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it is to be remembered, no prophecy of scrip-ture is of any private interpretation.
Looking over all the passages placed at the head of this lecture, with a view to learn when we are to expect the day of general account, can we not now rest fully persuaded that the evidence of a day of judgment in future life is equal to what the interest and solemnity of the subject would naturally require? Nor ought any scripture that represents the judgment of any nation or people in the present tense, to be brought to weaken the testimony of those we have been considering. Each may be fulfilled according to the time designated, without one's interfering with another. Finding this part of the subject so plain, and I hope clearly understood by every hearer, we will now attend to some other important points of doctrinal instruction, which our subject reveals.
We remark, secondly, that every work of men will be manifested and known, and every individual of the human family share a part in this day of general judgment. This is plain from the following scriptures: "But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Every idle word must include all works of a wicked and trifling nature, if no more. The word men, unqualified by any limited term in the phrase, that men shall speak, carries an idea of the human race. "He hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world. For we all shall stand be
fore the judgment-seat of Christ,every knee shall bow,every tongue shall confess, so then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." 1 Cor. iii. 18, "Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; for the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is." Eccl. xii. 13, 14, "Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Thirdly, every work of man will then be approbated or disapprobated, according as it is good or bad; and the then present character of every one plainly shown by Him who judges the world in righteousness. These I think are not fanciful ideas, but contained inthe scriptures before us. If it be more tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment than for Capernaum; for Tyre and Sidon than for Chorazin and Bethsaida, it is evident Sodom, Tyre and Sidon will be condemned; but Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida will re. ceive the greater condemnation. This condemnation presupposes a plain manifestation of character; for what law of the divine Being condemns a man before it hears him, or shows him his case? Our Savior says, "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." He has told us, that we shall know men by their fruits; so it seems, God will declare to men
their character "in the last day." Good words are the fruit of a good disposition; and evil words of a corrupt heart. Good and evil words, in a greater or less degree, and at different times, have dropped from the lips of all men. Every man, therefore, it appears will receive his share of approbation and disapprobation "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men." None are to escape as being free from guilt; "For whatsoever things the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God," Rom. iii. 19. If some enthusiastic preachers seriously thought of this scripture, it seems they would not be so fond of summoning their sinful and obstinate hearers to the day of judgment, promising to be witnesses against them there, though, perhaps with good intention; for as all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, we have no reason to fear their testimony at the bar of judgment, when every mouth is stopped, and the whole world becomes guilty before their Judge. In the court of heaven, we read of neither witnesses nor jury. They are not needed in the presence of the Judge of quick and dead. "He needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man." "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world."
Although we have every reason from scrip. ture to believe every hidden work of iniquity will then be brought to light; yet every one
who has repented of his transgression, and turned to God, will not be the subject of condemnation and punishment in future for past transgressions. The Lord will not forget his words by the prophet Ezekiel; "If the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgression that he hath committed shall not be mentioned unto him; (that is to affect his righteous cha. racter) in his righteousness he shall live." It is evident every one will stand in relation to the future, according to what he then is, and not according to what he has been. Revenge for past iniquity, the seeds of which are rooted out, we have no reason to expect from an all-wise Judge. His tender mercies, are over all his works.
Fourthly, we have no account of judgment for sins committed in a future state of existence, but according to deeds done in the body. St. Paul's words are express. "For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every man may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." The following things are evident from this text; 1st. If men are judged for all the deeds done in the body, this judgment cannot close till all the deeds of the body are finished. This is not till the body dies; and if judgment be after the work, it must be in a future state. 2d. If men re
ceive the things according to the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad, is it not evident, the effects of these deeds are extended to a future state? The wages of sin is death; and wages are commonly received after the labor is performed.
Much is said by the opposers of future punishment and judgment about sin's being extended to the future world. They say, if we can prove that men are sinners there, they will admit punishment to be there. Then why not admit the rule reversed? If we can prove punishment in the future world, admit that sinners are there? If sin, misery, and condemnation are inseparably connected, where we find the one, we do the other. But say they, we have no account of actual sin, but the contrary. Reply, we do not need it. We have an account of some being condemned, which is enough to prove them sinners, without actual sin, such as stealing, lying, defrauding, &c. One must be called a sinner that is under the condemning power of sin, or till he has the law of God written in his heart. What should we think of men that should dispute felicity being extended to the future world? Because, say they, righteousness and felicity are inseparably connected, and we have no account of any righteous works done in the future world;-no feeding the hungry, no clothing the naked, nor giving drink to the thirsty, nor any other works that can be called the fruits of righteousness. We, therefore, dispute that there is any felicity in the future