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in order to the well-being of men in private and in societies, that to divide them in themselves, and to separate them by sufficient notices, and to distinguish them by rewards, hath been designed by all laws, by the sayings of wise men, by the order of things, by their proportions good or evil; and the expectations of men have been framed accordingly: that virtue may have a proper seat in the will and in the affections, and may become amiable by its own excellency and its apparent blessing; and that vice may be as natural an enemy to a man as a wolf to the lamb, and as darkness to light; destructive of its being, and a contradiction of its nature. But it is not enough that all the world hath armed itself against vice, and, by all that is wise and sober among men, hath taken the part of virtue adorning it with glorious appellatives, encouraging it by rewards, entertaining it with sweetness, and commanding it by edicts, fortifying it with defensatives, and twining with it in all artificial compliances: all this is short of man's necessity; for this will in all modest men secure their actions in theatres and high ways, in markets and churches, before the eye of judges, and in the society of witnesses: but the actions of closets and chambers, the designs and thoughts of men, their discourses in dark places, and the actions of retirements and of the night are left indifferent to virtue or to vice; and of these, as man can take no cognizance, so he can make no coercitive; and therefore above onehalf of human actions is by the laws of man left
unregarded and unprovided for. And besides this, there are some men who are bigger than laws, and some are bigger than judges, and some judges have lessened themselves by fear and cowardice, by bribery and flattery, by iniquity and compliance: and where they have not, yet they have notices but of few causes: and there are some sins so popular and universal, that to punish them is either impossible or intolerable; and to question such would betray the weakness of the public rods and axes, and represent the sinner to be stronger than the power that is appointed to be his bridle. And after all this we find sinners so prosperous that they escape, so potent that they fear not; and sin is made safe when it grows great—
-Facere omnia sævè
Non impunè licet, nisi dum facis
and innocence is oppressed, and the poor cries, and he hath no helper; and he is oppressed, and he wants a patron. And for these and many other concurrent causes, if you reckon all the causes that come before all the judicatories of the world, though the litigious are too many, and the matters of instance are intricate and numerous, yet the personal and criminal are so few, that of two thousand sins that cry aloud to God for vengeance, scarce two are noted by the public eye, and chastised by the hand of justice. It must follow from hence, that it is but reasonable for the interest of virtue, and the necessities of the world, that the private should be judged, and virtue should be tied upon
the spirit, and the poor should be relieved, and the oppressed should appeal, and the noise of widows should be heard, and the saints should stand upright, and the cause that was ill judged should be judged over again, and tyrants should be called to account, and our thoughts should be examined, and our secret actions viewed on all sides, and the infinite number of sins which escape here should not escape finally. And therefore God hath so ordained it, that there shall be a day of doom, wherein all that are let alone by men shall be questioned by God, and every word, and every action shall receive its just recompense of reward. "For we must all appear before the judgmentseat 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."
At the day of judgment every man's fear shall be increased by his neighbour's shrieks, and the amazement that all the world shall be in, shall unite as the sparks of a raging furnace into a globe of fire, and roll upon its own principle, and increase by direct appearances, and intolerable reflections. He that stands in a churchyard in the time of a great plague, and hears the passingbell perpetually telling the sad stories of death, and sees crowds of infected bodies pressing to their graves, and others sick and tremulous, and death dressed up in all the images of sorrow round about him, is not supported in his spirit by the variety of his sorrow and at doomsday, when the terrors are universal, besides that it is
in itself so much greater, because it can affright the whole world, it is also made greater by communication and a sorrowful influence; grief being then strongly infectious, when there is no variety of state but an entire kingdom of fear; and amazement is the king of all our passions, and all the world its subjects; and that shriek must needs be terrible, when millions of men and women at the same instant shall fearfully cry out, and the noise shall mingle with the trumpet of the archangel, with the thunders of the dying and groaning heavens, and the crack of the dissolving world, when the whole fabric of nature shall shake into dissolution and eternal ashes. But this general consideration may be heightened with four or five circum
Consider what an infinite multitude of angels and men and women shall then appear.
In this great multitude we shall meet all those, who by their example and their holy precepts have, like tapers, enkindled with a beam of the sun of righteousness, enlightened us, and taught us to walk in the paths of justice.
There shall appear the men of Capernaum, and the queen of the south, and the men of Berea, and the first-fruits of the christian church, and the holy martyrs, and shall proclaim to all the world, that it was not impossible to do the work of grace in the midst of all our weaknesses, and accidental disadvantages: and that the obedience of faith, and the labour of love, and the contentions of chastity, and the severities of temperance and self-denial,
are not such insuperable mountains, but that an honest and sober person may perform them in acceptable degrees if he have but a ready ear, and a willing mind, and an honest heart.
There men shall meet the partners of their sins, and them that drank the round when they crowned their heads with folly and forgetfulness, and their cups with wine and noises. There shall ye see that poor perishing soul, whom thou didst tempt to adultery and wantonness, to drunkenness or perjury, to rebellion or an evil interest, by power or craft, by witty discourses or deep dissembling, by scandal or a snare, by evil example or pernicious counsel, by malice or unwariness.
That soul that cries to those rocks to cover her, if it had not been for thy perpetual temptations, might have followed the lamb in a white robe; and that poor man, that is clothed with shame and flames of fire, would have shined in glory, but that thou didst force him to be partner of the baseness.
The majesty of the judge, and the terrors of the judgment shall be spoken aloud by the immediate forerunning accidents, which shall be so great violences to the old constitutions of nature, that it shall break her very bones, and disorder her till she be destroyed.
The sea (they say) shall rise fifteen cubits above the highest mountains, and thence descend into hollowness and a prodigious drought; and when they are reduced again to their usual proportions, then all the beasts and creeping things, the mon