« ForrigeFortsett »
this! We are not left to conjecture the purpose of we were ever estranged. Even so, on the throne, it, easy though that would have been. He who the whole inspection and adjudication, while it will alone knows His Father's mind tells us Himself that be marked by all the experimental tenderness and He has received “authority to execute judgment sympathy of the Man Christ Jesus, will at the same because He is the Son of man." It is not merely time be stamped with such Divine majesty and glory, that the Judge of men will thus, in the very process authority and power, wisdom and purity, as to make of judgment, become visible to men-though that is it manifest to all that, in His person, “God is (still) no unimportant object. But in their Judge, men | Judge Himself.” will thus see One who lived a human life among men 4. The judgment will embrace the whole human as real and sensitive as their own, and who, having family. passed through all that tried and suffering humanity All the reasons for a general judgment, whether is subject to, without sin, has an experimental drawn from Nature or from Revelation, imply this; inacquaintance and the fullest sympathy with all that somuch that as soon as we begin to introduce excepthey would be likely to think known only to them. tions of this class and that, the reasons for such a selves. This, surely, is an arrangement fitted to judgment at all appear questionable. But if the Bible inspire universal confidence in the tenderness and is to settle the question, all doubt is at an end; for candour of the procedure, and in the impartiality and its statements on this subject are as explicit as they rectitude of the final awards.
are abundant. When Paul was announcing to the But one essential condition of the possibility of Athenians this coming judgment, he seems to have such an arrangement must occur to every right | laboured to exclude all idea of exception, heaping up thinking person. By no possibility can God give in every clause of his statement the language of away His judicial functions. We might as well strict universality. “And the times of this (heathen] suppose Him to abdicate His Godhead; for judg- ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth alt ment is of the essence of His moral government, and men everywhere to repent: Because He hath appointed that is inseparable from Himself. Nor can any a day in the which He will judge the world in righteouscreature be conceived capable of assuming Divine ness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof prerogatives, sitting on the eternal throne, and exer- | He hath given assurance unto all mon, in that He cising the functions of an absolute Judge of all man- | hath raised him from the dead.” The same strict kind, even though God could devolve them upon universality is held forth by him in his Epistles him. Think only what omniscience would be required whenever he touches upon this subject. Thus, to the to have full before the view, and take cognisance of, Romans : “Who will render to every man according the whole life of one individual-embracing all his to his works. To them who by patient continuance thoughts, words, and actions, with all the circum- / in well doing seek for glory," &c.,“eternal life : But stances by which he was at every moment sur- | unto them who obey unrighteousness, indignation rounded, and all the motives by which he was in and wrath upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of every case influenced. And think what Divine the Jew first and also of the Gentile, for there is no tisdom, purity, and rectitude are needed to adjudicate respect of persons with God. For as many as have unerringly upon that one case. But when to this sinned without law” (or without a written revelation) we add the case of every other human being, not one “shall also perish without law; and as many as have of which is identical at any time with that of any sinned in the law" (under a written revelation) "shall other, it must be clear as light-unless we are to be judged by the law ... in the day when God obliterate the essential difference between the infinite shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ acand the finite, the creature and the Creator, God and cording to my Gospel.” The whole human family are man-that no mere man, no mere ereature, however here classed under two grand divisions—those within exalted, can be the Judge of men; and, therefore, and those without the pale of Divine Revelation ; and that since the Man Christ Jesus is ordained to be the the judgment of all who belong to either class is Judge of quick and dead, it follows, beyond all doubt, emphatically announced. To the Corinthians he that He is so as being God manifest in the flesh. says: "For we must all appear before the judgmentYes, God has not abdicated His judicial functions in seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done devolving them upon his only begotten, incarnate in his body, according to that he hath done, whether Son. For He is in the Father, and the Father in it be good or bad.” Finally, to the Hebrews: “It Him, and he that hath seen Him hath seen the is appointed unto men once to die, but after this tho Father. When He said 80 lovingly on earth, judgmont."* Now, since all without exception die, so, " Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy by the same Divine appointment, are all without exladen, and I will give you rest”-a thing which no ception to be judged. mortal ever dared to say before or since-He was not But the human race are ranged, with reference to seeking to steal our hearts away from the living the judgment, under two other great divisions—the God, to whom they alone belong, to a creature who living and the dead. Three or four times, in speakhas no right to them. He was but wooing us thus ing on the judgment, we have that remarkable back to that blessed bosom of the Father in which expression which has become to all Christendom a He lay from everlasting, that original and proper home of the heart, from which it is our misery that! * Rom. ii. 6–9 11 12. 2 Cor. v. 10, 11. Heb. ix. 27.
household word_" the quick and the dead.” Thus conclude from this, in the one case that the living Peter to Cornelius : “And He commanded us to only will be judged, nor only the dead in the other preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He case. Scripture must in all such cases be compared which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick with Scripture ; just as the whole of any writer's and dead;" language which would seem to imply statements on one subject are to be compared, if we that this very phrase came from the lips of the Risen would not infer from his language what he nerer Saviour Himself, and was thenceforth caught up and intended, and perhaps the very reverse of what he repeated by his Apostles. Accordingly, in his first meant to convey. Keeping this general remark in Epistle, we have it again : "They (Gentiles) think it view, let the following passages speak for themselves. strange that ye run not with them to the same excess 1 “Who shall judge the quick and the dead, at His of riot, speaking evil of you ; who shall give account appearing and His kingdom ;" “Who is ready to i to Him that is ready to judge the quick and the judge the quick and the dead." So much for the dead.” And so Paul to Timothy: “I charge thee presence of living and dead at the one judgment-seat before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall of Christ Then, as to the presence of righteous judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and and wicked at the same tribunal, the following pas. His kingdom.” *
sages ought surely to suffice.' " Whosoever shall Thus does the Apostles' Creed, when it says confess me before men, him will I also confess before finally in our article
my Father which is in heaven 'But whosoever shall
deny me before men, him will I also deny before my , IV.
Father which is in heaven"-or (as this last act of “He shall come to judge the quick and the the judgment is more fully expressed in Mark), "of dead," only employ the identical and familiar words him shall the Son of man 'be ashamed when He of the New Testament.'
cometh in the glory of His Father with the hols But here arises a question, to which' a moment's angels.” “Behold I come quickly, and my reward attention is necessary. Are we to understand by is with me, to give every man according as his work such language that “the quick” are to be judged shall be." ; "The Son of'man 'shall'send forth His separately altogether from “the dead” —the one, angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom underst od to mean the righteous only, at the coming all things that offend and them that do iniquity, and of the Lord; and the other a thousand years there- shall cast them into a furnace of fire';' there shall be after, and understood to embrace the wicked only ? wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the Never, surely, could such a question have arisen, righteous shine forth in the kingdom of the but for the difficulty of otherwise reconciling Father." »».«The hour is coming, in the which certain undeniable truths with what is thought to be all that are in the grave shall hear His voice, and shall the only scriptural view of Christ's Second Coming. I come forth; they that have done good unto the re. With that view we desire, in this paper, as far as
in this paper, as far as surrection of life, and they that have done evil unts possible not to meddle. Our object is rather to illus
the resurrection of damnation." Thé simultaneout trate the great catholic verities of the Christian resurrection of all the dead is here expressed as clearly faith which are common to all Christians. We shall as language could do it; but there is another therefore simply quote' one or two passages first, thing quite as unequivocally expressed here, and of in which scem to us to set the question of any such even more importance to our purpose - the judgmen! division of the judgment at rest; and then take up of righteous and wicked together, at one and the same in detail the two longest and most circumstantial tribunal, and as the immediate and fitting sequel of accounts of the judgment of the living and of the their resurrection If this is not clearly the import dead in the New Testament.
of our Lord's words, how can we be certain of the One general remark, however, must here be made | meaning of anything that He says, or even of any As the Bible does not arrange Divine truth in pro- language whatever ? The judgment of the one class positions, embracing every feature of any truth, we may, indeed, take precedence of that of the other; are not to wonder that in most places only those we learn, in fact, that the righteous will—as te features of a truth are brought out which the occa- might have presumed-be judged first But this sion called for; and we shall fall into great error on
ato great error on will be morely such a priority as takes place during many points, if we conclude from the absence of any the sitting of one assize among men, when diferent one fenture of a truth in certain places that that
cases require to be tried separately. One more feature does not belong to it Sometimes, for example, | passage on this point must suffice: “It is a righteous the case of the hearers of the Gospel is alone referred thing with God to recompense tribulation to them to, in speaking of the judgment, because with them that trouble you, and to you who are troubled rest alone the writer or speaker was dealing at the with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed" (liter. moment; but we are not from this to conclude that ally, “at the revelation of the Lord Jesus") " frost they only will stand before the judgmont-seat of heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking Christ. Sometimes only the living are spoken of, and sometimes the dead only; but neither are we to
+ Mait. x. 32, 33. Mark viii. 38. Rev. xxi. 121 * Acts x. 42. 1 Peter iv. 5. 2 Tim. iv. 1. Matt. xiii. 41–43. John v. 28, 29.
rengeance on them that know not God, and that obey to, because they rise not to "life" (in the Scripture not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He sense of that term), but to “damnation.” * But as shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be it would be absurd to conclude from the one set of admited in all them that believed * (because our passages that the marriage-supper of the Lamb will testimony among you was believed) in that day."' + take place without the presence of the bride, so it Surely, if language have any meaning, the simulta- would be a great mistake to infer, from the other set neous infliction of vengeance against the enemies of of passages, that the wicked will either never undergo the Gospel, and the introduction of the troubled any resurrection at all-as the old advocatos of the church into their final rest and both at the revela- | annihilation of the wicked actually reasoned-or, with tion of the Lord Jesus from heaven-is here written others in the present day, that they will not rise at as with a sunbeam.
the same time with the righteous, but lie in their But it is time to come, as proposed, to the two graves during the whole millennial reign, rising bright accounts which we have of the judgment, in only to a peculiar judgment of their own at the end detail, of the living first, and then of the dead. of the thousand years. On the same principle
And first, The judgment of the living. This we have coming to the judgment described here by the Judge from the lips of the Judge Himself, and in language | Himself-we are not to conclude that it is a judg. of which it is enough to say that it is all worthy of ment of the living only, merely because they only are the scene which it describes.
in this scene. Nor when our Lord here represents “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the judgment as turning exclusively on the treatment che holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne that men give to hirmself in the persons of His poor of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: Land norcornted membora non aarth_and snealce of
tions; and persecuted members upon earth—and speaks of and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the
condemnation as following, not on positive injury sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then inflicted, but on simple neglect-would it be reason. shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye able to conclude that nothing else than this would blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an
be brought up for judgment, and be laid to the hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye charge of any of the ungodly. Well, on the same gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: obvious principle, we must hold it to be altogether naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: unreasonable to conclude that the indermont hore I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an
described is a judgment exclusively on Christendom. hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink? -or those who have had the opportunity of behaving When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, well or ill towards Christ in the persons of his people and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison,
-merely because that is the only thing in the and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say anto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have judgment of the great day which is here depicted.. done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have | With these explanations, which we have deemed done it onto me. Then shall he say also unto them on
necessary on account of the extremely narrow, and the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an
we must add frigid sense put upon our Lord's grand hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye description of the judgment by modern theorists, gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not let us glance as briefly as possible at its details. in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and
Passing by the majestic description, in the first Je visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or
three verses, of the Son of man, in all His personal i a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not and angelic glory, sitting down upon the throne of minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying,
His glory, gathering before Him all nations, sepa-Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go
rating them into two great classes, and placing the Il away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into
one on His right hand and the other on His left, let | life eternal." I
us hear what follows: “Then shall the King say Flere we must remind our readers of the remark unto them on His right hand.” Magnificent title. e made on the method of Scriptore-to present what- / this, which the Lord Jesus here for the first. and ever subject comes up, not in all its aspects, but, for only time (save in parabolical language) gives to
the most part, only in that particular aspect or Himself, and that on the verge of His deepest humi. i aspects which the occasion required. Thus, in the liation! But it is to intimate that when this time
parable of the virgins, though the bridegroom and comes He will put on all His regal majesty, “Come." the marriage are expressly mentioned. the bride-the same sweet word † with which He had so long: is not there at all, because the one thing in view was invited all the weary and heavy laden to come unto 1
the prepared or unprepared attitude of the expect Him for rest: now it is addressed exclusively to i 'ants of the bridegroom $ For a similar reason the such as have come and found rest; and it is still
bride is absent from the parable of the marriage-sup- 1 " Come," and for “rest,” but rest in a higher i per.. Again, when resurrection to life is the sub
life is the sub. / style and a brighter region—" Come, ye ble sed of |ject treated of, the wicked are not so much as alluded my Father, irs herit the king lom," &c. “Tr I was
an hungered, and ye gave inc incat," &c. ' Chen shall * The true reading here is the aorist-rois auteÚCaow, the righteous answer Him, saying, “Lo dw en saw 1 + 2 Thess i 6-10.
Matt. xxv. 31-46. $ Matt. xxv. 1–13. || Matt. xxii. 1-14.
* 1 Cor. sv., &c.
we thce an hungered, and fed thee?” &c. And the surprise at being told it? Rather, Is it conceivable ! King shall answer and say unto them, “Verily, I that he should not be astonished, and almost doubt *say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto his own ears, to hear such a version of his own poor one of the least of these my brethren, ye have deeds upon earth from the lips of the Judge Him., done it unto Me." Astonishing dialogue this self? Which of us could imagine those glorified between the King, from the throne of His glory, lips addressing himself from amidst the splendours of and His poor wondering people ! 'An hungered, the Throne, “Thou didst it unto Mo," and not be and gave Thee meat ? Not we; we never did overwhelmed, and scarce able to believe it real: that, Lord; we were born out of due time, and The opposite of all this, in the case of those on never enjoyed the privilege of ministering unto the left hand, requires no comment; but bers the Thee.' But ye did it to these My brethren, now claims of the once despised Son of man to the by you, when cast upon your love on earth below.' homage of the hearts of men, and every office of love ** Truth, Lord; but was that doing it to thee? Thy to the least of His disciples for His sake, are not less name on earth was indeed dear to us, and we thought peremptorily asserted than in the former case, it an honour too great even to suffer shame for it. “ Ye did thus and thus unto Mo-Come, ye blessed: 114 When among the destitute and distressed we dis- Ye did it not to Me-Depart from Me, ye cursed!" cerned any of the household of faith, we will not As if the blissful or blighted eternity of every indi. deny that our hearts leapt within us at the dis-vidual of both classes would turn upon his treatment -covery; and when their knock came to our dwell- of Him upon earth. And what a word is that: ing, “our bowels were moved," as though " our “ Depart from Me," as if all heaven would consist in Beloved Himself had put in His hand by the hole being with Him-all hell in separation from Him! of the door." Sweet was the fellowship we had In that “ME” lies an emphasis, the nature and with them, as if “entertaining angels unawares ;" strength of which we shall never fully know til the all difference between giver and receiver somehow scene itself, with its awful issues, shall arrive. But melted away under the beams of that love of Thine what a comment does it furnish on those words which knit us together; nay, rather, as they left us already quoted : “The Father hath committed all with gratitude for our poor givings, we seemed the judgment unto the Son, that all men should honour debtors, not they. But, Lord, were we all that time the Son even as they honour the Father.”. And in company with Thee ?' “Yes,' replies the King. now for the issues : “And these shall go away into "That scene was all with Mo-Me in the disguise of everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life My poor ones. The door shut against me by others eternal.” On this we shall merely remark, that if was opened by you—“ Ye took Me in.” Appre- | these words, expressly intended to teach the final hended and imprisoned by the enemies of the truth, issues of the judgment the duration of future blind ye whom the truth had made free sought Me out and future woe, personal and conscious do not proef diligently and found Me; visiting Me in My lonely claim them to be both alike unending, no worta cell at the risk of your own lives, and cheering My whatever could have done so, even supposing our solitude. Ye gave Me a coat, for I shivered, and Lord meant to teach this. And shall we venture, ou then I felt warm (“naked, and ye clothed Me”).
the strength of our own notions of what is just a With cups of cold water ye moistened My parched | worthy of God, to tamper with His teaching of lips, and when famished with hunger ye supplied | whom the Father hath said, “This is my beloved Me with crusts, and My spirit revived—“YE DID Son, in whom I am well pleased, HEAR HIM? IT UNTO ME."' What thoughts crowd upon us as we
Our exhausted space will not admit of any listen to such a description of the Last Judgment! | lengthened remarks onIn the light of this view of the heavenly dialogue, Second, The judgment of the dead, as described 18 how bald and ropulsive does it appear to represent it detail in the following grand passage of the 002) as a dialogue between Christ and heathens, who cluding book of the Bible :never of course felt, or could feel, any stirrings of "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sati His love in their hearts! To us it seems a poor, | it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, I superficial objection to the ordinary view of the
and there was found no place for them. And I saw !
dead, the great and the small,* stand before the throte: passage-which supposes it to be between Christ and
and books were opened ; and another book was opened Christians--that Christians could never be supposed which is the book of life ; and the dead were judged at: to ask such questions as are here addressed to Christ.
of those things which were written in the books, acconiin.
to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were The surprise here exprossed is not at their being told in it; and death and hades gave up the dead which were that they acted from love to Christ, but that Chrisa in them; and they were judged every man accordir
he Personal Obiect of all that they did to Himself was the Personal Object of all that they did to to their works. And death and hades were cast into to
lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of bra others, out of love to Him-that they had found |
And whosoever was not found written in the book of Lio Bim hungry, and supplied Him with food; thirsty, was cast into the lake of fire.*+ and sla, ted His thirst; naked and shivering, and
If ever a simultaneous and universal resurrectios covered , Tim with warm clothing; paid Him visits
was expressed, or if language is capable of expressisk when He is lying in prison, and sat by his bedside when loc wn with sickness. Say not, What
| # We follow here what appears to be the true text. not know all this, and could feel | † Rev. xx. 11–15.
? Rather, ko se
t it unto 13,"
for His sake our
turz npon bis zu
what a Fri 23 I besten wald est
all med sündis
- This i
it, surely we have it here. And yet there are those shall worship the beast, whose names were not
from the beginning of the world, and that “ the
records, on the one hand, of all the deeds done in the and leaving His redeemed to know Him as such no ' body, with every secret thing, whether good or bad; more—“shall feed them and lead them to living
and on the other, of the records of law and duty fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all í under which men have been placed, of the oppor- tears from their eyes." It is true that “then cometh ! tunities which they have enjoyed, and of all the the end, when He shall have delivered up the king
circumstances by which they have been surrounded- dom to God, even the Father-that God may be all according to which the life and character of each in all.” But whatever may be meant by that will have to be decided. “And the dead were judged mysterious intimation, “the pure river of the water out of those things which were written in the of life, clear as crystal, will” (still) “ proceed out of books.” But "another book was opened, which is the throne of God and of the Lamb." In his mediatorial the book of life.” This is not a book either of merit, as the Lamb that was slain, Christ will be for actions or of laws, but exclusively of names ; for it is
. Ch. xiii. 8.
+ Ch. xvii. 8. said, “ Whosoever was not found written in the book
i So the words of ch. xiii. 8 are to be understood, as is of life was cast into the lake of fire" Accordingly, plain from the other passage, ch. xvii. 8. in another chapter of this book we read, “And all § Acts xv. 18. 2 Tim. ii. 19. 1 2 Peter iii.