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The Argument they made use of was


that Chrift had failed his Word, and broken his Promise : -That notwithstanding nie, and the Apostles had told them he would shortly appear, to put an End to their Troubles and Persecutions, yet were there no Signs, nor Hopes of his coming : So long à Time had passed over without any Alteration or Change at all in the State of Things: One Generation succeeded after another, as they had always done, and all the parts of the Creation continued as they had done from the Beginning. his

Nay, They do not only endeavour to ex- to plode the Belief of his coming, but to flout, and jeer at it, as a senseless and ridiculous Fi&ion; Where say they is tbe Promise of his coming Since the Fathers fell asleep, all Things continue as they were from the Beginning of the Creation.

So that these Words referring plainly to the fast Appearance and folemn coming of our Saviour Christ to Judgment; that we might take in all that can be pertinently discoursed from them: I told you that they might admit of a Twofold Sense, and Interpretation. Either

pilt rolio"... vbroti.. jkt. As spoken by way of Doubt and Qutestionz whether Chrift will come to Judgment ? Whether the Christians of thofe Times had not fome Reason to think, that he had delayed the Time, and dipped the Promise of his coming. And this Head I have handled at large


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; fubjoining also the Practical Improvement of it . I proceed now in the 2d Place.

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should come.

2. To consider, and discourse of the Words as fpoken by way of a flat and absolute Denial. That it is a vain Promise, and a foolish Expectation ; since all Things continue as they were from the Beginning of the Creation, he will never come to Judgment. The Words foregoing the Text, make mention of a Prophecy, before the Accomplishment of which, this sort of Men, whom he calls Scoffers,


may be mindful of the Words which were spoken by the Prophets, knowing this first, that there shall come in the laft Days Scoffers. Expositors and Learned Men think, that that Prophecy was the famous Prediction of the Deltruction of Jerufalem; and very probably it was fo. : But cerrain it is, that there are a Modern Sort of Scoffers, risen up in these last Days of ours ; walking also after their own Lusts, who mock, at Religion ; who do not only doubt and question, but deny, and ridicule a Judgment to come, and this is a sufficient Apolo

for Discourses of this Nature, which, I confefs, otherwise, would be needless, and very improper in a Christian Audience. But truly, if we suffer this great Article of our Religion to be assaulted, whether in Earnest,or in Jeft; whether by Argument, or by the Frotti and Petulance of Wit, whether Men be difputed or drolld, out of the Belief of a Judg



f ment to come, 'tis all one to the Interests of Piety ; We have then lost the strongest Hold in their Consciences; and no other Argument whatsoever will be sufficient to engage them to the Fear and Worship of God, or to live like those who must give an Account of themselves.

In the further Prosecution of this Design, I shall not lead you into the Labyrinths of Controversy and Difputation, nor trouble you you with much Learning and Reading upon this Argument, and indeed I need not, the Men with whom we have to do, are not capable of that. For, as my Lord Bacon long “since observd, “ A little fmattering in Learn

ing and Philosophy will serve to make Men “ Atheistical and Prophane, but a solid Stock « of it will establish them in the Principles of “Religion and Piety. And those that set up for it in this Age, are just such Men: A Sort of superficial Talkers ; bold and loud enough; they have dabbled a little in Matchivil, or Hobbs, or in Spinoza; they have got a set of puzling Questions ; pick'd up a few smart Repartees against God and Religion ; which they fling out with the Salt of a little Wit, and much Spight. And these mult pass for the Men of Sense and Parts; the goodly Patrons of Atheism and Infidelity My Design therefore, is only to encounter these Men, in the common Prejudices, and the popular Objections they make against Religion; particularly against the Doctrine of a Judg


ment to come : Wherein I will do only these two Things.

. 1

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I. I will propose, and answer the com

mon Obje&ions made againft it. And then I will shew. 2dly. The Insecurity, and Danger of Denying; and the Infinite Com

fort of a believing Judgment to come. I. I will propose, and answer the common Objections made against a Judgment to come. And they

are such as these. First, They take it for a very considerable Prejudice against it, “ That it is delayed so " long; that it is Future and Invisible ; that

“the Pleasures, and Profits they are to part 1" with for it, are present, and sensible, cer

tain, and in Hand ; they see them with "their Eyes ; they taste, and handle, and en"joy the Satisfaction of them. Whereas, - it "must be granted that there is some uncer"tainty on the other Hand ; There is a pof- !

fibility of being mistaken in that Belief ; "no Man ever look'd into the other World,

or faw these Things of the Truth of which you are so very confident. Let us a little take this Objection in Pieces, and see what it

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amounts to.

The firft Part of it is, « That the Time of Judgment is delayed so long, that it is " Future, and for any Thing they know aş

far off as ever, for all Things continue as they were. But what a senseless Cavil is

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this ?


this? Is it reasonable to complain, that Fu ture' Things are not Present? Are we wont to blame the Wisdom, the Justice, or the Kindnefs of a Father, because she does not settle the Inlieritance upon the Son, in his Childhood, and Minority; but reserves it till the proper time of Age and Discretion ? God does all Things, according to the Rules_of an un-erring Wisdom ; He consults the Fitness of Times and Seasons, and makes these to agree with his own most Righteous and Holy Designs. Judgment is a most folemn Thing, and will put an End to the Generations of Mankind; and therefore He is in no haft to destroy the World, till He fees it Ripe for Destruction, that's the Day He has appointed for Judgment. And fuch Scoffers ought to consider (would they consider any Thing) that how long soever He delays his Coming, their Fudgment lingreth not, their Damnation plumbretb not. And methinks, of all Men in the World, they have the least Reason to make this an Objection, considering how deeply they are concern’d' in it; and what a fad Account they have then to give: Considering that for them chiefly, . pbet is prepared of Old ; that they are the Men who call God from his Seat, to deAtroy this World, that it may not for ever be a Nursery of Atheists, and Rebels against him. This (St. Jude_ tells us) is the great

End of his coming to Judgment. Bebold(says fude 15. he) the Lord cometh with ten Thousand of bis


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