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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 !!
5. The Judgment will be conducted upon the principles of eternal rectitude.
The government of God, and the state of the universe, will demand the full exercise of justice and the equitable distribution of rewards and punishment. And that feature of the Judgment which represents the opening of Books, in order to reveal all the works of men, the hidden springs and movements of Providence, and an ample justification of God before an assembled world of intelligences, clearly teaches the existence of eternal rectitude in the proceedings of the Judgment. God represents himself as a “swift witness” against all the workers of iniquity, therefore the “omniscience” of God will disclose the transactions, works and influences of men. (Mal. iii. 5.) The book of divine remembrance shall be opened to rightly represent and justify those who fear the Lord and think with reverence upon his name. (iii. 16) The book of conscience will be opened that each one may witness against himself, and acquiesce in the witness of God. (Rom. ii. 15.) The book of Providence shall trace in dread review the mercies offered and slighted, perverted and despised. (ii. 4, 5.) The book of Revelation, both the gospel and the law, shall be introduced in the Judgment, and shall portray the motives, persuasions and regulations of the moral government of God. (John xii. 48. Rom. ii. 12–16.) And the book of Life shall be opened, and spread before the gaze of the world the registered names of the saints and heirs of glory. (John x. 20. Rev. iii. 5. xx. 12–15.) Now, all this would impress the children of men, that infallible accuracy and rectitude shall guide the proceedings of the Judgment; that every iota of moral excellence, and every foible and sin, shall have found a record on high, and be again disclosed in deciding the destiny of the human family.
Indeed, so the Scriptures summarily and decisively declare. We read in Ecc. xii. 14, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” The good things and the bad actions, purposes and inclinations of men will be brought before the judicial tribunal of heaven. The righteousness of the righteous, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be investigated—the good things or the bad shall all be remembered and brought into the final account. All actions shall be judged, to decide whether they are conformable to, or in violation of the will of God. Every secret, or hidden crime, or act of benevolence shall be made manifest. This will impart a just and righteous character to the proceedings of the Judgment. The text does not declare that every man will be rewarded or punished for every action of his life, as Universalists would argue; but that every work shall be brought into judgment. It is necessary that all things, whether good or evil, should be brought to judgment to vindicate the government and providence of God; but many evil deeds will be remembered no more against those who committed them, because they have turned from them, repented and obtained mercy, and done that which is lawful and right; (Ez. xxxiii. 14–16;) and the good deeds of many who have forsaken the Lord shall not be presented for their justification, and for their iniquity they shall die. (Ez. xxxiii. 13.) . But rectitude will require, that all good and evil deeds, with every secret thing, shall be unfolded before the Judge of all the earth, to test their comformity to, or violation of the divine will, to reveal the holiness of the moral government of God, and equitably to decide the destiny of the rational world. It will be found that every action, however minute, and every word and thought of the heart, possesses moral quality; there will be no class of works partaking either of no good nor absolutely bad character, for all shall be weighed in the scales of divine justice, therefore they must
appear before God, the Judge. Should any actions be left out of the account, eternal justice would stay the proceedings, and the universe whose destiny was pending might rightly protest. The law of God exercises its claims and supervision over all actions and modifications of voluntary movements, however apparently insignificant, and strikes its flaming sword into the depths of the heart; therefore all deeds must return and pass before the adjudging eye of Jehovah. Nothing can justly be missing, all actions will tell and count in the scale of distributive justice—every idle word shall be there. Upon every voluntary movement, action and word, either the breath of hell has breathed, or else the spirit of holiness has marked them with its own character—there is nothing absolutely insignificant or unimportant in the moral world, as well as in the material world. . . . Divine rectitude will require the rewards and punishments to be apportioned according to the deeds done in the body, therefore all the deeds of men must be reviewed in the Judgment-Day. Should any of the ill-deserts of the wicked be left out of the account, the violated law would be made to assume its character of righteousness or be vindicated; and should any of the virtues of the godly be forgotten, the moral goodness of the world and the relative importance and efficacy of grace, in its operation and conflict in this world, would never be fully seen and adequately honored. The whole field of moral operation under the government of God will be spread out in the Judgment, and every vital motion connected with the whole, will be seen and scrutinized, while divine light, above the brightness of the sun, shall pour its blazing effulgence over the whole, and light up every dark retreat and secret thing. No crime and ill-desert shall miss just punishment, and no virtue shall be unrewarded. The iniquities of the righteous shall be covered by the mercy of God, and grace shall stay the vindictive blow of divine wrath; while they shall appear in the Judgment, not to condemn and cry for malediction, but to magnify grace and mercy in canceling sin and saving the soul. The good deeds of the apostates from God shall be reviewed, not to plead their justification, but to show the aggravation of their sins, in denying the Lord, in the midst of light and gospel privileges. Here they will behold the intrinsic goodness of right, mercy, and the law of God, in view of which and their course of profligacy, their horror will grow more terrible, their pain more poignant, their remorse armed with viper-stings, and the inexorable sentence of the Judge will assume a deeper emphasis and fall with more overwhelming confusion upon their ear, causing their irretrievable fate to be the less supportable. All sins unpardoned shall be punished, and the righteousness of the righteous shall not lose its reward; yet the degrees of wickedness shall have punishment proportioned in severity and intenseness, and not in duration; so there will be gradations in the heights of glory accessible, and in the amount of intense and solid happiness, and not in duration. One star differeth from another star in its glory and brilliancy, so shall the reward of the saints be apportioned according to their holiness and growth in grace. The wicked shall receive stripes as they have committed things worthy of stripes. Rectitude will not only demand a reward for the least virtue, every good thought, wish and even the cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple, and the evil eye, the lascivious glance, and the omission of duty will be punish.ed; but justice will also require that the whole rational world shall be gathered together. None of the human family shall be missing or forgotten; the darkest retreat, the solitary cavern, or the incumbent earth shall give way and disclose its relics of centuries. Should but one moral being