« PředchozíPokračovat »
us. We could have no reason to complain of the appointment of such a judge to try us. This is the character of the Judge that God has selected to sit in decision on our character. He has shown his strong love for us by dying for our redemption. It is not a cold, distant and unsympathizing being who is to judge us; but the warmest friend that we have ever had; one who has sacrificed every thing, even life itself for us.
By the appointment of such a Judge God has revealed the tenderness of his love and sympathy for us. He made us, sustained us, and has a right to all our service, and he has borne with us in all our weakness and sinfulness; but he has not stopped, even with all this wonderful goodness and mercy. He has extended his forbearance to the last sad trial, by appointing one for our Judge, who has loved us even better than his own life. All that we have ever known of him has been tenderness, love, and long suffering. With such a Judge we feel that mercy will reign in the midst of judgment. O, ye timid and desponding disciple, be comforted and at peace. A loving, sympathizing heart pulsates in the bosom of your Judge. He who wept over sinners, and received the penitent child of sorrow to the arms of his love when here on earth is your Judge. O, ye tempted, tried, sorrowing, and fearful ones, give not way to despair. It is him who was rich and became poor for you, who was so tender that he would not "break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax," who poured out his life's blood on the cross for the chief of sinners-it is to him that God has committed judgment, "because he is the Son of man."
4th. One reason iufluencing the divine mind in the appointment of Christ as Judge seems to have been a desire to honor him.
This is the reason given in our text. "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." Christ being the only begotten Son of God, the first born of every creature, the brightness of his Father's glory and the express image of his person, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, it is just that his Father should desire "that all men should honor him." The appointment that God has given him makes it the duty of all to render unto him the honor that is his due as the representative of God. The honors that belong to a Sovereign are due to his ambassador This is right. Christ is the minister sent by the great Ruler of the universe to represent him, and as Judge he acts for him; therefore the honors due the Sovereign belong also to Christ who represents him as the mighty Judge of quick and dead. "God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2: 9-11.
IV. When shall this judgment be executed?
Christ has the authority; when will he exercise it? This question can only be answered by the revelations. of God's word. There is no other source of information on this subject. From it we learn that the judg ment is to take place at the end of the world. "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." Matt. 25: 31-32. The inspired writers connect the burning up of the world with that event. 2 Peter 3: 6-10; Rev. 20: 11-15.
In that day Christ will be glorified. He prayed earnestly, "O, Father, glorify thou me with thine ownself, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. John 17: 5. He had a glory with his Father in his pre-existent state, but when he became incarnate he laid this glory aside for a time. When he re-ascended to heaven he was clothed anew with this divine glory. While here on earth he was poor, despised, a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. He was clothed in robes of mock royalty, spit upon, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the disgraceful cross; but this shame was all wiped away when he arose from the dead, and ascended to heaven surrounded by a brilliant convoy of angels. When he shall leave his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high and descend to earth he shall come with the glory of his Father. Then he shall be glorified in the face of the universe. No more the babe of Bethlehem; no more the man of sorrow; no more a prisoner before Pilate's bar; no more an expiring victim; no more a cold corpse in the gloomy sepulchre he will sit upon the throne of judgment and judge angels and men. Those who put him to death will stand trembling before him, awaiting their awful doom.
"The Judgment! the Judgment! the thrones are all set,