light at that trial, 1 Cor. iv. 5.
Men strall be tried, first, Upon their works : for,
God shall bring every work into judgment, with every, secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” Eccl. xi. 14. The Judge will try every man's conversation, and set his deeds done in the body, with all the circumstances thereof, in a true light. Then will many ac-· tions commended and applauded of men, as good and just, be discovered to have been evil and abominable in the sight of God ; and many works, now condemned by the world, will be approven and commended by the great Judge, as good and just. Secret things will be brought to light : and what was hid from the view of the world, shalt be laid open. Wickedness, which hath kept its lurking place in spite of all human search, will then be brought forth to the glory of God, and the confusion of impenitent sinners who bid it. The world appears now very vile. in the eyes of those who are exercised to godliness; but it will then appear a thousand times more vile, when that which is done of men in secret, comes to be discovered, Every good action shall then be remembered; and the hid. den religion and good works, most industriously concealed by the saints, from the eyes of men, shall no more lie hid, for though the Lord will not allow men to proclaim every man his own goodness, yet he himself will do it in dųe time. Secondly, Their words shall be judged, Matth. xů. 37. « For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Not aʼword spoken for God, and his cause in the world, from love to himself shall be forgotten. They are all kept in remembrance, and shall be brought forth as evidences of faith, and of an interest in Christ, Mal. iü. 16, 17. « Then they that feared the Lord, spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it ; and a book of remembrance was written before him. And they shall be minc, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.” And the tongue, which did run at random, shall then confess to God: and the speaker shall find it to have been followed, and every word noted that dropped from his unsanctified lips. “ Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Matth. xii. 36. And if they shall give account of idle words, that is, words spoken to no good purpose, neithe to God's glory, one's own, or one's neighbour's good ; ho
much more shall mens wicked words, their sinful oaths; curses, lies, filthy communications, and bitter words, be called over again that day? The tongues
shall then fall upon themselves, and ruin them. Thirdly, Mens thoughts shall be brought into judgment; the judge will make manifest the counsel of the hearts, 1 Cor. iv. 5. Thoughts go free from man's judgment, but not from the judgment of the heart-searching God, who knows mens thoughts, without the help of signs to discern them bye The secret springs of mens actions, will then be brought 10 light; and the sins, that never came further than the beart, will then be laid open. O what a figure will man's corrupt nature make, when his inside is turned out, and all his speculative impurities are exposed ! the rottennessi that is within many a whited sepulchre, the speculative fils thiness and wantonness, murder and malignity, now lurk ing in the hearts of men, as in the chamber of imagerys will then be discovered ; and what good was in the hearts. of any, shall no more lie concealed. If it was in their hearts to build a house to the Lord, they shall hear, that they did well that it was in their heart.
This trial will be righteous and impartial, accurate and searching, clear and evident. The Judge is the righteous Judge, and he will do right to every one. He has a just balance for good and evil actions, and for honest and false hearts. The fig-leaf cover of hypocrisy will then be blown aside, and the hypocrite's nakedness will appear; as when the Lord came to judge Adam and Eve, in the cool (or, as the word is, in the wind) of the day, Gen. iii. 8. The fire (which tries things most exquisitely,) « shall try every man's work, of what sort it is," I Cor. iii. 13. Man's judgment is oft-times perplexed and confused; but here the whole process shall be clear and evident, as written with a sun-beam.' It shall be clear to the Judge, to whom no case can be intricate ; to the parties, who shall be convinced, Jude 15. And the multitudes on both sides, shall see the Judge is clear when he judgeth; for then the heavens shall declare his righteousness, in the audience of the world ; and so it shall be universally known, Psal. 1. 6.
On these accounts it is, that this trial is held out in the Scripture, under the notion of opening of books; and men