« AnteriorContinuar »
the captivity of death ;--and as Judge, to consign the reprobate to the never-ending destruction, and the society of fallen angels, which by their sins they have deserved : and this is in infinite wisdom ordained to be accomplished by raising both the just and the unjust, and by a reunion of their souls and bodies, qualifying them for their respective dooms.
In the process of the Resurrection we read, that the instrumentality of angels is to be employed.
$7. The scene, it is to be inferred, shall not be any one particular region, -not Palestine alone, but the whole earth—wherever human beings have lived and died, there shall they be raised again to life. But after they have risen, and resumed a corporeal form, they shall be confined to place, and be no more capable of omnipresence, than is the human body with which Jesus Christ ascended into the heavens,which is still in the heavens till the restitution of all things,—although, as God, the only-begotten Son be omnipresent.
$ 8. The object of the Resurrection is, that all may be judged according to their works done in the body. The day of general Resurrection shall be that of the Last Judgment,—when Jesus Christ who is the Judge, to whom all judgment is committed by the Father, shall come again on the earth to pass a final sentence upon all, who by the omnipotent re-creative hand of God, and at the sound of the archangel's trumpet, shall be raised from the tomb, and be collected before the dread tribunal of Jehovah. At this his second advent, Jesus Christ no longer veiled in the humble garb of Joseph's Son, no longer the
despised and rejected of men, shall descend, in the same body, indeed, in which he ascended into heaven in the sight of his disciples, to be seen by all, and recognized by those who knew him in the flesh; but clothed with majesty and glory, attended by hosts of ministering angels, and surrounded by the ensigns of authority and power appropriate to his judicial office; -as Man, seated in visible majesty on his tribunal in the clouds,-as God, manifesting the divine attributes of infinite wisdom and dominion, in the dispensation of a just irrevocable sentence, and in the im. mediate execution of his decree.
$ 9. That a Day of Judgment shall surely come, although the time of its coming be not known, is testified by the Scriptures, which relate our Saviour's express declarations and prophetic warnings on this subject, as well as the declaration of the Spirit, through the inspired writers of the sacred Volume,and in subordination to this testimony, by reason, when applied to the consideration of the justice of God, and the constitution of the world,-and by conscience, which bears incontrovertible testimony to the certainty of future retribution.
§. 10. This Last Judgment shall not be particular or secret, but universal and open, of all the human race, and even of the rebellious angels. All sins which have not been remitted, and all good deeds which have been accepted through Christ's intercession, shall be revealed, and made the ground of judgment.
A separation will then take place of all people into two general parts or classes, in order that the good and evil, who in this life were intermingled, may distinctly be discerned by men and angels. The omniscience of the Judge, and the consciences of the accused, will bring all things to light;—the books shall be opened, -the record of each ones deeds shall be declared, ---and sentence shall be pronounced ac. cording to the strictest scrutiny of their motives, ten. dency, and effects. They, whose names are not blotted out of the book of life,-who by patient continuance in well-doing have made their calling and election sure, shall now obtain full possession of the inheritance of glory promised to such as they are ; and they whose names, in consequence of unrepented sin, are not written in the book of life, shall be excluded from the benefits of the covenant of grace, and consigned to the penalties threatened on the infraction of its terms. They who are found in Christ shall be saved, and they who are not so found shall be condemned.
$ 11. The faithful being called to meet their Saviour in the air, shall with him immediately pass into the realms of bliss ; whereas the wicked shall remain on earth to hear their sentence of condemnation to eternal misery-a sentence to be approved by saints and angels--and shall be directly subject to its infiction. The Judgment Day will, therefore, be the consummation of perfect joy and happiness to those who are placed upon the right hand of their Redeemer, are acquitted, justified, and finally elected to never-fading glory :--but the confirmation of hopeless anguish, remorse, and horror, to those who, having denied and rejected the Lord of Life, are dismissed from his left hand to their dreadful doom, without hope of mitigation or escape.
$ 12. When the last sentence of God's righteous judgment is pronounced, and the Church of Christ is perfected in holiness and blessedness eternal, then shall the mediatorial kingdom be delivered up unto the Father, to whom the Messias, its spiritual Ruler and head, shall thenceforth be subject;--then shall be the consummation and end of all temporal things -the present system of the heavens and earth shall pass away and be changed, together with all creatures which they contain, and shall give place to new heavens and a new earth, re-edified and prepared by fire for the habitation of the saintswherein righteousness and peace shall dwell for ever.
Gen. ii. 16, 17. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Gen. iii. 1–6. 22–24. Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall noź eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God bath said, Thou sbalt not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now lest he put forth bis hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So be drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of