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cast out a more knowing, more powerful, more graceful, more proud spirit, and would not endure him an instant, but cast him out, and all those rebellious though high-minded intelligences, who since that time have usurped iheir several places upon the earth, and led astray those bands of tollowers, whom we do pily, but will neither encourage nor justify,
OF JUDGMENT TO COME.
THE ISSUES OF THE JUDGMENT.
In the detail and defence which have been just concluded of the Last Judgment, we have entered into no particulars of cases; which were an endless task, and not convenient to the aim of a discourse, not meant to make the scene poetically or figuratively striking, but to prove it unto reason a fair and equitable transaction. Therefore we took up the very words of Christ's description, and showed how shortly and strikingly, yet how amply and severely, it brought to trial the whole scope of Christian obedience and disobedience. There is not in scripture any passage or expression so beautiful, so tender, so full of pathos, and productive of charity, in purport so perfect a criterion, so unerring a condemnation or so satisfactory an acquittal, as the few words which we have taken such time to explain, and explained so little to our own satisfaction. It will be observed by those who are of a logical and judicial turn, that there wanteth a link to connect the constitution of law, which we formerly explained, with this method of passing judgment upon the observance of that law. The judgment turns altogether, or almost altogether, upon our personal attachment and personal sacrifice in Christ's behalf. And what connexion hath this with the keeping of the very pure and spiritual law of which we discoursed at large? To this question, materials for many answers are furnished in the body of the preceding description of the solemn scene. But there is such a beauty in this connexion, that we cannot refrain from noticing it apart.
It will be remembered, that after trying the resources of hunian ability against the pure institution of God, we found it was not possible for conscience to acquit herself, and that she must give in, overwhelmed with helplessness and transgression. Upon right therefore she cannot take the prize, and you perceive it is not yielded in right of conscience, but as a boon for affection towards Christ. Now it will be further remembered, that in order to be delivered from this dejection and despair of conscience, no resource of human ingenuity was found available, and that we were fain to turn unto the Gospel of Christ as our refuge, and take upon mercy that which was denied to right. Then we proceeded to sift the Gospel of mercy to the bottom, and find out, whether a loose were thereby given to licentiousness and disobedience, and a broad shield of forgiveness cast over the delinquencies of men. From this inquiry we gathered, that the disciple of Christ and believer in salvation through his merits, was not set loose from obligation, or delivered from one tittle of former obligation, but was brought under a new sort of obligation, and led into a new kind of obedience; that to all the native obligations of the law originating in its admirable adaptation to human circumstances, there are added all the affectionate and advantageous obligations of the gospel springing from the knowledge of God's love in Christ and the assurance of success through the Spirit; that Christ bound a new knot between the soul of man and his Maker, composed of a thousand interlacing ties, of which we cannot again afford to speak separately. Only this was the pith of the whole, that Christ was the inter nedium, and that from him all this new life sprung, and to him it was in gratitude devoted; that we hung and were suspended on him, as a viceroy or vicegerent for God over the affairs of our soul's salvation, and that through this new condition, a plenty and joyfulness of obedience was yielded, which could by no other means have been extracted from the fallen nature of man.
Now mark, how well to this new style and spirit of obedience, answer the style and spirit of the judgment! whereof the pith and marrow are placed in the strength of our attachment to Christ, which attachment is the spring, the nourishment, and the measure of this new obedience. To examine into that attachment is therefore as good as to examine into this obedience, for the one is like the stream which drives the other on; and their race is equal. There is a coincidence here in itself so wise, that we confess we feel all that went before upon law and obedience to be in a manner rivetted, and capable of holding fast.
Had the Judgment been detailed as an investigation of individual actions (though it is that in the main)-had it
been detailed as an acquittal given upon our being found commensurate with the demands of law and conscience,then there wouid have been ground for that most fatal of all errors, that we are to win heaven by right. Or had our account been stated with its deficiencies, and balanced out of Christ's merits-then the next ruinous error, that we go joint with the Saviour in the matter of heaven, would have been generated. But being made to turn upon six evidences of affection and at achment, as if that alone were necessary to be ascertained it is inade for ever manifest, that hope of acquittal must be held exactly in proportion to our union with Christ, with which degree of union we showed that our degree of obedience or law keeping was exactly
So that obedience, largest, strictest obedience is insured, while the way to it, the only way to it, is pointed out, and the two false ways to it for ever barred to all who will see truth and understand knowledge.
With this remark, which we conceive not only most necessary to complete the argument, but in itself the most important that hath been made from the very commencement of the discourse, we pass on forth with to that awful subject which stands as the title of this part, the Issues of the Judgment. From which we would shrink back litterly dismayed, were we not convinced that something must be said and done to present these subjects before the Court of human reason, else the blasphemers of this day, who make reason their stalking-horse, to come over the credulity of men, will utterly dislodge both the faith and the reverence of future things from the common breast, so that a new plantation of religion among the common people will io a few years be necessary. For, with all the exertions making in this day for religion's sake, at home and abroad, accompanied with the demonstration of much success, I am satistied that religion is retrograding in many quarters. enemy is strengthening also, if Christ be strengthening. There is a mustering, as it were, of both hosts, a gathering to the conflict. The enemy hath written Reason on his recruiting standarıl; and we would also write Reason upon the Christian standard, not only for the purpose of defeating his malicious aspersions, but for the justification of the truth, which we conceive to be this—That our religion doth not d nounce the rational or intellectual man, but addeth the reto the spiritual man, and that the latter flourishes the more noly under the fostering hand of the former.
I enter, therefore, into the unseen worlds which shall be
built up for the habitations of the righteous and the wicked, in a cool reasonable spirit, invoking the help of God to guide my steps; and whosoever will accompany me, I pray to do the same, and not to resign himself to the guidance of my judgment, which is hardly able to guide myself. Upon the nature of these two several estates it is not easy to speak correctly; and a great deal of mischief has arisen from inconsiderate interpretations of the language of Scripture, Of how many light-witted men, unto this day, is the constant psalm-singing of heaven a theme of scorn; the fire and brimstone of hell, a theme of derision. And on the other hand, by how many zealous but injudicious ministers of the Gospel are they the themes of rhapsodies, which end in nothing but the tedium and disgust of those who hear. Now these two, amongst many others, are but emblems or signs, to represent the nature of our feelings in these several states of being, implying no more the existence of instrumental music or of material fire, than the name New Jerusalem implies that the righteous are to dwell in a city, or the name pit and lake of fire imply that the wicked, are to swim for ever in a dark, deep abyss of spiry flames. Glorious bodies are not restored to the righteous only to strike a harp, nor imperishable bodies to the wicked only to sufler and not die. To the righteous they are given to renew the count xion between spirit and matter, which is productive even in this fallen world of such exquisite delight; and in order to meet the nicer capacities of these new-formed organs, a new world is createri, fair as the sun, beautiful as the moon, fresh and verdant as the garden of Eden. And around this new habitation of the righteous is thrown a wall like the chrystal wall of heaven itself, within which nothing shall enter to hurt or to defile. There shall be no sickness nor sorrow of countenance, and there shall be no more death. There shall be no more stormy passion, with its troublous calm of overspent rage, and its long wreck of ruin and havoc, which no time can repair. No wars, nor rumours of wars, and bloodshed shall never again spot the busom of the ground; and rivalry shall no longer trouble friendship, nor jealousy love; nor shall ambition divide states, which, be they commonwealths or royal sovereignties, will dwell in untroubled peace. The cares of life shall no longer agitate the bosom, and the reverses of life be for ever unknown. Hunger and thirst shall no longer be felt, and the heat of the sun shall not smite by day, nor the moon by night.