« PreviousContinue »
3. The Lord Jesus will be the Judge of all mankind. A few quotations will substantiate this point. “Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” Rom. xiv. 9. - The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” 2 Tim. iv. 1. - 'To testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead.” Acts X. 42. “ The Son of man shall come in his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations.”— Matth. xxv. 31, 32. “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son.” John v. 22.”In the day when God shall Judge the secrets of men, by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” Rom. ii. 16. ACcording to the economy of grace, the work of judging the world is assigned to the Son; (Rom. xiv. 9, 10. Acts xvii. 31;) who will be revealed from heaven at that stirring and unprecedented crisis, in his human nature; (John v. 27;) clothed with resplendent glory and armed with omnípotent power; (1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. 2 Thess. i. 7–10;) visible to every eye, and to the mourning tribes of the earth; Rev. i. 7; penetrating and making manifest the secrets and counsels of the heart and disclosing the hidden things of darkness; (1 Cor. iv. 5. Rom. ii. 16 ;) with dominion and full authority over all flesh; (Matth. xxviii. 18;) and conducting the Judgment with strict justice and righteousness. (2 Tim. iv. 8. 'Acts xvii. 31.)
"And hath given him authority to execute judgment also because he is the Son of man.” (John v. 27.) 'The Son of God became the Son of man, that he might execute the plan of redemption by his death and resurrection, and that he might judge the human race. He is the Judge of the world, because he is the son of man; he assumed human nature. This was necessary from the nature of things. If every eye shall see him, he must be clothed with humanity; if the Judge upon the throne shall be a reality and not a shadow or illusion, he must be the Son of man. If the world is to be judged, the secrets of men's hearts read, and the hidden transactions behind the impenetrable curtain of darkness disclosed, then the Judge, without controversy, must be “God manifest in the flesh.” If it be requisite for acquitted saints to fall before the throne and pour forth a choral song of praise to their Saviour and Deliverer, it would seem important to have the sentence of acquittal pronounced, and the seal of the Father's approbation given by Christ as Judge, to excite and thrill the bosoms of the unnumbered millions of the redeemed, with feelings and emotions corresponding to the work. If it is requisite for the saints to realize and comprehend the true dignity of the nature and character of Christ, they must witness him coming upon the clouds of heaven, with the attendant millions of the sons of light, arraigning the world before his tribunal—the mocked and despised Galilean to sit upon a throne of pellucid glory, wielding the sword of Justice, as keen as light, to reward and adjudge Pilate and Herod with their train of scoffers, mock judges and perjured witnesses. If the wicked shall adequately and keenly feel the atrocity and unreasonableness of their - rejection of Christ and rebellion against a holy law, they must stand before Christ, as a visible Judge, feel to their inmost soul the withering and piercing glare of his eye, and hear the awful sentence of condemnation and banishment fall from those lips, which once offered life and salvation with indescribable tenderness. All the world shall then see and feel the greatness and reality of the work of Christ, in redeeming the lost sons of men, the wise and sober intention of the entire movements of the economy of grace, and the heinousness of deriding and rejecting life and salvation—the justness of the acquittal and coronation of saints, and the unimpeachable righteousness of the damnation of all the ungodly. The condemned, in feeling the in
tolerable wrath of the Lamb, who with tenderness and patience waited for their return as repenting prodigals, will seek and pray for some sheltering place from the face of the Son of man, and would gratefully accept the incumbent earth with its rocks and mountains ; (Rev. vi. 16, 17 ;) but their supplications are in vain, for nature will not screen rebels from its Creator God. The very circumstance, that Christ, the crucified, shall sit as Judge upon his throne, clothed with royalty, and invested with the concentrated power of the eternal kingdom, will enhance the joy and rejoicing of the saints, and render more intolerable the doom of the wicked.
4. The Judgment and its circumstances will be attended with great pomp and unequaled splendor.
Revelation has limned the final judgment upon the can- . vass of the imagination, strengthened and rendered brilliant by inspiration ; every circumstance is summoned to the train to increase the pomp and accumulate the unsurpassed splendors of the day and the occasion. The stupendous magnificence of the scene will fill the amplitude of creation with wonder and amazement. Days of power, terrible in grandeur and fearful in results to the inhabitants of the earth, have passed in swift succession over the dial of time. The flood, which terminated the old world, filled the earth with electric fires and stunning, pealing thunders, conyulsed the ground and poured the maddened waters in torrents and billows in devastation, upon its doomed inhabitants.The communication and enforcement of a holy law from Sinai's cloud-capt heights, was a day, terrible and full of amazement. Descending and encircling clouds lowered upon the earth, surcharged with angry thunders, fire and smoke -the mountain quaked beneath the tread of the divine Lawgiver, and filled the gazing multitude with astonishment and overwhelming apprehensions, while the trumpet was
waxing louder and louder. The day came when the Saviour was born in the obscure city of Bethlehem, and laid in an obscure manger; but it was a day of uncommon grandeur and ecstacy, it struck the heavenly hosts with thrills of delight and attuned their golden harps with lays of redeeming love, filling the air with music sweet, booming from the azure and star-bespangled sky; the guiding star and a protecting God attended the scene. He lived and died, and all nature, except hardened and rebellious man, sympathised in the funeral train. Days of national greatness and resistless destruction have followed with consternation and ruin. Yet the period has not arrived, when 6 God made manifest” in humanity, shall pass before the gaze of a congregated world in his creating, reigning and judicial majesty, when all nature shall unlock her treasured honors and pomp, and pour them in royal magnificence into the attendant train of the Son of man; when all the heights of glory, crowning excellence, seraphic music, and the combination of every thing splendid and overwhelming in grandeur, together with tempest, earthquakes, electric fires and pealing atmospheric convulsions, appalling terrors and blackness of darkness shall commingle in unearthly union, and encompass the Judge of all the earth in grand proces
sion. This day will comprise every thing grand in splen- dor and terrible in aroused vengeance, incomprehensible in glorious brightness, and indescribable in utter devastation ; for the issue will be creation uncreated, and all congenial elements, whether material or immaterial, completely harmonized and governed by the laws of eternal destiny.
The dramatic descriptions of that day, include whatever is clothed with beauty, terror, greatness, sublimity and overwhelming glory, and warrant the conclusion, that it will be unparalleled in the annals of time and attended with unsurpassed power. .“ The Son of man shall come in his glory;"
the uncreated glory he had with the Father before the world was, and possessed when creation sprung into being with life and beauty, and the morning stars sang together for joy; and he shall come in the. “ glory of the Father," invested with supreme royalty, unlimited dominion, and embodying all the essental attributes of the Godhead; and in the “glory of the holy angels,” they will attend his appearing in thronging millions, executing his will, gathering his redeemed children from the four quarters of the globe, applauding his judgments and rejoicing in every decision; because right and just. Lo! he shall come environed with the clouds of light from the bursting, parting sky, and filling in one vast procession the spanning concave, the angeltrumpets sounding the reanimating blasts from the trembling heavens, and rolling in reverberating thunder along the mountains' brow, and through the broken ravines of the earth, startling and revivifying the sleeping tenants of the grave, the charnel-house and watery-deep; they arise and gaze upon the descending Judge—the earth's Judgmenthall is filled with awaiting intelligences, the books are opened and all are judged and doomed to their respective destiny, the acclamation of praise bursts from the lips of all who were sanctified by the belief of the truth; and wailing despair fills with confusion and everlasting contempt the souls of those who obeyed not the gospel of Christ. Then the globe shall be encircled with one sheeted blaze, every mountain a Sinai, and every lake a boiling caldron, for the great day of Assize shall, in scenical exhibitions, reach its height of terribleness and grandeur. Ye seraphs bright! lend the fire of your flaming tongues and comprehensive powers of mind, to paint in true and adequate colors the exhibition of the day and scene. But stop! the day will do justice to the occasion before the gaze of the world, astonshed and overwhelmed !!