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if he had not provided another tribunal where they shall all be rectified, and the unerring judgment of which shall fix forever the true connexion between happiness and virtue, between misery and vice.
Whether these inferences can ever be carried to the point of a moral demonstration, however, may well be doubted. It is indeed true, that all mankind, in every age and in every country of the world, have admitted them. A judgment to come is found in every system of belief without exception. However disfigured by errors and absurdities, however frivolous or incredible in its details amongst the heathen mythologists of ancient or of modern days, still the foundation is the same in all, and all men have concurred in this most necessary truth, that for the deeds committed here, they should be judged hereafter. But the universality of this belief is no sufficient ground for the opinion that it was discoverable by unassisted reason. The province of reason does not extend to the discovery of religious truth. She can conjecture what May Be the will of God, but she must learn from revelation what it is. And in that revelation we have abundant evidence, that even before the flood, the Deity had made known his determination to judge the earth. Of course, this was one of the doctrines familiar to the. patriarch Noah, and from him and his descendants it must have become diffused by tradition, throughout the various nations of mankind.
The passages to which we refer are the following. In the Epistle of Jude, we read that ' Enoch, The Seventh From Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed.' Again we find Abraham briefly but very plainly referring to the same truth, when he says, ' Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?' Job and David recognize it, especially the latter. 'The Lord shall judge the world with righteousness,' saith he, 'and the people with equity.' So Solomon, in Ecclesiasles, declares, that 'God shall judge the righteous and the wicked;' and in almost all the Prophets allusion is made, more or less frequently, to the same doctrine. But Daniel is very express: 'I beheld,' saith he, speaking of his prophetic vision, '1 beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set and the books were opened.' As for the passages which assert this great truth throughout the New Testament, they are too numerous for citation, but they concur in declaring that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and that every one of us shall give account of ourselves to God at the last day, and receive of him according to our works.
2. Having thus established the fact that there will be a final judgment, we proceed in the second place to consider the proposition of the text, that the Father hath given to his Son the authority to pronounce and to execute this judgment. And here it will be proper to premise, that the strict and rightful authority of judge over all, belongs to God alone. It is He who made us, and who announced those laws, by which it is his will and our happiness that we should be governed. And as he alone possesses crea-: tive power and legislative authority, so it is he alone who pan properly call us to account for our transgressions against him. This is the source of judgment and of all dominion; and this Divine right, inherent in the Godhead, belongs to all the persons in that Godhead, to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, without distinction or difference. But tne actual administration of this authority is another matter; and here it is that we find an important declaration in scripture ; /The Father,' saith our Lord, 'judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son,' and according to our text, ' God the Father hath given to the Son authority to execute judgment.' Yet still this judgment is elsewhere rightly called the judgment of God, for it is God, as saith St. Paul, that shall bring into judgment every secret thing whether it be good or whether it be evil; and the day of wrath itself is for the same reason called ^the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.' The result is sufficiently manifest, that God judgeth potentially, through the instrumentality of Christ, and thus is the Apostle to be understood where he declares, that ' God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by That Man whom he hath ordained.' Christ, in his Divinity, possesses the supreme original right of judgment, being One with the Father, but it is Christ, in his humanity, who is appointed to the actual administration of this right; and thus exercised, it is a delegated and derived power, committed unto him by the Father. It is God's judgment which declares the rule of action, but it is Christ's judgment which sentences the criminal, God judges all mankind, but it is Christ who decides the destiny of every individual. For just as we say, correctly, that the law condemns a man to death for murder or treason, and therefore the sentence of the judge is the judgment of the law, while yet the law, in reality, does not descend to any particular case, but leaves the question of individual guilt or inno. cence entirely to the judge, even so is it true that the judgments of Christ will all be the judgments of the Godhead generally, whilst yet, individually,, the Father will judge no man, but commit all judgment to the Son.
3. We are next to consider the reason advanced for the delegating of this vast and awful power to the Redeemer. 'The Father,' saith the Apostle, 'hath given the Son authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.' Now it is perfectly manifest, that the argument here alleged by St. John has a peculiar reference to the human nature of Christ. As the second Person in the mysterious and adorable Trinity, the Eternal Word, who in the begining was with God and was God, and by whom the worlds were created, there might be a great propriety in his having to execute this office of judgment also, because he appears from the beginn:ng to be, in almost all things, the systematic organ of communication from heaven to earth. But the reason assigned in the text has no reference to his Divine nature. It is, on the contrary, expressly and positively said, trrat' because he is the Son of Man,' this authority is committed to him; and therefore it is worthy of particular notice, how the human nature of Christ could constitute any qualification for such an office, and why the Father should assign such a motive for delegating to him so high and vast a trust as the final judgment of the whole world.
The answer to these interesting inquiries, my brethren, is threefold. First, let us recur to the simple fact, that the Gospel is given to us as a dispensation of love and mercy. 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son to be the propitiation for our sins;? and 'Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man.' It results, from this consideration alone, that it cannot be the desire of God to see any perish, but that all should have everlasting life; and therefore it is, that he has appointed him to judge us, who took our nature, shared our infirmities, experienced our trials, bore our sorrows, sympathized with all our griefs, wept over our sufferings, and was the companion and friend of the humblest and meanest of our race, during his whole earthly pilgrimage. This idea is beautifully expressed by St. Paul, where he saith, that 1 We have not an High Priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but who was tempted in all points like as we are.' 'For seeing the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.'
Since, then, the design of God, in this marvellous dispensation, is to save as many as possible, the task of judging us is most graciously committed to him, who, by sharing in our own nature, is able to compassionate and feel for us with true human sympathy. And hence the love of the Father is plainly manifested in his delegating the task of judgment to the Son, because he alone, of all the Persons of the Trinity, is the Son Of Man; he alone is h»man as well as Divine. The knowledge of the Godhead, indeed, is perfect, and the heart of man is alike open to each of the adorable Trinity ; but do we err in saying, that it is only God the Son who can feel as well as know, and can sympathize with genuine sensibility in all the frailties, the sorrows, the difficulties and defects of poor human nature?
A second argument, however, may be assigned for the appointment of Christ to be our Judge, which not only manifests the mercy, but also the justice of God.' And this is derived from the consideration of the temptations, the trials, and bitter sufferings of Christ himself, during his abode on earth. For if he knows how to sympathize with the weakness of our nature, he must also know of