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The last judgment.
LECT. not express more than these. And then will be present at the judgment, God, the Father of all, Jesus Christ being seated with Him, and the Holy Ghost being with Them; and the angelic trumpet shall summon all of us, bearing our deeds. Ought we not then now to be sore troubled at this? Think it not a slight doom, O man, putting punishment apart, to be condemned in the presence of so many. Shall we not then choose rather to die many deaths, than be condemned by friends?
25. Let us shudder then, brethren, lest God condemn us; who needs not enquiry or proofs, to condemn. Say not, in the night I committed fornication, or wrought sorcery, or did
any other thing, and there was no man by. Out of thine own Rom. 2, conscience shalt thou be judged, thy thoughts the mean 15. 16. while accusing or else excusing, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men. The terrible countenance of the Judge will force thee to speak the truth; or rather, even though thou speak not, it will convict thee. For thou shalt rise clothed with thy own sins, or else thy righteousnesses. And this has the Judge Himself declared, saying, (for it is John 5, Christ who judges, for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son, not divesting Himself núμar, of His power, but judging through the Son; therefore the vid. sup. Son judgeth by the will of the Father; for the wills of the 22. Father and of the Son are not different, but one and the same;) what then says the Judge, as to whether thou shalt
Phil. 2, 10.
v. Mat. bear thy works, or no? And before Him shall they gather all 25, 32. nations: (for in the presence of Christ every knee must bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth) and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. How does the shepherd make the separation? Does he examine out of a book which is a sheep and which a goat? or does he distinguish by their plain marks? Does not the wool shew the sheep, and the hairy and rough skin the goat? In like manner, if thou hast now been cleansed from thy sins, thy deeds shall be henceforth as pure wool; and thy robe shall remain un
Cant. 5, stained, and thou shalt even say, I have put off my coat, how
shall I put it on? By thy vesture shalt thou be known for a sheep. But if thou be found hairy, like Esau, who was rough
How to prepare for the last judgment.
with hair, and wicked in mind, who for food lost his birthright and sold his privilege, thou shalt be among those on the left hand. But God forbid that any here present should be an outcast from grace, or for his evil deeds be found on the left hand among the ranks of the sinners!
26. Terrible in good truth is the judgment, and terrible is (13.) the news of it. The kingdom of heaven is before us, and everlasting fire is made ready. How then, some one will say, should we escape the fire? And how should we enter into the kingdom? I was an hungred, He says, and ye gave me Mat. 25, meat. Learn now the way; there is here no need of allegory, but to fulfil what is said. I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. These things if thou do, thou shalt reign together with Him; but if thou do them not, thou shalt be condemned. At once then begin to work these things, and abide in the faith; lest, like the foolish virgins, tarrying to buy oil, thou be shut out. Be not confident because thou merely possessest the lamp, but constantly keep it burning. Let the light of thy good works shine before men, and let not Christ be blasphemed on thy account. Wear thou the garment of incorruption', resplendent with good works; and that which thou hast received from God to dispense as a steward, dispense thou profitably. Hast thou been put in trust with riches? Dispense them well. Hast thou been entrusted with the word of teaching? Be a good steward thereof. Canst thou bring over to the Church the souls of the hearers? Do this diligently. There are many doors of good stewardship. Only let none of us be condemned and cast out; so we may with boldness meet Christ the Everlasting King, who reigns for ever. For He reigns for ever, who having died for quick and dead, shall be judge of quick and dead. And as also Paul says, For to this end Christ both died and rose and Rom. revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living.
27. And shouldest thou ever hear any say that the kingdom (14.) of Christ shall have an end, abhor thou the heresy; it is another head of the dragon, lately sprung up in Galatia. i Vid. Greg. Naz. Orat. 42. n. 26. Const. Apost. viii. 6.
Christ's kingdom is without end.
LECT. A certain one has dared to affirm, that after the end of the world Christ shall reign no longer; and he has dared to say, that the Word which came forth from the Father shall be is rarí- again absorbed into the Father, and shall be no more; utterga árausing such blasphemies to his own perdition. For he has not John 8, listened to the Lord, saying, The Son abideth for ever. He has not listened to Gabriel, saying, And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Consider this text. Heretics of this day teach in disparagement of Christ, while Gabriel the Archangel taught the eternal abiding of the Saviour; whom then wilt thou rather believe? wilt thou not rather give credence to Gabriel? Listen Tag-to the testimony of Daniel in the text; I saw in the night οὖσαν. visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the 13. 14. clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days. . .
35. Luke 1, 33.
there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him; and His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. Hold fast this in preference, these things believe, and cast away the words of heresy; for thou hast heard most explicitly concerning the endless kingdom of Christ.
28. Thou hast the like doctrine in the interpretation of the Dan. 2, Stone, which was cut out of the mountain without hands, which is Christ according to the flesh; And [His] kingdom shall not be left to other people. And David says in one Ps.45,6. place, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; and in Ps. 102, another place, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the 25. &c. foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands; and then, they shall perish, but Thou remainest; and Heb. 1, what follows; but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail. Which words Paul has interpreted of the Son.
29. And wouldest thou know, how they who teach the contrary arrived at such madness? They read wrongly that 1 Cor. good word of the Apostle, For He must reign, till He hath 15, 25. put all enemies under His feet; and they say, when His enemies shall have been put under His feet, He shall cease to reign, wrongly and foolishly alleging this. For He who is king before He has subdued His enemies, how shall He
* This was Marcellus, Bishop of Ancyra, Socr. Hist. ii. 19. P.
In what sense Christ is subject to the Father.
not the rather be king, after He has gotten the mastery over them?
30. They have also dared to say that the Scripture, When (15.) all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also 1 Cor. 15, 28. Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that this Scripture shews that the Son shall be absorbed into the Father. Shall ye then, O most impious of all men, ye the creatures of Christ, continue? and shall Christ, by whom both you and all things were made, perish? Such a word is blasphemous. But further, how shall all things be made subject unto Him? Shall they perish, or continue? Shall then the other things, when subject to the Son, abide, and shall the Son, when subject to the Father, not abide? For He shall be subject, not because He shall then begin to be accord- ulagχεῖν. ant to the Father, (for He doth always those things that . John 8, please Him,) but because, then as before, He obeys the 29. Father, yielding, not a forced obedience, but a self-chosen κούει. accordance; for He is not a servant, that He should be r subject by force, but a Son, that He should comply of His πεισθῇ
free choice and natural love.
προαιρέ31. But let us examine them; what is the meaning of revi στοργία. 66 until" or 66 as far as ?" For with this very word will I close with them, and try to expose their error. Since they have dared to say that the words, till He hath put His enemies under His feet, shew that He Himself shall have an end, and have presumed to set bounds to the eternal kingdom of Christ, and to bring to an end, as far as words go, His never-ending sovereignty, come now, let us read the like expressions in the Apostle: Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam till Rom. Moses. Did men then die up to this time, and did none die any more after Moses, or after the Law was there no more death among men? Well then, thou seest that the word 66 unto," is not to limit time; but that Paul rather signified this," And yet, though Moses was a righteous and wondrous man, the doom of death which was sent forth against Adam, reached even unto him, and them that came after him; and this, though they had not sinned like Adam, in the disobedience concerning the eating of the Tree."
32. Take again another similar phrase. For until this day 2 Cor. 3, .... when Moses is read, the rail is upon their heart. Does
Exhortation and blessing.
LECT. “until this day" mean only "until Paul ?" Is it not “until XV. this day" present, and even to the end? And if Paul say to 2 Cor. the Corinthians, For we are come as far as unto you also in preaching the Gospel of Christ, having hope to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you, thou seest manifestly that "as far as" implies not the end, but has something following it. In what sense then shouldest thou remember 1 Cor. to take that Scripture, till He hath put all enemies under 15, 25, His feet? According as Paul says in another place, But exhort each other daily, while it is called to-day; meaning, "continually." For as we may not speak of the "beginning of the days" of Christ, so neither endure thou any one who at any time speaks of the end of His kingdom. For it is written, Dan. 7, His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
13. v. Heb. 7,3.
33. And though I have many more texts out of the divine Scriptures, that the kingdom of Christ has no end ever, I will be content with those above alleged, because of the (16.) advance of the day. But thou, O hearer, worship Him only as thy King, fleeing all heretical error. And if the grace of God permit us, the remaining Articles also of the Faith shall be in good time declared to you. And may the God of all keep you all, as ye bear in mind the signs of the end, and remain unsubdued by Antichrist. Thou hast received the tokens of that Deceiver who is to come; thou hast received the proofs of the true Christ, who shall openly come down from heaven. Fly therefore the one, the False one; and look for the other, the True. Thou hast learnt the way, how in the judgment thou mayest be found among the company on the right hand; guard that which is committed to thee concerning Christ, and be conspicuous in good works, that thou mayest stand with a good confidence before the Judge, and inherit the kingdom of heaven :-Through whom, and with whom, be glory to God with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Tim. 6, 20.