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AN ENQUIRY INTO THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
THE day of judgment having a close connexion with the justification and salvation of man, it becomes necessary to see and learn for what use and purpose it was ordained.
Job xix. 29. "Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment."
Jude 6. “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day."
1 Thess. v. 2. "For yourselves, know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
Jude 15. "To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Rom. xiv. 10. "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."
Ibid. 11. " For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
Ibid. 12. "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."
Ibid. ii. 16." In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospel."
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.”
Eccles. xii. 14. "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil."
Matt. xii. 36. "But I say unto you, That every idle word that man shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."
James i. 12. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”
The word judgment has been most properly explained by Mr. Cruden, in his Concordance,
to be" the solemn action and trial at the great and last day."
That there is to be a day of judgment is so fully and clearly shown, in many parts of Scripture, it appears almost a waste of words to produce authorities for that purpose; but from the above texts these certain facts are to be collected, that there will be a day of judgment, which will come as a thief in the night, and when "we must all appear, and stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may give account of himself, and receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad," and " when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ,' and "bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil," and " every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof;" and "blessed is the man that endureth temptation, for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." Here we have a full, clear, certain, and particular description, not only of what is meant by the day of judgment, which must be a day of trial, but also of such matters as are to be brought forward, and what the proceedings will then be, which are to take place at that awful and solemn tribunal of the Lord of hosts.
We find all secrets are to be brought into judgment; actions the most minute, even every idle word is to be accounted for: and if such is to be the case, and to deny it would be denying one of the clearest and most certain doctrines of the Christian religion, upon what ground of reasoning, what construction of words, or rule of argument can the proceedings of that day, as above described, be reconciled with a remission of sins on earth? Can it be supposed that a sinner, having had his sins remitted in this life, will be then called upon to account for them? Even the supposition is too absurd to admit of one moment's hesitation, or to raise the shadow of a doubt. God, who is "righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works," and " is not the author of confusion," would never suffer such an inconsistency to go to his people, and be published as his word. Was the day of judgment to be restricted merely to passing of sentence, either of condemnation or vindication of mankind, the tenet, or principle of remission of sins on earth, might be reconciled with such a construction; but how different do we find the description in Scripture; every idle word, every work, every secret thing is to be adduced, and the secrets of all hearts are then to be judged. And for what purpose are all these to be brought into judgment? Most undoubtedly to be inves
tigated, examined, and a final sentence or determination then made, and not only made but acted upon, and the doom of all human beings finally fixed or decreed; and, as man is to have remission of sins through the blood of his Redeemer, and salvation awarded him, when are those sins for which Christ bled upon the cross to be remitted and forgiven, if not at the time they are brought forward, examined, and considered? It is impossible any glossing, subtlety, or ingenuity of man can so pervert the plain, clear, and irresistible effect of words as to be able to do away, or even in any way weaken the force of this single argument against the remission of sins on earth; and if there is any such thing as a reliance upon man's reason, the conclusion to be drawn from this argument must be, it is conceived, so irrefragable as not to leave an atom of doubt in the minds of the most prejudiced persons. The two doctrines, or tenets, the day of judgment and remission of sins in this life, are so incompatible, that there does not seem any reasonable way by which they can be reconciled, according to Scripture, with each other. It is impossible that any refinement can produce a colourable, much less tenable ground for their co-existence. It would be nothing more nor less than saying, although man has had his sins remitted on earth, yet that God