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end of the Psalms, in every tone, from the most pathetic to the most majestic and most terrible. "Enter not into judgment with Thy servant, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified." "For He cometh, for He cometh to judge the earth; and with righteousness to judge the world, and the people with His truth." "The Lord, even the most mighty God, hath spoken; and called the world from the rising up of the sun, unto the going down thereof. Out of Sion hath God appeared in perfect beauty. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; there shall go before Him a consuming fire, and a mighty tempest shall be stirred up round about Him. He shall call the heaven from above, and the earth, that He may judge His people."
It was the concluding conviction in which the wise Preacher rested, who had passed before his experience all life with its emptiness, and before his mind all thought, its heights, its achievements, and its impotence. "For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” I need not say that the coming of the Day of the Lord," with ever increasing clearness in the application to a manifestation of God's righteousness and justice, is the burden of the books of the Prophets. But when that Day should come, and how God should reveal His judgment and Himself as the Judge,—of this, they were not given to teach the Church.
It was kept for the New Dispensation to tell us
the one thing more, which is the last thing we shall ever know about it while we are here. We know now, that the Day and the Judgment of Almighty God mean the judgment-seat of the Son of Man, the judgment-seat of Christ. So far, the vagueness and indistinctness naturally attending this tremendous expectation of judgment, has been limited and partially removed. The Day of God is some period fixed in the Eternal Counsels, which shall end this world. He, from whom judgment is to come over the world, its history, its generations, is He to whom the world once appointed, as His just portion, the Cross; who was crucified for the world. We, all of us, are "to stand before the Son of Man;" it may be, to be accepted; certainly to be judged.
1. Let us then keep this thought before our minds for a short time. The appointed Judge of all men and of ourselves, is Jesus Christ our Lord. The New Testament holds this before us, with a persistent definiteness, which shows that it was meant to leave no room for misunderstanding, and meant, too, to make an impression on us. "God commanded us
to preach unto the people,”—these are among St. Peter's first words to Cornelius in fulfilling his new office of communicating the Gospel to the Gentiles :
"and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead." "God hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained," is the concluding announcement of St.
Paul's first exposition of the Gospel Creed to the Athenians who had never heard of Christ. "We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ," is his argument for not judging one another, to the instructed Christians of Rome. And when he tries to bring to seriousness his beloved, but most disappointing Corinthian disciples, he holds up this before them, and before himself, as the central point of that vision of the Unseen which, in all he did, was ever before him,—that "terror of the Lord," which made him sure that, as long as he approved himself to God, men's consciences must acknowledge him, and own his truth. "For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, . . . whether good or bad." St. Paul was but repeating the express and emphatic assurances of his Master. "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them. one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats." It might have been thought that words could not be found more certain and more solemn and yet there are other words which carry us from the actual fact to the reasons in the secret of the Divine appointments. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. . . . As the Father
hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of
2. Man executes judgment over man; Christ executes judgment, all judgment, "because He is the Son of Man." Bound up with mankind in all things, in man's nature, in man's humiliation, in man's trials, in man's redemption, He it is, who, having taken part with man in his hard and painful training for immortality, closes, as man's Lord and Head and Representative, this first stage of preparation. Man in life and in death, man's one Saviour from sin, man's one helper in the agony and danger of the conflict, He shall declare to men at last, what has been the issue and fruit of these long years of time: from Him, our Brother and our Atonement, we each one of us shall learn what we have done with our life, and what is the very truth about it. And so we know what all those awful auguries of conscience mean which are found even among men who have not heard the name of Christ. So we know what is meant by those unmistakable but undefined. fore-warnings in ancient Psalm and Prophecy, that God should judge the world. Here, as in other ways, God is made manifest to us men in the face of Jesus Christ. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom. of the Father, He hath declared Him." Him, who dwells in the light that none can approach unto,
and whom no man hath seen or can see,-Him, whose name is in the mouths and the prayers of children, but before whom the highest and subtlest thought of man fails and is lost, the Unsearchable, the Incomprehensible, the Infinite, whom the ancient Saints loved and worshipped amid the deeps and the thick darkness of His unknown ways and conditions of Being:-Him, not in word or hearing, but in reality and truth, Him hath Jesus Christ, one with the Father, made us to know, so far as mortality can know Him. The scattered and dispersed rays of His Divine perfection,-in the elder days scattered and dispersed and broken, though all from the one source of light,—were gathered into one perfect revelation of God, when the Eternal Son was made in time the Son of Man; when the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us, and wrought with human hands, and spoke with human words. In Him were combined and interpreted all that before had been darkly said of the dealings of God with man. From the Incarnation, the undefined words of the Old Testament took shape and definiteness: His glory was reflected back, and lit up its shadows and darkness; in its visions His countenance, at once Divine and Human, looked forth; in the joy and experience of its Psalms, and in the lessons of its Prophecies, His voice was speaking. For had He not come from the Bosom of the Father, to make us know, as only He could make us know, the mind and will of the Father?