« PrécédentContinuer »
will call upon him to account for them at the day of judgment.
We will now see what St. Paul has said respecting his own justification and when it is to take place, that is, when he expected to be judged.
1 Cor. iv. 3" But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea I judge not mine own self."
Ibid. iv. 4. "For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord."
Ibid. iv. 5. "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God."
2 Tim. iv. 7. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." Ibid. iv. 8. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
St. Paul in the Corinthians says in plain language, that he is not justified; surely if any man could have been entitled to justification or pardon of his sins on earth, or in his own words
have the praise of God, he must have been, having "kept the faith;" but he says, "judge nothing before the time until the Lord come," when was that to be? He has also in another place told us, "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospel"." He also says "he that judgeth me is the Lord." Can words speak plainer that justification must take place at the day of judgment? He has most clearly united justification and judgment together, and it is impossible to put any other construction upon his words, but that he expected his own justification would take place when he is judged, and according to his own words it may undoubtedly be inferred that he was to be judged before he was justified this has been the general understanding of his words by all commentators: and in confirmation of what he stated in Corinthians, he has in Timothy said "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day. And when it may be asked from St. Paul's own words was he to be made righteous? or to receive the crown of righteousness which was laid up for him? He states "at that day" he had before stated that the quick and dead
a Rom. ii. 16.
were to be judged at Christ's appearing, that is, the day of judgment. Justification, as Bishop Tomline has stated, is "being accounted just or righteous in the sight of God "" St. Paul in an expressive and beautiful manner has stated that "a crown of righteousness" is laid up for him, not received; and which will be given him at the day of judgment: this one text speaks volumes if there is any meaning in words. No texts in Scripture can be more confirmatory one of the other than the above are; those in Corinthians shew that God is to judge him (St. Paul) as well as all mankind, and at that judgment the hidden things of darkness will be brought to light, and the counsels of the heart will be made manifest, and every one that is then found faithful shall "have praise of God," that is, be accepted and justified by him: and those in Timothy, that he, St. Paul, "had kept the faith," for which he was at "that day," the day of judgment, to have "a crown of righteousness:" the crown of righteousness must mean that he would then be cleansed and absolved from all sin, and perfected in righteousness and true holiness, and made fit to receive the inheritance of the Saints in light, and a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
b 2 Tim. iv. 1.
c Elements of Christian Theology, vol. ii. p. 250.
There are a cloud of authorities to shew, not only in the writings of St. Paul, but also of St. Luke, John, Peter, and James, that every thing relative to Salvation was to be done, and all recompenses and rewards were to be made at the appearing or coming of Christ, that is, at the day of judgment, by admonitions, injunctions and exhortations given to their converts to be patient, and keep the faith, and to be faithful unto death to hold fast and not cast away their confidence which hath great recompense of reward, and the rejoicing of the hope stedfast to the end for the grace that is to be brought at the revelation of Jesus Christ, and the righteousness which is then to be given. Christ has said "the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his Angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works." And must not justification, which is a remission of sins, and may be called the sentence of salvation, and without which, salvation is not attainable, be held to be a reward or recompense? How is it to be obtained unless by a work? Whether that work is faith alone, or united with good works, is not material for the purpose of the present argument. Christ has also said,
Luke xiv. 13. "But when thou makest a
d Matt. xvi. 27.
e Rom. iv. 4.
feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind."
Ibid. xiv. 14. "And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."
Heb. x. 30. "For we know him that hath said vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense saith the Lord. And again the Lord shall judge his people.
We find by St. Luke that those who do acts of charity, such as feed the poor, shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just; and by the text in Hebrews that God shall recompense as well as judge his people, and by many other texts, that he will recompense or reward them according to their deeds or works'.
Can the most prejudiced bigot or enthusiast doubt from the texts quoted relating to the day of judgment, and of the recompenses and rewards which are then to be made, whether the actions of man are, or are not to be judged? And that his salvation will not depend upon any one act, but the whole of them will be duly weighed in God's unerring scales of impartial and eternal justice, and those who are found to have done
f Psalm lviii. 11. Jer. xxv. 14. Hos. xii. 2. Matt. xvi. 27. Rom. ii. 6. Rev. ii. 23. xxii. 12.