« ZurückWeiter »
a certain truth that Christ shall judge the world, but also the réasons are declared and manifested unto us why he hath that power committed unto him, why he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. For certainly it is a great demonstration of the justice of God, so highly to reward that Son of man, as to make him Judge of all the world, who came into the world and was judged here; to give him absolute power of absolution and condemnation, who was by us condemned to die, and died that he might absolve us; to cause all the sons of men to bow before his throne, who did not disdain for their sakes to stand before the tribunal, and receive that sentence,“ Let him be crucified,” (Matt. xxvii. 23.)* which event as infallible, and reason as irrefragable, Christ himself did shew at the same time when he stood before the judgment-seat, saying, “Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." (Matt. xxvi. 64.)
Again, if we look upon ourselves which are to be judged, whom can we desire to appear before, rather than him who is of the same nature with us? If the children of Israel could not bear the presence of God as a Lawgiver, but desired to receive the Law by the hand of Moses; how should we appear before the presence of that God judging us for the breach of that Law, were it not for a better Mediator, of the same nature that Moses was and we are, who is our Judge? In this appeareth the wisdom and goodness of God, that making a general judgment, he will make a visible Judge, which all may see who shall be judged. “Without holiness no man shall ever see God;" (Heb. xii. 14.) and therefore if God, as only God, should pronounce sentence upon all men, the ungodly should never see their Judge.t But that both the righteous and
• Vepiet Christus ut judicet, qui veniet.' S. August. de. Verbis Domin. stetit sub judice: veniet in ea forma, Serm. 64. al. 127. §. 10. in qua judicatus est, ut videant in t •Cum boni et mali visuri sunt quem pupugerunt. Cognoscant Ju- judicem vivorum et mortuorum, prodæi quem negaverunt: convincat eos culdubio eum videre non poterunt homo ille susceptus et ab eis cruci- mali, nisi secundum formam qua filias fixus. Auctor de Symb. ad Catech. hominis est; sed tamen in claritate in 1. ii. c. 8. Veniet ergo, fratres mei, qua judioabit, non in bumilitate in veniet: ille qui prius venit occultus, qua judicatus est. Cæterum illam Dei veniet in potestate manifestus: ille formam, in qua æqualis est Patri, qui judicatus est, veniet judicaturus: proculdubio impii non videbunt. Non ille qui stetit ante hominem, judica- enim sunt mundicordes, Beati enim turus est omnem hominem. Idem, mundicordes, quoniam ipsi videbunt 1. iii. c. 8. Judex hic erit filius ho- Deum,' S. August. de Trin. lib. i. c. minis; forma illa bic judicabit quæ 13. `Hoc rectum erat, ut judicandi judicata est. Audite et intelligite, viderent judicem. Judicandi enim jam hoc Propheta dixerat, Videbunt erant et boni et mali. Beati autem in quem pupugerunt. Ipsam formam mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt quam lancea percusserunt. videbunt. Restabat nt in judicio Sedebit Judex qui stetit sub judice. forma servi et bonis et malis ostende. Damnabit veros reos qui factus est retur, forma Dei solis bonis serva. falsus reus. Ipse veniet, forma illa retur.' Idem, de verbis Dom. Serm. 64,
unrighteous might see and know who it is that judgeth them, Christ, who is both God and man, is appointed Judge; so as he is man, all shall see him, and as he is God, they only shall see him who by that vision shall enjoy bim,
Christ Jesus then, the Son of God, and the Son of man, he which was born of the Virgin Mary, he which suffered under Pontius Pilate, he which was crucified, dead, and buried, and descended into hell, he which rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is set down on the right hand of God: he, the same person, in the same nature, shall come to judge the quick and the dead. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works." (Matt. xvi. 27.) He then who is to come, is the Son of man; and when he cometh, it is to judge. “The same Jesus which was taken up from the apostles into heaven, shall so come in like manner as they saw him go into heaven.” (Acts i. 11.). That Son of man then, which is to judge, is our Jesus, even the same Jesus, and shall come in the same manner, by a true and local translation of the same nature out of heaven. For God will "judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given an assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts xvii. 31.) He then which ascended into heaven, was the same which was raised from the dead; and by that resurrection God assured us, that the same man should judge us. “ For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be the Lord both of the dead and living.” (Rom. xiv. 9.) It appeareth therefore, by God's determination, by Christ's resurrection and ascension, that the man Christ Jesus is appointed Judge.
This office and dignity of the Son of man was often declared by several figurative and parabolical descriptions. John the Baptist representeth him “ that cometh after” him, by this delineation of a husbandman:"whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather bis wheat into the garner, but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matt. iii. 12.)* The Son of man describes himself as a householder, saying to the reapers in the time of harvest, “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn:" and this “harvest is the end of the world.” (Matt. xiii. 30.39.)+ He representeth al. 127. §. 10. 'Et potestatem dedit corde, quia ipsi Deum videbunt, id ei judicium facere, quia filius hominis est, solis piis exbibebitur, quorum diest. Puto-pihil esse manifestius. Nam lectioni hoc ipsum promittit, quia quia Filius Dei est aequalis Patri, non seipsum ostendet illis.' Idem, de Trin. accipit hanc potestatem judicii fa- l. j. c. 13. ?" ciendi, sed habet illam cum Patre in * Ανωτέρω μεν την κόλασιν είπεν occulto. . Accepit autem illam, ut évražda dè kai Tòv. KPITI) DELKVVOL, cai boni et mali eum videant judicantem, την τιμωρίαναθάνατον εισάγει. S. Chryquia filius liominis est. Visio quippe sost. Hom. 11. ad loc, filii hominis exhibebitur et malis. Iládiv åvapiurhoket abrovstwa'IwávNant visio formae Dei non nisi mundis νου ρημάτων των κριτην αυτόν εισαγόν
himself under the notion of a fisherman, “casting a net into the sea, and gathering of every kind; which, when it was full, he drew to the shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.” (Matt. xiii. 47, 48.) He is the bridegroom who took the wise virgins with him to the marriage,” and shut the door upon the foolish.(Matt. xxv. 10.) He is the man, who, travelling into a far country, delivered the talents to his servants; and "after a long time cometh again, and reckoneth with them,” exalting the “good and faithful,”and casting “the unprofitable servant into outer darkness." (Ibid. 19. 21. 30.) Lastly, he is the shepherd, and is so expressly described in relation to his judgment. For“ when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit down 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 his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left.” (Ibid. 31-33.) Being then the Son of man is thus constantly represented as making the great decretory separation, and the last judicatory distinction between man and man; as a husbandman separating the wheat, some time from the chaff, some time from the tares; as a fisherman gathering the good fish, casting the bad away; as a bridegroom receiving the wise, excluding the foolish virgins; as a master distinguishing the servants of his family, rewarding the faithful, punishing the unprofitable; as a shepherd dividing his sheep from the goats, placing one on the right hand, the other on the left: it plentifully proveth that the Son of man is appointed the Judge of all the sons of men. And thus it appeareth that Christ is he who shall be the Judge; which is the second consideration subservient to the present explication.
Thirdly, It being thus resolved that the Son of man shall be the Judge, our next consideration is, what may the nature of this judgment be; in what that judicial action doth consist; what he shall then do, when he shall come to judge. The reality of this act doth certainly consist in the final determination, and actual disposing of all persons in soul and body to their eternal condition: and in what manner this shall partiçularly be performed, is not so certain unto us ;* but that which is sufficient for us, it is represented under a formal judiciary process. In wbich first there is described a throne, a tribunal, a judgment-seat: for “ in the regeneration the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory:"' (Matt. xix. 28.) and that this throne is a seat not only of majesty but also of juditwv. S. Chrysost. Hom. 46. in Matt. ventura esse credendum est: sed quiiii. 30.
bus modis et quo ordine veniant, ma* St. Augustin speaking of the par- gis tunc docebit rerum experientia, ticulars foretold to be exhibited at the quam nunc valet consequi ad perfeday of judgment, concludes them in ctum hominum intelligentia. De this manner : Quæ omnia quidem Civit. Dei, l. xx. c. 30. 9.5
cature, appeareth by the following words spoken to the apo. stles, "Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Ibid.) As in that vision in the Revelation, “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.” (Rev. xx. 4. 11.) This throne of Christ is expressly called his judgment-seat, when the apostle tells us, "we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ,” (Rom. xiv. 10.) and "we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. (2 Cor. v. 10.) In respect then of the Son of man, he shall appear in the proper form and condition of a Judge, sitting upon à throne of judicature. Secondly, there is to be a personal appearance of all men before that seat of judicature upon which Christ shall sit; for we must all appear, and we shall all stand before that judgment-seat. I saw the dead (saith the apostle) stand before the throne of God.” (Rev. xx. 12.) Thus all nations shall be gathered before him.” (Matt. xxv. 32.) He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matt. xxiv. 31.) For the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is our gathering together unto him."(2 Thess. ji. 1.) Thirdly, when those which are to be judged, are brought before the judgment-seat of Christ, all their actions shall appear: “he will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts:"(1 Cor. iv. 5.) he will “bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.” (Eccles. xii. 14.) To this end, in the vision of Daniel, when “the judgment was set, and the books were opened ;" (vii. 10.) and in that of St. John," the books were opened; and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the books, according to their works." (Rev. xx. 12.) Fourthly, after the manifestation of all their actions, there followeth a definitive sentence passed upon all their persons according to those actions,* which is the fundamental and essential consideration of this judgment: the sentence of absolution, in these words expressed, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;" (Matt. xxv. 34.) the sentence of condemnation in this manner, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Ibid. 41.) Lastly, after the promulgation of the sentence, followeth the execution; as it is written, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.” (Ibid. 46.) Thus appeareth Christ's majesty by sitting on the throne; his authority, by convening all before him; his knowledge and
* 'Dominus non accepta persona bonus, bonitas eum antecedit; si nejudicat mundum; ubusquisque se- quam, merces nequitiæ eum sequicundum quæ fecit accipiet. Si fuerit tur.' Ep. Barizab. c. 4.
wisdom, by opening all secrets, revealing all actions, discerning all inclinations; his justice, in condemning sinners; his mercy, in absolving believers; his power, in his execution of the sentence. And thus the Son of man shall come to judge, which is the last particular subservient to the third consideration of this Article.
The fourth and last consideration is, what is the object of this action; who are the persons which shall appear before that Judge, and receive their sentence from him; what is the latitude of that expression, the quick and the dead. The phrase itself is delivered several times in the Scriptures, and that upon the same occasion: for Christ was “ ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead,” (Acts x. 42.) and so his commission extendeth to both; he“ is ready to judge the quick and the dead,” (1 Pet. iv. 5.) his resolution reacheth to each; and as he is ordained and ready, so ''shall he judge the quick and the dead,” (2 Tim. iv. 1.) the execution excludeth neither. But although it be the Scripture language, and therefore certainly true; yet there is some ambiguity in the phrase, and therefore the intended sense not evident.
The Holy Ghost speaketh of death in several notions, which makes the quick and the dead capable of several interpretations. Because after death the soul doth live, and the body only remaineth dead; therefore some have understood the souls of men by the quick, and their bodies by the dead :* and then the meaning will be this, that Christ shall come to judge immediately upon the resurrection, when the souls which were preserved alive, shall be joined to the bodies which were once dead; and so men shall be judged entirely, both in body and soul, for all those actions which the soul committed in the body. Now though this be a truth, that men shall be judged when their souls and bodies are united; though they shall be judged according to those works, which their souls have acted in their bodies; yet this is not to be acknowledged as the interpretation of this Article, for two reasons: first, Because it is not certain that all men shall die, at least a proper death, so that their bodies shall be left any time without their souls : secondly, Because this is not a distinction of the parts of man, but of the persons of men.
Again, Because the Scripture often mentioneth a death in trespasses and sins, and a living unto righteousness, others have conceived by the quick to be understood the just, t and
* So Theophylact testifeth: Τινές και την εκείθεν δίκην ηνωμένως υφέξουσιν. δε και ψυχάς και σώματα ενόησαν. Com- Epist. 222. 1. 1. ment. in 2 Tim. iv.l. Indeed Isidorus + This is the second exposition dePelusiota giveth this as the first inter- livered by Isidorus Pelusiota to such pretation : Tò spíveolai Būvras kai as are not satisfied with the first: Ei νεκρούς, τούτό εστι, το και ψυχήν και δε και άλλως ζητείς, ούτω διάκριναι, σώμα εις κρίσιν ελεύσεσθαι, και ούτε έν ζώντας, τους αείζωον βίον και θεοφιλή θατέρου κεχωρισμένον· αλλ' ώσπερ κοινήν μετελθόντας, και αποδούναι αυτοϊς ατετην ένταύθα συνάφειαν εποιήσαντο, ούτω λευτήτους αμοιβές, κρίναι τους νεκρω