6. May. 1694
4. 13. 1703.92
1. Cor. 11. 31.
For if we would judge our selves, we would not be judged.
We have heard yt ye Apostle finds great disorders among ye Corinthians in their celebrating of ye Lords Supper. And for this cause (sais he) the Lords wrath breaks out upon you, or at least his correcting displeasure is exercised upon you, in smiting you with greivous sicknesses, yea & deaths, ver. 30.
Now in this verse he prescribes a cure & remedy of such plagues. For if we would judge our selves, we should not be judged. And in propounding of this Remedy, the Apostle labours to insinuate himself; & saith if we; he puts himself in with them; & dos not say, if you would judge your selves, but if we would judge our selves intimating yt it is ye duty of all, even of ye very chiefest Saints, to practise the work of judging themselves. In these words severall things are at least implyed; As (1) Here is an hint of their gross neglect, of this duty of self-judging. If we would judge our selves, thereby hinting their neglect of yt duty. The Corinthians were famous for knowledge. 1. Cor. 1 5. 2. Cor. 8. 7. but they had not much knowledge of themselves; they were too much strangers at home.
- 2. Here is an hint of ye evill danger, & mischief of this neglect of Self-judging. It occasioned God to judge them. God took them into his own hands for ye neglect of this duty. God punished them for this neglect, as in ye former & following verse.
- 3. Here is implyed an exhortation to this great duty of Self-judging. If we would judge ourselves q.d. O that we would judge our selves; know our selves, try our selves, discern our selves, & accordingly pass judgment on our Selves! O that we would be much in this work, & do it throughly, substantially, & frequently!
- 4. Last: Here is implyed a motive unto this great duty viz: yt then God would not judge them, or punish them wth temporall judgments; Or if he did, yet it should be mercifully, in order to prevent their condemnation wth the world. And in this motive is included a severe threatning, if they continued in yt neglect of it viz: that then they might expect God to go on in judging & punishing of them, till their plagues & punishments were increased seven times more &c. Hince observe
- Doctr: Self-judging is ye only way to secure us from Gods judgments. Text. The Scripture witnesseth yt this is ye way to prevent divine judgments, or to remove them. Lev. 26. 40. 41. 42. If they Shall confess their iniquity, & ye iniquity of their fathers, wth their trespasses wch they trespassed against me &c. Job. 33. 27. 28. He looketh upon men, & if any say I have sinned, & perverted yt wch was right, & it profiteth me not; He will deliver his Soul from going down into ye pit, & his life shall see light. You see David found ye benefit of it. 2. Sam. 12. 13. David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shall not dye. Ps. 32. 3. 4. 5. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old; thrô my roaring all ye day long. For day & night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into ye drought of Summer. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, & mine iniquity have I not hid: I said, I will confess mine iniquity unto ye Lord; & thou forgavest ye iniquity of my sin. Selah. This God requires of his people in order to his reconciliation with them. Jer. 3. 13. Only acknowledge thine iniquity that thou hast transgressed agst. the Lord thy God. We see God took notice of Self-judging Ephraim. Jer. 31. 18. 20. For ye opening this point, we may enquire
- Qu. 1. What is this Self-judging which is expedient to prevent divine judgmts?
- An: 1. Negatively. Not every Self-judging. For there is, (1) A Self-judging, wherein men do take up a proud opinion, & high conceit of themselves. But this is contrary to ye Self-judging mentioned in our text. This judging is a provocation unto God, as we see in ye proud Pharisee. Luke. 18. 11. &c. God I thank thee yt I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publicane &c.
- 2. There is a Self-judging, but it is not throughly & to pur-
- 1. pose. As (1) When men will be owning only in a generall way; alass we are all sinners! There is none righteous &c. This is common wth carnal man, but they are far from making a particular application hereof to their own Souls. Nay they extenuate their sins, & make them no sins, or but light sins, or cast their sins upon others, as we see in
- 2. Saul. 1 Sam. 15. 15. 19. &c. (2) When men will judge those sins only wch appear to men, but in ye mean while overlook heart sins, & closet sins.
- 3. Last: There is a Self-judging which hath no effect, or not ye due effect, ye desirable effect ye should be. Men own themselves sinners in life & heart but there is not that effect there should be in endeavours after reformation. They cry not after ye blood of Christ for cleansing, & the Spirit of Christ for quickening; but are ready to cast all ye fault upon God as if they could do nothing &c. This is not ye Self judging here required.
- An: 2: Affirmatively in a few words
- 1. This Self-judging implys mens intimate acquaintance wth themselves. Men cannot make a judgment of yt wch they are totally ignorant of, why so men yt are ignorant of themselves, cannot judge themselves. He yt is ignorant of his heart, life, & actions, cannot judge himself.
- 2. This Self-judging lyes in an impartiall condemning whatsoever is in us contrary to a conformity to ye holy Law of Gods & a condemning our selves for the same. We must condemn every sin, &. not justify the least. 2. Cor. 7. 11. Ezek. 20. 43.
- 3. Last: This Self-judging lyes in suitable actings to this judging. As
- 1. In setting upon reformation. We do not judge our selves whilest we continue in sin. Nay we do rather justify our sins, when we confess our selves faulty in these & those sins & yet live in the practice of them
- 2. In bewailing of, & making confessions of sins to God; & in some cases to man when it is scandalous to others, being known, unquestionable, & publick.
- 3. In repentance, godly sorrow, and brokenness of heart, yt we have evilly rewarded God for all his benefits & blessings; & in a sense of our insufficiency to repent, we should look to him, wo is exalted to give Repentance & remission of sin.
- Qu: 2. What judgments is this Self-judging the way to escape?
- An: The judgments of God. 32. v. the judgments proceeding from incensed wrath. But more particularly
- 1. Negatively; ye meaning is not,
- 1. That God would not take notice of our sins & the irregularity of our actions. The meaning is not yt God will not judge our works whither they be good, or bad.
- 2. Nor is it ye meaning that such should always escape temporal judgments. Job.
- 3. Last: Nor yt such should not be judged at the last day: as if such should not be judged at ye day of judgment, thô they come not under the sentence of condemnation.
- 2. Affirmatively, the meaning is,
- 1. That such shall escape judgments, wch. would be to their harm 1 Cor. 3. 22.
- 2. They shall escape Spirituall judgments. God will not take away his holy Spirit from them, & leave them to fall into scandalous sins.
- 3. Last: They shall be sure to escape eternall judgment. They shall not come under condemnation.
- Qu. 3. Upon what account do we by Self-judging escape divine judgments.
- An: 1. Neg: Not because hereby we do, or can make Satisfaction to ye justice & holiness of God abused. But
- An. 2. Affirmatively This self-judging is only a qualification unto which this promise is annexed. And
- 1. It is a means to prevent divine judgments threatned. Jer. 18. 7. 8. Jonah, 3. 5. &c.
- 2. It is a means to remove divine judgments When actually inflicted. Joh. 33. 23. 24. &c. When men are chastened & thereupon they judge themselves owning ye righteousness of God, why then he shall see Gods face, viz: obtain favour, & yt judgment shall be removed. So. Lev. 26. 40. &c. Manass. 2. Chr. 33. 10.
- 3. Last: It is a means to convert divine judgments into mercies. So yt they Shall not be judgements of the People of God, but mercies & benefits; they shall be purging & whitning unto them. Hebr. 12. 10. 11. God corrects such for their profit, that they may be partakers of his holiness. No chastening for the present seemeth joyous but grievous: nevertheless, afterwards it yieldeth the peacable fruits of righteousness. Pro. 29. 15. The Rod & reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his Mother to Shame. We see it in Self-judging David. Ps. 119. 62. 71. Before I was afflicted, I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted: that I might learn thy statutes. And Ephraim. Jer. 31. 18. 19. 20.