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ON THE SECOND ADVENT, THE LAST JUDGMENT, AND THE
DAN. vii. 9-14.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, &c. ... The judgment was set, and the books were opened, &c. I saw in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, &c. ... His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, &c.
1. WE preach not one advent only of Christ, but a second also, far more glorious than the former. For the former gave to view His patience; but the latter brings with it the crown of the divine kingdom. For all things, to speak generally, are twofold in our Lord Jesus Christ. His generation is twofold: the one, of God, before the worlds; the other, of the Virgin in the end of the world. His descent is twofold: one was in obscurity, like the dew on the fleece; the second is v.Ps.72, His open coming, which is to be. In His former advent, He 6. vid. was wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger; in His Cat. xii. second, He covereth Himself with light as with a garment. Ps. 104, In His first coming, He endured the Cross, despising the 2. shame; in His second, He comes attended by the Angel 2. host, receiving glory. Let us not then rest in His first advent, but look also for His second. And as we have said at His first coming, Blessed is He that cometh in the Name Mat. 21, of the Lord, so will we repeat the same at His second coming; that with the Angels meeting our Master, we may 23, 39.
The first and second coming of Christ.
LECT. Worship Him and say, Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. The Saviour comes, not to be judged again, but to judge them who judged Him; He who before was silent when judged, shall arraign those transgressors who did those daring deeds at the Cross, and shall say, Ps. 50, These things hast thou done, and I kept silence. Then, He di oixovo- came by a divine disposition, teaching men with persuasion; μίαν. but this time they will of necessity have Him for their King, though they wish it not.
2. And concerning these two comings, Malachi the Prophet Mal. 3, says, And the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple; behold the first coming. And again of the second coming he says, And the Messenger of the covenant whom ye SeeSept. delight in. Behold, He shall come, even the Lord Almighty; but who may abide the day of His coming; and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's sope; and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. And immediately after the Saviour Himself ver. 5. says, And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against the false swearers, and the rest. For
1 Cor. 3, this cause Paul warning us beforehand says, If any man build on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire. Paul also signifies these two comings, writing to Titus and Tit. 2, saying, The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared unto all 11. τοῦ men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present Saviour, world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearZarning of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Thou gies, the saving seest how he has spoken of the first, for which he gives grace, thanks; and of the second, to which we look forward. Wherefore the words of the Faith we profess, run thus; that we νῦν οὕτως wagidóén should believe in Him, "who again is ascended into heaven,
Σωτήρης, of the
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and shall come in glory to judge the quick and dead; whose kingdom shall have no end."
3. Our Lord Jesus Christ, then, comes from heaven; and He comes with glory at the end of this world, in the last day.
The visible world perchance will have a resurrection. 185
For this world shall have an end, and this created world shall be made new. For since corruption, and theft, and v. Hos. adultery, and every sort of sins, have been poured forth over the earth, and blood has been mingled with blood in the world, therefore, that this wondrous dwelling-place may not remain filled with iniquity, this world shall pass away, that that fairer world may be made manifest. And wouldest thou receive the proof of this out of the express words of Scripture? Listen to Esaias, saying, And the heavens shall be rolled Is.34,4. together as a scroll; and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig-tree. And the Gospel says, The sun shall be darkened, Mat. 24, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven. Let us not sorrow, as if we alone died; the stars also shall die; and perhaps rise again. And the Lord shall roll up the heavens, not that He may destroy them, but that He may raise them up again more beautiful. Hear David the Prophet saying, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast Ps. 102, laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the Heb. 1, work of thy hands; they shall perish, but thou remainest. But some one will say, Behold, he says plainly that they shall perish. Hear in what sense he says, they shall perish; it is plain from what follows; And they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed. For as a man is said to
perish," according to that which is written, The righteous Is.57, 1. perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart, and this, though the resurrection is looked for, so we look for a resurrection, as it were, of the heavens also. The sun shall be turned into Joel 2, darkness, and the moon into blood. Here let converts from the Manichees gain instruction, and no longer make those lights their gods; nor impiously think, that this sun which shall be darkened is Christ. And again hear Christ saying, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not Mat. 24, pass away; for the creatures are not equal in honour with the 35. Master's words.
4. The things then which are seen shall pass away, and there shall come the things which are looked for, things fairer than these; but as to the time let no one be curious. For it is not for you, He says, to know the times and the Acts1,7.
Signs of Christ's second coming.
LECT. seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. And XV. venture not thou to declare when these things shall be, nor on Mat. 24, the other hand abandon thyself to slumber. For he saith, Watch, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man (3.) cometh. But seeing that it behoved us to know the signs of the end, and whereas we are looking for Christ, therefore, that we may not be deceived and perish, nor be led astray by that false Antichrist, the Apostles, moved by the divine will, address xar' ci- themselves by a providential arrangement to the True Teacher, κονομίαν. and say, Tell us, when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world? We look for Thee to come again, but Satan is transformed into an Angel of light; put us therefore on our guard, that we may not worship another instead of Thee. And He, opening His divine Ver. 4. and blessed mouth, says, Take heed that no man deceive you. And you, hearers, who now as it were see Him with the eyes of your mind, listen to Him saying the same things to you likewise; Take heed that no man deceive you. And this word exhorts you all to give heed to what is spoken; for it is not a tale of things gone by, but a prophecy of things future, and which will surely come. We prophecy not, for we are unworthy; but we set before you the things which are written, and tell you the signs. Observe thou, which of them have already come to pass, and which yet remain; and make thyself safe.
5. Take heed that no man deceive you: for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many. This has happened in part: for ere now Simon Magus said this, and Menander, and some others of the godless leaders of heresy; and others say it in our days, or shall say it after us.
Mat. 24, 4. 5. First
Second 6. The second sign. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours Is there then at this time war between Persians
sign. of wars.
and Romans for Mesopotamia, or no?
Does nation rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom, or no? Luke21, And there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes
Xup in divers places. These things have already come to pass;
, Cyr. and again, And fearful sights from heaven, and mighty rec.text.storms. Watch therefore, he says, for ye know not what Mat. 24, hour your Lord doth come.
Hatred and strife between Bishops and between Churches. 187
. Next we seek our own sign of His coming; we members (4.) of the Church seek the Church's sign. And the Saviour says, i ἐκκλησιαστικοί. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one' Mat. 24, another, and shall hate one another. If thou hear that 10. bishops advance against bishops, and clergy against clergy, sign. and people against people even unto blood", be not troubled; for it has been written before. Heed not the things now happening, but the things which are written; nor even though I who teach thee perish, do thou perish with me; nay, a hearer may even become better than his teacher, and he who came last may be first, since even those of the eleventh hour the Master receives. If among the Apostles there was found treason, dost thou wonder that even among bishops there is found hatred of the brethren? But the sign concerns not only rulers, but the people also; for He says, And because iniquity Ib.v.12. shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Will any then among those present boast that he entertains friendship unfeigned towards his neighbour? Do not the lips often kiss, and the countenance smile, and the eyes brighten forsooth,
a S. Cyril here describes the state of the Church, when orthodoxy was for a while trodden under foot, its maintainers persecuted, and the varieties of Arianism, which took its place, were quarrelling for the ascendancy. Gibbon quotes two passages, one from a pagan historian of the day, another from a Father of the Church, which fully bear out S. Cyril's words. What made the state of things still more deplorable, was the defection of some of the orthodox party, as Marcellus, into opposite errors; while the subsequent secessions of Apollinaris and Lucifer, shew what lurking disorders there were within it at the time when S. Cyril wrote. (Vid. infra 9.) The passages referred to are as follows: "The Christian Religion," says Ammianus, "in itself plain and simple, he (Constantius) confounded by the dotage of superstition. Instead of reconciling the parties by the weight of his authority, be cherished and propagated, by vain disputes, the differences which his vain curiosity had excited. The highways were covered with troops of Bishops, galloping from every side to the assemblies, which they call synods; and while they laboured to reduce the whole sect to their own particular opinions, the public establishment of the posts was almost
ruined by their hasty and repeated